297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Bus and Coach operations, new or changed services and timetables for First Midland Red Buses Limited or its predecessor, Midland Red West Limited.
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TimBrown
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297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Post by TimBrown » 13:43 Wednesday 22nd May 2024

As reported in this Forum under 'Miscellaneous Operators' section, the long standing 297 service from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth is now operated by Select Bus Services of Penkridge.

This brought back memories of my time employed on a part-time casual basis for Midland Red West Kidderminster garage covering late turns, where I worked the 297 on twelve separate occasions between Monday 26 October 1992 and Tuesday 16 February 1993. Vehicles driven included all Kidderminster's allocated Lynxes 1145 - 1150 inclusive and Nationals 661 and 747.

The weekday turn started at Garage 16-15 and returned at 00-07, it was numbered 136 and changed to 135 during January 1993 with running card 6 being retained throughout. The Saturday turn was numbered 229. The schedule commenced with a 297 from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, then 491 Bridgnorth High Town to Sydney Cottage, followed by 890 Bridgnorth to Wolverhampton and, after a break, 4 trips operating 506 / 507 Wolverhampton bus station to Pendeford.

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AdamH
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Re: 297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Post by AdamH » 18:06 Wednesday 22nd May 2024

All of this before my bus driving career started!

TimBrown
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Re: 297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Post by TimBrown » 13:59 Thursday 23rd May 2024

Looking at my ancient notebook I worked the 297 in the opposite direction twice only on Thursday 10/12/92 full turn and Thursday 21/01/93 part only, not S44 & 292.

The turn number was 131 on running card 15 comprising S44 school service (which school and where did it operate?), 292 - probably Kidderminster to Far Forest, 195 Kidderminster to Stourbridge then out of service for 506/507 Wolverhampton to Pendeford, possibly a break in Wolverhampton, then 890 Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth, 491 Bridgnorth High Town to Sydney Cottage, 297 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster, 195 Kidderminster to Stourbridge and 242 Stourbridge to Kinver. Buses driven on this card were Nationals 746 and 'flying machine' 500.

Sorry to be a bit vague on some of the journeys but these trips performed 31 years ago and memory plays tricks sometimes - I doubt whether I could find my way around now without a route map, as the centre of Wolverhampton and Stourbridge have probably changed considerably since I was last there!

Adam V
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Re: 297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Post by Adam V » 08:26 Wednesday 29th May 2024

Very interesting thanks Tim. I've always been fascinated with Midlsnd Red West's Shropshire services and The Black Country stuff they used to do. I member once catching a 745 from Ludlow to Bishops Castle back in the early 90s and it was a lovely journey. Can't really remember the details but it was a Kidderminster based Lynx I'm sure.

I remember seeing a couple of Kidderminster garage running cards with some of the Black Country work on them and It struck me how varied the drivers duty was ending up doing several different routes including some that only ran once or twice a day by MRW as per the Centro contracts. Drivers on the Black Country stuff must have had a lot of route knowledge.

Reddibus
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Re: 297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Post by Reddibus » 19:38 Wednesday 29th May 2024

The Kidderminster running card that started om the Montgomery outstation (a pub car park) and ending up on a Dudley late night Centro contract was one of the many examples of how the then Commercial Director Melvyn Thomas got the most productive use of the vehicles. Another was the weekend Birmingham night buses when Melvyn managed to keep the buses running from early on Friday morning to the end of service on Sunday night with the vehicle only briefly going back for refuelling having run through both Friday and Saturday nights or doing journeys on the 178 and 143 to Redditch from Birmingham releasing Redditch buses to do schools so they could save on the number of buses allocated to Redditch. This used up the slack times at Digbeth depot

asb
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Re: 297 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth

Post by asb » 11:54 Friday 31st May 2024

The S44 was Wolverley High to Franche Rd/Wilton Ave, all 12 mins of it. I reckon the 292 after was the 1550 Hagley RCHS to Kidderminster.

I know when I went out to catch the 773 to Newtown from Ludlow that I had the same Lynx as I had caught from Kidderminster on the 292 to get there.

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