Shropshire Routes to Roots
|Routes | Transport and communication | Shropshire buses and coaches|
2. Pioneering services: 1904 to 1918
How did it all begin?
Before the War
The very first service in Shropshire was operated by the Great Western Railway. This company recognised from the outset that motor buses had the capacity to complement rail services by connecting villages to railway stations. So on that historic day on 7 November 1904 three Clarkson steam buses began plying between Bridgnorth Station and Wolverhampton Low Level Station via Worfield and Shipley. They were simply not up to the job, especially when it came to ascending or descending hills. They were quickly replaced by petrol engined buses which were marginally better. From that wobbly start in 1904 to the outbreak of war in 1914, several other individuals and companies began the risky business of running buses. Most were petrol driven wagonettes or convertible lorries, but some were purpose built single deckers or charabancs with bench seats arranged rather like church pews.
World War One
The First World War (which lasted from 1914 to 1918) put a stop to many of the pioneering efforts, partly because of a lack of vehicles and fuel and partly because of an acute shortage of drivers and mechanics. Many of the vehicles used by bus operators in 1914 were requisitioned by the War Department for military use. Even so, between 1914 and 1918 the first bus services in the county to be run by the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company (BMMO) which traded as "Midland Red" and Crosville Motor Services were established. In 1918, the end of hostilities brought about a massive expansion of the bus and coach industry.
ContinueFind out about post-War growth: Next
Page created February 2004 and last updated 1 August 2007