On the Buses is a series of quarterly bookazines produced by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, that take a snapshot back to a time when the world was a very different place.
Titles in the On the Buses series alternate between the ‘colour files’ and the mainly black and white and, much older material, based around the Chris Hodge ‘Stilltime’ Collection and other mono archive collections.
In both cases, the publications contain 100 pages, feature stiff card covers and are printed on high quality paper in an A4 format. Even-numbered issues are the ‘colour files’, edited by Paul Appleton, while the odd-numbered editions are the mono ones, produced by Vintage Roadscene magazine editor, Mike Forbes.
The ‘colour file’ editions are bursting with colour images, mainly from the 1950s and ’60s – with some taken in the early years of the 1970s – a period when very few people were recording the bus scene in glorious colour. Fortunately, two men who did, Jeff Colledge and his friend, Geoff Lumb, have come together to give us an superb insight to the contemporary scene at that time, covering the fleets of a variety of operators across the UK, from the south of England to the Scottish Highlands, and from the South Wales valleys to East Anglia.
The mono editions go back even further and, therefore, are largely in black and white, with some material dating back to the 1930s. Mainly, though, content dates the early, post-war years. Manufacturers’ official pictures and other promotional material, buses at commercial vehicle shows and on test, cover a wide range of subjects, but most of the photographs were taken during visits to operators around the country, to support contemporary magazine articles.
As interesting as the buses themselves are, in their evocative period liveries, the street scenes in which they operate – with the advertising, vehicles and fashions of the day – really do provide a wonderful insight into times gone by. Almost 200, previously unpublished images are contained within each issue; you can almost smell the leather seats, hear the clippie’s ticket machine and the crash of the gearbox as we set off on a trail of discovery, to a time of municipal transport and early nationalisation of Britain’s unique public service vehicle scene – a time long gone and never to return.
On the Buses: Book Six
£8.99 inc p&p (UK only)
In the third of our ‘Colour Files’ On the Buses issues, we visit Derby for a look at the Corporation’s trolley- and motor-buses. We also travel to the former county of Cumberland, for a look at Lakeland operator, Cumberland Motor Services, as well as South Wales where we examine three of just 10 bus-operating Urban District Councils in Britain; Aberdare, Caerphilly and Ponypridd.
Also included is South Devon, and the Devon General and Grey Cars, Southend-on-Sea Corporation Transport, the buses of Luton and Darlington Corporations, together with a peek at the Merthyr Tydfil and Accrington municipal fleets – the latter includes a very rare, rear-entrance Guy Wulfrunian.
For details of previous issues in the On the Buses series, click here