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  WEB NEWS 21  

In this issue of WHOTT Web News we take a brief look at the lorry driver of the year contest, Poole Bus Station and WHOTT's on eBAY

  THE LORRY DRIVER OF THE YEAR CONTESTPhilip Platt recalls that, until very recently, the Road Haulage Association organised a series of competitions which culminated in the prestigious award of 'Lorry Driver of the Year'.

It commenced in the spring with a series of area contests from which class winners went through to a National Final that was held in the summer in a Midlands location. An observed and timed road-run was the subject of a 'Best Road Performance' award, whilst on-site manoeuvring tests resulted in up to three awards in up to eight classes ranging from small vans and pick-up trucks through to multi-axle rigid and articulated lorries. In the West Country, these competitions were held in Cornwall at Par, Devon at Paignton, Dorset (possibly at Poole), and probably Bristol which included Somerset.

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One of a pair of 1965 AEC 'Marshal' 6-wheel tippers entered by Horrells Transport of Newton Abbot is seen commencing the manoeuvre tests.   Entered by the Royal Navy Stores Depot at Exeter was this 1959 AEC 'Mammoth Major' 6 Mark III. Note also the ERF 8-wheeler of W.F. Miners & Sons of Ashburton and a Foden 8-wheeler of Heavy Transport of Par, all awaiting their turn at the manoeuvre tests.

POOLE BUS STATION - The bus station - the furthest 'east' along the coast in present day Dorset - as Bournemouth is well documented, for its 'double-deck' design. It was of course also the 'hub' for Royal Blue services. Less well known is the bus station at Poole, five miles to the west. The present station, used by Wilts and Dorset, in Kingland Road came into use in 1967, and remains basically as then built. Its predecessor, however, is the subject of this article by Peter Delaney.

The 'major' operator in the town was Hants and Dorset, who had made an agreement with the Poole Corporation to run bus services to replace the tramway services. Pre World War 2, the 'local' and 'country' services from Poole used bus stands in the road close to the 'George Hotel'. This area was getting quite congested, and so post-war arrangements were made for the terminal point to be in Kingland Crescent. The traffic flow was unusual, as the western end was 'one-way', but the eastern portion was 'two-way'. The entrance from the High Street to the 'one-way' section was very close to the railway level crossing on the High Street, which could - and did - lead to delays to the bus services. The stand were therefore arranged, in part, so that the services that used that part of the bus station had longer 'lay-over' times to, in theory, allow for this hazard!

Originally, there were few buildings in Kingland Crescent - a road made of concrete slab-work. A wooden shelter was erected near to the High Street. The bus stands each had simple tubular steel barriers, originally without any form of 'labelling'. Eventually, however, a proper 'bus station' building was added on the corner of Kingland Crescent and High Street. This provided a ground floor enquiry office, fronting the High Street, with a parcels and left luggage office behind. On the ground floor facing Kingland Crescent were public toilets, with a covered, but open fronted, waiting area on the pavement side. This first floor included offices for the Area Superintendent and Chief Traffic Assistant, for typists and the cashier, and a large room for the ticket clerks, who could prepare the ticket machines boxes which were put into racks for 185 boxes along one wall - accessed from the other side by the conductors. The upper floor also included a staff canteen.  

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K6A HLJ 27 on service 26 at the later stand A, with the High Street behind. The 1955 Hants & Dorset office building is on the right, the entrance to the enquiry office facing the High Street.

  WHOTT'S ON eBAY  -1: EMBANKMENT MOTOR Co. Ltd - As a growing percentage of the population gets access to the Internet, eBay, the on-line car boot sales, is turning up an increasing number of interesting items relevant to the history of West Country Transport. In this first of this occasional series, Andy Richings features two related items spotlighting the operators of Embankment Motor Co. Ltd of Plymouth.

To my knowledge, however I'm not an expert, there has been no definitive history committed to print for this long departed operator. There is a tantalising reference in the introduction of the PSV Circle Fleet History PB16. 'Wallace Arnold Tours Limited - Part 1 1919 to 1957', published in 1979, to Part III 'which will deal with the operators taken over by Wallace Arnold'. In January 2006 this publication has yet to see the light of day.

The business was stated in 1920 by James Henry Williams, operating charabanc trips using the fleetname "Embankment Motors". From 1923 a bus service was stated on the Plymouth-Tavistock road after Yelverton, serving Buckland Monachorum to the west and Dousland to the east.

Further details of this operator can be found the latest issue of WHOTT News.

Anyway, back to eBay and the auction items. the first, The pamphlet for 'Pullman Motors Coach Holidays Tours' from Plymouth 1949, which included a booking form and letter indicating that bookings will commence on Wednesday March 9th 1949, with an early reservation "earnestly" suggested. It is interesting to note Point 7 of the General Notes of information - "Passengers are advised to take their own soap and towels, as under prevailing conditions some hotels do not provide this service".

The forward appears to suggest these were the first tours after the war, "We take pleasure in announcing the introduction of our first programme of Pullman Motor Coach Holiday Tours". The forward continues "New and up-to-date vehicles have been obtained embodying all the latest refinements and features to ensure comfort and ease"

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Combwich & District Farmers' Bedfords

Trust vehicles - overview

Just the Ticket - 7

Rowe Brothers, Exeter

Mystery Vehicle

Royal Blue 1299



Combwich & District Farmer's Bedfords

Left to Right - JYB 510, FYC 176, DYA 286, BYA 739 & AYA 69?.


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Web News 20

Web News Index

Web News 22


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