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  WEB NEWS 57  

In this issue of WHOTT Web News we take a brief at Bus Tickets, Arthur John Manning and the Plymouth Co-Op.

  Just the ticket 24 - Both of these tickets are post war universals from Williamson. They are of different sizes and also layout although nevertheless similar to or identical to earlier issues with one major exception and that is that the name of Western and Southern National appears as a title instead of National Omnibus and Transport Company etc. This is the first time since the early nineteen thirties that the company title has appeared in this form (for comparison see JTT 14).

As the stub is missing from Ke 4022 it is not possible to confirm its TS number but it is probably TS 259 as the 5 ½ value was not introduced until during or after the war and as explained in JTT 22 no provision for this was made in the original allotment of TS numbers.When it comes to stages it can be seen that X11 4678 (TS 22) goes up to 42 while the other only to 31. With regard to dating Ke 4022 shows 1- 31 while TS 22 shows only the days by name. The order date on this ticket is 23 August 1952 which puts it at the end of the Punch era as the introduction of Setright Speed machines was imminent.
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  The life and times of Arthur John Manning -  WHOTT Member, Allan Bedford, continues the story begun in our last issue, of Coldridge resident, Arthur Manning.

Call up to the RAF came on 9th April 1946 and with assigned service number 3082517 Arthur became an assistant Air Traffic Controller, initially posted for training to Padgate near Warrington, Lancs. He moved on to Deanthorpe, Notts and completed his training at Compton Bassett, Wilts. Now qualified, he moved to Marham near Swaffham in Norfolk as an Air Traffic Assistant. Part of his duty on the airfield involved the use of JEEPs carrying such instructions as ‘Follow Me’ etc. On one memorable occasion he had a flight in a Lancaster which flew to Chivenor in Devon where an officer joined the flight to Manston in Kent before returning to home base. After just two years demobilisation came on the 15th March 1948.

Shortly after he was offered a job by the village baker in Coldridge at £4-10-od per week. The bakery by this time traded as Carr and Bannister and his duties included deliveries six days a week, door to door, over the very scattered community followed by assisting the baker in the afternoons. When first offered the job the ancient Austin was still around but being unimpressed with this, a post war replacement was soon offered. Vans in the fleet over the next 7½ years included examples of Austin 10, Fordson 10 cwt (E83W) and a Jowett Bradford. Flour for the bakery came from Malletts of Exeter along with Ranks and Spillers in 1¼ cwt sacks. Later, following the trend in the rest of the country, the baker faced serious competition from the likes of Exeter based Hill, Palmer and Edwards with their Mothers Pride brand so he then decided to call it a day. Arthur left the bakery in 1955 after he was offered a job with the well known quarry owners R A Notts and was based at their Oldborough Quarry at Morchard Bishop. During this period his own transport was an Austin 7, which had started life as a car before conversion into a pick-up for door to door milk delivery.
Soon after coming into Arthur’s ownership, Charlie Burrows, referred to earlier, constructed a van body for the old Austin. Initially operating an old Chaseside loader for 18 months, Arthur then became responsible for maintaining the Mirrlees Ricardo and Paxman diesel powered AC 400 volt, 3-phase generating plant plus all crushing and screening gear, a period he looks back with much pride.
Nott’s 1936 Foden tipper (BOD792) after its second serious accident, this time on the A3072 near Cadbury, with a very calm Jim Saunders recovering from his ordeal. [A Manning] Foden (BOD792) restored and seen near Bovey Tracey after completing the 2006 Devon Coastal Run. Arthur does not know why it now carried fleet number 16 as opposed to 15 in the crash picture. [A Bedford]
  Plymouth Co-Op - In WHOTTs NEWS 56 we introduced readers to the interesting and varied fleet of Plymouth Co-op, details of which had been assembled by the late David Jago. David’s father had worked for the Co-op and it was there that he got his first job, soon becoming a van driver. His love affair with vehicles encouraged him to research the fleet. From his notes we have dug into the finer aspects and have tried to match details with photographs that come to light.

After the initial investment in Dennis charsabanc in 1919, there is no evidence to suggest Plymouth Co-op Society purchased many more new vehicles for their tours and private hire department until 1926. In fact a study in the issue of known local vehicle registrations issued to the Co-op reveals only two in 1920, six in 1921 and none at all over the next three years. The expanding company would have certainly needed mechanised transport to supplement or replace its horse and cart deliveries from various departments, most of which were gaining ground and attracting a growing number of Plymouth’s population. A report in 1920 stated that 130 horse-drawn vehicles and 70 motorised vehicles were in the fleet. Unfortunately the absence of some early Plymouth motor licensing records has prevented identification as to what many of these were and part of the problem in trying to discover more about these has been due to a lack of reliable information and the disappearance of some of the Plymouth motor tax registers.

Although the Co-operative, as an institution, was expanding Nationwide, each branch was responsible for its own purchases. It therefore follows that the Plymouth Co-op would have, apart from a few exceptions, registered their vehicles locally. There are three instances of them having a 1920 Devon registered Aveling & Porter roller (TA291), a Foden steam lorry registered in Cheshire (M3622), and a Lincoln registered Robey steam tractor (FE443). These were more unusual vehicles, probably registered by the manufacturer or dealer. Whatever the reason, there appears to be many gaps in the local numbers issued to the Plymouth Co-op until about 1925 when three Guy vans are listed as CO8198, CO8251 and CO8308. In1926 eight vehicles were purchased new, of which three were Dennis coaches CO9567, CO9896 and CO9979. The others were a Morris lorry DR720, Morris vans DR540 and DR981, a Dennis van DR805 and Dennis lorry CO9610. The Co-op seemed to favour Morris for their light van fleet, possibly stemming from the experience had with an example purchased in April 1925 – CO8127.

Points of view

Archive update

Vehicle update

Pictures from the album

Jolly to Brooklands

Future Activities


Pictures from the Album - ESU980 Guscotts Coaches


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Web News 56

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Web News 58


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