Chagford and Cream - The Story of A.E. Thomas and early Public Transport Around Chagford

Chagford and Cream - The Story of A.E. Thomas and early Public Transport Around Chagford
by Roger Grimley

Published privately by the author, 46 pages. A4 size staple bound booklet (N5206)

This privately published A4 size booklet is subtitled 'The story of Mr AE Thomas, motor bus and coach proprietor of Witheridge, Chagford and and Torquay, and early Public Transport around Chagford', and it thus provides a fascinating history of public motor transport in and around the Chagford area of Devon. The booklet is illustrated throughout with several small black and white photographs

From the introduction: This is principally the story of Arthur Egbert Thomas, born into a family of carriers at Witheridge in the last years of the nineteenth century. His father died when he was young and Arthur quickly learned about transport as he and his brothers helped their mother to run the business. After the merger of the family concern with that of their neighbours and friendly rivals, the Tidballs, Arthur Thomas felt he wanted to make his personal mark in life and on his marriage to Nellie Arscott he decided the time had come...

He bought a 'bus service in Chagford, on the edge of Dartmoor, and ever eager to what he could do on his own account, set about building the business. In this Arthur was greatly helped by his wife and, later, his children.

Before his story is told, we look at early transport around Chagford. There were horse drawn links with the distant railways then steam and motor buses served the town. Although remote, Chagford was not backward and was unique in being served by the Road Motors of two major railway companies.

The twenty years over which A.E. Thomas expanded his interests so that his motor buses reached Torrington in the north, Newton Abbot in the south, Okehampton in the west and Exeter in the east, are chronicled. An instinct for business led him to move to Torquay after the Second World War, just as the coach trade in the resort reached a peak. The Chagford interests passed to his nephew, and Arthur took up the new challenge and again expansion took place. Trips to moor and coast for those taking their annual fortnight's holiday and early package holidays are all part of the story. Then, suddenly and sadly, A.E. Thomas died at the early age of sixty one.

His life serves to remind us of days gone by, of a somewhat different world than the one in which we live. Before the widespread ownership of private cars, buses and coaches were an essential part of everyday life. To meet the needs of the travelling public calls for long hours and hard work and this story is a lasting tribute to a man of enterprise, whose judgement stood him in good stead and who rose to every new challenge he faced. Many still remember the brown and cream vehicles of A.E. Thomas, motor bus proprietor, Chagford; and of Cream Cars and Sunbeam Motor Tours, Torquay.

The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The card covers are clean and bright, the staple binding is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.
Condition New