Motor Buses of Newton Abbot and District

Motor Buses of Newton Abbot and District
Motor Buses of Newton Abbot and District - Early Public Transport around Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, by Roger Grimley

Published privately by the author, 46 pages. A4 size staple bound booklet (N5207)

This privately published A4 size booklet provides a fascinating history of early motor transport in and around the Newton Abbot area of South Devon, and is illustrated throughout with several small black and white photographs

From the introduction: Newton Abbot had barely 4,000 inhabitants when the South Devon Railway reached the town in 1846. Because of its geographical position at the head of the estuary of the River Teign, at the meeting place of several valleys and with Dartmoor behind, the town soon became a focus for the railways and an important junction. Considerable building took place and the population quadrupled. The railways also brought numbers of visitors as the town promoted itself as "the gateway to Dartmoor" and horse drawn carriages and chars-a-banc took them on excursions over the moors. Newton also served as a commercial centre for a wide area and on Wednesday, market day, thousands of people from all over the district congregated in the town and large sums of money were paid over as cattle and dairy produce changed hands.

With the advent of motors there were a number of attempts to provide regular public services but it was not until after the Great War of 1914-1918 that road services really developed. The Devon General Omnibus & Touring Co Ltd began with two routes between Exeter and Torquay, one via Dawlish and Teignmouth, the other via Chudleigh. Both routes met at Kingsteignton and continued through Newton Abbot and Kingskerswell. The company then started running between Newton Abbot, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh. At first vehicles were kept overnight in the yard of the Bradley Hotel but in 1921 garage premises were leased at Kingsteignton and this provided a base for the development of services in the district. Between 1920 and 1922 Devon General experienced fierce competition from Torquay Tramways 'buses until the latter acquired the business and then continued motor 'bus operations under the Devon General name.

Other smaller firms competed for bus traffic, offered regular excursions to the moors and coast and undertook private coach hire for church, chapel, club and works outings. Many had other business interests - such as motor engineering, haulage, building, firewood, a fish and chip shop - for the char­-a-banc trade in particular was seasonal and it could be a long winter. Colourful liveries and catchy names were the order of the day as "Forget - Me­Not", "Newtonian", "Pride of the Moor", "Speedwell" and others competed - sometimes fiercely - for trade.

This is the story of the pioneers of the motor 'bus and char-a-banc trade based in the Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton area. It covers all known operators from the advent of the motor car until the 1950's when the last of them sold out...

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