Motor Buses of Plympton and Cornwood - Early Public Transport in South devon, by Roger Grimley

Motor Buses of Plympton and Cornwood - Early Public Transport in South devon, by Roger Grimley
Motor Buses of Plympton and Cornwood - Early Public Transport in South devon, by Roger Grimley

Published privately by the author, 30 pages. A4 size staple bound booklet (N5208)

This privately published A4 size booklet provides a fascinating history of early motor transport in the Plympton and Cornwood areas of South-west Devon, and is illustrated throughout with several small black and white photographs

From the introduction: Five miles from Plymouth on the Tory Brook are the twin Plymptons, St Mary and St Maurice. 'While the traffic of the road to Plymouth rolls through Plympton St Mary, in the quiet streets of Plympton St Maurice we seem to step back into the eighteenth century of Sir Joshua Reynolds, its famous son. There is a tranquil atmosphere in its wide street, with little arcades of stone pillars supporting the upper storey of some of the cottages'.

Since these words were written by Arthur Mee in 'The King's England' the disenfranchised Borough of Plympton has been transformed with considerable housing development and a new line for the main A38 Plymouth - Exeter highway. Now part of the City of Plymouth it is barely recognisable as the group of villages that at the end of the nineteenth century was home to some 5,000 people.

During the first quarter of the twentieth century the population grew by a thousand as new homes were built and people took advantage of the frequent railway service (up to 25 trains a day) to travel to work in Plymouth. However, as the number of motor vehicles increased rapidly during the 1920's the travelling habits of Plymptonians changed. The railway declined in importance as motor 'buses and chars-a-bane provided more convenient links for the four parts of the town - St Mary, St Maurice, Underwood and Colebrooke.

The people who developed the early motor 'bus services were a hardy breed. In order to survive they had to be resilient, determined and perhaps sometimes a little ruthless. They faced severe competition at a time when it was the survival of the fittest. Proprietors vied for business on the potentially lucrative route to and from Plymouth, one Plympton family, the Goads, becoming a major force. Another, Hopper & Berryman, seized upon public discontent after the Devon Motor Transport Co (D.M.T.) had taken over Goad's "Ensign" service and became a troublesome competitor for the National Omnibus & Transport Co Ltd who acquired D.M.T. in the late 1920's.

To the north of Plympton the hills rise to Dartmoor. Situated on the southern edge of the moor the parish of Cornwood had a station on the Great Western Railway as well as a long standing horse-drawn carrier service linking it to Plymouth. As the motor 'bus services expanded they reached the village although in the early years the state of the roads was so bad that one operator withdrew. Although Cornwood benefited from improved road links with the nearby city it remained a country village whereas the growth of Plympton, started by the trains and continued by the 'buses, led to it becoming part of the city of Plymouth in 1967.

Included in this booklet are details of all known motor 'bus and char-a-banc operators based in the Plympton and Cornwood area between the end of the First World War and 1931. Where the activities of operators based outside the area impinge on local proprietors they are covered in the text.

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