Service 144 - The History of a Bus Route (Birmingham - Worcester Route)

Service 144 - The History of a Bus Route (Birmingham - Worcester Route)

Subtitled 'A Nostalgic glimpse of Service 144 celebrating a century of service from 1914 to 2014'

Published by FirstGroup in 2014, 18 pages. Rectangular booklet - c.21cm by 29.5cm (A4QWSO)

From the introduction: The Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Co Ltd, which was of course better known as Midland Red, was one of the country's most iconic bus companies. FirstGroup are immensely proud to be able to carry the name of Midland Red forward into the twenty-first century. The "Friendly Midland Red" was a catch phrase that the BMMO Company used through much of its long history and the current management are keen to try and achieve this recognition again.

Horse drawn trams and buses first took to the streets of Worcester in 1881 and were operated by the Worcester Tramway Company. However, it wasn't until 29th August 1914 that Midland Red entered the city with a 'through service' between Birmingham, Worcester and Great Malvern. The service was operated jointly with Worcestershire Motor Transport. The service was numbered 25 with just three journeys in each direction per day!

The joint operation only lasted only a couple of months, however, as most of the Worcestershire Motor Transport vehicles were commandeered for use by the armed forces at the beginning of World War 1. At this time Midland Red had mostly Tilling-Stevens petrol electric buses which were not favoured by the military authorities. Later in 1914 Midland Red took over all the routes operated by the Worcestershire Motor Transport.

Service 25 was extended to Malvern Wells in April 1916. During 1925 the route was renumbered to 125 and a few years later, in February 1928, it became Service 144, the number which is still in use today. Also in 1928 Worcester Corporation purchased the Worcester Electric Traction Company but instead of running its own buses an agreement was entered into with Midland Red, whereby all city services were operated on behalf of the corporation.

Buses and trams have played a massively important role in serving and supporting Worcester and we believe that it is right that we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Worcester to Birmingham service.

We would also like to pay tribute to the many thousands of men and women who have worked, often their entire working lives, as drivers or conductors, or in the equally important roles maintaining or cleaning or as supervisors, administrators or managers. It is they who have done, and continue to do, sterling work, in all conditions, to provide Worcester with its bus service.

First Midland Red's bus operation is able to trace its roots right back to 1914 and we are proud to be serving the people and city 100 years later. First is determined to play its full part in delivering bus services that increasingly support and enhance the life of this city.

The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The covers have one or two very minor scuffs but are clean and tify, the staple spine is intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.