Having looked at a couple of Silver Star companies, here is THE “SILVER” OMNIBUSES, Proprietors: Timpson’s, London & Hastings. It would appear that this company operated char-a-bancs on daily services although the 1d fare suggests stage carriage services.
I do not even know where the company was based, although in 1935 A Timpson & Sons Ltd. (London – Portsmouth winter service) was taken over by Southdown. – this may or may not be the same company.
The ticket was printed by Wilson, Printers, Woolwich SE18 (post codes are not new!).
Photograph and Copy contributed by Bill Nichols
10/01/12 – 07:40
Alexander Timpson commenced private hire operations from Woolwich in 1913 but WWI caused suspension until 1919 when he began a regular service between Plumstead and Hastings using a Karrier coach named "The Silver Belle". In 1920 he acquired a former horse tram depot at 175, Rushey Green, Catford from where operations continued in to the 1970s at least. As well as the coach operations he began a bus route from Plumstead Common to Bromley Common on March 23rd 1923 under the title "Timpson’s Silver Omnibuses". Other services were added but all the Plumstead area bus operations passed to Thomas Tilling Limited on March 25th 1926. Timpson also had some bus services in the Hastings area, at least by March 1926 but these passed to Maidstone & District on March 3rd 1934 with the exception of two which went to East Kent. Given the advert on the back of the ticket it is highly probably that it was issued on one of the Plumstead area services.
Control of A.Timpson & Sons Limited passed jointly to British Electric Traction (60%) and Thomas Tilling Limited (40%) on May 30th 1945 and it continued as a coach operator until January 1st 1974 when the operations passed to National Travel (South East)(previously Samuelson New Transport Ltd). The Timpson company was renamed National Travel London Limited on June 5th 1978 and acquired the business of NTSE on January 1st 1979 but was finally wound up circa 1984.
10/01/12 – 07:42
Alexander Timpson & Sons head office was in Rushey Green, Catford, SE London (in premises adapted from a former horse tram depot)
Timpsons had bases in Brighton, Torquay and Hastings, I know very little about the Brighton or Torquay bases.
According to ‘Glory Days, Maidstone & District’, Colin Morris (Ian Allan 2002), Timpsons’ Hastings base opened in 1920 – they had intended to use it as a base for an express service to and from London, but Hastings Council awarded them stage carriage licences as well, and they set up a local bus operation there, which was finally sold to Maidstone & District in 1934.
Timpsons had about 20 buses’ worth of service bus operation in SE London, which passed to Tillings in 1926.
Timpsons was bought jointly by the Tillings Group and BET in 1944, and it continued to operate coaches, becoming National Travel South East in the 1970s.
The Catford depot was used until the mid 1980s (for a short while towards the end operating local service buses again following London route tendering) and then (following a very brief use by Black Horse Buses, who operated in Gravesend) the site was derelict for about 20 years pending a decision on a road widening scheme for the A205 South Circular that in the event didn’t happen, and the building was replaced by shops.