Here is a selection of Bell Punch tickets from The Green Bus Co. Ltd. of Rugeley and Uttoxeter (Staffordshire) – M A & C J Whieldon. The tickets were issued around 1963. Green Bus was an archetypal small independent. It served the Rugeley, Uttoxeter, Lichfied triangle and intervening villages. At the time their fleet included a couple of Daimler CVD6/Brush double deckers, ex-Bradford City Transport, one or two Guy Arabs with post-war (i.e. not Utility) bodies, and a number of half-cab single deck coaches, the identity of which I cannot now remember. In addition to the main interurban services, they also ran a short Lichfield local service jointly with Midland Red, utilising marginal time between trips on the Uttoxeter-Lichfield run.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Ford
When I was doing my eight weeks "squarebashing" (initial recruit training) at RAF Hednesford in October – December 1954 the Green Bus Service was a thriving concern with a most varied and fascinating fleet. Rides could be enjoyed on such wonderful vehicles as ex Birmingham Corporation Daimler COG5s and also two Foden PVDC6s with Salmesbury double deck bodywork – the latter buses very adventurously bought brand new. I still have the one penny time and faretable book published by The Company. Our enormous training camp high in the cruel winter wilds of Cannock Chase was "deflated and put in its place" in Messrs. Whieldon’s excellent booklet by being referred to simply as "RAF Camp." The Green Bus Service was one of those grand legendary companies which made up the fascination of the Industry in those happy days when the Traffic Commissioners really ruled and blatant malpractices were generally stamped upon fairly promptly.
Yes, Green Bus was quite a "find". I confess that when my Aunt and Uncle moved to Lichfield in the early 60s I thought it would prove to be "wall-to-wall" Midland Red territory. Despite their rather interesting home-made fleet, I was never a real fan of theirs. (Maybe it had something to do with the fact that all their double deckers were "tin-fronts") So I was astonished and delighted to discover Green Bus, not to mention Harper Bros. of Heath Hayes, who ran an approximately hourly service from Lichfield to Kingstanding, using Cravens bodied ex-London RTs, and the frequent blue Guys that plied between Lichfield and Walsall, on Walsall Corporation’s route 16.
14/03/11 – 12:17
My grandfather Arthur Ford, worked for Whieldons buses at Uttoxeter, in the 1950-60s’, as a driver. Sometimes in the summer holidays I used to go with my nana to the corner of Westlands Road, and wait for my pop to come up Stafford Road out of Uttoxeter, so that she could give him a flask of tea and some sandwiches, for his break. I thought it was really good to go to Rugeley on the bus for a ride, especially on one of the Foden single deckers, because you could sit right at the front next to pop and watch him driving and changing gear as you sped through the countryside at as much as 25mph. Best days of my life, but I didn’t realise it at the time.
Michael John Ford
30/03/11 – 06:42
Yes, Green Bus was truly bizarre but in a good way. Their fleet in the 1960s included two Foden PVD6 double-deckers with Samlesbury "Low Hyte" bodywork (their spelling, not mine!), a rear-engined PVRF6 coach with Metalcraft bodywork, a front-engined Foden single-decker with King & Taylor bus bodywork, Arab III double-deckers from Southampton, Arab UFs from Southampton, Huddersfield, and Central SMT (the latter with Alexander "Coronation" coach bodywork….the list of fascinating vehicles was almost endless. And on top of all that their main depot in Rugeley was a converted art deco cinema! It was a dark day when the Whieldon family sold out to Midland Red.
21/04/11 – 06:27
I have some of those tickets also! It was indeed a sad day when Green Bus ceased, it was my wonderful good fortune to have known it in its last years, I remember travelling on one of the ex Southampton Guy saloons, the ex Stratford Blue Titan and latterly the ex Bristol LS’s. I visited Uttoxeter quite a few times and once the garage fitter very kindly brought out a Guy Arab LUF/Burlingham Seagull for me to take a photo (a pretty awful photo!)
I also remember the service to Rugeley being a very picturesque journey and also having a cup of tea in the Green Bus Cafe!
27/05/11 – 08:54
My Father Jack Hudson drove for Whieldon’s I know he drove there Buses and I think did work in the garage in Rugeley. As I was a very small fellow I didn’t see much of him, leaving for work very early in the morning and getting back home late. Weekends and Holiday were time for me to see him and travel with him to Rugeley, Uttoxiter and Day out Holidays. I have fond memories of those times but alas no photos.
24/08/11 – 16:24
My Grandad set up the Green Bus Company, building it up over time, starting with giving people lifts in a single converted car, so I’m told. He passed it on to my Dad when he married my mum. It was losing money fast hence it’s sale to Midland Red after Grandad died. I have vague memories of riding on the bus with Dad driving. He always says the brakes were really bad and he had to stand up on them when going downhill.
C. V. Whieldon
24/11/11 – 09:09
When I worked as an apprentice at Bamfords of Uttoxeter from 1965-8 I had to use GBS to get to Tech at Stafford. By that time they were using s/h Setright Speeds ex Midland ‘Red’ and PMT.
My memories are legion, one that springs to mind was their fierce conductress whom we students called Ruthless Ruth!
Allan T Condie
08/02/12 – 06:47
I became a pupil of Cannock Grammar School in the September 1962 intake. A new maths teacher at that time was Mr.A Whieldon whom I remember as being an excellent teacher. After marrying Miss J Townshend in July 1964 he left the school to devote his energies to the family business. In 1965 my girlfriend lived in Chasetown while I lived in Cannock, so every afternoon we would wait together (with friends) in the Cannock bus terminus for the arrival of the No.17 (I believe) that would sadly whisk her away. At times the driver would be Mr. A. Whieldon. Such happy memories