Not an operator I know much about they ran joint services with neighbouring Hartlepool corporation, although I think they were the larger concern vehicle number wise. One little snippet of information I came up with was that on the 01/04/1967 the two corporations were merged to form a single new authority called the County Borough of Hartlepool. I’m sure someone knows more about them than I, hopefully they will be touch with what they know.
02/07/11 – 12:27
Tickets aside, there was a most fascinating arrangement here until the merger of the two Councils in April 1967. The Hartlepool fleet consisted of only four buses, making it the smallest municipal operator in the Land. Even more astonishing was the fact that, although the buses (latterly four AEC Regent/Roe double deckers) were in full Hartlepool livery with Borough crest they were actually maintained and operated by a private coach company – Bee Line.
02/07/11 – 16:53
Roly Wason’s excellent and entertaining book "Busman’s View" was set in West Hartlepool. Although he refers to the town as "Northfield" (red buses) and having a joint service with "Southfield" (blue buses – Middlesbrough?) the game is given away by a photo of Roly in uniform with WHCT on his lapels. Many rollicking tales there – the new nervous conductress who accidentally gave a double ring to stop the bus "I see you’re a bigamist" said Roly "two rings where one would be more orthodox!" Or the two ladies deep in conversation as they crossed the road, suddenly becoming aware of the bus approaching some 200 yards away. "Their panic was quite extraordinary – first they ran forwards; then then ran back; then they separated and ran in opposite directions; finally they converged, collided and collapsed in a heap in the middle of the road. I pulled up gently a dozen yards short of them and watched the pantomine…"
On second thoughts though, more likely the "Southfield" blue buses were Hartlepool Corporation.
03/07/11 – 20:31
Not wanting to be a nit picker but the comment regarding Hartlepool being the smallest municipality didn’t Colwyn Bay only have three vehicles?
05/07/11 – 06:31
Don’t worry about the nits Philip – we’re always open to correction – but the book which I looked in says that Colwyn Bay had a total of twenty two vehicles during their existence as an operator, but never more than seven at any particular time, so that’s all I can say. Perhaps some more westerly resident can comment with more accuracy ??
07/07/11 – 08:05
It depends how you look at it to some extent. The original Hartlepool service was provided by B Line a local coach company with ex London utilities. In terms of vehicles actually owned by the corporation they only had 4 Roe bodied AEC Regents which went to West Hartlepool on amalgamation.