Billingham Bus, Billingham Town Centre

A Teesside Municipal Transport bus outside of the bowling alley in Billingham Town Centre, I can hazard a guess as to the date, I think it is very likely to be about 1969.

Before the formation of Teesside County Council this bus was part of the Stockton Corporation fleet and it looks to me as if the advertising poster on the side of the bus is covering up the old logo, it took many months to re-paint the fleet in the new colours, of course a few years later the fleet was renamed ‘Cleveland Transit’.

My wife remembers using the number 51 to travel to work in Stockton in the late 1960s and early 1970s, prior to that time the Corporation ran the 10 and 10A from Billingham town centre to Willey Flatts in Yarm and also ran the 2 and 2A, the 2 ran from the Transporter Bridge to Stockton High Street and the 2A from Cowpen Village to Stockton High Street, I seem to remember that the 2A wasn’t a full time service.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

3 thoughts on “Billingham Bus, Billingham Town Centre

  1. I am Edmund Todd (eddietodd) and I was an apprentice Mechanic at Stockton from 1962 until 1966 when I moved to Bournemouth and eventually became their first Director of Engineering. I remember these vehicles and I agree that the livery was never very appealing and the colours were quite drab. Bournemouth vehicles were Primrose Yellow – so bright and fresh. The vehicle in the photo was either a Leyland pdf2 or pdf3 (memory is not so good now) and were very easy vehicles to maintain. Loved my time in the workshops at Bridge St and then at Protract Lane. Best mates were Eddie Rose (Big Ed) and Brian Dargie, hope they are still around and read this and add some comment or use hotmail to contact me.

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  2. Fellow posters may recall I have a ‘thing’ about bus design. Often towns and cities became known for their buses usually because of their looks or cleanliness. Edinburgh and Portsmouth come to mind as does Devon General but I regret to say Cleveland Transit did no aesthetic favours to the people of Teesside and this example says it all. Dull and uninspiring are the words I would use to describe this boring bus. I would not be moved to travel on it. I remember the bright green of Stockton Corporation vehicles and the lovely blue of Middlesbrough’s double deckers. Transport authorities sometimes get it wrong when it comes to colours. Darlington and Sheffield with their reversed liveries was a mistake and Cleveland Transit with their nothingness green was another.

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    • Depends on how old you are Roy, I remember the Red Stockton Corporation Bus when driving them was a trade complete with smart uniform and the Conductors the same, Middlesbrough at that time were Blue. Most of the conductors were men pre-war, the ladies took over during the war which was when maintenance went a little bit downhill. Those buses were always full and often in my experience the “0” bus from Norton Green where I got on it to Stockton was full by Danby Road and would go sailing on much to the anger of those waiting. The Bus Depot had night cleaners and every bus got swept out and windows cleaned with some each night getting a wash down, the sweep out was needed as nearly everyone bar myself smoked you would have been knee deep in stubs had it not been done.
      The Maintenance crew must have been on the ball as I was never on a bus that broke down. We had very old Daimler pre-selectors when I first started using them from Norton Green to the Richard Hind school, then we got a mix of types that must have been on loan, Leylands, Bristol’s, Low riders were the seats were on one side and the walking aisle was lowered into the lower deck if you sat down stairs on that side watch your head.
      I left Stockton at 18 and when I came back the Stockton Buses were green, I knew a lad worked in the Depot he told me they were hand painted, coat after coat then polished, you could see your face in the paint work when they pulled to your stop. Then came the amalgamation, the least said the better.
      Frank.

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