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74 and 75 bus routes

ricklangley

New Member
Living in Handsworth in the 1960s, the bus routes that featured most prominently in my life were the number 11 and the 74 and 75 from town to Dudley and Wednesbury respectively. This was in the days before the 75 became the 79 and ran all the way through to Wolverhampton. I seem to remember that the 74 and 75 were operated jointed by BCT and West Bromwich Corporation, so occasionally it would be a 'foreign' bus that came along.

Travelling to B'ham city centre was no problem. But when we visited relatives in West Bromwich, we had of course to cross "the boundary" at the Hawthorns. Because the journey was in two different jurisdictions, the tickets were only valid to the boundary. Then the conductor would have to go round again and take the fares for the rest of the journey. When returning from West Brom (though curiously enough never going, though the rigmarole was the same) there was always the debate with my grandmother as to whether to pay the extra fare to 'our' stop, which was only a few hundred yards, or to get off and walk the rest of the way. The outcome probably depended on whether it was raining or not!

Of course when WMPTE came into being all that finished.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Had a similar dilemma on the 51 and 52 route. I used to live off Perry Avenue Perry Barr and the nearest stop was the one by the prefabs, unfortunately the stage was at the Tennis courts pub one stop before. I couldn't afford to pay the extra for one stop, only earning 1/6d per hour at 14 years of age, so occasionally risked overriding to the next stop. I used to live in fear of being caught out so only did it when it was pouring with rain.
 

Alan1950

New Member
Living in Handsworth in the 1960s, the bus routes that featured most prominently in my life were the number 11 and the 74 and 75 from town to Dudley and Wednesbury respectively. This was in the days before the 75 became the 79 and ran all the way through to Wolverhampton. I seem to remember that the 74 and 75 were operated jointed by BCT and West Bromwich Corporation, so occasionally it would be a 'foreign' bus that came along.

Travelling to B'ham city centre was no problem. But when we visited relatives in West Bromwich, we had of course to cross "the boundary" at the Hawthorns. Because the journey was in two different jurisdictions, the tickets were only valid to the boundary. Then the conductor would have to go round again and take the fares for the rest of the journey. When returning from West Brom (though curiously enough never going, though the rigmarole was the same) there was always the debate with my grandmother as to whether to pay the extra fare to 'our' stop, which was only a few hundred yards, or to get off and walk the rest of the way. The outcome probably depended on whether it was raining or not!

Of course when WMPTE came into being all that finished.
I used to catch the 74 from Dudley to Birmingham with my parents and I remember when we reached the boundary that the conductor would get off the bus and use a key at the kerbside clock, presumably to record the time of arrival. I have recently purchased a model of the Birmingham City Transport bus which will feature in the model railway I am building and I have decided to feature the 74 bus but cannot remember what was displayed on the destination board for the journey from Birmingham to Dudley and whether it stated “via West Bromwich” or “via Great Bridge” etc.. or whether it just stated Dudley
 

Radiorails

master brummie
1583790030896.png1583790215786.png Photo 1 is early PTE days. Photo 2 shows vehicles preserved today. The BCT bus is on route B87, rare for a BCT bus. The B87 went via Dudley Road not Hockley as you may know. Out of interest which location do you intend to locate your railway ? I presume it is UK OO scale. You can send a private message through this Forum if you prefer.
 

Alan1950

New Member
View attachment 142750View attachment 142751 Photo 1 is early PTE days. Photo 2 shows vehicles preserved today. The BCT bus is on route B87, rare for a BCT bus. The B87 went via Dudley Road not Hockley as you may know. Out of interest which location do you intend to locate your railway ? I presume it is UK OO scale. You can send a private message through this Forum if you prefer.
Thank you for these photos which have been most helpful. I do, indeed remember the B87 via Oldbury but only when it as operated by Midland Red, who, of course, also operated the 125 and 126 services which ran along the Birmingham New Road. The first photo shows the buses parked in Birmingham Street, Dudley, and I can just about see my Primary School, St. Edmunds to the far left of the photo which was opposite Dudley Zoo. My model railway is indeed 00 scale but even though it is about 15 x 12 feet approximately, this is not enough to successfully model a real location
 

Heartland

master brummie
There were other peak buses such as 73 Carters Green and I recall a 77. The 72 was Birmingham Corporation that used to turn at the Boundary and the 71 that turned at the New Inns. The New Inns also had the Midland Red buses that turned around for Smethwick and elsewhere.

Here is a 74 bus in WM livery at Swan Village Gasworks


100380.jpg
 

Radiorails

master brummie
71 NEW INNS
72 HANDSWORTH
(THE HAWTHORNS)
73 BIRMINGHAM-CARTERS GREEN
VIA WEST BROMWICH
74 BIRMINGHAM-DUDLEY
VIA WEST BROMWICH
75 BIRMINGHAM-WEDNESBURY
VIA WEST BROMWICH
76 BIRMINGHAM-GREAT BRIDGE
VIA WEST BROMWICH
77 BHAM-DARTMOUTH SQUARE
VIA WEST BROMWICH
78 BIRMINGHAM-DUDLEY PORT
VIA WEST BROMWICH
79 BIRMNGHAM-HILL TOP
VIA WEST BROMWICH
This is the blind display for the single track BCT destination box of BCT as shown in a book about Birmingham bus routes by Malcolm Keeley. That would be fine if your model bus is the Birmingham rear loading type. Front entrance would have split displays. The two routes you have mentioned, 74 and 75 were the mainstays. The others less frequent or short workings. I wonder if you have to make a transfer or print the destination for the model, or was it included?
 

Radiorails

master brummie
The 70 was to Oxhill Road via Grove Lane. The 69 went to Lozells via Wheeler Street. Both routes left from outside Snow Hill station but are not in the framework for Alan1950's modelling area.
 
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