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Midland Red Around Birmingham.

oldMohawk

master brummie
Digbeth office of the Midland Red on the corner of Mill Lane which is to the right. No date but that car and the motor bike suggest the 1920's.
DigbethMidlandRed.jpg
The aerial view below dated 1935 shows the quadrant shaped roof of the office on the right with Digbeth Police Station left of centre.
AerialDigbeth.JPG
edited ref following post ...
 
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Lloyd

master brummie
Spencer House, Digbeth, office of the Midland Red on the corner of Mill Lane which is to the right. No date but that car and the motor bike suggest the 1920's.

The office wasn't Spencer House, it was replaced by the larger building carrying that name (after John Spencer Wills, a director of the company) and the photo dates from the opening of the garage in 1929, at the time just that and not a coach station. The new office was built coinciding with the conversion of the road 'Digbeth' to a dual carriageway.

Incidentally, the present 'new' offices at the coach station were built using the framework of Spencer House, from which everything had been removed.
 

farmerdave

master brummie
An April 1962 leaflet for the Midland Red Motorway Express between Birmingham and London. There were usually 3 trips, each way, every day, between Digbeth and Victoria Coach Station. The journey was scheduled to take 2 hours 55 minutes. It was advertised that "you can spend 7 hours in London at a cost of only 26/3". Assume this means 26 shillings and 3 pence. Dave.
P1000295 (2).JPGP1000299 (2).JPG
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I believe the restriction to three departures each day was imposed by the British Transport Commission who owned a 50% share in the Midland Red (a legacy of 25% LMS and 25% GWR shareholdings) to avoid competition with the railways who in those days had similar timings from Birmingham to London. In my experience 2 hours 30 minutes was more likely than the scheduled 2 hours 55 minute. Remember those coaches were quite capable of running at 100mph. I remember the service coach and as many as 7 relief coaches pulling out of the coach station and crossing Digbeth to run to Coventry to pick up the M45 which was the route in those days.
 

Dave89

master brummie
Hi,
The time of 2 1/2 hours was indeed a similar time to the New Street to Euston journey in the 1950s
There was a daily excursion which left New Street at 7.30AM, and made a stop at Stechford.
The return fare was 22/6, - again very similar
Kind regards
Dave
 

Gerry Cannell

master brummie
Back in the year of 1957 I was a conductor based at Sutton Coldfield, Midland Red garage. That was when they operated D5's and D7s. Later in 1975/6/7616538b1c8e062ae7cfc4d3d630da25a--volvo-trolley.jpgVolvo%20Ailsa_TWM%204778_Large.jpg I came back to Sutton Garage, and drove the D9, which was a favourite bus of mine. They took delivery in 1976 of the new Ailsa Volvo automatic transmission buses, and I was given the chance to drive 4742 into Birmingham on the Main Road Service, (as against the 107, via Jockey Road, and Perry Barr) the bus was amazing, very quick turbo unit under her. We had been taken over by WUMPTY, and we sometimes had to take out buses half painted, Midland Red/West Midlands Passenger Transport, must have been confusing to the passengers. BMMO-5424.jpg3351768081_911c6b34e9_b.jpgJust to be nostalgic, and for no other reason here's my pictures. The second photograph was taken with me at the wheel, at Six Ways Erdington. The others are the fantastic D9. Thanks Gerry
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Ragga, I think you have just solveda mystery for us - there is a very old faded photo of grandad which nan alwayssaid was at the depot and from what we can see, he is holding something with a crest on I wonder if that iswhat it is? It would have been in 1942 just before he died we think.
Sue
yuk i hope they washed it first. some pics of the single deckers if you find some. 112 x99 please
 

Gerry Cannell

master brummie
Unsure if this is of any interest to bus fans. When we were taken over at Sutton Garage, by WUMPTY, we were given bits and pieces of paperwork. Also, and this was a bit unnerving ( as we were so used to OUR routes) we had to learn routes which took us PRIVATE into Brum, and then onto WUMPTY routes! We hadn't a clue where Chelmsley Wood, or Kingsbury were; but we soon learned. Here's some stuff I kept. The Left hand page was the NEW stuff, and the Right hand is our regular runs. GerryRoutes.jpg
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks for the great photos and written notes gerry...i will show them to my bus enthusiast son who now drives for arriva buses..oh what year were the notes written please

lyn
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Mementos are always interesting Gerry and thanks for sharing.
I never knew the PTE, as I moved to Devon in 1954, but my interest in the BCT and the Red remained. I saw little of the BCT after that but the Red showed itself on many occasions when I was in the RAF, particularly Great Malvern and Worcestershire also Herefordshire areas.
Similarly I lost interest in Devon General when they became NBC with the ghastly Poppy Red livery.
 

Lumpammer

master brummie
This would have been 1976, when we had a VERY hot summer, especially whilst driving a bus! Thanks. Gerry.
Hi Gerry. The notes may have been written in 1976 but those Chelmsley Wood bus routes started a few years before that. I used to have to catch them to get home.
 

Gerry Cannell

master brummie
Hi Gerry. The notes may have been written in 1976 but those Chelmsley Wood bus routes started a few years before that. I used to have to catch them to get home.
Hi! Yes, we, that is Sutton Midland RED, only became WMPTE in that time frame, so these routes were NEW to us, that is what I was meaning. Thanks. Gerry.
 

Gerry Cannell

master brummie
He was first a driver from mid fifties then mechanic at Sutton Midland Red, left in 1970 when he emigrated to Australia.
Hi Eric, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since those days matey, so I cannot recall him, although we may well have known each other. Cheers mate. Gerry. ps: Mr Comelio was the Garage Manager.
 
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Radiorails

master brummie
It must have been a traumatic time for many Midland Red folk when they were hornswoggled into the PTE. After all they had been part of a company that had good mottoes - 'All Over The Midlands' (which they were) and 'The Friendly Midland Red'. The first one obviously disappeared as it became only part of the Midlands now. As for the second only Red staff can answer that.
The childish name 'wumpty' was probably chosen by an officials child over breakfast one day. :eek:
When is was at Great Malvern, when in the RAF, one of the civilian people asked me what I was doing collecting fares on a a local Midland Red bus service in Great Malvern. They were puzzled as RAF personnel usually did not have secondary jobs - especially given the type of work that was done at Malvern. I commented that it must be a double!
 
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