• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Midland Red at Digbeth

Radiorails

master brummie
I am not sure Bob, if it was a single example, I get the impression it was. However, it may be the reason some of the CHA coaches were used; at least the instructor would be alongside rather than behind the trainee.
I expect a 'Red' expert might put us out of our misery soon. :D
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Lyn, I remember travelling on the Midland Red to Burton on Trent about 1962. It was a single decker bus, not a coach. It was on an trip to the then Derby airport of Burnaston, now the site of Toyota. From Burton I had to catch another operator to the nearest drop of point to the airport, somewhere along the A38, Blue Buses was the operator,and then a couple of miles walk.
I used to travel a lot under my own steam to do my aircraft spotting hobby.
I would have only been a schoolboy of 13, and planned it all myself.
Would a 13 year old be allowed, or be capable of doing this today. There molly coddled to much now. Taken and picked up from school by car , only 1 mile away.
I feel a rant coming on!

Elmdon Boy. I never got round to doing the Burton-on-Trent/Derby run although it was on my list to do sometime. I agree with you about kids today. I travelled all over the Midlands at about the same age as you with a packet of sandwiches in my pocket on Midland Red 5 shilling Childs Day Anywhere tickets.

Incidentally one of my first jobs was with Shell-Mex and BP and one of the customers I dealt with was Derby Aviation at Burnaston. I remember the opening of East Midlands Airport at Castle Donnington and the massive amount of fuel that we delivered to fill the tank farm there. Derby Aviation became British Midland based at EMA. The airport was owned by a consortium of local authorities when it was first opened.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Elmdon Boy. I never got round to doing the Burton-on-Trent/Derby run although it was on my list to do sometime. I agree with you about kids today. I travelled all over the Midlands at about the same age as you with a packet of sandwiches in my pocket on Midland Red 5 shilling Childs Day Anywhere tickets.

Incidentally one of my first jobs was with Shell-Mex and BP and one of the customers I dealt with was Derby Aviation at Burnaston. I remember the opening of East Midlands Airport at Castle Donnington and the massive amount of fuel that we delivered to fill the tank farm there. Derby Aviation became British Midland based at EMA. The airport was owned by a consortium of local authorities when it was first opened.
Nice to see a fellow SM&BP employee on this forum. I Worked at Manchester A/P for a number of years when Frank Coughlin was the TM at EMA and Tom Parker and later Peter Keating were Group TM's. I started at Kingsbury in 1969 before moving to Shell after the split.
 
Last edited:

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Elmdon Boy. I never got round to doing the Burton-on-Trent/Derby run although it was on my list to do sometime. I agree with you about kids today. I travelled all over the Midlands at about the same age as you with a packet of sandwiches in my pocket on Midland Red 5 shilling Childs Day Anywhere tickets.

Incidentally one of my first jobs was with Shell-Mex and BP and one of the customers I dealt with was Derby Aviation at Burnaston. I remember the opening of East Midlands Airport at Castle Donnington and the massive amount of fuel that we delivered to fill the tank farm there. Derby Aviation became British Midland based at EMA. The airport was owned by a consortium of local authorities when it was first opened.
Those were the days when as a child in the school holidays, you could buy your Midland Red child day ticket or the railway cheap day return and roam free and unhindered across the Midlands by bus and train and no one had to worry about you and you did not have to worry about what you were doing and no one thought it strange. My mother in law had a saying if you want a cake bake it and I applied it to my children, so except for Sports events, Dad's taxi was not used for carting them around the village, they had their bikes or there was the bus and the only time that I ever moved them was when the last bus was gone and it was to dark/wet for the bike. As a child we never had a car until after I left home and the only free rides I got were from hitch-hiking.....once came back from Leominster to Bearwood aged 14, using my thumb. I felt as safe as houses.
Bob
 

Nigel Edwards

Hotcrossman
Just spotted Radiorails post about the Red's training 'SON's'. Prompted a dig into the past as I remembered my first day - after leaving the RAF - on another (yes, there was more than one) dual control ex coach. After half an hour, and because I had been on Matadors and used to a crash box, we returned to Bearwood and I never went out again in a dual control. In fact , looking back at my 'log' I got my PSV within the month. I believe when the C1's started to be withdrawn a couple were converted to dual control and replaced the (then) time-expired SOS's.

Wonder if anyone remembers any of the instructors ?


Driver Training.png
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Nigel, without knowing it we probably saw each other at that time as the junction by Warley Library in Bleakhouse Road was a favourite place teaching the reverse round a corner for the Midland Red driving school. I was aged 13 at the time you were doing your training and a regular visitor to the library.
 

Nigel Edwards

Hotcrossman
Nigel, without knowing it we probably saw each other at that time as the junction by Warley Library in Bleakhouse Road was a favourite place teaching the reverse round a corner for the Midland Red driving school. I was aged 13 at the time you were doing your training and a regular visitor to the library.
HI David, Probably you did see me, hope I never mounted the kerb . . . Seem to remember we did most of the reversing in the Bearwood Garage yard - between cones.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
Wonder if anyone remembers any of the instructors ?

Billy King was in charge at Bearwood, and I went with Obi Grainger for my assessment on 3311, and Frank Field for my type training as I already had a licence. S16, S17, LS18 and D9. I also talked my way into a trip to Stourbridge & back on a D7 ("Not necessary, we haven't got any still in service" "4114's still at Dudley, and you never know I might have to..." "You're just wheel-happy. Come on then!")
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Lyn, I remember travelling on the Midland Red to Burton on Trent about 1962. It was a single decker bus, not a coach. It was on an trip to the then Derby airport of Burnaston, now the site of Toyota. From Burton I had to catch another operator to the nearest drop of point to the airport, somewhere along the A38, Blue Buses was the operator,and then a couple of miles walk.
I used to travel a lot under my own steam to do my aircraft spotting hobby.
I would have only been a schoolboy of 13, and planned it all myself.
Would a 13 year old be allowed, or be capable of doing this today. There molly coddled to much now. Taken and picked up from school by car , only 1 mile away.
I feel a rant coming on!
was it the 112 and x12 single decker bus?
 

Lloyd

master brummie
The X12 (Birmingham -Sutton -Hill Hook -Lichfield -Alrewas -Burton -Derby) and the 112 (Same route but only as far as Burton) were both single deck because of the low railway bridge at Birmingham Road, Lichfield. I used to drive both routes when at Digbeth garage.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Thanks, Lloyd, for that further information. I never did get round to riding the X12 to Derby as I mentioned in a previous post although it was my intention. The longest single journey I did would, I think. be the X99 to Nottingham. I think Nottingham was my record for the greatest number of different bus operators that I saw in any one town. I even saw a Notts and Derbys trolley bus although all the books tell me that Notts & Derbys stopped running trolley buses five years before I went there!
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
The X12 (Birmingham -Sutton -Hill Hook -Lichfield -Alrewas -Burton -Derby) and the 112 (Same route but only as far as Burton) were both single deck because of the low railway bridge at Birmingham Road, Lichfield. I used to drive both routes when at Digbeth garage.


hi lloyd am i correct in thinking we could catch the 112 at the back of the fire station ..this would be middle 60s

lyn
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Yes the X12 went to Derby and was a single-decker 'black-top' dual purpose vehicle. The 112 was probably a double decker and was a shortworking of the X12
the 112 was a single we went to alrewas fradley burton on it.to go fishing or to grans, we got it at the bus station digbeth or on the lichfield rd aston.and ended up in a cell
 
Last edited:

Elmdon Boy

master brummie
The longest journey I made in a Midland Red bus was to Barcelona Spain and back! Beat that.
It was in the summer of 1964, it was an Ex Midland Red single decker owned by the Lyndon Youth Club, attached to Lyndon school in Daylesford Rd, Solihull. Not up on bus types, but its reg was FHA406. Perhaps one of you bus experts can fill me in on its details. Red with a black roof.
What an adventure that was, my first time abroad.
Just like Cliffs summer holiday, but further.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
FHA 406 (2274) was one of a batch of twenty five in service in 1939, It survived with Midland Red until December 1958. Originally with 30 seats upgraded to 31 in 1951.
1550779822047.png
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Sending many hours watching or travelling on the buses in the Birmingham area. Midland Red covered a vast area covering most of central England, which I only saw in later years as a motorist. On reflection, recently, I believe my interest in B&MMO (Midland Red) was not as strong as that concerning BCT due to the haphazard fleet numbering that Midland Red had. The BCT, excepting for first 100 of the CVP registered Daimlers, were logical, since around the 1930 period, with their registration figures have a distinct correlation with the fleet number. That made it far simpler to memorise and get to terms with. Moreover youngsters like things that are up to date; it is only as you get older that things ancient and modern raise interest. The Midland Red, whilst exceptionally progressive where engineering and development was concerned, (features that interested only those with a mechanical bent) they did have some quaint looking pre-war vehicles and equally as seemly ancient, other practices such as pull cord bells, - tied in a knot where they had broken - instead of push button bell system. More anachronisms appeared to be metal stencil route numbers and slanted destinations on the route blinds of double deckers. Saloons had stencils but no blinds, just painted destination boards. Admittedly BCT also had these painted boards but they were in addition to their usual blinds and sited in front of the radiator.
I suppose in the Red's favour at least you knew the place the bus was headed, unlike BCT whose blinds. generally, were unchanged irrespective of destination. ;)
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Alan, I think the slanted lettering that you mention on Midland Red double deckers would have been on the old pre-war FEDDs which had only one destination blind so on some routes the slated writing was to accommodate two lines of text. This was particularly so, as I remember it, on buses on the Dudley Road routes which were joint with BCT and they complied with BCT practice of showing the route rather than the destination. i.e. the B82 would show Birmingham-Bearwood in whichever direction it was travelling. Similarly on the Soho Road routes, West Bromwich Corporations buses on the 74 route would show Birmingham-Dudley. This applied to all BCT routes which went outside the Birmingham City Boundary.
 
Top