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Midland Red Bus Routes

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
I have been racking my brains trying to remember the BMMO routes from Sutton to Birmingham and Sutton Surburban services. I remember S67, S76 to Six Ways from the Beggars bush via Court Lane & Goosemoore Lane respectively, same bus everyhalf hour alternate journeys and the S73 which ran down Chester Road to the Yenton, then went to Boldmere, came back and went back to either New Oscott or Parson & Clerk. The 107, 109 & 113 were old friends as they all went through New Oscott. 110, 112 were for Lichfield and Tamworth, not quite sure which was which and the X99 in the single deck red roofed GHAs was also a regular school holiday trip. S73 to the Yenton and then the X99, but coming back as the S73, S76 and S67 finished at 8.00 pm, sometimes meant a journey on to either six ways for the 11 and 5a or Aston Cross for the 3x Tram and the 5a. I wonder how many 13 to 15 year olds with nothing to do in August would do that now? However point of enquiry what were the destinations for the 101 to 106, 108. was there a 111? and thro to 117 (I travelled 118 & 119 regularly). E'en as I make this pitiful plea, I know that someone has what I do not have in my Midland Onibus collection the route details. People writing about the Midland Red never put rote details in the books.
Bob
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Bob, from what I find many routes were extended or changed after 1968.
But prior to that time this is what I have found. There may be inaccuracies but the northerly routes of the Red were, for me, in uncharted territory for the most part.
100 Mere Green
101 Streetly
102 Mere Green
103 Canwell
104 Leicester to Ashby de la Zouch - withdrawn 1925
104 Cannock
108 Sutton Coldfield
111 Hereford area (introduced 1992)
111 Roughley - replaced the 103 and 108 by the WMPTE
112 Lichfield & Burton on Trent (X12 to Derby)
114 Lichfield - presumably by a different route to the 112.
114 Walmley commenced 1954
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Bob, from what I find many routes were extended or changed after 1968.
But prior to that time this is what I have found. There may be inaccuracies but the northerly routes of the Red were, for me, in uncharted territory for the most part.
100 Mere Green
101 Streetly
102 Mere Green
103 Canwell
104 Leicester to Ashby de la Zouch - withdrawn 1925
104 Cannock
108 Sutton Coldfield
111 Hereford area (introduced 1992)
111 Roughley - replaced the 103 and 108 by the WMPTE
112 Lichfield & Burton on Trent (X12 to Derby)
114 Lichfield - presumably by a different route to the 112.
114 Walmley commenced 1954
Thanks, it was the first 4 that I was interested in. The X12 followed the same route as the 112, while the X99 went via Tamworth I think. However many thanks, now I need the 105, I know that in the 40s/50s all the first numbers 100 to 119 covered the north side, Sutton, Streetly & Walsall/Great Barr.
Bob
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
My brother Allen probably drove on most of those local routes, then went into the Sutton garage as a mechanic, I remember him 'road testing' a 107 double decker and popping in for a cuppa at my house in Birdbrook Road. :)
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Route numbers 111, 222, 333, 444 etc would be later additions when the buses carried roller blinds. Before the war and long after the war while there where still pre-war buses running. the numbers were shown on stencils which were inserted into the destination board and the buses carried only 2 of each number so routes with three figures all the same were not possible. This is why the Midland Red/West Bromwich Corporation joint services were numbered 220, 221 and 252 as 222 was not possible
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Midland Red bus routes in 1969

100 Water Orton Station to Kingsbury Station
101 to Whitacre (Swan) via Whitacre Station
102 Water Orton Station Circular These three routes timed to make connections with trains at Water Orton Station
104 B'ham Sutton Coldfield Streetley Hardwick Arms Brownhills Cannock
105 Birmingham Chester Road Walmley Sutton
107 Birmingham Perry Barr New Oscott Sutton
110 Birmingham Sutton Tamworth (X99 to Nottingham)
111 Birmingham Erdington Wylde Green Sutton Mere Green Tower Estate Roughley
112 Birmingham Sutton Lichfield Alrewas Burton on Trent (X12 to Derby)
113 B'ham Perry Barr New Oscott Hardwick Arms
114 B'ham Walmley Falcon lodge Sutton
115 Walsall Streetley Station Sutton Coldfield New Oscott Walsall (Joint with Walsall Corporation 75)
117 reverse of above (joint with Walsall Corp 77)
116 B'ham Curdworth Kingsbury Piccadilly Wood End Tamworth (198 runs via Fazeley)
118 Birmingham Perry Barr Great Barr Walsall (Joint with Walsall Corp)

I knew I was right to keep at least one of my Midland Red timetable books when I sold off all my other old bus and train timetables when I downsized into a new house.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
David reminds us of the stencils used by the Midland Red, which prohibited the use of three numbers the same i.e. 111, 222 etc.
It was always a puzzle to me that as far as the mechanicals - engines and other developments were concerned the Red was far advanced but still had some quite antiquated things such as stencils and cord pulls instead of the more common bell push and one or two other things..
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Sutton Local service in 1969
S58 Parson & Clerk Sutton Coldfield Anvil Inn only one bus eachway possibly a school bus for John Willmott School
S62 Sutton Coldfield Circular from Chester Road
S63 reverse of above
S65 Chester Road Falcon Lodge Sutton (see 105)
S66 Sutton Falcon Lodge (see 114)
S67 Erdington New Oscott Parson & Clerk
S76 Erdington New Oscott Parson & Clerk (different route in Erdington)
S71 Sutton Reddicap Heath Walmley Pype Hayes Erdington
S74 Sutton Falcon Lodge Wishaw (Fridays only 2 trips each way)
 

Greg Young

New Member
S61 was the predecessor to the 111 service, runnning from Roughley to Bham via Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield town centre and Erdington.
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Sutton Local service in 1969
S58 Parson & Clerk Sutton Coldfield Anvil Inn only one bus eachway possibly a school bus for John Willmott School
S62 Sutton Coldfield Circular from Chester Road
S63 reverse of above
S65 Chester Road Falcon Lodge Sutton (see 105)
S66 Sutton Falcon Lodge (see 114)
S67 Erdington New Oscott Parson & Clerk
S76 Erdington New Oscott Parson & Clerk (different route in Erdington)
S71 Sutton Reddicap Heath Walmley Pype Hayes Erdington
S74 Sutton Falcon Lodge Wishaw (Fridays only 2 trips each way)
David
Do you know when the S67 & S76 started to run to The Parson & Clerk, originally they turned at the Beggars Bush and were a 30 minute alternate service S67 Beggars Bush to Six Ways via Court Lane and back then became S76 Beggars Bush to Six Ways via Goosemore Lane, memories of the old HA registered buses that did the route at the start of the war, then we had AHA reg and CHA reg, eventually the S1s etc came on the route. Chester Road was the domain of the S73 Parson and Clerk to The Yenton, which I think ran every hour in 1940s/50s and did a run along Boldmere Road and back before going back to the Parson & Clerk. 109 was the short route 107 terminating at Boldmere, possibly a rush hour bus and in the 40s & 50s West Bromwich route 25 using their much faster (or so it seemed to us) DEA buses from Royal Parade to West Bromwich. The fare cost more than the Midland Red, but were always worth a ride if you could time it right. Another interesting bus on Royal Parade were the old Walsall Dennis, can't remember the route number.
Bob
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Bob,

Sorry, as I said I kept only one of my timetable books so I can not look back. One of the problems of downsizing. I gave a copy of one of my national coach timetables to a friend who works for National Express and they are having fun comparing then with now. In those days the coach services were still operated by the bus companies and I think the national timetable understated the Midland Red contribution as many Midland Red routes, especially those via Cheltenham operated under the Associated Motorways name.

To me the one pleasing thing about selling my timetable collection was that I got more money than I expected and know that they went to someone who appreciates them and that they did not go for paper recycling at least under my ownership.
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
How far back do you go David?

My brother Allen drove Midland Reds out of Sutton garage from the mid 50s, later working in the garage as a bus mechanic until he emigrated to Australia in 1970.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
From personal memory I can go back to about 1950 in the Bearwood/Warley area.
Later in other Birmingham sreas. As I have said I have sold my collection of timetable books. I have a number of books written about Midland Red and Birmingham Corporation.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
The Midland Red had a few places - some their own, others presumably agents - where you could get their timetables. These were mostly in leaflet form but, from memory, I think booklets were available. The booklets probably had to be paid for, so I doubt I had many. I used to collect the leaflets, never those concerning the more frequent services such as those in Birmingham and its surroundings, but those of the more distant parts. It was fascinating to read of places that I did not know and had not visited. This prompted long cycle rides for me so I was able to see some of the distant places particularly those to the north of the city. Being used to seeing route numbers principal starting with 1 it was fascinating to find out that their route numbering system ran through the 2, 3 and up to 9 hundreds.
Well, one of the Red's slogans was "All over the Midlands" and to be sure they lived up to that.
 
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Dave89

master brummie
Hi,

There are a few old Midland Red regional timetables on the usual auction site for very little money.
Also Midland Red Ian Allen ABC's which have all the routes at their issue dates, plus
(if you're lucky!) the route map in the front.

Kind regards
Dave
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Living near Bearwood I used to call in regularly as a boy and ask for various routes. The timetable books when I was buying them were one shilling for Birmingham and 6d for smaller areas like Cannock and Worcester
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
Just to add to my earlier comment, here's my brother towards the end of his working life, returned to bus driving for Brisbane City. :)Allen bus.jpg
 

Radiorails

master brummie
From Midland Red.net website:
Although the principal of grouping routes by geographical area was successful, (this was the earier 1927 version) the network was still expanding rapidly and by the end of 1927 several areas had already outgrown their allocation. On Saturday 11th February 1928, the network was again renumbered, mostly into the same geographical groups as before, but with each group getting a larger allocation of number, as follows:
route number 100 and above–Birmingham and Black Country
200 – Long Distance and Coach services (unchanged)
288 – Kidderminster
318 – Bromsgrove and Redditch
352 – Worcester, Malvern and Evesham
422 – Hereford
479 – Banbury
513 – Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon
576 – Rugby and Coventry
601 – Leicester, Coalville and Ashby
725 – Nuneaton
776 – Atherstone and Tamworth
821 – Rugeley, Cannock and Stafford
879 – Wolverhampton
898 – Oakengates and Wellington
926 – Shrewsbury
Also in 1928 the larger towns got letter prefixes for their local service.

e&oe
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I may have mentioned this on another thread. A few years ago I went to Banbury. On walking out from the railway station the first bus I saw was on route B6. I immediately recognised it as a former Midland Red Banbury area local service.
 

Heartland

master brummie
Those in the West Midlands area became part of WMPTE, but the longer distance routes remained Midland Red.. here is a view of the 143 route.

100802.jpg
 
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