Before my time

I mentioned in my welcome page the inspector in the information kiosk at Runcorn bus station in the 1970s who very kindly handed to me quite unexpectedly a timetable from his earlier days as a Crosville driver.

I had been scrounging for timetable booklets for the 1977 busway revisions just before the full circle of the busway opened in the new town. At this time the busway had also reached the old town via the Astmoor extension. There was a new bus station built on the new busway in the old town centre and a plastic pod was provided as an information kiosk. This pod replaced what had been a chic hexagonal office in the first bus station opened around the time of the road bridge in 1961. In 1977 that had just been wiped out by the arrival of the busway.

I was going on an enthusiasts’ tour the next weekend and hoped to be able to hand out the new timetables to the people on the tour and had visited all the information offices in the town on my bike gathering a handful in each. In the new kiosk the inspector was particularly friendly when he realised what I was doing and he engaged me in conversation about his old days driving coaches.

As I was about to leave, he reached inside a drawer and took out a booklet which he said I could have.

In 1977 this was already over 20 years old. That was already mind-boggling to my teenage self and to learn from the cover that Crosville had existed for over 70 years made me curious to find out more about its history. Eventually a number of books would satisfy my curiosity.

The inspector I later learned was known as Arthur Trevor. When I became a driver in 1he 1980s he had retired but staff who remembered him spoke in reverent tones. I remember his kindness fondly.

Graphic design has come on a long way since the 1950s but I feel very nostalgic for the style of transport publicity documents in the following years. Those days were long before computers made it easy for anyone to cobble up a logo and to composite images on a template. The speeding Bristol LS coach [or a very early MW?] on this design is so tiny you might miss it at first glance. I suppose this sort of cover was rustled up with stencils and screen printed, arcane arts in their day and now incomprehensible in the era of DTP, lasers, inkjets and pixels. The finest for me was the timetable cover design in the late 60s with intricate designs representing a pictoral map of the Crosville operating area. A scan should appear on this site soon. Also to come, some pages from inside this wonderful 1950s express timetable book.

Author: crisparmour

In my fragmented and unremarkable career I have spent over 20 years working in the bus industry in various roles. Prior to that I became interested in transport as a very young child and, as soon as I was considered old enough, launched myself into the world of bus enthusiasts. Off and on I have amassed an archive of photographs of my own and a substantial collection of timetables, maps and publicity. In time I will share much of this with the world with one proviso: please respect my copyright and do not upload my photographs to your own sites or social media. If you like what you see by all means use the "share" facility on each post to share a link so that your friends can come here and enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Before my time”

  1. I was a conductor at Widnes and Arthur came to me at the bus station and told me that Crosville were looking for conductors
    So started my 45 years service at Runcorn

    Liked by 1 person

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