Buses in Cumbria & North Lancashire.
I always found buses interesting as a child, but found them less so as a grown up, thinking that, after half cab double deckers there was nothing of interest. Railways were my main photographic interest and I knew that many of those who gave up recording the railway scene after steam ended, came to regret it. The truth was that transport - like most other things – is constantly changing and needs recording, today’s mundane is always going to be more interesting when its gone. In addition to that, anything in modern life can be a suitable subject for photography and can make a pleasing or satisfying image, irrespective of whether or not it will be historically important.
I eventually realised this as the end of the 20th century approached and set myself a millennium project to record every type of bus in the Cumberland fleet, which I succeeded in doing. This rekindled my interest in buses and I have done a little bit ever since, updating my collection as models, liveries, services or operators change. I just haven’t time to do everything but I hope I’ve captured a lot of it.
I follow my usual practise of grouping together towns or routes (rather than say, bus types) so that some sort of historical comparisons can be seen. We travel Whitehaven to Workington & Maryport and then to Keswick to Penrith and then to Carlisle. From there we wander down the coast to Barrow and North Lancs via Carnforth. Finally we travel from Lancaster to Kendal, the Central Lakes and end up back in Keswick. Stagecoach Cumberland, Stagecoach Northwest, Stagecoach in Cumbria
and Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire.
All the photographs were taken in the Stagecoach era and mainly, but certainly not exclusively feature that company. If you are not already aware, an excellent collection of images of buses prior to - as well as including - the Stagecoach era can be found on Brian Pritchard’s excellent site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/23207961@N07/sets
I’m not sure that I fully understand the differences of Stagecoach Cumberland etc., generally the legal lettering refers to Stagecoach North West Ltd & Cumberland Motor services, and the buses have been branded Cumberland, Stagecoach Cumberland or Stagecoach in Cumbria / Stagecoach in Lancaster. Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire is that companies grouping of Cumbria, Lancaster and Morecambe area and that is the geographical model that I use to define the area of this gallery. So I remain a bit confused but I usually describe a bus the same as it is branded, even though the logos were often out of date. THANKS:
I’m no expert on buses, so thanks to those who are! Thanks to Harry Postlethwaite who’s excellent books on local transport were an invaluable reference source, particularly: Cumberland Motor Services 1912 – 2012, 100 years of service
(ISBN 978 1905 304 493) and; Transport in Barrow in Furness (
ISBN 978 190530 4523). Also, many thanks to those who take the trouble to run web sites – in my case it just happened that the Merseyside Dennis Dart Website
whose Fleetlist NW was the easiest up to date reference to help me identify bus types. Without the above, my captions would be very much denuded.