Thursday, 18 October 2012

Considering Cynwald's Marsh [2]

 Sheffield Bus Partnership 
         a series          
Cynwald's Marsh or Killamarsh; this time by bus.
To the south-east of Sheffield, things were quite exciting for the bus operators and passengers alike in the early 1920s. Full national bus service licensing was still 10 years away and various local systems were largely ineffective. Unlicensed operation was common! For Sheffield Tramways and Motors the firm of Underwoods was a problem and a half. Ostensibly a local firm, with local directors, based in Clowne, it was a "hidden" offshoot of the ever expanding United Services Ltd.
So Underwoods and Sheffield were running from Killarmarsh to the tram terminus at Intake by 1921 (roughly where the "A6135" is shown on the map). The route was extended from Intake to the City Centre in 1925, mainly to compete with Underwoods. The pictures above are taken from a contemporaneous magazine and show Sheffield vehicles shadowed by Underwoods grey panted motors; and there would be another Sheffield vehicle close behind. It all sounds very familiar!
clip from July 1927 route map

In 1926, the Sheffield route was numbered 26, a label which it retained until 1974. Indeed, the route itself was equally stable, lasting well past de-regulation. Agreement was eventually reached with Underwoods, later East Midland. Here is a timetable extract for route 26 from 1952 ...
... not particularly exciting; although the Saturday frequency was every 45 minutes which must have been a horror to remember!

A few splutters of operational excitement do appear from time to time. In 1961 the service 30 to Eckington was linked with services through to Chesterfield as routes 62 and 64 (similar to today's 50 and 50A).
The whole Eckington combine was jointly operated with East Midland and Chesterfield Corporation. Thus it was "for operational reasons" that East Midland and Chesterfield vehicles appeared on the 26 with the legal status of being "on hire" to Sheffield Transport.

In the Summer of 1971 the service became one-man operated and moved to a more acceptable terminus at the Norwood roundabout (junction of B6058 and A618). In the PTE renumbering scheme the route became 226 ...
... and later, as part of a block of services to the new town of Mosborough it became 260; a bus station bay sign of which is in now in fbb's ownership.

By 1985 "Mosborough" area serves had penetrated deep into Derbyshire and the craze was for linited stop routes to the "outer limits". Thus Killamarsh's 260 had become Fastline ...
... X51 and X52 running non-stop from City centre to Manor Top (Elm Tree) ...
... and extending from to Harthill or Spinkhill, deep into darkest Derbyshire. Services also sprouted via the new Crystal Peaks shopping centre. A review of the multifarious service changes over the past 25 years would be tedious for those unfamiliar with the "excitement" of South Yorkshire's bus network, but, suffice it to say, the main road route via Intake, Mosborough and Killamarsh continued in one form or another.

Tomorrow we bring the story up to date and look at changes from the end of October as a result of the spanking-new Sheffield Bus Partnership scheme. In the meantime, fbb has a terrible confession to make. In all his happy years in Sheffield, he never, ever, rode on service 26! Shame.

So the chubby one never knew where the long-term terminus was. Nethermoor Place does not feature in modern gazetteers so some detective work is required.
The "centre" of swinging Killamarsh is Bridge Street (bottom left), but the 1927 route map shows the red line stopping at the"Rd" of Sheffield Road (top right). But there is a Nethermoor Lane. And it has a little stubby bit of road leading off close to the main road. Could this have been the mysterious Nethermoor Place. If so, service 26 journeys would turn into Nethermoor Lane, reverse into Nethermoor Place and ready themselves for the return run to Sheffield.
The modern Nethermoor Lane is wide enough at its junction with Sheffield Road; and Nethermoor Place (as supposed by fbb) is by the grey car. Maybe someone "out there" can put fbb out of his ignorant misery?

Meanwhile, here is a bus at the Killamarsh terminus, date unknown, but late 50s surmised. It stands at "Nethermoor Place".
The bus is WWB 486, fleet number 1286, delivered new in 1956.
But sleepy Killamarsh, former colliery village, had expanded into a substantial dormitory town and the straightforward "main road" routes had become more convoluted to serve the new estates. The modern network, although incorporating bits of the traditional, looks very different today and will become significantly different from the end of this month.

Today, Fat Bus Bloke's Bible Blog
"What a Difference a Day Makes"

 Next Bus Blog : Friday 19th October 


  1. Hi

    You have forgot to mention Booth & Fisher who ran
    High Moor - Eckington - Sheffield
    Beighton - Killamarsh Kiveton - Worksop

  2. Thanks.
    As will appear obvious on Monday, I have been concentrating on direct route to Killamarsh in preparation for a review of changes at the end of the month.