In recent months things omnibological have been happening in picturesque Porlock which, as well as being blogworthy, are, in many ways, a microcosm of the ups and (usually) downs of the bus industry over the last 50 or so years.
fbb is extremely grateful to a North Somerset resident, bus watcher, blog reader and jolly good egg for supply the text of an article he has written for a learned local group. In the style of the much-loved Readers Digest, your author has "condensed" the original oeuvre.
Most of these journeys operated via the main A39 but 4 journeys in each direction ran via Bossington Green. Here, at the eponymous green, stands a shelter unserved by bus, but reminiscent of days gone by.
So that was the scene some 50 years ago. The relative stability of, not just the Porlock route, but bus services in general under the major Tilling and BET groups, then under the National Bus Company, all changed in the 1980s.
The Western National service decreased over the years until in 1980 the axe fell and all services in West Somerset were withdrawn, except the 218 – Minehead - Taunton.
Loadings were never great but the service did not loose money and, if the vehicle would be considered unsuitable for bus service by 21st century standards, the communities served had a service accessible by the majority of the population. What was wrong with a driver getting out of his seat to help a passenger board with bags of shopping?
Scarlet’s withdrew from the service in January 1995 by which time Western National had ‘morphed’ into Southern National and it was they who took on the service. This followed a brief period of competition in the area between Southern National and Scarlets although both saw the futility of this and a compromise was reached which ultimately saw Scarlets sell out to the, by then, First subsidiary.
Palm Sunday offered great news ...