Monday 25 March 2024

Hulley's Hapless Home Truth (1)

East Midlands Rules

So, where IS the East Midlands? When fbb lived in Northampton he would have claimed allegiance to the East Midlands, but geographically some would include vast swathes of the midriff of England. It is not as big as Mercia ...
... but still on the huge size. The East Midland bus company, however, was much smaller than the East Midlands. The company began (as T Underwood) in Clowne about half way between Chesterfield and Worksop ...
... and expanded as East Midland ...
... with HQ moving first to Worksop and then to Chesterfield.
Later the company merged with Mansfield and District. 

Services spread widely from the three towns so that the company's buses covered a wide area mainly of northeast Derbyshire.

An early livery, later applied as a heritage paint job similar, fbb thinks, to that worn by the original Underwood company.
This rather smart scheme was replaced by a fairly deep and boring red ...
... which always seemed dull and close to maroon.
With Fred Wood's diktat that the National Bus Company should only have red or green buses, it was rumoured that East Midland had a sulk. Instead of adopting "poppy" red as might be expected, the chosen colour was "leaf" green.
This was reputedly a poke in the eye because NBC bosses would not allow the darker company red to continue. Who knows? 

Mansfield District vehicles were originally Tilling Group green.

A different green was retained on privatisation for both fleets ...
... but it was short-lived as East Midland plus Mansfield District and then Chesterfield Corporation were swallowed up by the Stagecoach behemoth.
The Chesterfield heritage group ("Transpire" - can't think why they chose that name?) ...
... has two complete East Midland timetables on their site, for 1967 and 1978. Compared with modern "keep on changing" bus management, the two are not radically different. So the 1978 version will suffice.
There is also its associated map; and fbb will start with a look thereat.
As was National Bus Company policy at the time, the map included "other operators' services".
But the selection thereof was, ahem, selective!

Here is the area north of Chesterfield.
There are lots of "other operators" shown, mostly SY (South Yorkshire PTE) and CT (Chesterfield Transport).

Also here is Rotherham ...
They are all SY with the exception of Wigmore's (code A) 208. Elsewhere we have Booth and Fisher's little enclave ,,,
... plus a passing reference to SY 207 at Anston. This actually ran from Sheffield to Woodsetts!

But now look at the Mansfield Road, running south east from Sheffield.
The 99 might have been technically joint with East Midland, but the 85 was originally exclusively Sheffield Transport and only later gained East Midland journeys. And where are Sheffield buses via Mansfield Road itself? There were plenty in 1978.

So "other operators" routes are shown where no East Midland bus runs, ot where they happen to be joint with East Midland.

But only East Midland 3, 46 and X53 are shown.

Fortunately for tomorrow's continuation of this blog, the route we are looking at is exclusively East Midland and later Stagecoach. But it was not always that simple!


Jesus arrival in Jerusalem in what we now call Palm Sunday was designed to be provocative and infuriating to the Jewish authorities. It acted out an Old Testament Prophecy and represented a king coming in peace to rake over a conquered nation.

The palm BRANCHES were symbolic of the bystanders' acceptance if their new kong and then willingness to serve him.

But it got much worse.

The king's peaceful arrival did not extend to the Temple, the hub of Judaism and the base for the Jewish religious and civil authorities. Jesus was very cross indeed.

The Palm Sunday parade was not an event designed to endear Jesus with those who opposed his new-look and very personal call to Faith.

It was all part of THE PLAN to reveal THE TRUTH.


 Next Chesterfield blog : Tuesday 26th March 


  1. In the days when we had an East Midlands Regional Assembly, Northants was included, but these days they seem to think that they are part of the South Midlands.

    Being pedantic, Mansfield District Traction (MDT) did not have an "and". This was introduced as a trading name around the time of privatisation and was soon abandoned by Stagecoach.

    MDT and Midland General were famously owned by Balfour Beatty and nationalised as part of the electricity industry rather than the bus industry. East Midland (and Trent) were BET companies. When they all became part of NBC, MDT was merged with East Midland but Midland General with Trent. As a Mansfield resident at the time, I don't recall being told why this was done in that way.

    The "other operators" were included on maps to show connections, not alternatives on EM served roads! There were several "other operator" timetables included in 1970's books.

    Incidentally, in which chapter will the title character appear?

  2. Frankfrog has explained the ownership of Mansfield District, so I would just add that they used a different shade of green to that used by the Tilling companies. However, one must be careful in this respect, as there seem to have been several different shades of Tilling green - Hants & Dorset use a lighter, brighter shade than Western National, for example.

  3. Defining the boundaries of the Midlands is inevitably arbitrary and subjective, and attempting to split the area into geographical subdivisions (East/West or North/South) is even more so. To demonstrate the point, the house in Warwickshire where I lived in the 1960s was supplied by the East Midlands Electricity Board and the West Midlands Gas Board.