We put the wheels in motion - and you responded with memories of Hartlepool’s old bus services

Buses galore packed into the old Hartlepool bus station - but which service did you use and can you remember how much it cost?
Buses galore packed into the old Hartlepool bus station - but which service did you use and can you remember how much it cost?

We really are getting into gear with your memories of old bus services in Hartlepool.

It was only last week when we began our look back at the routes, drivers, and conductors of yesteryear, thanks to the contributions of former town man Ken Ridden.

We all took great pride in our appearance, especially the ladies. Dark navy jacket and trousers with red stripe, white shirt and dark ties. Some very happy memories

Dave Betson

He told us that some of the former workers for West Hartlepool Corporation transport included Harry Rhymer, Dave Jessop, Norman Jefferson, Neville Bloom, and Les Wardle.

Other drivers in the same period included Billy Sprintall, Charlie Hall, Albert Franks, Jimmy Derbyshire, and Bill Hornsey.

Ken’s contributions prompted other responses including Dave Betson who said: “I really enjoyed going back the 50s with your “on the buses”. My first job on arriving from Cambridge to “the frozen north” was training to be a bus driver.

“I remember so many of my fellow drivers and conductors (ess’s) of that time. Two of my closest mates were Eric Sewell and Alec Carab. Eric later married Sheila, also on the buses. They went on to buy a mobile shop.”

Dave also cast his mind back to bus conductors and remembered they included Eddy Muiigan and Brian Gutteridge. He added: “I recall Marion Shaw, Dot S, Pat ?, Kathy , Ollie, she married Ken Johnson. They had the Fen’s chippie.

“We all took great pride in our appearance, especially the ladies. Dark navy jacket and trousers with red stripe, white shirt and dark ties. Some very happy memories.”

Thanks to Dave for getting in touch and to others who told us that two of the workers at the time were Ann Rayner and Anne Stoddart.

It was Ken Ridden who originally contacted us with his own memories.

He moved away from the town in 1966 and is now an 82-year-old resident of Surrey.

He told us: “My memory is still pretty sound and I can recall my local West Hartlepool school teachers from Brougham Infants and Juniors.”

The school was at Dyke House until the end of the Second World War, he said.

Then, he went to West Hartlepool Grammar School, before university and then returning to town to teach at Dyke House, the Technical College in Lauder Street, and Hartlepool College of Further Education.

He spent 18 more years in Further Education which ended as a Senior Lecturer in Shrewsbury before moving on to a job with the Footnall Association for 22 years.

Of his days on the buses, he added: “Other drivers in the same period included Billy Wass, Jack Carr, Billy Constantine, Tommy Graham, Martin Walton, John Bolton, Albert Wilkie, Charlie Forshaw, Dave Banks and Alan Grainger.”

Can you remember the routes of bygone years and the cost of travelling on them? Or maybe you remember getting on the bus at the old Hartlepool bus station?

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk with your memories.