Great Yarmouth Corporation Transport

Memories of a Norfolk seaside childhood and a miscellany of photos of the many vehicle types that operated for the erstwhile Great Yarmouth Corporation Transport

By Patrick Burnside

A brief intro....

I lived in Great Yarmouth from March 1967 until May 1977 at Number 3, Eagleton Villas, Bath Hill Terrace (adjacent to the erstwhile Styles Secondary Modern School) .... now known as Eagleton House Convalescent/Retirement Home.

I attended St George's Infants and Nelson Junior schools on St Peters Road in the late 1960s, later St Mary's RC school on Albion Road, then moving on to the former Technical High/Oriel Grammar on Oriel Avenue, Gorleston, before finally finishing my schooldays at the now sadly demolished North Drive High School which was situated right on the seafront, on the corner of North Drive and Albemarle Road and backing on to the Wellesley recreation ground (the long time home of Great Yarmouth FC!). 

I have had a lifelong interest in public motor transport, especially, the red and cream vehicles of the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company and the blue and cream buses of Great Yarmouth Corporation Transport. 

Here you will find a varied selection of photographs I have acquired of the many types of 'blue buses' which operated for 'the Corporation' from its early beginnings in the 1920s until it's sad demise in the late 1980s, as a consequence of the Thatcher Government's controversial bus deregulation rules.

I would also like to include a variety of pictures of former Wellington Road based Eastern Counties Omnibus Company vehicles on this page when time permits.   

I left the town in the Spring of 1977, moving to Southend-on-Sea, Essex in search of work upon leaving school. I ended up joining the Civil Service as a Clerical Officer with HM Customs & Excise, but my interest always lay in road passenger transport. I returned to East Anglia, settling in Norwich some three years later, continuing my career with the Customs Service. When 'the Customs' were forced to merge with the Inland Revenue in 2005, I found myself transferred to 'Revenue' duties as more and more Customs work was 'centralised' away from Norfolk. With very little job satisfaction remaining, I finally succumbed to the ever growing temptation to work with buses and joined the First Eastern Counties Bus Company as a driver in Norwich in August 2010.

I have many childhood and teenage years memories of Great Yarmouth .... the packed sea front in summer with all it's many amusement arcades and attractions .... the equally packed Regent Road ..... remember Doughty's Sports and Spalls Gifts? ..... the Vettesse's Ice Cream Parlours? .... (I met the youngest three of the seven Vettesse sons in my last school - one (Louis) was in my class!) .... the many high street shops (sadly many now long forgotten - Arnolds, Downsway, Greggs Grocers, Liptons, Matthes Bakers, the pet shop in the Royal Arcade, Jarrolds, Fine Fare self service foodstore, Wolsey & Wolsey's record store on King Street, also Skippings Haberdashers and the York Hardware Stores .... the old sweet shop (Scotters, I think it was called) on St Peters Road, with its original Victorian glass display cases and well worn brass scales, whose doorbell would ring loudly when entering, rousing the elderly shopkeeper from his back room to serve me with my favourite Maynards wine and salad gums, Tom Green's hat shop on the corner of Regent Road and King Street (opposite the Royal Arcade), the Bloater Depot at the top of Regent Road (it's former manager, Geoff Cuthbert later took on a secondhand furniture shop on King Street, (Anyone know what happened to the famous bloater fish sign that hung above the shop for so many years?) .... the large market with its famous 'Nichols noted' chip stall (I went to school with one of the Nichols' daughters - I think her name was Karen) .... the lively Easter funfair on the market place .... the theatres and cinemas .... (remember Engelbert Humperdinck at the ABC Regent in '67 and Sid James providing 'Britains loudest laugh' at the Windmill?) .... pictures at the Regent (Manager there was a Mr Brown) and the Empire (Manager there was the late John Carrier) .... the Oasis Hotel with its iconic observation tower and the ice rink of course, which sadly closed at the end of the '67 season (my mother was the instructress there) .... being a 'barrow boy' for a couple of years (barrow made from an old door mounted on an old pram frame and wheels! I don't think this would be possible nowadays with modern buggies!) .... the many, many guest houses and hotels (every other house served as a guest house during the heady summer months!) ..... the two piers along the 'golden mile' with their landmark theatres ..... the fishermen's jetty .... the Biergarten and Winter Gardens (performers here stayed at our house in the late '60s through to the mid '70s) ..... the ever exciting 'Pleasure Beach' with it's wonderful and unique landmark 125ft tall double ferris wheel (see Yarmouth from the air!), golden gallopers, jets, waltzer, satellite, ghost train, fun house, helter skelter and of course the giant slide and ancient roller coaster! 'Free rides' night just before Easter opening was a highlight of a Yarmouth child's year! .... the Blackfriars Road area before the 1970's redevelopment (I think they called it the 'twilight area'....I know it was often known locally as the 'bombed buildings'!) Does anyone remember the old tobacconist's shop that used to be nestled next to one of the town walls towers on Blackfriars Road, a few yards down from the Blackfriars recreation ground close to Alma Street I wonder? (I witnessed its demolition in the early '70s and remember the demolition crew finding boxes of old cigarettes in an upstairs storeroom!) .... the old landmark power station at South Denes .... the splendid old 'Methodist Temple' on Priory Plain (I sadly watched this magnifcent structure demolished to make way for the new relief road) ..... and of course, the former Eastern Counties Bus Depot on the corner of Wellington Road and St Peter's Road, built in 1936, where I spent many a happy hour during the years 1973 to 1976 enthusiastically clutching my 'wanderbus' ticket! This was sadly demolished in the mid 1990s to make way for a residential development. The 'Corporation' blue bus depot, dating from the 'twenties was on Caister Road at the top of Lawn Avenue and fortunately still survives as the present day 'First Eastern Counties' garage).  So many wonderful memories.........I could go on and on! .... but I won't!  I'll leave you to savour the following fascinating photo selection of Yarmouth's transport history and look forward to your comments and memories on this wonderful website....

Photo:No 50 outside Caister Road depot

No 50 outside Caister Road depot

Photo:No 13 (EX 5262) seen on Hall Quay by the Star Hotel

No 13 (EX 5262) seen on Hall Quay by the Star Hotel

Photo:No 20 (EX 5282) at the Regal bus stand

No 20 (EX 5282) at the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 47 (EX 7547) in the High Street, Gorleston?

No 47 (EX 7547) in the High Street, Gorleston?

Photo:No 48 (EX 7548) outside the 'Joyland', Marine Parade

No 48 (EX 7548) outside the 'Joyland', Marine Parade

Photo:No 47 (EX 7547) on Marine Parade

No 47 (EX 7547) on Marine Parade

Photo:No 17 (EX 5264) - Wartime Guy Arab II at Shrublands?

No 17 (EX 5264) - Wartime Guy Arab II at Shrublands?

Photo:No 13 (EX 5262) - Wartime Guy Arab II with a subsequent owner

No 13 (EX 5262) - Wartime Guy Arab II with a subsequent owner

Photo:No 14 (EX 5261) - Wartime Guy Arab II approaching the Regal bus stand

No 14 (EX 5261) - Wartime Guy Arab II approaching the Regal bus stand

Photo:No ? (EX 4707) at the racecourse, Freemantle Road

No ? (EX 4707) at the racecourse, Freemantle Road

Photo:No ? (AEX 33?) - emerging from The Conge into the market place, Futters furniture shop in the background.

No ? (AEX 33?) - emerging from The Conge into the market place, Futters furniture shop in the background.

Photo:No 52 (EX 5932) approaching the Regal bus stand

No 52 (EX 5932) approaching the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 53 (EX 5933) & No 13 (EX 5262) inside the Caister Road depot

No 53 (EX 5933) & No 13 (EX 5262) inside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 54 (EX 5934), No 20 (EX 5282) & No 53 (EX 5933) inside Caister Road depot

No 54 (EX 5934), No 20 (EX 5282) & No 53 (EX 5933) inside Caister Road depot

Photo:No 30 (EX 9830) in the Market Place by the Hospital School

No 30 (EX 9830) in the Market Place by the Hospital School

Photo:No 43 (CEX 43) in the Market Place by the Hospital School

No 43 (CEX 43) in the Market Place by the Hospital School

Photo:No 29 (EX 9829) in Hall Quay by the Star Hotel

No 29 (EX 9829) in Hall Quay by the Star Hotel

Photo:No 30 (EX 9830) in Hall Quay by the Star Hotel

No 30 (EX 9830) in Hall Quay by the Star Hotel

Photo:No 39 (BEX 239) at the 'Joyland', Marine Parade

No 39 (BEX 239) at the 'Joyland', Marine Parade

Photo:No 36 (BEX 236) in the Market Place by the Hospital School

No 36 (BEX 236) in the Market Place by the Hospital School

Photo:No 20 - (EX 5282) - Wartime Guy Arab II approaching the Regal bus stand

No 20 - (EX 5282) - Wartime Guy Arab II approaching the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 48 (EX 7548) on Marine Parade

No 48 (EX 7548) on Marine Parade

Photo:No 28 (EX 9828) resting at the Regal bus stand

No 28 (EX 9828) resting at the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 90 (CEX 490) outside Caister Road depot

No 90 (CEX 490) outside Caister Road depot

Photo:No 43 (CEX 43) on Fullers Hill (note the old Methodist Temple in the background (right)

No 43 (CEX 43) on Fullers Hill (note the old Methodist Temple in the background (right)

Photo:No 54 (EX 5934) Location?

No 54 (EX 5934) Location?

Photo:No 14 (FEX 109) passing along Alexandra Road with St George's Park on the right and the Nurses Home on the left

No 14 (FEX 109) passing along Alexandra Road with St George's Park on the right and the Nurses Home on the left

Photo:No 23 (FEX 123) followed by an Atlantean on Deneside

No 23 (FEX 123) followed by an Atlantean on Deneside

Photo:No 40 (GEX 740F) outside Caister Road depot

No 40 (GEX 740F) outside Caister Road depot

Photo:No 25 (PVG 25W) leaving Market Gates bus station (note the famous 'bloater' hanging outside the Bloater Shop at the top of Regent Road)

No 25 (PVG 25W) leaving Market Gates bus station (note the famous 'bloater' hanging outside the Bloater Shop at the top of Regent Road)

Photo:No 73 (PEX 173K) at Market Gates bus station

No 73 (PEX 173K) at Market Gates bus station

Photo:No 40 (GEX 740F) outside the Hospital School, Market Place

No 40 (GEX 740F) outside the Hospital School, Market Place

Photo:No 41 (GEX 741F) pausing along the busy Regent Road

No 41 (GEX 741F) pausing along the busy Regent Road

Photo:No 42 (GEX 742F) resting at the Regal bus stand

No 42 (GEX 742F) resting at the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 39 (RVF 39R) passing along Hall Quay with the town hall in the background

No 39 (RVF 39R) passing along Hall Quay with the town hall in the background

Photo:No 30 (CVF 30T) approaching Admiralty Road?

No 30 (CVF 30T) approaching Admiralty Road?

Photo:No 39 (RVF 39R) passing along Hall Quay with the GPO in the background (left)

No 39 (RVF 39R) passing along Hall Quay with the GPO in the background (left)

Photo:No 60 (LEX 860H) crossing the Haven Bridge en route to Gorleston

No 60 (LEX 860H) crossing the Haven Bridge en route to Gorleston

Photo:No 30 - (CVF 30T) approaching Priory Plain from Fullers Hill

No 30 - (CVF 30T) approaching Priory Plain from Fullers Hill

Photo:No ? (E44 OAH) Minibus on Hall Quay with town hall in background

No ? (E44 OAH) Minibus on Hall Quay with town hall in background

Photo:No 453 (P453 RPW) First Bus Dennis Dart passing along Fullers Hill

No 453 (P453 RPW) First Bus Dennis Dart passing along Fullers Hill

Photo:No 70 (PEX 170K) pauses to pick up a passenger in Gorleston High Street

No 70 (PEX 170K) pauses to pick up a passenger in Gorleston High Street

Photo:No 74 (PEX 174K) resting outside the Caister Road depot with one of the Bristol/ECW VRTs

No 74 (PEX 174K) resting outside the Caister Road depot with one of the Bristol/ECW VRTs

Photo:No 64 (LEX 864H) passing along Marine Parade near the Wellington Pier

No 64 (LEX 864H) passing along Marine Parade near the Wellington Pier

Photo:No 452 (R452 RPW) First Bus Dennis Dart passing along Fullers Hill

No 452 (R452 RPW) First Bus Dennis Dart passing along Fullers Hill

Photo:No 19 (AEX 19B) the Rambouillet town twinning commemorative bus resting outside the Britannia Pier, Marine Parade with the Royal Aquarium in the background

No 19 (AEX 19B) the Rambouillet town twinning commemorative bus resting outside the Britannia Pier, Marine Parade with the Royal Aquarium in the background

Photo:No 88 (WEX 688M) location?

No 88 (WEX 688M) location?

Photo:No 81 (AEX 81B) approaching the Regal bus stand

No 81 (AEX 81B) approaching the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 42 (GEX 742F) resting outside the Caister Road depot

No 42 (GEX 742F) resting outside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 15 (MTT 635) location?

No 15 (MTT 635) location?

Photo:No 89 (WEX 689M) passing along Hall Quay on the Cobholm service

No 89 (WEX 689M) passing along Hall Quay on the Cobholm service

Photo:No 39 (RVF 39R) at the racecourse, Jellicoe Road

No 39 (RVF 39R) at the racecourse, Jellicoe Road

Photo:No 31 (CVF 31T) Northgate Street, approaching the Caister Road depot

No 31 (CVF 31T) Northgate Street, approaching the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 37 (RVF 37R) at Market Gates bus station

No 37 (RVF 37R) at Market Gates bus station

Photo:No ? (Reg No?) One of the Guy FCXs with United bodywork delivered between 1924 and 1930

No ? (Reg No?) One of the Guy FCXs with United bodywork delivered between 1924 and 1930

Photo:No 2 (DEX 702) resting at the Hall Quay bus stop en route to Gorleston's Magdalen Estate

No 2 (DEX 702) resting at the Hall Quay bus stop en route to Gorleston's Magdalen Estate

Photo:No 2 (DEX 702) passing along High Road, Gorleston on the 8 to Magdalen Estate

No 2 (DEX 702) passing along High Road, Gorleston on the 8 to Magdalen Estate

Photo:No 3 (DEX 703) waiting at the popular bus stop on Hall Quay

No 3 (DEX 703) waiting at the popular bus stop on Hall Quay

Photo:No 28 (EX 9828) stopping at the popular Hall Quay bus stop en route to Gorleston

No 28 (EX 9828) stopping at the popular Hall Quay bus stop en route to Gorleston

Photo:No 14 (FEX 109) laying over at the Beevor Road terminus of Service 2 to the Fishwharf

No 14 (FEX 109) laying over at the Beevor Road terminus of Service 2 to the Fishwharf

Photo:No 3 (DEX 703) at rest in the Caister Road depot

No 3 (DEX 703) at rest in the Caister Road depot

Photo:No B1286 (LF 8066) one of the London General AEC B type buses which arrived in the town from 1920 to replace the trams

No B1286 (LF 8066) one of the London General AEC B type buses which arrived in the town from 1920 to replace the trams

Photo:No 61 (EX 6561) at the Beach Coach Station surrounded by a myriad of summer holidaymakers

No 61 (EX 6561) at the Beach Coach Station surrounded by a myriad of summer holidaymakers

Photo:No ? (E41 OAH) seen here at Corton near Lowestoft?

No ? (E41 OAH) seen here at Corton near Lowestoft?

Photo:No ? (E40 OAH) at rest on the Caister Road depot forecourt

No ? (E40 OAH) at rest on the Caister Road depot forecourt

Photo:No 41 (GEX 741F) undergoing maintenance in the Caister Road depot

No 41 (GEX 741F) undergoing maintenance in the Caister Road depot

Photo:A Bristol VRT and a couple of AEC Swifts out of service in the Caister Road depot

A Bristol VRT and a couple of AEC Swifts out of service in the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 22 (FEX 122) converted to a towing vehicle, seen inside the Caister Road depot

No 22 (FEX 122) converted to a towing vehicle, seen inside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No? (PEX ???K) resting at the Britannia Pier, Marine Parade

No? (PEX ???K) resting at the Britannia Pier, Marine Parade

Photo:No 18 (AEX 18B) on the forecourt of Caister Road depot

No 18 (AEX 18B) on the forecourt of Caister Road depot

Photo:No 32 (AEX 332) seen here outside the 'Joyland' on Marine Parade

No 32 (AEX 332) seen here outside the 'Joyland' on Marine Parade

Photo:No 31 (AEX 331) dropping off passengers outside the Hospital School in the Market Place

No 31 (AEX 331) dropping off passengers outside the Hospital School in the Market Place

Photo:No 57 (EEX 857D) passing along Marine Parade near the Wellington Pier

No 57 (EEX 857D) passing along Marine Parade near the Wellington Pier

Photo:No 58 (EEX 558D) A summer's day on the 'Golden Mile'

No 58 (EEX 558D) A summer's day on the 'Golden Mile'

Photo:No 12 (FEX 112) on loan to Eastern Counties Omnibus Company Ltd and pictured inside their former Wellington Road depot

No 12 (FEX 112) on loan to Eastern Counties Omnibus Company Ltd and pictured inside their former Wellington Road depot

Photo:No ? (EX 1116) one of the seven Guy BB saloons delivered to the Corporation in 1924 to replace electric trams. This early photo probably taken inside the Caister Road depot

No ? (EX 1116) one of the seven Guy BB saloons delivered to the Corporation in 1924 to replace electric trams. This early photo probably taken inside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No ? (EX 1147) one of the seven Guy BB saloons delivered to the Corporation in 1924 to replace electric trams. Location?

No ? (EX 1147) one of the seven Guy BB saloons delivered to the Corporation in 1924 to replace electric trams. Location?

Photo:No ? (EX 1155) one of the seven Guy BB saloons delivered to the Corporation in 1924 to replace electric trams. Location?

No ? (EX 1155) one of the seven Guy BB saloons delivered to the Corporation in 1924 to replace electric trams. Location?

Photo:No 14 (EX 2074) One of the Guy FCXs with United bodywork delivered between 1924 and 1930 to replace electric trams. Location - Marine Parade?

No 14 (EX 2074) One of the Guy FCXs with United bodywork delivered between 1924 and 1930 to replace electric trams. Location - Marine Parade?

Photo:No ? (EX 2878) An AEC Regent I delivered to the Corporation in 1931. Location ?

No ? (EX 2878) An AEC Regent I delivered to the Corporation in 1931. Location ?

Photo:No ? (EX 3693) One of a small batch of AEC Regal IVs which were delivered to the Corporation in the early 1930s. Location ?

No ? (EX 3693) One of a small batch of AEC Regal IVs which were delivered to the Corporation in the early 1930s. Location ?

Photo:No 22 (EX 5284) is a wartime Guy Arab II seen here inside the Caister Road depot

No 22 (EX 5284) is a wartime Guy Arab II seen here inside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 52 (EX 5932) seen here loading in the Market Place en route to Newtown

No 52 (EX 5932) seen here loading in the Market Place en route to Newtown

Photo:No 69? (EX 6569) seen here resting on Alexandra Road by St George's Park

No 69? (EX 6569) seen here resting on Alexandra Road by St George's Park

Photo:No 11 (FEX 111) approaching the Regal bus stand

No 11 (FEX 111) approaching the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 11 (FEX 111) at the Regal bus stand followed by one of the Leyland PD2s

No 11 (FEX 111) at the Regal bus stand followed by one of the Leyland PD2s

Photo:No 12 (FEX 112) about to take on a good load of passengers at the Regal bus stand

No 12 (FEX 112) about to take on a good load of passengers at the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 4 (DEX 704) taking on passengers for Caister in the Market Place

No 4 (DEX 704) taking on passengers for Caister in the Market Place

Photo:No ? (LEX ???) at the Regal bus stand

No ? (LEX ???) at the Regal bus stand

Photo:No 24 (PVG 24W) at the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston

No 24 (PVG 24W) at the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston

Photo:No ? (WEX ????) outside the Caister Road depot

No ? (WEX ????) outside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No ? (RVF ????) approaching Market Gates bus station

No ? (RVF ????) approaching Market Gates bus station

Photo:No 12 (FEX 112) posing for the camera outside the Caister Road depot

No 12 (FEX 112) posing for the camera outside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 41 (GEX 741F) one of the four rare Marshall bodied Leyland Atlantean saloons emerging from the Caister Road depot

No 41 (GEX 741F) one of the four rare Marshall bodied Leyland Atlantean saloons emerging from the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 89 (WEX 689M) pausing in the Market Place outside the Hospital School

No 89 (WEX 689M) pausing in the Market Place outside the Hospital School

Photo:No 31 (CVF 31T) passing through Castle Meadow, Norwich (possibly on a Norwich Bus Rally road run

No 31 (CVF 31T) passing through Castle Meadow, Norwich (possibly on a Norwich Bus Rally road run

Photo:No 48 (EX 7548) in Gorleston

No 48 (EX 7548) in Gorleston

Photo:No 29 (EX 9829) on a busy summer day outside the Wellington Pier

No 29 (EX 9829) on a busy summer day outside the Wellington Pier

Photo:No 49 (EX 7549) passing along Alexandra Road by St George's church

No 49 (EX 7549) passing along Alexandra Road by St George's church

Photo:No 37 (BEX 237) passing along Alexandra Road en route to the railway station

No 37 (BEX 237) passing along Alexandra Road en route to the railway station

Photo:No 86 (WEX 686M) captured in this sunny shot on Yarmouth Way with the tower of St George's church as a backdrop

No 86 (WEX 686M) captured in this sunny shot on Yarmouth Way with the tower of St George's church as a backdrop

Photo:No ? (NRT 564L) a former Waveney District Council AEC Swift, preparing to turn right into Northgate Street from Fuller's Hill whilst en route to Newtown

No ? (NRT 564L) a former Waveney District Council AEC Swift, preparing to turn right into Northgate Street from Fuller's Hill whilst en route to Newtown

Photo:No 75 (PEX 175K) on a sunny Summer's day in Hall Quay

No 75 (PEX 175K) on a sunny Summer's day in Hall Quay

Photo:No 69 (PEX 169K) in the Market Place with the tower of St Nicholas parish church in the background

No 69 (PEX 169K) in the Market Place with the tower of St Nicholas parish church in the background

Photo:No 61 (LEX 861H) pictured on a glorious summer day passing along the 'golden mile'

No 61 (LEX 861H) pictured on a glorious summer day passing along the 'golden mile'

Photo:No 40 (GEX 740F) a rare Marshall bodied single deck Leyland Atlantean (now in preservation) calls at the Britannia Pier bus stand heading for the ever popular 'Pleasure Beach' amusement park

No 40 (GEX 740F) a rare Marshall bodied single deck Leyland Atlantean (now in preservation) calls at the Britannia Pier bus stand heading for the ever popular 'Pleasure Beach' amusement park

Photo:No 84 (AEX 84B) at rest inside the Caister Road depot

No 84 (AEX 84B) at rest inside the Caister Road depot

Photo:No 19 (AEX 19B) the Rambouillet town twinning commemorative bus, calling at the popular Britannia Pier bus stand on a glorious Summer's day

No 19 (AEX 19B) the Rambouillet town twinning commemorative bus, calling at the popular Britannia Pier bus stand on a glorious Summer's day

Photo:No 82 (AEX 82B) poses for the camera outside the Wellington Pier possibly in the Summer of '67 (note the stars appearing at the Wellington Pier theatre)

No 82 (AEX 82B) poses for the camera outside the Wellington Pier possibly in the Summer of '67 (note the stars appearing at the Wellington Pier theatre)

Photo:No 24 (FEX 524) passing along Alexandra Road with the landmark St George's church on the right of the picture

No 24 (FEX 524) passing along Alexandra Road with the landmark St George's church on the right of the picture

Photo:No 34 (RVF 34R) passing throught the Market Place with the tower of St Nicholas parish church (the largest parish church in England!) visible to the left and the Hospital school on the right of the picture

No 34 (RVF 34R) passing throught the Market Place with the tower of St Nicholas parish church (the largest parish church in England!) visible to the left and the Hospital school on the right of the picture

Photo:No 35 (RVF 35R) passing along Yarmouth Way en route to Gorleston's Magdalen Estate, with the tower of St George's church as a backdrop

No 35 (RVF 35R) passing along Yarmouth Way en route to Gorleston's Magdalen Estate, with the tower of St George's church as a backdrop

Photo:No 57 (EEX 857D) one of the 1966 Leyland Atlanteans which conveyed me to and from school during the early 1970s, seen here on Alexandra Road en route to Gorleston

No 57 (EEX 857D) one of the 1966 Leyland Atlanteans which conveyed me to and from school during the early 1970s, seen here on Alexandra Road en route to Gorleston

Photo:No ? (CEX ???C) seen here passing the Methodist Central Hall on Alexandra Road en route to Caister-on-Sea

No ? (CEX ???C) seen here passing the Methodist Central Hall on Alexandra Road en route to Caister-on-Sea

Photo:No 7 (CEX 107C) passing the Wellington Pier on a fine Summer's day en route to the Harbour's Mouth

No 7 (CEX 107C) passing the Wellington Pier on a fine Summer's day en route to the Harbour's Mouth

Photo:No 8 (CEX 108C) seen here operating the 16 to Caister, Second Avenue on Fuller's Hill

No 8 (CEX 108C) seen here operating the 16 to Caister, Second Avenue on Fuller's Hill

Photo:No 54 (HEX 254) a Roe Bodied Daimler Fleetline passing the Methodist Central Hall en route to Caister, Tan Lane

No 54 (HEX 254) a Roe Bodied Daimler Fleetline passing the Methodist Central Hall en route to Caister, Tan Lane

Photo:No 52 (HEX 252) another of the Roe bodied Daimler Fleetlines passes along Fuller's Hill en route to Caister, Second Avenue

No 52 (HEX 252) another of the Roe bodied Daimler Fleetlines passes along Fuller's Hill en route to Caister, Second Avenue

Photo:No 4 (DEX 704) passing along Hall Quay on the 8 to Magdalen Estate with the historic town hall in the background

No 4 (DEX 704) passing along Hall Quay on the 8 to Magdalen Estate with the historic town hall in the background

Photo:No 3 (DEX 703) turns round at the Wellington Pier en route to Caister, Tan Lane (in the Summer of '67?)

No 3 (DEX 703) turns round at the Wellington Pier en route to Caister, Tan Lane (in the Summer of '67?)

Photo:No ? (EX 907?) passes along Alexandra Road en route to Gorleston

No ? (EX 907?) passes along Alexandra Road en route to Gorleston

Photo:No 71 (EX 9071) heading along Hall Quay after returning from neighbouring Gorleston-on-Sea

No 71 (EX 9071) heading along Hall Quay after returning from neighbouring Gorleston-on-Sea

Photo:Photograph of a Great Yarmouth Corporation bus parked on Beevor Road, Great Yarmouth. This is outside of Birds Eye Foods at the riverside end of Beevor Road before this section was fenced off and became part of the factory site. It would have been possibly in the late 1950's or early 1960's. Maybe some of the Birds Eye ladies will recognise themselves or their colleagues.

Photograph of a Great Yarmouth Corporation bus parked on Beevor Road, Great Yarmouth. This is outside of Birds Eye Foods at the riverside end of Beevor Road before this section was fenced off and became part of the factory site. It would have been possibly in the late 1950's or early 1960's. Maybe some of the Birds Eye ladies will recognise themselves or their colleagues.

Courtesy of Bill Ditcham

This page was added by Patrick Burnside on 11/03/2011.
Comments about this page

What a wonderful collection of photographs of the old blue bus livery . Many of those buses I have driven or conducted on. I commenced working for G.Y.C.T IN 1966 although I didn't start on the road until Jan 67 ,up until that time I worked in the depot in Caister road. I can clearly remember conducting on the Leyland and A.E.C. buses , I can remember the A.E.C Swift single deckers arrive. These had no governors fitted as I believe they were motorway buses. The old Daimlers front entry were the worst buses to conduct in as there was very little space to stand at the front of the bus. They were not too good to drive either , when the Leyland Atlanteans arrived it was like all your birthdays rolled into one . I remember on one occasion driving a Metro Scanner called the banana split because of its colour. Unfortunately we only had it for a fortnight on trial.  I think it lasted about a week as the brakes seized on and it had to be towed into the depot backwards . I learnt to drive in a Bull Nosed Leyland under Kenny Rice. I passed in December of 1969 and as I said earlier drove many of those buses pictured. It was a sad day when G.Y.C.T came to an end. I had left in 1971 for pastures new, but I can honestly say it was the best job I ever had ,and worked with many smashing people both on the road and in the depot.

By Keith Banner
On 15/03/2011

Fantastic set of pics, reminds me of taking the no 8 to and from Yarmouth for high school in the early 80's.

By Paul Ewing
On 19/04/2011

What a host of memories! Growing up in Gorleston in the 60s the Blue Bus was the only way to get around. We would always wait on the Gorleston Church roundabout, where you could see the next bus approaching, look back up to the Shrublands for the No.8, Middleton Road for the 3, the No.10 would turn up Churh Lane at the Library lights, and the 9 would come straight up from the beach. Four buses for Yarmouth, and you would never have to wait longer than ten minutesfor one. On a busy Saturday morning the No. 8 service could catch up with itself, coming from the Magdelen Estate you would often see two travelling together, everyone caught the bus, standing room only downstairs, smoking only upstairs! And twenty years after they built Market Gates, my Dad would still ask for the Regal.

By David Batterbee
On 06/07/2011

During the mid-sixties, at least, it was the custom to use about a dozen Grammar School Sixth Form leavers to act as conductors during the summer, to assist in providing the extended summer service. I spent the summer of 65 doing just that, discovering among other things that holiday makers leave their brains at home when they go to the seaside. The bus may have announced "The Beach" in big letters at the front and at the back and even at the side but it was still necessary to ask of the driver or the conductor, "Does this bus go to the beach". I also remember the Gorleston 15 minute services being degraded by the hopeless traffic conditions to the point where no bus appeared for an hour or more and then four turned up one after the other.

By Richard Wootton
On 06/07/2011

Thank for showing excellent Gt. Yarmouth bus photos.Remember them so well right back to the fifties. Used to visit Yarmouth on a Culling's coach from Norwich in those days. Wally Nickerson

By Wally Nickerson
On 03/08/2011

A wonderful archive of GYCT vehicles. I worked with Keith on the 'Blue Buses' and we both drove many of these vehicles in the late 60s . I recall there were five of the front entrance double decker 'two step Daimlers' ... so called because of the 'two steps' at the passengers' front entrance. Their fleet numbers were 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 ... two were 30' and the others 28' long ... all were 8' wide. Bus conductors did not like working in these vehicles because of the low headroom and resultant stooping required when collecting fares. To avoid stooping whilst standing at the front of the bus, conductors stood on the lower 'two steps'. The buses were warm to work in during the winter months because the doors helped retain heat and the heaters and demisters worked unlike the 'bum freezer' rear entrance vehicles. These were the slowest vehicles in the fleet and struggled to reach 30mph. They had Gardner engines, semi-automatic gearboxes and power steering ... very easy to drive and very reliable. I do not recall any of them ever breaking down but the engines were never stressed as they were 'governed' . The '2 step Daimlers' were used on all routes and were real work-horses ... I enjoyed driving them but were a bit too sluggish if attempting to make up time when late. I wonder if any of these vehicles preserved? Best wishes dunk

By Duncan Kirkwood
On 03/08/2011

These pics took me back to when I was a young lad and spent our family holidays at good old Yarmouth. Some of the old buses had a moving screen behind the drivers seat that showed advertisements for local shops and events. Does anyone else remember them?

By Andrew Pealling
On 03/08/2011

These pics took me back to when I was a young lad and spent our family holidays at good old Yarmouth. Some of the old buses had a moving screen behind the drivers seat that showed advertisements for local shops and events. Does anyone else remember them?

By Andrew Pealling
On 03/08/2011

great pics looked for the opened top bus that was on the seafront on ER2 coronation, it was buff colour it was sprayed I think by H A Homles & on the front up top two ununion jack shields & small flags fixed I have models made by yesteryears both of this bus, one in buff colour & one in Great Yarmouth blue the blue advert is Lacons Brewry on side when it was sprayed buff my father delivered it to the Lawn Avenue bus depot ready for use

By colin browne
On 05/08/2011

This has got to be the most extensive collection of GYCT photos I have seen and brings back many memories. Although living on the southern fringes of London a number of my relatives lived in Great Yarmouth and Caister and my memories go back to the 1950's. I can remember travelling on a Guy Utility which were sometimes used on service 1 from Caister and were quite common on service B to Gorleston Beach. They were not very comfortable having wooden seats. The service 1 ran to Wellington Pier in the summer and Town Centre in winter and was one of several services that ran along the seafront a far cry I believe from today. I think the most elegant were the PD2's. Does anyone remember some of the later rear entrance buses being fitted with a box fitted to the bulkhead behind the driver containing a number of advertisements which scrolled forwards and then backwards throughout the journey, a device I've never seen anywhere else. We used to catch the bus at St Julian Road, Caister, one stop up from the terminus at Tan Lane. If one wasn't at the stand we sometimes tried to flag down a passing Eastern Counties bus into town, sometimes they stopped although they were not supposed to as I believe the agreement was that they would not pick up after Caister Police Station. Regarding the photos those of number 13 and 54 I think these were taken at Mulleys yard in Ixworth Suffolk. I have seen other photos of Great Yarmouth Guys, PD2's and PD3's taken in his Yard.

By Richard Wansbury
On 05/08/2011

I have really enjoyed looking at these photographs. I was brought up on the Magdelene Estate in Gorleston in the 1960's and in those days we went everywhere by bus. What happy memories. I have also been scouring the images hoping to catch a glimpse of my grandad Jack Lake who worked as a conductor, driver and inspector for almost all of his working life until he retired in the 1970's. So far - no luck though!

By Mick Lake
On 11/08/2011

Hi Mick, Jack Lake taught me to drive a bus when he was the GYCT driving instructor in 1968. I recall he lived on Trafalgar Road, Gorleston. He was a very patient man ... he had to be when teaching absolute rookie drivers. I was also taught by Philip Bytheway. Best wishes Dunk

By Duncan Kirkwood
On 05/09/2011

Some very nostalgic pictures of the Blue Buses. I lived in Caister and went to school at the Tech/Oriel and have been on quite a number of the buses pictured. I think I was probably a couple of years "above" you at school and did in fact marry Karan (Nichols) in 2000 (since divorced) and obviously know Frank and Valeries of the chip stall very well. Anyway, thanks for those pictures which brought back some nice memories.

By Steve
On 05/09/2011

Hello, As a non-local who worked as a bus conductor on the blue buses for two summer seasons in the 1970’s, it was a delight to come across the page on your site devoted to Great Yarmouth Corporation Transport, containing vast numbers of pictures of these buses, some of them from the period in which I worked on them and others dating from much earlier (and later). However, reading through the captions I believe that I have come across an error. The caption under the 42nd picture devoted to number 70 (PEX 170K) claims that this is Gorleston High Street. The indicators are set for route number 2, which ran between Newton and the Fishwharf and went nowhere near Gorleston, so I do not think that this is correct. If my memory serves me correctly, the location is one of the main town centre stops, the one before entering the market place when travelling northward. I just thought I would pass this on in the interests of accuracy. I would not wish for this comment to be construed as being criticism, because I think the site is excellent. Regards, Tim Drayton Limassol, Cyprus

By Colin Stott
On 05/09/2011

Lovely photos a pleasure to see and recall memories, well done for your hard work in preserving these and giving such pleasure.

By Mike Brown
On 12/09/2011

With ref to jack, like duncan I worked with jack from 1966 to 1971. I also believe jack was with the sea cadets at kolunga house when off duty. As I said I worked with jack until I left and joined the prison service where I worked with Jacks son at Hollesly Bay in Suffolk. We lost touch as I believe John transferred as did I to Norwich but I cannot remember where John went. Just goes to prove its a small world.

By keith banner
On 19/09/2011

Fantastic Photo collection of the old blue buses. Memories of those happy holidays in the 60's and 70's came flooding back. Would love to find photos of a green AEC Swift demonstrator I remember travelling on from South Denes Camp to the town centre in the early 60's. Obviously a very rare photo indeed. Once again fantastic collection.....

By Paul Brimley
On 30/01/2012

AEX 33 is emerging from the conge into the market place, Futters furniture shop in the background.

By George Holmes
On 14/05/2012

Brilliant set of pictures what memories for me. I worked on the blue buses between 1968 and 1983 then again later as First bus from 1997 till my retirement in 2007. Thanks for the memories. Hi Keith. Jim McMurdo

By Jim McMurdo
On 21/08/2012

I remember Jim McMurdo very well from my old Blue Bus days a real gent, its nice to know there are still a few of the old crew left.  I often hanker to get back behind the wheel again.  I did enjoy the job but other pastures beckoned and I spent 32 years in the Prison Service; but I loved the buses and have many happy memories of my days there.

By KEITH BANNER
On 18/09/2012

Thanks Patrick for some wonderful pictures and memories. Picture number 28 of EX9828 at the Hall Quay stop also shows my late Uncle and Aunt, Jimmy and Maidie Waters of Cobholm!  What an amazing surprise!  Good luck with more photos from Alan of Adelaide, South Australia.

By Alan Symonds
On 18/09/2012

With my grandparents living in Caister (and me being a bus mad sort of person) I well remember travelling on the 16 (later extended 8) to Caister, Second Avenue. Glorious Leyland Atlanteans and all the way to Wellington Pier in the summer! Lovely photo collection you have!

By Glyn
On 24/09/2012

Patrick, could I please have your email address as I have a photo of a ECOC bus at Wickham Market and would like to identify it.  Regards, Tony Buckland

By Tony Buckland
On 05/11/2012

Was an apprentice mechanic on Blue Buses 1964-1969 great pictures.  One small correction the Guy Arab you show was 15 not 13.

By Stan Traynier
On 12/11/2012

Many memories for me here too.  I was a bus conductor in Yarmouth in the summer holidays of my university years in the early 1960's.  My driver was George, but I can't remember his last name.  His girlfriend would often be waiting for him at the end of a run, so they could spend a few minutes together before we had to set off on the return.  Some of the other drivers were dismissive of him for this, but I always thought it was admirable, and enviable.  (If you read this George, I was the scruffy youth with the long hair, and on the late Gorleston run I would buy us fish and chips in Gorleston). One late afternoon we were coming from the South Denes factories, on route to Gorleston, and the bus was packed solid with factory girls.  The bus was an old rear-platform type.  Haven Bridge was up, and all the roads around it were jammed with stationary traffic; we were stopped too, on Yarmouth Way.  As we inched up to a bus stop, two men got on.  I struggled down the stairs (my progress hampered by about six people standing on them) and told them to get off - we already had about 20 passengers too many.  They refused, on the grounds that as the bus had just inched passed the stop, they couldn't get off - which was true.  So I waited until the bus had filtered down to the next stop, which took about 10 minutes, then with a flourish I pressed the bell, which was unnecessary as the bus was already stopped in the still jammed traffic.  "Now you can get off", I said - they had no choice.  But I was angry. I grabbed the bars at each side of me, blocking their way.  "That's three pence each", I said.  Three pence was the minimum fare.  They glared at me, and I glared at them, for many long moments.  Everyone on the bus stared at nothing, in complete silence.  Slowly, one of the men took out a sixpence and handed it to me, and I let them pass.  Since they were two big grown men, and I was a thin weedy youth, I recall this incident with utter amazement.

By Keith Wooldridge
On 20/11/2012

Well, if you liked my previous memory, maybe you will like this one. In about 1965 one of the all new singing and dancing flat fronted, single glass windscreen, automatic gearbox buses, was lent to Yarmouth Bus Corporation for trials. An inspector (Can't remember his name - a small, thin, quietly spoken, kind man, with glasses) had tried to move it. He had revved the engine, slipped the tiny gear lever to 'Go,' and the bus had leapt forward and wrapped its front end from top to bottom around one of the steel pillars of the bus garage. It was probably a write off - and never carried a single passenger. Surely everyone who was there in the 1960's must remember this. A kiss is just a kiss. But not with bus and steel ... (an old Al Bowlly song)

By Keith Wooldridge
On 27/11/2012

I was the conductor on the late Gorleston run (was it no. 12 or 13?) in about 1965, with my driver George (see previous memory.) We ran from Alexandra Road Yarmouth to Gorleston Cliffs. Early in the evening a young man got on at Gorleston with his girlfriend and offered me the two fares, which was about 11 pence. Now, when you handle money all day long, you get used to what a fare should look like, and often, if it looks right, you don't count it - you just throw it in the bag. But I didn't like the look of the money he gave me, and so I counted it. It was a penny short. I said, "You're a penny short". He sheepishly offered me the other penny, which he had been holding in his other hand. Embarrassing for him but, you might think the end of the story - not so. At about 11.30pm, at Alexandra Road, who was it got on my bus - the last bus to Gorleston? It was the youth and his girl. And what did he offer me for the fare? A big brown ten shilling note. I went back to my locked box under the stairs, and took out my bagged up small change. And into his cupped hands, I slowly and carefully counted out his change - two half-crowns (five shillings) and 36 or so large brown pennies (three shillings.) Neither he nor his girlfriend spoke a word. Such instant, neat, and perfect justice is rare indeed. But he was powerless. He knew he had tried to cheat me, and his girlfriend knew, and I knew they both knew!

By Keith Wooldridge
On 27/11/2012

Keith: Your unfortunate bus inspector (27/11/12 post) must surely have been Philip - can't remember his last name, in fact not sure I ever knew it!

By Nick Gilman
On 07/01/2013

(I posted this reply on another thread on this site a year ago, and thought I'd copy it onto here - pleased to find that the GYCT recollections now have their own sections): Well, well, Tracey Horn - I thought I recognised the name and now, if I think back, I can picture you too!  If you really want to open up a new train of nostalgia, how about more on the Blue Buses in the mid-70s?  I was one of the students who started off conducting and lingered on for a few winters as a driver.  Here are a few names from that period to conjure with: Skippy, Ludkins, Hosea, Tony Miller (I loved that guy! Where is he now?), Cry-Baby Salmon, Micky Mouse, Chaston, Ali B the Inspector who taught me to drive a double-decker (thanks Alan, you were a brilliant instructor) and so many more, it was an amazing interlude in my life.  I live now at the far end of Britain but still remember those days with much affection - and many laughs. 

By Nick Gilman
On 07/01/2013

Just a few lines to my fellow ex workers at GYCT who have written on this page.  I started on the buses in 1965. Keith Banner was my first conductor after passing my driving test in 1965 (May) on bus 48; taught by Rip Kirby.  Keith and I had a good working relationship for a couple of years, until he went driving. Notable incidents - left him behind at the Erie Resistor one afternoon after picking up the working girls at 16:30 I think he caught the bus up at the Half Way House stop, crossing the river on the ferry.  Then there was the time a baby’s buggy shot off the bus platform turning onto the Quay from Yarmouth Way.  In reply to Nick Gilman’s questions Skippy is back on the buses, Ian Hosea is on Park and Ride in Norwich and Mick Rouse is still at the depot.  Stan Chaston is about Hemsby; Ali B is still in Yarmouth retired.  Dave Salmon passed away a couple of years ago.  I saw Tony Miller in town in the summer.  He is still a great Eric Clapton fan, but has lost his hair.  Often see Jim McMurdo and Billy Ditcham along the Prom and I bumped into Les Rose last week in town.  The pictures Patrick Burnside put on the web are excellent.  I think the Inspector on the bus shunt could have been Gordon Teasdale.  Other Inspectors about that time were George Farman, Stanley Read, Paddy O’Reilly, Charlie Cotton and one who kept pigs over in Cobholm.  He used to serve in the canteen after feeding them.  I had 32 years with the bus company and enjoyed them all, also met some super people.

By Peter Davis
On 19/02/2013

Peter, the inspector who kept the pigs was Jimmy Smith I believe.  The late Henry (Doc) Gadson and myself I reckon were the best crew on the Beevor Road to Newtown factory run at lunch-time.  Old Doc was always singing 'King of the Road' when we reached the race course.

By Bill Ditcham
On 26/02/2013

Loved looking through the photos. I was on the Blue Buses getting home to Beccles many times. I did particularly enjoy the ones showing the Regal, having revisited Yarmouth over the years and the new building that has occurred I was beginning to think it was a figment of my imagination.

By Judy Tosh( nee Hewitt)
On 19/04/2013

It was great fun and brought back many happy memories of Petes words, all very true, but we had some smashing times, as Peter said I stayed as his conductor until I passed my driving test in Dec 1969. I was so sorry when i read that Henry Gadson had passed away, he was one of the blue bus legends, along with Alan Burton, Roy Dougal ,Ernie Comer, Jack Lake and countless more. Wouldn't it be nice to have a time machine and go back to those happy times.

By Keith Banner
On 19/04/2013

Nick (Gilman) .. thanks for your reply. You are right! I remembered the name as soon as I read it. But what I find so hard to believe is that no-one else on here has mentioned this episode ... surely a most unusual, and indeed unique, event ... Keith W

By Keith Wooldridge
On 19/04/2013

Yes Nick (Gilman) .. it was Philip. He was a very quiet, very unassuming, and very nice man. I recognized the name as soon as I saw it. What is incredible is that no-one on this site has mentioned this incident ! It surely was a most remarkable event. KW

By Keith Wooldridge
On 19/04/2013

Thank you for the many comments that have jogged my memories of my late father Jack Lake. I recognised most of the names mentioned and a lot of them played bowls for the transport team. My brother, John Lake, was mentioned, he too belonged to the Sea Cadets meeting at Koolunga,where my mother ran the canteen for the hungry cadets. My brother finished his career with the prison service at Lincoln Gaol. He passed away at the age of 62 some 16yrs ago.

By David Lake
On 24/05/2013

My grateful thanks and appreciation to all who have commented on this page over the last few years. Such a wonderful collection of memories indeed! I stumbled across this website dedicated to the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth by accident whilst browing the internet a few years back and decided a page devoted to my childhood memories of living and growing up in this east coast seaside town could prove of interest to fellow readers, along with my memories of the many fine vehicles which operated for the GYCT out of their historic Caister Road depot. Whilst having a great interest in the blue and cream buses of the Corporation, I also spent many happy days at the former Eastern Counties depot at Wellington Road (sadly now demolished). Here, the fleet was mainly Bristols carrying the famous Lowestoft built Eastern Coach Works bodywork. I have many fond memories of travelling out into the Norfolk countryside on the red and cream (later red and white) buses, clutching a 50p 'Wanderbus' ticket in my warm sweaty hand! The enthusiasm spurned in those happy days of the late '60s and throughout the '70s has remained with me to this day and since the age of 18, have acquired three examples of the Eastern Counties fleet which I have now fully restored to their original glory. For those that may remember the ECOC fleet of that time, the vehicles are LL 711 (KNG 711) a 1949 Bristol L5G 35 seater saloon; LM 452 (3014 AH) a 1958 Bristol MW5G 45 seater saloon and LC 556 (3003 AH) a 1958 Bristol SC4LK 33 seater saloon. I now work as a driver for First Eastern Counties at Norwich. Please continue recording your memories and tributes on this page as they are so very interesting and evocative of a wonderful era, which has now sadly passed into the annals of recent history...

By Patrick Burnside
On 24/05/2013

Really lovely to see the collection of GYBC Transport, My Dad the late John Spall also drove in the "50 - 70 " when my sister and I were growing up, a lovely era, I remember when he did the Magdalen route he would pick us up at the beginning of Brasenose ( where we lived) and we would go to the bottom end, he would then have his tea-break with us and drop us off on the way back!! ( would never be allowed now!!) we also had yearly outings going on Blue buses ( usually single deck) to exciting trips, well we thought so, to London Zoo, Gatwick Airport, and the xmas parties at the Sandringham Hotel were brill, must have had a good social club. There was also the time that we would go on a Friday to the canteen where my father would collect his wages and we would have a lovely cheese roll and a cup of tea, always being lifted up to see the counter, Lastly I think he was the first driver to have a Clippy on board, a lady I think her name was Brenda, a lovely lady who became a friend as was all the people that worked there, I remember a lot of names sadly to many have now passed away.

By Christine Woodrow ( Spall)
On 11/09/2013

Excellent Photographic Memories of the GYCT fleet which brings back emotive memories of Childhood Holidays spent in G.Y. in the late 60's and 70'S. Compared to the ECOC fleet GY's fleet always looked pristine and its really sad to see in comparison the current fleet of mainly ex London Buses which 'graces' the streets of G.Y and district

By Dave Comer
On 11/09/2013

I had great pleasure in browsing through both the photos and the comments from the former G.Y.C.T era. I spent most of my school holidays in the late fifties and early sixties with my grandparents who lived at 291 Beccles Road, Gorleston, next to Westbrooke Avenue. The bus route from there was served by Eastern Counties service 19 but if there was not one due (in those days they ran every 40 minutes) we used to walk through the 'prefabs' to Shrublands where we could catch the Corporation service A. I remember when the Guy GS saloons arrived on hire from London Transport for the Gorleston circular service, I think it was numbered 8. It came along Beccles Road and used to wait time at Lynn Grove. I did many circuits on this route, which later used new Albion nimbus single deckers. The driver was usually Frank Wood, who lived near the crematorium on Magdalen Estate. I remember he invited me to go together with his son to visit Caister Road depot one Saturday morning where I saw one of the AEC Regents, CEX 43, which had just been delivered from the body builders and was waiting to go into service. I also remember being allowed to sit in the cab. Many years later, after a 5 year spell in the Army, I lodged with my grandparents for a while during which I was employed by GYCT as a conductor. I can't remember the names much now but this was early 1969. My driver was an ex London Transport driver called Alf. He lived somewhere in Caister and came to work in a split screen Morris Minor, green I think. He later took up garage duties including driving the late night staff bus which was normally one of the AEC Reliances. After that I was put with a driver who I later saw became a foreman or supervisor at Norfolk Motors Services. If you were interested in becoming a driver you were allowed to undergo training, in your off duty time, on a training bus which I believe was AEX 333. I went out a few times, can't remember the instructors name but he was a very pleasant chap but when I realised it could take up to two years from the time of passing a PSV test to becoming a regular driver I left and later become a driver on Eastern Counties at Norwich and later at Attleborough outstation. They were truly great times at GYCT. Although the open platform buses were very cold in the winter, particularly on the Gorleston Cliffs route I clearly remember the delicious bacon rolls and tea on the market place and also visiting the upstairs cafe in the Billiard Hall. Thanks for bringing back some truly fond memories. Viv Carter.

By Viv Carter
On 30/10/2013

When I was a kid, we went to Caister on Sea for holidays and what fascinated me about the Corporation buses was the way the routes had numbers for the main town, but letters for Gorleston. Destinations I remember are Gorleston (Beach), (Elmhurst), (Green Ace) and Library and if I remember rightly they went down Crown Road. I don't suppose anyone has a list or map (or both!) of the routes in the late 1950s.

By Malcolm Acton
On 12/11/2013

My Grandad Wilfred Beckett worked for the Great Yarmouth transport I believe during the mid 40s onward. My dad Donald Beckett also drove and was a conductor after his national service in 1950. After living all over the world I am now living back in the uk and use the Great Yarmouth bus often from Beccles

By kathleen
On 22/11/2013

Part of Christine Woodrow's post (11/9/13) reminded me of one of the great unsung heroes of the Caister Road Depot as far as I'm concerned. I was a summer conductor for the 1976 and 1977 seasons and then stayed on to get my PSV, drove full-time until the end of 1978 and came back as a driver for summer 1979. Throughout that period, as I remember, there were three ladies running the canteen - Paddy, the Manageress; a lady whose name I can't recall (sorry!) although I can picture her quite clearly; and dear old Mabel. Mabel was a genuinely kind and sweet lady who was always cheerful and looked after me so well whenever I ate in the canteen - which was almost daily, they were the only decent meals I got in between doing my shifts and going down the pub (sometimes both at the same time!). My favourite meals were salad and chips in summer and double egg and chips in winter (I'm easily pleased) and Mabel, forever taking a quiet motherly interest in my well-being as a wayward lad in my early-twenties, always ensured that my plate was piled high and that I wouldn't go hungry! Christine's post also brought to mind those huge cheese rolls sold in the canteen which went down well with a mug of tea in the shorter breaks - I certainly had my share of those too! Thank you and bless you Mabel, I remember you with much gratitude and affection.

By Nick Gilman
On 18/02/2014

I have been widely traveled by now at the age of 50 this year and have had many adventures and jobs in engineering, and even worked for the BBC in London! But when I first left school, I was an apprentice Diesel Mechanic under dear old Norman Watters (now long passed away) who gave me the best piece of advice ever, which was that when in doubt, ASK! That served me well my entire life so far! Also, respect your elders! Also served me well. But he was the one who taught me the methodology that I now apply to everything I do. He taught me to be meticulous, and that also served me well. One thing he didn't teach me however was punctuality,as he was exactly one half hour late clocking in each and every day! It was legendary! So I had to hang around and have an extra cup of tea in the canteen until he turned up! I asked him once how he got away with it. He said they couldn't do anything about it or get rid of him because he was the only chap in the whole depot who knew how to repair quite a lot of older engines! I could quite believe it,as he taught me to do some quite arcane repair jobs that I now find I'm the only person I know,who knows how! Of interest to me is Swift no88, who's engine was blown up by a certain driver who shall remain nameless, and was the first engine rebuild that Norman set me on solo! I did a grand job,just as I was taught,and Wally,Norman and I took it for a test run down to the old power station, where we stopped,checked all was ok, and then Norman bought us ice cream to celebrate my very first engine rebuild. So Swift 88 from then on,and still is "my" bus. I wonder if it still exists somewhere? Happy days of youth,buses,smoking a Players no6, and wearing an oily flat cap!

By Steven Dix
On 06/03/2014

I worked on the buses from May 1960 until November 1966 when I joined the Police. I drove many of the buses in the photographs, passing my PSV test in July 1963 on the day of my 21st Birthday. I was taught by Georgie Farman the Chief Inspector was Sid Skoyles Many Irish students were employed for the season and 4 stayed with me and my newly married wife in Stanley Terrace they paid us £4 a week for BB and a packed lunch. I remember many of the people I worked with Mick Colby,Tony Chesham, Henry Doc Gadson, Lofty Hewitt, Johnny Spall, Pete Macinna and so many more. I was one of the first drivers that did private hire. we used the Daimler single deckers in the number 21 onwards. We were on hire to United Counties out of Northampton and Bedford we would drive down late Friday night sleep on the back seat and service back on Saturday to the Coach Station. Then probably work a late on Caister or number 7.No Tachos in those days. I worked as a one manner for 4 years before leaving. I have many happy memories of my days On the Buses. 

By Norman Balls
On 08/05/2014

Jim McMurdo? You most probably do not remember me, but I was a student seasonal conductor in the summers of 1977 and 1978. You were OMO in those days, but I remember we did about three runs on the 16 to Caister and back one early evening in 1978. It is good to hear some of those old names again.

Tim Drayton

By Tim Drayton
On 05/06/2014

Dear Nick Gilman,

I am all for having some nostalgia about the blue buses in the 1970's, having put in two summer seasons there while a student (1977 and 1978).

The odd thing is that the dates and information you give fit for another ex-blue bus employee whose surname begins with 'H'. Could that possibly be you? If so, I was your regular conductor for the first few weeks of the season in 1978, before they changed everybody over for the peak season, when you had Micky Hall instead. It was you who - if you are Mr Nick H. - introduced me to the forbidden fruit of sneaking off to pubs for a quick drink while on late shifts. The Theatre Tavern close to the Town Centre terminus on the 'Mag' was a favourite. With hindsight, not a good idea, but I had only just turned 21, this was not a permanent job and I was a long way from home. As you say, you were a footloose twenty-something yourself.

I seem to recall doing an early-evening stint with that same driver near the end of the peak season, by which time he wasn't my regular, on the short sea front number 7 service. It was quite a long stint, probably 5 or 6 45-minute round turns, and there were no refreshment facilities at either end. It was a dreary evening and close to the end of the peak season, so it was not very busy. After about two runs, I was feeling fed up and had the bright idea of getting off the bus near a large pub about two stops before the South Denes terminus, getting a sufficient supply of bottled beer so that we could each drink one every time we were at a terminus, and then picked up the bus on the way back and quickly took the fares of the passengers who had been on since the terminus. All strictly forbidden of course. We would then have had a bottle of beer each at both ends of the route for the rest of that turn- one beer every 22 and a half minutes! Very reprehensible of course, but it happened. If you are Nick H., do you recall that? Perhaps that was another driver.

 

Tim Drayton (I tended to be known as 'Timmy' on the blue buses)

Then there was the graffiti - some of it very witty - on the cashing-in section wall. I made a certain contribution towards that!

By Tim Drayton
On 04/06/2014

Nice to read some of the stories about g y buses rember Keith banner jimmy Mac Pete Davis john oxbourgh was my driver sadly passed away sometimes see cas sizer about town as I work for royal mail now see k banners sister now and again had some great times on nights out with a lot of the lads

 

 

 

 

By ian mansbridge
On 04/06/2014

Nice to read some of the stories about g y buses rember Keith banner jimmy Mac Pete Davis john oxbourgh was my driver sadly passed away sometimes see cas sizer about town as I work for royal mail now see k banners sister now and again had some great times on nights out with a lot of the lads

 

 

 

 

By ian mansbridge
On 04/06/2014

By Norman Balls - 08/05/2014 - Norman .. I remember you!  (See my earlier memories.)  You told me a story about being stopped by the Police one night, and they asked you your name, and you said, 'Balls,' and kept a straight face, and they got very heated.  Keith Wooldridge.

By KEITH WOOLDRIDGE
On 06/10/2014

Enjoyed the collection.Happy memories of holidays and days out to Great Yarmouth Would anyone have a list of services operated in the 1950/60 or an old timetable. I would be happy to purchase to complete my records of all major bus operators in that period throughout the east area.

By Brian Hammond7

By Brian Hammond
On 17/12/2014

Kathleen.. Was your grandfather Wilfred the brother of Eddie Beckett and Len Beckett? My husband Eric's uncle was Wilfed Beckett. Loved looking at the bus pics. Remember the Birdseye stop. As I worked there just after my marriage in 1955. I mostly walked to work.

Doris Beckett West Oz.

By Doris Beckett
On 23/06/2015

My dad Lenny Hales worked on the buses from February 1952 until October 1981 when he took early retiree.t would be good to see if anyone remembers him.

By Lenny Hales
On 23/06/2015

Ironic looking at these pages, as my family left Gt Yarmouth in 1959. I did used to get the bus from the top of St Peters road to Greenacres school. The irony is that having lived on the south coast since we left, a couple of years back I acquired all 3 volumes of 'Transport in Gt Yarmouth' from a friend who was clearing out his grandfathers stuff. Apparently he worked in the Caister depot.

By Phil Gallagher
On 25/09/2015

I wondered if anyone remembers my father Lenny Harrison (Waxy) to his blue bus mates.  Sadly he has severe dementia now (87), and I cannot remember what years he worked on the buses.  Would love to hear from anyone. I have shown him some pictures from the blue bus archives and he loves to look at them.

By Linda St Pier
On 30/03/2016

Former GYCT driver Roy Dougal died on 25 February 2016 - there's a bereavement notice in the online GY Mercury. Not sure when the funeral is but if anyone knows please advise. I worked as Roy's conductor in 1967/68 before obtaining my PSV driving licence. Roy was a very hard working and pleasant chap - pleasure to work with and a great sense of humour. His father Billy Dougal also worked for GYCT both as a driver and a bus mechanic. Last time I saw Roy in GY maybe 34 years ago he was driving for another bus company and in recent years he was working as school crossing attendant - and gained an award for his duties. R.I.P. Roy … lots of fond memories - especially the stories of your 'dry shaves' … to wake yourself up before walking to the bus depot for an early morning shift ! 

By Duncan Kirkwood
On 30/03/2016

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.