RETRO: Historic company sends buses back in time

Stagecoach retro bus
Stagecoach retro bus

An historic Chesterfield bus company has marked a milestone anniversary by sending its buses back in time.

Operating a fleet of 108 buses and employing up to 288 workers within Chesterfield, Stagecoach is one of the largest bus operators in the UK.

Stagecoach retro bus

Stagecoach retro bus

The company has been running for over 85 years operating services around north Derbyshire and we have taken a look back at the history of bus services in the county.

In 1914 Chesterfield Corporation Tramways began its first motorbus operation with a route to Grassmoor.

Services to Brimington, Clay Cross and North Wingfield followed in the next few weeks.

The bus service was halted with the outbreak of the First World War and the requisitioning of some of the buses by the War Department.

Stagecoach retro bus

Stagecoach retro bus

In 1920 W T Underwood commenced operations from Clowne with first services to Worksop, Staveley, Eckington and Mansfield.

Hulleys of Baslow began operations into Chesterfield in 1921 and in 1925 the first Chesterfield to Sheffield service was introduced.

By 1927 trams ran for the last time in Chesterfield and were replaced by trolleybuses and in 1930 a new East Midland Motor Services Company was registered and the company’s headquarters moved to Chesterfield.

A new depot was opened by Chesterfield Corporation Transport at Stonegravels in 1964 and under local Government reorganisation Chesterfield Corporation became Chesterfield Borough Council and the fleetname was changed from Chesterfield Corporation to Chesterfield Transport in 1974.

In 1989 Stagecoach Holdings acquired East Midland Motor Services and in 1995 Stagecoach Holdings took over Chesterfield Transport Ltd.

Last year Stagecoach invested £400,000 in four new buses for Chesterfield.

To mark Stagecoach’s anniversary we have pictured, right, a selection of preserved Chesterfield vehicles in retro liveries. The vehicles were specially painted in the Chesterfield paintshops last year.

After 1972 the livery changed to the National Bus Company’s corporate ‘leaf green’, switching in 1986 to two-tone green and cream before arriving at the Stagecoach corporate style in 1989.

Stephen Read, operations manager for Stagecoach Chesterfield said: “Until 1956 the livery was the famous chocolate, biscuit and cream and it was this livery which was used for previous celebrations in 1977, 1992 and 2002.

“This time, however, we thought it would be novel to go for a livery not previously represented, yet still in the memory of many of our customers.”

Stagecoach in Chesterfield is a subsidiary of Stagecoach Group plc.

The bus services carrys 11.6m passengers every year on buses, which travel 4.8 million miles annually.

Stagecoach’s Stonegravels depot is on Sheffield Road.