BUSES, COACHES AND ...PEOPLE Volume 1

Book number: 89986 Product format: Paperback Author: DAVID GLADWIN

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Bibliophile price £4.50
Published price £35


This lively and idiosyncratic history of the charabanc or pleasure-bus takes the story to the end of World War II with archive photos, timetables, magazine articles, cartoons, advertisements, anecdotes and much more. An 1890 photograph of a four-horse charabanc trip sets the scene, with well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, all in hats, crammed onto its five benches. Advertisements for the Great Western Railway show that it provided omnibuses to and from Paddington station, while postcards from the Lake District of the same period focus on the hilarious aspects of runaway horses on steep inclines. A timetable of twopenny fares from Cardiff in 1878 is evidence of a public horse-drawn service running every three and half hours. Motor buses established themselves in the early 20th century, with an archive photo of the Clarkson Steamer at Pulborough station in 1904 providing a typical early example. The Cambridge Motor Bus Company was initially unable to compete with the horsedrawn trams, but the march of progress was unstoppable and a cartoon shows the two modes of transport facing off. A charabanc outing to Margate in the 1920s features a stylish group of passengers, both men and women, adopting poses for the snap, while the Hereford Journal of a similar date covers a court case in which a charabanc forced a motor car off the road. In his defence the motorist insisted he always sounded his horn before taking corners, which hardly inspires confidence in his innocence. The South Wales double-deckers of the mid-20s are full of women in fashionable cloche hats, and meanwhile the newly formed Wallace Arnold tours were doing roaring business. Moving on to the War, a morale-boosting poster shows a lone bus struggling up a hill with its destination board inscribed "Victory via Effort". 224pp, softback, hundreds of archive photos, drawings and diagrams.

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ISBN 9781910654088

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