|Information courtesy Dekka Frost :-|
A few memories about Stanierís
We moved to Moorland Road, Mow Cop from 26 Newtown, Newchapel in 1947 and because my motherís Sproston roots were in Packmoor we had to go to Packmoor Infants School. From there, 1st my brother Harvey and then 2 yrs later yours truly passed our 11+ exam and went to Wolstanton County Grammar School ( I think itís now called Marshlands High School). He went on to gain 8 O level GCEs in languages and I got expelled when I was 13!
However, the reason Iím telling you all this is because of the travelling from Mow Cop to these schools and to Tunstall to help my mother with the shopping, we knew all of the conductors on Stanierís buses. Bearing in mind that Iím now over 61 yrs old and Iím thinking back to when I was aged between 3 and 15 and the old grey cells arenít what they used to be; hereís a list of those that I can remember:-
Mrs. Louis Sproston (Mow Cop) Used to live in High St. Newchapel, just above Stanierís garage. Then moved to number 17 Moorland Road. They later flitted to somewhere else but I donít know where. Her husband Kenneth and my mother were Ďhalfí cousins. The proper term for which is Ďcousins once removed.í They had a son ,Graham.
Mrs Ethel Hodgkinson (Harriseahead) Lived in the row of terraced cottages in Chapel Lane, Harriseahead on the left hand side going down towards Newchapel.
Mrs. Butcher. (Turnhurst) I went to school with her son Kenny. He went into the Royal Navy when he left Wolstanton Grammar School.
Bill Stubbs (Sands Road) Started to work on the buses after a dreadful accident in the pit when he got buried and badly injured. He had the biggest hands that Iíve ever seen on any man, anywhere, in any job. I wouldnít have liked him to give me a scuft up the earíole, Iíll tell ya!!
Irene Cotterill (nee Stubbs) (Sands Road) Billís daughter who sadly died in childbirth about 1957/58 she married Eric Cotterill.
Eric Cotterill ( Rockside, Mow Cop) Some time after finishing on the buses Eric owned the newsagents in High St. Newchapel. The shop used to be Swettenhamís grocery store.
Arthur Eardley (Mow Cop) Owned a shop on the corner of Church Lane and Mow Cop Rd., Mow Cop at the same time as working on Stanierís. Later left the district.
Mrs. Audrey Eardley (Mow Cop) Arthurís wife.
Jack Hollinshead (Newchapel) Father of David Hollinshead of Newchapel ( David is about the same age as me and also went to Packmoor school)
Joe Machin (Sands Road) I think Joe started on Rowbothams after being injured in the pit. He then joined Stanierís as a conductor. Affectionately known as ĎButtercupí
Harold Thomas (Packmoor) He lived in a bungalow directly opposite Packmoor Working Menís Club.
I can only just about remember 4 or 5 of the drivers:-
The elder statesman of Stanierís drivers was an old guy named Fred, I think his second name was Podmore and he was the father-in-law of Arthur Eardley (in the conductors list). He lived in a detached house opposite but just below the Mow Inn.
Jim Wood (High St. Harriseahead) I think at one time he had something to do with the Stanierís business. Either as a partner or something like that.
Mr. Bailey (Church Lane, Mow Cop) Had a daughter named Carol. They flitted off Mow Cop and I think they went living across the Prom.
Harry Hine (Church Lane, Mow Cop) Lived in the last council house at the Church Lane end of Thomas St. Son is Harry Hine and he also had a daughter.
Reuben Austin (Sands Road) He lived next door but one to Bill Stubbs and they were the two who were on the Tunstall/Mow Cop castle bus when they found the murdered woman in the mini car up by the Castle.
Fred Steadman (Packmoor) Used to own the farm and the land all around where Lordshire Place is now. The house where he lived was the end one of a terrace of 4 or 5 small cottages going into Packmoor. They were demolished to make way for the new houses on the main road by the Newtown bus stop, going down. It was just above there, on the opposite side of the road where we used to live and where I was born, in the first bungalow on your left travelling towards Newchapel, no. 26 Newtown.
There was also a driver who I only know as Andy. He used to drive at speed all the time. He didnít gain anything by speeding though as Stanierís installed Ďclocking iní clocks at Newchapel by their garage, at Tunstall and at Packmoor, for the buses coming the other way. So if the bus was early through speeding, they only had to sit and wait until the correct timetable time arrived so that they could clock their card. This Andy was driving one morning when I was at Grammar School. It was snowing like hell and as usual he was going too fast and the inevitable happened. Across Turnhurst Road approaching the ĎSí bend the double decker skidded sideways , travelled like this for some yards and then mounted the kerb and hit a small sapling. You can tell how long ago it was if you look at the size of those trees now. Anyway, straight away my minds in top gear. Bus crash! Day off! So down stairs off the bus and set off walking back home. At Lowes Corner a bloke off Stanierís saw me and asked me why I was walking back to Mow. I said, Ď Oh! The bus has hit a tree and itís smashed up!í He ran down Jack Stanierís yard shouting, ĎJack! Jack! Andyís smashed another up!í Anyway I carried on and walked it home. When my mother came home from work at teatime, I couldnít wait to tell her about my Ďbrush with deathí and what a mess heíd made of the bus etc.. I got I right clout up the ear, which I can still feel now. It turned out that one of my motherís work mates had been late that morning and was on the same bus as Iíd been on. The tale that sheíd told was that it was just a skid could have been bad but that the driver (Andy) had just reversed off the pavement and carried on but because he was always speeding the bus wasnít even late into Tunstall never mind been Ďsmashedí up. So I got a clout for telling lies and another for bobbing school. However, the tale doesnít end there. A couple of days later Iím standing at the bus stop and the bus coming up to Mow suddenly screeches to a halt. Out jumps Andy and gives me the biggest ticking off Iíve ever had in my life. Because he hadnít reported the crash to Jack Stanier, heíd been put on his last warning and all because I couldnít resist a day off school and exaggerating my tale to all and sundry.
The Stanierís bus timetable from Mow Cop was a bus every 10 minutes from 6 am until 9am. Then they ran every half hour at 10 past and 20 to the hour. Until 4pm. They then went back to every 10 minutes until 7:10pm when they ran every half hour again. With the last bus leaving Tunstall at 10 past 11 at night. The 10 past buses ran from the Castle and the 20 to buses ran from the church. So the 20 to from Tunstall arrived at the Castle on the hour and left at 10 past and vice verca for the other one. In the late 50s early 60s they started to run a service to Butt Lane from Mow Church. Started at 10 to 10 in the morning until 10 to 3 in the afternoon and then at 10 to 7 at night with the last 1 being at 10 to 10 and when English Electric became ICL they ran a bus to the works which started from the church at 7:20am and left ICL at 10 to 5 in the evening. On Sundays the first bus was at 11:20pm and ran every hour and that was it. Because of this late start and because Church services used to start at 11am then we had to walk it from Mow Cop to Newchapel to go to St. Jamesí. (Again that was my mother who flatly refused to have anything to do with Mow Cop school, Sunday school, Church or Chapel!) So we had to trudge in all weathers the 2 miles to Newchapel!
I donít remember Stanierís running the collierís buses, although they may have done but I think Rowbies ran them before PMT took over. ---------------------------
I remember one Christmas that my Dad
won the Christmas raffle in the pub close to Richardís tiles, where he worked.
The prize was a goose. In those days people worked right up till the last
minute at holiday times and at Christmas this usually meant working on Christmas
Eve. Which was when he won the prize. When he got home, worse for drink, having
travelled on the last bus, which reached Mow at 11:30pm, he suddenly said,
ď Oh! No! Iíve left the bloody goose on the bus!Ē So he walked it back down
to Newchapel, knocked Jack Stanier up, had him go across to unlock the garage
and search the double deckers for this goose. He then had to walk back to Mow
Cop and then sit and pluck it, gut it, cut itís feet and head off and then stuff it.
I remember him just coming to bed as we all got up at about 9am. What a Christmas
he had because obviously with all the partying etc. and his body clock being
out of synch. because of the goose episode, he was constantly tired and so permanently
drunk. He was still tipsy when he went back to work the day after Boxing day.
The only people that I can remember off Rowbies were Bert Stone, a driver. He used to live in Church Lane just above Rs. Garage.and he twice ran double deckers under the low bridge which used to be at the bottom of Furlong Road, Tunstall, when he peeled the top decks back like a concertina. He was only very, very small and the story went that he had to have special wooden blocks fitted to the pedals of the buses as he couldnít reach them without.
One of the Ďdeckersí that he wrecked was parked on Rs. garage yard for a while, with a huge tarpaulin covering it like it was in a big bag, I remember it was khaki so it was probably ex-army. Of course, us buggers thought up a new game. We would climb up to the top deck under the tarpaulin and throw ourselves over the side so that the tarp. caught us at the bottom. How the hell none of us got crippled God alone knows! Bear in mind that I was about 7 or 8 yrs old and if I or any of the others had landed directly between the eyes where the cords were holding the tarp. We would have gone straight through and hit the concrete. The mind boggles!
Stan Gallimore, driver, who lived at no. 12 Moorland Road for a time. When he had a break in his shift perhaps for tea he would park his bus in Moorland Road and he was constantly coming out of the house to run us off as we would swarm over it, inside and out like a swarm of bloody bees, playing with the bell and gear stick etc.
Reg Kirkham, who lived in our house originally. Father of Trevor and Angela and the son of Harry Kirkham who had the original Kirkhamís bus co. and coal wagon business on Mow Cop. Reg still lives in the detached house just above and on the other side of the road from Castle Stores. (Porterís shop) I bet heís got some Ďphotos of buses and wagons.
Bert Edge, driver, who used to live at the top of Tower Hill Road in a small semi detached cottage. He had 2 sons, John, and I think the younger 1 was called David.
There was a Mr. Norman Cope from Church Lane, who died and they asked his widow if she would like to have his job as she had a mortgage and a young son, Graham, to provide for. No easy handouts in them days! So she took the job. Later Graham also went to be a conductor at Rs.
I think Jack Jones, who lived right next to the garage going down, used to drive for them as well.
Of the conductors, I can remember Mrs. Holland, who lived in Church Lane.
Mr. Reg Cope, I was never sure of his Christian name, he lived in a cottage on Mow and had the bungalow built right next door to the Wesleyan (Square) Chapel. He was Marie Copeís dad. She married Tony Clews and still lives in the bungalow now.
Then there was Henry Stubbs, who lived in a cottage up ĎWhittakerís Bankí (posh name is Castle Road) his daughter was Christine Stubbs who married Pete Howell. (Peteís dad used to cut our hair for sixpence ( two and half pence) until he got buried in the pit and was then in a wheel chair so he couldnít do it.)
Ernie Booth from Harriseahead Lane was a conductor as well. I bet heís got some Ďphotos.
A big man from Sands Road whose name
was Phillip Boardman and there was also another man from Sands Road who always
carried a little mini suitcase with his snapping and that in it. He was always
dressed very smart but having said that they all were.
Rowbies bus service was quite different from Stanierís.
They ran the colliers buses from Mow Church early in a morning. As far as I can remember the 1st was at 5pm(Whitfield) 2nd at 10past 5 ( Victoria) and then the 3rd at 20 past 5 called in at Victoria dropping some off and then went on to Whitfield with the remainder. The 1st and 3rd went via Bull Lane at Packmoor, with the 2nd going straight to Black Bull via Brown Lees. The next buses from Mow by Rowbieís then ran at 7am, 7:10am. and 7:20am. These were for the mill girls and Cowlishaw Walker workers. All 3 were double deckers andall 3 were full every day. If you had a day off then you had to have a damned good reason. Their next bus was 20 to 9 in the morning to Biddulph which was for the office and shop workers and then there was 1 about 10am and about 12 midday . After that there was 1 at around 3pm and then it was back to the workers timetable with 3 or 4 running between 5 pm and 6:30pm but none after that. Later they started the service from Mow Cop to Congleton via Astbury but Iíve forgotten the times of this service.
At the annual holiday time (Potterís
weeks) nearly everybody was off work at the same time as well as the school
kids. Obviously these 2 weeks were the time when those who could afford it
would go away to the seaside and if you were going to Torquay or up the Lake
District, then you were really splashing out! The farthest we ever went was
Blackpool. On the Friday night both Stanierís and Rowbies sent the coaches that
were taking the holiday makers away, around the district and they would load
everybodyís cases into the boot of the Ďbus.