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Author Topic: Chatham & District Traction Company  (Read 60378 times)

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Offline Mike S

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #82 on: September 27, 2013, 10:41:02 »
GKE65 did survive, but not in it's original form. It was converted into a Tree lopping vehicle, and also was used as a towing vehicle. It was allocated to Maidstone depot, and was certainly there up to 1966 when I worked at Knightrider House. I seem to recall having read somewhere that this vehicle still exists in preservation.

Offline Nemo

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #81 on: September 27, 2013, 09:36:51 »
http://www.bristolsu.co.uk/k/inpres.htm indicates GKE 65 survived too.

Offline OldMuzza

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2013, 17:21:48 »
There is one C&D bus left that has been brought back to the Medway Towns for restoration.
Apparently there is one surviving bus left which has really got around the country and is now back in Maidstone.

That seems to be GKE 68.

The restoration of GKE 68 was recently featured a couple of weeks ago in a short news item on Meridian News.
 
 http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2013-09-09/heritage-bus-to-be-restored/

Offline smiffy

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #79 on: October 02, 2012, 00:24:55 »
"The 32 was renumbered 167" - thanks, I was trying to remember which number it was changed to.

The route was also changed (I'm not sure if this corresponded with the number change) going from: Military Rd - Station - Ordnance/Albany Terrace - Boundary Rd - Chase, to: Military Rd - Station - Ordnance St - Grosvenor Avenue - Chase.

wayfarer4md

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #78 on: October 01, 2012, 22:40:17 »
I have a vague memory of Blenheim Avenue to/from Military Road being an independent route at some time, making it one of the shortest, if not the shortest, in the M&D timetable - does anyone know? I have Service 71 in my mind, although in 1951 that ran between Gillingham and Eastcourt, and between Ashford and Lenham in 1957.

You are correct peterchall, Chatham to Blenheim Avenue was route 71 between 3rd July 1946 and 6th June 1950 after which it became part of the 66A.

After the 66A was dismantled in September 1956 that section was transferred to the 32, and the latter route continued to serve Blenheim Avenue until 1968 (being extended beyond Walderslade, first to Dargets Wood (Gould Road) in 1959, then to Lords Wood (Ballens Road) in 1966.  Finally in 1968 (19th October) the 32 was renumbered 167 and further extended to Coppice Road.

It's one of the useful side-effects of researching bus route histories that it helps to date the growth of new housing estates, at least approximately.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #77 on: October 01, 2012, 17:13:54 »
The change occurred when the old C&D routes were absorbed into the M&D system (Wayfarer4md's post above). Previously the 32 ran as I stated (hourly on each route), and Blenheim Avenue was served by Service 66A from Warren Wood Estate, via Delce and Rochester/Chatham High Streets (every 20 minutes).

After the change Service 32 did run between Blenheim Avenue and Walderslade (half-hourly), with all journeys via Luton Road-Castle Road-Magpie Hall Road.

I have a vague memory of Blenheim Avenue to/from Military Road being an independent route at some time, making it one of the shortest, if not the shortest, in the M&D timetable - does anyone know? I have Service 71 in my mind, although in 1951 that ran between Gillingham and Eastcourt, and between Ashford and Lenham in 1957.

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Offline smiffy

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #76 on: October 01, 2012, 15:56:59 »
I always remember the No 32 terminating at Blenheim Avenue.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #75 on: October 01, 2012, 08:52:31 »
Although shown in timetables as two separate services, closer study reveals that the two "halves" of the 141 were linked operationally, with buses from Temple Farm turning at Warren Wood and continuing from Star Hill to Chatham and Luton, and vice versa.
While it's true that from Burma Way and back to Burma Way was a single journey (ie: Burma Way-Warren Wood-Temple Farm-Warren Wood-Burma Way) as far as the crew was concerned, there were two separate services as far as the public was concerned, and I wonder why Burma Way-Warren Wood and Temple Farm-Warren Wood were not given different numbers.

A similar situation existed at one time with Service 32. It ran from Temple Farm to Chatham Military Road, then to Walderslade alternately via Maidstone Road or Luton Road-Castle Road, but all journeys were numbered 32.
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wayfarer4md

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #74 on: September 30, 2012, 18:34:30 »
I’ve just acquired a June 1957 M&D timetable that shows the 14x series of services which, sometimes combined with M&D services, replaced those run by Chatham & District:

140: Strood, Willow Road – Luton, Burma Way
141: Strood, Columbine Road – Warren Wood Estate
141: Warren Wood Estate – Luton, Burma Way
142: Weeds Wood Estate – Rainham, Webster Road
143: Dockyard, Pembroke Gate – Rainham, Webster Road
144: Chatham, Town Hall – Strood, Salters Cross
145: Borstal – Gillingham, Strand
146: Cookham Wood – Gillingham, Strand
147: Strood, Brompton Farm Road – Luton, Wagon-at-Hale
148: Chatham, Magpie Hall Road Top – Gillingham, Beechings Green.

141 was one of those quirks of M&D service numbering, using the same number for 2 different routes.

Routes 140-148 were introduced from 16th September 1956 as part of a major re-organisation of the former Chatham & District routes and incorporating parts of existing Maidstone & District services 32, 66 and 66A, the combined effect bringing the whole lot into the main M&D network for the first time.  Since October 1955 the former Chatham routes had continued to use their former numbers, albeit with buses displaying T prefixes where available, partly to distinguish them from the existing interurban M&D services 1 and 5 that also then ran into Chatham and Gillingham.

Without going into excessive detail, the 140/141 replaced sections of both M&D and C&D mileage, and together formed a stretched T-shape route from what was then known as Temple Farm Estate in Strood (140 from Willow Road, 141 from Columbine Road) to the west, Burma Way in Luton to the east, and Warren Wood Estate to the south.  The point where all three arms met was at the bottom of Star Hill, Rochester.  Essentially 140 went straight across the top of the T, while 141 did an additional double-run via Star Hill and Delce Road to and from Warren Wood, where the turning point at the time was at Ajax Road.

Although shown in timetables as two separate services, closer study reveals that the two "halves" of the 141 were linked operationally, with buses from Temple Farm turning at Warren Wood and continuing from Star Hill to Chatham and Luton, and vice versa.

Subsequent evolution of the 140/141 resulted in extensions at the western end of the routes to serve Earl Estate (Fulmar Road from 1962, and Bligh Way Shopping Centre from 1965) and Rushdean Estate (Lilac Crescent) from 1965.  This pattern of operation for the 140/141 lasted until 31st March 1973, after which Rushdean Estate journeys of the 140 were renumbered 141 and the Warren Wood service detached to form part of other routes.

The concept had been used between 1950 and 1956 on route 66A, which covered similar ground to the west but with the central double-run to Davis Estate via City Way and a much shorter stub south of Chatham running to Blenheim Avenue.  The number 66A disappeared when 140/141 began, but the numbers 32 and 66 itself continued to be used in the Medway Towns (with numerous alterations over the years) until 1968 and 1973 respectively.

Tracing the history of bus routes in the Medway Towns becomes progressively more complicated from the 1960s onwards, as new estates were added and terminals swapped around between routes, but it was the 1956 revisions that resulted in the first appearance of the numbers 140-148 which became long associated with the area.

Derek J

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #73 on: March 10, 2012, 23:32:32 »
In addition to bus services Maidstone & District ran regular express coach services to Victoria Coach Station London, Newquay, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Brighton, the last four summer only. Many of these would start from Gillingham bus station (apart from London services which also had other departure towns) and pick up pre booked passengers en route. You could connect with other operators for forward travel ie Royal Blue (Western National) for West Country destinations. M & D also ran an extensive tour programme featuring day trips and extended tours including Europe.
It’s interesting to compare the difference between the number of vehicles required for summer and winter services. The list shows the number of vehicles allocated to each depot for the winter of 1958/1959 and the summer of 1961.
Ashford = 14 & 17
Bexhill = 18 & 29
Borough Green = 15 & 18
Edenbridge = 6 & 7
Faversham = 9 & 14
Gillingham = 114 & 125
Gravesend = 30 & 50
Hastings = 48 & 83
Hawkhurst = 14 & 16
Luton = 65 & 65
Maidstone = 80 & 89
Rye = 6 & 7
Sheerness = 35 & 61
Silverhill = 45 & 34 (Trolleybuses)*
Sittingbourne = 20 & 25
Tenterden = 17 & 17
Tunbridge Wells = 107 & 91
Unlicensed = 196 & 12. These would be stored at their home depots or undergoing maintenance at Postley Works. Of the 196 off the road in the winter, 118 were coaches and 78 were single/double decked buses: Of the 12 off the road in the summer, 6 were coaches and 6 were buses. This gives an indication of the balance between types required for winter and summer services.

*Reduction may be due to some trolleybus routes being converted to bus routes and transferred to Hastings and Bexhill.

Also instructive is how bus services have declined over the years. The list below shows how the total M&D fleet has varied: M = M&D; C = Chatham & District; H = Hastings Tramways; N = New Enterprise; EK = East Kent (not an M&D subsidiary but included for comparison, as explained below).

After a steady increase from 7 vehicles in 1911, M&D started WW2 in 1939 with: M = 553, C = 50; H = 56.   TOTAL = 659
With war losses, by 1941 it was : M = 464, C = 46, H = 64.   TOTAL = 574
The fleet reached its maximum size in 1951: M = 856, C= 52, H = 49.   TOTAL = 957
When M&D wound-up in 1994 it was: M = 386, N = 19, EK = 29, included for comparison because Ashford depot and services had been taken over by East Kent.   Thus EQUIVALENT TOTAL = 386.

The equivalent fleet strengths in 2011, covering approximately the same area, were:
‘Arriva Kent & Sussex’: Maidstone = 64, Tunbridge Wells = 51.   TOTAL = 118.
‘Arriva Medway Towns’: Gillingham = 101, Sheerness = 18.   TOTAL = 119.
‘East Kent’ (Stagecoach): Ashford = 36.
‘Hastings & District’ (Stagecoach): St Leonards = 56.
‘New Enterprise’: Tonbridge = 20 (but only 3 in service during school holidays and on Saturdays!).
OVERALL TOTAL = 346.
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #72 on: March 10, 2012, 11:57:14 »
Quote
In 1922 M & D made omnibus history with the opening of the countrys' first bus station- in Palace Avenue Maidstone.

Absolutely right Peterj, but not wishing to be picky, there were of course two bus stations in Palace Avenue. The first one you refer to was on the corner of Palace Ave & Mill Street and was always referred to as "Mill Street" and the second on the corner of Palace Ave. and Lower Stone Street, known as "Stone Street". Both were operational together but Mill Street closed first when Stone Street was re-built, but that has now gone as well following "co-ordination" and a move into Stoneborough.

Offline Peterj

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #71 on: March 10, 2012, 10:19:06 »
In reply to peterchall's post Jan 2010;  om the lower rear of Maidstone and District vehicles was a small plate which showed where the vehicle was based.(Depot Code).
(A) Ashford (Station Rd);  (BG) Borough Green (Maidstone Road);  (BX)Bexhill (Terminus Rd);  (C)Chatham (Luton High St);  (E)Edenbridge (Hever Rd);  (F) Faversham..Building still intact used by SE Coachworks renovating commercial vehicles.
(GL) Gillingham (Nelson Rd) still used by Arriva.  (GR) Gravesend (Overcliffe);  (H) Hastings (Brook St);  (SV) Hastings (Silver Hill)  (HK) Hawkhiurst (Sandhurst Road) (M) Maidstone (Knightrider St); (R) Rye (Station Approach);  (S) Sittingbourne (East St);
SH Sheerness (Half Way) Bus station next to Sheerness Station still there. (T) Tenterden (High St);  (TB) Tonbridge (Quarry Hill Rd);  (TW) Tunbridge Wells (St. Johns' Rd).  Overhaul Works; (PW) Maidstone (Postley Armstrong Rd).
In 1922 M & D made omnibus history with the opening of the countrys' first bus station- in Palace Avenue Maidstone.

Offline smiler

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #70 on: March 10, 2012, 08:04:03 »
anyone got a photo of a WHITE ROAD bus with No8 on it.. :) :)
    what about No8 going from White Rd to Queens Head or Spyglass & Kettle  or later it went on to Bredhurst. :)

Offline Peterj

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #69 on: March 10, 2012, 00:15:43 »
In addition to bus services Maidstone & District ran regular express coach services to Victoria Coach Station London, Newquay, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Brighton, the last four summer only. Many of these would start from Gillingham bus station (apart from London services which also had other departure towns) and pick up pre booked passengers en route. You could connect with other operators for forward travel ie Royal Blue (Western National) for West Country destinations. M & D also ran an extensive tour programme featuring day trips and extended tours including Europe. The coaches in the 50's and 60's were mainly AEC's with Harrington coachwork and looked smart in their green and cream livery.M&D Invictaway service took over the London route later in the decade and ordered some smart double deck coaches for this sevice.
A preserved M&D 1960's coach;http://www.flickr.com/photos/essex999/6418583843/in/photostream/

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2012, 21:47:27 »
anyone got a photo of a WHITE ROAD bus with No8 on it.. :) :)
Why particularly a White Road bus?
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