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Author Topic: Chatham & District Traction Company  (Read 60291 times)

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Offline MedwayDweller

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2010, 10:33:19 »
Up until a few years back the travelling public would wait at various stops within Gillingham bus depot itself. Their were various islands where you could wait depending on what route you wanted. Now the depot is not accessible to the public, guess you must have to wait outside. Probably to do with the fact Arriva splashed out a few million on a new fleet of double-deckers for the Medway towns a few years back and so now the depot is totally given over to bus parking and secured at night to protect their investment. Either that or health and safety, I do remember you had to have your wits about you with all the buses moving around in such a relatively small area.

Anyone remember the little Mercedes minibuses used by M&D in the mid 80's shortly after deregulation? The idea was that they would be a lot more frequent than a smaller fleet of double-deckers. Operators liked them because they were more economical due to their size plus they could get away with paying less wages to drivers because you didn't need a full PCV licence. They didn't stay around for long though.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2010, 23:51:12 »
Thanks for the reply, your suggestion seems logical.

Re keeping tabs of the bus's location: Many years ago I read of a system being tried by London Transport which had a coded panel on the side of the bus with readers on lamp-posts at intervals along the route, a sort of bar-code reader. It didn't do anything complicated like giving public displays of times, but merely enabled a control room to know roughly where each bus was on the route, so that adjustments could be made to keep frequency fairly even. I don't know if it was successful, but it seemed the ultimate in high-tech at the time.

For garaging, I assume that Gillingham Depot is still much the same size as always, so Medway services must be covered with fewer buses than when there was also a depot at Luton, and seems to cover nearby towns like Sittingbourne as well.
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Offline Jason

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2010, 23:05:11 »
This is not history, but questions about today.

1. I assume the modern electric destination displays are pre-programmed. Does the driver have to select the correct one with a switch, or plug in a ?chip?, or what?

I don't know for certain (although that's never stopped me commenting before! :)  )  but if the destinations and routes are pre-programmed (and I can't see why they wouldn't be) the best way I can think of is to have a keypad or keyboard where you can type the route code.
 Then the computer could then switch all the displays at once.  A switch wouldn't be flexible enough, and a chip would get lost.

They could make them even more fancy with a GPS on the bus (I think they have them anyway) so you could tell passengers where you are, like they do on trains.  I'm sure I heard that there were going to be bus stops with the time of the next bus displayed - these would probably use GPS.


2. As mentioned before, M&D had a bus depot in almost every town and some, such as Tenterden, had only about 4 buses in them. On the other hand, in Medway, there was Luton C&D depot with about 50 buses and Gillingham with about 120. Where are Arriva buses kept now? For instance, as far as I recall, Sheerness bus station is an open space next to the rail station and the garage at Halfway is closed; so where do those buses spend the night?

>Gillingham Bus Depot is still crammed full of buses every night.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2010, 09:51:28 »
This is not history, but questions about today.

1. I assume the modern electric destination displays are pre-programmed. Does the driver have to select the correct one with a switch, or plug in a 'chip', or what?

2. As mentioned before, M&D had a bus depot in almost every town and some, such as Tenterden, had only about 4 buses in them. On the other hand, in Medway, there was Luton C&D depot with about 50 buses and Gillingham with about 120. Where are Arriva buses kept now? For instance, as far as I recall, Sheerness bus station is an open space next to the rail station and the garage at Halfway is closed; so where do those buses spend the night?
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2010, 21:17:29 »
Re the bus shelter

That's great, thanks for the pics. I'm sure the shelter had green tiles under the windows. Can we get the copper to move the people out of the way so we can see :)
Looks like they're nearly all bus crews on the roof.
Looks like the M&D Logo over the widows. It may have had "Chatham & District Traction Company" in tiles over the other windows facing Military Road, but I'm not sure. Any ideas as to when it was demolished?

The bus is a Leyland, but M&D used a lot of Tilling-Stevens, made at Maidstone, supporting local industry.
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Offline numanfan

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2010, 21:14:47 »
Prior to the lifting bridge with the high towers, double-deck buses had to have their top decks removed to get them on and off the island. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think they were special bodies built by Short Brothers.

Shorts definitely made bus bodies, this one in 1928.

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Chatham_Girl85

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2010, 20:41:23 »
this picture was taken before it was bombed in quite a heavy night's bombing, there is a pic either on here or the web somewhere of the damage. ive got a picture in  one of my books but do not have a scanner anymore.
the date the bus depot was bombed was '27th august 1940, destroying 50 buses and killing 20'. taken from Bob Ogley's Kent The Chronicle of the Century

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2010, 09:36:38 »
Picture is definitely pre-war. I'm intrigued by the 'normal control' single decker, as opposed to 'forward control' or 'cab-over-engine' types. Make could be Crossley or Gilford and I didn't know M&D ever had any. Double deckers are all Leyland Titans of same vintage as the first C&D buses, with not an open-topper in sight (1st pic in Reply#4), so I'm guessing early to mid-1930s. We can say for sure that the time was 5 past 12 :)

Gillingham garage was bombed on the night of 27/28 August 1940, and 50 out of 120 buses were destroyed. The rescued buses were scattered round the local streets, but from 5am the workers' bus services started as usual (so book 'Front Line County' says!). Full services were resumed on 29th August using buses borrowed from all over SE England.
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merc

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2010, 23:36:35 »
Maidstone & District bus depot, Gillingham....pre 1940 i think.



I've never really been interested in buses before, even though the Gillingham depot's just down the road from me...but this thread's got my interest.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2010, 22:29:41 »
Thanks Colin,
So where do Arriva Buses go for the night, and for maintenance, now?
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Offline colin haggart

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2010, 22:09:12 »
This is the former Maidstone and District bus depot at Power Station Road, Halway.  It was also a tram depot.  ( one of my photos.)


Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2010, 20:43:14 »
I've just noticed I've left out the Sheerness (SH) depot  from the list - apologies to the Sheppey dwellers. Sheerness garage and workshops were down a road at Halfway where I think there is now an industrial estate. Do Arriva garage their buses there?

Prior to the lifting bridge with the high towers, double-deck buses had to have their top decks removed to get them on and off the island. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think they were special bodies built by Short Brothers.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2010, 17:44:14 »
Here's a complete service list:





Does anyone remember the round plate about 2 inches diameter carried on M&D buses at the bottom-left at the rear, to indicate the depot the bus belonged to? It was ‘M’ for Maidstone, ‘GL’ for Gillingham. ‘GR’ for Gravesend, ‘S’
for Sittingbourne, and so on.

To the best of my memory, from the list of Branch Offices, depots and their codes were:
Ashford (A)
Bexhill (BX)
Borough Green (BG)
Faversham (F)
Gillingham (GL)
Gravesend (GR)
Hawkhurst (H)
Maidstone (M)
Rye (R)

Sevenoaks (?)
Sittingbourne (S)
Tenterden (T)

Tonbridge (TN)
Tunbridge Wells (TW).
Some of these may be wrong, so please post corrections if possible. I'm pretty sure the ones I've underlined are correct.

Unaccompanied parcels were also carried on the buses. The timetable has 'Conditions of Carriage' if anyone is interested.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2010, 15:30:01 »
I've acquired a treasure - a Maidstone & District timetable for 19 September 1951 :)
It's  got some stuff in it worth posting and I had thought of starting a new topic, but this one has already spilled over from C&D to M&D, so I thought it would keep the thread going better if I left it here.

To start, here's the route map:


I forgot to label the route going off to bottom left - it goes to Brighton.
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Offline AlanH

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2010, 02:38:24 »
I only worked out of Gillingham depot so don't know much about the rest. I do remember being sent down to Luton with a bus and told to bring back one of Gillingham's Panthers which had just been repaired..... and it needed repairing again after I took the corner at The Brook and Chatham High St. wrong and the mirror of the bus waiting to enter the High St. went through a window!
I was very inexperienced and they let me off  as I was such a nice lad. :)
Another incident but which definitely wasn't my fault was when wheeling slowly into Maidstone terminal and an elderly driver walked straight into the front doors!
/>I braked hard as I heard the thump and passengers went flying as they were all standing up ready to jump off.  There were plenty of curses directed my way but I got the doors open and the old boy had fallen down and his legs went under the bus. If I hadn't braked hard I may have gone over his legs.
I filled out heaps of accident forms and was absolved of any responsibility as the driver admitted he had been reading his paperwork and didn't check for traffic.
Alan.

 

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