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    A historic and nostalgic look at country buses

    including Dorset, Normandie and the Faroe Islands

             as well as Somerset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire too 

    Welcome aboard!


    When you have worked in the bus industry for most of your life it gets in your blood in a way that is sometimes hard to explain.

    There are many sites on the internet about buses but the interest for me has always been in the history, routes, timetables and service planning rather than the vehicles themselves. 
    That is not to say that the 'hardware', the buses and coaches, are devoid of interest, but rather that I tend to look to the uses to which they are being put, and how well they (and their drivers and conductors) are being employed, utilised and scheduled.

    Over the years, I have worked for several of the Dorset operators in the list below, and although I have always preferred the country bus to its urban counterpart,  I have not let the name of this web site preclude me from including some town services with which I have been acquainted.  Also included are some of the other interesting British and European operations that I have come across in my travels and researches over the years. 

    Many children of my generation dreamed of becoming an engine driver when they grew up, but as a child my thoughts turned instead towards running my own bus company.  That ambition was realised in part as I was fortunate enough that my transport career in buses and coaches over the years led me to become manager for a time in the 1980s of  two of  my 'favourite' operations (Rossmore and Stanbridge).

    Before all is forgotten, why not click on a link or two and take a pleasant ride with me down and along the winding lanes of nostalgic memory?



    Bere Regis & District Motor Services  -  the ubiquitous brown buses on Dorset's roads

                List of operators acquired by Bere Regis & District over the years

                Route development of Bere Regis & District bus services from 1949 to 1979

                1949 timetable booklet of Bere Regis & District Motor Services

                Pictures of Bere Regis vehicles  -  the brown buses and coaches remembered

    Mid Dorset Coaches - the buses run by the three brothers House from Hilton

    A Pearce & Co. - the buses of Cattistock and Maiden Newton     

                 Passenger with Pearce - reminiscences of some rural rides in 1972

                 F Legg & Sons - the Evershot Bus Service

                 J Crabb and A Lovell - the buses of Sydling St Nicholas

     Ernie and Geoff Toomer - the buses that served Witchampton and  Crichel

     Stanbridge & Crichel  -  the later story of buses around Witchampton and  Crichel

                 Saturday Driver - a Saturday in the 1970s on the Crichel - Wimborne route 

    Victory Tours - the Adams family and the buses of Sixpenny Handley 

    Wimborne and Cranborne - the other independent bus operators in the east of the county

    Dorset Queen - the buses that were run by Percy Webb and his family

    Herrison Hospital - the daily bus that ran unlicenced for 42 years

    Interbus  -  around Thomas Hardy's Casterbridge and out across the Dorset heaths

                 Dorchester - a bit of serious history about the development of country bus routes

                 Dorchester 1932 - a list of routes of the Dorchester and District Carriers Association

    Past timetables - a selection of independent operator's timetables from bygone days

    bere regis double decker

    Stanbridge & Crichel in Wimborne

    Victory Tours garage Handley


    Blandford Bus Company - a new start in the deregulated 1980s, John Cumming's buses

    Weaverbus - the tale of Rory's buses and the Dorset Linkrider services

    Oakfield Travel - based in Blandford Forum - like Topsy, they just grew and grew and grew

    Shaftesbury & District - operating around where Dorset meets Somerset and Wiltshire

    Verwood Transport - blue buses around Verwood over the years

    Ray Cuff - thirty years service to the people of North Dorset recalled by Michael Wadman

                Ray Cuff  -  an illustrated fleet list by Paul Welling 

    blandford bus


    Take a look at our other website


     covering an interesting selection of operations past and present!

    There was a time, a simpler time, a quieter time, when the village bus played a significant role in the life of our villages and countryside, taking people to town and market. A time before the proliferation of the private car, a time when farming and agriculture were still major employers, a time before the appearance of even single channel television, when an evening trip to the cinema was still a favoured entertainment. The village bus was part of this country way of life, part of the community, and most often a small business with but a few vehicles and based in one of the villages served.
    Bordering Wiltshire to the north, so it was in and around Cranborne Chase in the eastern part of the county of Dorset, in an area of rolling downs and gentle valleys and pleasing villages. And this was good agricultural land too, on which many of the people of the area earned their livelihood over the years. Although in some ways the countryside seemed timeless and unchanging the needs of the villagers evolved through a historical succession of transport, starting with the carrier and his horse and progressing to the motor bus in both its traditional and more modern forms.
    Thus the setting of the stories told in these pages which, within the limits of the frailties of memory and the few surviving written records, will attempt to record the efforts of those who served these villages over the years.




    Delaine Heritage Trust celebrates 100 years since the first Delaine motor bus 1919 - 2019

    After a successful first season the Bus Museum in Bourne Lincolnshire reopened again for summer 2020
    The six members of the Delaine Heritage Fleet form the centrepiece of the Museum.

    Open on the second Saturday of the month (March - October) : 12.00pm - 4.00pm
    Admission: Adults ?, Under 16s Free
    (Under 16s must be accompanied by an Adult)

    Saturday 26th September 2020
    Delaine Heritage Bus Running Day : Museum Open 9 am to 5 pm

    My friend and colleague ROGER GRIMLEY has published many books recording the history of bus and coach operators in the West Country, from Cornwall and Devon to Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

    If you share these interests I think you will find it worthwhile to take a look at www.rogergrimleyomnibus.com


    In these pages we often make reference to 'deregulation of buses'. From 1931 until 1986 buses operated under a permissive system of road service licencing administered by area Traffic Commissioners around Great Britain. Such licences for individual services protected the established operator from competition along his routes.
    This changed from 26 October 1986 (legislation from the Transport Act of 1985 brought in by Margaret Thatcher's government) when bus routes were opened to competition from any other operator. Services now needed to be simply notified under a new system called 'route registration' rather than seeking permission through licencing. In many parts of the country such competitive routes were soon introduced, some short-lived and some longer lasting. Over the years since things have in many cases settled down with little remaining on the street competition these days - but still vigorously pursued in some of our towns and cities.

    If you would like to write or have any further information about the operators featured please e-mail peterATcountrybusDOTcom

     The latest updates and additions to the website were made on 24th March 2020

    Please note: this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information


    Grateful thanks for all the help and encouragement over the years from Roger Grimley, Henry Frier, Derek Persson, Mervyn House,
    Geoff  Toomer, John Pitfield, Michael Wadman, David Grimmett, Simon Brown, Dave Crowter, Allan Frost, Jon Stagg, Chris Warn,
    ParisLJM, Eric Steil, Martial Leroux, Jean-Louis Wahart, Clive D'eath, John Carman, Malcolm Chase, Richard Burton, David Gillard,
    Maurice Norman, PA Menant, Sylvain Gardie, Andrew Waller, Colin Miller, Valerie Woodcraft, Michael Marshall, Peter Archer,
    CÚdric Auvrouin, John Cummings, Margaret Beards, Barrie Edwards, John Brogden, Laurie James, Andrew Tucker,Richard Ward,
    Trevor Kenward, Geoff Currie, Clare Staines, Nick Webster, Peter Gould, Colin Hallett, Mike Watts, Gordon Sharp, Steve Oxbrow,
     Keith Newton, Gerard Delpeuch, Gabriel Samson, Peter Brown, Peter Messer, John Law, Mark Self, Andrew Wood, Paul Welling, Ken Jubb,
    Mike Burt,Barry Thirlwall, Jason Hartley, Kenneth Marvin, Jeff Grayer, Mike Lanham, Ken Cameron, Malcolm Knight, Tony Ethridge,
    Philip Wallis, James Bunting, Patrick Collins, 'Busing', Nick Phillips, GG, Jean-Paul Machur? Jean Pierre Choubrac, Maurice Combes,
    Richard Jacquemin, Bruno Cassin, ASPTV, Thomas Salazar, Peter Osborn, Norman Hudson, Brian Hague, Malcolm Thompson, LVVS,
    David Quayle,Peter Townley, J.Tschill, John Sinclair, Gerard Destrais, Malc McDonald, Neil Evans,Wendy Sewell,Anthony Delaine-Smith,
    Renno Hokwerda, Mikkjal Helmsdal, V°gg Guttesen,Jens Tummas Naess, Poul Laust Christiansen, Finnur Johansen, Sˇlv°r Henriksen

    All copyrights and trade marks freely and gratefully acknowledged.   Information compiled with thanks from a miscellany
    of sources including many of my own recollections and experiences.  Any errors are mine alone.
    Further  information is welcomed on any of the operators, routes and  services featured on the web site,
    or indeed any other similar interesting bus operations in the areas described!  Peter Roberts, Countrybus

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