Friday, 30 August 2013

Down Memory Lane ~ Sheffield United Tours 271

Sheffield United Tours AEC Reliance YWA271 at a then extant Beach Railway 
Station - which was later demolished with the site forming Beach Coach Station
I was recently looking through some old photo albums of mine when I came across some pics of buses/coaches that used to operate in the Great Yarmouth area.

Rather than keep them to myself, I thought I would share them with you with the hope that I might stir some memories and receive some comments.

So that is how the new occasional 'Down Memory Lane' series was born!

The first photo to fall out of the album was that of a Sheffield United Tours (SUT) AEC Reliance with a Burlingham C37C body. YWA271 was one of a batch of twelve taken into stock by SUT in 1957 and is pictured inside the then existing former Great Yarmouth Beach railway station premises

I can remember many of this operator's coaches laying over at Beach Coach Station during their daily summer service to Great Yarmouth in the early 1960s. At the time, I was still at school and was lucky to have a Brownie 127 camera as a birthday present. With film being quite expensive (I only had half a crown a week pocket money!) I was limited to the amount of photos I could take.

On finding this gem, I thought I would see if there was information out there on the world wide web! Two interesting sites came up; the first one is established by the company's ex employee preservation group which includes a brief history of SUT

A second site, by Peter Gould, also contains a brief history of SUT between 1935 and 1974  plus incorporates a fleet list of the vehicles operating during the same period

What became of YWA271 and SUT in particular? Well 271 was withdrawn from service in 1965 and SUT became part of the nationalised Transport Holding Company which, on 1st January 1969, became the National Bus Company

I would be interested to receive readers' thoughts on this article and the feature in general - apologies to our younger readers who may wonder what all the fuss is about!!


  1. I'm looking forward to viewing more in the series Roy.

    SUT - I remember them well, and many years before the Beach Coach Station era - when they and many other operators terminated on "the Plains" (Brewery and Church).

    What I remember most were the amazing Windover bodied Regal IVs of the mid fifties. These were so different from the usual Duple, Harrington, Plaxton, Burlingham, and ECW bodied vehicles normally seen on the seaside express routes.

    Among the many operators who sent numerous vehicles to the seaside were Trent, Midland Red, Birch, Biss, Midland General, Mansfied & District, York Bros (all named after Royal Navy Ship),the Ewer Group (Grey-Green - which morped into Arriva - Orange Luxury, Fallowfield & Britten), Timpsons, Valiant, Burwell and District and many, many more.

    That was when Great Yarmouth WAS Great!

    Keep up the good work - I look forward to your posts.

    Mick Capon,
    North Carolina.

  2. I think SUT later became National Travel East Ltd

  3. Additionally, I have received other favourable comments via email about how much you are looking forward to other features in the series. Just got to get the scanner in action again!

    Thanks for your comments Mick - I can just about remember the arrivals on "the Plains" and the operators you mention. They used to turn up at Beach Coach Station on summer Saturdays in their droves between 12:00 and 2:00pm. If only I had taken some photos!

  4. The Ewer Group of course terminated at their own premises - Apsley Road Coach Station. I bet not many can remember that. The original Grey-Green garage was on St. Nicholas Road.