Wednesday 17 July 2013

More on Huddersfield Corporation

Following Mike Sayer's report that the Huddersfield Corporation livery lives on in the form of  Firstbus 30843 , he also tells me that there is a model of her made by Creative Masters in 1:76 scale and provides a photo of it

Godfrey Talford, who previously corresponded about the use of some First Eastern Counties Darts in the Huddersfield and Leeds area, also makes contact:-

'I enjoyed reading Mike Sayer's comments about Huddersfield Daimler CVG6LX/30 472 which turned up at the North Norfolk Railway Vintage Vehicle event. My first encounter with its sisters was on the West Vale service in the 1960s, where they faced a fearsome climb out of Elland on the way back to town. The Gardner 6LX was the most powerful engine available at the time for bus propulsion. Mike no doubt used to drive on the Elland services, it would be interesting to share his thoughts on the experience.

Many readers locally may not realise that in 1883 the former Huddersfield Corporation was the first municipality in the UK to operate its own public transport services. Normal practice in the 1870s was for municipalities to construct and own the tramway infrastructure in their territory and then let out the rights to operate on it to private companies. Most municipalities exercised their rights to take over their local tramway companies in the 1890s or 1900s, but in Huddersfield, the Corporation itself pioneered the direct operation of Steam and Horse Trams over its tracks from the outset in January 1883. In the course of time, the tramways were electrified, many of them gave way to Trolleybuses, and the whole lot gave way to Diesels. Until 1969 some longer distance services were operated jointly with the railways by the Huddersfield Joint Omnibus Committee, but local government re-organisation in 1974 brought an end to all that. Huddersfield Borough became just part of the Kirklees Metropolitan District and the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive took over former municipal operations throughout the Metropolitan County. First is now the predominant operator in the area, being the latter day successor to WYPTE.
Having had the sight of one of its splendid vehicles on our patch, it would be sad to let this 130th anniversary year slip by without a tribute to the pioneering spirit of Huddersfield's City Fathers in the 1880s.'  

My thanks to both Godfrey and Mike for their contributions

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