All aboard for nostalgic tales of South Shields buses

Looking over the new South Shields Corporation buses in 1965.
Looking over the new South Shields Corporation buses in 1965.

When it came to ringing bells with readers, one old picture in particular, posted recently, was ideal for doing just that – for it featured double decker buses.

The photo in question was taken in February 1965, and showed members of South Shields Transport Committee and representatives of Daimler Ltd, looking over the seven new Atlantean buses to have been delivered to South Shields Corporation.

A newsagent's shop, bursting with newspapers, comics and magazines.

A newsagent's shop, bursting with newspapers, comics and magazines.

And when we asked if you or any members of your family and friends had worked for public transport, you were quick to hop aboard the Gazette’s Facebook page.

Collette Horner (nee) Rutherford told how her grandad Bob Coxon, and uncles, Lawson Rutherford, Jack Rutherford and Ernie Rutherford, all worked on the buses.

Linda Collier posted: “My dad, Tommy Stobbs, drove the buses for years. His conductor was nicknamed Biscuit.”

Ricky Scott took to social media to say: “My dad, Walter Scott, started at the Corporation, and worked there for 33 years,” while Tracy Walker told how her dad, Davy Clarkson, did so for 35 years.”

Kezza Clift got in touch to say: “My dad, Stan Dickinson (Dickie) worked both Northern and Corporation in the 60s as a conductor.

“My mam Flora Smith (Greensmith at one time) worked in the Corporation offices at Chi in the ‘50s I think. Would love to know if anyone knew them.”

Tom Ross said: “I was a conductor in 1970, good times!”

As well as good times, there was also romance on the buses, as Martin Borthwick reveals.

“My mam and dad, Fred Borthwick and Verna Bullock, met when they both worked for the Corporation transport.”

Karl Edmondson saw the photo and posted: “My granda, Albert Philip, drove them from the late ‘40s till he retired, one of the first on the one-man buses,” while Susan Sinclair commented: “My dad, Frank Mills, drove these buses. Alatians as they were called.”

Louise Byers wrote on Facebook: “I remember mam telling me stories of her time as a clippy,” while Kathleen Anderson said: “My sister, Christine, worked as a clippy on the buses.”

Pam Trotter told how her dad, Thomas William Stobbs, was a driver, while Chris Hewitt revealed that he joined other members of his family on the buses.

“Myself, my grandad, Arthur Bright and my dad, David Hewitt, all did so.”

Meanwhile, a photo of a local newsagents, taken in 1972, and accompanied by the question as to which comics were your favourites, also got you writing.

Christine Peacock named two, the ever-popular Beano and Dandy.

Peter Watt said: “I was always a Beano reader as a kid.”

Chris Morl was – and still is – a fan of the likes of Biffo the Bear, Billy Whizz, Dennis The Menace and Gnasher, and Roger the Dodger, saying: “and I’ve still got them from the ‘80s.”

Jane Sewell gave a shout out for Twinkle, Look In, Blue Jeans, Patches and Jackie, while Violet Snaith listed: “Twinkle, Look In and Jackie.”

Both Alex Llewellyn and Storey Hall were fans of one of the most iconic boys’ comic, featuring Dan Dare and others. Yes, you guessed it – The Eagle.

* What was your favourite comic? Please drop me a line with your suggestion.