When a bus ride to the countryside was an adventure

FARE'S FAIR ... a bus route to Cleadon had been established in 1926.
FARE'S FAIR ... a bus route to Cleadon had been established in 1926.

THE merging of town and village boundaries, and fast modern transport, mean that what were South Tyneside’s old countryside communities no longer feel rural or distant.

I can imagine it felt less so when this picture was taken. Boarding this lovely shiny (new?) bus at Shields, all the way out to Cleadon, possibly still felt a little bit of an adventure.

There is no date for this photograph, which comes from a reader.

It suggests, however, that South Shields Corporation Transport (SSCT) had recently acquired this splendid vehicle.

Certainly motor bus services from the town began to expand after the First World War, a service to Cleadon Village being established in 1926.

That the village was accessible by bus seems to have merited regular stressing in following years, given that few people still had cars.

You’ve only to look at advertisements for the period to see it: a garden fete at the Chapman family home of Undercliff in the village, in aid of the YMCA, was only “one minute from Cleadon bus stop” in 1934.

Similarly, in 1938, a “capable daily general” (maid) was wanted for a Cleadon family, “bus fares paid”.

Even in 1942, someone advertising for a mother’s help still felt the need to mention “on bus route”.