Marrick & Reeth
Lodge Percival & Sons
The last Percivals Bedford OB, KOL 193, parked on the High Row at Reeth in the Summer of 1967R. C.
Davis. Postgates shop front can be seen above the bonnet, and Hillarys awning glimpsed through the saloon
windows. Car buffs will spot the Ford Zephyr, the Triumph 2000, the Morris Minor, and the Mini van in the background.
Still DESPERATELY seeking someone with a current university library ticket! If you belong to a
university library (click here to view a list of the relevant universities and colleges), then you have free
login access to internet resources not normally available to the general public.
I have the requisite reference numbers, I just lack the all-important access to the on-line locations where they can be looked up. If you
think you might be able to help here, please do get in touch! The volunteer researchers whove
helped me with this before have found the task easy enough, but I dont currently have anybody.
Itd be even easier if I could just borrow someones library login details, and do the actual spadework myself...
The 1949 Bedford OB, MHN 826, with Ernie Clark at the wheel, swings smartly up from Horsemarket into Galgate,
Barnard Castle, with an Austin A30 behind and (wouldnt you say?) an M.G. Magnette, or the equivalent Wolseley saloon, parked on the
So, to anyone asking, Whens the book coming out, then? my answer is: Not until after I can look up the stuff I need to look
up! I have 75,000 words already drafted, and literally hundreds of photographs, but can go no further without the necessary research info:
for the time being, Im stalled at Chapter 8. There is a possibility I may be able to get at some of the records I need in the British Library at
Boston Spa, and Im looking into that right now,
(UPDATE FRIDAY 13th JAN.YES, MOST OF THEM ARE THERE, HOORAY FOR THE BRITISH LIBRARY AT BOSTON
SPA! ) but otherwise, Ill still be needing someone with access to the on-line resources Ive alluded to.
Gleaming in the Harrogate sunshine, in the late 1960s, is Percivals 488 DVN, a Bedford
SB with coachwork by Harrington of HoveP.M. Photography, P.O. Box 157, Camberley
GU15 9GJ. Notice the Bedford Drivers Club badge, to the left of the Bedford emblem. The road beyond the car
park is Kings Road: were on the site of the present-day Crowne Plaza Hotel, next to the present-day Conference
Centre. Visible beyond the coach, just at the edge of the car park, is another General Motors product in the substantial shape of a
1967 Vauxhall Victor FC (or else a VX 4/90).
New in 2022 was the Location queries page, which may appeal to those with (?!too much) time on their
hands. As you probably know, bus photographs have a sad habit of turning up with no details as to when or where they were taken. Now then,
in the case of a vehicle which is visibly parked in, say, Victoria Coach Station, with a tabloid on the dash carrying a give-away headline such
as SHERGAR MISSING, the task is straightforward enough;
but, even after so many years, I still have a few on my hands that no-one has yet cracked.
Leyland Comet KAO 699 outside the Bay Horse at Ravensworth, on the Barnard Castle service,
circa 1960. Photograph by R. C. Davis.
So if you fancy some detective work, or if you have a photographic memory for coach parks, click here, and see
if you can succeed where I and my private army of informants have failed! Any help will, as always, be very gratefully received.
Theres also a mystery Edwardian car that needs identifying on the Tim Scratcherd page, so if thats your period, do have a look and
see if you can recognize it! Click on the Tim Scratcherd, Reeth Motor Service box, top right of this page.
Autumn 1964 and driver Billy Burrells approaches Eddys Bridgeor Rhubarb Corner, if you
preferin one of Percivals two little Mulliner-bodied Bedfords, either RHN 107 or RHN 108, on the way up from Richmond
(fewer trees here since February 2022!). Photograph kindly loaned by Billys son-in-law and daughter, Ted and Pauline Lee.
The years 20202022 did prove unusually productiveby my wonky standards, at least. After so many years of being told I might feel better
if I got out more, the lockdowns and the self-isolating proved beyond doubt that my equilibrium and wellbeing are best maintained by getting
out LESS, thanksthereby doing the rest of the world a favour too, no doubt.
So, heres hoping some of this momentum can be maintained into 2023. As always, Im full of good intentions (arent we all, at
this time of year...?!), its largely a question of whether what Mr Macmillan referred to as events, dear boy, events get in the
way of progresswhich has too often been the problem in the past. It doesnt take much to send me off-course, unfortunately: so, heres
hoping for a thoroughly empty and uneventful 2023 (speaking for myself, that is)!
Percivals Daimler, KTC 985, at the foot of Darlington Market Place circa 1958R. C. Davis. You can see
the once-familiar half-timbered gable end of the Boot & Shoe behind, and a pair of K6 red telephone boxes, also now
gone. To the offside is an Austin Loadstar van, to the near a Standard Ten saloon.
At present, the existing draft takes the story from Albert Mortons pioneering post-bus service between Richmond and Keld in 1905 to the
formation by Percivals of a Limited Company in 1937, and comprises also the beginnings of a chapter on United Automobile Services, and the beginnings
of a chapter on Sunter Bros and the week-end leave coaches from Catterick Camp in the 1950s.
For what I have on Sunters so far, click on the Sunter Bros, Ltd: Broadway Coaches box on the right, further up.
Circa 1927, a very young Maurice Barningham (left) and an almost-as-young Billy Burrells (right), with Tim Scratcherds then-new
14-seat Chevrolet, PY 7551, on the cobbles at Reethkindly loaned by Maurices daughter Marie. To the rear of the bus
may be seen Langhorne House, home and surgery of Dr Speirs who practised at Reeth from 1907 to 1963; to the front Places
grocerylater Hillaryslatterly Overton House Café.
Over the years, Ive been wonderfully fortunate in enjoying the assistance of locals with long memories, and present-day relations of
the characters who ran the buses. Thanks to all of these people, when The Bus Up the Dale finally does appear, it will
be more than just a collection of bus photographs and chassis numbers and old timetablesthough theres certainly no shortage of
that kind of material! Indeed, photographs and other information are still occasionally coming in, not least from John Bennett
of Loughborough and, most recently, John Mollett of Leeds, whose names will be known to transport aficionadi, but from multifarious
other sources also.
Leyland Comet KXU 675 on the then Swaledale bus stand, with Johnnys Café visible behind, in the early 1960sthe
bus standage was moved round to the other side of Trinity Tower in the Summer of 64. Photograph by R. C. Davis.
In fact, the one good thing about the hideous delay in finishing the book is that itll be better illustrated, and better informed,
than it would have been if Id finished it in 2006, as originally (albeit unrealistically!) envisaged. For one thing, in 2005
when I started, I had no expectation of being able to peruse the 1911 Census, nor the 1939 National Registrationand right now Im
saving up for a FindMyPast subscription so I can surf the 1921 Census.
Circa 1930, a slightly less young Maurice Barningham with Tim Scratcherds then-new Luton-built Chevrolet,
VN 1845kindly loaned by Maurices daughter Marie. And no, I do not possess magical powers, I simply asked the good
David Hayward if he could identify the bus from what can be seen of it, and of course he could!
Now then, about photographs: Ive been privileged to receive permission to use some superb photographs in the book, but not necessarily on
the internet. Those who have been good enough to make photographs available to me for the book can be assured Im being as
careful as I can about this kind of thing. In fact, from a website point of view, probably too careful, in that for a long time
there werent as many photographs as there could have been here. Many thanks, therefore, to Chris Curry, who, in January 2022, came
back to remind me how to upload photographsit was he who originally helped me to set up this site in the first place, fifteen
George Milner at Reeth in the early 1930s with Percivals 1927 Leyland Lioness, PY 6845kindly loaned by his daughter
Margaret Woodward. You can see Fremington Edge looming behind the bus, and above the nearside front wing may be glimpsed the left-hand
corner of the Wesleyan Chapel.
Little did Chris Curry know, back in 2007 when he was still a schoolboy, that hed be required to honour a lifetime technical
Chris Curry was back here again in February 2022, sorting out a glitch with the
Contact us link,
which we now think is working 100%but he also devised a Plan B mechanism (see the red boxes on the right, further up),
just in case the link still doesnt happen to suit your machine.
Anyhow, our new plan for photographs is to watermark a few images from the archives (to preventor at least discourageillicit copying),
then downsize them so that, even without a watermark, the image would barely be worth stealing anyway.
Your carriage awaits: Billy Burrells on Richmond Market Place in 1964 with Percivals
Leyland Comet KXU 675photograph kindly loaned by his daughter Pauline.
Family snaps are one thing: its fair to assume people will be pleased to think that other people may be interested in their
forebearsthough, even so, photographs from a family album are very much personal property, and deserve to be treated with respect.
Bus photographs are a whole other thing, because (you may or may not know) they change hands for money, and the Copyright-holders would not
appreciate it if I were making their images freely available to every Thomas, Richard, and Henry.
On this note, if theres a photograph on this website which you dont think ought to be on it, then please
let me know and Ill remove it! Removing them is a lot quicker and easier
than uploading them! And there are plenty more to choose from.
Percivals XHN 49, a 1955 Perkins-engined Bedford with Duple Vega coachwork, heads into the centre of Reeth on
30th March 1967. To the rear of the coach may be glimpsed Robert Gills ironmongers shop, now the Copper Kettle Tea Room.
Meanwhile, I was amused in August 2022 by the security prompt below, and perhaps you will be too (or perhaps Im just easily
amused); hopefully, if youre interested in buses at all, you will not have undue difficulty spotting the bus...
Sunter Bros, Ltd
Swaledale Motor Co.
Darrowby & District
Plan B Contact us
for emergency use
Vintage Roadscene features