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fredd
Super Member

5684 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  14:38:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has any of our members got any memories they would like to share of a bus holiday with either R.I.Davies or Hills of Tredegar we hear so many stories of the pioneering continental coach holidays started by mr Hilling Davies (who was one of the first to do it) i think some memories should be captured on here for all to read in the future

uchlawycoed
Full Member

85 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  08:03:17 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Funny you should mention that Fred...

I recall as a child one trip to Blackpool in a RIDavies coach, which, if I remember correctly had an office or agent's in Polar Place.

It was a week long holiday organised, I think, by Mrs Rake who had a shop opposite Church Street surgery.
We stayed in a guest house near the Tower.

The trip left on Saturday 16th September 1961 and, on the way, the coach was involved in a serious accident in, I think, the Chester locality. The crash left the front of the coach quite badly damaged (although, remarkably by today's standards, I suppose, my recollection is that it was allowed to continue its journey).

I seen precisely what happened as, believe it or not, I was allowed to sit next to the driver to watch as we went along. On a straight stretch of road a grey-green Ford Consul (an old 1950s type) emerged at speed from a left t-junction and caught the coach a glancing blow on its front offside wing directly in front of the driver, who, I suspect, had managed to swerve the coach and avoid a full head on accident. The car left the road and I have a clear as daylight memory of seeing it mounted over a large hedge on the opposite side of the road.
Also very clear is the picture in my mind of the car just as it was about to hit the coach: the woman front passenger was holding a baby in her arms.

I'm certain nobody was killed in this accident but I remember several ambulances being there and our being delayed what seemed liked an eternity. I believe the people in the car were quite badly hurt and some people on the bus talking about bruised heads and feeling sick.
Everybody were saying how lucky I was given I'd been sat on the floor alongside the driver: like one of Mr. Bond's martininis I'd been shaken but not stirred.

I wonder if any forum members recall this incident or perhaps were on this trip?

Ps. Other throwaway memories: for school trips in the Sixties, I always wanted RIDavies coaches rather than Hills as I thought the former were "posher".
On one such trip I remember a notice in the window of the coach read: "Say No to Nationalisation of Buses". I wrote this down to find out what it meant.

Really, I must have been an odd sort of a kid....
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cupcake
Super Member

4658 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  09:53:38 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What an interesting little story ,i can t remember the bus trips but my Mum can ,i also use to talk to someone who use to take these people on the Hills buses trips ,sadly he is now gone but i do remember him saying about the trips ,how good they were ,more fun then thats what he always use to say .
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eddiejen
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
168 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  11:26:21 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Travel by Clarkes coaches. Its quite an adventure !
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cupcake
Super Member

4658 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  11:40:27 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Must admit it is an adventure but fairplay to them they travelled to Rhymney and back in all that bad weather ,when others failed so a big THANK YOU Clarks buses from one satisfied customer !
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uchlawycoed
Full Member

85 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  11:46:02 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Remember that old joke: why should pregnant women who want daughters travel on Hills's? 'Cos they shake the b....s of anything.
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cupcake
Super Member

4658 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  11:50:04 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by uchlawycoed

Remember that old joke: why should pregnant women who want daughters travel on Hills's? 'Cos they shake the b....s of anything.

Thats so funny ,must ask my Mum about that !
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fredd
Super Member

5684 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  11:53:00 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can remember going to ireland with my parents in a car and we went to blarney castle to "kiss the blarney stone" and upon arriving in the carpark there were three hills coaches which took me by surprise
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pierre
Webmaster

United Kingdom
12166 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2011 :  10:46:07 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We used to go on a day trip to porthcawl every May-Day with Hill's leaving from the circle at 10:00 in the morning. Over 10 buses used to go every year. It was like walking around town that day in porthcawl, you knew so many faces

_________________________________________
News & Information on Tredegar since 1991
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fredd
Super Member

5684 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2011 :  11:10:33 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pierre

We used to go on a day trip to porthcawl every May-Day with Hill's leaving from the circle at 10:00 in the morning. Over 10 buses used to go every year. It was like walking around town that day in porthcawl, you knew so many faces

_________________________________________
News & Information on Tredegar since 1991

Didnt that used to cost about 3 per person
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trefilboy
Advanced Member

Canada
226 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  01:27:37 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember the in the fifties the special train that took the colliers to (I believe) Porthcawl or Barry on their summer break. I remember waiting to see the train coming down from Tredegar and waiting at the crossing to wave at it. Is there anyone on this forum that used to go on this train?



trefilboy
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uchlawycoed
Full Member

85 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  07:05:15 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting.
As an aside its often said that Tredegar \ Sirhowy Valley lost its passenger service as a result of the "Beeching Cuts".
This is factually incorrect.
Tredegar lost its rail passenger service in the Sirhowy Valley pre-Beeching.
The last passenger service was on Saturday evening 13th June 1960 from Nantybwch down.
My grandfather and I went to the trackside between Nantybwch and Sirhowy Bridge (on "Meredith'sTip", as a matter of fact) to "wave it off".
There was, if my memory is correct, just one carriage. All the passengers were waving out the windows at people overlooking the track.
I recall my grandfather mentioning that we'd miss "Dixon of Dock Green" so it must have been about 6pm or thereabouts

Incidentally, the service between Merthyr and Abergavenny (via Rhymney Bridge, Nantybwch, Beaufort, Brynmawr etc) closed in January 1958. I don't remember that at all: it must have been a fantastic journey down through Blackrock \ Clydach Gorge \ Llanelly Hill on what was a truly phenomenal engineering project.

One of the earliest passenger services to be withdrawn was between Rhymney and Rhymney Bridge in 1954.

An examination of British Rail records show that most of these services had been unprofitable for years and were prime candidates for closure years before the Beeching Enquiry \ Report in 1962 \ 1963.

Dr.Beeching, by the way, had been a scientist of some repute before being asked by the Macmillan government to turn his steely eye to the railways.

I hope these mutterings are of interest to forum members...
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cupcake
Super Member

4658 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  08:19:25 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very interesting ,keep these stories coming please .
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llanover
Super Member

Australia
953 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  09:25:02 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, yes! I can remember those trains to Barry Island! Very often they would be full by the time they got to us and we'd hope it was a corridor train so that if we had to stand at least there was a bit of room. On the odd occasion when there were a few spare seats, we used to spread ourselves around as best we could so that rellies at the next station could sit with us. Did they run just on Sundays or were they part of a normal run?

Isn't it funny that "Thomas the Tank Engine" is so popular with the littlies? My grandsons love having a ride on a real steam train.
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cupcake
Super Member

4658 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  09:35:23 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes llanover my grandson loved Thomas the Tank Engine ,he is 13 now but i still got his little Thomas the Tank pyjamas ,he wore when he was a baby ,where do the years go ?
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uchlawycoed
Full Member

85 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  10:04:01 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Correction: last passenger train from Nantybwch to Newport was Saturday 11th June 1960 not 13th as originally posted.

I bet Emrys will remember this, on Fredd's original "coach trip" question.

More than thirty years back I was talking to an elderly relation of my wife who's husband had been killed in a tragic bus accident.

The accident had happened,while her husband had been a passenger in a workmens' bus, somewhere in the Sirhowy Valley (I can't remember where).

She couldn't remember what year it was but did clearly recall it happened the day before Nazi Germany invaded Russia.

As one with a casual interest in history I had recently read about "Operation Barbarossa" and recalled that it took place on Sunday 22nd June 1941.

I replied (naturally, hoping to impress her with my knowledge!) that "it must have been 1941" and that "...[her husband] died on Saturday".

"That's right it was a Saturday" she said.

She went on to explain that her husband had -very unusually - slept late that Saturday morning and had "rushed out without having his breakfast" to catch the bus that took him (and, I think, four others) to his premature death at the age of 28.

She was left to raise a 2 year old baby and never remarried. She died recently in her nineties.

I sometimes think of this story in relation to what Stalin said about the massacre of Russian Armies by the Nazis about the same time as [H.....]
died:

"One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic"
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milkman
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
733 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  11:03:40 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charlie Hill ran coach trips fromn late 40s. My friends and I went to Blackpool in both 1953 and 54. It took a complete day since there were no m/ways and few dual carr/ways. We stopped at Whitchurch, Salop for a meal having started before 8am.
I recall that Bill Zeraschi and Reg (Rajah) Evans were on one of these trips and stayed in the next B & B.
B/Pool was fantastic- We saw Max Bygraves, Al Martino, Kenny Ball and danced in the Winter Gardens to Ted Heath, Jack Parnell and Joe Loss.
What great times. We also drank a drop of OBJ (Oh Be Joyful)
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milkman
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
733 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  11:09:44 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is absolutely correct that Beeching did not close the LMS lines. Sadly when BR was formed the Tredegar (and Abergavenny) lines had a low priority. It is a fact that it was quicker to get to Newport 50 years earlier than in 1959. Thus the buses took all the business and they ran every 15 minutes and took the same time.
Rhymney (a much smaller town) always had a better rail service. Well we wont re-open it now so just remember it with affection.
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emrys
Advanced Member

583 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2011 :  17:15:43 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There were a number of pedestrian/bus accidents in Tredegar during the war, attributable to a large extent to the blackout, vehicles only permitted one headlight and that covered by a government supplied mask leaving very little illumination plus a very small redlight to the rear and, in those days no warning or back lights.
The only bus accident I recall where there were multible passenger deaths was when a bus bound for Caerwent/ (could hve been Caerleon)with munition factory workers) went off the road and over the bank when approaching Hollybush.The bus rolled and several were killed,(I thought more than five) It would have been in 1941 but I can't personally connect it to Germany invading Russia. One of those killed was Percy Jones who lived with his wife Gertie on Commercial St, next door to the Yandles. Their son Gwyn lived with his grandmother on High St, and was in school with me at Earl St and later the Tech'. Gwyn was with the RTB Fire service for several years.He died some years ago when living in Blaenavon.Emrys.
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uchlawycoed
Full Member

85 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2011 :  11:19:55 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gosh, well remembered Emrys - that's the one.
The gentleman I referred to, who died - I'm a bit reluctant to mention names but I hope the family won't mind because its a sad but uplifting story that illustrates the sacrifice borne by many of that generation - was Horace Yandle.
His widow, Tryphena, died some three years back aged 92 having lived for most of her life in Park View
Horace's son, now in his seventies, recently retired as a lecturer at Birmingham University.
Horace had two grandaughters one of whom lives in the US, the other residing in Birmingham.
Life is full of ifs and buts and fate can strike both ways - perhaps, had he been two minutes later he'd have missed the bus and lived to this day - he'd be in his 98th year.

You're probably correct, Emrys when you say more than 5 were killed it would interesting to view any news items that might be available.

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cupcake
Super Member

4658 Posts

Posted - 16/01/2014 :  22:50:06 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got told recently what a lovely person Hilling Davies was and how he'd help with the suitcases etc ,can anyone remember going on one of his coach trips ?

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ddraig
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
417 Posts

Posted - 17/01/2014 :  11:31:21 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember once my mother and friend's mother booked with Hills for a day trip to Porthcawl, the weather was so bad it was raining cats and dogs, only a few turned up, they persuaded us to all go in one bus (and there wasn't many of us) and go to Barry Island instead which we did, once there the weather turned and we had a glorious sunny warm day with no crowds or queues either
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dutchjohn
Super Member

Netherlands
956 Posts

Posted - 17/01/2014 :  18:42:52 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ddraig

I remember once my mother and friend's mother booked with Hills for a day trip to Porthcawl, the weather was so bad it was raining cats and dogs, only a few turned up, they persuaded us to all go in one bus (and there wasn't many of us) and go to Barry Island instead which we did, once there the weather turned and we had a glorious sunny warm day with no crowds or queues either


Hi Ddraig.
As a young teenager of 15/16 I worked down Llanwern when they were building the steelworks, I was employed by Mc, Alpine as a teaboy, and had to look after the men during their lunch break , that meant going to the canteen and getting stuff that they orderd from fish and chips to sausage rolls +loads of other stuff,
anyway we had an early start and we were picked up by buses from sycamore ave around five thirty in the morning , it was winter and really cold, there was no heating on the bus and the seats were wooden
we had different drivers , one steve hearn, and another I think was Dai Davis it was quite a long drive first thing in the morning taking well over an hour to get on site , we were Always glad to get off the bus we were freezing cold, the busses were green in colour but I can,t for the life of me remember the company who ran that bus route
only to say it was private, might have been R.I.Davis
anyone else work in Llanwern during the building of the steelworks??
dutchjohn
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Titch
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
303 Posts

Posted - 19/01/2014 :  10:28:04 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will always remember as a schoolboy, on a Saturday morning, regularly getting a Charlie Hills bus from their office I think in either Queen St or Market St to go to the Cardiff City home games at Ninian Park when they were in the old first division. Little did I know that many years later my Father would have a pub between the Arms Park and Ninian Park! I remember watching teams like Blackpool with Stanley Mathews on the wing, Preston North End with Tom Finney, Arsenal with Jack Kelsie in goal, Manchester United before and after the air disaster, Wolves with Billy Wright, Spurs with Cliff Jones,Newcastle with Jackie Milburn, and many others. Notable Cardiff City players at the time were centre forward Trevor Ford, Gerry Hitchens (Later moved to Italy) Johnny McSevenny. a great wee winger. All these stars for a half a crown(12 and a half pence) bus trip, which I think included a match ticket!
Ahhhh, such fond memories!!!!!!

I love a Black Bush!
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dutchjohn
Super Member

Netherlands
956 Posts

Posted - 20/01/2014 :  20:36:44 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fredd

Has any of our members got any memories they would like to share of a bus holiday with either R.I.Davies or Hills of Tredegar we hear so many stories of the pioneering continental coach holidays started by mr Hilling Davies (who was one of the first to do it) i think some memories should be captured on here for all to read in the future



Hi Fredd,
I used to live up Laburnam avenue , and I remember in the early sixties when the miners hollidays came , the whole street used to chip in to hire a bus to take all the kids from the street to barry Island it was Always a great day out we all took sandwiches (cheaper that way) and we all had a couple of pounds pocket money, that didn,t last long , nearly everyone bought a water pistol that soon broke down
and of course candyfloss I think the buses were R.I Davis we all had a good time , and came home about 9oclock at night, I wonder if the same things carry on these days , like the whole street haveing a collection to pay for day out to the seaside
dutchjohn
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keanjo
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
392 Posts

Posted - 20/01/2014 :  21:32:25 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dutch John, what you described was the summer holiday for most kids in Tredegar. Nowadays families are more likely to go for a fortnight to Majorca but I doubt they have more fun .How is Black Pete these days?
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