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Western SMT coach in Rochdale - July 1973
July 1973 (a Saturday evening) - Quite a rare visitor indeed on a service through Rochdale was this Western SMT Alexander bodied ‘Y’ type coach which had been provided by Ribble as a last minute X79 duplicate. A very, very poor shot I admit because it was taken in the darkness of the Yelloway garage at Weir Street just before the coach went on its way with no time for a proper picture – with barely time to run to my desk to grab the camera. Ribble and WSMT worked their joint Lancashire-Glasgow services, their drivers routinely driving each others coaches. The coaches were often utilised as required when they were in the other partners possession which is what brought this vehicle quite unexpectedly to Rochdale. Hubert Allen’s white Daimler car can be seen in the background – he always parked in this spot. Just beyond that was the passenger waiting room the seats of which came from vehicles from a bygone age. The evening sunshine lights up what would be a deserted ‘top office’ (The General Office). The staff here (typists, wages, accounts etc) didn’t work after lunch on Saturdays. A further link between Yelloway and Western SMT was that the WSMT office at 55 St. Enoch Square in Glasgow was the principal Scottish booking agent for Yelloway issuing tickets for passengers travelling between Scotland and the South West of England via Manchester using the Ribble/WSMT service from Glasgow to Manchester where they then connected to the Yelloway 'Devonian' service.