Yelloway 4643 DK 16 Jul 1972

Yelloway Motor Services 1960s to 1980s


My old Yelloway snapshots taken during the time I worked for the company between January 1967 and September 1974. Yelloway was a most respected operator of coach services from the north west of England to London, the South West and East Anglia. The company also ran services from Rochdale, Oldham and Rossendale to the Fylde Coast (Blackpool, Fleetwood etc) and to North Wales. Day excursions took th…  (read more)

Yelloway line up at Rochdale - circa 1964

01 Jun 1963 535
Summer 1963 or 1964 – I think it would be 1964 and one of my earliest Yelloway photographs which shows that a varied fleet was operated at this time. Seen under the large Yelloway sign on the front of the coach station and garage at Weir Street, Rochdale are (from right to left): one of the first batch of the shorter 30 foot long Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliances bought in 1961 (YDK 585-590). (From 1962 the longer 36 foot model became standard and the front wheels on those were set further back); a Duple bodied Bedford SB5 (the 1963 and 1964 Bedfords carried this style of body. The 1963 coaches were 4229/4230 DK. The Creams (Lancashire) Limited, a Yelloway subsidiary, operated 4227/4228 DK. In 1964 Yelloway operated 6475/6476 DK and Creams 6477 DK). Under the magnifier it could be 6477 DK which is seen here (new 1964); another Harrington Cavalier; and a Duple Donnington (one of four such coaches new in 1960 registered WDK 950-953). On the extreme edge of the photograph is a Burlingham Seagull. At this time, the first Plaxton bodied coaches (on Bedford SB5 chassis) were operated as were the first of the six wheel Bedford VAL model. The low buildings behind the Duple Donnington were subsequently demolished to provide more covered parking for the coaches.

Yelloway line up 19 Sep 1970 (1)

19 Sep 1970 472
Saturday 19 September 1970 - A line up of Yelloway Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliances at Rochdale. Weather looks a little murky today. This being the third Saturday in September it would be the last weekend of the summer season when many of the summer weekend holiday services would come to an end notably on the south west and south coast services. The road services licences defined the period of operation as the 'Friday preceeding the Spring Bank Holiday' until the third Saturday in September.

Yelloway Harrington Cavalier line up Aug 1973

01 Aug 1973 555
August 1973 – A line up of Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliances in the corner of the Weir Street coach station and garage in Rochdale.

Yelloway Harrington Cavalier interior Sep 1972

01 Oct 1972 513
September 1972 - The interior of Yelloway 7076 DK seen on the parking ground along Penn Street, Rochdale. The Harrington Cavalier body was purchased by the company for 5 years and provided a very comfortable travelling environment. For most of its new heavyweight coaches Yelloway would fit Chapman reclining seats with one row less than if conventional rigid coach seats were fitted. Thus in this 36 feet long coach, which was capable of accommodating 49 rigid seats, only 45 Chapman seats were fitted. One feature which has thankfully become redundant nowadays are the ash trays mounted in the rear of each seat. Not only did copious amounts of dust and ash float around during the emptying process but they were also used by passengers to dispose of the remains of the soft fruit conveyed by them on their journeys. A ‘tee key’ or ‘budget key’ was a useful device to rake out the fag ends and debris from the ash trays when cleaning a coach. To nicer things now and a comment on the moquette pattern which Yelloway chose. This was quite easy on the eye and not as garish as some modern patterns which emerged later.

Yelloway (North Manchester Motor Coaches) YDK 587…

19 Sep 1970 667
Saturday 19 September 1970 - Yelloway acquired the business of North Manchester Motor Coaches in 1968. Initially a coach (GNE 941E) which had originally been in the fleet of the acquired business was leased rather than purchased to cover the NMMC work. Subsequently YDK 587, which had been delivered to Yelloway in 1961, was transferred to the NMMC subsidiary and it is shown here carrying North Manchester fleetnames. As this was a one off rather than have transfers made, a local signwriter (Charlie Dalgetty) painted the letters after tracing the outline from GNE 941E. YDK 587 was heading out of the Weir Street garage in Rochdale to take up duties on the North Manchester to Blackpool service. From 1961 Yelloway chose the Harrington Cavalier body for its heavyweight coaches, AEC Reliances of course. 1961 was the only year the short length model was purchased because the law was changed which allowed 36 feet long vehicles and from 1962 the longer type became the norm.

Yelloway 2921 DK in Rochdale - 19 Sep 1970

19 Sep 1970 516
Saturday 19 September 1970 - A pair of Yelloway Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliances travel over the setts of Penn Street as they leave the Rochdale garage. 2921 DK, new in 1962, is leading and is quite likely bound for Oldham to work the 0815 service X79 to Blackpool.

Yelloway 2927 DK in Rochdale - 25 Oct 1971

25 Oct 1971 542
Monday 25 October 1971 – Yelloway 2927 DK seen on the Blackpool stand at the Weir Street coach station and garage in Rochdale when working the last X79 trip of the day to Blackpool. The service originated in Oldham at 1900 and departed Rochdale at 1930. Inspector John Howard is standing on the right. Unfortunately I do not recall the name of the driver. A Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance new in 1962.

Yelloway 2927 DK in Rochdale - 26 Oct 1971

26 Oct 1971 497
Sunday 26 October 1971 – 2927 DK seen outside the Yelloway garage and coach station in Rochdale when working the 0930 service X79 from Blackpool to Oldham. A Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance new in 1962.

Yelloway 2927 DK - 1 Jun 1968 (Photo by Gerard Duf…

01 Jun 1968 685
Saturday 1 June 1968 - Yelloway 2927 DK seen when working the first run of the Rochdale to Barry Island holiday express service jointly licenced with Associated Motorways. This photograph, taken by my old friend the late Gerard Duffy, shows the coach during the refreshment stop on the M5 motorway at Strensham Services I believe. Gerard, a finance man who worked in the Yelloway General Office, was day off today and rode on this inaugural service as a passenger with the two rostered drivers - there were no paying passengers though. For the first season the service was worked by a Yelloway vehicle operating down and back in the same day with two drivers but the format was changed in subsequent years to accommodate the new drivers hours regulations and to give returning passengers a morning departure time from Barry Island rather than a mid-afternoon departure. Under the revised schedule a Yelloway coach would leave Rochdale for Cheltenham on Friday morning and go forward to Cardiff on hire to Associated Motorways so that on Saturday it could work the through express from Barry Island to Rochdale. The Saturday day south express from Rochdale to Barry Island was worked by a Red & White coach which had travelled from South Wales to Rochdale via Cheltenham on the Friday initially on an Associated Motorways service then on hire to Yelloway from Cheltenham to Rochdale. The coach, a Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance, was new in 1962 - one of the first batch of 36 feet long coaches to enter the fleet. This was the last year that coaches with opening windows entered the fleet as subsequent coaches had forced air ventilation.

Yelloway 4642 DK in Rochdale - 19 Sep 1970

19 Sep 1970 450
Saturday 19 September 1970 - Yelloway 4642 DK, a 1963 Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance, seen on the parking ground along Penn Street (later creatively renamed Ink Street). The smaller building in the background was the back view of the Yelloway booking and enquiry office. The taller building alongside was Kelsall’s mill which Yelloway subsequently purchased for use as their offices. The booking and enquiry office was moved to the latter and the smaller building was then demolished to expand the parking area. Today this site is occupied by the 'Number One Riverside' complex of Rochdale Borough Council.

Yelloway 4643 DK in Morecambe - circa 1964

06 Jun 1964 483
Circa 1964 - Yelloway 4643 DK. This rather hazy picture is merely self indulgence as it was one of the first pictures I took of a coach. When at the Rochdale Technical School I took it upon myself to organise a number of Saturday day outings. My friend John Lemonofides had started the idea but had gone on to specialise in trips for the school railway club members. This year we went to Windermere and in the afternoon called at Morecambe where this picture was taken. A Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance new in 1963.

Yelloway 4643 DK and a Grey Cars coach - Summer 19…

01 Jun 1965 1 444
Summer 1965 (I think) – The Yelloway ‘Devonian’ service which linked Rochdale with Torquay and later Paignton, was extremely popular at summer holiday periods with hundreds of passengers booked on just one service departure which required something like about forty coaches on one departure alone. Lots of coaches were hired from other, mainly north-west of England, coach operators but these hires also brought the coaches of Devon based operators up to Rochdale (working Friday night north returning either Saturday day south or Saturday night south). Two Harrington bodied AEC Reliances are seen here in the Yelloway garage/coach station at Weir Street, Rochdale. The Yelloway coach is a 1963 Harrington Cavalier and the Grey Cars coach is a Harrington Grenadier dating from 1966 I seem to recall (registration series EOD-D). Grey Cars was the coaching name of ‘Devon General’ (The Devon General Omnibus and Touring Co Ltd).

Yelloway 4643 DK 16 Jul 1972

16 Jul 1972 1 555
Sunday 16 July 1972 – Yelloway 4643 DK departing the Weir Street coach station and garage in Rochdale at just after 1930 when working the 1900 hours service X79 from Oldham to Blackpool and Fleetwood . A Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance new in 1963 which was sold in January 1973.

Yelloway 4643 DK Sep 1972

01 Sep 1972 447
Sept 1972 – Yelloway 4643 DK seen parked in the Weir Street coach station and garage in Rochdale. A Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance new in 1963 which didn’t look at all bad for being 9 years old. In just 3 or so months time it would be sold. The original number plate was of the pressed metal type although by now a newer type had been fitted perhaps following an accident repair. Yelloway owned a set of moulds to create replacement glass fibre front panels for the Harrington Cavalier. One of the features of Yelloway coaches was the fitting of a full height screen behind the drivers seat - clear plastic in the upper half with a curtain to reduce reflections for night time driving.

Yelloway 4643 DK leaving Rochdale for the last tim…

01 Jan 1973 439
January 1973 – Yelloway 4643 DK, new in 1963, seen leaving the Weir Street garage for the last time. The fleetname transfers on the side panels and the garter scroll on the boot doors had been sanded off and neatly repainted. Even when leaving the fleet the coaches looked tidy. It had been stripped of its destination blinds and the front and rear glass fleetname panels. The trade plate ‘046 DK’ was in position because the vehicle had not been taxed for the road hence the ‘DL’ on the windscreen to indicate ‘Delicenced’. Driver Geoff Shaw took the coach away – to the Alf Moseley dealership I believe and if so would he have travelled back on the day north service from Loughborough to Rochdale.

Pangbourne Coaches 6692 DK - Nov 1973

01 Nov 1973 667
November 1972 - Passing through the Berkshire village of Pangbourne one day I spied 6692 DK in the doorway of the Pangbourne Coaches garage. The coach was new to 'The Creams (Lancashire) Limited', a Yelloway subsidiary, in Spring 1964. During the 1960s Yelloway supplemented their group fleets with lightweight coaches of Ford (1961) or Bedford (1962-1969) manufacture which were only kept for 1 or 2 years. This Plaxton Panorama bodied Bedford VAL, together with 6691 DK, operated for Creams whereas 6693 DK and 6694 DK operated for Yelloway.

Yelloway 7073 DK Dec 1973

01 Dec 1973 457
December 1973 - Yelloway 7073 DK, a Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance new in 1964, standing on the fuel pumps at Rochdale. The orange doors beyond housed the paint shop.

Former Yelloway 7073 DK as a stock car transporter…

01 Jul 1975 601
July 1975 - After disposal by Yelloway, 7073 DK became a car transporter for stock car ace Stuart Smith - ‘Wildcat’. The Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance was new to Yelloway in 1964 and featured a very neat conversion to the rear end which incorporated a roller shutter door. Yelloway livery was retained on the very well turned out vehicle. The destination blinds carry Stuart’s racing number ‘391’ and his ‘Wildcat’ name. Seen near the Smith family home in Falinge Road, Rochdale where, coincidentally, many Yelloway publicity photographs were taken alongside leafy Falinge Park.

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