Fringe Box



Return To Guildford, Please!

Published on: 28 Feb, 2012
Updated on: 28 Feb, 2012

By David Rose

With the news that Guildford bus station may be moved from its present location in Commercial Road, next to the Friary Centre, to a site in Bedford Road, I thought it would be interesting to feature some pictures of previous bus stations in the town and some of the buses whose owners once ran services in and out of Guildford.

Farnham Road bus station circa 1950.

The picture above shows the Farnham Road bus station not long after it opened in 1950. Single and double decker buses can be seen. Buses from here ran to places such as Godalming and across the Hog’s Back to Farnham.

One of Crouch’s Coaches in North Street.

At one time buses terminated in North Street – outside the Theatre Royal and the Borough Halls, near the junction with Leapale Road. The picture above shows a single decker that belonged to Crouch’s Coaches of Stoughton.

Crouch’s Coaches’ garage in Stoughton Road, Guildford.

Crouch’s started off with horse-drawn vehicles. It’s garage or depot was in Stoughton Road, as seen here in the above picture. The firm later merged with Golden Arrow Safety Coaches of Wood Street Village.

Another Stoughton firm was Yellow Bus Services (YBS), affectionally known as ‘the happy family’. Started in the 1920s, it was owned by the Hayter family. Many of its drivers and conductors worked for the YBS for years and were very well known to its faithful passengers.

The YBS ran services from Stoughton and Bellfields into Guildford and back, as well as to Camberley and Farnham. The last bus ran in 1958, as seen here in the photos above and below. I think it is the Onslow Street bus station featured in these two pictures.

Onslow Street bus station in about the 1970s. The single decker is of the then nationalised Alder Valley bus company.

Here are some other photos of the Onslow Street bus station, now an open space beside the Electric Theatre.

A view of Onslow Street bus station during the September 1968 floods.

This photo (above) doesn’t have a bus in it, but I have included it as, firstly, it was taken during the infamous September 1968 floods, and secondly, you can clearly see a sign stating ‘DANGER BUS ENTRANCE’.

Farnham Road bus station at a time when the new gyratory road system and a new road bridge was being built over the River Wey.

Back to the Farnham Road bus station, and above is a photo taken in the early 1970s when the town’s gyratory system was being built.

I am no bus historian, and perhaps some bus enthusiasts reading this can add some more historical details, but I guess the Onslow Street and Farnham bus stations closed when the current bus station was created in the early 1980s.

Did buses park in Commercial Road before that date? There were other Guildford streets in which buses started and finished their journeys, or picked up passengers. However, I do not believe the High Street has ever been used.

Hammond & Sons owned just three buses and ran a service to and from Wonersh. These vehicles stopped in Quarry Street to pick up passengers.

Who remembers the little brown buses that stopped at the Onslow Street bus station? You could catch one to Newlands Corner.

Buses also stopped in Park Street / Farnham Road, beside the old cottages that were there until the 1950s. Waiting passengers stood so close to the overhanging windows of the cottages, it is said they could hear the conversations of the people inside. That’s a real case of eavesdropping! Bernard Parke made this comment in the book, Guildford Remember When, which we co-wrote a couple of years ago. However, I have yet to see a photo of buses parked at this location.

There are a selection of bus and bus station photos in some of my other books. Do take a look, as I have rolled off this short article without even mentioning the ‘gone but not forgotten’ Aldershot & District, and the still going strong Safeguard buses!

One Response to “Through Time: Return To Guildford Please!”

  1. Roy Thorpe says:

    Nice picture of Farnham Road bus station in 1950. I am always on the look out for high resolution pictures to do with Brown Motor Service of Forest Green which of course, in its hey day used Onslow St and Farnham Road bus station..

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