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David Slater
who worked in the administration offices at Yelloway for many years writes to us with the following interesting info:

Hi Dave,
I have just been looking at the Yelloway web-site - always find it of interest. I will get around to sending some of my recollections when I find time!.

The picture (on page 1, 'Your Memories') of Manchester inspector 'Bill' is Bill Grundy. I think you will find that the picture is actually taken when the Manchester terminal was at Central Station. Beyond the parked Vauxhall car is what I think to be the  pillar and wall along the edge of Windmill Street beyond that wall would be the back of the Midland Hotel. This was the coach exit which was 'guarded' by a yellow and orange striped pole, hinged and counterbalanced with a large metal ball. It was very easy to get the barrier to rise and fall as a result. Coaches entered by the gate opposite Mount Street and left by this gate. 

The police or local authority imposed a no right turn rule to supposedly prevent coaches leaving through the gate and doing what was a 'u' turn into Lower Mosley Street with the possibility of blocking the road. The correct method of exit was to turn left into Windmill Street then right into Mount Street right again along the front of the Midland. They would travel round St Peters Square and enter Lower Mosley Street to pass the point where they had been what seemed like an age earlier!

The Yelloway facility at Central Station was opened when the L.M.S. Coach Station at East Street closed. The public booking office, Bill's office and  a store to house the various stand up indicator signs placed around the site at busy times, were converted air raid shelters which ran along the edge of the forecourt on the wall bordering Lower Mosley Street.  Arthur Whelan and Bill Clarkson were Bill Grundy's regular team at Central Station who were supplemented by people like myself on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings who would be sent to the busy places to help load the coaches. Manchester in invariably my regularly assigned location and I have loaded at East Street; Central Station; and Chorlton Street many times with Bill.

When Yelloway moved to Chorlton Street the company had its own desk in the National Travel enquiry office. this was in the corner adjacent to the wall where the first coach loading bay and shops were. There was a 'back room' to the enquiry desk but to my knowledge it didn't have a window and any window it may have had wouldn't have been blessed with daylight. The enquiry desk was staffed by Irene Noble. Irene had been the senior booking clerk at Weir Street previously. Irene and Bill actually lived together for many years until Bill died.

Yelloway also had a small booking office on the right (as you looked at the building) side of the entrance to 36 St Ann Street. This rather miniscule office was the company's only Manchester presence at the time I started working for Yelloway (1967) and was staffed by Mary Robinson for a number of years. It's main function was exchanging tickets. Whilst Yelloway agents could book tickets they were not allowed to change or alter any aspect of them thereafter. The passenger would have to visit one of Yelloway's own offices or by post the tickets to the Rochdale head office for 'exchange'. Brand new tickets were issued, altered tickets were always considered taboo. When the office at Central Station was opened that at St Ann Street remained for a time but was later closed.

I hope this helps and I will try to get some more recollections for you.

By the way, I read about Mike Reynold's winter days in the bodyshop. I have a photograph of him with Frank Lawton and Arthur Chadwick as they worked on one of the coaches. He probably won't recall me taking that!

Best wishes


The photo above (from the Yelloway museum archives) shows 4640 DK
 being used as a temporary booking office at Central Station Manchester
 just after the L.M.S.Coach Station at nearby East Street had closed.

Stuart Andrews ex Royal Blue & Nat. Express inspector at Exeter writes;

David Slater mentions in his interesting information above a Yelloway road steward by the name of Frank Lawton. The mention of Frank brings back many fond memories of us working together at Exeter Coach Station. Frank and I shared many a late evening at Exeter seeing the night services out and it is good to be able to remember him. 
If anyone has a photograph of Frank I would love to have a copy.

If anyone out there does have a photo of Frank please contact;
dave@yellowaymotorcoachmuseum.co.uk and we will get a copy off to Stuart.
Thank you.

Bill Clarkson former Yelloway booking office clerk writes;

My interest with Yelloway began when I was about 5yrs and we went down to Swindon in the summer for a holiday with my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin's who lived down there.

LMS Coach Station (Manchester) was our starting point. All the coaches were lined up and we used to get the one going to Cheltenham. During our journey we would pull in at the 4 In Hand Cafe at Newcastle Under Lyme and have a 30 minute stop for toilets and refreshments Then on down to Cheltenham to the Black & White Coach Station for another 45 minute break and change of coach for the shorter journey to Swindon.

As I got older (around 10yrs) I would walk into Manchester and go to the LMS coach station. After a few visits I got to know one or two people who worked their and became a regular visitor at half term holidays and weekends. I got to know the owner of the station. A man called George Walker. He used to let me sit in the booking office and watch what went on and eventually I started booking tickets for the Abbott's service to Fleetwood and Cleveleys. The Abbott's service coach would terminate at LMS coach station at about 8.30pm daily and I used to help the driver sweep and mop the coach ready for the next morning.

This went on for a number of years until the time came for me to get a job and leave school.

I wrote a letter to Mr. Hubert Allen at Yelloway Rochdale asking him for a job as a booking office clerk. He duly gave me an interview and in the summer of 1970 I went to work with Harry Roebuck in the Yelloway travel office in Fountain Street Middleton. I worked with Harry for quite a few months and he taught me all he knew. Then one day Harry got a phone call from Harold Robinson asking him if he could transfer me (Bill) to the recently opened Central Station Forecourt office in Manchester.

I worked there for a year or two with Arthur Whelan and Inspector Bill Grundy. (2 great blokes) and after a time I was head hunted by Booking Office Manager Gwen Brown to go and work for North Western Road Car Company at Lower Mosley Street Bus Station.

So, that is a brief history of how I became involved with the much loved Yelloway Motor Services Ltd.

I have a few old photographs of Yelloway coaches at Central Station in my loft and as soon as I find them I will forward copies for the website and museum.

Bill Clarkson.

David Jones former Yelloway driver writes with the following memories;

I have just found your site and it certainly brought back some happy memories. I did not  even know the site existed!!.

My name is David Jones and I worked for Yelloway from ( I think) 1976-80/81. After that I went to Ellen Smith coaches for a few months and then worked abroad for a Dutch coach
firm before getting married and coming to live in Yorkshire. My best memories are like John Whitworth's of the Clacton Service. 

I hadn't been at Y. M. S. very long when I was scheduled as 'man in a bag' which of course was overnight spare.
The Cambridge man didn't turn up so away I was sent to Blackburn to start the service to Cambridge in what I always remember as 686, and have now realised is TDK 686J. You can imagine how I felt, didn't know the route, service, or how it ran.

I got to Manchester and the place was full of Premier and Yelloway and I was the new boy with not a clue and a coach with a small engine compared to Premier.
We set off and what trip that was, flying about the countryside trying to keep up with a blue
boot lid. I was sweating, 686 was boiling but we made it to Cambridge, about 5-00 I think. I stopped overnight and started around 10-30 on Sunday and made it back to Blackburn. I later found out nobody liked going to Cambridge and they were often sending 'man in a  bag' down there. After that I made that job my own and really enjoyed the sat/sun trip with the Premier lads like 'dinger', 'smudger' and another man that I cannot remember. 

Great job, great firm and some good mates. It is a great pity that it ended the way it did.

Yours faithfully
David Jones.

During the time I was at Yelloway I won the 'Navigator of the Year' at the Blackpool Coach Rally while my driver Gordon Harker was runner up in the driver category.

Mr Harold (Harry) Lane former proprietor of 'The Tudor Rose' Transport Hotel, Bristol remembers the great days of the 1950s and 60s when many Yelloway drivers and inspectors ate and slept there: 

"The drivers and inspectors had a great sense of humour and some of the tales they told about incidents which happened during journies ect. had everyone in stitches!.  After they had dined many of them would play cards for hours on end accompanied by a few glasses of my fathers home made wine. My father and mother, Albert and Erna Lane and father's brother Wilfred and his wife Gretchen ran the Tudor Rose for many years and they loved looking after the Yelloway lads. Inspector Bernard Whitworth stayed at the Tudor Rose for many years and had his own key to the door. Bernard worked very long hours on some days. If some driver got lost or was late arriving in Bristol for some reason Bernard had to wait in Anchor Road until he arrived.  I remember Bernard coming into the dining room at 5am for his breakfast on many occasions". 

Harry has kindly enclosed the two nostalgic photographs below.

Bernard Whitworth celebrated his 94th birthday in May 2004. He started work at Holt Bros (Yelloway Services) on the same day as Hubert Allen in 1927 and finished there in 1969.

Bernard was in remarkable health until a recent fall down stairs at his home in Dumfries. After three weeks in hospital he is back home and being attended to by a daily nurse.  Wish you well Bernard.

The Tudor Rose' Kings Square, Bristol.

Photo taken in Bristol. Driver Eddie Pullen is third from left.

Lorraine Blake writes;

I worked in the Yelloway booking office for 2 years in Weir St. Rochdale My name then was Lorraine Probert,

I just loved walking down to the garage the first day of the wakes week. I got a real buzz! the smell of the diesel and all the excited children I remember it so vividly. You would think I would not have the time but most of the time there was not a spare seat to be had. People were hoping that others had not turned up or that they would put an extra coach on.

I think it was 1972 and 73 I worked there. I remember Irene Noble I worked with her sometime but mostly I worked with Mary Whitworth. I remember David Slater and Vincent Reeves in the charting office. I remember a time I worked with a lady called Alice Hardman . She had a shop at Bacup with her husband Ernest for a long time before she worked in the booking office. We had some fun, I remember we had to count the money at the end of the day and we used to have a race to see who could count it fastest the winner was the one who stapled the top of the bag shut. She stapled my finger to the bag once!!.

When Mary was on holiday we decided to make a dinner on the two ring hob and grill we had in the office and nearly set fire to the booking office!. We noticed the brown wood panelling had changed to a very dark brown colour, I think it was minutes away from bursting into flames. We had to throw water over it, you should have seen the steam coming off the wood. The lamb chops and mash were lovely though. We had quite an odd but brilliant relationship as I was 21 and she was in here 70s.

I would love to hear from people who remember me and if you wish to contact me do so by my email address which is;


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