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United Bus at Redcar 1920s

Eamann O Ruairc tells us: “The man standing in front of it is my grandfather, Michael (Mick) Magee. He began working as a driver, but since he was a very skilled mechanic (he had served his time as a motor mechanic and had spent World War I as a driver in the Army Service Corps on the Western Front) he was soon put to work as a mechanic in the depot in Dormanstown. During his stay in Redcar; Mike became deeply involved in trade unionism and in socialist politics. At some point he became the chauffeur of a Fabian MP. Whether this was a full-time job or a part-time one I do not know. Mike may have worked for the Transport Workers Union and was also very active in the organisation of the 1926 general strike. In 1930 he emigrated to Detroit where he became a key figure in the trade unions in the Ford factories”. Craig White tells us: “Looks like Redcar Lane Cemetery chapel in background , so this would be Thwaites Lane running up to the Racecourse stands”.

Image and information courtesy of Eamann O Ruairc; Eamann is also seeking further information about United Bus Company in Redcar in the early 1920s. Thanks to Craig White for the update regarding location of this image.

5 comments to United Bus at Redcar 1920s

  • Craig White

    Looks like Redcar Lane Cemetery chapel in background , so this would be Thwaites Lane running up to the Racecourse stands.

  • Philip Rothera

    Ramann – don’t know if you can help.
    I am working on my Family Tree and notice from my father’s Marriage Cert that he was a bus driver in 1927. He was born in Boosbeck and I believe he lived in Skelton at the time of his marriage.
    Do you know of any record of drivers from that time who worked for the local bus companies?
    My father’s name :- Leslie Eustace Rothera
    Many thanks
    Philip Rothera

    • Morgan Wallace

      Hello Philip. I left a note on this site and just realized I could have replied directly to your own. Hoping to learn your father was the same born 15 October 1909 and died in 1972 in Leeds, and if he wrote articles for newspapers and other publications, during the 1950s-60s. Morgan

  • Morgan Wallace

    Philip, was your father born 1909 and died 1972, and also a writer of articles for newspapers in England during the 1950s-1960s? Cheers, Morgan

  • Philip Norris

    I was interested to chance upon this early photo of a United bus in Redcar. It is a Daimler CB, and its number plate – PW 114 – dates it to a batch supplied to United in 1923, originally with solid tyres. This photo shows it with its later pneumatic tyres, which dates the photo to no earlier than about 1925.

    United had started before WW1 as an East Anglian operation, with headquarters in Lowestoft, but by the 1920s and 30s had spread its operations to much of the north east. It was still registering its buses in the 1920s, however, in Norfolk, as this photo shows, PW being a Norfolk registration. (Later, when its HQ moved to Darlington, the new registrations were all in the Darlington HN series, and remained so up to the 1970s).

    The definitive illustrated history of United covering its earlier years is a volume published by Venture Publications entitled “United Automobile Services Limited – Part One – The Fleet 1912-41” by Alan Townsin and John Banks. It is no longer in print, but second-hand copies turn up on eBay from time to time. Well worth getting for anyone interested in United’s earlier days.

    Although now living in Kent, my own interest in United stems from having grown up in Scarborough in the 1950s and having attended as a boarder Sir Wm Turner’s School in Redcar.

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