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My Memories:

 

What must be a legendary bus service for the Severn Vale South of Gloucester is the very small family bus company of S.K. and F. Silvey based at Severn house Epney with a telephone of Saul 44.  In my time, Silveys ran a joint service with the Bristol Omnibus  Company, the Bristol Blues whereby one company ran mornings one week and afternoons the other.

 

My earliest memory is the Utility Bedford's with slatted wooden seats that both operators ran and going through tide water at Epney with water over the first step of the bus.  Long before any sea walls were built at Epney or Framilode.

 

The service ran every other hour from the Cross at Arlingham up Fretherne Lane to Saul, up to the church at Saul, turn around then head for Framilode, Epney, Longney and into Gloucester terminating the service in Commercial Road outside the Kimbrose Hotel and then picking up opposite outside the Talbot Bottling Plant. I assume the return tickets were valid for the opposing operator, so if you had bought a Bristol ticket then you could return home on Silvey’s and Vice Versa. The mid morning and mid afternoon service terminated at Saul Cross. On Saturdays one morning and one afternoon service came to Lower Framilode.

 

The buses were driven by local boys Jim Russell, Alan Franklin, Graham Burt, Dennis Pockett, Ron Reames, Jim Hitchings, Les Gardiner, Jim Pearce and Don Howell to mention those I can remember Michael Green joining later.   The Bristol crews were Stan Knight, Bill Compton and Arthur Gabb.  Most of the drivers of both fleets would take parcels and perform quick errands in Gloucester and often would wait for regular passengers who were not quite ready when the bus arrived.    All of the services ran with a conductor or conductoress dispensing card tickets of varying values held in a wooden sprung loaded ticket holder.In later years Silveys went over to a write on duplicated paper ticket and Bristol to a dial up printed ticket. I am sure with a little research i could identify the type of ticket used. the lady conductresses  were the most elegant with 50’s hair styles and pretty dresses. I can only remember Cath Short but the others were equally as beautiful and friendly, making sure school caps and ties were correctly positioned before leaving the bus.

 

As time progressed and trade developed Silvey’s began operating Bedford OB Buses with Duple Bodies and moquette covered seats.  Following a tragic accident at Fretherne Bridge  when an overweight grain lorry crossed the bridge, the bridge collapsed and the driver was killed by being trapped between the two halves of the bridge.  An overnight weight restriction was imposed on all the canal bridges and passengers were forced  to get out of the buses, come rain or shine, walk over the bridge, allow the bus to cross and then all get back on!  After this Silveys and Bristols both bought lightweight Beadle Buses for the service. Silveys had Bedford petrol variants and Bristols with an obscure  deisel.  All were forward control and had sliding access doors.

 

By 1955 I was at Marling School and Silveys ran two school buses to Stroud serving all the Stroud Schools.  One started at Epney and the other from Arlingham.  These rides were part of a marvellous adventure and prevented any student from getting a detention.   Any master that threatened staying in after school was defeated by us saying : “Cannot do that Sir!  We are on Silvey’s buses”