"On The Buses"

Recalling the Local Bus Services

I too remember our bus service in and around Tarpots, as I recall one that ran out of the bus station on the left going in to Hadleigh just after the turn off to Daws Heath and Rayleigh, was it called the Benfleet bus company? They seemed to concentrate on that area and into Benfleet but not Canvey which seemed to have another service. You had to walk from the War Memorial to the station and over the crossing and along to the bus stand close to the bridge for service to Canvey. On the way down the hill there was a small alleyway that led one parallel to the road and past some houses and a shed? before taking a right turn and re-joining the road again.

Two Services to Grays?

At the junction of High Road and London Road one was able to get a National Bus to Grays, I think they were in green and the bus station was almost into Southend, and wasn’t it there that Harrington’s mineral water had their factory.  If my memory is right a second service, though I don’t remember who ran it but the buses were red, used to take that one to Grays and it always stopped in Stanford Le Hope before going on into Grays.

Summer Days at Hullbridge

If one ventured up to the top of Bread and Cheese hill you could then get one of the Southend Corporation buses into Rayleigh and on to Hockley after a wait in Rayleigh itself, blue and White buses I think, or cream maybe. From Rayleigh you could also get into Hullbridge, they had to turn by the Pub before returning, does anyone remember the cafe by the side there where you could get ice creams? As a child we used to spend days down there during school holidays, you could even eat the oysters taken from the river in those days. Later in the year we would go on to Brandy Hole and pick blackberries, great basketful’s of them, I’m sure my Mother must have made jam from them so this took place during and just after the war.

…After that it was Cemetery Corner or, as one witty conductor used to refer to it, Benfleet Underground…

Of course lots of swimming in the river and then back home on the bus, to Rayleigh, wait there by the monument to the Martyrs who had been burned at the stake, bus to the top of Bread and Cheese hill again and any bus going to Tarpots and the walk up High Road to Home, don’t recall any bus stop between Tarpots and Wavertree Road opposite the Clinic. After that it was Cemetery Corner or, as one witty conductor used to refer to it, Benfleet Underground, next I think was Hopes Green or was it nearer the School? or the pumping station for the Water Works, then on to Benfleet and the War Memorial and it turned in the road that led on up to the Downs.

Well I haven’t lived in Tarpots for more years than I care to remember but I don’t suppose the Bus service is anything like that now, how does one get to Canvey now I wonder.

Adventures with Trolley Buses

Have just read this again and I see that I’d forgotten the trolley buses that used to run from the Westcliff School right into Southend, I know we had a few trips on those in their day, brown and cream? and two arms that fitted on to the overhead wires which if they came off were somewhat restrained by tethers attached and the conductor had to retrieve a long pole from under the trolley I think, and then hook them and replace them in contact with the overhead cable. I’ve never given it any though until now but I wonder if that was dangerous if it was raining, the mind boggles at the thought of a crispy well cooked conductor served on a long pole.

Regarding the Harrington factory, many years later I was to meet Mrs. Harrington when she was living with family friends in New Maldon.

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  • The bus services from Southend to Grays were provided by two companies, until amalgamation, these being Eastern National, number 70, and Westcliff & District numbers 2 and 2b.

    The Eastern National service started from the car park of Southend Victoria railway station and the Westcliff services started from Victoria Circus, opposite the Municipal College. 

    Services 2 and 2b both ran through Stanford-le-Hope, the 2b running via the “Homesteads” rather than passing through Corringham.

    By Leslie W Turnbull (02/01/2016)
  • I have rememberd that there was another Bus Company that ran a very early bus service for workmen, out of Pitsea station along the Kiln Road. It was Campbell’s, they used to have a bus running from about 4am going to Pitsea station at very low cost for working men and maybe some women (not many in those days as most were looking after homes and children).

    By Brian Bellamy (21/12/2015)
  • If I remember rightly the bus company that ran bus services to Benfleet was Bridges, they ran the No 3 as did Westcliff Bus Company and they used to run to the Anchor Pub and then turn round by backing up into School lane which was unmade at that time and pull up outside the Clock House Cafe where the crew would have a cupper, this was like in WW2 and after until 1960s.

    By Brian Bellamy (17/12/2015)
  • If I remember correctly there was the num 3 & 3A, the 3 went via Tarpots and the 3A turned left at Vic House Corner and came down Essex Way.

    By Frank Daley (14/10/2014)

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