1950sAlthough there would have been few initial outward signs for passengers, 1950 saw significant changes in Stroud, as Bristol Tramways took over all bus operations in the town. This followed the passing to the State of Tramways, Western National and Red & White.The merger of Tramways’ four pre-existing routes with Red & White’s 13 and the Western National’s 28 was one of the most significant British Transport Commission reorganisations. Although the transfer took place in May, it wasn’t until well in to 1951 that the process of sorting out the territorial anomaly—which had landlocked Red & White and Western National operations—was complete. What made sense operationally did not find favour with staff and there was some bitterness at this time.Buses transferring at that time from Western National included a batch of young lowbridge 55-seat Bristol K double decks, some of which dated from only two years previously; and the last of which was withdrawn by the Bristol company at Stroud in 1966. Other vehicles included Bristol J and H type saloons, the latter examples being withdrawn soon after transfer. Also withdrawn quickly were all the transferred non-Bristol chassis vehicles (Leyland
coaches, Dennises and Bedfords) save one, an OB. Red & White transferred almost exclusively Albions but the single deck examples went back to that company in 1951, when the territorially landlocked Bristol operations and depot in the Forest of Dean passed to Red & White in a further BTC tidying up exercise. Some of the Red & White Albion double decks at Stroud remained till as late as 1953.Following the 1950 switch, the progressive appearance of the Bristol crest on buses, fleet and route renumbering largely in the 4nn series, routes themselves saw little change. There were, however, exceptions. The transfer to the Bristol company did for example stimulate a new Stroud – Bristol service (400) and through running between Dursley, Stroud and Cheltenham via Slad and Sheepscombe (as service 63).The decade ended with some difficulties in Stroud for Bristol Omnibus (as it had become). Among them were fuel shortages, strikes... and the realisation that passengers were starting to decline.
Those who wish to have a thorough understanding of Stroud’s bus history should seek out the book “Stroud’s Buses” by N P Daniels. Over 279 pages, it gives a comprehensive & illustrated history