Shropshire Star

When a grand old bus crossed rural Shropshire on a 140-mile Easter Monday day trip

This photo from Easter Monday of 1974 shows a dedicated group of transport fanatics about to leave Wolverhampton on a rolling relic of a bus on a 140-mile round trip through Shropshire countryside.

A double-decker bus bound for the Welshpool and Llanfair steam railway on Easter Monday of 1974. The bus, a survivor from the Wolverhampton Corporation's fleet, had been hired by the West Midlands Transport Circle for a special 140-mile trip from Wolverhampton through Shropshire and down into Wales

The (mostly) cheery crowd of holidaymakers was about to pile onto the venerable old bus behind them, SUK 6, for a 140-mile odyssey to the Welshpool and Llanfair steam railway, taking the scenic route past Clun in Shropshire and Kerry in Powys.

The bus, which at the time was the oldest ex-Wolverhampton Corporation bus still in public service, had been hired by members of the West Midlands Transport Circle on this occasion for a day trip of epic proportions down to Wales.

SUK 6 was one of 18 buses built in Wolverhampton for the Wolverhampton Corporation by Guy Motors Ltd in 1957, but by the time this Express & Star photo was taken in 1974 it was the last of the 18 still in public service.

Though this version of the photo is black and white, the caption informs us that the bus still sported the Wolverhampton Corporation's green and primrose livery, five years after the corporation had merged with public transport fleets in Birmingham, Walsall and West Bromwich to form the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive.

The driver chartered for this special journey on Easter Monday 1974 was a Mr M Szabo from Codsall, who left his normal duties for the day to navigate down to Wales.

You can see that Craven Arms is on the bus's destination board - the south Shropshire town must have been on the route.

As for where in Wolverhampton the photo was taken, you can make out the distinctive tower-like structure of the Chubb Building in the upper right of the frame - the old locksmithing headquarters sits off Fryer Street just inside the city ring road.

Do you recognise any of the excited members of the West Midlands Transport Circle who made the trip that day, or did you see the grand old bus passing through? Perhaps you knew a Mr Szabo of Codsall who drove buses? If you have any information you can share about this Easter Monday journey, please get in touch at or 01952 241451.