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the Thames Valley Traction Company (TV) in 1920, the company can trace its
origin to 1915, a subsidiary within the BAT empire, the founders of which lived
in Maidenhead. Thomas Tilling invested an early interest and this was to have an
influence throughout TV’s existence. During the 1920s and 1930s TV acquired
many smaller operators, the most notable being Ledbury Transport (Thackray’s
Way) whose express coach licences TV continued to operate until 1950. In 1948
the Tilling group sold out to the British Transport Commission (nationalisation)
as a result of which, during 1950, Newbury & District (N&D) and South
Midland (SM) were placed under TVs control. In 1952 that part of United
Counties that operated in Oxford was transferred to TV and integrated into SM.
In appearance SM remained independent retaining their own livery and initially,
fleet numbering sequence.
Jan 1969 saw the formation of the National Bus Company with the intention of
integrating BET and Tilling into larger companies to provide economies in
management and maintenance. Until then SM had been based in a heavily BET
represented area although under Tilling control. It was therefore natural that
it be absorbed into a company within that area and on 1 Jan 1971, control passed
to City of Oxford Motor Services (COMS). Just one year later TV merged with
Aldershot & District to become ‘Alder Valley’.
garages at Reading, Newbury, Maidenhead and Newbury, areas of operation extended
out to outposts such as Oxford, Aylesbury, Slough, Windsor, Camberley, Aldershot,
Odiham, Basingstoke, Hungerford and Swindon, with express coach services
continuing outside this area. A number of outlaying districts had ‘dormy’
sheds at which vehicles were out-stationed overnight.
vehicle deliveries were Thorneycroft Js, Tilling-Stevens and Leyland TD and TS,
with the first Bristol arriving August 1939. Following an intake of utility Guys
during and after WWII, subsequent orders would see most classes of Bristol
vehicles represented in the fleet, although TV turned to Bedford for some
coaches from 1961. Vehicle transfers/loans/exchanges frequently took place
between TV and SM.
numbering was consecutive until 1963, when a system for new arrivals saw
double-deckers numbered Dx upwards, singe-deckers S2xx and coaches C3xx but by
1969 this system was out of favour, when many of the earlier blank numbers were
re-used under a new system, built round the class of vehicle, that was never to
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Note: Some vehicles were operated with the 'South Midland' Fleetname after control was transferred to Thames Valley.
|Fleet No||Reg No||In service||Out Service||Original Op||Remarks|
|434||618 JPU||Jun 68||EN 433|
|Market Street, Bracknell|
|Desborough Road, High Wycombe|
|Bridge Street, Maidenhead|
|Mill Lane, Newbury|
|Botley Road, Oxford (ex United Counties)|
|Iffley Road, Oxford (ex South Midland)|
|Lower Thorn Street, Reading (Depot and Head Office)|