This service has its origins in Oldham's first bus route, before the use of route letters. On 12th May 1913 a bus service was introduced from the Town Hall to Coppice, replacing the tram service on Union Street West. The terminus was moved to the Post Office on Union Street from 10th August 1915. This service lasted fitfully in a rather reduced form through the First World War, stopping for a period in 1916 due to a fuel shortage, only to be withdrawn on 13th September 1919.
Oldham ceased running bus services from this date until 15th December 1924 when a new service, following the original, was introduced running from Mumps to Hollinwood station through Coppice and down Chamber Road to Hollinwood. On 16th March it was cut back at the Hollinwood end to the junction of Chamber Road and Chapel Road but extended at the other end to Greenacres cemetery. In the autumn of 1925 it was given the route letter A.
The service was extended to Star Inn at Scouthead on 6th April 1927 and authority had been obtained to run along Platting Road to Lydgate and Grotton but was not used. It reverted to Greenacres from 8th March 1928 when the Gatley to Hollinwood express services was extended to Scouthead.
In late 1927 discussion had been held with the Engineers and Surveyors Department concerning a revised route in Greenacres, but this was not proceeded with at the time, although after the withdrawal of the Scouthead extension the service ran to Yew Crescent at Greenacres until 13th October 1929. The following day it reverted to its original terminus at the cemetery.
The service was extended to Limeside along Chapel Road from 22nd September 1963 and at the same time a new variant was introduced, which left Chamber Road along Heron Street and served Limeside that way. This was given the route letter H.
Following the introduction of the town centre one-way scheme on 22nd March 1965 buses from Limeside were diverted along Crossbank Street, Manchester Street, Duke Street, West Street, High Street and Yorkshire Street. Buses in the other direction were not affected.
In early 1970 Union Street West was severed for the construction of the by-pass. This led to services to Limeside being diverted along King Street, Manchester Street and Lee Street.
16th May 1971 saw the service converted to one-man operation. To facilitate this the service was slightly extended at Greenacres to the junction with Sycamore Avenue.
The opening of Town Square bus station saw the services to Limeside diverted from Union Street up Clegg Street and through the bus station, continuing on High Street, George Street and Barn Street to resume its previous route along King Street.
These services were a victim of the wholesale changes at deregulation and last ran on 25th October 1986.
© David Beilby