This service was taken over from SELNEC Cheshire on the dissolution of that company on 21st May 1973. It had previously been operated by North Western jointly with SHMD, latterly the Stalybridge depot of SELNEC Southern. It was co-ordinated with the 154A service which ran from Ashton to Micklehurst.
The service used to terminate in Uppermill Square, reversing up the side of the Commercial Hotel. This became less practical as traffic increased and the buses became one-man operated, so the buses continued to the Navigation at Brownhill, where culverting of the canal and road widening had created a turning circle.
On 2nd December 1973 the 154 was renumbered to 354. When Oldham garage took over most 154 journeys only ran to Mossley, where they connected with the 154A from Micklehurst. Buses only ran from Uppermill to Ashton at peak hours and on Saturdays, however the through journeys were restored by GMT from 20th July 1975 but at the expense of a reduced and rather awkward 90 minute frequency.
20th July 1980 saw a major revision of services in Saddleworth, and the 354 became truncated to an Ashton to Greenfield Clarence service. By 1985 the 354 had reduced in frequency but most daytime journeys now ran to Denshaw. However, following deregulation on 26th October 1986 the 354 became a minor route with just three trips a day. As it was no longer operated from Oldham, the story does not continue here - the full story of this service can be found in the Saddleworth Buses gallery.
© David Beilby