A service was introduced by North Western between Delph and Haddens (the Mossley boundary) in 1925, although it is not clear where this and other services approaching in the opposite direction from Ashton turned round!
By August 1928 North Western eventually came to an arrangement with SHMD (who had been trying to run services into Saddleworth) and the service became one from Delph to Mossley (Brookbottom). Although it was technically joint with SHMD, it was operated exclusively by North Western.
The service did not change much from that date, although at some time in the ‘thirties some journeys were extended to Denshaw and in the same period it was given the service number 158. It was worked by North Western’s Oldham garage until the Greater Manchester operations became SELNEC Cheshire division. This did not last long and from 21st May 1973 the service was worked from the former Oldham Corporation garage.
As part of a general renumbering, the 158 became the 438 from 2nd December 1973. The next change came on 25th September 1977 when certain journeys were diverted to leave Mossley using Carrhill Road (Roughtown) instead of Stockport Road. These journeys were numbered 436 and provided a service again along that road that was once provided by the 157 but had ceased some years previously.
This service pattern remained until they ceased with the service revisions from 20th July 1980, replaced by the 353, 355 and 356.
© David Beilby