On 6th July 1929 a service was started from Manchester to Scarborough, jointly operated by North Western and West Yorkshire. This ran through Oldham and Uppermill and continued via Huddersfield, Leeds, York and Malton. This formed part of the Limited Stop Pool services which went on to become the X97 Liverpool to Newcastle service (q.v.).
In 1930 a separate service was started which stopped at Manchester Lower Mosley Street, Failsworth Pole, Oldham (Greaves Street), Uppermill (Commercial Hotel), Marsden (Tram Terminus) and then ran non-stop to Bridlington (Promenade Bus Station) and Scarborough (Brook Street).
Typically in the 1930s it ran twice a day in the summer period only, leaving Manchester (and Scarborough) at 9am and 3pm. Additional stops were made on request at the NALGO holiday camp at Cayton Bay.
It seems reasonable to assume that the service was suspended during the Second World War but no doubt would have been very popular in the postwar period when private motoring was difficult but the demand for travel was high.
Demand for mid-week travel clearly diminished and by 1960 the service ran (again in summer only) one journey each way only on Fridays to Mondays. This now additionally served Filey, in the high season only at first, with additional stops in Hollinwood, Linthwaite and Slaithwaite and was numbered X25. In addition there were the following variants introduced over a period:
X15 - Manchester to Whitby (Saturdays only)
X35 - Stockport to Scarborough (Saturdays only reaching Oldham via Hyde and Ashton - operating by 1960)
X65 - Northwich to Scarborough (Saturdays only via Manchester)
X75 - Baguley to Scarborough (Saturdays only via Manchester)
All the Scarborough services called on request not only at the NALGO holiday camp at Cayton Bay but also Wallis's Camp and the Scarborough terminus was now at Westwood, near the railway station.
By 1971 however, the services had been reorganised. The X15 remained as it was, the X25 was further pruned to run only on Fridays and Saturdays and also only served Scarborough. The X35 only picked up as far as Ashton, missed Oldham and although it passed through Greenfield it didn't pick up, although occasionally these services were diverted via Uppermill to pick up or drop off there to optimise use of capacity. Bridlington was served by a new Saturdays only X45 service from Manchester which ran to Flamborough Road Coach Park and similarly the X65 ran direct from Manchester to Filey. There was in addition an X55 from Stockport to Bridlington and Filey, similar to the X35 and like that service not really within the scope of this gallery.
The Manchester terminus moved from Lower Mosley Street bus station to Chorlton Street bus station following closure of the former after operations on the 13th May 1973. The services were not operating at that time of year and some other changes had been made by the 1973 season. The X25 ran Saturdays only now, the X45's terminus in Bridlington moved to the Railway Station Coach Park on Hilderthorpe Road.
Over the following winter the services were renumbered and the Scarborough service was operated through from Northwich, so in 1974 the services were:
843 - Manchester to Whitby
844 - Northwich to Scarborough
845 - Manchester to Bridlington
846 - Manchester to Filey
Also these services moved from the former North Western bus station in Oldham to the Yelloway coach station from the 1974 season.
From 1980 the services ceased to be routed through Uppermill and instead, after leaving Oldham headed straight for the M62. The best information that I have indicates that the services ceased operation after the 1983 season. Certainly that was the year Butlin's camp at Filey closed.
The services started off as North Western services and were operated exclusively by them until the company's demise in 1973, when they were operated by National Travel North West. At first this meant principally ex-North Western vehicles, but a notable exception was the use of Booth's of Hyde to work the Bridlington and Filey services in 1974 and 1975. However, the 844 was operated by Crosville from Northwich depot.
An internal reallocation of the services by the NBC took place after the 1982 season and operation of "bucket and spade" services was shared out by a GETABOUT Committee of Crosville, Ribble and National Travel West.
I am please to acknowledge Phil Smith's invaluable contribution to this history, which has transformed what would have been a woefully inaccurate and uninteresting narrative into something far more meaningful and hopefully more interesting.
© David Beilby