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May 15 2019

Bedford St. Johns centenary ‘fun day’

The Omnibus Society Herts and Beds Group and Stagecoach in Bedford are holding a family fun and open day at Bedford St. John’s Depot to celebrate its centenary in continuous use as a bus depot on Saturday 10 August from 1000-1600hrs.

A free shuttle bus will run from Elstow park and ride and All Hallows bus station to the depot.

Plans include a static display of former United Counties vehicles in preservation and a selection of Stagecoach vehicles of particular interest. There will be displays detailing the history of the depot and development of bus services in Bedford. However, there will also be many fun activities and competitions for families and children - enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. Any surplus funds raised will be donated to a nominated charity.

United Counties Omnibus Company was the third NBC Company acquired by Stagecoach (Holdings), when purchased on 18 November 1987. Bedford St. John’s Depot was part of United Counties and was transferred to Cambus Ltd in March 2013.

Friday 9 August will mark the 100th Anniversary of St John’s Depot being in continuous use as a bus depot.

Although timetables show services commencing on 11 August, in reality they started two days earlier. The first timetable dated 11 August shows four routes, quickly built up to much more from 29 August and considerably more from April 1920.

On 30 July 1913, the LGOC (London General Omnibus Co) opened St John’s depot. Its Bedford operations ceased on 22 November 1914 when the depot was taken over by the military authorities, who vacated the premises on 5 August 1919. Bedford was the most northerly LGOC depot.

  • Richard Morgan

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