Bedford St Johns Depot Centenary event

10 Aug 2019

Herts & Beds Group organise celebration

The Omnibus Society Herts & Beds Group and Stagecoach in Bedford are holding a Family Fun & 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 to 1600.

Friday 9 August 2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of St John’s depot re-opening after World War 1. It has been in continuous use as a bus depot ever since.

On 30 July 1913, the LGOC (London General Omnibus Co) opened St John’s depot. However their 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. Although timetables show services restarting on 11 August, in reality they started two days earlier. The first timetable dated 11 August shows four routes, with major additions from 29 August and considerably more from April 1920.

United Counties Omnibus Company, which had taken over services in Bedford, became the third National Bus Company subsidiary acquired by Stagecoach (Holdings) Ltd on 18 November 1987.  Bedford St John’s depot was part of United Counties, but was transferred within Stagecoach to neighbouring subsidary company Cambus Ltd in March 2013.

Plans for 10 August 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. There will also be fun activities and competitions for families and children, enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike! Any surplus funds raised will be donated to a nominated charity.

A free shuttle bus will run from Elstow Park & Ride and All Hallows bus station to the depot.

Further details are available from Richard Morgan at staff10@btinternet.com or telephone 07889 357392