Plenty of room for your Wearside bus memories

Jollies Buses in 1959.
Jollies Buses in 1959.

Fares please! All aboard for your memories of Wearside’s bus services through the decades.

We are starting a new series of features with a look back at the history of the Economic service which was a familiar and striking sight on the streets of Sunderland.

A flashback to the Echo story on George Anderson as he stepped down from the Economic bus service.

A flashback to the Echo story on George Anderson as he stepped down from the Economic bus service.

It was George Anderson and Edward Wilson who entered into a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to start running it. They began in July 1925 between Whitburn Colliery and the Sea Lane tram terminus with a 12-seater Siddeley-Deasey, which was converted from a First World War Army ambulance.

Wives, sisters, cousins and other family members would help by getting behind the wheel or handling the ticket machine.

Within a few decades, the Economic business had 21 buses and 60 drivers, mechanics and conductors.

When he spoke to the Sunderland Echo in 1975, Mr Anderson reflected on times gone by and particularly the war years.

I always tried to achieve perfection and I think I managed it partially as well as getting a great deal of satisfaction from my work

George Anderson

He recalled how the era of women conductors grew during the conflicts, when the men of Wearside were called up for service.

By the mid-1970s, the Economic service had been taken over by the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive.

And as an era came to an end, Mr Anderson told the Echo: “I always tried to achieve perfection and I think I managed it partially as well as getting a great deal of satisfaction from my work.”

What are your memories of the Economic and other bus services in Sunderland down the decades?

Bus conductresses in 1940 in Sunderland.

Bus conductresses in 1940 in Sunderland.

We’ve shared photos of the Jolly buses, Hylton Road depot and the Union Street bus station.

Who remembers the conductresses and which service did you use in times gone by. Can you remember how much your fares were?

Email your memories to chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk

And watch out for more next week.

The Union Street depot in 1954.

The Union Street depot in 1954.