The sort of place you loved to work in ... who remembers the Philly bus depot

Andy in his days as a bus driver. This was taken 38 years ago at Durham bus station.
Andy in his days as a bus driver. This was taken 38 years ago at Durham bus station.
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Former driver Andy Robson has wonderful memories of his days on the buses.

It’s 40 years this year since Andy first began his career as a 21-year-old PSV driver and he will never forget his time at the Philadelphia depot.

Another view of the site. Photograph by Alex Davies.

Another view of the site. Photograph by Alex Davies.

He drove for Northern General Transport and took in routes from Ryton to Hartlepool, and across to the coast at Sunderland.

But as well as his days on the roads, he also worked as a diesel fitter and still remembers the excellent camaraderie among the 100-plus workers at Philadelphia.

“It was a nice place to work and a great set of people to work with,” said Andy, now 61.

He is now the administrator for a social media site which gathers old photographs of the depot and is a haven for people who used to work there.

I remember all the people who worked there and some of them were right characters. It was the sort of place where you loved going to work. It really was like a little community

Andy Robson

Andy was keen to share his memories with the Echo and told us: “I remember all the people who worked there and some of them were right characters.”

The site was so big, it catered for 100 drivers and conductors as well as workshop staff, fitters, joiners and electricians.

There was a canteen with a pool table and a double shift system because of the sheer size of the workforce.

But Andy, who later became a diesel fitter in the garage, loved it and added: “It was the sort of place where you loved going to work. It really was like a little community.”

The bus depot site. Photograph by Alex Davies.

The bus depot site. Photograph by Alex Davies.

Watch out for more from Andy and lots more Philadelphia in next week’s column.

There are also plans to hold a get-together at the site of the former depot later this month, before it makes way for a new development.

But if you have your own memories of the depot, we would love to hear from you.

Did you work there or do you remember the buses out of Philadelphia?

Andy Robson's old PSV badge.

Andy Robson's old PSV badge.

Can you remember the cost of the fares in days gone by?

Get in touch by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk