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DELAINE - A BRIEF HISTORY

1890

William Smith introduced the passenger carrying business as a branch of the family's established General Contractors business.

1902

The business moved to its current site in Spalding Road (occupying only the current Fuel & Wash bays) after outgrowing the original site in the near-by Austerby.

1910

The second petrol pump in the area was installed on site and taxi operation commenced.

1913

William Smith died and the company continued under the leadership of his 17year old son Thomas Arthur.

1915

Thomas Arthur Smith married a Miss Emma Jane Weston from whose family the name Delaine emanated.

1917

Taxi operation was suspended for two years as supplies of petrol were stopped due to the war effort.

1919

The first motor bus a Ford T with Economy 14 seater bodywork was introduced. Services were introduced to Spalding via Twenty, Stamford via Greatford and Grantham via Corby Glen.

1921

Thomas Arthur's sister, a war widow, seeing her brothers success set up her own company 'The Ada Bus Service in Grimsby. After less than a year in Business a disagreement with her partner Mr Steers led to the Business being sold to a Mrs Morley who retained the original 'Ada' fleetname until the business was eventually Taken over by Grimsby Corporation Tramways in June 1934.

1923

The main trunk service between Bourne and Peterborough was introduced.

1925

Regular Excursions to Skegness and Hunstanton were introduced. The M&GN Railway were still operating in Bourne and gave severe opposition.

1928

A disastrous fire at the Spalding Road premises led to the cessation of horse and cart operation and a severe shortage of buses resulted in the Grantham service being dropped. Replacement vehicles were loaned by other operators and the manufacturer W&G. Following an accusation of assult toward a Mr Hibbet of Peterborough Electric Traction (PET) who was simultaneously accused of preventing Thomas Arthur Smith from Passing him, an agreement was formed between the two companies. That PET withdraw its services North of Market Deeping and Delaine services charged a minimum fare of 3d within the City of Peterborough.

1930

The introduction of the Transport Act led to Delaine being the sole operator on many local services including the trunk route between Bourne and Peterborough, however the section of route between Market Deeping and Peterborough would also be served by PET on its service to Spalding.

1931

Following the introduction of regulation a licence to continue to operate excursions from Peterborough was refused by the Traffic Commissioner on the ground that the dead mileage from Bourne was too great.

1932

To overcome the Excursion Licence problem, premises were purchased in Brook Street, Peterborough (now the site of a multi-storey Car Park) for up to four vehicles. Mr James Culshaw joined the company from PET to manage the Peterborough operations, which could now continue with the excursions operated out of the City since 1928. It may be noted that Mr Culshaw (Born 1881), who remained with the company until shortly before his death in 1971, was the Grandfather of Peterborough entrepreneur Peter Boizot founder of Pizza Express.

1934

Due to expansion, the Bourne Depot was extended on the Eastern Side.

1938

Hugh Delaine Smith (Son of Thomas Arthur Smith) joined the business after leaving Kings School Peterborough.

1939

Emma Jane Smith died. Beryl Smith (Daughter of Thomas Arthur & Emma Jane Smith) joined the family business.The premises were once again extended with the acquisition of the English Racing Automobiles (ERA) works, which was located on the western side of the existing garage. The Peterborough depot was disposed of.

1940

The outbreak of war lead to Hugh Delaine Smith serving for the next five years in the RAF as an engineer in Coastal Command. Beryl in addition to her clerical duties also conducted vehicles following the enormous demand for services to local factories and numerous surrounding airfields. Fuel once again became a major issue and Delaine was the only business in town permitted a wholesale supply to operate essential Bus Services, the taxi business was withdrawn and never recommenced. A copy of the local Emergency Plan of evacuation of all local people to the West Country in case of invasion were kept on site in sealed orders.

1941

The company became a limited company 'Delaine Coaches Ltd', its directors being TA Smith, H Delaine Smith and Beryl Smith. The former ERA building was requisitioned by the Army as a billet until the end of the war, during which time a cookhouse and latrines were added, both of which survived until building alterations of 1989-90. This reached a peak of approx 240 soldiers in the build up to the Arnhem landing.

1944

In a conserted effort to save fuel, all mail and newspapers conveyed between Peterborough and Bourne were entrusted to carriage on Delaine Services which were also having to run at drastically reduced frequencies.

1947

With the threat of nationalisation hanging over the industry, the company was split into two parts. Delaine Coaches Ltd being a cream liveried coach operator and the familiar two tone blue of TA Smith Motor Services being the bus division.

1948

The first Double Decker was introduced to cope with the increasing demand on local services. The Garage Roof was raised accordingly.

1949

The threat of nationalization now passed, the two companies were once again absorbed into one and the title Delaine Coaches Ltd adopted as standard.

1954

With the significant demand for coach hire, the first in a line of flamboyant styled Yeates of Loughborough bodied coaches entered the fleet. In the ten year building association with Yeates Delaine became their fourth largest customer.

1956

The company’s first new Leyland Double Decker KTL 780 (45) a Willowbrook bodied Leyland PD2 entered the fleet and was the first Double Decker in the area to be fitted with an electric door and saloon heating. Following withdrawal in 1978 and private preservation from 1979-90 the vehicle returned to the fleet as a heritage member and has the distinction of being the only vehicle to have been driven by every generation of the family active in the motor bus business.

1958

Thomas Arthur Smith died. Hugh Delaine Smith took over as Chairman and Managing Director, a position which he held until his death in 1995.

1959

Yeates of Loughborough built the first of a unique pair of Double Deckers especially for Delaine. OCT 566 (48) remained in the fleet for 18 years before sale into preservation in 1977. This vehicle is now currently preserved by a private collector in Belgium. The closure of the M&GN Railway network which served Bourne led to a number of Rail replacement services being introduced. Some of these were very short lived, while others survived much longer. The final rail replacement service finally succumbed in 1998 with the withdrawal of the Thursdays only Greatford - Bourne service.

1960

The second of the Yeates bodied Double Deckers RCT 3 (50) entered service. Being retired from full-time use in 1979, this vehicle became a regular visitor at rallies all over the country, scooping overall winner at Showbus 1982 amongst many awards collected over the years. RCT 3 still remains in the fleet today although as a preserved heritage member, she is still licensed as a PSV which it has been continually since new, making this the longest running Yeates bodied vehicle in service.

1961

Another first as Independant Delaine enter a joint service agreement with the Nationalized Lincolnshire Road Car on the Bourne-Sleaford service. Setright ticket machines were introduced to replace the original Bell-Punch System.

1964

ACT 101B (58) the last ever Yeates bodied vehicle built entered service.

1965

Ian Delaine-Smith (Son of Hugh Delaine-Smith) joined the business after leaving Stamford School.

1966

The first front entrance Double Decker DTL 489D (60) a Leyland Atlantean PDR1 with Willowbrook H44/32F bodywork entered service.

1970

Kevin Delaine-Smith (Son of Hugh Delaine-Smith) joined the business.

1973

ACT 540L (72) the first long wheel based Altantean entered the fleet. This well known vehicle became the last new Leyland Double Decker to enter the fleet and was the Flag Ship of the Double Decker fleet until the introduction of the first Volvo Olympians in 1995. Owing to its large carrying capacity (82 Seats + Standees), Became the last Atlantean in service finally being withdrawn in July 2001 and transferred to the heritage fleet joining KTL 780 (45) & RCT 3 (50) for use in special duties.

1974

Bourne's North Street Bus Station opens, replacing the original terminus point in the towns Market Place following the installation of traffic lights which made it unsuitable for a turn around point. This location is still used as a stopping point for passing services.

1975

Bourne Town Service introduced.

1976

The trunk route between Bourne and Peterborough became hourly six days a week (the previous frequency being hourly on Wednesdays & Saturdays and only bi-hourly with Peak Time enhancements on other days).

1977

Two ex Maidstone Borough Council Leyland Atlanteans entered the Fleet to cater for the additional demand on the now hourly trunk route.

1979

The last rear entrance vehicle in the fleet RCT 3 (50) withdrawn from service and preserved by the company.

1982

Anthony Delaine-Smith (Son of Hugh Delaine-Smith) joined the business after leaving Stamford School.

1983

The beginning of a new era with the introduction of the first of a series of Duple B62F bodied Leyland Tiger service buses which were to revolutionise the company's urban and rural bus operations.

1985

The trunk Bourne - Market Deeping - Peterborough service was complimented by the introduction of an additional hourly service between Deeping St James and Peterborough. Christened by the locals as 'The Deepings Flyer' this service proved to be ahead of its time with the use of the Leyland Tigers on limited stop parkway routes within the City of Peterborough for quick journey times, this was to become the role model for which all other Delaine services in the City would eventually follow.

1986

The Deepings Flyer primarily a shopping service was expanded following deregulation to offer a Peak Time service.

1987

Mark Delaine-Smith (Son of Hugh Delaine-Smith) joined the business after leaving Stamford School. Three Greater Manchester Northern Counties H43/32F bodied Leyland Atlanteans were purchased to cater for additional peak-time demand. E100 AFW (100) the hundreth Vehicle and the last example of the long running dominant body by Duple to be built entered service.

1988

Following the cessation of Barton Transport operations in the Stamford area. Delaine took over their former 101 Stamford-Barnack-Peterborough service. Initially the frequency was bi-hourly but clock faced as opposed to the previous ad-hoc timetable. Our reliability and use of newly acquired ex London Country Duple bodied Leyland Tigers on the route, soon saw demand increase to the point where the service became hourly and an Intermediate route variation on alternate journeys via Helpston, Glinton, Werrington and Walton was introduced. The first of a batch of ten ex London Country (45 strong TD Class) Duple bodied DP53F Leyland Tigers were Introduced. The first six being numerically selected so their registration and fleet numbers corresponded. These Vehicles were seen and proved to be an ideal replacement for the ageing Bedfords within the fleet on Rural Services and Private Hire.

1990

The peak-time service on the trunk route between Bourne and Peterborough was increased to a 15 minute headway in a bid to encourage commuters out of the cars, proving a success in a short period of time. KTL 780 (45) returned to the fleet in July having been a matter of weeks away from being scrapped having stood Derelict but intact in Bedfordshire for a number of years. 45 was fully restored and was re-certified as a PCV in June 1992 and joined RCT 3 (50) in the heritage fleet for use on special duties.

1992

Route numbers were introduced for the first time on all Delaine Local Bus Service Routes. The off-peak service on the trunk 101 Bourne-Peterborough service followed suit with the 102 Deepings Flyer and took the express route between Walton and the City Centre via Bourges Boulevard to reduce journey times from Bourne and intermediate villages.

1993

The first of four Vintage Bus Running Days and Gatherings were held at Bourne. At its peak the Vintage Days saw over 20 Vintage Buses running on four Delaine Routes with entrants attracted to the Gathering from as far as Newcastle Upon Tyne and Maidstone.

1994

The growth of parental choice of school for their children saw all existing School Contracts turned to Local Bus Services with additional routes registered as required to cater for this new market.

1995

Chairman and Managing Director Hugh Delaine-Smith is awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List for his services to Public Transport. Sadly he died on March 15th having received his summons to Buckingham Palace in May only days earlier.

The MBE is presented posthumously at a ceremony at the company's premises Conducted by the Lord Lieutenant of the County. Ian assumes the role of Chairman and Anthony Managing Director. Another new era was the introduction of the first Volvo Olympians during February which happily Hugh Delaine-Smith MBE just saw after waiting so long to see. Having always been predominantly a bus operator, the company name was officially changed from 'Delaine Coaches Ltd' to 'Delaine Buses Ltd' to give a better reflection of the company's main activity.

1996

The 101 102 Bourne - The Deepings - Peterborough service is re-structured with the extension of all 102 Deeping Flyer journeys to Bourne creating a 30 minute frequency throughout the day and all journeys using The Parkway routes within the City of Peterborough cutting the journey time from Bourne to 40mins inbound and 35mins outbound.

The first Volvo Single Deckers enter the fleet. P1/2 OTL (121/2) with the proven B10M City Bus Chassis with East Lancashire bodywork.

With the commitment to Peak-Time commuters and Schools Services a lack of capacity at Peak-Time was becoming apparent. Therefore the coaching side of the business was closed down and the remainder of the dual-purpose London Country Tigers disposed of and replaced by a batch of six ex Greater Manchester Leyland Atlanteans. Such was the hast for the need of these vehicles that the last four entered service (against general policy) in their Orange GM Livery with Delaine Blue on the lower front, engine cluster and one named side panel only. These examples were restricted to certain routes, but due to another vehicle failing one did make it into Peterborough Queensgate Bus Station. It did prove quite an unexpected marketing boost as the local papers ran stories about the orange buses.

1998

Following the successful revamp of the trunk service between Bourne and Peterborough, a similar exercise was performed on the 201 Stamford - Helpston - Peterborough. All journeys being extend within Stamford to operate a loop serving the estates to the North of the town some 1.5 miles from the Centre, and the Parkway route into Peterborough City Centre reducing journeys times and bringing to a close 75 years of Delaine operation through the Millfield district of Peterborough.

1999

The trunk 101 102 Bourne - The Deepings - Peterborough service is extended on an hourly basis to the Village of Morton, 2.5 miles to the north of Bourne following numerous housing developments.

The depot was also extensively remodelled to incorporate a fully automatic Bus Wash, separate re-fuelling bay and Independent bodyshop.

2000

September: To cater for an additional demand an 8.00am journey from Bourne to Peterborough is introduced creating a 15minute headway between 7.30-8.00am

The companys first DDA compliant vehicle enters service during December. X7 OCT (130) which is a new Volvo B7TL and also has the distinction of being the first Double Decker bodied by East Lancashire Coachbuilders to conform to these new requirments.

2001

Following the introduction of a quartet of ex GM Leyland Olympians and the imminent arrival of the second new Volvo B7TL, July marked the end of 35 years of Leyland Atlantean operations with the withdrawal of the final two examples ORJ 365W (124) and ACT 540L (72). Over the years now fewer than 15 examples have been in service with the company. ACT 540L (72) new to the company in 1973 was transferred to the company's heritage fleet for use on special duties following full refurbishment. A total of three Delaine Atlantean's survive in Preservation, the other two being the first example DTL 489D (60) by Mr P Johnson of Derby and the ex Whippet HFL 672L (95) by Mr R Huckle of Birmingham.

2003

March marked the introduction of onboard CCTV with the entry into service of Volvo B7TL AD03 OCT (136) subsequently all other members of the fleet were retro-fitted between April and June. March also saw the first rear engine single decker enter the Fleet. P87 SAF (137) a Volvo B10B with Wright B51F bodywork. In September the company's first lady driver took to the road.

2006

Delaine Buses become the first operator in the UK to order the new Volvo B9TL chassis. Fitted with the first example of East Lancs Coachbuilders new Olympus body. AD56 DBL (141) made its public debut at the Euro Bus Expo NEC Birmingham in November and was named 'Hugh Delaine-Smith MBE' in honour of the former company Chairman and Managing Director. Entering service on 12/12/06 it also became the UKs first Volvo B9TL and East Lancs 'Olympus' to enter service.

2007

April 20th, AD07 DBL (142) 'Thomas Arthur Smith' enters service becoming the second Volvo B9TL to work in the UK.

To mark the last full year of Leyland Operation which has been continuous since the first example was delivered in 1930 and twenty years of operating ex Greater Manchester Double Deckers, a Leyland Day was held on Saturday 25th August. Featuring the three members of the Heritage Fleet and remaining three operational Leylands, a Heritage Service was operated between Bourne and Stamford every 20 mins (0900-1700).

2009

The companys first DDA compliant single deckers BX04 CKV (146) & SF54 JUO (147) were acquired in July. Both Volvo B7RLE's with Wright Eclipse bodywork

2010

Jennifer Delaine-Smith (Daughter of Anthony Delaine-Smith) joined the business after leaving Bourne Grammar School.

Following the aquisition of a further two Volvo B7RLE's with Wright Eclipse bodywork, the last step entrance single decker P112 RGS (138) was withdrawn in May.

After 71 years working in the busiess Beryl Philippa Tilley retired due to ill health.

2011

April: 101 102 Morton - Bourne - The Deepings - Peterborough. The frequency between The Deepings and Peterborough was increased to 3 buses an hour and the 30 minute headway between Bourne and Peterborough all became 101s during the off-peak period.

September: Volvo B9TL AD61 DBL (150) was the first new Wrightbus double decker to enter the fleet, it also had the distinction of being the first Wrightbus Double Decker to be built to the new European conformity regulations.

2012

January: Beryl Philippa Tilley (daughter of Thomas Arthur Smith and Emma Jane Smith) died.

2015

April: A former small holding at the rear of the depot was acquired to provide space for additional parking.

December: the family established ‘The Delaine Heritage Trust’ a Charitable Incorporated Organisation to establish and maintain a Museum dedicated to preserving in perpetuity the collection of Heritage Buses, Photographs, Documents, Artefacts and Memorabilia of Delaine Buses. The Heritage Fleet consisting of KTL 780 (45), RCT 3 (50), ACT 540L (72) were donated to the Trust.

2016

January: 201 Stamford-Helpston-Peterborough and 202 Bourne-Essendine-Stamford merged to become 201 202 Bourne-Stamford-Peterborough with an hourly headway in either direction throughout the day, all buses call at Stamford Hospital and incorporates Stamford Crosstown, linking the housing estates in the west of the town with the Hospital and Retail Parks in the east.

July: Victoria Delaine-Smith (Daughter of Anthony Delaine-Smith) joined the business after leaving Bourne Grammar School.
December 31
st: The company’s last step entrance vehicle Volvo Olympian M1 OCT (116) worked the Olympian Finale on the last day of step entrance operation on Local Bus Services in the UK under the PSVAR 2000 regulations and operated the final journeys of the year from Bourne and Peterborough respectively. Upon return to the depot it was withdrawn from service and donated to the Delaine Heritage Trust.