The buses that operated within the Aberaeron area during the 1950s were those that normally operated by Crosville, that had its own garage at Aberaeron, Western Welsh with a garage at New Quay and the local bus operator – Evans Bros., that also had its own Llyseinon garage.
Crosville was the biggest operator with its own routes covering to and from Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Cardigan areas; Western Welsh operated in and from New Quay and to areas around Llandysul and Carmarthen, whilst Evans Bros. covered the rural areas south of Aberaeron such as Dihewyd, Oakford and Mydroilyn. The latter also was available for private hire.
The drivers and conductors that crewed the local buses were generally a kind, helpful and understanding lot, including the odd rogue, whose presence was always entertaining.
I recall after completing my National Service, I was offered a job at a bank in New Quay. To get there I, each morning, had to travel on the Western Welsh bus. Unfortunately, it arrived too early for the bank to open – and I would probably have had to wait some 40 minutes before it opened. When the weather was most unpleasant I was frequently invited by the bus crew to join them for a cup of tea in their own rest room. It was a generous gesture.
One weekly incident that generally happened on the last Saturday evening bus from Aberystwyth to Aberaeron and when the bus was operated by the Aberaeron crew. At the time I was playing rugby for Aberystwyth and frequently took the last bus home to Aberaeron. At mid-distance, and with the conductor’s permission, the bus was stopped for “a gentleman’s rest”. At most times all the men alighted from the bus with the conductor usually shouting “One off, all off!” – like an industrial strike! A long line of men could be seen facing the white fencing near Ardgrange. After a brief pause the men returned to the bus somewhat relieved and appreciated the kind assistance from the crew!
The Evans Llyseinon brothers not only operated a small fleet of buses but they also formed a Dance Band, known as The AB Rhythms. (It frequently played at local venues such as the Memorial Halls at Aberaeron and Felinfach) The Aberaeron Secondary School had formed many sports teams and to fulfil their annual away fixtures with Tregaron, had to hire a bus (usually an Evans Bros. bus) to carry the teams, such as the rugby and the girls’ hockey and netball teams. On our return, after such a fixture a funny incident occurred. The bus was of a vintage type and whilst approaching a steep hill, just after Tyncelyn, it appeared that it was having some difficulty to climb the hill and ultimately it came to a stop. The driver immediately shouted “All out and push!” and with the assistance of all the passengers the obstacle was resolved. Now with the introduction of the Health and Safety regulations such community involvement would probably not be allowed.
Oh! How things have change – not necessarily for the better! Happy days?!! Memories! Memories!