Reliance Motor Services (Kindle)
The Story of a Family-Owned Independent Bus Company
Between the two world wars and in the years that followed, several generations relied on country buses. In the days when few could afford a car, the bus was the medium to move between homes in often remote villages and the places where they increasingly went to school, worked and enjoyed their leisure hours.
This is the story of one such chain of villages across the Berkshire Downs — and the family-owned business that grew up around satisfying their needs.
George Hedges came back from World War I to become a horse-drawn carrier, but with ambitions to motorise his business. With his family taking the wheel in the 50s and beyond, Reliance extended its reach nationwide and even internationally.
The small village where it all started, Brightwalton, woke in the mornings to the cough of diesel engines from both Reliance buses and a relative’s lorries. When both businesses departed, the village lost many of its jobs, its two pubs and very nearly its school.
This book is not just for bus lovers but for anyone who looks back with fondness on the era before the motor car choked free movement and changed life.
Article: ‘History of a bus company you could rely on’ as featured byNewbury Weekly News, 23rd April 2020 - words by Geraldine Gardner