Monday, 16 September 2019

The Evans Bus Story



Evans 'weapon of choice' in the 1970s was the Bedford SB, several 
appearing in this unendearing livery.  This is 458 GEV, a 1956 Bedford 
SBG/Duple Vega C41F which had been new to an operator in Essex, 
then operated in Jersey and finally reached Evans in 1975.

During my mis-spent youth, I survived four years as a student in Wrexham, where Evans buses were familiar to all who went to the esteemed institution of which I was to become a part, providing the essential link between the college and the town centre.

Beginnings

The story of the M. A Evans bus company started around 1919 when Robert Daniel Evans started a hackney cab service between Brook Street and Rhos.  In 1928 the operation was transferred from Wrexham-Rhos to Wrexham-Acton/Rhosnesni. The first bus was a Dodge 14 seater bought new in London.


Family Affair

Robert died in 1933 and the company was transferred to his wife, Martha Anne Evans (hence M. A. Evans). Their son Clifford Arthur Evans (known as Arthur) had his own garage until he was 18 and then worked as a conductor and assisted the business.

The company developed very successfully and in 1930 services were extended to Maesydre. In 1948 a further extension to Cartrefle College was introduced and in 1962 to Borras.
544 NUO, a  1963 Bedford SB3/Duple Bella Vega C41F obtained in 1978 from Blue Coaches, St Helier, Jersey


Peak

At the peak of the operation six buses (all Bedfords) were maintained with three running on any one day on two trips per hour over six different routes. There were also a number of variations at different times, which explains why the buses from Cartrefle College to town never seemed to go the same way!

As well as the local services, the company held a number of school contracts and special work for the college. 
Wilf

Evans's staff all seemed to be on the 'senior' side of 60, which led to the comment that it took 50 years to train an Evans conductor! Old Bell Punch tickets were used which, even in the 1970s, seemed to be from another era. Some may remember Arthur’s brother in law, George who was responsible for maintenance. George had been a gunner in WWII, flying over 30 missions over Germany before being invalided out. He became the company fitter in 1985 a post he held until the company finished. 
- And of course there was driver Wilf who referred to female passengers as ‘lipstick’!
Withdrawn at Chapel St garage is TUN 548, 
a 1959.Bedford SB3/Duple Midland B42F.
End Game
In 1985 the routes and some six remaining buses were sold to E Jones and Sons, Rhosllanerchrugog. Arthur Evans died in January 2010 at the age of 92.

If you want more, there is a page on flickr showing Evans buses.
A full list of vehicles operated can be found on this page.


And a postscript: A 1950s Bedford OB (GCA 747) which once belonged to Evans has been preserved. So it’s still possible to ride on an Evans bus!
 

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