Dyffryn Tanat and Region Development Trust
Chairman Kenton Owen QGM
Company Reg. No. 6905623
Gittins Bus, Crickheath
In 1921 two brothers, Dan and Jack Gittins established the Service garage in Crickheath. They bought a Ford Model T lorry-bus in 1922 and in August of that year began a Market-day only service to Oswestry, via three different routs. A second Ford arrived in 1925 and the pair were replaced in 1928/30 by two purpose built Vulcan buses. These continued the Crickheath services and opened a new Market-day route from Sweeney Mountain to Oswestry. The two brothers were also awarded excursions and tour licences from both Crickheath and Oswestry by the new Traffic Commissioners.
After the Vulcans, all subsequent vehicles were of either Bedford or Leyland manufacture, the former including a pre-war Wilmott bodied WTB bus and two post-war OB/Duple Vista coaches and the latter a 1935 Burlingham bodied cub replaced in turn by a 1948 Burlingham-bodied Tiger half-cub and then a late model 1954 Royal Tiger with Burlingham seagull bodywork.. Besides the Wednesday/Saturday services to Oswestry, the excursions, tours and private-hire work, The brothers also acquired an attracive schools service which ran from Pant crossroads to Moreton School via Llynclys. Content to remain a very small business the brothers undertaking most of the driving and maintainance, the fleet stabilised at three vehivles in the post-war period. Of eleven buses and coaches acquired between 1922 and 1966, all but one were new, the exception being a Duple-bodied Bedford SB3 coach bought from Salopia in 1963 to replace the older of the two OB's.
Inevitably retirement loomed for the two brothers and in December 1966 they sold the goodwill of the business (including its route licences) to Parish's of Morda.
This was the Gittins brothers 1st bus, a 14 seat Vulcan, UX 6439 which they bought new in 1930
Bedford OB GUJ 356 in service with Gittins in 1950. Believed that the vehicle is in preservation in Shrewsbury area.
Gittins bus on the Horse market Oswestry 28th October 1966.
On the 28th December 1966 was the last day of operation for the company D.& J.Gittin's.One of the first buses Gittin's operated was a Vulcan. They also ran a lorry in the early days for coal and converted it for passengers on market days.
1954 Royal Tiger/Seagull coach KNT 780 Photographed at llandudno in the summer of 1966.
Photo from an article in the Daily Mail 6th September 1966. The article read, "Busmen reach the end of the road after 45 years."
Dan and John, the bus service men are to retire-undefeated in a 45 year battle against rising prices. The brothers Dan and John Gittins, who operate a bus service from Crickheath, near Oswestry, Shropshire have only increased their fares by ONE HALFPENNY since they started their business in 1921.
Instead of increasing prices, we have relied on friendliness and dependability to keep our business a good one, said Dan 65, yesterday. In one of the three familiar chocolate and primrose coaches owned by Dan and John 68, passengers can travel from Oswestry to Crickheath, 6 miles, for 6 1/2d. They also operate an "express" to Liverpool , a 100 mile round trip for 9s6d return.
We could have raised our fares in line with other rising prices on many occasions during the past 45 years and the passengers would probably not have complained, said Dan. Our running charges have gone up the same as everyone else,s, but raising fares is not the answer. We do not believe in it..
Now, Dan ,John and their wives Anne 60, and Annie 62, who work as conductresses on the buses, are to retire. They are selling the business. If we had a couple of sons, the family business would be carried on, but we haven't, and we have earned our retirement.
By "Midland Red", a 6 mile rural journey from Shrewsbury to Shawbury costs 2s 1d. Said a bus company spokesman:- "If Mr Gittins is a small business, he probably has not got to contend with wages and unions".
Danny Gittins' bus timetable
Photo from 1936 (Black & White - but later coloured in) of Gittins bus negotiating the canal bridge at Crickheath Wharf.
Photo of Danny Gittins (Seated in bus), with a group of Maesbury men on a day out.
Back row left to right, Ned Lewis, Bill Roberts, Jack Onions Unknown, Jack Powell, Hiaram Jones, Dick Bebberton, Unknown, Bill Swannick.
Front Row left to right - Ted Griffiths, Ernie Barbour, Syd Bebbington, Tom Swannick, Unknown.