MOTOR   G & B SERVICES

 

NOTES AND STATISTICS

 

        Partnership of two companies, Gillett Brothers and John Joseph Baker

 

        The Gillett brothers, Arthur and Albert, began trading in 1923 with a Ford Model 'T', with a body which could convert between passenger and goods use

 

        J J Baker started around 1923, also with a convertible Ford Model 'T' and on Mondays and Thursdays he ran from Quarrington Hill, Trimdon Grange and Trimdon Colliery to Wheatley Hill Co-op

 

        The Gilletts started a bus service between West Hartlepool and Thornley via Wheatley Hill in August 1926.  This was the same route as the existing United Service 13

 

        The service was very popular and by the end of 1926 the route was extended through to Durham, and Gilletts had taken Baker as a partner.  The G&B was born!

 

        In 1928 another service was started by the two partners, from West Hartlepool to Bishop Auckland via Wheatley Hill

 

        Seven buses were required to operate the basic timetable on both services.  Bakers supplied three and Gilletts four.

 

        By 1929 Gilletts employed nine drivers and eight conductors, whilst Bakers had six drivers and six conductors

 

        When 'road service licences' were introduced in 1931 both the Durham and Bishop Auckland services were running every hour

 

        J J Baker died in 1933 and the business was carried on by other members of his family

 

        Both the times and fares for the services were constant for many years:

 

Bus fares from Vincents Corner, Wheatley Hill in 1931:

From

To

Single

Return

Wheatley Hill

Durham

10d

1/5d

Wheatley Hill

West Hartlepool

11d

1/6d

Wheatley Hill

Bishop Auckland

1/-

1/10d

Wheatley Hill

Thornley Crossings

2d

3d

Wheatley Hill

Fir Tree

3d

5d

Wheatley Hill

Colliery Inn Thornley

1d

-

Wheatley Hill

Halfway House

2d

3d

Wheatley Hill

Cassop

3d

5d

Wheatley Hill

Quarrington Hill

4d

7d

Wheatley Hill

Coxhoe

5d

8d

 

The times of the buses from Wheatley Hill were as follows:

 

Wheatley Hill         to Durham                       15 mins past

Wheatley Hill         to West Hartlepool          25 and 45 mins past

Wheatley Hill         to Bishop Auckland         55 mins past

 

        In the war years, services were halved to run every two hours

        In 1959 the Baker family sold its business to Gilletts, although the service was always called "The G&B" by its customers

 

        In 1964 the Durham service was altered to run via Wheatley Hill estate

 

        Although other bus companies introduced 'one-man-operations' in the 1960's and 1970's, Gilletts retained conductors throughout

 

        In 1970 and 1972 the two Gillett brothers died, and in November 1974 the business was bought by United.  The Bishop Auckland service became number 19 and the Durham service number 20.

    I received this photograph of a G & B Bus from Barry Fulcher......don't know where it was taken (looks a bit like Sunderland) but it's on it's way to the Pantomime somewhere.