Until the Blue Bus Service started around 1922, villagers walked to Windsor, and schoolboys to Eton. If they were lucky they got a lift on a horse and trap, or cart. The first bus was quite small with a bench seat each side for the passengers. This, and subsequent buses up to the 1930s, were entered by steps and handrails at the back. The service was very popular as it ran at all times and in all weather. It frequently pulled up at any point between specified bus stops to pick up or drop off passengers and always found room for everybody. Late buses after the cinemas and shops closed were often packed with as many standing passengers squeezed together as were seated. In the mid-1930s, another service known as 'The Marguerite' (cream and brown livery) plied the same routes between Windsor Castle, Eton, Eton Wick, Dorney and, less frequently, to Maidenhead. The Marguerite service only lasted a few years. Ultimately the increase in family car ownership slowly forced the successful Blue Bus Service into decline.
Among the popular drivers with the Blue Bus Service there were, as well as Bert and his son, Ted Jeffries, John North, John Bell, Bill Mitchell and Gerry Austin. Gerry is pictured standing in front of one of the Blue Buses (the man on the left) in the photograph. During WWII, Gerry drove ambulance vehicles for London Transport, often bringing wounded servicemen from the docks. After the war he drove the Blue Buses, and then worked for the council, often sporting a top hat for special occasions.
|Blue Bus Service proprietor, |
Mr Bert Cole on his retirement in 1966.