Monday 16 November 2015

The Blue Bus Service

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.


  1. My first view of Eton Wick in September 1960 was from the wonderful Blue Bus!

    1. Glad you have such nice memories does my heart good, that was my Dad btw

  2. I too remember seeing the Blue Bus from my dad’s John Wallis Drycleaning van when helping him on his round through Eton Wick & Dorney back in the late 1950s & 1960s. Very different days as l later, for a couple of years, worked with Alder. Valley Buses operating out of Maidenhead and would often take the 22 Service out of Slough through Eton Wick/Dorney/Dorney Reach, where l once was caught by Jock, an Inspector, running early on a remote stop after Palmers House, thank goodness he like me... such were the days.
    Michael Dixon

  3. I lived in ye meads ,off Marsh Lane. From 1954 I used to get the blue bus from the top of ye meads to dorney school. I was just 5 when I did this alone . Fare was a penny. Cant remember the drivers name. He smoked a pipe is all I remember

  4. I took the Blue bus every Wednesday from Windsor to Eton Wick. It stopped at The Grapes where we got off. My family lived on Common Road and at Saddocks farm.

    The one drive I remember well had a large mustache, his name was Ron. Not sure of his last name maybe cooley?

    Fond memories of days gone by. I now live in USA,

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  6. This brings back happy memories. I was born in Slough 1941. My mother was staying with her sister, who lived in Dorney Reach. As I grew up, we visited my aunt regularly, during the 1940's. Living in Kent, we caught the train to Windsor Station, then the Blue bus to Dorney Reach. I remember waiting in Windsor for ages, as they didn't run very frequently. Im sure the driver was Gerry, everybody new everybody.

  7. My Dad was the Driver with John Wallis Dry-cleaners (later he had his own Dry-cleaning business) and I often caught the Blue Bus to meet him on his round on Tues/Thursdays after school in Windsor. So not only travelled on that service but also knocked on just about every house in Eton Wick/ Dorney/Dorney Reach when I was young. Happy Memories now sadly everything has changed including the road over Windsor & Eton Bridge...