Sheffield bus services mark centenary

One of Sheffield's first buses in operation, in 1913
One of Sheffield's first buses in operation, in 1913
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Celebrations are taking place to mark a major milestone in the history of Sheffield’s transport system.

This month is 100 years since the first buses began running – on a route between Broomhill and Lodge Moor – which launched on February 15, 1913.

Modern-day buses on Sheffield High Street

Modern-day buses on Sheffield High Street

First, South Yorkshire’s biggest bus operator, has events planned for the occasion. The company is painting two modern buses in the former liveries of Sheffield Corporation, the organisation that ran buses in Sheffield for most of the last century.

The buses, one in 1913 livery and one in 1960 livery, will soon be running on the 51, the modern-day route from the city centre, through Broomhill to Lodge Moor.

Giles Fearnley, managing director of First UK Bus, has a personal interest in the centenary celebrations.

His grandfather, Arthur Fearnley, was the general manager for The Sheffield Corporation Tramways from 1904 to 1936.

Giles Fearnley, of First Group, who has led organisation of Sheffield's bus centenary celebrations

Giles Fearnley, of First Group, who has led organisation of Sheffield's bus centenary celebrations

And Giles, along with local transport historians and enthusiasts across South Yorkshire, has helped organise the centenary celebrations.

He said: “It is very exciting that people in Sheffield are coming together to celebrate 100 years of motorbuses in Sheffield.

“It is only right and proper that we organise a series of events to commemorate this anniversary and the public should look out for these spectacular buses that represent the history of this great city.”

The original buses supplemented Sheffield’s tram network – but the old trams were phased out half a century later and buses became king of the road for local transport.

Trams only made a return in 1994.

The centenary will be marked by a commemorative trip on the 51 service by dignitaries including Lord Mayor, Coun John Campbell, on Friday, February 15.

On return to the city centre, there will be a reception at Sheffield Town Hall.

Later in the spring, on Sunday, May 12, a bus rally will be held at First’s Olive Grove depot,

Members of the public will be invited to come and see a selection of old and new buses and to take part in activities, which will include a charity bus pull in 1913 costume.

Bus Roots

Sheffield was one of the UK’s first cities to introduce buses.

Buses were used to reach parts of the city where trams could not be justified due to insufficient residents or where hills were too steep.

Sheffield’s original buses were run by Sheffield Corporation Tramways and ran to connect with tram services.

What are your memories of bygone Sheffield buses? Email: nancy.fielder@thestar.co.uk