The buses of the Matthews family

Please note - this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information

The Greyfriars business, run by the Matthews family, was to be the last of the small private firms running into the cathedral city of Winchester (there were still eight such operators in 1949). The main route was taken over from Dovey, the Owslebury carrier, in the late 1920s, but Matthews had been in business for some years previously as coachbuilders.  Based at a garage in Eastgate Street, just round the corner from the main bus departure point in The Broadway with the statue of King Alfred, the firm ran two bus routes. The country route linked Winchester to Morestead and Owslebury. There was a short lived postwar extension to Upper Upham on Saturdays - this was so in 1949 but had gone by September 1950.  By the time of the introduction of road service licencing in 1931 there was also a short city route which ran a dozen or so journeys each day from Broadway to Vale Road and Fivefields Road in the Highcliffe Park district of the city. The timetable appears to have been arranged so that, except on Saturdays,  one vehicle usually covered both routes (until an increase in frequency on the city route to half hourly in 1951).

The two bus routes ran under Matthews proprietorship for the last time in October 1955, although Greyfriars continued for some years after as a coach operator.  A little reluctantly King Alfred introduced new route 15 on 7th November with three off-peak journeys to Owslebury after a gap of about a week. There was a delay of several months though until January 1956 before King Alfred, after pressure from the city council,  introduced the 16 to cover the local route to Highcliffe. At the time King Alfred were themselves stretched with staff shortages a particular difficulty.  Greyfriars had used Bedford Utility buses and these did not pass to King Alfred.

1949 Greyfriars timetable

September 1950 timetable (the Saturday extension of route to Upper
Upham now discontinued)

December 1951 timetable showing improved half hourly service on
Winchester local route to Highcliffe Park (although the
Sunday service still does not commence until 4 pm)
September 1950 timetable

December 1951 timetable Highcliffe route

some Greyfriars Coaches bus tickets (front and rear)
penny ticket

Greyfriars tickets
back of penny ticket
back of ticket

The only photo of a Greyfriars vehicle I have been able to trace is here, taken by Peter Gale in 1967, showing JDG967, Leyland PS2/3 (1950) Plaxton FC33F

Information about working on the buses in Winchester and Southampton is on Bob Mockford's site