In Nottinghamshire on the borders of Lincolnshire

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

The long established business of W. Gash & Sons Ltd. operated several routes between Newark-on-Trent and Nottingham for a period of many years. After expansion into Newark town services at the time of bus deregulation in 1986, following a surprising reduction in Road Car operations in the town, the firm with its fleet of thirty-nine blue, green and cream liveried vehicles was acquired by Yorkshire Traction in April 1988 and absorbed into Lincolnshire Road Car (also by then part of the Yorkshire Traction Group) in May 1989.  The Gash name was not retained by Road Car. Sixteen years later, Road Car themselves passed into the ownership of the Stagecoach group in 2005.

The Gash business grew from simple foundations.  It was in the village of Elston that the local miller, William Gash, and his wife Effie acquired a secondhand Beeston-Humber truck AL1174 which he then used to transport corn and other goods to and from the market in Newark.  In 1919 William had added some bench seats and started to convey passengers as well as commodities to market. In 1921 William's brother Alan joined the business and a Ford Model T was aquired to replace the Humber.  The Wednesday service to Newark was followed in 1922 by a Saturday service from Elston to Nottingham via Flintham, Screveton and Car Colston.    In 1926 Gash bought his first 'proper' bus a 20 seater Reo-Sprinter, the chassis made in America but assembled in Britain. This was fitted with a body made by the Bracebridge Body Company of Lincoln. Then in 1928 a second bus, a Chevrolet, was bought and the firm (now trading as Elston Motor Service) from October began running a daily service between Elston and Newark for workmen and schoolchildren. Also in 1928 the market day service to Newark was extended back to start from Hawksworth and the operation between Elston and Newark became daily. 

The business, two vehicles and routes of Garrood of East Bridgford were acquired in 1932; they had traded as The Fairway, and had also operated from Nottingham to Newark, but via Bingham and Staunton-in-the-Vale. Two routes now linked Newark to Nottingham, one via Elston, Flintham and Bingham (daily); the other via Staunton-in-the-Vale, Orston and Bingham (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday).  By the time of the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 the firm had added its first diesel-powered buses to the fleet: two Daimlers with 5-cylinder Gardner engines. Construction of wartime RAF aerodromes at Newton near Bingham and Syerston near Elston brought increased business to Gash, and these were busy days. This also afforded the opportunity to deliver a new direct main-road service between Newark and Nottingham in addition to the round-the-villages routes.The direct route later developed to become the principal core route  of their bus operations.

In 1945 the business and one vehicle of J. Goodwin of Flintham was bought.  In 1947 the first two double-deckers arrived in the fleet, lowbridge Leyland Titans 48-seaters of 1930 vintage from Wigan Corporation. 1948 saw the introduction of the direct limited stop and busy service between Newark and Nottingham as portrayed in the timetable page below (note the inferred picking up restrictions). In winter 1948/9 a batch of four Strachan open platform, low-bridge bodied Daimler CVD6s, the Company's first new double deck buses, joined the fleet. (These four were rebodied in 1961 with new Massey high-bridge 61-seat bodies fitted with platform doors).

In 1953, with a fleet size of twenty six which had far outgrown the original premises, the operating base was moved from Elston to a purpose-built facility at Bowbridge Road in Newark. The business became a limited company the following year.  Expansion into continental tours came in 1957. Celebrations were held to mark the 50th anniversary in 1969 and services then used the newly opened Broad Marsh bus station in Nottingham from 31st October 1971; previously they had used Huntingdon Street bus station alongside many other operators.  During the 1970s the Lincolnshire Road Car timetable booklets contained the timings for the Gash services to Nottingham. The founder William Gash died in 1974, aged 80. Some alterations to the services and route pattern took place in the early 1980s.

Gash were no strangers to the operation of half cab rear entrance double deckers with their prolonged use of a quartet of superannuated Daimlers. In the mid-1980s the firm found that there were new opportunities afforded it by deregulation. To meet the demand for buses, many second hand purchases were made with even AEC Routemasters entering the fleet. Gash had, in the not too distant past been famous for it's prolonged operation of elderly Daimler half cab double deckers. Latterly though, it's 'bus' requirements had been met by Leyland products, particularly the Leopard. Purchases at this time now included an ex-Greater Manchester Park Royal bodied Daimler Fleetline and four Leyland Atlanteans.

As mentioned above some gaps were left in the town services network at Newark at the time of deregulation in 1986, as Lincolnshire Road Car only registered some of their pre-existing routes in the area, omitting some of the better ones!  Thus Gash introduced local routes from Balderton to Newark; Farndon via Newark to Coddington; and Newark to Collingham.  Amongst vehicles acquired for this purpose the fleet now included ex-London Transport 64-seater Routemasters 1990 (ALD990B), 2065 (ALM65B) and 757 (WLT757). There were also seven Metrorider minibuses, the 'Newark Nippers'. The 'Go Gash' branding was introduced and an expanded geographical area of operations post-deregulation led to a four vehicle out-station being set up at Sutton-on-Trent. October 1987 saw Gash taking over the Newark to Grantham route of Pulfrey of Great Gonerby.

Gash Daimler decker
In 1988 the Gash fleet had grown to comprise thirty eight vehicles, of which 14 were coaches, 8 were dual purpose, 4 were Bristol single-deck buses and 12 double-deckers; the latter included the three Routemasters as well as eight Atlanteans and perhaps their most celebrated vehicle, KAL578 a 1948 Daimler CVD6 with 61-seater Massey body (it had been rebodied from Strachan in 1962; it is  now owned by Johnson Bros of Worksop and sometimes seen at rallies).  Perhaps the firm overstretched itself at this time with some unreliable vehicle purchases and expansion. Then came the sale of the business to Lincolnshire Road Car (at the time a subsidiary of Yorkshire Traction; both passing to the Stagecoach group in 2005). The late Frank Carter OBE, Chairman of the Traction Group, commented later that it had been a bad mistake to buy both Road Car and the Gash business in 1989.

The stencilled timetables illustrated below are taken from an undated eight page duplicated timetable booklet.  One page shows the Newark to Leicester service which was operated three days a week jointly with Barton Transport.  The other is the hourly 'main-road' route from Newark to Nottingham (half hourly on Saturdays). This busy route was supplemented by two other services, a daily route from Newark to Nottingham via Flintham six times a day, which in practice made connection with the main road route at Toll Bar Farm, East Bridgford Lane End, whilst the bus from Newark went on to serve Bingham. The third service went from Newark to Nottingham by way of Orston and Bingham, running on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.  

Before the "Go Gash" days of the 1980s and the Routemaster operated Newark town services (such as the 83 to Balderton) the firm of Gash was remembered for those Daimler CV deckers. Happily several of Gash's vehicles have been preserved (in non-operational condition) by Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent, including Daimler double-decker LNN353.

Another Gash vehicle preserved is KAL579 (fleet number DD2 from the batch of four double deckers acquired in winter 1948/49). This Massey bodied Daimler is now in the care of the LVVS at their museum at North Hykeham near Lincoln. Previously DD2 was withdrawn by Gash in 1979, and entered into preservation in 1980 in the collection of the Transport Museum at Wythall, Worcestershire, before passing to LVVS in 2017.

The principal Newark Nottingham service passed to Lincolnshire Road Car, then to Pathfinder and Nottingham City Transport and is now back in independent operation with Marshalls of Sutton on Trent, marketed as the 'Fosseway Flyer', and with buses that keep the connection to the past alive by continuing the Gash fleet number sequence (Mr Marshall had once driven part-time for Gash).

Go Gash  -  Newark Nippers  -  timetable of post-deregulation minibuses on the frequent town service from
Newark to Balderton in 1988
(note that the map is orientated to show south at the top of the page).
Crew operated Routemaster double-deckers had also been used on the Newark town services.

Newark Nipper minibuses 1986
Newark Nipper minibuses map and times 1986

A timetable below from the 1960s. The hourly trunk Nottingham Newark direct service ran out of Nottingham along the A52 Grantham road as far as Saxondale Cross Roads (on the outskirts of Bingham) and then turned left onto the A46 Fosse Way. There was a low bridge under the railway line to Melton Mowbray at that point and it was not until after the second world war that the road was lowered so that highbridge type double-deckers could go under it. Nearby RAF Syerston provided a good source of passengers in those days. The R & M works referred to in the timetable is Ransome & Marles; founded in Newark in 1900, Ransome and Marles, or R & M Bearings, soon became the leading British manufacturer of ball and roller bearings.

nottingham newark timetable

Although described as jointly operated with Barton Transport the departures on this service seem to be scheduled in such a way as to be worked exclusively by Newark based vehicles to provide a day-out facility to Leicester. The market town of Bingham is avoided with the route only serving Saxondale. This timetable is again from the 1960s and it is believed that the service continued until the early 1980s.

leicester timetable

Gash double-decker KAL580 (fleet number DD3) seen at Newark bus station in 1977
A 1948 Daimler CVD6 / Massey, it was new in November 1948 with a Strachan lowbridge
body and was re-bodied to hignbidge by Massey in 1958. Withdrawn in August 1979.
Sister vehicle DD2 is preserved by the LVVS at their museum near Lincoln.
photo with thanks by johnmightycat1
Gash double decker KAL580 at Newark bus station in 1977

Cover of the 1953 timetable with map of routes

1946 timetable for Nottingham route
1953 map
1946 timetable for Nottingham route

The 1948 timetable and fare tables for the Newark to Nottingham hourly service,
including half a dozen additional journeys which went into Bingham
1948 Gash timetable cover
1948 timetable Gash Nottingham service

1948 fares Gash Nottingham service

Another bygone service by Skills from Nottingham out through Radcliffe to RAF Newton and East Bridgford.
In 1944 Skill's had taken over the Elect Bus Service and two vehicles of A. Jacklin of East Bridgford
(Skills - established in 1919 -  are still very active today in the coach tour and holiday business)
Skills timetable 1947

Staying in the East Bridgford area here is the August 1943 timetable of T A Lewis Ltd. Founded in 1919 the services (East Bridgford to Nottingham and East Bridgford to Newark) passed to Trent Motor Traction Ltd. on 14th October 1945.
Subsequently Skills (see above) and Trent shared the route to and from Nottingham.

1943 T A Lewis timetable
Lewis 4d ticket
Lewis 5d ticket

For more information on this operator see 'W. Gash & Sons Ltd' by

David J. Stanier, published in 1987 by Trent Valley Publications of Burton-on-Trent.  ISBN 0-948131-06-3.

Read more of the Gash story in a talk given by John Marshall in 2012
on the buses of Newark on the 'Our Nottinghamshire' website

One of the Gash Daimler CVD6 double deckers (fleet number DD2, registration KAL579)  is preserved at the LVVS Museum at Lincoln

Cover of Gash book by David Stanier 1987

with many thanks to John Brogden for the loan of the timetables

also incorporating information from articles and publications found in the libraries of Lincolnshire;











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