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IMPERIAL

The Moore family business in Windsor  -  the brown bus




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




This long established operator was aptly named for its town services in the Windsor area. Founded by the Moore family in 1917, trading as A Moore & Sons, bus operations started in 1926.  Originally alongside others they ran between Windsor and Slough (but this passed to the newly formed London Passenger Transport Board in 1933). Also in 1926 the first of their 'traditional routes' to the west of Windsor were started:  Windsor to Clewer followed in 1936 by Windsor to Maidenhead Road.  From 1st June 1947 the routes were extended with the expansion of housing to Vale Estate and Dedworth (Foster Avenue junction with Wolf Lane) respectively.

The August 1950 timetable leaflet below lists the two routes from Dedworth to Windsor as Wolf Lane to Thames Street (unchanged from 1947 above) and Dedworth Manor and Vale Estate to Windsor Castle via Clewer Village and Oxford Road. At that time the Vale Road via Clewer Village route was diverted into Hanover Way to terminate at Tudor Way. These evolved into two routes running from Windsor to Dedworth via Clewer Three Elms (service 1) and Windsor to Dedworth Manor Estate via Clewer Village (service 2).  From January 1960 the latter was extended to Martin Estate (Galleys Road) and eventually, as the town's suburbs expanded yet further to the west, the two routes were to meet at Ruddlesway. Eventually by 1972 they had been combined to form circular services operating in both directions ('A' clockwise and 'B' anti-clockwise). By 1982 exact fare fareboxes were used on the buses.


Moore's Imperial Bedford VPT17

The Royal Windsor Website and Forum

Imperial Bedford VPT17
With a brown and cream livery the firm was known locally as 'the brown bus' and catered for what were often very busy routes. A limited company was formed in 1946 and the firm was active in the removals business as well as running buses. The Imperial garage was in Firs Avenue, off Clewer Hill Road.

Interestingly this base was almost adjacent to the terminus of another one route only local independent operator - Borough Bus (Frowen & Hill Ltd) - whose red buses ran half hourly from Windsor to Clewer Green, Hatch Lane. They reversed opposite the Imperial garage. But the route taken by Borough from Windsor town centre was different to the Imperial routes. Borough Bus sold their only route to Thames Valley in 1955.


imperial bell punch ticket
From the timetables below the frequency on each of the two routes was half-hourly in 1950. In the 1960s the route via Clewer Village (previously service 2) had increased to a twenty minute frequency, whilst service 1 from Foster Avenue still remained half-hourly.


In 1981 the Imperial fleet of seventeen was comprised of seven coaches and ten buses. The 1982 timetable shows both of the circular routes A and B having a twenty minute service. Until the introduction of the circular services the two routes had separate in-town termini.

In the timetables below note the absence of any Sunday morning services, whether in 1950, the 1960s and even in 1982 (which seems quite unusual for the 1980s).


back of bell punch imperial ticket

The brown and cream Imperial vehicles continued to operate until 24th January 1987 when the bus routes passed to Alder Valley North. This followed the death of the founder Alf Moore and a decision by his sons not to continue the business. It was also just a few months after the introduction of deregulation of bus services, removing the protection of route enjoyed previously by the incumbent operator - perhaps this may have had a bearing too.

imperial TIM ticket



1960s times and fares - still two separate services rather than one circular route.

imperial1

imperial2




August 1950 timetable leaflet
The Royal Windsor Website and Forum
1950 timetable service 1 cover of 1950 timetable leaflet 1950 timetable service 2



1982 times and fares for the circular services A and B

imperial 1982 fares

imperial 1982 times



Imperial Bedford in Windsor
Moore's Imperial (Brown Bus) of Windsor.   603KMT Bedford SB Duple in High Street, Windsor, August 1965.    
       Photo by
Mega Anorak



A long established discussion of reminiscences of the Imperial 'brown bus' can be found on The Royal Windsor Website and Forum
The use of information and illustrations from that site is acknowledged with thanks.



A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOURS

In terms of independent operators in the Windsor area as well as Imperial's 'Brown Bus' and the red buses of Borough Bus there was also the Blue Bus (Cole of Slough) and the White Bus (Jeatt of Winkfield).

The latter continues to operate their route between Windsor and Ascot / Sunninghill, as they have done continuously since 1930, with some journeys running along the private roads of Windsor Great Park. From 1935 until 1962 the route had travelled further south to reach Bagshot. An interesting twist of history has a current White Bus off-peak hourly shoppers West Windsor circular service W1 operating into what was once Imperial territory in Clewer and Dedworth.

Blue Bus had a Windsor Maidenhead service via Eton Wick, Dorney and Taplow which was sold to Thames Valley in June 1966. The Windsor to Taplow part of the route originated in 1923 and was extended to reach Maidenhead in 1955. These were some of a number of private operators that co-existed 'filling the gaps' in the interface between London Transport and Thames Valley in the Windsor area.
1947 timetable
Borough Bus tickets         Borough Bus tickets




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