PULFREY OF GREAT GONERBY
long standing Grantham area operator
Operating as the Prince bus and coach service
|Please note this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information|
the home village of Great Gonerby C W
Pulfrey started in business in 1919 with a Chevrolet charabanc. This is
the same village, just to the north of Grantham on the old line of the
Great North Road, as
the other Gonerby operator Simmons Reliance.
Pulfrey was based at 1 High Street at the southern end of the village
whilst Reliance was at 47 High Street at the northern end. With a fleet
of modest size, reaching four vehicles in the post-war
years, the primary axis of their bus operations was the route from
Grantham northwards to Newark, passing through Gonerby and Claypole and
lying to the east of the A1 Great North Road. Until the early 1930s
private operators also provided timings on the section of route between
Grantham and Great Gonerby: Whipple, Girdlestone and Reliance. After
was mainly Reliance.
However Lincolnshire Road Car were also present in Grantham from 1928 and developed town and country routes from the town, including a daily service to Newark on a different route via Long Bennington (it had been started earlier by predecessor Silver Queen). In October 1932 one of the two routes of the Green Bus Service of G H Moyes of Long Bennington was taken over by Pulfrey (Grantham to Newark); Moyes other route from Long Bennington to Newark on Wednesday and Saturday passed to the Lincolnshire Road Car at the same time. Thus the principal axis of operation for Pulfreys was established along the Grantham via Great Gonerby, Marston and Claypole to Newark corridor to the east of the A1 trunk road, whilst the Road Car 22 route went a more westerly way between the two towns via Great Gonerby, Allington, Foston and Long Bennington. An earlier operator between Fenton, Claypole and Newark was Elijah Astling and his Claypole Bus Service. Already in operation prior to 1930 the bus route was sold to Lincolnshire Road Car in May 1943.
The Pulfrey bus services that were in operation in 1977 remained still primarily on the Grantham to Newark route via Marston, Hougham and Claypole, with variations; also works journeys for Ransomes in Newark and Aveling Barford in Grantham. The A1 was converted into a dual carriageway between Grantham and Newark during the 1960s and restrictions on turns on and off the main road caused changes in the pattern of bus service operation over the years: Grantham, Long Bennington and Newark were all by-passed by the A1 dual-carriageway.
The year 1984 was an important one for local operators when the old bus station on St Peters Hill, Grantham (opened in 1932) was closed and replaced by the current facility in Wharf Road in March. As in many places deregulation of bus services in 1986 brought changes. Both Pulfrey and Reliance took advantage of the opportunities given by the new operating legislation.
XCT 679L is a Bedford YRQ with Duple Viceroy Express coachwork which Pulfrey obtained new in 1972.
It was photographed in Newark Bus Station whilst on service to Grantham via Claypole and Marston.
(photo with thanks from the Richard Simons collection)
a garage and petrol filling station on the north side of the main road
through the village of Barkston, to the east of Grantham. Historically
the village was sometimes referred to as Barkston-le-Willows. Trading
under the name of the Prince Bus Service the firm was
established in mid-1926 by William Arthur ('Billy') Searson to link
local villages with the market towns of Grantham and Newark.
On Saturdays the villages of Marston, Hougham and Hough on the Hill were linked to Grantham by way of the home village of Barkston. Post-war this route was exteneded back to commence from Brandon. Another Saturday service linked Barkston to Newark through Marston, Hough on the Hill and Brandon. On Wednesdays a route went from Barkston through Hough on the Hill, Caythorpe, Brandon and Claypole to Newark. Also a daily works service was provided at appropriate times from Grantham to the Newark factory of Ransome and Marles, manufacturers of ball and roller bearings for industry.
After his death in 1962 the bus routes and coaching business were continued by Billly's son Brian until passing to Pulfrey of Great Gonerby in 1969. Always a modest sized fleet at that time there were three vehicles in their cream and red livery, two Duple bodied AEC Reliances and a Bedford VAL. The garage in Barkston is still in business today, but no longer in the ownership of the Searson's whose family connections with transport remained strong as Brian went on to work for Kimes of Folkingham in the 1980s whilst grandson Stephen (born in 1973) still drives for Delaine.
Searson's AEC Reliance MCT615 stood at the garage in Barkston in the 1960s
This page incorporates much additional information from articles and publications
found in the transport press and the libraries of Lincolnshire