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FOR FUTURE REFERENCE
The Marlow Museum had plans for a number of displays which have had to be postponed or cancelled. Our proposed VE Day Street Party at the museum plus display was lost but the RBL and local streets celebrated. Another planned display was to record the centenary of the ‘Thames Valley Traction Company Ltd’. Many visitors to the museum will remember them and their red double and single decker busses. Later joined with Aldershot and District to form ‘Alder Valley’ (a place that never really existed). Whether to local towns and villages and even a coach to London in latter days, it was our local service with many happy memories.
The museum has a modest stock of local reference books (details at a later date) and has been fortunate to receive a publication entitled ’Early Independents of the Henley and Marlow Areas’ by Paul Lacey. You may have read some of Paul’s earlier books on bus companies but this one is a must if you are a bus enthusiast or interested in local transport and travel. 96 pages are full of details and photographs of a whole range of bus businesses with over half the pages devoted to the Marlow area. Routes, timetables, staff names and the competition on the roads. Plenty of charming photographs are reproduced showing the glamour of travel; coaches with the well turned out driver or owner awaiting your presence. My favourite scene being a local bus on Marlow Bridge.
Of course, Henley is not forgotten from Crimson Coaches to Venture Coaches. Binfield, Watlington, Stonor are all included. This book being the first of three to be devoted to the Thames valley will ensure many more places are covered in due course: maybe your favourite town or route or destination. Clearly many years of research, interviews and recording have been employed.
But I must return, as you might expect, to the pages, pictures, stories and details on Marlow. Even the front cover shows two brand new busses fitted with whitewall tyres and fleet named for Marlow & District. We are advised that the first service bus between Marlow and Henley was on 11 April 1914 with the link between Marlow and Maidenhead 24 October 1919. Interestingly (I want to keep saying that word as there is so much wonderful detail) the route ran via Thicket Corner, Temple for golfers, Hurley, Pinkneys Green, Bisham and over the Marlow Bridge to Market Square by the Crown Hotel. But that was not the final objective. Another 5 miles by Malow Bottom Turn, Handy Cross, Cressex Farm and down to the River Wye in High Wycombe. A circuitous route it would seem but of course road layouts were quite different from today. As well as Marlow & District in Glade Road, charabanc outings are covered with such companies as Battings’ Kingfisher, The Marlow Belle, and George Henry Tillion taking punters from the Horns PH Chapel Street to Ascot and Epsom Races. Then there was the Pond House Bun Club travelling from the Bath Road near Maidenhead to Brighton. Who were they?
A very nice A4 Sized glossy covered book with clear easy to follow text. Retail Price £15.00* Written, designed and Published by Paul Lacey. 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, Berks. RG41 3HT.
Mike Hyde May 2020
*Retail Price is just for reference, not for sale
(for most small images - select image to enlarge)