Mansfield Tramways had in fact been afforded a certain amount of licenced privilege in order to maintain a regular service with competitively priced fares. Their plans to replace tram routes with omnibus services did seek similar council grants, granting them an operating preference over existing rival bus companies. This obviously was not good news for two known Huthwaite owner operators, namely Pratt Bros and Leah Bros.
Their written complaints heard by Sutton Council came alongside similar objections raised July 1932 by Pinxton 'Bus Company Limited and Trent Motor Traction Company, further urging no monopoly should be granted against public interests. The smaller Huthwaite companies clearly lost on public licenced routes.
An impressive line up across Mansfield Market Place of 16 new AEC Regent buses. Dated 18th September 1932, it was early that Sunday morning when all these numbered 101, headed off to replace the trams. This reported occasion had not however been widely publicised. Only a limited number of invited dignitaries turned up at the Town Hall to witness what now proves an historic event. Residents were barely awake when the Mayor firstly enjoyed an official run through Sutton into Huthwaite. Returning just 35 minutes later collecting some surprised passengers, each issued a complimentary ticket following his worships A000.
The Mansfield & District Light Railway had firstly managed to provide a successful public transport system connecting Huthwaite with frequent tramline services through Sutton-in-Ashfield, Mansfield, into Mansfield Woodhouse. Often grossly overloaded, it had enabled a mass of commuting workers to hold regular jobs away from home. Despite generally being well regarded as reliable, frequent and punctual, their last electric trams left Berry Hill that October 9th, ending 28 years service with this final takeover.
Slow and outdated, the tramlines could no longer compete upon faster modern roads, where other omnibus operators were already winning public favour showing the flexibility and comfort of future transport. Although powerless to stop this district changeover, Huthwaite Councillors did officially sanction this tramway replacement upon hearing factory girls voicing widely perceived complaints. Their letter to the Ministry of Transport requested that reduced workpeoples fares should be continued to assist those having to frequently make hectic trips.
With little ceremony the Mansfield Traction Company thus began a familiar 101 bus service. These double deckers ran every 10 minutes, adding stops along established tram routes between Mansfield Woodhouse and Huthwaite. Here reaching that terminus point facing the Sutton Road Chapel, where, unlike previous bidirectional vehicles, buses needed wide turning space, not afforded on this main road.
Drivers soon realised it easier and indeed less dangerous to circuit the vacant Huthwaite Market square. Concerns were raised about this unauthorised route February 1933, though only eliciting Urban councillors to not only judge the open area safely suited a new stop, but a practical future cause to finally merit its refurbishment.
Sheltered bus stops have since been sited upon the Huthwaite Market place, changing positions through time facing either Main or Market Street. Removal of an air raid shelter gave extra room for a modernised layout, incorporating the current bordered car park when lastly resituating the present day Main Street bus stand. These recent changes also saw out the designated 101. The last takeover by Stagecoach commenced their similarly routed number 1 service, utilising a colourful fleet of varying sized coaches involving Trent Barton timetables. Dated operator changeovers and various vehicle specifications may be offered by specialist followers or on public transport websites.
When these East Midland bus service were introduced, the country was still gripped by a growing postwar industrial depression. Removing old tram lines at least created jobs. Councillors insisting they employed only local labour, while faster public transport better enabled busy households to separately hold regular jobs wider afield. The 101 continued ferrying pitmen into New Hucknall Colliery and single female hosiery workers staffing a huge Huthwaite CWS factory. After a second world war, a large number from Huthwaite also found newer employment commuting between more numerous Sutton hosiery or textile factories which raised the areas national renown.
Preserving memory of earlier open poled rear entry buses, Corgi did make a model of the AEC Regent II in Nottinghamshire districts choice of green and cream livery, destination 101 for Woodhouse. Only through comparison with earlier tram rides could these ever be thought quietly comfortable. Chance of alighting from a moving bus I lastly recall around years 1975, before forward positioned doors were fully introduced to help keep out wintery draughts.
While constructing a housing estate atop Chesterfield Road, Councillors did consider Messrs. Leah Bros. requested support in application for a licence to run an accommodating service from Sutton via Chesterfield Road, Huthwaite, to Newton, although outcome was not promising. For distanced residents steeply sited below Blackwell Road came a handy connection by Derbyshire buses in blue and cream livery. Passing en route for Derby is suggested by a former D1, although my apprenticeship demanded weekly journeys to Chesterfield College aboard a familiar C7. A No 2 Routemaster enters Clegg Hill Drive estate when once achievable by Mansfield & District buses extended routes.
Nonetheless, a Huthwaite market place would serve majority when 101 bus services kept up historic links, most frequently necessitating journeys into Sutton-in-Ashfield and Mansfield. Initially both town centres still provided railway stations. Adding a busy bus station with connections branching from major city centres may well give good reason for demise and next derailment of local trains. Furthermore, using existing road networks, charabanc, omnibus and coach operators had already taken over many popular seaside trips.
Mention must be given some other bus operators. Those who attended West Notts. College and or sought entertainment venues between Mansfield and Sutton could recall ease of connection on a winding circuit took by the Ebor bus. Apparently part of Chesterfield Corporation Transport, but registered in Mansfield upon Nottingham Road. A young man named Arthur G. Herrod from Huthwaite was one of its bus conductors, whose untimely death in 1933 was also mourned by coworkers plus company manager Mr. Devoney. The Ebor company sold out to the larger competing Mansfield Traction Company from 1950.
Heard claimed by a family member was their Woodfield Bus Company, once run from Blackwell Road. From Huthwaite garages on High Street, Leah's long continued running a small fleet of green coloured coaches. They achieved some historic recognition upon becoming the first school bus service, which had been called for when starting to send elder Huthwaite pupils to the Huthwaite Road Secondary School.
One lasting link remains with a bygone age, stood on Sutton Road in Mansfield. Originally the tram sheds, doors of the present Mansfield District bus depot have continually kept seeing out a variety of past makes.
Latest update must also note a new £9 million Mansfield Bus Station opened 31st March 2013. This fully enclosed facility has been relocated nearby the earlier reopened Mansfield railway station. Direct access to the Robin Hood line as well as various city coaches extends future links upon public transport. Further details and travel information is proudly offered by the Nottinghamshire County Council provider.
Written 22 Feb 08 Revised 02 Sep 13 © by Gary Elliott