Jennings Coaches – can you help?

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We’ve had a request for information for some research related to Bude.
Ben Found writes:
I am currently undertaking research into the history of WJO Jennings Coaches (originally of Morwenstow and latterly, Bude).
Jennings’s unmistakable orange and white coaches were a familiar sight in Bude for many years, indeed there are some great images of Jennings vehicles on your website.

WJO Jennings originally had premises at Crimp, but subsequently moved to 8 Queen Street, Bude (previously occupied by Dobson’s Coaches?) before taking over the bus garage on Lansdown Road. I understand their garage on Lansdown Road has recently been cleared.

Of course, Jennings were particularly well-known for operating the rail-replacement service that connected Bude to Okehampton (and subsequently Exeter) following the closure of the Bude branch line. There are various excellent books, websites, etc devoted to Bude’s railway heritage, but not to the replacement bus link that was operated by Jennings for some 30 years.
I was therefore wondering if you or your website’s readers had any information relating to Jennings Coaches?

7 Comments

  • Ian Bryant says:

    My father Charlie Bryant worked for them for over 30 years

  • Gary hockin says:

    I started off being a baggage boy then became one of the mechanics with Gordon, Trick and Kevin. Dave, my dad, also drove for them. The best bosses I have ever had and great fleet of coaches – worked with great guys; the good times.

    • Jonathan Alison says:

      Your Dad was my school bus driver. He was a lovely bloke, always happy and friendly. Knew him later when I worked for Gilbert and Vanstone as well. It is an honour to have known him.

  • Clive says:

    Hello Ben
    A book called The Independent Bus by Keith Turns has a chapter on Jennings and their services starting from the early days. Published by David and Charles, excellent reading. Also one of the bus magazines did an article on them some time ago. I have copies of these and also a fleet list.

  • Linda Burman says:

    I worked for Jennings Coaches & Jennings Travel from 1971 to 1980. During this time, the coaches were used for school contracts, private hire, day excursions, holidays, replacement services of rail to/from Exeter.
    Loved working for them, and stayed until 1996 working for Pickfords Travel who took over the travel business in 1980.

  • Kevin Botting says:

    Charlie Bryant drove our school bus from Morwenstow to Bude. He was nicknamed Bilko after Phil Silvers’ US tv comedy character. We were all a bit afraid of him. It was most annoying that he was the one school bus driver that always got his bus into school regardless of snow and black ice and no matter how long it took. I’ll never forgive him for that.

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