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Initially established in Exeter by John Stuart Mill in June 1919, one of countless bus companies that sprang up in the years immediately after World War 1, Devon General became a subsidiary of the Torquay Tramways Co in 1922 and thus, ultimately, part of BET. During the 1920s and 1930s, the company expanded with the take-over of other operators, such as Fleet Cars of Torquay in 1924 and Grey Cars of Torquay in 1932. The company was to use the name ‘Grey Cars' for its coach operations thereafter. Two agreements in 1938 with Southern/Western National and in 1947 with Exeter Corporation saw Devon General's operations further expanded, with the latter agreement being particularly significant as it effectively provided for joint operation with the buses of Exeter Corporation over some 170 route miles. Further expansion continued after World War 2 with the acquisition of part of Greenslades and of Townsend's Tours. As a subsidiary of BET, Devon General passed into the ownership of the National Bus Company in 1967 and its maroon livery gradually passed into history. Following on from his earlier, and highly regarded, contributions to the ‘Glory Days' series, Colin Morris narrates the history of this important regional operator from its origins through to the point where the imposition of the NBC's corporate image in the mid-1970s finally removed the identity of the old company from the roads of the south west. Comprehensively illustrated with both mono and colour illustrations, the book recalls the many and varied buses and coaches operated by Devon General during its long history. These include the distinctive Leyland single-deckers of the 1930s that were nicknamed ‘camels' as a result of a hump, for luggage, located halfway along their roofs, and, reflecting the company's operations within a popular holiday area, the much later ‘Sea Dog' class of convertible open-top Leyland Atlanteans. Alongside the superb illustrative content, the author's well-researched and comprehensive text and captions provide the readers with an excellent account of the history and operations of the company throughout its long existence. The previous books in the ‘Glory Days' series by Colin Morris, who lives in the Wirral but hails originally from Hampshire, have been marked by the quality of his research and the illustrative material, which he has been able to unearth. This latest addition to a popular series will be sought after by Devonians as well as transport historians and all those who have spent time on holiday in Devon alike. The company, which was latterly based in Exeter, served all of Devon from depots in Brixham, Exeter, Exmouth, Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot, Sidmouth, Tiverton and Torquay.
- 1. Forerunnes, Retirers and Non-Starters
- 2. Grist to the Mill - and French
- 3. NEC`s Devon General
- 4. BET`s Devon General
- 5. Coaching
- 6. What`s Left?