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History book about Berresfords Motors of Cheddleton

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Berresfords Book Cover photograph

  • Berresfords Book Cover

  • 7. Eric with his model of BRJ 939.

  • 6. Eric's model of Willowbrook-bodied Leyland Tiger, ORE 641, is seen on his diorama of the old Bryan Street bus parking area in Hanley.

  • A Marshall-bodied bus, 265 AUF, and KEK 745, a Leyland PD2A with Northern Counties body, sit in the sun outside the garage.

  • This Plaxton-bodied Leyland Leopard coach, VVT 419S, was bought new in September 1977; the window sticker records that Berresfords undertook work for Co-op Travel.

  • 1. Driver Ernest Chadwick and conductor Tommy Smallwood stand beside E 9707, a Lancia with Petty body, which was the third vehicle to be bought and was new in 1924.

  • Jack McNicol is about to take charge of CRJ 322, a Leyland PD1A with Leyland body, as it stands in Leek Bus Station.

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A BUS enthusiast is launching his first book this weekend.

Eric Wain, who grew up in Weston Coyney and then in Blythe Bridge, used to spend lots of his spare time as a child at the bus depot of Berresfords Motors in Cheddleton.

Over the years he has collated many items of memorabilia along with photographs of the depot and its workers.

From his extensive collection, Eric has now produced a definitive history of Berresfords Motors of Cheddleton and associated companies, which covers the period from inception of the business in 1923 to closure in 1987.

The 69-year-old author's own recollections recorded in the book are supplemented by a wealth of historical material from the company's archives and elsewhere, together with 200 photographs, 38 of which are in colour, most not having been published previously.

Eric, who now lives in Stone, said: "I used to visit the garage to look at the buses. Later in 1969 I joined the Model Bus Federation and started to make model buses. I have made them for Berresfords and other bus companies.

"I have never written a book before, but I had started to write an article for a bus enthusiasts' magazine.

"When I got to 6,000 words I thought about continuing to produce a book.

"I have been most fortunate as when Berresfords finished some of my friends managed to salvage a lot of the archive material, and I have managed to gain access to that.

"Without that it would not have been the same full story."

Starting with a service between Leek and Hanley, Berresfords Motors of Cheddleton grew from small beginnings until its operating area extended across North Staffordshire and beyond.

Interesting new and pre-owned vehicles were operated which, together with many withdrawn vehicles at the garage, attracted enthusiasts over the years from far and wide.

Berresfords Motors is remembered with affection by the many people who used its services for travelling to and from work, for shopping or when going on holiday. Long after the closure, the old garage site at Cheddleton was still referred to as Berresfords garage.

Eric hopes that the book will bring back some memories and provide a wider insight into the company.

The book has been published by Venture Publishing of Glossop as number 32 in its Super Prestige series, and is priced at £17.95.

It will be available from The Picture Book in Leek, as well as from Webberleys, Hanley, from Saturday, December 7.

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