A snapshot into town’s history is on the buses

A vintage vehicle fanatic was revved up to see a family connection at this year’s Amersham and District Motorbus Society’s running day in Hemel Hempstead.

Tuesday, 19th August 2014, 7:09 pm
Vintage bus running day in Hemel Hempstead. Photo: Karli-Ann Morgan

Keith Pym, of Warners End, has maintained a lifelong interest in historic modes of public transport, and even owns a share in a former London Transport single-decker bus.

Unfortunately his vehicle could not attend this year as it is awaiting repair, but Keith was delighted to see his own bus driver father’s face featured in the event programme for the day – during which travellers from far and wide came to see the variety of vehicles used in the town in days gone by.

In the programme, bus driver Harold Pym is pictured and credited for setting up the Apsley and Hemel Hempstead Railway Society.

Harold’s son Keith said: “It was quite a surprise to hear he was going to appear in the programme. I have got a similar bus to his that I am a part owner in – all my interest in transport came from him.”

The programme also detailed Hemel Hempstead’s rich motorbus history,and included excerpts from 1957 and 1965 editions of the London Transport Magazine, which both featured the town.

The former article describes the ‘new’ bus station on Waterhouse Street. It reads: “A focal point for bus and coach passengers atHemel Hempstead, in Hertfordshire, is the new road services terminus and public enquiry office opened recently in the heart of this busy town.

“There are seven boarding points and two hundred vehicles use the terminus daily – a figure which increases greatly on Thursdays and Saturdays, the town’s market days.”

Event organiser Peter Cartwright, of the Amersham-based society, said: “People come from far afield to see the buses every year in Hemel Hempstead – it is quite a crowd-puller.

“People like it because it is part of local history, and how Hemel grew up. They can find out about what the town was like in the 1960s and how it has changed since then – it brings back memories.”

Peter says the society hopes to continue its running days in Hemel Hempstead even once work begins on redeveloping the town centre.

Among the town regeneration plan is the relocation of the bus station from its current position to a new bus interchange along Bridge Street and Marlowes. According to Dacorum Borough Council, this more central position would help promote sustainable modes of transport and could allow for improved facilities for customers.