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November 19, 2022

“On the Buses, Devon, 1970” Photo Series by Norman Craig

Devon is a county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Dorset to the east. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge and West Devon and the city of Exeter, its county town.

The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, and the county’s bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns and ports. The inland terrain is rural, generally hilly and has a lower population density than many other parts of England. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart and the Otter.

As well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is based on tourism. The comparatively mild climate, coastline and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England. Visitors are particularly attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; its coasts, including the resort towns along the south coast known collectively as the English Riviera; the Jurassic Coast and North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; and the countryside including the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.

These fascinating photos are from “On the Buses, Devon, 1970” photo series that were taken by London-based photographer Norman Craig:
“What better summer job can you get? Riding around in buses, talking to people, sun shining - marvelous. People and buses from the Western National Omnibus Company, working out of Totnes bus garage and going as far afield as Paignton, Stoke Gabriel, Buckfastleigh and even Plymouth (but only on Sundays)”
178 on the way from Stoke Gabriel to Paignton, 1970

A Western National bus conductor with a fluffy kitten on his shoulder, Totnes, Devon, 1970

At the staff rest room in Totnes. This woman kept the place clean and wholesome, Totnes bus garage, 1970

Bus conductor with moustache in the rest room in Paignton bus station, 1970

Cat on an Austin A35 hood, Totnes, Devon, 1970

Conductor Trev enters the staff rest room in Paignton bus station, 1970

Conductor with ice cream, Paignton bus station, 1970

Conductors catch up on the gossip between trips, Paignton bus station, 1970

Deilwen and Carol on holiday. If you're on your holidays in a caravan in Devon then it's OK to wear a hat for breakfast. If you're from Liverpool then it's probably compulsory, 1970

Deilwen and Carol on holiday. Top deck on the bus in Devon, on holiday from Liverpool, 1970

Driver about to go on shift at the garage, Totnes bus garage, 1970

Driver adjusts his tie, Paignton bus station, 1970

Driver Luscombe takes a break on the top deck, Paignton bus station, 1970

Driver surveys the stands, Paignton bus station, 1970

Driver, sandwich and newspaper, Paignton bus station, 1970

Engine change, Totnes, Devon, 1970

Engine change, Totnes, Devon, 1970

Here's Sue waiting until they manage to get together and get her off home to Collaton, Paignton bus station, 1970

Here's the bus, Paignton bus station, 1970

Here's the crew, Paignton bus station, 1970

Icy stare from the ice cream lady in the kiosk in Paignton bus station, 1970

Mentally preparing for the last trip of the day, in the staff rest room in Paignton bus station, 1970

Mick the inspector in the pub across the bridge from the Plains, Totnes pub, 1970

Paignton bus station - the windows on the left belong to the staff rest room, 1970

Paignton bus station, 1970

Paignton bus station, 1970

Paignton bus station, 1970

Paignton bus station, 1970

Parkers Close, Totnes, Devon, 1970

Pete enjoys an after shift pint in the pub across the bridge from the Plains, Totnes pub, 1970

Seafront and beach at Paignton on a great summer day, 1970

Secrets by the ice cream stall, Paignton bus station, 1970

That road to Stoke Gabriel can get very busy at rush hour, 1970

The best bus conductor that the Western National Omnibus Company ever had. It must be Normko, Paignton bus station, 1970

The bus station regulators discuss strategy at Paignton bus station, 1970

The lady from the ice cream stall, Paignton bus station, 1970

The staff rest room, Paignton bus station, 1970

Through a window, Parkers Close, Totnes, Devon, 1970

War trophy - Devon General indicator board in the hands of a Western National conductor, Paignton bus station, 1970

Weary regulator enjoys a well-deserved pipe in a waiting bus, Paignton bus station, 1970

(Photo © Norman Craig)





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