Catering for Cumberland's Tourists and Residents
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THE name of Cumberland Motor Services, Ltd., describes well the work o‘ a company that satisfies the passenger-transport needs of a large part of north-west England. Primarily, the services cater for the county of Cumberland and that an extremely wide area is covered is evident, if it be considered that potential users normally number only a quarter of a million, being scattered, for the most part, in remote villages tucked away in valleys between the mountains.
However, in summer the influx of visitors to enjoy sea, lakes, and mountains provides an " import " that adds considerably to the totals carried. Extended place-to-place tours also add -to the revenue and are a popular feature for holidaymakers from Cumberland's industrial districts.
Some of the services of the company have actually catered for parts of Cumberland since 1912, when the business was founded as the Whitehaven Motor Service Co., Ltd.,. becoming Cumberland Motor Services, Ltd., in 1921. Since that time, there has been natural expansion and, whilst the headquarters remain at Whitehaven, there are now branch offices at Carlisle, Cleator Moor, Keswick, Maryport, Millorn, Wigton and Workington.
The fleet at present numbers over 140 vehicles; of these over 100 are singledeckers, as most of the Services are of a rural nature, but the town routes necessitate a complement of doubledeckers. Oil engines are used on about a fifth of the machines. A.E.C. radioequipped luxury coaches are operated for the popular extended tours and for private-party work.
The company has an extensive private-hire service, constituting perhaps a tenth of the running. Much of this work has been brought in through the taking-over of indep end ent operators, whilst school journeys, services to children's camps (for which Cumberland is a popular area), and similar running help to make the contract section of upusual importance.
The main fleet consists chiefly of Leyland vehicles but a number of A.E.C. and other makes is included. The extended tours follow 15 routes and last from three days to 10 days; in addition, there are numerous one-day and two-day excursions, the country covered ranging from Scotland to the south coast. A good specimen of the value offered is the six-day " Sunny South" tour to Devon, which has overnight halts at Chester, Bristol, Torquay, Cheltenham and Buxton. This costs £7 and the fare includes firstclass hotel accommodation with dinner, breakfast and gratuities. A similar tour, but extended to Land's End, occupies 10 days and the fare is • £11. Ils.
With a countryside that is unique in its diversity, Cumberland's own district services have to show something of the same characteristic. Among the unusual facilities are combined road and steamer tickets, also special arrangements for walkers to tiavel by bus at the two ends of their journeys, the middle being occupied by a hike through the more remote country.
For the ordinary holiday tripper there is the much-used " rover" ticket which, for 5s:,-permits unlimited travel over the company's system on the day of issue.
Dy means of the Cumberland services visitors can reach Bassenthwaite, B uttermere. Cru rnmock, Derwcntwater, Ennerdale, tillswater, Loweswater and Wastvvater lakes, also the seaside resorts of Allonby, Drigg, fdaryport, Ravenglass, Seascale, Silecroft, Silloth and St. Bees.
Local town services are operated around Whitehaven, Workington and Minoru, whilst there are numerous illage-to-village connections through semi-industrial areas.
Co-ordination with the railways offers improved service to the public and, by connections with .other road operators, through-bookings are given to Lancashire, Yorkshire, the north-east, .Scotland and London. Parcels are carried and are handed by the consignor to the nearest parcels agent. After,transport by bus they are left for the addressee
to collect from the agency in the district. Rates range from 4d. for 7-1b. packet travelling not more than 10 miles, to Is. 3d. for a 28-1b. consignment going 45 miles.
Of course, the usual time-table is published but, in addition, the company provides an interesting illustrated handbook which gives useful notes on the services recommended to visitors who desire to visit the various lakes. A section of six pages is devoted to an intimate description of the country covered by C.M.S. operations, then come details of the extended tours and a descriptive summary on lakes, mountains and mountain passes that are accessible from the regular routes. Finally, a gazetteer of important towns and a list of combined day and half-day walks with suitable bus contacts from Whitehaven, are included. Although largely occupied with industrial concerns, Whitehavenas the focal point of many important routes—offers distinct advantages as a touring centre.
At Tangier Street, where the company's head office, bus station. garage, and workshops are sitnato, .
there are extensive modern buildings. The workshops extend over three floors.
Hen: the hulk of the repair worli carried out, although a certain amount is done at Workington and minor repairs for buses on the out-stations Ire completed at local garages of the company. Cleo fling and routine mai tenance work are carried through during out-of-service hours and at night, as ciecesarv. Attention to tht; various points follows the receipt hv the garage of the drivers daily repo:t cards. Vehicles are given complete examination and general overhaul at distances of about 6,000 miles. with .1. thorough overhaul at 70,000 mil( Spare units arc: kept in readiness for the time when engines tall below the required to Well-equipped Workshops.
The Whitehaven workshops are fully equipped so as to make them independent. if IlMeSSary, of outside aid iii connection with repairs. Among other things there are body and paint shops, neatly arranged stores. Bosch pumpcalibrating equipment for oil engines degreasing plant, an Equipment and Engineering crack detector, and a Stream-Line oil-salvage filter.
The mechanical side makes provision on the premises for cylinder boring and sleeving, crankshaft grinding anti reme tal ling whilst sections are devoted lo magneto repairs and tottery reconditioning. After overhaul, all engines undergo a dynamometer test.
.1:21nplo.1.-ces of the company are knit together by it social club which has achieved considerable popnlarity_