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Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, an ancient Sherwood Forest Village recorded in Domesday

Bus services to Woodborough commenced in 1925. The new Four Bells Inn, on the left in this photograph, was built in 1928.


Services had been running for three years by then and the bus shown would have been one of the earliest of that time.


The photograph is from a series of postcards taken in 1928.

Left: A Barton's bus outside the

company Head Office at Chilwell



Changes were made on 1st December 1925, when the Oxton service ran via Arnold to Calverton, and the other service, which became service 7 in 1926, reverted to Epperstone running via Plains Road and Woodborough every two hours from the Nottingham terminus then on Parliament Street, which transferred to Millstone Lane bus station in 1930 (later named Huntingdon Street). The bus featured in the photo on the left is parked in Epperstone prior to a return journey to Nottingham via Woodborough.


Left: AEC coach with a Reliance Plaxton body, on Bank Hill in 1963.

Right: Leyland PD2 highdecker Barton's double decker 1965


In December 1968 The Barton Transport applied for a revised fare and route changes. The Parish Council objected to these changes which would have eliminated the Bank Hill route and substituted Lingwood Lane. The Council felt very strongly that not only would unnecessary hardship have fallen on quite a large section of the community but the increased use of Lingwood Lane would have added considerably to road risks. The traffic commissioners were asked to reject the proposal on those grounds and their particular attention was drawn to the fact that the highway width outside the entrance to the new school was only 13’ 6’’.


There was a two day hearing after which further evidence was requested from Barton’s. After final consideration the Epperstone bus went outward via Shelt Hill and returned to Nottingham via Lowdham Lane. The proposal to discontinue the Bank Hill route, which was strongly opposed by the Parish Council, was granted in part. From the 13th April 1969 most number 7 journeys operated via Catfoot Lane and Lambley to and from Nottingham, with the exception of certain peak journeys that passed the Travellers Rest. Also by this stage most journeys ran directly along Woodborough Road from Nottingham, rather than via Mansfield Road, Mapperley Road to Woodborough Road.


In July 1969 dissatisfaction with the public transport system was expressed. Some people felt that public transport was not only providing an inferior service but also Barton’s had applied for a 1 penny in the shilling (pre decimal coinage which started in 1971) increase in fares. Objections were made on the grounds that the proposed conversion to decimal currency would increase the half fare for children by being rounded upwards to a new penny. By 1974 the fare prices in decimal currency were as follows;

17p Woodborough to Nottingham    

19p Calverton to Nottingham          

10p Woodborough to Calverton


In October 1971 The Mansfield Traction Company, which provided a single decker service as it went from Sutton-in-Ashfield to Bingham, twice daily, was withdrawn. On the 3rd September 1982 a 7b shoppers service was introduced between Woodborough (Bank Hill) Lambley and Arnold on Fridays and Saturdays, being amended the following May to start from Lowdham and serve Epperstone, but now on Tuesdays and Fridays only. The cost of this service was 66p. each way for adults.


De-regulation: Following de-regulation of all bus services in 1986, the Notts County Council contract passed to Camms Coaches of Nottingham, although Barton successfully regained the contract, which by now had been amended to start at Calverton serving Woodborough and Lambley and then extended from Arnold to Hucknall.

This coach type service bus ran in the 1980's and 90's from Nottingham on the number 7 route to Woodborough, the photo shows the front coach to be on route no 8 with Calverton as the destination, it is of the same type as the second coach which is probably the 7. A number 308 route from Nottingham on the 6th December 1987 replaced Sunday journeys on the 7a combining it with the other Calverton service on a circular route from Arnold to Lambley, Woodborough, Calverton and back to Arnold.

A tale of a 'phantom' bus stop (With thanks to David Bagley for this piece and his photo) At one time Barton's service to Woodborough was the No 7, with an associated service 7a which continued to nearby Epperstone. The Epperstone service ran along Main Street Woodborough and then via Shelt Hill to Epperstone, but returned via Lowdham Lane and thence along Main Street. The first stop outward on Shelt Hill was at the corner of Doverbeck Drive, although this did not have a bus stop sign.


Left: Veolia's last service through Woodborough August 2008.


Above: A close up of the distinctive Veolia logo.


Above left: The final Barton's bus about to leave for Woodborough from the Old Market Square in Nottingham in 2001, above right the same bus passing through Woodborough for the last time.


Barton's final service to Woodborough was on Saturday, 30th June 2001 at 6.10pm. The following Monday Notts & Derby buses (part of Wellglade Group) took over until they lost the contract. From 10th January 2005 Dunn-Line maintained the service until early July 2007. Below, typical examples of Notts & Derbys and Dunn-Line service buses.



Left: A typical Notts & Derby mini bus whose services took over from Bartons on the No 7 route.

Right: A Dunn-Line bus passing St Swithun’s Church.


Veolia Transport in the United Kingdom: Veolia Transport runs bus activities in the UK through its companies Bebb Travel Plc and Pullman Coaches Ltd in Wales, and Dunn-Line Plc in the East Midlands. Dunn-Line runs local bus and school bus services, plus sub-contract services to National Express. As for our number 7 route, the red painted Veolia single deck bus started service on 9th July 2007 and has run almost continuously since with the occasional Dunn-Line bus running as relief. A Veolia red painted double deck bus was seen to operated the late evening daily service from Nottingham.


To summarise the operational changes for the No. 7 route: Bartons ceased their service in 2001, which they ran continuously for about 75 years. They gave way to Notts & Derby who then lost the contract to Dunn-Line in January 2005. Dunn-Line was taken over in 2007 by Veolia. It was their buses that operated the service; they have a distinctive livery of red with a grey band around the lower part of the body and a white logo to the rear side panels. Service 7 from Nottingham city centre connecting Lambley, Woodborough and Calverton, operated by Veolia Transport ended on 2nd August 2008.


Another casualty of the changes in services was the three journeys that were numbered 7b and which were also operated by Veolia. They ran from Nottingham via Lambley and Woodborough to Epperstone and Oxton through Woodborough but ceased after 2nd August 2008.


Veolia through their Dunn-Line operation also ran a number 61 services through Woodborough from Nottingham Victoria bus station, however, that service ceased to operate after 22nd August 2009.


Friday ‘shoppers bus’: A Notts & Derby shoppers bus operated a service starting from nearby Calverton since 2006. The S8 service is now operated by Premier Travel under the banner name of "your localbus" and runs from Calverton via Woodborough and Lambley to Morrisons at the Victoria Park near Netherfield. It only operates on Friday mornings departing from Calverton at 9.30am (Woodborough Church 9.43am) with the return leaving Victoria Park at 11.45am. giving shoppers about one and half hours at Morrisons.


'Localbus' operated by Premier Travel invested in two state-of-the-art vehicles in May 2007, these low-floor buses have easy access for all customers and featuring a completely ‘step free’ entrance area. This means shopping trolleys and pushchairs can be wheeled straight on to the bus without being lifted. Wheelchair bound customers have a ramp and can board the bus with ease. Details of this and all others 'localbus' services contact 0115 985 1111.


Premier Travel:

Nottingham based Premiere Travel, under the banner "your localbus",  has stepped in to continue the No.7 service from 4th August 2008. The current route and timetable will remain largely unchanged but with more buses extended to and from Calverton at peak times.



On the 1st December 2008, Premier changed their timetables to operate the number 7 to and from Nottingham as an hourly service with half-hourly services at peak times.


April 14th 2009 saw further changes and improvements from the Premier Company. Some half hourly number 7 services to and from Nottingham but see the official Premiere timetables for precise services to and from Woodborough.


As mentioned before, the 61 service run by Veolia/Dunn-Line ceased on 22nd August 2009. From the 24th August 2009 Premier introduced new services connecting Woodborough with Nottingham, Arnold and Mapperley and various other villages and towns to the east with the service numbers 3, 4, and 5, 6, 7e.


The routes that directly affect Woodborough, with buses running through the village are the 4, 6 and 7e. The 3 and 5 are linked to the Woodborough routes, but a change of bus will be required. The number 7 continues to be the main service to and from Nottingham. The plan on the left shows the principal routes for Woodborough residents.


Premier Travel has again improved their number 7 services through Woodborough to and from the city starting 1st November 2009. They now have services that run well into the evening during the week and also a Sunday service. Full details are in a new timetable which is available from Woodborough Post Office, Premier Travel and local libraries.


The route details on the plan opposite have now been superceded by a new route and timetable.


Nottingham City Buses:

At 5pm on 25th January 2013, Premier Travel Ltd ceased trading and all their bus routes, including the number 7 to and from Woodborough, Calverton and Nottingham city centre, stopped running. Nottingham City Transport (NCT) commenced a full service from Monday 28th January, the route numbers are changed to 47 and 47a.


The main bus stop within Woodborough will be at the Church, either on Lingwood Lane towards Nottingham or opposite the Four Bells from Nottingham. Dover Beck Drive and Main Street (Church to Nags Head) will no longer be served. The frequency of service remains generally unchanged, but some journeys are re-timed. An earlier bus arriving in Nottingham at 06:55 is introduced on Mondays to Fridays and the Saturday morning service before 09:00 will run half-hourly. According to Nottingham City Transport’s website, four new midi-buses have been purchased for these services and that they’re just putting the finishing touches to them prior to entering service from late January 2013.



Bus services from Nottingham to Woodborough and return



Introduction                                    


Barton Buses in the Nottinghamshire area: Barton buses established themselves on the west side of Nottingham at Beeston in 1908 following ventures in bus operation in their native town of Little Eaton in Derbyshire, to Mablethorpe and Weston-Super-Mare. By 1913 they had moved a short distance to a new base at Chilwell where the business continued to flourish. From the mid thirties they were serving the area between Nottingham, Derby and Leicester with stage services.


Locally around Woodborough: Barton's operated from a base on Mansfield Lane Calverton from 1st October 1933 until 1976 when the site was sold for housing. For a short time buses were kept on a local farm until space was found at Calverton Miners Welfare, now they are kept in the Trent depot at Hucknall. Barton Transport Ltd. sold the bus and coach business to the Wellglade Group on the 2nd July 1989, but continued under the trade name of Barton Buses Ltd.



Bus services through Woodborough: Barton Brothers Ltd., of Chilwell, commenced their first services to Woodborough on the 9th May 1925. They operated daily from Nottingham (Fountain) the first ran via Plains Road, Woodborough and on to Epperstone with two journeys extended to Southwell via Lowdham, Gonalston, Hoveringham, Thurgarton, Bleasby, Hazelford Ferry, Fiskerton and Morton. By August all journeys had been extended on to Newark. The second operated to Oxton via Lambley, Woodborough, and Calverton. The bus on the right in this 1928 photo above is a Lancia six-wheeled bus and is possibly of the type that commenced services to Woodborough in 1925. Prior to this Woodborough and Epperstone had been served from August 1921 by C J Dixon on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, leaving Bradwell’s Yard, King Edward Street, Nottingham at 5pm on a return journey. John Leafe of Woodborough operated a similar service in November 1924 from Trinity Walk in Nottingham via the Travellers Rest on Mapperley Plains on the same days and possibly similar times to Dixon. It is reasonable to conclude that he took the service over from Dixon. The licences were then transferred to W R Clarke of Epperstone who commenced to operate to Huntingdon Street bus station, Nottingham from January 1931 but for only a short period before he allowed the licence to expire.


During WW2 Sunday journeys were diverted via Lambley, as a part of wartime economies. Again this diversion was introduced for a period in the late 1950s and the Sunday operation disappeared during the early 1970's.


In 1951 the two hourly 7a Nottingham to Lambley route was extended to Woodborough, Calverton and Oxton, giving Woodborough, together with the 7 route, an hourly service into Nottingham. This Oxton extension was withdrawn on the 13th April 1969. Earlier in March 1968 representatives of Barton Transport accepted the pleas of the Parish Council to include Lowdham Lane in their revised services to Epperstone.


The evening services followed suit a little later. Very soon after the take-over the 7 was re-routed to Calverton via A6097, and Moor Lane, cutting out Epperstone. During 1996/7 the 7 became part of the 7a route running as the ‘Calverton Connection or CC’. Shortly afterwards the 7 was reduced to every 90 minutes daytime only.



On the left: This less stylish shelter on Main Street east near the Nag's Head is still very useful against the elements. Centre: A more conventional style shelter on Lingwood Lane, but in timber. Right: A very attractive style bus shelter on Main Street backs in to the Governors' Field.


When Notts & Derby Traction (part of the Wellglade Group) took over from Barton Buses, the Sunday service was withdrawn.


In 1998 Pathfinder introduced 61 and 61a - giving Woodborough a service between Nottingham, Arnold, Calverton, Southwell and Newark on Mondays to Saturdays, although the 61a was withdrawn rather quickly. Since then this has been a Notts County Council supported service operated by Dunn-Line with all journeys serving both Lowdham and Woodborough.


Following the closure of Huntingdon Street bus station, the 7 and 7a were transferred to Victoria bus station, and then in May 1989 they ran through the Old Market Square to Broad Marsh bus station. This was cut back to Long Row (in the Old Market Square).




When the house on the corner of Doverbeck and Shelt Hill changed hands, the new resident objected to having buses stopping outside the window and the company agreed to move the stop a few yards further down along Shelt Hill. A new bus stop sign was installed and the contractors also provided a sign on the opposite side of the road, going to the additional trouble of creating a hard standing of slabs in the verge against the field hedge.


No-one seems to have realised that the route of the buses did not change and therefore this sign was never needed! In addition, bus drivers continued to stop at the old position for the greater convenience of passengers. Only a few years later the Epperstone service was withdrawn anyway and eventually both bus stop signs were removed. The hard standing remains as a piece of local history!


Changes continue into the early part of the 21st Century: In 2005 services terminated at, and commenced from, Parliament Street (opposite Queen Street). This latest move was due to major restructuring of city centre roads with traffic free zones. At this time the Old Market Square became predominantly a traffic free zone after over 100 years as being the hub of bus, trolley bus and tram services which radiated to all parts of the wider Nottingham conurbation.

Left: One of the newly repainted buses approaching Woodborough along Lingwood Lane in May 2013. The front and rear of these buses are painted ‘Sky blue’ representing the colour scheme for the Nottingham City Transport’s Sky Blue service 46 & 47.


Both the 46 & 47 Sky Blue serve Woodborough from Nottingham, but once they reach Spring Lane, the 46 continues to Nottingham Road and then Bank Hill returning up Lingwood Lane and back to the City through Lambley. The 47 on the other hand travels along Spring Lane, through Lambley and into Woodborough down Lingwood Lane before returning to the City via Bank Hill.


The plan below is for illustration purposes only and full timetable details can be obtained from bus operators Nottingham City Transport.

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Above: the style that started the route in 2013, below the type that replaced it in either 2015 or 2016.