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Double TWO Nostalgia: On the Buses!
2018-08-23 BACK TO ARTICLES

Double TWO Nostalgia: On the Buses!

In a special look back through our company history, we take a nostalgic look at the Double TWO Staff Bus Service.

In 1952, the production of Double TWO Shirts was moved to an impressive new site at Thornes Lane Wharf, on the banks of the River Calder.

At a time when most people didn’t own cars, it was decided that by operating a free bus service it would help get the workforce to work on time and would also give the company a strategic advantage when it came to what they could offer workers.

Double TWO Chairman Richard Donner recalls,

“A lot of our workforce were miner’s wives and daughters. So by operating buses we could go to all those mining towns and pick them up. The biggest competition in the jobs market in those early days were the munitions factories, dangerous work compared to shirt-making, but competition none the less. The fact we could pick them up and bring them to work and it wasn’t costing them any of their wages was a real draw.”

The Wakefield Shirt Company, makers of Double TWO Shirts, began buying buses and maintaining them on-site. The fleet comprised of ex-service vehicles, purchased from bus companies as they replaced them with new ones.

Emblazoned with Double TWO logos, the buses became the toast of the predominantly female workforce, taking the stress out of travel by picking them up at designated stops on the way into work and dropping them off on an evening.

The buses quickly became part of factory life, and were a regular sight around the city as they transported workers.

Fondly remembered by those who worked for Double TWO and its corporate arm, Sugdens, the buses were used by both factory workers and office staff, fostering a wonderful sense of camaraderie across the whole company.


In a recent gathering of ex-employee’s, and many more memories swapped on social media, one memory is particularly common. The line of buses parked up in the yard and the mass exodus when the bell went at the end of the day, with staff racing to get on the right bus and the buses departing up the road in convoy carrying them home or into town!

A video of the buses in action can be seen here >

By the 1990’s the buses had served their purpose. With more and more people at the factory now owning a car, and much of the manufacturing process now moved abroad owing to crippling British production costs, the decision was taken to withdraw them from service.

The classic fleet of Bristol FLF’s, Bristol VRT’s and a Bristol LH were sought after collector’s items when they were allowed to depart service with Double TWO. With a few been sold to private collectors and some ending up with various transport museums.

We have tried to track down some of the fleet. A few of them seem to have sadly disappeared without a trace, whilst some have been spotted in scrap yards in various states of disrepair.

It's not all doom and gloom though! We have tracked one bus down and are pleased to report that it has had a few new leases of life since leaving us!

A classic 1965 Bristol FLF, that had originally served in Hants & Dorset, with the registration of DEL 893C, made its way back down south, into the hands of, first Quantock Motor Services in Somerset, before reaching Weston-Super-Mere under the ownership of Crosville Motor Services. There, it became a mainstay of the heritage hire fleet, used in various heritage bus running days and for ferrying wedding guests between venues.

It left their ownership in 2013 and was seemingly untraceable, with bus spotters fearing they’d never see it again, until recently!

Earlier this year, it was tracked down in Holland!

This classic bus is now owned by De Raekt Investments and kept in Budel in Holland where it has undergone a new re-paint and restoration.

According to its new owners, the bus was driven all the way from the UK to its new home. Now that must have been a fantastic journey!

The Double TWO staff bus service may be no more. But those buses are fondly remembered by all who used them.

And, in some cases, still enjoyed by new passengers!



With special thanks to the following articles and websites who have helped us to garner the information as to the whereabouts of our beloved fleet

https://busmanjohn.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/bristo...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/55286387@N05/4044415...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/72493565@N02/2780443...




qoute

Does anybody remember the drivers. My late father used to drive one of the buses before he went to his own job at south Yorkshire motors

Karen Roberts 3 months ago at 18:24
qoute

Hi Karen,

We'd love to hear from anyone who does remember too. There has been many comments and memories shared over on our facebook page, which may interest you www.facebook.com/DoubleTWOShirts

Double TWO 3 months ago at 08:30