History of the Amersham Area

The old bus garage

Amersham Bus Garage model

2011AugSept025Amersham Museum  has acquired a scale model of the Amersham Bus Garage, made by a local man, Mark Adlington.   (If you have been to the London Transport museum, you will have seen the magnificent model of the London Transport Headquarters at 55 Broadway, also made by Mark.) 

Older residents will remember the garage which stood at the foot of Gore Hill, part of which became B & M. Motors (named after Mr Burrows and Mr Mason who set up the business in Mr Mason’s yard in the High St.). It has expanded a lot through the years and looks very different from what if did after the war, when it was known as Rural Supplies, making garages and garden sheds and the shop part sold second-hand wireless sets.

In its heyday the bus garage was an extensive building, with space for 54 buses and extensive offices and staff facilities at one side.   Much effort went into preserving it (and it is believed that Prince Charles was keen to see it remain) but when the new Tesco site was planned, the bus garage made way for the petrol station.

2011AugSept021The Amersham & District Omnibus and Carriage Company was formed in 1919, running two buses between Chesham and High Wycombe from the yard of the Griffin Hotel.   After expansion into other local routes, a garage was built on the Broadway in old Amersham and in the 1930s the company was taken over by London Transport.

This model was acquired by Amersham Museum from the London Transport Museum, to whom it was left by relatives of the late Mark Adlington.  Mark had an amazing talent for creating exact replicas without using any form of measuring to scale. His patience and ability to construct the smallest of detail were quite remarkable.  For a time he worked as a bus conductor and then driver at Amersham Garage, and later bought his own bus, a red RF, which he used to run for Open Days and to transport disabled people on days out. He was interested in London Transport buses and trains from an early age and by the time of his death had a large collection of memorabilia.  He is remembered by family and friends as a true gentleman, who took delight in the perfection in the models he made for others to enjoy.

1957 advertisement

1957 advertisement

Listen to Gerald Lee talking in 2004 to Diana Goodbody about working in B&M Motors when it was in the High Street

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Fox’s Outdoor Centre   – Mr. A.L Fox commenced business in 1945 as the Chiltern School of Motoring operating from his home address in London Road.  In 1953 he moved to the present premises still as the school of Motoring until 1956, the year of the Suez crisis when, owing to the shortage of petrol he opened the shop for clothing and army tents (see price list below).  In 1962, Plymouth House (next door) was rented for clothing and in 1967 a shoe department was added to the business.  In 1971 there was much alteration and enlarging.  In 1978 the School of Motoring closed down.  Through the years the business has seen three generations of Fox’s – Mrs. A.L. Fox, Mr. J. Fox and Mr. K. Fox.  The current building was erected when Tesco bought the site.

Fox's 1957 prices

Fox’s 1957 prices

 

PHO3294

Fox’s old shop demolished when Tesco was built (PHO3294)