Between 1949 and 1967, Ian Allan published regular ABCs detailing the fleets of Municipal and Provincial Bus Companies UK-wide but these came to an abrupt and unexpected end after the '67 editions. There was, however, a brief renaissance when they published fleet lists for independent, municipal and NBC operators in three block-bound paperbacks in 1985 and 86 (with an NBC second edition published in 1987),
While Ian Allan's London Bus fleet list books continued throughout the 1970s, between 1968 and 1973, there was little to fill the gap to aid the bus spotter who resided outside Greater London in his hobby.
That was until April 1974...........
That month, A M Witton (later to set up business at Room 20, City Buildings, 69 Corporation Street Manchester) published their first 'pocket-sized Bus Fleet Book' entitled 'Greater Manchester Transport - Buses & Coaches 1974 - history, fleet list and list of services.'
Subsequent editions were presented in a uniform cover format (as pictured) with the word 'FLEETBOOK' prominently displayed at the top, and for the initial relatively paltry sum of 50p, these became very popular with bus enthusiasts, not least because Witton had returned to the genuine 'pocket-size' that Ian Allan had employed up to 1964.
These were amazing little books as the company histories were very comprehensive, the fleet lists extremely accurate and the black and white photos represented a very broad selection of the vehicles then in service.
In total there were seventeen separate volumes covering every part of the United Kingdom and these ran up to six editions in some cases.
Here is a full list of the titles and editions:
1. Buses of Greater Manchester - Six editions - 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980 & 1983
2. Buses of South & East Yorkshire - Four editions - 1974, 1977, 1980 & 1981
3. Buses of West Yorkshire - Five editions - 1974, 1976, 1979, 1982 & 1984
4. Buses of Lancashire & Cumbria - Four editions - 1975, 1977, 1979 & 1982
5. Buses of Mersey, N. Wales & Isle of Man - Five editions - 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981 & 1984
6. Buses of the West Midlands - Four editions - 1975, 1978, 1980 & 1982
7. Buses of the East Midlands - Four editions - 1976, 1978, 1981 & 1983
8. Buses of North-East England - Four editions - 1976, 1978, 1981 & 1983
9. Buses of South Wales - Three editions - 1976, 1978 & 1982
10. Buses of East Anglia - Three editions - 1977, 1979 & 1982
11. Buses of South-East England - Three editions - 1977, 1980 & 1984
12. Buses of South West England & The Channel Islands -Four editions-1977, 1978, 1980, 1983
13. Buses of Western Scotland - Two editions - 1977 & 1980
14. Buses of Eastern Scotland - Two editions - 1977 & 1981
15. Buses of Greater/Inner London - Three editions - 1978, 1979 & 1982
16. Buses of Outer London - Three editions - 1979, 1981 & 1986
17. Buses of South Central England - One edition - 1984
This collection provides you with a very comprehensive history of the UK bus fleets over the 12 year period between 1974 and 1986 and for the serious bus historian and vintage bus enthusiast are an essential component for the dedicated Transport Book Collector's library!
The gallery below features all the front covers of every edition published with salient publishing information below. Arrow right for the next volume in sequence.
1. Greater Manchester Transport Buses & Coaches - First Edition - Published 1974 - No ISBN number .