LOOKING BACK: On the buses

Catching a bus from the Bretton centre in 1980
Catching a bus from the Bretton centre in 1980
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Peterborough is very much a car city, but despite that a lot of people still rely on the buses.

Today’s pictures feature some fascinating glimpses of life on the buses in Peterborough.

Delaine's first double decker bus 1948 in Peterborough bus station

Delaine's first double decker bus 1948 in Peterborough bus station

One picture shows the first double decker run by Delaine’s.The picture was taken in 1948 at the city bus station. Bourne-based Delaines have run a local bus service for well over 100 years.

Another picture was taken at Bretton Centre in 1980 with a big queue of passengers waiting to embark for a journey to the city centre.

Bus driver Tom Brazier is photographed posing in front of his vehicle. Tom worked for Eastern Counties bus company and the photograph, according to its caption, was taken outside the Bluebell shops. Was this in Dogsthorpe?

One of the two pictures of the old bus station, which I believe was located where the city’s crown court is now, was taken in the 1940s.

Bus driver for Eastern Counties Tom Brazier pictured in  1965  at the Bluebell shops

Bus driver for Eastern Counties Tom Brazier pictured in 1965 at the Bluebell shops

The familiar architecture of the Lido can be seen in the background.

The final picture (colour) is of the same location but from a different angle. This one was taken in 1962.

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John Kendle got in touch with some interesting information about the Bretton heating system.

Peterborough's old bus station with the Lido in the background

Peterborough's old bus station with the Lido in the background

Mr Kendle (82) from Saltmarsh, Orton Malborne, was a draughtsman with the Peterborough Development Corporation in the 70s.

He did overtime manning a telephone as the PDC was inundated with complaints from residents about the system. But he said the problem was not that homes were too hot, but the opposite.

He said: “People were cold.There were so many problems they were continually digging the pipes up.’’

He added that the PDC employed a small army of plumbers to be on stand-by to deal with problems.

Another view of  the old bus station which was  on the site of the Crown Court today

Another view of the old bus station which was on the site of the Crown Court today

He said: “We gave priority to pregnant women, old people and those who were polite.’’

Colin Bailey, who has lived in Deerleap, Bretton, for 40 years, remembers that the radiators couldn’t be regulated.

He said the pipes were not laid deep enough and the earth kept moving causing fractures and leading to the common sight of steam rising from the pavement.

He added that the boilers in the picture above were located where the Iceland store is now.

AERIAL VIEW: The Passport Office, the market and St Mary's flats are all prominent in this view. There were quite a few private homes dotted around what is now a predominantly office and commercial area of the city.

AERIAL VIEW: The Passport Office, the market and St Mary's flats are all prominent in this view. There were quite a few private homes dotted around what is now a predominantly office and commercial area of the city.

The huge boilers that powered the Bretton community heating system

The huge boilers that powered the Bretton community heating system