Echoes of the past: Bus route from Norwood Green into Halifax

Village Street in Norwood Green
Village Street in Norwood Green

There is about fifty years difference between these photographs.

Readers living in the Norwood Green area will instantly recognise it as Village Street at the junction with Watford Avenue.

Village Street in Norwood Green

Village Street in Norwood Green

The bus stop is still there but the present day 226 twice a day service from Halifax and return may not be as often as the community would like it to be. On Sunday’s there is no service at all, according to the Metro service timetable operated by the South Pennine Community Transport.

Looking closely at the single decker I see there is a triangle in the front nearside window, this is to indicate that the bus is a one man operated vehicle. The service number is 40. During the mid 1960s this was an hourly service operating between Halifax, Norwood Green, Scholes and Cleckheaton. Interestingly the registration number is GCP 7 - I wonder where this number is today ?

We can take an earlier bus to Norwood Green, a service originally operated by the Calder Bus Company which was based at Bailiff Bridge. This service operated from Halifax to Wyke via Norwood Green. Before the Second World War this service was taken over by the Hebble company and then became part of the Yorkshire Woollen District number 40 service operating between Wyke and Cleckheaton.

It might surprise some readers to know that the Hebble bus service was a company started by Oliver and Charles Holdsworth, the well known Halifax hauliers, in December 1924. The company name is derived from the Hebble Brook, which rises in the hills above Halifax and is a tributary of the River Calder.

The company had its garage in Walnut Street, Halifax from 1927. A significant move in the company’s history came the following year when it was invited by Bradford Corporation, who had taken over the services of Calder Bus Company. Hebble was invited to take over the routes from Halifax to Wyke and from Bradford to Hipperholme, which included a stop at Norwood Green.

Over the years the Hebble bus company went through a number of name amalgamations with other bus companies. In the early 1970s the Hebble name was incorporated into the Yorkshire Woollen District / Hebble coaching operation based in Liversedge. In 1974 Hebble and Sheffield United Tours merged to create a new coaching company called National Travel (North-East). This was re-named later as National Travel (East) and finally saw the Hebble name disappeared into the history books.

If you would like to know more about the Hebble bus company have a look at Hebble Remembered, a book written by David Bell in 1983 ISBN: 0907087221.