A 1944 Timetable Book

We have recently received a little booklet of bus and train timetables for the Devizes area of Wiltshire at the end of the second World War.

cover snip

At the museum, we are particularly interested in the bus services linking Market Lavington and its neighbour Easterton with our local market town, Devizes.

Service 41 was run by Bath Tramways and took the route through Potterne and West Lavington, terminating at the Royal Oak pub in Easterton, or occasionally running through to Easterton Sands. The buses ran approximately every two hours, but not on Sunday mornings. Care would have been needed to check the times of the last bus home – 8pm or 9 pm depending on the day of the week.

Service 32 to Devizes snip

Whilst this was the only route serving Market Lavington, the Wilts and Dorset company also put on a service for Easterton folk to visit Devizes on Thursday (market day), on Saturday and on Sunday afternoons.

Light up and Easterton bus snip

Interspersed with the timetables are local advertisements (unfortunately none from our villages) as well as a calendar for November 1944 and the light up times for the same month.

Between 1940 and 1947, daylight saving measures meant that Greenwich Mean Time was not used. That is why page 20 of this booklet refers to British Summer Time for November. In the summer, the clocks would go onto double BST, two hours ahead of GMT. As a blackout was in force during the war, the nights of possible moonlight would have been important to know. Maybe the lighting up times refer to when you could use car headlights and essential external lighting, but these would have been fitted with louvres to deflect the light downwards. We have an example of such a headlight deflector in the museum.

We will look at the train timetable from this booklet on another occasion.






2 Responses to “A 1944 Timetable Book”

  1. John Young Says:

    This looks a fascinating booklet. I recall the No 41 bus service was still running in the 1950’s and I used to travel on it to Devizes from Littleton Panell (half fare 5d) for a haircut, the cinema or a visit to Willis’s model shop to spend my pocket money except in cold weather in Winter when I would use the No 50 Salisbury – Bath bus as it had the new Bristol KSW double deckers with doors and was thus warmer. The No 41 had older open platform Bristol L single and Bristol K double deckers until the late ’50’s when new front entry single deck Bristol LS buses came into service with doors, better heaters and more seating capacity.

  2. Patricia Burgess Says:

    My Dad Cliff Burgess drove buses for the bath tramways during the war years and I know on the Lavington route.

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