The Carriers, Coach Services and (later) the Bus Services in Barton

Before the early 1900s the carrier was a very important person in the town and provided a very early form of local public transport for the residents of Barton.  The carrier had a horse and cart, and would usually be found travelling between a village and market town, or a market town and a larger market town (for example between Worlaby and Barton or between Barton and Hull) taking or bringing back goods.  He would keep the local shops and trades stocked and would carry passengers when needed. 

Carriers would only travel at a slow speed, so this restricted the distance they could travel in a day.  In the very early years they would travel as far as Lincoln or Caistor but would have an overnight stop along the way (usually in the cart on the side of the road).  Later there was more organisation between carriers which saw goods taken to major towns and passed onto other carriers.  This later organisation saw less carriers running to more places so, for example, one carrier would do a run which included all the villages along the west of the Wolds. 

If a Barton resident wished to travel further there were the coach services, which were another form of early public transport.  These coach services started out as a very rough and unpleasant ride until the Royal Mail introduced the mail coach in the late 1700s.  The Royal Mail revolutionised the long-distance coach services by introducing the changing of horses at regular stages.  This meant they were faster and much more pleasant.  Barton was on the main route between Lincoln and Hull so became very busy during the coaching peak.  Travellers would arrive or leave from the Waterside Inn in Barton, which was the main coaching inn, and their journey would have taken them (or be taken) across the Humber by ferry or to Lincoln (and beyond) by coach.  The arrival of the railway in Barton in 1848 signalled the end of the coaching era, mirroring the country as a whole. 

The railways did not kill off the carriers however.  The carrier suddenly found a new use for his services, namely taking goods from the railway station to towns and villages the railway didn't reach, or the markets.  This proved very popular, and as passenger numbers increased omnibus services appeared between larger towns (an Omnibus being a bus body pulled by horses).  An omnibus service started between Barton and Winterton around 1890.   

A fleet of Enterprise and Silver Dawn vehicles paraded in the Market Place
A fleet of Enterprise and Silver Dawn vehicles paraded in the Market Place
in 1937 (picture courtesy of Brian Peeps)

Around the turn of the century the petrol-driven buses started to appear but it wasn't until the First World War that the carriers all-but died out from the streets of Barton.  In 1922 Progressive Motor Omnibus Services Ltd started running a service 14 and 17 which passed through Barton on their way to New Holland for the ferry.  These services ran daily.  In 1925 W. T. Underwood Ltd acquired the business of Progressive Motor Omnibus Services Ltd, along with the Enterprise and Silver Dawn company, and renumbered these services 41 and 41a. It also ran a service from Barton to Immingham and Grimsby.  In 1927 W. T. Underwood Ltd became East Midland Motor Services and, in a move to secure more finances, sold the Lincolnshire part of its business back to the Enterprise and Silver Dawn company (or at least the person whom it had been bought from).  Enterprise and Silver Dawn then renumbered the Barton services from 41 to 10, 41a to 11 and 42 to 12.  In the 1930s Wells of Broughton was also running a service from Broughton through Barton to New Holland for the ferry.  This company was taken over (in 1938) by Lincolnshire Road Car Company who renumbered the service 71a.  In 1933 the Humber Road Car Company was formed from many independents in an attempt to prevent takeover from a large operator.  This company provided market services to Barton (number 52) just as the carriers had some years earlier.  In 1950 Enterprise and Silver Dawn company was taken over by Lincolnshire Road Car and this was the start of the (almost) familiar bus service in Barton linking with Hull (apart from the Humber Bridge not being built).  By this time the service numbers relating to Barton where 110, 110a, 111, 112 and 144.  The opening of the Humber Bridge in 1981 created the next major change in bus services in Barton.  The Barton to Grimsby service was renumbered 357 and the Scunthorpe to Barton to Hull service was renumbered 350.  This replaced the route 110, which in itself was the survivor of the 110, 110a and 111.  At the time this was run by Lincolnshire Road Car and East Yorkshire Motor Services, Fairly recently Stagecoach took over the operations of Yorkshire Traction, who in turn had taken over the operations of Lincolnshire Roadcar.


For more detailed information about the coach services and the carriers in Barton up to 1900 there is a book available called Roads, Coaches and Carriers in Barton before 1900 available at many outlets in the town.


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