Kippax and District Motor Co. Ltd. 1924-1968

This small company was formed in 1924, when the Watson family commenced trading as the Yellow Bus Service operating a single service from Leeds to Ledston Luck, via Cross Gates, Garforth and Kippax.

The early livery was an attractive all over yellow with maroon relief, hence the name. As far as is known all vehicles owned by the company were purchased new, although little is known about two Karriers believed to have been purchased for the commencement of the service.

Shortly afterwards a second service from Castleford to Church Fenton was introduced, travelling via Kippax, Garforth, Barwick and Aberford.

In 1926 the Company took delivery of a Leyland PLSC Lion with 32-seat bodywork and this became the standard choice for subsequent deliveries until 1933 when an AEC Regal was purchased.

Single-deck vehicles were the mainstay of the fleet until 1935 when the first double-deck bus, an all-Leyland TD4 was acquired; this was followed by a similar vehicle the next year.

Following the 1939-1945 war, the livery was changed to maroon with three yellow bands.

In 1948 two all-Leyland PD2/1’s arrived increasing the number of double-deck vehicles to five and were numbered 14 and 15 in the fleet, number 13 being omitted presumably out of superstition.

The route between Castleford and Church Fenton was initially cut back to Aberford due to a decline in passenger traffic and gradually reduced over the years until 1950, when it was abandoned altogether, leaving Kippax & District Motors with just a single service.

This was in some part compensated for by contract services that the company ran from Kippax and Garforth to Burtons (the well known clothing manufacturers) in Leeds, and by football specials to Leeds United’s Elland Road ground.

On the 1st June 1956 the company came under the control of the Wallace Arnold group, but continued to be operated as a subsidiary under the Kippax & District fleetname.

The livery was, however, changed to red with three yellow bands in an attempt to retain the Yellow Bus Service image, which is still how the local people referred to Kippax & District. In line with Wallace Arnold policy, fleet numbers were discontinued.

The following month an ex-Western SMT Daimler CWA6 was added to the fleet, but the bodywork was in such poor condition that plans to refurbish it were dropped and the vehicle was sold for scrap in October of the same year.

Wallace Arnold had already re-bodied several of their Daimler CVD6 coaches with Roe H33/28R double-deck bodies for other subsidiaries and in 1957 one of these vehicles (LNW869) was added to the Kippax & District fleet.

Because of the close proximity to the Farsley Omnibus Company, another Wallace Arnold subsidiary, exchanges of vehicles were not uncommon and spare vehicles were often used by both fleets.

When ARN185 an-ex Ribble Leyland PD1 legally owned by Kippax & District became the spare vehicle, it was used as such for both fleets but was garaged by the Farsley company.

On June 1st 1960 the first 30ft double-decker supplied to any of the Wallace Arnold subsidiaries arrived at Kippax.

It was a Leyland PD3/1 with Roe H41/32R bodywork and when delivered wore a revised red and yellow livery with black lower waistrail, which became the standard for future repaints.

The first major change to the Kippax & District route network since the loss of the Castleford to Church Fenton route in 1950 occurred on the 4th September 1961, when a new route serving the Kingsway and Westbourne estates and the Ninelands development in Garforth commenced.

The final new vehicles delivered to the fleet arrived in 1965. They were two Leyland PD3A/1’s with Roe H41/32R bodywork and arrived shortly after a Leyland Atlantean demonstrator (KTD551C) had spent two weeks with Kippax & District.

It created such an impression that two were ordered for delivery in 1968, but sadly were cancelled when the Wallace Arnold group sold the Kippax & District Motor Co. to Leeds Corporation on the 31st March 1968, along with its near neighbour the Farsley Omnibus Company.

The final journey, on Sunday 31st March 1968, was worked by DUG167C, one of a pair of 1965 PD3A/1’s, which ran the 23.10 Leeds departure to Kippax only, bringing down the curtain on over 40 years of the ‘Yellow Bus Service’ in Leeds.

In producing this history reference has been made to the following source;
The End of Kippax and Farsley by JB Parkin (Buses No. 161, August 1968).

Bus Fleet List 1924-1968 |