Rishton & Antley Motor Co. Ltd. 1919-1930

Incorporated on the 8th October 1919, the Rishton Motor Co. Ltd., initially operated charabancs, on private hire only, from the Central Garage in George Street, Rishton.

However, on the 2nd October 1920, a stage service between Blackburn, Rishton, Great Harwood and Clayton-le-Moors, using two Thornycroft J 25-seat buses, was inaugurated.

Eighteen months later, on the 17th April 1922, the Rishton Motor Company was taken over by Taxi and Motor Transport (Antley Garage) Ltd., who operated from a garage in Church (and had been incorporated on the 17th October 1919, although they were not operating buses themselves at this time), the new company subsequently being re-named the Rishton & Antley Motor Co. Ltd., on the 22nd May 1922.

The single stage carriage service was evidently profitable enough for the new company to consider a programme of expansion in this direction.

In October 1923, a local route in Accrington, between Church Street, Higher Antley and Spring Hill, was inaugurated and the following month was extended from Spring Hill to serve, Oswaldtwistle and Church, via Moscow Mill Street, Union Road, and Market Street, terminating at the Commercial Hotel, although application was later made to change the route.

In November 1924, approval was given for a route between Accrington and Clitheroe, but the service never commenced.

An application to extend the Accrington local route to Green Haworth on market days, Sundays and holidays was approved in May 1925.

On the 2nd July 1926, the company inaugurated a further service connecting Accrington to Great Harwood via Rishton, thus linking the Blackburn and Accrington operations.

At the Annual Licence Meeting in Accrington in March 1927, the Rishton & Antley Motor Company was granted licences for 18 omnibuses, and an application for a new cross-town service (Great Harwood – Rishton – Accrington – Willows Lane – Green Haworth) was authorised, although only between Willows Lane and Great Harwood.

The Accrington to Clitheroe licence was also renewed, but again this appears not to have been operated.

Later that year a number of operators made applications for limited stop express services to Manchester, and, in August, Rishton & Antley were successful in gaining a licence for a two-hourly service between Great Harwood, Accrington, and Haslingden to Manchester, where it was to terminate at the Sackville Street Motor Station.

The service duly commenced on the 1st November 1927 and in May 1928 was increased to a one-hourly frequency; the terminus being moved to the company’s own premises in Port Street in July 1928.

In September 1929, the Company acquired the routes and vehicles of the Calder Motor Company Ltd., and began using the fleet name ‘Rishton & Calder‘ (although the Company name was never officially changed from the Rishton & Antley Motor Co. Ltd.).

Six months later, in March 1930, Rishton & Antley was purchased by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway and at the same time a number of vehicles and services from Claremont Omnibus Services, of Burnley (which had been purchased by Ribble Motor Services from the liquidators) came under the Company’s control.

The Rishton & Antley Motor Company continued to trade under its own name for a further 6 months, although day-to-day management was transferred to Ribble Motor Services (in whom the LM&S had a 50% stake).

In September 1930, the Company was absorbed completely by Ribble Motor Services, finally extinguishing the last of Accrington’s pioneering independent motorbus operators.