All bus companies are immortalised by the sort of buses they run, the size of the fleet and influential figures such as chief engineers or general managers. But no bus company can operate without the mass of people who compose the teams that ensure that buses arrive at bus stops at certain times every weekday, every week of the year. These two books provide a tribute to all the staff who made United Counties bus services possible. Using interviews with current Stagecoach East employees and retired United Counties staff, the author produces a vivid picture of the variety of work involved in all departments, as well as the lively social scene. Some 150 people have shared their memories, including past and present engineers and fitters, inspectors and drivers, conductors and conductresses, union representatives, administrative staff and retired staff, as well as non-staff members, family members and bus enthusiasts.
Caroline Cleaveley was born in Northampton at a maternity hospital next door to Houghton Road Works and within half a mile of the United Counties Derngate bus station. She was brought up in the nearby village of Mears Ashby and the local buses soon became a consuming interest. As a youngster she unofficially assisted friendly conductors, and paid regular visits to the works. She now lives in Gloucestershire and has recently purchased an old Northampton-based United Counties bus that had migrated away to Scotland many years ago.