Edinburgh Corporation Transport Dept

('The Corpo')




John Stewart

Livingston, West Lothian

Thank you to John Stewart, formerly of Leith, now living in Livingston, West Lothian for sending me his recollections.

John wrote



   Silverknowes Bus Terminus  -  Driver and Conductor  -  1964

"This photo was taken for me by another driver, using my camera. It shows me as the driver and my conductor `sailor` Martin in front of our No 16 Edinburgh Corporation Transport bus at Silverknowes in 1964. The bus was a Leyland Titan.

The photo shows the obligatory uniform that we all had to wear.  Note the caps. You would be reported and disciplined if an Inspector caught you without the cap on.  Changed days now.

City Cars

"By the 1960s, the City Cars were mainly blue Minis ('City Blues' as they were collectively known) that were used by Edinburgh Corporation officials during the day.

When finished with, they would be parked randomly within an area bounded by Market Street, Cockburn Street, Lawnmarket and George IV Bridge.

They were collected in the evening by spare bus drivers based in the Central Garage in Annandale Street, and returned there for washing and re-fuelling, etc.  About 30 cars were involved. 

This nearly always meant scouting around for the particular car allotted to you. You could do some walking.  I had often been delegated to do this, first of all collecting the key from an official at the City Chambers. 

On one occasion I spied a blue mini just opposite the High Street Police Station.  Inserting the key I opened the door and got in and  started the engine, and made my way back to Annandale Street.

I was greeted by an Inspector and told in no uncertain terms to take it back.  I had taken a privately owned one.  The owner, in relief at getting it back, saw the funny side to it and I accepted my apology.  It just shows how one key can often gain access to another vehicle."

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  April 11, 2006




Jim Paton


Thank you to Jim Paton who wrote:


Parcel Depot

    Edinburgh City Transport - Parcels Depot  -  Where?

"The Parcel depot  was outside the gate to the Shrubhill depot.  I was a 'Parcel Boy' from 1957 until I started my Apprenticeship as a Fitter and Tuner with the 'Corpo' in 1958.  I was with the Corpo until we left for Australia in 1968.


The workshop at that time was away down through the old tram repair workshop at Shrubhill.

There was an old cable tunnel that ran from the Shrubhill workshop up to Leith Walk and the you could go either up or down under the walk.

Jim Paton, Australia:  November 5 + 6, 2009.


Here is an early photo taken at  Shrubhill.  It shows of the old winding engine that used to drive the cables for the cable cars.

Engine House for driving cables for Edinburgh's Cable Car system

Here is are a couple of photos that I took at Shrubhill workshops in the 1990s.  The workshops have now been demolished and the land is to be redeveloped as housing.

Edinburgh at Work  -  Lothian Region Transport  -  Shrubhill Works     Edinburgh at Work  -  Lothian Region Transport  -  Shrubhill Works

Peter Stubbs:  November 6, 2009




Jim Paton


Jim Paton added:


Central Garage

My Father

"My late father, Jimmie (James) Paton, was in charge of the city cars at Central Garage, Annandale Street for many years, until he retired.

He was put in charge of them after losing a leg when he was crushed between two trams at a terminus on a winter night.

He had originally been a fitter with the Corpo but when he came back from the war they put him as a conductor on the trams until a fitter's job became available.

Jim Paton, Australia:  November 6, 2009.




Brian Alexander

Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Brian Alexander wrote:

Late 1970s / Early-1980s

Restored Buses

"Those are interesting photos of restored Edinburgh buses, 101, 900 and 665. *  I had the dubious pleasure of driving all three in the late-1970s and early-1980s.  These buses were all part of the fleet at Marine Garage, Portobello, during that time."


*  These photos were taken in Edinburgh on a 'Bus Running Day' for restored Edinburgh buses, possibly around 2004.

Lothian Region Transport  -  bus No 101, restored, at Ocean Terminal     Lothian Region Transport  -  bus No 900, restored, turning from Queensferry Road into Orchard Brae

Bus No.665 on Route 1 in 2005 to mark the 25th anniversary of the conversion of Edinburgh's buses to one-man-operation

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 4, 2010


Marine Garage

"I joined Edinburgh Corporation Transport just before the change to LRT, the only conducted routes from Marine Garage when I joined, in 1975, were  services 2/12 and 15.

I spent one year as a 'Conventional' driver (on conducted buses) before going over to 'One Man Operated' routes, when service 15 went OMO."

Bus 900

"Bus 900 still had its roof and was used mainly as a 'Rush Bus', used at peak periods.  This was the longest Atlantean in the fleet, being three feet longer than the rest.

When delivered new, it was fitted with an automatic counter, counting passengers on the top deck.  This consisted of a special step on the staircase that depressed when stood on.  The 'count' was shown on a panel above the windscreen.    I don't think it ever worked properly.  **

The step that did the counting had been removed by the time that I drove the bus, but the counter above the windscreen was still in place."


**    How did it know whether the passenger was going up or down the stairs?

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 4, 2010


Buses 101 and 665

"Bus 101 was used in a similar way, and 665 was used on route 2/12.  101 was a single door bus at the time, not popular with drivers due to its length and the constant vibration from the engine.   My recollection of 665 is that it was one of the first of LRT's fleet to be painted as an 'All Over Advert' bus.  I think it was advertising an Office Temp agency and was painted yellow!"

Bus 801

"I also recall driving bus 801***, an early single door Atlantean.  It spent most of its service life with a 'GB' plate on the rear.  It had apparently, travelled to Belgium resplendent in its Lothian colours to be put on display at a trade show."

Another Photo

***  Bus 801 has also been preserved.  It is second from the right in this photo below, taken at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, Lathalmond, in August 2009.

LRT Buses at Lathalmond Vintage Bus Museum, August 2009

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 4, 2010


Brian Alexander, Prestonfield, Edinburgh:  August 1+4, 2010



Brian Melrose

Greenbank, Edinburgh

Thank you to Brian Melrose for responding to a couple of points in Brian Alexander's recollections (4 above).

Brian Melrose wrote:

Late 1970s / Early-1980s

Bus 900

Passenger Counter

"The counter was operated by pressure pads fitted to the bottom step (for going up +) and the top step (for going down -).
That way it recognised the difference between up and down. 

The system only came into operation when there was less than 10 seats vacant upstairs.  So a lot of people at the time thought that it was not working (including most conductors)."


**    All passengers would be likely to stand on all steps, whether they were going up or down, so I assume that:

-  if the bottom pad was pressed before the top, it assumed that the passenger was going up

-  if the top pad was pressed before the bottom, it assumed that the passenger was going down

I don't know whether it would have been clever enough to cope with the situation where one passenger stated to go up as another was coming down, or vice versa, then perhaps turned round to give way (as sometimes happens).

As the counter was trying to keep a 'running total', I'm not surprised to hear that it may have sometimes become confused by the end of the day!

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  August 7, 2010


Bus 802

GB Plate

"The bus that carried the GB plate was Bus 802 (not Bus 801). 

This bus, along with Bedford twin-steer 213 SC, travelled to a trade fair to Florence, Italy, in  October 1966.  Florence was twinned with Edinburgh.

Bus 802 carried its GB plate  for many years after."

Thank you to Brian for also sending me a photo of Bus 802 in Edinburgh, on Route 16, carrying its GB Plate.

Brian Melrose, Prestonfield, Edinburgh:  August 7, 2010



Eve Anderson

Thank you to Eve Anderson who wrote:

George Smith

Edinburgh Corporation Transport Worker


"I'm trying to contact a man who worked for Edinburgh Corporation Transport, either as a driver or as a mechanic in 1961.  I believe his name may have been George Smith.. (I'm not sure about that.)  I don't know whether or not he is still alive.

He went dancing in Edinburgh with a girl who was Faroese and worked at a hospital.  His parents may have been in charge of a plantation in Africa, but lived in Edinburgh.

I know this is very little information, but if you remember such a person or have any idea where he might be now, please contact me. 

Thank you.

Eva Anderson:  December 29-30, 2015

Reply to Eva

If you'd like to send a reply to Eva, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on her email address to you.

Brian Melrose, Prestonfield, Edinburgh:  August 7, 2010



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