|King Alfred Motor Services ran buses
in and around Winchester from 1922 to
1973. The Chisnell family owned this
and other businesses in the city. After
providing transport for troops during
the great war, Robert Chisnell ran excursions
and started his first bus routes in
October 1922. The network grew rapidly
to become a rarity in British public
transport, a privately owned city service.
There were also routes out of town,
locally to Twyford and Fisher's Pond
and as far as Basingstoke and Whitchurch.
The garage was near Winchester Chesil
railway station just over the river
from the Broadway terminus.
|In the 1960s the increasing traffic
in Winchester's narrow streets often
brought the city to a standstill. The
rise in car ownership and staff shortages
made it difficult to maintain the service.
The out of town routes began to shrink
and Sunday services were cut. Despite
buying new buses, the company resisted
the trend elsewhere to convert to driver
|However, the difficulties continued
and eventually on the 28th of April
1973 the the last King Alfred bus ran
into the garage and the routes were
handed over to the Hants & Dorset
company. They also inherited the staffing
problem and needed to borrow people
(including me) from depots such as Southampton.
|King Alfred routes and buses passed
to Hants & Dorset but many of the
vehicles were soon moved from Winchester,
exchanged or sold. However, many of
these survived and there are now a large
number of preserved King Alfred vehicles
which can be seen at events throughout
the year, including the annual running
day in Winchester.
|Find more King Alfred information
and other operators in the Winchester
|See King Alfred bus photos.