The North West of England was the birthplace of public transport, with the first rail and road services for the public created there. On top of that, it had a rich heritage, from Cheshire plain to Cumbrian fells via the docks of Merseyside and the mills of Lancashire. For the bus enthusiast this region has been one of the most varied and characterful in the United Kingdom, with its Lancashire municipalities, the mighty Ribble Motor Services and, at its centre, buses rolling off the production line in Leyland going to loyal customers `just down the road'.
The 1980s was the final period when the region had a Corporation bus in every town, and Ribble criss-crossed the countryside linking town and village. The decade started with co-existence and co-operation, with Blackpool and Fylde as friendly neighbours and with Greater Manchester Transport producing timetables on behalf of local independent Mayne's. By the end of the decade, after deregulation, it was a different story, with some long-established names gone - many under new ownership - and with transport in the North West on the brink of the corporate, bland look we have today.
For North-West Buses in the 1980s, Paul Williams stands at the roadside to see an astonishing variety of public transport drive by. Using exclusive, unpublished photographs, we get a sense of the rich inheritance on the brink of disappearing, and a glimpse into a decade that is already history.