Dating back to 1921 and originally operating from a base in the small Northamptonshire town of Irthlingborough, United Counties expanded significantly during the 1920s and 1930s, firmly establishing themselves in the county of Northamptonshire, as well as a network of services in south Lincolnshire, south Leicestershire and the Stony Stratford area of Buckinghamshire.
United Counties doubled in size in May 1952 when the Midland area operations of the Eastern National Omnibus Company were acquired. This expanded the network before ownership passed in 1969 to the National Bus Company, under whom the company remained until 1986 when it was split into three operating areas. Stagecoach Group purchased the United Counties marque in 1987, bringing the story of its distinctive white and stripe livery to an end.
With a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, David Beddall and Gary Seamarks offer a nostalgic look back at this iconic part of the local transport scene.
David Beddall is a lifelong bus enthusiast, having spent many childhood Saturday mornings observing the comings and goings of the United Counties fleet. His interest continued to grow beyond his native Kempston and now encompasses the entire bus scene in the UK - particularly London, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Gary Seamarks has lived in Bedfordshire his entire life, and became interested in railways at a young age. Buses soon followed, and his interest in the transport scene has never waned.