Walsall's bus fleet was always idiosyncratic, reflecting particularly the ideas of their General Managers. A bus fleet that not only served the town's many housing estates, its large fleet was used extensively on works and colliery services fa beyond Walsall's boundaries. Financial constraints meant that buses were often built to the most basic specification and classes of buses rarely exceeded a dozen or so vehicles. Even the original two-tone blue livery was pared down to an all-over light blue with a thin relief of a yellow band. Yet for all its faults it was always a fascinating bus fleet with the wartime fleet in particular being subjected to an extensive rebodying programme usually involving pre-war bodies being mounted on wartime chassis.
Unusually for a West Midlands operator, the pre-war fleet was nearly all manufactured by Dennis, while during the Second World War and immediately afterwards Guy Arabs were either allocated or bought. Then came Ronald Edgley Cox and nothing was ever the same again with buses built to almost Pullman standard, an actual class of buses given the nickname of `jumping jacks', a large number of very short Daimler Fleetlines as well as probably one of the largest double-deckers ever operated in the UK, which proved to be both a swan song and a white elephant.
David Harvey is a well-respected and authoritative author who has written extensively for Classic Bus magazine and has had many previous transport titles published by Amberley. He lives in Dudley in the West Midlands.