Morley’s remembered

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Morley’s fleet may have been aged but was maintained to an extremely high standard. This former London Leyland Fleetline DMS lasted until the end of operations. TOM MORTLOCK COLLECTION

A highly respected Cambridgeshire independent has been remembered with a reunion on what would have been its 100th anniversary. Morley’s of Whittesey was set up in 1922 and operated its regular service to Peterborough seven days a week without subsidy, retaining a coal fire in its office until the end; a Co-Op shop convenience store now stands on the site.


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Morley’s historian Tom Mortlock organised a 100th anniversary at the Black Bull pub in Whittlesey for former employees, passengers and enthusiasts of the company. The event included displays of Morley’s memorabilia from Tom’s extensive collection, including photos, tickets, timetables and models. He recalled: “I had always been interested in old vehicles growing up, and being from Whittlesey you couldn’t miss Morley’s premises as you entered the town. I used to take photos of their fleet growing up, and was always interested in their vehicles and how they looked and sounded.”

Tom owns one of just four Morley’s vehicles known to survive, Plaxton-bodied Mercedes-Benz 609D L839 FTX. Also surviving is one of Morley’s three Alexander-bodied 1977 Seddon Pennines, RSD978R. These buses became local legends, running well into the new millennium. Also surviving are Northern Counties-bodied Bristol NDP38R in Reading Corporation livery following a complete nut and bolt restoration, and Ford R114 BTX39V which has been converted to accommodation.

People at the reunion included former Morley’s director Bill Wright, who married his wife Penny, nee Morley, in 1972. ‘There were so many memories shared at the event, which has really bought people together. I’m pleased that Morleys is held in so much affection even today,” he said.

It is hoped to have a further Morley’s reunion later in the year. As well as news on surviving vehicles, Tom would be interested in acquiring any Morley’s memorabilia, photos, etc for purchase or copying. He can be contacted via [email protected] or on 07563 920526.

Morley’s three ex-Scottish Bus Group Seddon Pennies became buses of local legend as they lasted well into the new millennium. NICK LARKIN