Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: January 30, 2021
Webpage updated: January 30, 2021




Heybrook Bay Motor Services Limited was registered on August 21st 1943.  The capital was to be 6,5000 and the directors were to be Mr Thomas Hart (1902-1965) of 36 Montem Road, London SE23, and Miss Elizabeth Hart of 75 Sheldon Road, London N16.  The Company was formed to purchase the business and assets of Messrs J W Newton and Sons, trading as the Star Motor Services, of the Garage, Down Thomas, Wembury, Devon, who ran a bus service from Wembury Point and Heybrook Bay into Plymouth.

The Heybrook Bay Motor Services Limited and Coombes (Plymouth) Limited
booking office in Breton Side Bus Station, April 2nd 1958.

City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Purchase of the business was completed around October 1st 1943.  Mr Hart's plan was to integrate the bus services and coach hire with his holiday camp at Wembury Point.  In London he had operated the Enterprise Transport Company Limited, which ran buses within London and had passed to the London Passenger Transport Board when it was created in 1933/34.  At that time Mr Hart had used the money he received to purchase a share in the holiday camp.  Mr Hart and his wife, Mrs Nora Margaret Kathleen Hart, moved to Devon in 1945.  Unfortunately their holiday camp had been requisitioned during the Second World War and was being used to house troops.  They had thought that the site would be returned to them after the War but the Royal Navy decided the location was ideal for a replacement to the Royal Naval Gunnery School at Devonport. It wasn't all bad news, though, as the troops used the buses into and out of Plymouth.

Mr Hart was able to invest in the bus and coach business and first built a brand new garage at Down Thomas, behind which he then constructed a new house for himself and the Mrs.  Many of the former staff and members of the Newton family continued to be employed in the business although Mr James William Newton naturally retired from active service following the sale.  Given his poor physical condition, which included a heart attack and then a stroke, he became wheelchair-bound, then house-bound until he passed away on January 1st 1949.  In fact he was buried on his birthday, January 5th 1949, when he would have been 62 years of age.

Meanwhile the bus service continued much as it had always done but the Company acquired the excursion and private hire business previously carried on by Mr Frederick Coombes, of 48 Station Road, Keyham Barton, Devonport, who traded as "Princess Tours".  In 1953, as Plymouth began its reconstruction programme, the terminus in east Street was moved to Buckwell Street Car Park at the top end of Treville Street, where Bretonside Bus Station was later constructed and into which they moved in March 1958, as seen in the photograph above.

In February 1952 the Company applied to the Western Traffic Commissioners at Bristol for licences to run leave specials for the Royal Navy.  Although at first refused, in January 1953 the Company was given permission to operate such services in rotation with Blake's (Continental) Tours Limited and the Western National Omnibus Company Limited.  They did two out of every four journeys to Birmingham, one out of every five to Liverpool, and two out of every eleven to Portsmouth, each starting from the Royal Naval Barracks at 4.30pm every Friday (or midday on Saturdays for those with short leave passes) and returned there at 7am on the following Monday morning.  Apparently the return fare for any of these journeys was 2 seven shillings and three pence.

Unfortunately Mr Hart suffered a heart attack and he and his wife decided to concentrate their time on the Bovisand Lodge Estate and sell the Heybrook Bay Motor Services Limited.  Mrs Hart did a deal with the Western National Omnibus Company Limited, with whom they had always had good relations, and on Thursday January 1st 1959 their bus services became Western National routes 54 to Heybrook Bay and 55 to Bovisand.

Mr Thomas Hart died at Down Thomas on Friday January 2nd 1965 and was buried at the Drake Memorial Park, Plymstock, on Tuesday January 6th 1965.  He was survived by his widow and one son.

For a Fleet List of the Heybrook Bay Motor Services Limited click HERE.