Welcome to the
PAUL LACEY
TRANSPORT
BOOKS
website
My researches into the local bus and
coach operators of the
Thames Valley
area started in 196
8
, after the usual
apprenticeship as a bus
-
spotter. It all
really began because I was curious
about the pas
t, but there were no such
company
histories to read for this area
so I
had t
o write them
myself
!
Fortunately, in those days it was fairly
easy to find former operators and
employees who could give first
-
hand
accounts of the pioneering days, not that
mos
t bus books gave much credence to
such aspects then
but how things have
changed! Now, transport histories of all
types take account of the wider aspects
of the human endeavour that brought it
to fruition, along with the social and
local history aspects,
and I am proud to
be amongst those who have brought
these changes about. On the other hand,
such history now has recognition as a
valuable facet of history overall, so more
people can access and enjoy the results.
I still have all my old notebooks
and
sou
rce material and n
ow
5
0 years on,
sometimes something comes along that
makes sense of a snippet gleaned all
those years ago, and probably from a
source long passed away.
And that is indeed another spur to my
continued efforts to record this history,
to en
sure that those who made their
contribution, or produced those
marvellously evocative ‘
snaps’ from the
sideboard
, are not forgotten.
I try to strike a balance in my writing,
with the setting up of companies, the
wider aspects affecting the industry in
the
period under review, along with all
the details you would expect on vehicles,
services and premises. In order to make
the reading less cumbersome, I also
select specialist subjects for treatment as
sep
arate appendices, or use maps,
etc
.
To have delved so
deeply into these
histories has taken a great deal of time
and persistence
, but it has certainly been
most interesting to have gained so much
insight into what made it all tick, along
with many hours of entertaining
conversations. Some of my fellow
researchers have also been in touch for
many years, and their support has often
been vital when fatigue has set in and
queries seem
ed
without a solution.
I have received many letters from
readers who have expressed their
enjoyment on reading the results o
f
these labours, which is always pleasing
rec
ognition. I certainly hope that
as
you
read my books you can feel it is the
nearest you will get to ‘being there’
without a time
-
machine
then I will
have reached that goal!
Happy Reading
-
Paul