In September 1928 , Gellygaer UDC commenced its first bus service running from Bargoed, which was the centre of operations for Gellygaer UDC, via Gellygaer village, to Ystrad Mynach, the route was initially operated by five Leyland A13 buses hired from Hall, Lewis & Co. of Cardiff, but later that year four new Leyland TS2 buses (Nos. 1-4) with Leyland B29D bodywork, and two Hall Lewis-bodied Albions (Nos. 5-6) replaced them. The first four vehicles were liveried red and cream, but the Albions introduced a red, green and cream, livery, reputedly based on the colours of the Welsh national flag, these colours forming the basic livery throughout the lifetime of the undertaking, although for a period after World War II, grey replaced the white.
Apart from minor modifications to timetables, the network of routes remained largely unchanged until August 1968, when a joint route between Newport and Rhymney Bridge, with Red & White , Western Welsh Omnibus Company, and Bedwas & Machen UDC commenced.
By this time the new depot had been constructed New Road, Tiryberth.
Throughout the lifetime of the undertaking operational costs were kept to a minimum and in the middle of the 1960's Gelligaer introduced one-man operation, using second-hand motor-driven Setright machines . The only vehicles at the time to have electrically operated doors were Nos. 33-34, two AEC Reliances of 1966, it often meant that drivers had to manually open the doors using a lever in the cab. The school bus ticket right was for Ruth Williams for her journey from Bedlinog to Ystrad Mynach, does anybody know Ruth, it would be nice to hear from her and her memories of those daily trips to school..
On the 1st April 1974, under local government re-organisation, Gelligaer UDC became part of Rhymney Valley District Council, and the fleet was merged with those of neighbouring Bedwas & Machen UDC and Caerphilly UDC, to form the new Rhymney Valley District Council fleet, thus ending over 45 years of Gelligaer UDC as a municipal operator in its own right.
Not the usual photo that we are used to, but Gelligaer 22 (UJU774), an AEC Reliance with 45 seat Willowbrook body was repaired after this unfortunate accident with a tree in suitable named Cherry Tree Way in Trelewis which had quite obviously jumped in front of the bus according to the accident report ! New in 1960, No. 22 was bought second hand from Jones of Aberbeeg in 1966 and was no.95 in that fleet ,eventually withdrawn in 1972. The driver was the late John Walker and his conductor on the day was Billy Summers .
Photo supplied byJohn Evans and caption by R.C.Evans (no relation)
New in 1959 as no. 7 ( 359CTX), Leyland PD2/40 had a Longwell Green L27/28RD body which was rebuilt by Caerphilly UDC in 1966 and on re.entering service was given the new fleet no. 21.
Former Jones of Aberbeeg AEC Reliance with the rare for this chassis, Duple 44 seat body. TJU686 was new in 1959 and numbered 91 in the Jones fleet, when aquired by Gelligaer ir was given fleet no. 20 and was withdrawn in 1970.
No. 16 ( VNY 254 ) was new in 1957 and was an AEC Reliance with 44 seat Longwell Green body. It was withdrawn in 1972.
This Leyland PD2/10 no. 3 (MTG620 ) was new in 1953 and unusually had the Leyland L27/26R body. In 1966 it was re.numbered no.9 and lasted until 1972.
Looking a little "off route" is AEC no. 19 (MTG884) which was freshly painted during the Urdd Eisteddfod when it took place in Bryn Bach Park, Rhymney. We would welcome more information on this if anyone can help, was it painted by the children or what was the connection between the repaint and the Urdd ?
Photo supplied and copyright RC Evans