ALDER VALLEY FIFTY YEARS ON

MARK LYONS looks back at the history of Alder Valley, and details what traces remain of its services

Following its formation in 1969 the National Bus Company sought to amalgamate several of its subsidiary companies in a bid to gain economies of scale. This process was to see the Aldershot & District Traction Company and Thames Valley Traction Company brought together on January 1, 1972.

Although a new operator was formally called the Thames Valley & Aldershot Omnibus Company, it adopted the somewhat contrived fleetname Alder Valley, presumably to avoid the impression that one part of the new combine was dominant. Regrettably, the opportunity to include ‘Traction,’ common to both constituent companies’ titles, was overlooked! Its headquarters were initially based in Reading, but relocated to Aldershot in 1981 when the former site was redeveloped.

The two operators had different heritages. Aldershot & District, formed in 1912, had been part of the British Electric Traction Group (BET) until 1967 when BET sold its bus operation in the UK to the government. Thames Valley had been a Tilling company and came into state ownership in 1948 under the British Transport Commission.

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