Stirling Observer

Employees cut ribbon at Bannockbur­n garage


Dignitarie­s gathered in Cowie Road, Bannockbur­n in September 1959 for the opening of a new depot for Scottish Omnibuses’ Alexander Group.

It covered 1.78 acres, replaced a smaller garage at Quakerfiel­d, Bannockbur­n, and was built at a cost of £80,000, the equivalent of £1.9 million today.

A total of 94 bus crews were to operate from the complex and a total staff of 130 were to be employed there.

The depot had accommodat­ion for 54 buses under cover and 30 more on hard standing outside. Buses based at the garage would travel around 40,000 miles a week on routes in central Scotland.

Single and double-decker buses were to be garaged at the new depot, relieving pressure on space at the Forth Street depot, Stirling.

The Observer said: `The new depot is equipped with the latest in maintenanc­e, repair and cleaning services. Included in the plant is the latest bus-washing machine operated on the `magic eye’ principle.

`As soon as the bus breaks the magic eye beam, the washing, spraying and rinsing operation is set in motion.’

Lord Lieutenant of the County Sir Ian Bolton, chairman of the Scottish Area Board of the British Transport Commission, officially opened the garage by cutting a ribbon across one of the main doors.

Addressing those assembled, St Ninians-born Sir Ian said just as at the time of Bruce at the Battle of Bannockbur­n, Scotland had in each generation managed to produce a man ready to seize the opportunit­y.

He recalled the pioneers of the motoring world and how his father had shown him one of the first motor cars which had someone walking in front with a red flag.

Alexander’s had seized successful­ly their opportunit­y of making buses and now they were opening the new depot in Cowie Road.

Scottish Omnbuses chairman Mr James Amos thanked Sir Ian and referring to the Battle of Bannockbur­n, said nowadays Scots were not trying to keep the English out but attempting to bring them in to experience the beauties of Scotland.

After the ribbon-cutting, the first bus was driven into the garage.

It was crewed by long-serving employees at the Bannockbur­n depot Bobby Galloway, Murrayshal­l Road, St Ninians, a bus driver for 32 years, and Mary Shaw, Stein Square, Bannockbur­n.

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