Golden Miller Coaches

“Fred Varney’s “Golden Miller” business—with two coaches and a Twickenham booking office—was acquired in 1955 by F.G. Wilder & Sons Ltd. of Feltham. In January 1967 Tourist Bus Service was acquired, with one vehicle and a stage licence for a service from Feltham Station to East Bedfont. This service, later numbered 601, had been the first since the War to be given a consent by London Transport when it began operation in 1955. On 1st January 1968 two further stage services were started: route 602 from Feltham to Shepperton Station, and the 603 to Hanworth. In November 1970 the Walton-on-Thames to Walton Station service of Walton-on-Thames Motor Co. Ltd.—which had begun in 1923 and unaccountably was never taken over by the LPTB—was acquired by Golden Miller and extended to Oatlands Village as route 604; however, this route was not a success and was withdrawn. Number 605 was intended for a route in the Claygate area which never materialised, while the 606 was started in 1971, linking Staines town centre to Stanwell Moor and Stanwell Village. It was separate from the rest of the Golden Miller network.”

Adapted from Buses of Greater London Fleetbook, 1978 edition.

“In June 1985 control of Golden Miller passed from Wilder to Tellings Coaches of Byfleet. Routes 601 and 603 were transferred to Fountain Coaches of Feltham, based at the former Golden Miller premises, from 22nd October 1985. These routes were combined from 9th June 1986 as the 600 between East Bedfont and Hanworth via Feltham. The Golden Miller business continued to operate route 602 from Feltham to Shepperton Station, and the 606 from Staines to Stanwell Moor.”

From London Bus Handbook Volume 2, 1987 edition.

It appears that the routes ceased running in about 1988.

“It was not until April 1995 that the combined Tellings-Golden Miller company returned to London Transport tendered work in a small way with midibus route S3 in the Sutton area (later surrendered), followed by route 235 from January 1998. However, much change occurred in 1999 following Arriva’s closure of their Leatherhead Garage from 1st May, and Hounslow from 3rd July, resulting in several Arriva routes and buses passing to T-GM.

“Then on 1st June 1999, Capital Logistics was sold to Tellings-Golden Miller and both then became constituents of the Status Bus & Coach Group. Capital Logistics operated a large fleet of coaches at both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, mainly for car park, air crew and hotel contracts. The firm had themselves entered LT tendered bus work in a small way in August 1993 with route H26, and in 1998 routes 60, 726 and U3 were gained. However, the 60 was only taken up by Capital in its own right after some months of mayhem, although T-GM soon rid themselves of the unremunerative contract in March 2000. The 726 was later won by T-GM in its own right on re-tender, whilst the U3 was swapped with CentreWest’s route 490 (but worked by their London Buslines depot) on 28th April 2001, in the mutual interests of economy.

“Capital’s Croydon base, as well as the former L&C Hounslow base, were eventually abandoned, and bus operations from the Capital coach depot at West Drayton were moved. The moves of the bus fleet took place over a period of six months from April to September 2000 culminating in the occupation of the eastern part of the old tram depot at Fulweil. Once part of the old London United Tramways tram and trolleybus site, it had been separated from what became London United’s Fulwell Garage many years earlier, and was once used by London Buses for its sales and disposal stock. By autumn 2001 around 100 buses were based at Fulwell on LB services, leaving the traditional base at Byfleet to work the Surrey routes.

“Expansion astride or over the border in Surrey has seen many routes gained. Routes 48, 426, 437, 438, 441, 446, 471, 513, 514, 515, 561 and 564 are currently worked for Surrey County Council in the Staines, Woking, Walton and Kingston areas, as well as services for students at the various Kingston University campuses. Routes operated for London Buses are 235, 465, 490, 726, H20, H21, H26, H28, R62, R68 and R70, all worked from Fulwell, joined by the H25 from November 2001, as another tender win from London United. T-GM’s normal fleet livery is blue and white with yellow relief. There is also a large luxury coach fleet.”

From London Bus Handbook, 2002 edition.