I am not sure whether it was the headline about Halifax’s super-charged bus, or the photograph of a collection of trilby wearing municipal leaders gathered around a Halifax Corporation double decker, which caught my attention – but whichever it was, my attention was caught. Having spent a fair amount of my youth waiting for such buses to appear from around the corner, as I nervously glanced at the Church clock and tried to calculate whether I could make it to school on time, I was always going to be easy prey for such stories: even if they were published a decade before I was born.
The article that accompanies the photograph is about a demonstration of a new super-charged bus engine that had been invented by Halifax’s Passenger Transport manager, Mr G F Craven. It was been shown off to a gathering of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Municipal Transport Association who were meeting in the town in May 1939, and, it must be said, enjoying a grand lunch at the Old Cock Hotel. After lunch, Mr Craven waxed lyrical about his diesel engine, saying that it had enough power to conquer the infamous hills of Halifax and it was capable of a remarkable 6 miles to the gallon of diesel oil. It could make a saving of £1.949 per year in fuel costs alone. The municipal grandees all cheered and then got on the bus for a trip up to Northowram.