Mrs Becher's Diary


To London Town

Going to London from Tylers Green was not so easy – The railway fares were small, 2/6 return, but the station was the difficulty – 4/5 miles distant.

One could bicycle, but the roads were muddy & it was necessary to carry an extra pair of shoes & stockings to change into at the station. The station could be reached in 1/4 to 1/2 an hour, but there was the long ride uphill home after a long day.

The alternative was the horse bus & that left Reid’s stables by the pond at 8.0 a.m. It was necessary to give notice the day before, as if there were no passengers the bus did not run. If the weather was very bad, it did not run either. I have known it actually start & get as far as Penn and then turn back again.

At first it was an open wagonette & we sat on either side facing each other. Then it became a closed bus & always, whatever the vehicle the horses stopped for a drink at the water trough at Knotty Green. The next luxury to be provided was an inside light on winter nights. This public conveyance made the two journeys daiIy. It took passengers to the early morning train & then back in the evening.  It was also possible to hire a pony and trap and this was driven by Mr Reid’s niece – Violet as she was known to everyone. Young, dark & pretty she was excellent with horses and had a slight stammer.

Reid finally gave up his business and Sugg started a motor bus in his stead. Fares had increased & then came the railway concession of a cheap return once a week, providing one did not travel by a train leaving Beaconsfield before 10.0 a.m. Each Wednesday therefor the new bus made a second journey to the station. As the population of the village grew & houses were built, so the bus service increased, & there was an excellent service to meet all convenient trains throughout the day. Sugg’s venture became a limited Coy. & a great financial success. He sold his business & rolling stock to the Thames Valley Bus Coy, & lived in Tylers Green as a man of substance.

Sugg himself was a personality; shrewd & with a clever brain he was a hard master, but a fair one. He ran his business with a rod of iron & any slackness by his men or disobedience to his rules, was met by immediate dismissal. His green buses were kept in beautiful condition & were a model of punctuality & were never late. He himself must have been of German antecedents. His English was not pure & he spoke with a gutteral accent. When I first came to Tylers Green & lived at Claremont, New Rd., he used to call as a very humble person, for my pigspail with a light hand cart. He also ran a coal business & had a wonderful capacity for work which brought financial success for himself and his family.