HUDSONS  OF  HORNCASTLE

Operating from Lincoln to Horncastle crossing the Witham at Bardney


 Please note this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information


The yellow undated timetable below from this Lincolnshire operator shows their routes from Lincoln to Horncastle, as well as the summer seaside services to Skegness and Scarborough. The Lincoln via Bardney route had started in 1928 although there was competition from Wright's of Louth at the time. The first vehicle was a 14-seat Chevrolet with Applewhite of Lincoln body. By 1933 the route was extended to Skegness on Wednesdays and Saturdays in  the summer. From 1932 another route to Lincoln via Stainfield and Short Ferry ran on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (it had been taken over from J Elsom of Horncastle that same year). Lincolnshire Road Car's presence in the Horncastle area extended with the takeover of the business of J T Friskney of West Streeet Horncastle in 1934 which included routes to Louth, Boston, Lincoln via Kingthorpe and Kirkstead via Woodhall Spa; these formed useful additions to their existing Lincoln - Wragby - Horncastle - Skegness services.

There were Hudson depots at both Bardney (Station Road) and Horncastle (Lincoln Road). Contract works services were operated to the sugar beet factory at Bardney, which closed in 2001. High capacity double deck vehicles were introduced from 1956/57. These catered in part for the increase in traffic after the withdrawal of Road Car's route 10E (Lincoln - Horncastle - Louth) and the cutting back of Lincolnshire Road Car's route 8A (formerly Boston - Coningsby - Horsington - Lincoln) to operate only between Boston and Horsington. The withdrawn routes mentioned were purchased by Hudsons from Road Car for 500 in September 1959. The connections mentioned in the Hudsons timetable at Horsington for Woodhall Spa and Boston with the 8A route three times a day constituted an important means of travel across the county of Lincolnshire at that period.

Double-deck operation arrived in 1955 with the acquisition of an ex-Lincoln Corporation Leyland TD5 of 1938 vintage, AFE376. This went to Roys of Nottingham in 1958.The largest vehicle to be operated was RFU12, a Leyland Titan PD3/3 Roe-bodied double decker seating 69 passengers (H37/32RD). It was new to Hudson in February 1958 and worked the main route to Horncastle via Bardney. Its predecessor was Titan PD2/22 OBE964 with H33/26R Roe body bought in 1956. Hudsons bought both of these two Roe bodied Leyland Titan double deckers with platform doors new, and both later moved to Holloways of Scunthorpe, OBE in 1970 and RFU in 1972. In later years one man operated single deckers would suffice (see picture below).

As reported at the time in Commercial Motor in summer 1958 Hudson's objected when the Traffic Commissioner obliged them to raise their bus fares to come into line with recently increased fares on common sections of route with Road Car.  Mr. J. E. Hudson, a partner in the firm, said "I have carried on this business all my life, and I have been operating the present fares for two years and five months. I do not want to see traffic disappear by putting up my fares. At present my business is on a very sound footing." To support Hudson's case a petition containing 763 signatures was handed to the Commissioners by three regular passengers. Mr. J. F. Parsons, who had prepared it, said Hudson's gave more consideration to passengers, provided a better service than their competitors, and ran better buses. Further support came from the Kesteven Association of Parish Councils and Horncastle Urban District Council. Mr. J. Samuel Gibbon, for Lincolnshire Road Car, submitted that the Commissioners would have to come to an unpopular decision in face of ill informed public opinion. People living on the routes were bound to think that it was in their interests for the fares not to be increased. In July the Commissioners decided in favour of Road Car on roads where they were the more significant operator, thinking that Hudson's fares were too low to be economic without cross subsidy from their coaching operations.

The limited company was formed in December 1962 with family directors. The fleet size at the time was about 20 buses and coaches in a light blue and cream livery. Subsequently the Hudson's business was taken over by Appleby's of Conisholme on 1st December 1974 and added to their existing routes in the Horncastle and Louth area. Thirteen vehicles (two buses, eleven coaches) passed from Hudson to Appleby.

Applebys were operating the ex-Hudsons routes with the Horsington 8A connections still advertised. By 1978  the bus connections between Lincoln and Boston had changed again with Road Car 8A from Boston connecting instead with Road Car 2C to Lincoln at Martin. Applebys now advertised a connection at Horncastle four times a day to their own service to and from Woodhall Spa.  Applebys were to undergo their own changes in more recent years. Eventually over the years the Lincoln - Woodhall Spa - Boston route evolved into a direct hourly service, now route 5 and part of the Lincolnshire InterConnect network of bus services, and operated principally by Brylaine. The main ex-Hudsons Lincoln - Bardney - Horncastle route still operates 'independently' as service 10 with PC Coaches of Lincoln.


Undated timetable but possibly a 1960s issue

hudsons front

hudsons rear


1959 timetable showing the joint working with RoadCar, mentioned above, between Lincoln and Boston by connections made at Horsington.

Hudson's Ford Plaxton CBE852L 48-seater at Lincoln on the Horncastle service, not long before the takeover by Applebys. Bought new in 1972
(photo with thanks from the johnmightycat1 collection)
8A timetable 1959 Lincoln to Boston
hudson's CBE852L at Lincoln

Hudson Bell Punch ticket



Earlier Hudson's timetable dated June 1948.
The Lincoln terminus at Unity Square was more convenient for passengers in those days gone by
  as Broadgate was not then the heavily trafficed dual carriageway with central barriers that it is today

cover of June 1948 timetable
1948 timetables for routes to Lincoln
Hudsons Setright ticket



incorporating information from articles and publications (including those by P R White, G Wise and A Tye)

found in the libraries of Lincolnshire;

an illustrated article on Hudsons appeared in Buses 245 of August 1975.



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