A list of the operators and businesses they acquired over the years

One Ford Model T 14 seater - from these humble beginnings on 29th October 1929 this organisation grew to be the largest independent operator in the county of Dorset in postwar years.   The initial routes operated by founder Reg Toop were four in number, namely Bere Regis - Kingston - Zelstone - Poole, Bere Regis - Wareham, Bere Regis - Bloxworth - Wimborne and Zelstone - Bere Regis - Dorchester.  In 1930 two Chevrolets joined the fleet to supplement the Model T.  In the same year Toop acquired the market day routes of  James Ironside of Winfrith, running from Winfrith to Wareham on Thursdays, Dorchester on Wednesdays and Saturdays and a Saturday service to Weymouth.   In March 1936 the daily route between Poole, Morden, Bloxworth, Bere Regis and Dorchester, established by Israel Davis of Bloxworth in 1926, was brought into the growing business when his son Percy Davis joined with Toop to form a partnership. A few months later Bill Ironside (whose father's routes from Winfrith had been acquired by Toop six years earlier) also joined the business as a partner.  Between them the three partners, Reg Toop, Percy Davis and Bill Ironside,  expanded the fledgling enterprise - largely by acquisition of other businesses, especially during the Second World War - from pre-war market day services to an extensive post-war rural and interurban network with regular daily routes serving Dorchester, Sherborne, Yeovil, Sturminster Newton, Shaftesbury, Blandford and Poole.  The 1949 timetable booklet showed a complete network of thirty five routes - some ran daily and some ran once a week to market.

    Operator and home village


    Year of takeover / other information

   W J Laws, Briantspuddle

  Briantspuddle - Tolpuddle - Dorchester

   June 1940   -   one Dennis G bus

   C E Jeanes, Dorchester

  Henley - Piddletrenthide - Dorchester

   December 1941   -   started 1924

   Thornycroft 20-str YC2986 to BR&DMS

   E Russell, Broadmayne

  West Knighton - Broadmayne - Dorchester  

  West Knighton - Broadmayne - Weymouth

   December 1941 (included  A J Bishop's former service from Broadmayne to Dorchester, taken over by Russell in July 1937). 

   H Hawker, Piddletrenthide

  Plush - Piddletrenthide - Dorchester


   Started 1902, motor bus since 1916

   F Whitty, Dorchester

  Frampton - Stratton - Dorchester

   February 1942 (service started by B Cox in 1925, to Mrs R Platt in 1937, to Whitty in 1938)

   F Thorne, Cerne Abbas

  Minterne Magna - Cerne Abbas - Dorchester

   1942 (started in 1873 by Edward Thorne, Frank Thorne from 1908, motor bus since 1913)

   E Markey, Winterbourne Steepleton

  Little Bredy - Wint. Abbas - Dorchester

   June 1942 (part ex-C Ralph in 1932)

   L Sprackling,

   Winterbourne Stickland

   and Milton Abbas

  Milton Abbas - Whitechurch - Blandford

  Milton Abbas - Dorchester

  Stickland - Whitechurch - Dorchester

  Houghton - Stickland - Blandford

   September 1942.  Trading as Ivory Coaches.

   Started with taxis in 1916. 

   Part ex-T K Bower Milton Abbas 1930.

   Five vehicles to BR&DMS (1 x Morris 20-str, 3 x Leyland 26-strs, 1 x Leyland 32-str)

   G Lugg, Wonston, Hazelbury Bryan

  Hazelbury - Dorchester

  Hazelbury - Sherborne

  Hazelbury - Yeovil

  Hazelbury - Sturminster Newton

   June 1944

   Reo 20-str DV5631 to BR&DMS

   Chevrolet 14-str DL6997 to BR&DMS

   A Pitcher, Litton Cheney

  Swyre - Litton Cheney - Dorchester

   1944   -   one Morris Commercial bus 14-str to BR&DMS

   G Churchill, Puncknowle

  Puncknowle - Bridport

   1944/1945 one 1929 Ford 13 seater to  BR&DMS

   C Fripp, Okeford Fitzpaine

  Okeford - Blandford

  Okeford - Manston - Sturminster Newton

   January 1945

   E J Bale, Hurst

  Hurst - Moreton - Tincleton - Dorchester

  Hurst - Moreton - Winfrith - Wareham

   1946 (motor bus started 1925)

   G Caundle

  Puddletown - Dorchester

   1946 (service discontinued 1943 before takeover)

   Mrs B H Coombes & Son,

   Kingston,    Hazelbury Bryan

  Hazelbury - Sturminster Newton

  Hazelbury - Ansty - Dorchester

  Hazelbury - Sherborne

  Hazelbury - Yeovil

   November 1946

   Motor bus since 1926

   Bedford WLB 20-str AGH961 to BR&DMS

   J E Pickett, Buckland Newton

  Buck. Newton - Piddletrenthide - Dorchester

  Buck. Newton - Duntish - Sherborne

   1947   -   started 1922

   Bedford WTL 20-str CMV348 to BR&DMS

   V C Little, Marnhull

  Marnhull - Plush - Dorchester

   1947  (ex-A Trim, Marnhull)

   S Harmer, Milton Abbas

  Milton Abbas - Dorchester

  Milton Abbas - Blandford

   Spring 1948

   Dennis Ace 20-str JB3354 to BR&DMS

   H V Fear, Wimborne

  (tours and excursions)


   G Robertson, Longham

  (tours and excursions)


   E A Seager, Sherborne

  (tours and excursions)

   1954 (trading as Enterprise Coaches)

   Mrs H J Macklin, Sherborne

  (tours and excursions)

   1955 (trading as Antelope Tours)

     H E Butler    (coaches)      October 1961

   Elliott & Potter, Wimborne

   (school contracts etc)


   Mid Dorset Coaches, Hilton

   Milton Abbas Hilton - Dorchester

   Hilton - Blandford

   1987 on retirement of the House Brothers

ith thanks and grateful acknowledgement to past research by Ryan Carpenter and Roger Grimley

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