'Damory - Dorset’s great local bus company’ as the fleet name proclaims, is part of the Go South Coast bus company owned by the GoAhead group. Go South Coast is responsible for the majority of bus services in Dorset and parts of Wiltshire and Hampshire. The ‘morebus’ fleet covers urban Bournemouth and Poole areas, ‘Bluestar’ operates in the Southampton area and ‘Salisbury Reds’, as the fleet name suggests. Serves the Salisbury and Wiltshire part of the operating area. This leaves ‘Damory’ to cover the rural routes in the county of Dorset. It is a diverse operating area, serving market towns, villages and many rural communities. Buses can be seen running along dual carriageways, trunk roads and single-track country lanes. Either deep in the countryside, along the coast or even in urban Poole there will be a Damory bus to be seen. So Damory buses could best be described as ‘The Country Bus’ as this DVD programme will reveal. Damory was formed by Vic Kimber in the early 1970s as a payment of a debt! It was sold to Wilts & Dorset in the spring of 1993 and became part of GoAhead in 2003 on the sale of the parent company.
Due to cuts in funding by Dorset County Council during 2017 a good deal of the Damory network was withdrawn, thus ending a chapter of ‘country bus’ services in rural Dorset after many years. It was decided that these final days should be recorded for posterity and independent transport videos were asked to do the job. With the full cooperation of Go South Coast we set about the documentation on video of these services in this trilogy of programmes. This, the first one shows ‘The Country Bus’ just as it is, so sit back, take your seat and enjoy the views and the buses! We begin with the driver’s eye view of the 311 service, which ran between Milton Abbas and Dorchester. We join 3763 (MX57 CCU) an Optare Solo for the journey, starting at Catherine's Well in the pretty village of Milton Abbas. Passing through Hilton, Higher Ansty, Melcombe, Cheselbourne and many more villages we see the many obstacles the driver has to put up with on his journey. We also see the passengers joining the bus, who are virtually all known to our driver! This really is ‘the country bus’ in action. On arrival at Dorchester South Station we see the bus turn and prepare for the return journey. Later we capture it as it runs through Milton Abbas.
In the second part of this programme we feature the buses in Dorchester, the county town of Dorset. Our cameras film the small bus depot and then continue on to Trinity Street, High East Street, Grey’s Bridge and the busy bus station at Dorchester South Station. We also film the 101 service passing through Crossways. It is now time to look back in time to complete the first part of this Damory trilogy. We visit the two Blandford depots in 1994 and 1998 with some archive video shot by former Damory driver Stuart McGill and see Leyland Nationals, a Bristol LH and VRTs as well as some of the Duple and Plaxton bodied coaches starting their day. To complete the story we see some lovely stills of ‘The County Bus’ in days gone by with operators that were the forerunners of the Damory fleet.
Produced by Independent Transport Videos
Running time - 97 minutes (approx)
Format - 16:9 Widescreen
Release date - March 2018