Bedlington’s grand old man of the buses was no other than James Amos junior. Jim began working for his father, James Milne Amos, a coal miner, who set up a bus business operating in South East Northumberland, from premises on the Morpeth Road at Guide Post, in the mid 1920’s. The exact location of this business is where Alex Scott Car Sales is situated. Young Jim was soon behind the wheel of his father’s lone bus, which provided a regular service in the Bedlington, Ashington and Morpeth area. In fact young Jim was driving long before he was entitled to. Jim got his first licence when he was sixteen and drove until someone who knew his real age stopped him. He then had to pack it all in until he was seventeen and could legally obtain a licenceJim’s father’s business continued to flourish and when his father went into partnership with William and Tommy Proud to form Amos and Proud Ltd., it grew further. The partners worked really hard and eventually paid off when they built the firm up to having 40 buses operating on long and short haul routes. In 1928 the partners decided to sell the firm to United Automobile Services. Jim Amos junior also joined United and drove for the company for the next 42 years, with one break of just over a year in the 1950’s. In the years before his retirement in 1970, he covered many thousands of miles behind the wheel of buses. However, young Jim remembered his strangest driving experience when at the wheel of a taxi owned by his father. The taxi had been hired to collect the body of a young child from a Newcastle mortuary. Although his passengers included a relative and a “laying out” woman, the mortuary officials insisted that the taxi driver had to witness the transfer of the child to the coffin and help screw the lid down. Jim was just seventeen years old then and had to go down into the place where they kept all the bodies, which were laid out on slabs in those days. It was an experience that the grand old man of buses never forgot.
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