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Livin’ in the outside lane

Paul Kirkham


Working for Ribble and Standerwick – Reflections of a 1970s Bus and Coach Driver

Founded in Preston in 1919, Ribble Motor Services grew to be the largest and best known bus and coach operator in north-west England, its operating area stretching from the Solway Firth to the River Mersey. Following the break-up and privatisation in the late 1980s, it gradually disappeared from view. In its heyday between the 1950s and 1970s there are likely to have been few people in Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland who had not at some time travelled on its buses or coaches. The company operated from some 30 garages.

Paul Kirkham looks back on his time with the great Lancashire company and its very independent Blackpool based coaching subsidiary, W.C. Standerwick – not that Standerwick would admit to being subsidiary to anyone! The book is a mix of autobiography, history, geography, travel, operations, depots, industrial relations, people, places (Blackpool and the Lake District in particular), incidents, stories, with a sprinkling of comments on various bus and coach types. Great days, but not always as rosy as we sometimes think. The past can be a strange place.


Ribwick Books



Publication Date:

2020 February


Paperback; 234 x 155mm




Black and white and colour illustrations