Midland Red Coaches

Midland Red (Express) Ltd was formed on 6th September 1981, upon the split-up of the Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited, and took over the long-distance coaching Interests of that company, together with 82 coaches. The headquarters of the company was at Spencer House, Digbeth, Birmingham, the former hub of the Midland Red coaching system. The only garage was also at Digbeth in Birmingham next to the coach station. In 1984, the coaching companies of the National Bus Company were re-organised whereby each was linked to a neighbouring bus company and Midland Red (Express) Limited became a subsidiary of Midland Red (North) Limited, Cannock. From early May 1985, the company was renamed Midland Red Coaches Limited apparently In part, this was intended to get the Company away from the image of an 'express only' operator. It also overcame the confusion between 'Midland Express', launched on 28th March, 1983, by the four Midland Red bus companies (operators of a limited stop network using coaches painted white with a yellow and red band with 'Midland Express' logo) and its own white coaches based at Digbeth. Digbeth ceased to be an operational garage from 1st February, 1986, after which it was principally a coach station with the capability of only minor running repairs. From this date the Midland Red Coaches fleet was based at the Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited Carlyle Works at Edgbaston and Midland Red Omnibus Company assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the vehicles. When the move to Edgbaston took place, the link with Bristol Management Services (as successors Co Bristol Omnibus Company Limited) for secretarial and accountancy work was severed as these were performed locally. In consequence, the legal lettering on the vehicles was changed to 6, Waterworks Road, Birmingham B16 9DB, this being a 'unit' on the Carlyle Works site. Midland Red (West) Ltd was successful in gaining a substantial number of contracts from West Midlands PTE (now known as Centro), as a result of bus deregulation on Sunday 26th October 1986. To operate these services Midland Red West re-opened of Digbeth as a bus garage (it had closed to buses in 1978) to run them and the fleet of Midland Red Coaches was transferred from Carlyle Works to Digbeth, where maintenance was In the hands of Midland Red West. The Midland Red Coaches business and vehicles were taken over by Midland Red West Limited on 22nd December. 1986 when the both companies were purchased by a seven-man management team from the National Bus Company using a holding company called Midland Red West (Holdings) Ltd. This seven man team (with two drawn from the Midland Red Coaches Company) purchased 70% of the shares, the remaining 30% being offered to the remaining company staff. Midland Red Coaches Ltd continued to operate as a separate company using its own operator licence (PD477) until July 1987 when the operations were merged with Midland Red West. Midland Red West continued to use the Midland Red Coaches name as a trade name for itís coaching activities. The coaching unit was finally closed  on 25 January 1997. (The vehicles were withdrawn in the January and February)

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