Delwood Coaches - Villawood

This is a historic listing of vehicles owned and operated by Delwood Coaches - Villawood.

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Depot Address/s: 15 Lisbon St, Villawood
Livery: White with dark blue bands, flash and skirt

Delwood Coaches was a western-Sydney route and charter bus operator that was owned by Jim Newport. It comprised of three operating companies:
1. Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd
2. Delstar Bus Co. Pty Ltd
3. Parramatta Villawood Bus Service Pty Ltd

Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd was registered 23/6/58. The initial shareholders were Jim Newport and Carl N. Tattam. Jim Newport later purchased Tattam's share. This company was used to purchase Route 98 Granville - South Granville - Campbell Hill Road via Blaxcell Street and Route 105 Granville - South Granville - Sefton via Clyde Street from Trailer Tours Pty.Ltd in June 1958. Trailer Tours Pty Ltd was the charter / tour operating company of Parramatta Ryde Bus Service, Ermington, owned by the Phillips family.

The charter subsidiary company Delstar Bus Co. Pty Ltd was registered 9/3/59.

A number of stories have been circulated over the years regarding Jim Newport's inspiration to name his company Delwood. One story Jim told was that Delwood was the name of his Parents Estate in the United Kingdom, although industry associate Roger Graham suggests this may have been "one of Jim's little jokes." Roger believes it is more likely Jim named his company Del(l)wood after the Dellwood area as this is where he first operated. Dellwood was the name of a dairy and shopping centre between Clyde and Blaxcell Sts, South Granville.

Before moving on to run his own company, Jim Newport was the manager of Motor Body Assemblers (MBA) bus bodyworks at Parramatta Road, Camperdown. Another story is that when Newport was still working at MBA and went to register Dellwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd to purchase the business from Phillips, the office girl in his solicitors typed up the relevant paperwork as Delwood instead of Dellwood and it was registered as Delwood.

Jim Newport, with partners Roger L Graham and RW (Dick) Rowe registered the company Campbelltown Transit Co. Pty Ltd on 24/4/67. This was used to purchase the Campbelltown area Routes 92, 93 and 131 of B & H Transport Services / Campbelltown Bus Service (RJ Baker & N Howell), Campbelltown on 13/5/67. By 1970 the Rowe family were sole shareholders in Campbelltown Transit Co. Pty Ltd.

On 23/4/69, some Route 105 trips commenced operating to Chester Hill in addition to the trips to Sefton. These trips ceased by 27 September 1972, leaving the service as Granville - Sefton.

In September or October 1970, Jim Newport acquired Route 96 Parramatta - Granville - South Granville via Excelsior St from Granville Bus Co. Pty Ltd, owned by Webb Bros. Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd later took over this route.

In 1970/1971, Route 59 Auburn - Lidcombe via North Side was purchased by Jim Newport from Lidcombe Bus Co. Pty Ld, owned by Webb Bros. This route was sold to RJ Drummond t/a Drummond Transit, Lidcombe on 1 July 1974. Two AECs ex Granville Bus Co, m/o 4525 Leyland Comet / CCMC and an u/r Commer / CCMC (ex m/o 4525 - pictured above) came with the service. The Commer had been modified by the fiting of an Albion chassis at the front and wa fitted with a Leyland 350 engine.

On 1 January 1978, Jim Newport bought out the shareholdings of FP (Fred) Bowman and RW (Dick) Rowe in Parramatta Villawood Bus Service Pty Ltd. This company operated Route 97 Granville - Guildford - South Granville and Route 186 Parramatta - Granville - Villawood via Woodville Rd. Route 97 ceased on or about this time. Parramatta Villawood Bus Service continued to be used as the trading name, but buses were progressively repainted into Delwood white with dark blue bands, flash and skirt. After a period of time, Delwood Coaches became the trading name for Route 186.

Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd and Chester Hill Bankstown Bus Service Pty Ltd (Dewey Family) formed a partnership on 18 February 1980 trading as Bankstown - Parramatta Bus Lines. This operation commenced a Bankstown - Parramatta Red Arrow limited stops service numbered Route 320. Each operator provided one bus each on an hourly frequency for this service. Delwood m/o 4201 Leyland Tiger Cub was the first Newport vehicle painted in Red Arrow livery, followed by m/o 4389 Leyland Leopard semi-coach. By 12 December 1984, Route 105 was curtailed to operate Granville - Boundary Road, South Granville, due to Route 320 providing the through service to Chester Hill. On 3 February 1986, Balestron Pty Ltd t/a Auburn Bus Service (Barry Briggs and Stephen Todd), Silverwater purchased the Chester Hill Bankstown Bus Service Pty Ltd share of Route 320.

In 1986, 22 AES electronic ticket machines were purchased, giving a figure to the number of buses available for route and school bus service duties.

On 26 July 1987, all route were renumbered as follows:
- Route 902 Parramatta - Granville - Villawood via Woodville Rd (was Route 186)
- Route 903 Parramatta - Rose Hill - Granville - South Granville via Excelsior St (was Route 96)
- Route 904 Granville - South Granville - Campbell Hill Rd via Blaxcell St (was Route 98)
- Route 905 Granville - South Granville - Boundary Rd via Clyde St (was Route 105)
- Route 910 Parramatta - Granville - Clyde St - Chester Hill - Bankstown (was Route 320). Over time this had become an all stops service, loosing the Red Arrow brand.

A new un-numbered service commenced on 25 July 1989, operating from Granville - South Granville - Merrylands. This service was allocated route number 905 on 28 May 1990.

On 9 Otober 1989, Balestron Pty Ltd sold its share of Route 910 to Ian Barden and Associates, still trading as Auburn Bus Services, Silverwater.

Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd commenced a new service on 14 May 1990 operating five return trips per day from Parramatta - Bankstown - Sydney Airport. This used one of the Leyland Tiger semi coaches (usually TV 995) all day.

From 28 May 1990, Route 905 was altered as follows:
- Peak hour and Saturday morning trips remained as Granville - Boundary Rd.
- The previously un-numbered route Granville - South Granville - Merrylands via Clyde St, Blaxcell St & Excelsior St was allocated route number 905.
- Saturday PM and Sunday services were extended to Campbell Hill Rd and Barber Rd.

On 24 July 1990, Ian Barden and Associates sold its half share of Route 910 to Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd, leaving Delwood as the sole owner. A travelling restriction was implemented between Chester Hill and Bankstown to protect Auburn Bus Service's Route 73.

A rerouting of Route 910 from Rose Hill occurred on 22 January 1992. The journey was changed to operate via Church St between Parramatta and Granville, reducing travel times from 57 minutes to 42 minutes. Routes 902 and 903 were also standardised on 30 minute memory headways.

Jim Newport sold Delwood Coaches with Routes 902/903/904/905 and 910 to Baxter's Bus Lines (Holroyd Bus Lines Pty Ltd), Villawood with 32 buses. Approximately 13 buses were required for peak hour route services, plus several more for school services. A substantial tour/charter business was operated including a long term charter arrangement with the Parramatta Leages Club. The Parramatta - Sydney Airport service was not continued under Baxter's ownership.

Included in the take over was Delwood's depot in Lisbon Street, Villawood. Newport's first depot was at the Caltex Service station in Parramatta Rd, Granville opposite Brett's Hotel. He then went to 53 Onslow St, where Tom O'Bryan & Herb Katen previously had their depot before selling out to Wilcox. The operation later relocated to Lisbon Street, Villawood adter the DMR wanted to build an "off ramp" to the Expressway over Onslow St. The site is now occupied by Veolia Transport (NSW) Pty Ltd, who took over the Granville district routes from Baxter on 1 January 2005.
Following the purchase of Delwood, the two fleets operated virtually independently for a period with only one vehicle - m/o 7189 - being transferred and repainted. This included the repainting of several vehicles purchased by Baxter's into appropriated forms of the Delwood livery. These included Baxter's (2) m/o 683 Bedford purchased ex Picton Omnibus Pty Ltd (whose similar livery was adapted to resemble the Delwood livery), (71) m/o 8599 Mercedes-Benz O305 and (65) m/o 8545 AEC Reliance, a former Delwood vehicle returned to the fleet in a slightly modified livery. Several Leyland Tigers (one being m/o 5877) were repainted into Baxter's livery in conjunction for operation of the City - Liverpool and City - Fairfield Nightride contracts that commenced 30 October 1993. Repainting of the remaining vehicles in Delwood livery commenced in 1994.

Delwood Bus Co. Pty Ltd, Delstar Bus Co. Pty Ltd and Parramatta Villawood Bus Service Pty Ltd were deregistered on 3 November 2005, bringing an end to the Newport's bus industry career. Jim Newport had passed away by this time.

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