CAVES BUS SERVICES

Caves Bus services only operated for a short time in Redditch after October 1986. However, they continued to run bus services in the Solihull, South Birmingham and Wythall areas until their untimely demise in June 1999. Caves Bus Services was formed in 1956 with one Strachan bodied Trojan minibus. The fleet grew to around five vehicles by the 1960ís with the company operating both private hires and excursions with a fleet dominated by Bedford based vehicles. By the early 1980ís the company had become a bus operator and was running a Redditch to Solihull service number 5 as a replacement to the withdrawn Midland Red West R19. At bus de-regulation on 26th October 1986 the service number 5 became 175 and was cut back to run Wythall to Solihull only. Caves continued to run their service 9 from Solihull to Redditch after 26th October 1986 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only The Saturday service being withdrawn on 7th March 1987 and the remainder after operation on 22nd December 1988.  Caves continued to build a small network of bus services in an around the Solihull area mainly based around school services. The company also provided a number of the weekend Birmingham night services. In the early 1990ís the company replaced the Bedford vehicles with Leyland Nationals which were more suited to the types of services they were operating. The original founder of the company Edward Cave died and the company was left in the hands of his children George Cave and Ann Lewis. Unfortunately, in June 1999 George Cave died very suddenly and within days the company had to stop trading. The last bus operated by the Caves was HHA126L, Georgeís favorite National, which was used to transport all the company staff to and from his funeral. HHA126L is now "preserved" and is painted in Midland Red West National Bus Company livery. After a number of years attending bus rallies the vehicle was used as an office at the Birmingham Railway Museum at Tyseley in Birmingham. Unfortunately the vehicle was sold to Uk Bus Dismantlers at Bromyard for scrap  

The operational fleet at the closing of the business in June 1999

Registration Number Vehicle Chassis Body Work Seating Capacity Date Built
HHA126L Leyland National 1151/1R 00413 Leyland National B51F 01-Mar-73
GLJ681N Leyland National 11351A/1R/SC 01879 Leyland National DP48F 01-Jan-75
NWO476R Leyland National 11351A/1R 03872 Leyland National B52F 01-Nov-76
NWO483R Leyland National 11351A/1R 04073 Leyland National B49F 01-Jan-77
NWO499R Leyland National 11351A/1R 04084 Leyland National B49F 01-Jan-77
THX204S Leyland National 10351A/2R 05133 Leyland National B36D 01-Mar-78
THX216S Leyland National 10351A/2R 05162 Leyland National B36D 01-Sep-78
HMA567T Leyland National 11351A/1R 05786 Leyland National B44F 01-Dec-78
TTC534T Leyland National 11351A/1R 05473 Leyland National B52F 01-Oct-78
YPL397T Leyland National 11351B/1R 05667 Leyland National B41F 01-Nov-78
YPL442T Leyland National 11351B/1R 05783 Leyland National B41F 01-Dec-78
KRP562V Leyland National 11351A/1R 06459 Leyland National B52F 01-Jan-79
J921TUK ACE 90016 Willowbrook 91001 B40F 01-Aug-91

The operational fleet at the closing of the business in June 1999

Registration Number Vehicle Chassis Body Work Seating Capacity Date Built
TUP198E Bedford VAS1 Plaxton Embassy C29F  
TPD192M Leyland National 1051/1R 01102 Leyland National B40D 01-Jan-74
NHA286M Leyland National 11351/1R 2501 Leyland National B51F 01-Mar-74
GNV980N Bedford YRQ DW456912 Willowbrook 73790 B45F 01-Nov-74
HNB24N Leyland National 11351/1R 01987 Leyland National B41F 01-May-75
LIL3059 Leyland National 11351/1R 02562 Leyland National B49F 01-Sep-75
KDW360P Leyland National 11351/1R/SC 02802 Leyland National DP48F 01-Nov-75
UGH738R Leyland National 11351A/1R 03564 Leyland National B49F 01-Oct-76
OOX816R Leyland National 11351A/1R/SC 04314 Leyland National DP45F 01-Jun-77
AYR346T Leyland National 10351A/2R 06324 Leyland National B36D 01-Sep-79