If only there would be another one along in a minute...

Illustration from 'Good old M&D' by David L Molyneux
Illustration from 'Good old M&D' by David L Molyneux

All things vintage and the ‘good old days’ are widely sought after and revered in these modern times and anyone who hungers after a bygone era will love David L Molyneux’s illustrated book which celebrates the early years of bus operation.

Born and bred in Hastings, David has expertly put together a book that’s jam packed with colourful paintings of past transport in Hastings and the surrounding area. The full colour, 72 page A4 size book ‘Good old M&D’ illustrates Horse buses, through to trams, trolleybuses and the introduction of the revolutionary Leyland Atlanteans, by Maidstone and District Motor Services, from 1878 to the 1950s.

Born and raised in St Leonards-on-Sea, David subsequently attended Hastings School of Art, Saint Martin’s School of Art in London, and London School of Printing. He went on to work as a graphic designer and illustrator in London.

David says he’d had a fascination for buses from an early age and his father, Tommy worked as a conductor for M&D until his death from Tuberculosis in 1941. “My Christmas stocking, from my earliest recollection, always included a Dinky Toys model bus” he said.

“My brother built me a bus garage to house them all in, with my fathers old M&D hat badge over the entrance.

“I used to stand by the garden gate with my cat, watching all the buses and coaches pass; local and ones down from London at weekends. Most of my school friends’ fathers worked for M&D as well.”

“My father was also involved in charity fund raising for local hospitals, as seen in illustration 43; Hastings’ Carnival 1934.

“During the M&D buttoned staff strike of 1936, caused by their wish to join the TGW Union, my father hired a barrow and sold fish in Queens Road, bought at Hastings fish market. Local M&D staff formed a 12-piece brass band, and collected money for the strikers. After the troubles, M&D management, having liked the band so much, asked them to continue playing!”

Whilst at Hastings School of Art, David did a painting of a bus at the cricket ground coach station (number 77 in his book) and says having discovered it again years later, it was to be the linchpin for his book.

“My late wife fought cancer for twelve years, and looking through my old paintings one day, I came across it and decided to do another as a distraction. I haven’t stopped since, and in doing so I’ve had to do a lot of

research, making many new friends in the process, with my book being the result.

“So you see I have buses in the blood!”

Good Old M&D by David Molyneux. chronicles bus services in East Sussex and West Kent, mainly Maidstone & District Motor Services who operated around Hastings for over 50 years. It features 81 paintings of horse, motor and trolleybuses, along with 93 photographs of uniforms, badges, timetables, tickets and other memorabilia, including pre-M&D companies such as Timpson’s, Skinners, and Hastings & District.

Local scenes of Hastings and the surrounding area are brought back to vivid life across 72 A4 sized pages with a laminated cover. £20 inc P&P direct from the author, cheques payable to David L Molyneux c/o 42 Keswick Road, Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT23 4BH.