Date published: 20 November 2018


A unique piece of transport history will be officially unveiled in Rochdale this month.

A memorial stone, originally placed in the wall of Yelloway Motor Services travel centre in 1969 was rescued during demolition of the famous site in the 1980s with help from Touchstones, and will now go on permanent display at Number One Riverside, close to its original location.

Weir street site as it appeared between 1927, when Yelloway moved there and the 1950s Weir Street Yelloway office - Yelloway Motor Services Ltd booking office, (centre/at rear of bus) as it was in the 1960s before the new travel centre was established in the old mill. Note the Rochdale Corporation bus awaiting departure on the 24 route to Manchester
Yelloway Weir Street site, Yelloway Motor Services Ltd booking office, (centre/at rear of bus) as it was in the 1960s before the new travel centre was established in the old mill. Note the Rochdale Corporation bus awaiting departure on the 24 route to Manchester

To generations of Rochdale residents, Yelloway Motor Services was synonymous with day trips, seaside excursions and summer holidays by coach.  

The Yelloway travel centre where Number One Riverside now stands on this site in Rochdale town centre
The Yelloway travel centre where Number One Riverside now stands on this site in Rochdale town centre

For decades the iconic travel company ran a thriving coach business from its town centre base in Weir Street, where Rochdale Borough Council’s Number One Riverside building and central library now stand.  

The Yelloway travel centre in a refurbished mill building as the business boomed in the 1970s. Number One Riverside now stands on this site in Rochdale town centre
The Yelloway travel centre in a refurbished mill building as the business boomed in the 1970s. Number One Riverside now stands on this site in Rochdale town centre

The company made over 200 trips a year to seaside resorts such as Torquay, Blackpool, Llandudno and others through their heyday in 50s, 60s and 70s.

The memorial stone was originally laid in memory of the Yelloway Motor Services founder Herbert Allen, by his son Hubert who succeeded him as managing director in 1956.

Father and son who were ‘Yelloway’ for over 50 years between 1932 and 1985, when Hubert retired
Father and son who were ‘Yelloway’ for over 50 years between 1932 and 1985, when Hubert retired

After being in storage for several years it has now been carefully restored.

The stone will be officially unveiled at 11.30am on Saturday 24 November and everyone is welcome. A number of former Yelloway employees will be in attendance at the unveiling, along with Council Leader Allen Brett.

These include:

  • Joy Parker (nee Allen), daughter of Hubert Allen
  • Stephen Buckley, owner of a preserved Yelloway coach
  • Paul Blackburn, owner of the Yelloway museum coach based in Bury Transport Museum

Council leader Allen Brett said: “Yelloway is a much loved name in our local history. The company had a national reputation for providing high quality travel and I am pleased to see this memorial stone restored and back on display, bringing back special memories for many local people.” 

Back in 2016 the council unveiled a plaque at the front entrance to Number One Riverside, marking the location where the Yelloway company was originally based.





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