OUR recent features on Midland Red buses brought back many memories for readers.
Stephen Richards, from Shirley, sent in the original photograph back in January which sparked the interest of so many. He has enjoyed a lifelong interest in buses and old aviation.
“I am an enthusiast really. As a schoolboy it was train spotting or bus spotting and it never really went away.” said the Longmore Road resident.
Mr Richards was intrigued by the Solihull News article on March 6 in which reader Mrs Hales recalled the 181 Cranmore service .
He said: ”The 181 ran until the mid-1970s and in those later days, Midland Red made some of their fleet available for ‘all over’ advertising.
“Unlike the methods of today when such adverts are applied using vinyl sheets, back then the bus was hand painted.
“Hall Green Greyhound Stadium took the big step of committing to having one of Midland Red’s Digbeth-based buses painted in an all over-advert, with paintings of greyhounds running around the area between decks. I don’t know how long such a contract lasted but bearing in mind the effort it would have taken, I guess a year was a minimum.”
Having written some articles for Classic Bus magazine, Mr Richards was approached by diecast model maker Corgi in 2000 to help produce a series of Midland Red bus models. He added: “There are only three different model types but they were all done in different liveries so there are probably about 20 altogether.
“I took advantage of my position to get two double deckers done with Shirley and Solihull destinations showing. One is on the 154 Solihull via Shirley route and the other on Mrs Hales’ 181 Cranmore service.
“This one is in the all over advert for the Hall Green Stadium.
“These models are magnificent for their detail and the Hall Green ad model took something like 100 passes through the painting and printing process, so detailed is the livery.
“Though limited editions are no longer readily available, one can still find the odd one in a model shop and they crop up on eBay at reasonable prices too.”
Have you collected any of the Corgi models? Write in to the above address.