In last week's edition, we traced the transition from the horse drawn era to the early motor bus, discovering how one man set up a service which ran between Weymouth and Chickerell six times a day. With thanks to transport historian Brian Jackson, we now explore how the service expanded and moved into the modern age.

IN November 1922, Mr Jack Radford transferred his Hackney licences to Mr Thomas Allan Smith. Four months later, Smith was joined by William Harris Miller. Trading as Victory, the pair applied to operate a bus service to Chickerell in March 1923, but this application was refused.

Two years later, however, in February 1925, Victory Motors (Weymouth) Ltd was registered, headed by W. H. Miller, T. A. Smith and J. J. Duffy. The company took control of the premises of the motor vehicle repair business at the Central Engineering Works in Commercial Road, with their fleet consisting of a selection of second-hand Crossley, Fiat and Ford charabancs.

A staunch Salvationist, at first Smith would not permit working on Sunday, yet these principles were likely challenged over the following years as the business expanded and coach tours relied on the weekend trade.

By 1927, the company was listed in the Weymouth town directory at two sites: Motor Garage & Removals at Commercial Road, and Engineering & Repairs at Holly Road. In June 1928, Victory vacated Commercial Road and the iron huts were converted into classrooms for Melcombe Regis School, which used the buildings until its closure in 1970.

The company also acquired a competent engineer, Edgar Dawe, who brought new activities to the company, selling vehicles and repairing the council's fire engine, of which he was the driver. Furniture removals were undertaken using two vans operated by Victory, and the Victory School of Motoring and chauffeur-driven cars were available at 50/- a day.

Following the difficulties obtaining licences in Weymouth, company directors decided to also operate in Dorchester, beginning a service in March 1931 with two Dennis GL 20-seat coaches. Miller moved into 16 Prince's Street, using the adjoining garage to house the two Dennis GL, plus one Ford AA bus.

The following year, in April 1932, Miller's brother-in-law, Deacon, took over the business, now under the name of Dorchester Motor Services. The business moved to 29 Cromwell Road, with the buses kept alongside the end terrace house. Yet the anticipated success never materialised: the service and three vehicles passed to Southern National in January 1935, and Deacon took up farming in Bridport.

*There will be more on the bus service moving into the modern age next week. Thanks to Shane Seagrave for getting in touch and pointing out that last week we mistakenly quoted the modern day equivalent of the 5-shillings charabanc fare to Corfe Castle and Swanage.