John the Busman - John Anderson

John the Busman – John Anderson

This month’s resources are a follow up to a High Street photo in the December 2017 section. The following have kindly been donated to the Society by eminent local historian Tom Anderson and we’re grateful to Tom for the photos, adverts and his comments which are included in some of the information below the photos.

Dunbar High Street in the 1920s

In the photo above, you can see the sign for the garage. It was run by Miss Louie Stark and St George Garage itself was situated at Church Street with an office over the steps at the St George Hotel. There was also a Shell petrol pump at the top of the lane. Miss Stark spent long days at the kiosk at the top of the lane – now Cossars Wynd. What’s also interesting in this photo is the military man on a horse, what we would now call a classic car behind him, and a horse drawn carriage near the garage sign.

John the Bus Man

In this photo, you can see an old vehicle which met all the trains which stopped at the station and offered to take passengers to ‘anywhere in town for sixpence’. People  all called  this “John the Busman’s” bus, as  the driver was called John Anderson. You can also see the side and front of A T Smith’s grocer shop. Interestingly, there is no “ST” next to “GEORGE” on the hotel front.

Stark’s Motor Tours

 The above is an excerpt from a guide book in 1927 which included information about Dunbar. At this time, you could hire a car with driver or  a coach for tours or day outings. In the holiday season day trips to the surrounding area were on offer. Some were  offered as mystery tours – you paid your money and took a chance where you went. This excerpt also refers to Stark’s “motor ‘buses”, as they had a contract with SMT buses which allowed them to run six services a day between  Edinburgh and Dunbar. Note the use of the ‘ before buses, indicating that this was short for “omnibuses”.

Advert for Stark’s garage

This is a fascinating photograph. Louie Starks two brothers – Collin and Jack Stark –  ran the central garage next to the Parish church hall. You can see the extent – and quality – of the cars offered for hire by the garage, as well as the “competent attendants” and “thoroughly experienced mechanics”.