Quelques souvenirs français d'antan


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Based in Carentan in the département of Manche this firm was operating the winter months only service on the route from Carentan to Carteret in 1971. In the summer months the service was by rail, whilst in previous winters the bus service had been operated by STN, the principal operator at the time in the département.  This bus route has had a somewhat chequered history and was revived with the new departmental manéo network in 2007 as ligne 108 between Carentan and Portbail but had been discontinued by July 2010.
The rail service had become seasonal only after the summer of 1947 and the stopping passenger trains operated for the last time in the sumer of 1971. A peak season only Paris to Carteret express lingered on until August 1976. The section between Barneville and Carteret is now operated as the Train Touristique de Cotentin.



This operator, based in Domfront in the Orne, ran two routes. Their original 'local' route (running by 1935) was a circular service through the Canton de Passais. A summer 1942 wartime timetable from the Normandie regional edition of the Indicateur Chaix shows Gustave Leboss
é running twice a day run around the circular route of 60 kilometers but with extended running time of some three hours. The Chaix issue of July 1953 shows the Passais route extending to Le Teilleul two days a week.
The Passais route was joined in September 1968 by another much longer route taken over from the STN, which went from Domfront through Mortain to Avranches. Previously, from at least 1935 until at least 1948 this Avranches route was operated by M. Gilard of Domfront; STN took it over between 1954 and at latest 1961, probably earlier. The operator of these routes in 1994 was Guy Leboss
é and in September 1999 they were operated byMayen'Voyages, continuing until at least 2001. The Lebossé business in Domfront was acquired by Mayen'Voyages of Ambrieres in Mayenne in 1999.



erating from Villedieu-les-Poeles in the south of Manche, Villain et Cie were in 1969 providing several market services from their home town, as well as the principal route north-east to Saint-Lô and a schools route to Coutances.  The Saint-Lô route had been previously operated by Les Courriers Normands, and in earlier years (until 1957) there was a considerable network of routes radiating from Villedieu operated by STDM (Société de Transports Départementaux de la Manche). Villain et Cie continued in operation with coaches and lorries until 1990 when a new coaching business Villedieu-Evasions was established from the same address: Route de la Foulerie at Villedieu. This operation is under the direction of the Gautier family who are also in business as Gautier Voyages of Saint James. In 2011 the business became VSJ Evasions (Villedieu St James). Villedieu Evasion was acquired by Cars Farouault of Avranches in 2016.



Voyages Lechanteur of Périers in Manche are long established coach and holiday operators with over fifty years experience, still very much in the tourism business today. In 1969 they were operating market day services from Cérisy-la-Salle to both Saint-Lô and Coutances, whilst their principal bus service was from Périers to Saint-Lô. This had been taken over from Les Courriers Normands of Caen, who in turn were successors to Transports D
épartementaux de la Manche, thought to be since 1957. The route operated as manéo ligne 109 from September 2007. The company is a member of the REUNIR grouping of independent transport companies. In February 2011 the Lechanteur business was bought by Collas of Bricquebosc and Tourlaville (Manche).  The regular bus link between Périers and Saint-Lô was lost in July 2012 with the reorganisation of manéo routes across the département, but Lechanteur remains a contracted operator within the new departmental network, primarily on ligne 9 from Valognes through Périers to Coutances..



A recent acquisition is a timetable booklet believed to date from the early 1930s.  It shows the services of three operators, all of whom favoured Renault vehicles:

(a) Cars Robert Loison, Falaise
(b) Cars Jules Loison, Bayeux
(c) Cars de la Suisse Normande, Flers  

The range of routes included in the booklet link all three of the towns just mentioned with Caen, as well as other services from Flers to Mayenne, Flers to Alencon, Domfront to Falaise, Caen to Carentan via Bayeux, and Bayeux to Grandcamp. Caen is linked to Falaise by three different routes. 

A second timetable dated 1934 is also illustrated, including routes from Caen to Flers and Mayenne; Flers to Alencon via Bagnoles; and Domfront to Falaise via Bagnoles. No further information is available but all of these routes (except Flers to Mayenne) were being operated by Les Courriers Normands by 1938.  A considerable rationalisation of both routes and operators in the département of Calvados had taken place in 1937.

cover of 1930s Suisse Normande booklet

As time, opportunity and availability of material permits other items will be included

Au fil du temps, l'opportunité et la disponibilité du matériel, d'autres éléments seront inclus


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