GOSLING OF MAREHAM-LE-FEN 

                                     

A Lincolnshire operator long gone


letterhead goslings



Please note this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information

For current travel information and timetables visit the website Traveline East Midlands


The Lincolnshire village of Mareham-le-Fen lies strung out along the A155 road between Spilsby and Coningsby. Gosling was the local garage proprietor, trading as T H Gosling & Son. Founded in 1922 the firm also ran a modest number of bus services to the three nearby market towns of Horncastle, Boston and Spilsby; all departing from the Royal Oak in Mareham. Their timetables were conceived to meet the needs of shoppers and market-goers. The founder, Thomas Henry Gosling, died in 1947 at the age of 77 years.

Little detail yet discovered of their fleet but amongst their early vehicles was one supplied new to them, FW2378, a 1931 Bedford WLG with Rainforth B20F body. Eric Bawden notes that Gosling can lay claim to being the very first operator of a Bedford PSV as they took delivery of Bedford WLG (goods chassis) FW 2378 with Rainforth body in 1931 before the WLB (bus) chassis actually went into production. It stayed in their fleet until about 1947 when it left the road and ended up in a ditch with a twisted chassis frame amongst other damage. But it was recovered and put into store where it remained until the 1970s when it was purchased by the late Nick Lord who carried out a ground up restoration, including stripping it back to a bare chassis and having the frames straightened. It was then rallied in the original Gosling livery by Nick until his untimely passing in his mid forties. amongst other damage. It was currently recorded (2012) as being with the Linconshire Aviation Centre, East Kirkby, Lincs.  In preservation it was was photographed at Brighton in 2004. A later vehicle was Leyland Tiger PS1 half cab FBE865. Another known vehicle in the fleet in 1955 was Leyland CPO1 Comet GBE81, with Rainforth C32F body; delivered in 1949 and sold in March 1960. Coincidentally the only other Comet built with a Rainforth body was just down the road with Fenwick of Old Bolingbroke. Gosling had had three earlier vehicles with Rainforth bodies - a Chevrolet in 1930, a Dodge in 1935 and a Leyland PS1/1 in 1948. A post-war picture of unknown date below, possibly mid-1950s, from the excellent village website shows six of their coaches and buses on the garage forecourt (the Comet is fourth from the left).

The garage business continued into the 21st century - a 2006 view of the garage is here - but the site now appears abandoned. The bus routes and two of the then fleet of six vehicles (three buses and three coaches) had passed to H H Milson (founded 1923) of nearby Coningsby in March 1960. They operated their local services using a fleet of maroon, red and cream liveried buses and coaches. In time the Milson business and nine vehicles and the bus routes were bought in 1979 by Hogg's of Boston (founded in 1959 and who had earlier purchased the Sharp business). Hogg's were purchased by Brylaine Travel of Boston in 1990 and they continue to operate through Mareham-le-Fen on their Horncastle - Boston service from their out-station depot (ex-Milson) at Coningsby.

six of Goslings vehicles on the garage forecourt

July 1933 timetable of Gosling's Bus Services
1933 timetable Gosling Mareham-le-Fen

A recently discovered timetable dated February 1935 (poor quality does not permit reproduction here) shows a modest expansion of routes compared to the 1933 timetable above. On the Monday route to Spilsby one journey is extended back from Mareham to run to and from Tumby Woodside. A Monday evening picture bus runs from Mareham to Woodhall Spa - this must have been short-lived as it is already marked as cancelled on the timetable. One of the Wednesday market journeys to Boston goes via Tumby Woodside instead of Revesby. The road via Revesby has six Wednesday journeys and seven on Saturday to Boston. Horncastle has five buses on a Saturday, three of which run through to and from Boston. A new daily summertime route links Tattershall, Mareham and Spilsby to Skegness twice a day from May to September. On Wednesday and Saturday there are four journeys on this route and one journey is extended from Skegness to Mablethorpe.

The timetable below from September 1943 showed little change over the 1933 timetable illustrated above except for the second route to Boston via Tumby Woodside on Wednesday; and a reduction in the number of journeys to Boston on the original route from Mareham via Revesby (from six to five on Wednesday and from seven to five on Saturday). It is known that the Skegness service was suspended during the war with anticipated reintroduction in 1946.

September 1943 timetable
1943 timetable

The later timetable below from June 1959 again shows only modest change (in fact surprisingly little change over the 26 years since the 1933 timetable illustrated above). The Wednesday service to Boston via Revesby reduced from five to four journeys but a Wednesday service introduced on the alternate route via Tumby Woodside.  On Saturday the Revesby route restored to 1933 levels, increased from five to seven journeys again. The Monday route to Spilsby has gone; but this does appear to have been reinstated after the Milson takeover.

Timetable June 1959
1959 Gosling timetable


Routes operated by Milson of Coningsby in 1977
Coningsby - Bunker Hill - Bakers Bridge - Boston

Wednesday


Coningsby - Bunker Hill - Antons Gowt - Boston
Saturday


Coningsby - Tattershall - Haltham - Horncastle

Saturday


Coningsby - Danbys Bridge - Langrick - Boston

Wednesday and Saturday

diverted via Haven Bank on Wednesday
Coningsby - North Kyme - South Kyme - Sleaford

Monday


Tattershall - Mareham-le-Fen - Spilsby - Mablethorpe

Summer Tuesday


Tattershall - Mareham-le-Fen - Spilsby

Monday

part ex-Gosling
Tattershall - Mareham-le-Fen - Spilsby - Skegness

Daily in summer (except Friday)

started from Woodhall Spa Tue/Wed/Sat/Sun
Horncastle - Mareham-le-Fen - Revesby - Boston

Weekdays (4 to 9 journeys)

ex-Gosling with enhanced days of operation
Mareham-le-Fen - Tumby Woodside - Boston

Wednesday and Saturday
ex-Gosling

Routes operated by Hogg's of Boston in 1980
Billinghay - Coningsby - Bunker Hill - Bakers Bridge - Boston

Wednesday

ex-Milson, extended to Billinghay
Billinghay - Coningsby - Bunker Hill - Antons Gowt - Boston
Saturday

ex-Milson, extended to Billinghay
Coningsby - Tattershall - Haltham - Horncastle

Saturday

ex-Milson
Coningsby - Danbys Bridge - Langrick - Boston

Wednesday and Saturday

ex-Milson, via Haven Bank on Wednesday
Coningsby - North Kyme - South Kyme - Sleaford

Monday

ex-Milson
Tattershall - Mareham-le-Fen - Spilsby - Mablethorpe

Summer Tuesday


Tattershall - Mareham-le-Fen - Spilsby

Monday

part ex-Gosling ex-Milson
Tattershall - Mareham-le-Fen - Spilsby - Skegness

Daily in summer (except Friday)

started from Woodhall Spa Tue/Wed/Sat/Sun
Horncastle - Mareham-le-Fen - Revesby - Boston

Weekdays (4 to 9 journeys)

ex-Gosling ex-Milson
Horncastle - East Kirkby - Mareham-le-Fen - Revesby - Boston

Saturday (one journey)


Mareham-le-Fen - Tumby Woodside - Boston

Wednesday (one journey)

ex-Gosling ex-Milson
Boston - Fishtoft - Freiston Shore

Wednesday and Saturday

ex-Sharp. One workers journey Monday to Friday

A selection of Goslings tickets (Bell Punch)

Ticket (inset Setright) from Milson of Coningsby
sample tickets Gosling
Insert Setright ticket of Milson


incorporating information from the internet and publications in the libraries of Lincolnshire

and with many thanks to the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society for the copy of the early timetable,

whilst the letterheading was found on the Old Classic Car website.

Any further information welcomed!


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