| A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE "TRACCO"
Aldershot's first buses arrived during 1906. They were operated by
the Aldershot & Farnborough Motor Omnibus Company Ltd. They ran a service
between Aldershot and Farnborough using two second-hand Milnes-Daimler's
acquired from Hastings. New services were pioneered, and the fleet increased
to five vehicles. Expansion was vital for the small operator. New capital
arrived when the British Electric Traction Company bought out Aldershot
& Farnborough in 1912. A new company was formed and named the Aldershot
& District Traction Co. Ltd. The new company rapidly expanded its network
of service in and around the Surrey and Hampshire borders. In 1914 'A&D'
was trying to get a foothold in Guildford. They gained licences to run
services in competition with Guildford & District, a company formed
by bus manufacturers Dennis Bros and Walter Flexman-French the influential
bus pioneer. The Guildford and District operations soon fell into the hands
of Aldershot & District. Other small operators were acquired as the
years passed by and the network of services expanded, with depots established
at Haslemere and Alton. Followed by new premises at Hindhead and Woking.
The war years from 1939-45 proved to he particularly difficult. The heart
of the military was based in Aldershot. This put additional burdens on
the company. While services were curtailed, patronage increased. Replacing
the worn out fleet of vehicles was almost impossible, with the war effort
taking priority. In the post war years the company received new vehicles
built by Dennis, the main supplier of the company's vehicles, and services
returned to pre-war levels by 1946. High capacity single-deck buses arrived
in 1954 when the first AEC Reliance was delivered. Double-deck orders remained
with Dennis. In 1969 the Government formed the National Bus Company and
the end was in sight for the traditional green and cream of the Aldershot
company. In 1972 the 'Tracco' as it was known, merged with neighbouring
company Thames Valley to form Alder Valley.