The recent news release of Michelin announcing renewal of a contract agreement between that company and Blackpool Transport Services covering the supply and maintenance of tyres on the majority of Blackpool's 165 buses triggers memories of a not dissimilar arrangement some sixty five years ago !
This time it was Blackpool Corporation Transport which signed agreement with Dunlop Tyres for the supply of similar products to the nearly 200 strong bus fleet of those now far off days. Under this arrangement BCT was provided with tyres for its buses which were subject to maintainance and repair by Dunlop charged on the basis of mileage accrued by individual vehicles. All of this carried out in the same Garage which houses the BTS fleet (or a good part of it) at Rigby Road.
Dunlop were given especial favour on the Dinky Toys double deck buses of those days whilst Michelin are renowned (at least in Blackpool) for having sponsored a Balloon tram with a memorable all over advertising design complete with 'Michelin Man' on the side in a suitably large graphic format - below under ominous skies.
Not being an expert on the tyre industry's engagement with bus operators, nor privy to the current agreement terms I have little detail to add on this - other than thank Tony Armitage for bringing this recent news item to my attention and the Michelin tram image above. The tyre photo is my own on a 14 Bus to Fleetwood today !
Below : No doubt Dunlop tyres were in place on this smartly painted 1940s Titan bus seen leaving Rigby Road Garage on a School Special working - and the impressive Corporation Transport Offices in the background with period concrete lamppost in view. Image : John Woodman Archive.