IT was a majestic bus that ran like clockwork until its demise before the Second World War.
Now, more than half a century later, The Denmead Queen is making a triumphant return – as the name of a new Wetherspoon pub in Waterlooville.
The pub giant has chosen the historic name for its new £1m pub in London Road.
The bus ran between Hambledon and Portsmouth Guildhall and was used by hundreds of workers, many of them dockers, from the Waterlooville area.
Work started last week on building the pub, which is set to open in November on the site of Mr Cheap. Artwork will be used in the pub’s sign to depict the bus.
The buses were built by Waterlooville firm Wadham Brothers’ Motor Company and were run by Frederick Tanner, who stored the fleet at Lower Crabbick Farm in Denmead.
His sons drove the buses, including Evelyn, whose son Kenneth lives in Ashling Park Road, Denmead.
Mr Tanner, 89, said: ‘We used to have 15 buses and all the five brothers drove them, except Norman who was the mechanic.’
Mr Tanner said he was ‘very happy’ a pub was being named after the bus.
The bus service was taken over by Southdown in the 1930s and was replaced with double deckers. None are believed to survive.
Greta Bendall, 89, from Denmead, said: ‘You could set your watch by them, they were always on time.
‘It ran from five in the morning to 11 at night every half hour. It’s wonderful for it to be commemorated.’
However, business leaders were not convinced.
Rosemary Wilson, chairman of Waterlooville Business Association, said: ‘I don’t think it’s anywhere near Denmead.
‘It’s not very apt for Waterlooville.’
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: ‘Wetherspoon is always keen to name its pubs in line with the history of the area and we feel The Denmead Queen is both a good link to the past and a name that fits the pub well.’
· Do you remember travelling on the bus? Call Jeff Travis on (023) 9249 2444.