Midland Red was the largest bus operator outside London and was unusual in that it designed, built and operated most of its own vehicles. Unlike LT through its AEC/Park Royal connection and Bristol, Midland Red did not sell its vehicles to other operators. This left the company in a unique position and as a result, gained many followers.
Most books about Midland Red concentrate on the period from the company's formation until it was nationalised and ceased its own vehicle production. However, the company carried on as an NBC company and continued to run its own home built vehicles until they were life expired. In addition, the company acquired other operators, such as Harper Brothers of Heath Hayes, and experimented with different types of bus service. These include the provision of 'minibuses' and full size buses that had been cut down. In an effort to find 'reliable' replacement vehicles, the company also tested other makes of bus, such as Bristol. This would have been unheard of only a few years earlier. The other major change in the company in this period was the formation of the West Midlands PTE. This involved transferring the garages and vehicles in the WMPTE area to WMPTE. As a result, many Midland Red built vehicles could be seen sporting the cream and blue WMPTE livery until they were finally replaced.
This new book fills a gap in the current literature in covering the company's history into NBC days, from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. It will be essential reading for all followers of Midland Red and also the growing number of enthusiasts interested in the WMPTE era.