History in Structure

United Automobile Services Ltd Bus Depot

A Grade II Listed Building in South Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Latitude: 54.9823 / 54°58'56"N

Longitude: -1.6023 / 1°36'8"W

OS Eastings: 425550

OS Northings: 565377

OS Grid: NZ255653

Mapcode National: GBR SQW.ND

Mapcode Global: WHC3R.C179

Plus Code: 9C6WX9JX+W3

Entry Name: United Automobile Services Ltd Bus Depot

Listing Date: 12 December 1986

Last Amended: 9 August 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1024795

English Heritage Legacy ID: 304785

ID on this website: 101024795

Location: Brandling Village, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2

County: Newcastle upon Tyne

Electoral Ward/Division: South Jesmond

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Newcastle upon Tyne

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Jesmond Clayton Memorial Church

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

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Bus depot, 1930 for United Automobile Services, to designs of Marshall & Tweedy of Newcastle upon Tyne and London; roof structure by A & J Main & Co Ltd of Glasgow & London. The contractor was T Clements & Sons, of Newcastle. Greek Doric style. Mid- and later-C20 alterations and additions.


Bus depot, 1930 for United Automobile Services, to designs of Marshall & Tweedy of Newcastle upon Tyne and London; roof structure by A & J Main & Co Ltd of Glasgow & London. The contractor was T Clements & Sons, of Newcastle. Greek Doric style. Mid- and later-C20 alterations.

MATERIALS: brick and reinforced concrete, with a main elevation faced in concrete, painted; steel roof structure and corrugated asbestos roofing material.

PLAN: L-shaped occupying a corner site at the junction of Portland Terrace and Jesmond Road. It comprises an L-shaped bus garage, with a rectangular covered entrance way projection to the north-east end, with offices and services forming a narrow two-storey frontage to the south end of Portland Terrace and contained within a single-storey, flat-roofed triangular projection to the south-east end.

EXTERIOR: a double-height building with repeating pitched roofs of corrugated asbestos sheeting with glazed lights to each pitch; part of the roof covering to the southern section has been replaced. Window frames to the office and service areas onto Portland and Hutton Terraces are mostly replacement casements.

The main (Portland Terrace) elevation has a Greek Doric style colonnade of six symmetrical double-height vehicular entrance bays, each between substantial fluted columns carrying an entablature with a triglyph frieze. Original plans indicate that the words ‘United Automobile Services’, were cast into the entablature, which are thought to remain behind the modern bus company sign. The ramped and stepped parapet has pierced panels to either end. Each of the six vehicle entrance bays has a panelled, timber and glazed folding door of four hinged sections with paired lights, each of six small panes to the upper parts. To either end of the colonnade there is an additional set-back bay beneath the parapet. At the left end this is double-height with a timber and glazed folding door. At the right end this is two-storey with a large central window set within a slightly raised surround, flanked by a narrow window opening to each floor; one of the latter to the ground floor has been largely blocked and the other partially blocked: the central opening has a replacement multi-pane frame.

Attached to the right is the slightly projecting two-storey, triangular office and service wing. On Portland Terrace this has six bays with a low parapet band and five first floor windows: both floors have a large central window opening set within a slightly raised surround. To the first floor this is flanked to each side by a pair of original window openings. To the ground floor it is flanked to the right by a pair of original window openings (one converted to an entrance) and to the left by an original narrow end window opening and three inserted narrow openings. The right end bay has an original entrance fitted with a modern roller shutter with an original stair window in a raised surround above. On Hutton Terrace the canted section has two storeys plus basement and seven first floor window openings: it has paired single lights to the end bay (matched by paired basement openings) and five large window openings to each floor. Basement openings are all narrow with timber louvres.

The north-west (Jesmond Road) elevation is blind and rendered with repeated triangular gables, the lower parts obscured by an extension. The covered entrance way projection at the east end of the elevation retains its original concrete clad classical opening with parapet; original plans indicate the words 'United Automobile Services' upon the latter, but if they were executed they are now not visible. The original timber folding door has been removed and a half-height brick wall bars entry, and a wide inserted vehicle opening has been made through the west elevation.

The rear (car park) elevation has a short canted section with first floor double fire doors reached by a mid-C20 fire escape with double vehicular doors below. The remainder of the rear elevation is rendered and has three asymmetrical gabled units: the visible part has ten tall, regularly-spaced, small-paned ground floor metal-framed windows; the remainder is obscured by the attached linear garage range, which has an exposed brick rear wall.

INTERIOR: the original 1930 steel trussed beam roof structure has lateral wind bracing and is top lit by glazed panels. Some of the original linear inspection pits at the north-east and south-east ends also survive, and a number retain their original ornamental grilles. A mid-later-C20 corridor with a block work rear wall and a lean-to glazed roof is inserted against the inner face of the north-west elevation. The mid-C20 dividing wall at the south end of the garage remains in a modified form to that depicted on the original proposed plans: it has brick lower parts and asbestos sheets within a frame above, with an original central opening; an original folding door has been replaced by a roller shutter and there is an inserted door opening. The south wall of the garage separates the latter from the office and service accommodation contained behind, which also wraps around onto the south-west wall: the ground floor has a continuous series of windows and doors supported on a substantial steel beam. To the first floor there are six large regularly-spaced windows, all but one of which (at the right end) retains their original steel-framed small-paned windows.

The office and service accommodation comprise a series of polygonal spaces. The basement has a former triangular store room with a shuttered concrete ceiling, and a short corridor opening into the former heating chamber and coal store. The ground floor has a large triangular general store with windows that open onto the garage, and a short corridor opens into the former foreman's office, batteries and men's cloak rooms and WCs. A canted stair well houses a metal stick balustrade with a ramped wooden handrail. On the first floor a corridor opens to the left into the former rest room, ladies' cloakroom and WCs, and to the right it leads to the triangular-shaped former canteen. All spaces have late-C20 doors and inserted suspended ceilings, with shuttered concrete ceilings above where visible. The internal walls of the covered way are painted, and steel beams support a flat roof.

Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the internal C20 enclosed corridor attached to the inner face of the north-west elevation is not of special architectural or historic interest, however any works which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority to determine.


This purpose-built bus depot combining an integral bus garage and office with service accommodation was constructed in 1930 for United Automobile Services. It was built on part of Portland Park, Jesmond to designs of Marshall & Tweedy of Newcastle upon Tyne. The steel roof structure was by A & J Main & Co Ltd of Glasgow & London. The original proposed building plans and elevations survive and the functions and evolution of the depot can largely be identified, although the actual building may have differed slightly in detail. In 1942 the garage interior was modified by the insertion of a wall with a central opening, constructed to create a separate but linked dock shop at the south-east end. In 1956 a single-bay, flat-roofed extension (to house a hoist) was added to the south-west elevation. Subsequently an enclosed linear corridor was constructed against the inner side of the north west elevation, giving access into a linear single-storey office extension to the north-west elevation, which replaced an air raid shelter shown on earlier plans. Later alterations to the building include: the insertion of further partition walls to the garage to create spaces for different operations, the probable replacement of the covered entrance way roof, minor changes to the original fenestration of the office elevations on Portland Terrace, and the removal of original timber folding doors to the partition wall and the covered entrance way. The bus depot remains in use (2019) operated by Arriva.

United Automobile Services was founded in Lowestoft in 1912, and was a major provider of bus services in North Yorkshire and North-East England for more than 80 years. The prosperous bus company was acquired by the London and North Eastern Railway and a holding company (Tilling and British Automobile Traction Ltd) in 1929. The practice of Marshall & Tweedy was set up in Newcastle in 1899, before opening a London office in New Cavendish Street in the late 1920s. Most of their work was in a loose neo-Georgian style and included luxury flats, blocks of flats, parades of shops and flats as well as individual houses and theatres. The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) records at least six Grade II listed buildings to their name, including the Derby Hippodrome (1914; NHLE: 1267901), 30 Blackett Street, Newcastle (1902; NHLE: 1024962) and numbers 2-56 Colebrook Close, Putney, London (1934; NHLE: 1458504). A & J Main & Co Ltd was a Glasgow-based company operating as manufacturers of ornamental cast and wrought iron in the late C19. They incorporated the Arrol Bridge & Roof Co in about 1908, and in the early C20, they were manufacturing steel roof trusses.

Reasons for Listing

This integrated bus depot of 1930 to designs of Marshall & Tweedy of Newcastle and London, with later alterations, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* a rare and largely intact example of a purpose-built bus depot, which is one of few listed examples nationally;
* designed by Marshall and Tweedy of Newcastle and London, a prominent and well-regarded practice who have several listed buildings to their name;
* the original plan of the depot is retained and clearly legible comprising an L-shaped, top-lit, covered garage with attached office and service range;
* the architectural quality of the striking main Doric elevation lifts the building well above the purely functional, underlined by the stylistically similar north vehicular entrance;
* it has a high degree of survival, with later alterations that are relatively minor and do not impinge significantly on the clear special interest of the whole.

Historic interest:
* as a relatively early purpose-built inter-war bus depot, designed by an accomplished architectural practice for a significant automobile company.

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