WHILE trains from years gone by continue to be magnets for public attention, vintage buses tend not to hog the limelight.

Yet while old buses rarely make the front pages of newspapers, they whip up interest both from dedicated enthusiasts and those who simply love our most common form of public transport.

If you have been a regular bus traveller in Yorkshire over the past 30 years you will love Scott Poole’s book Yorkshire Rider Buses.

A short history of the company is followed by a series of fascinating photographs of buses great and small, from double and singles deckers to smaller vehicles with names such as ‘Micro Riders’, ‘Sherpas’, ‘City Pacer’ and ‘ Shop Hopper’. Some, such as the Talbot Express 66 service, pictured heading to Old Farnley, look more like ice cream vans.

There are quirkily-liveried buses festooned with images: giant rabbits, Christmas crackers, rainbows, musical notes and magic stars.

And coaches including the the 1400 Volvo B10M , otherwise known by the zappier name Jet Rider, which won the coach of the year award in 1988. Pictured outside Bradford’s Great Victoria hotel, this VIP executive-style coach had a galley-style kitchen and state-of-the-art multimedia entertainment system.

Driver training units buses are featured, with their distinctive wraparound red bands.

Yorkshire Rider was born after the 1985 Transport Act, which was known as deregulation. It saw the transfer of the operation of bus services from public bodies to private companies.

With the act came another Act of Parliament - the Local Government Act - abolishing Metropolitan County Councils across Britain. Some of the functions of the abolished councils were taken over by joint bodies such as passenger transport authorities.

Passenger transport executives, which were responsible for public transport within large urban area areas, lost their legal right to operate bus services. This was widely opposed by bus companies, but still went ahead.

As a result of this, in October 1986, West Passenger Transport Executive developed Yorkshire Rider. This new company tendered for all the former PTE services, bus depots and most of the bus fleet. On September 25, 1986 a special ceremony was carried out outside the civic hall in Leeds to officially launch the company. To mark the occasion Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Rose Lund broke a bottle of champagne across the front of bus 6120, with the number plate LUG 120P.

The buses and minibuses were painted in a brilliant green and pale yellow, while coaches gained an oatmeal and black livery. Both bore the stylised ‘YR’ logo and fleet name in large red lettering.

Yorkshire Rider acquired the former West Yorkshire Road Car operations in Bradford and Leeds and inherited the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive fleet. They bought MCW Metrobuses and Leyland Olympians in 1988, then, from 1989, started to build up a fleet of vehicles from Scania and Volvo.

Yorkshire Rider also did some work under licence for National Express, its vehicles bearing its livery.

The many buses pictured in this thoroughly-researched paperback published by Amberley, bear familiar names on their destination displays: Bingley, Shipley, Pudsey Town Centre, Calverley, Menston

Enthusiasts will love the detail in this book, and the memories each picture evokes. Locations pictured include Bradford Interchange, Broadway, Pudsey bus station, Otley and streets in central Bradford.

But you do not have to be an expert to appreciate this book. Anyone who has travelled on any Yorkshire Rider services will identify the buses they used, and the places through which they travelled. It is a journey down memory lane.

I enjoyed looking at the adverts on the sides of buses, from small poster-size to material covering the entire vehicle. Though it was years ago I remember the one for ‘Square Deal’ Surf washing powder with the phrase ‘Even squarer than Albert or Trafalgar’. I recall thinking it was clever, though living in the south of England at the time (1987) I would almost certainly not have seen it on a Yorkshire bus.

I particularly like 'More Fruit - Less Loot', used to promote the then popular budget store Netto emblazoned along the side of a bus travelling through Leeds.

During 1988 Yorkshire Rider was bought by the management and employees, as one advert claims: ‘3,500 caring owners.’

Many of the photographs are rare and previously unpublished. The book offers a wonderfully nostalgic history of this iconic and much-loved brand.

Scott Poole lives in Harrogate and works as a chef. Growing up in Leeds, he has followed buses since his youth. His passion sees him travel around Yorkshire and beyond, with his camera at the ready.

*Yorkshire Rider Buses by Scott Poole is published by Amberley Publishing, priced £14.99. Visit amberley-books.com