History of Digbeth Coach Station

Photo: Stockholm Transport Museum Commons

We all know that Digbeth Coach Station was recently revamped (and changed its name to Birmingham Coach Station), but how much do you know about the history of the building/site?

This picture of Spencer House (inset), which is the building the coach station was located in, popped up in a Google alert and piqued my interest. I decided to learn a little more…

The photo shows Spencer House as the base of Midland Red Motor Services. Midland Red was a bus company which operated in the Midlands from 1905. In 1981, it was split into six new companies, which after various acquisitions now operate under the more familiar names of Arriva, Stagecoach and First.

Photo: Wikipedia

Spencer House was built on the site in 1929 (which helps to date the black and white photo) to be used as a bus depot. It was never intended as a passenger terminus.

The colour photo, although taken from a different angle, shows how little the building changed until its closure in November 2007 for redevelopment. The original Spencer House was demolished to make way for the new ‘flagship’ National Express station, also called Spencer House, which opened in December 2010.

If you’re interested in learning more, the links above take you to the associated Wikipedia articles, or click here to see a timeline detailing the building’s history [PDF].

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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