There can be few major bus companies that arose from such simple beginnings as those of United Counties. In 1913 a conductor and driver would hire a London General bus each Saturday and operate a town service in Wellingborough. From those humble origins emerged the Wellingborough Motor Omnibus Company, which was to form the core of United Counties when the latter was formed in 1921.
Passing under Tilling control in 1931, United Counties continued to acquire other businesses and by the 1950s had taken over more than 50. A great Leyland user in its early years, UCOC under the Tilling influence switched to Bristol and Eastern Coach Works but also ran a splendid selection of other makes, many from acquired operators.
A major player in the Tilling portfolio, UCOC was running 21 million miles and carrying 84 million passengers a year by the mid 1960s. Author John Banks has produced an introductory text as well as captions to over 100 photographs, many taken by the legendary GHF Atkins, which combine into a worthy reminiscence of this characterful operator.