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British Industrial History

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Ortona Motor Co

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In 1907, a new bus company was formed and this company was to sound the death knell of the street tramways. J. B. Walford took over the defunct Cambridge Motor Bus Co. and renamed the company the Ortona Motor Co., after a seaside town in Italy that he had passed whilst on a recent cruise.

The Ortona busses started operation on 1st August 1907, with three new Scott-Stirling single deckers and a second hand Maudslay double-decker. These four Ortona busses ran in direct competition to the street tramways, having the advantage that they could travel from the entrance of the rail station, to the Post Office and then over the river to New Chesterton. (De Freville Avenue). With the Ortona busses came fixed bus stops, the tramway company having chosen to stop whenever the passengers requested.

1931 At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Ortona Motor Co, it was resolved "That, having regard to the issue to the members of this Company of the shares of Eastern Counties Omnibus Co Limited to which they are entitled under the Scheme of Arrangement sanctioned by the Court on the 29th June, 1931, and the completion of the amalgamation of the undertakings of this Company, The Eastern Counties Road Car Co Limited and The Peterborough Electric Traction Co Limited and the East Anglian undertaking of United Automobile Services Limited by transfer to Eastern Counties Omnibus Company Limited, it is desirable to wind up this Company and accordingly that this Company be wound up voluntarily by means of a Members' Voluntary Winding-up, and that Walter Edward Bennett, of 88, Kingsway, London, W.C. 2, and Joseph Worssam, of 20, Lower Clarence Road, Norwich, be and they are hereby appointed Joint Liquidators for the purpose of the said winding-up."[1]




Ortona were motorcycles produced between 1905 and 1906 in Egham, Surrey.

The company offered a typical, primitive machine that was well-equipped. The single model had an upright 3.5hp engine that went in a diamond frame with braced forks and transmission was by belt. An external flywheel on the right was concealed by an aluminium cover. The crankshaft was a one-piece forging and the valves went at the front of the cyclinder. The machine arrived on the market at the wrong time and failed to survive.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 10 Nov 1931
  • [1] Cambridge Museum of Technology
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X