Premier Travel (Cambridge)
Guy Arab II 5LW
By 1957, Premier Travel of Cambridge was looking to replace the remainder of its rather tired ex LPTB STLs and the secondhand utility CWA6s from Huddersfield, Glasgow and Mansfield. It turned to the rugged Gardner 5LW powered Guy Arab II, choosing seven ex Southdown highbridge examples with the well constructed Northern Counties UH30/26R bodywork, and these were supplemented by three lowbridge machines from Plymouth Corporation with rebuilt Roe UL27/28R bodies. Allocated the fleet numbers from 102 to 111 inclusive, these became the only Guy buses ever to enter the Premier fleet. The Guys proved to be very economical and reliable, but the Plymouth examples had severely governed engines that limited road performance, even in the relatively flat lands of their operating territory. Given its sparsely populated rural network, Premier ran very close to the breadline. Nonetheless, one wonders why the company did not simply get the fuel pumps recalibrated to the manufacturer’s standard setting, but this apparently never happened. The Guys lasted with Premier for some four to five years before being replaced by “White Lady” Leyland PD2s from Ribble. The picture shows the crew of No. 110, ex Plymouth Arab II CDR 750, taking a layover break in Cambridge Drummer Street Bus Station on 26 August 1959.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox
Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/13
NLJ 272 is a Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/13 with Burlingham B42F body, new to Bournemouth Corporation in 1954. She is seen on Southampton Common, while taking part in the Southampton City Transport Centenary rally on 6 May 1979.
This second view is a close one of the Royal Tiger badge. Compare the Tiger with the ‘fleetname’ on the Ellen Smith Leopard published a while ago! See it at this link
Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies
27/05/16 – 06:20
That brings back many memories. These buses were regulars on our ‘school dinner run’ through Winton, in the early 1960s, between two schools. They were a brighter bus than the Park Royal bodied ‘RRU’ versions, but they could be rather warm on hot sunny days, in slow-moving traffic, as the rooflights had no means of shading.
Hants & Dorset Motor Services
KEL 728 is a Bristol KSW6B new to Hants & Dorset in 1951. The ECW body was of the L55R variety when new. After withdrawal from passenger duty in 1969, it became one of the driver training fleet, with various alterations including the fitting of a sliding door and the replacement of most seats by concrete blocks. This was to simulate ‘loaded’ condition. We see it still in Tilling green and cream but with NBC fleetname in Grosvenor Square during the lunch break one day in August 1975.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies
24/05/16 – 07:05
Grosvenor Square where, Pete?
24/05/16 – 09:01
Shame cant see the registration of the coach behind. Wondered if it was H and D or Shamrock and Rambler.
25/05/16 – 06:18
It was one of the ORU …G group, so H&D, but don’t ask me which one of the three!
26/05/16 – 18:40
Living in Southampton as a schoolboy in the fifties, the Bristol engined Ks were familiar and friendly vehicles in the area. The KSW like 1285 was one of my favourite marques. The extra width, the style and finish of the interior trim had an edge (in my view) over other contemporary buses and maintained a brighter environment when compared to its successor, the Lodekka.
This vehicle was the first of the lowbridge KSWs delivered to H & D and all fourteen were allocated for the bulk of their lives to Southampton or Fareham depots. In the final years most migrated to Bournemouth and Poole, where they still maintained an elegant presence in the ‘Pines Territory’. My final journey on this type was on 1294 in November 1970 on a service from Bournemouth to Wimborne. Happy days!
29/05/16 – 05:47
About 30 years ago a letter appeared in Buses Illustrated commiserating with the hapless drivers of Bristols and comparing their lot with that of those lucky folk who drove London buses. The writer suggested that you don’t so much drive a Bristol as wrestle with it and finish your shift in utter exhaustion.
Well, he can never have driven a KSW, which has light, positive, bullet-straight steering, a light clutch, good progressive brakes, a gearbox less forgiving than some but still easy to get used to, a roomy cab with a good step and a firm handle to pull yourself up with, good visibility, reasonable level of engine noise, good stability… There must be something I’ve forgotten…
As a teenage enthusiast I found the ubiquitous KSWs and LDs uninteresting but a short spell of driving for Thames Valley in 1968 taught me what superbly designed vehicles they were.
What an indignity for KEL 728, having to carry concrete blocks around!