Old Bus Photos

Provincial – AEC Regal 4 – CG 9607 – 24

Provincial - AEC Regal 4 - CG 9607 - 24                                                                                          Copyright David Whitaker

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
AEC Regal 4
Harrington B32R

I well remember these Regals from my childhood in the Gosport area between 1949 and 1952. The very first Regal 4 – the Arabic numeral denoted the installation of a four cylinder engine – was converted in June 1930 from a stock Regal chassis simply by replacing the 7.4 litre six cylinder petrol engine with the four cylinder 5.1 litre petrol used in the Monarch and Mercury goods ranges. However, sales of the new model were very modest in comparison with the main competing four cylinder offerings, the Leyland Lion and Dennis Lancet. In March 1933 an oil engine option became available for the Regal 4, initially of 5.35 litres capacity but soon increased to 6.6 litres, which enhanced the market appeal of the model. Provincial took an interest and ordered eight, CG 9606-9613, numbered (rather illogically, though this might have reflected the 1934 delivery dates) as 23/24/29/30/25/26/27/28, with Harrington B32R bodywork. These Regals went on to acquire a legendary reputation in enthusiast circles. In 1945/46 the four cylinder engines in these buses were replaced by 7.7 litre six cylinder units. Between 1953 and 1955 four of the batch were rebuilt to forward entrance format and then, in the years from 1957 to 1962, all eight received new Reading bodies, varying in capacity from FB33F to FB35F.

CG 9607

The final two rebuilds, CG 9607 and 9612 had bodies partially constructed by Provincial and completed by Reading. At the end of 1966 the redoubtable manager, Mr H Orme White, who had begun his Provincial career at the Great Grimsby Street Tramways Company, retired at the age of 81 after 30 years at Gosport, and the inexorable decline of the Gosport & Fareham business then began. Under the new manager, withdrawals of the Regals took place between 1966 and 1970, Provincial Traction having been sold off in the interim period to the Wiles Group, later renamed the Swain Group, part of the Hanson Trust, in 1969. The title picture above was given to me in 2006 by David Whitaker, the owner of the also illustrated 1961 rebuilt survivor, CG 9607, and it shows Nos 25/24/23, CG 9610/9607/9606, possibly not long after delivery in 1934. I did initially wonder if the photograph had been taken at Hoeford, but the unidentified double decker in the background is not a Provincial vehicle, though it certainly appears to be contemporary with the second half of the 1930s. More information about these Regals may be found at this link.
Click on the arrow near the bottom of the page and then select ‘Provincial AEC Regals’ from the list that appears.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

13/12/20 – 07:16

I remember these very well, especially in the original form. I used them rarely as we used the double deck 1 and 3 services. At the age of ten, I accompanied my family to Malta for three years, and on return found the rebodied examples running around. I am not sure how extensive the rebuild was, as clearly the front had changed and so had the windows and seats, but the windows were very narrow for the late 1950s, and the rear ends seemed unchanged.

David Wragg


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Provincial – AEC Regent V – 972 CWL – 60

Provincial - AEC Regent V - 972 CWL - 60

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
AEC Regent V LD3RA
Park Royal H37/28R

Taken at Hoeford depot on 30/03/69 having been recently transferred from City of Oxford where it had been No H972 this photo shows newly painted Provincial No 60 an LD3RA AEC Regent V with a Park Royal H37/28R body registration number 972 CWL delivered to COMS in December 1957. As a fan of the AEC concealed radiator and the AEC marque in general I find this and the elegant 30ft long Park Royal body an irresistible combination, the only way the effect could be improved would be for it to be in the original superb Oxford livery. This was taken on the same occasion as my posting of the Guy Wulfrunian.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

14/04/16 – 06:05

Very nice shot Diesel Dave. I too am a fan of the Regent V in all its forms and this is a most handsome version. It would indeed have looked the bees knees in City of Oxford livery, but at least in your photo it’s paintwork looks fresh – probably just repainted out of Provincial’s distinctive ‘jade’ green livery. (Don’t ask me the shade as I haven’t a clue as to what is was officially called!). The NBC leaf green and white also seems to emphasise the length of the AEC nicely, which brings me to the date of the photo Dave, as NBC corporate livery didn’t make its debut until late 1972 I’m afraid. The Regent is wearing the original white ‘Double N’ arrowhead alongside the fleetname. This was replaced some years later by the red and blue arrowhead within a white square. Sadly I did not get to know the Provincial fleet until the early ‘eighties, by which time the fleet was standardising on the Leyland National. Mind you I was fortunate in seeing Provincial’s Bristol-ECW RELL in the wonderful ‘Anniversary livery’ in Gosport a few times while staying with friends, which gave a tantalising glimpse of life before leaf green.

Brendan Smith

14/04/16 – 06:06

Very nice view, Dave. Thanks for posting.

Pete Davies

14/04/16 – 06:06

As the NBC corporate image was introduced in the summer of 1972, I don’t think the stated date in 1969 is correct.

Nigel Frampton

14/04/16 – 08:11

The "jade green" originally used by Provincial was… "Provincial Green"! When Provincial 35 (’36 Regent BOR 767) first came into preservation in 1969 and needed a repaint, Dulux were able to call up the code and make the correct shade of Dulux Coach Paint – for the first time in many years. Provincial later turned to a ‘stock’ colour (I don’t know the details of this) which was very similar, but different enough for some enthusiasts to say that the colour on 35 was ‘wrong’!

David Chapman

14/04/16 – 10:28

Very low seating capacity for a thirty foot double-decker, you would normally expect a bus of this size to be H41/32R. Must have had excellent legroom, unlike some modern buses!

Don McKeown

15/04/16 – 07:15

Yes, Don. That very discussion was included in members’ comments in respect of my contribution on the Hants & Dorset (ex Oxford Via Provincial) 975CWL.

Pete Davies

15/04/16 – 07:16

I suspect that the date is closer to 1973/4 as I seem to recall that 975CWL was in use by Hants and Dorset around then and may have been transferred around the same time.

Steve Barnett

15/04/16 – 07:17

All the Aldershot & District Dennis Lolines had 68 seat bodies by East Lancs, Alexander and Weymann, and were superb vehicles to ride in (and to drive). As Don suggests, modern buses with their closely spaced hard plastics "shaped" (but not to my contours) seating are excruciatingly uncomfortable.

Roger Cox

15/04/16 – 07:17

These buses were known as ‘Queens’ by their Oxford crews due to their sheer size. I seem to recall that the relatively low seating capacity had something to do with local union agreements, but I stand to be corrected. Sister bus H975 is preserved awaiting restoration.

Philip Lamb


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Provincial – Guy Arab III – HWO 344 – T1

Provincial - Guy Arab III - HWO 344
Copyright Pete Davies

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
Guy Arab III
Duple L27/26RD

HWO 344 was a 1949 Guy Arab III with Duple L53RD body, in the fleet of Provincial, Gosport & Fareham. She’s been relegated to duty as a training vehicle and is seen outside the Hants & Dorset depot in Southampton on the same dull lunchtime as my view of the Southern Vectis Bristol Lodekka KDL 414 in March 1974, which was published a few weeks ago. She is an exile from Red & White (L1949 in their fleet) and is of course a sister vehicle to L1749 which features in the excellent ‘Gallery’ by Ken Morgan titled Red and White Guy L1749.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


29/11/12 – 07:41

HWO 344_lr_2
Copyright Diesel Dave

I was pleasantly surprised to see the photo of the Provincial Duple bodied Guy Arab III trainer T1 as I had recently been looking through some of my old photos which included a photo of the same bus taken in the early 70’s at the Provincial Hoeford garage.

Diesel Dave


29/11/12 – 10:08

Nice view, Dave! Brighter than mine, of course, since it was taken in sunshine. It’s always seemed a pity to me that there is no fleet name on the side of the vehicle.

Pete Davies


29/11/12 – 11:09

It did have its own identity, though; the minute T1 amidst the signs! I wonder how many trainers they had.

Chris Hebbron


29/11/12 – 16:12

Chris, so far as I am aware, there’s only ever been one trainer in use at a time. The last I recall seeing was a Bristol FLF (EMR 295D) ex Wilts & Dorset, and it didn’t seem to have a T prefix to the fleet number. It did, however, have the Provincial fleet name in NBC style.

Pete Davies


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 2nd December 2023