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)
1934
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


 

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Sheffield Corporation – AEC Regal IV – OWB 13 – 13

Sheffield Corporation - AEC Regal IV - OWB 13 - 13

Sheffield Corporation
1952
AEC Regal IV
Roe B44F

Sheffield 13 (originally 213) is passing a splendid array of shop fronts in Haymarket, Sheffield on a midday 29 to Blackburn (in Rotherham – not Lancashire). This was a works service to Shardlows Works midway between Sheffield and Rotherham. A low bridge required the use of single deckers. I cannot recall seeing a bus on this service showing a destination so presumably was not on the standard blinds. An oddity of this bus by this date (August 1967) was the plain cream front presumably after an accident damage repair. As delivered it had a City of Oxford style swoop painted blue a feature which was retained by sisters 12 and 14 to the end of their service life. I used to chat to a Greenland Depot Fitter when he worked at Greyhound in Sheffield on a Saturday afternoon. I recall him saying how unreliable these three buses were with repeated clutch and door failures. He told me one Bank Holiday weekend all three were sent on Peak District extras and all three had to be towed back to garage.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


 

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Express Motors – AEC Regal I 0662 – RC 9680

Express Motors - AEC Regal I 0662 - RC 9680

Express Motors
1947
AEC Regal I 0662
Willowbrook rebody 1958 FDP39F

RC 9680 was new to Trent in 1947 with a Willowbrook B35F body being lengthened and fitted with a new Willowbrook body in 1958. It was withdrawn by Trent in 1963 and is shown here four years later laying over in the shadow of Caernarvon Castle on a wet day in September 1967.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


21/07/20 – 06:41

A small correction to Ian’s caption; these vehicles were not given new Willowbrook bodies, the original bodies were lengthened at the rear to allow an extra double seat on each side and slightly at the front to fully enclose the cab and conceal the radiator. The other modification was a folding door, as seen, replacing the previous porch type entrance with a door at the top of the steps.
There were twenty of these conversions, the first one was given all new flush glazed windows mounted in rubber gasket, the remainder kept their original windows to reduce the conversion cost. They were all given new seats which allowed them to be re-classified as dual purpose but the new seats, although an improvement, were still rather spartan for 2-3 hour seaside services.

Chris Barker


22/07/20 – 06:58

It was a very successful conversion, IMHO, helped by the completely horizontal waistline instead of the dropping rear. I wouldn’t have guessed the bodywork wasn’t original. And here it is, still around, 20 years after being built!

Chris Hebbron


25/07/20 – 07:15

I agree with Chris Barkers comment about the horizontal waste line, helping to give the vehicle a more modern appearance. However when I see these vehicles I always feel that the frontal appearance could have been improved if – either the aluminium trim followed the bottom contour of the front windows, (and not a horizontal line) or the windows had a horizontal base instead of the angled finish. I’m sure their were good reasons for not altering the line of the windows (not least because they concealed the bulkhead and radiator and were part of the original half cab design). Nice conversion in any event.

John Rentell


09/08/20 – 05:53

Looks like a Creams (of Llandudno) Bedford VAL alongside. Could be BCC 1C ( https://flic.kr/p/7Qrw3K ), or BCC 6C.

David Williamson


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 28th October 2020