Old Bus Photos

Maidstone & District – AEC Reliance – 251 BKM – SO251

Maidstone & District - AEC Reliance - 251 BKM - SO251

Maidstone & District
1958
AEC Reliance 2MU3RV
Harrington B42F

By the mid 1950s, bus patronage was beginning to show signs of serious decline, and the Traffic Commissioners were empowered to grant dispensation for the use of buses with more than the traditional 20/26/30 seats on (what was then called) OMO operation. The first large saloons bought by Maidstone & District specifically for OMO were eleven Harrington Contenders of 1955 powered by the distinctive TS3 two stroke engine. Then, having gained experience with the all conquering AEC Reliance on coach duties, this chassis became the firm M&D choice from 1957 for OMO saloon work. Initially, the selected bodywork supplier was Weymann, then Beadle, before Harrington was chosen to build the bodies on a batch of twenty five in 1958. Here is 251 BKM, SO251 in the M&D fleet, seen in July 1973 after disposal to the dealer, Trevor Wilcox Brown, the proprietor of Tillingbourne Bus Company. This Reliance, a 2MU3RV model fitted with a Harrington B42F body, was never operated by Tillingbourne, but was quickly sold on to another dealer in Middlewich. I undertook the delivery run from Gomshall to Middlewich, and was impressed by the alacrity with which the machine tackled the hills around Amersham – I always skirted round to the west of the Great Wen – though the top speed was understandably rather modest on the motorway. The picture shows the bus somewhere around the Chipperfield area in Hertfordshire (if my high mileage memory is still functioning). En route on the motorway, I was somewhat disconcerted to find that the accelerator ceased to return to shut down the engine speed, so I pulled in at the next service area and investigated. By lifting up the inspection flaps in the floor, I established that the return action was provided by a simple coil spring linking the throttle rod to a lug on the chassis. The locating loop on one end of this spring had just snapped off, mercifully leaving the remaining part hanging down. I scoured the ground around the lorry park to see what I could find to effect a rudimentary repair and was rewarded by the discovery of a length of rigid but pliable wire. This I managed to force between the last two coils of the broken end of the spring, bent it round to secure it, and then made a loop with the other end before fatiguing off the surplus length (all done with the fingers – I had no tools with me). That bit of Heath Robinson engineering got me safely and uneventfully on to my Middlewich destination.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


17/10/16 – 07:26

Smart, purposeful looking bus.
Perhaps the Middlewich dealer sold it on to an unsuspecting operator, who may have run it with your rudimentary bit of wire doing its job, for many years, Roger!

Peter Murnaghan


17/10/16 – 09:10

255 BKM

A member of this batch, 255 BKM, was sold to Clynnog and Trefor Motoer Services in North Wales, where it lasted for many years.

Don McKeown


18/10/16 – 08:00

253 BKM was saved for preservation in 2008 after festering in Somerset for many years.
Now safely stored inside "somewhere in Sussex" pending restoration.

Malcolm Boyland


Reference vehicle S2 this was delivered to Tonbridge depot along with S3-4 and 5, All four from new as we already had S1 also from new. I think that it was probably because the M&D were using the idea of new busses would encourage us drivers to accept larger vehicles on one mam operation. They were right because we were also the first depot in the fleet to accept the use of double deckers on o.m.o. work.
If my memory serves me correctly these were Bristols.
I was a driver at Tonbridge from 1961 until the closure of the depot. then transferred to Borough Green and then Tunbridge Wells until the mid nineties when I had to retire due to ill health.

Mick Green


 

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Neath & Cardiff – AEC Reliance – WWN 191 – 56

WWN 191

Neath & Cardiff Luxury Coaches Ltd
1960
AEC Reliance 2MU3RA083
Harrington C41F

Neath & Cardiff coaches were affectionately known as ‘Brown Bombers’ and they certainly made short work of demolishing the miles along the M4. This AEC Reliance (2MU3RA083) carries a handsome Harrington C41F body (2309) and was new to Neath & Cardiff in 1960.
I am not sure if this striking (for me) livery would eventually give way to the uninspiring NBC livery. After eventual withdrawal by the NBC she still had a varied career until being brought back to the Swansea Bus Museum, on whose 2016 Running Day in original Neath & Cardiff livery we see her.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


16/09/16 – 17:13

N&C were taken over by South Wales before the corporate identity was introduced.

Stephen Allcroft


 

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South Wales Transport – AEC Regent V – MCY 407 – 447

MCY 407

South Wales Transport Co Ltd
1955
AEC Regent VMD3RV
Weymann H33/26R

Seen at the Swansea Bus Museum Running Day was this AEC Regent V MD3RV010 bearing Weymann body M6709 H33/26R and new to South Wales (447) in 1955. South Wales were loyal AEC customers over the years. For several years the livery was all-over red without the cream waistband.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


02/09/16 – 06:48

A lovely photograph Les, and thank you for posting it, as it brings back happy teenage memories. Sister vehicles MCY405/8 were acquired by Samuel Ledgard in late 1966, closely followed in early 1967 by NCY453/5 from the 1956 batch. When "Sammie’s" was taken over by West Yorkshire in October 1967, the South Wales quartet were among the vehicles retained by the Company, and were given fleet numbers DAW1-4. Initially allocated to WY’s Otley depot, the vehicles were later transferred to Harrogate, where they soon settled down to duties on local services 1/2 Bachelor Gardens-Woodlands, and 9 New Park-Oatlands, plus occasional stints on the 11 Roche Avenue-Cawthorn Avenue and 12 Fountains Avenue-Starbeck routes. Their delightful melodic tones and wonderful throaty exhaust notes immediately endeared my brother and I to their charms, and at every opportunity we would endeavour to catch one into town, even though this meant a five minute walk up to Skipton Road from our usual stop on King Edward’s Drive. As I had a morning paper round covering Bilton and Bachelor Gardens, I was also party to ‘The Regent Symphony’ early each day, when often the only other sounds to break the stillness were birdsong or the occasional car. The sound of the AECs barking away up Bachelor Gardens or the Hill Tops could be heard quite a distance away, and gave an indication of whether I was running late, or to time on my busy round. I’m not sure if the residents living along the route would have shared my love of such sound effects, but as a 14/15-year old, I no doubt felt that "sometimes there’s just no pleasing some people!"

Brendan Smith


02/09/16 – 14:08

My word, surely one of the best ever pictures of a superb preservation achievement. To think that our Ledgard quartet, as described above by Brendan, once looked like that !! Much as I loved them in Ledgard territory I was never as lucky as Brendan in hearing them bellowing their lusty way up the steep Skipton Road from the A 61 Ripon Road – and in one of the lower gears the contralto/soprano accompaniment from the gearbox must have been glorious !!

Chris Youhill


03/09/16 – 06:28

I would imagine that the use of these Regent Vs by West Yorkshire must have been a rare case where drivers preferred buses from an operator taken over to their own native stock!

Peter Williamson


06/01/17 – 11:10

After service with South Wales, MCY 407 went to Whippet Coaches of Cambridgeshire and then between 1968 and 1978 was with Charlton-on-Otmoor Services of Oxfordshire. I passed my PSV test on her in 1975! It went back to Wales for preservation from C-on-O

Andrew Dyer


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 25th February 2017