Old Bus Photos

Southampton Corporation – AEC Regent V – BOW 507C – 371

BOW 507C

Southampton Corporation
AEC Regent V 2D3RA
Neepsend H37/29R

This AEC Regent V with East Lancs (Neepsend) H66R bodywork was new in 1965 to Southampton City Transport with fleet number 371. Some of this delivery (358 to 370) were to have been 358 HCR to 370 HCR, but were caught in the change to year suffix numbers. Indeed, some of them even failed to have their booked BTR …B marks, and gained BOW …C plates instead. BOW 507C isn’t one of those so marked in the fleet history by A K MacFarlane-Watt. In this view, on the soggy afternoon of 1st February, 1979, she has been repainted in the 1930’s livery and renumbered 100 for the operator’s Centenary, and is being positioned outside Civic Centre for the Committee inspection. My then boss, the City Architect, said he had commented to the Transport Manager that it looked very nice, but asked "Why the P&O advert?". He said that Bill Lewis replied, "They paid for the repaint."

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

13/10/15 – 06:43

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. I’m not a lover of tin fronts, most tend to look a bit harsh, and some are positively brutal in appearance, but the AEC seems to buck that trend. A few round edges and a bit of bright trim makes all the difference. Mind you, when a bit of neglect sets in where badges go astray, or trim is painted over, or bits are removed and not replaced, well that’s another matter entirely.

Ronnie Hoye

13/10/15 – 08:58

Thank you, Ronnie. I suppose that – having grown up with the Regents of Morecambe & Heysham corporation – the arrival of the Regent V was something of a shock. I wonder if this is why some places didn’t go for this ‘new look’ and stayed with the exposed radiator on their Regent V fleets.

Pete Davies

14/10/15 – 16:10

I always think that there was something Macho about the preference for exposed radiators- a touch Mack or Peterbilt, or deferring to the traditional Atkinson. Doncaster only ever had fibre-front CVG’s- Leyland and AEC deckers were exposed radiator until the half cab was bustled away.


15/10/15 – 07:21

Thanks, Joe. A "real" Scammell, perhaps, or the Thornycroft Mighty Antar, with the snout, rather than those designer products from their latter years . . .

Pete Davies


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Southampton Corporation – AEC Swift – MTR 420F – 2

Southampton Corporation - AEC Swift - MTR420F - 2

Southampton Corporation
AEC Swift MP2R
Strachans B47D

I thought a southern flavour was in order with another Southampton photo this one in service in early 1968 when the bus was quite new I am not sure of the exact location in the city.
No 2 MTR 420F was an AEC Swift MP2R with a Strachans B47D body delivered in February 1968 one of a batch of five which were some 9-10 months after No 1 JOW 499E with an identical body, the ways to tell them apart was that No 1 had a red roof and a cream skirt rather than that shown on No 2 it also had a route number box above the first near/side window. These were followed by four more Swifts in 1970 this time with East Lancs who by this time were confirmed as Southampton’s body builder of choice.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

05/06/14 – 07:38

It’s on the junction of Portsmouth Road and Victoria Road in Woolston, Dave. She’s come from Weston Estate and is going to City Centre via Bitterne and Northam.
The 8 and the 16 ran in opposite directions and the bus is turning right here because ahead of her is the bridge carrying the Southampton to Portsmouth railway line. Occasionally, drivers tried taking double deckers under the bridge, and failed to do anything other than cause the vehicle’s immediate withdrawal, hence the introduction of the compulsory right turn here. The road was lowered when the Itchen Bridge was built to replace the Floating Bridge in 1977.
Several "Corporation" services ended at either side of the Itchen, and Hants & Dorset had a couple which terminated in Woolston, along with a small depot.

Pete Davies

05/06/14 – 07:39

By the time I saw this bus it was in a rather sorry state – parked at the back of the Blackpool Corporation depot in April 1980 being used as a source of spares for their own fleet of Swifts.

Mike Morton

05/06/14 – 17:41

It’s nice to see this style of bodywork in a decent colour scheme. London Transport and Wolverhampton’s versions were both dreadful!

Neville Mercer

05/06/14 – 17:41

I recall seeing these vehicles on my occasional forays from Portsmouth to So’ton. They had attractive bodies, in my opinion, aided by the livery. I moved from the area in 1976, the same year that saw the demise of Strachans. Your comment, Mike, confirms my thoughts that they did not have long lives, like many Swifts. No idea of bodywork quality: do you DD?

Chris Hebbron

06/06/14 – 07:39

The six Strachans bodied Swifts lasted a maximum of eleven years in Southampton, but a couple of them went after a mere six years. The subsequent four Swifts with East Lancs bodies also stayed in the fleet for just eleven years, so I suspect that the modest lives of these buses was due more to the shortcomings of the Swift chassis than to inadequacies with the bodywork. In fact, the Strachans body on rear engined two door single deck chassis gained quite a reasonable reputation owing to the employment of underframing that reduced the flexing movement. The Strachans examples were rather less prone to roof structure failure in the region of the centre doorway than the efforts of some other manufacturers, as London Transport, for example, discovered to its cost.

Roger Cox

06/06/14 – 08:46

One peculiarity of the Swifts in Southampton – it may have applied to the Arab UF and Nimbus fleet as well but I never got to travel on any of them, and I suspect not – was a red stripe across the roof, to match the location of the step behind the centre door. Smoking downstairs had been prohibited for several years, but was still allowed upstairs. On the Swifts, the step and stripe designated where the ‘upstairs’ was!

Pete Davies

07/06/14 – 08:17

Roof? No, sorry! I meant ceiling!

Pete Davies

07/06/14 – 08:17

I had always wondered how cigarette smoke determined where to stop blowing. It was commonplace for Smokers to be requested to occupy the rear of the vehicle on single deck buses. But how to keep the smoke from wafting into the forward section?
Southampton clearly had the answer – paint a read line across the ceiling, the smoke won’t dare go beyond there. Obvious, or what !!


07/06/14 – 08:18

Thx, Roger, your thoughts about the chassis rather than the body being the problem matches mine.

Chris Hebbron

07/06/14 – 10:00

Slightly off topic but there used to be an airline that had smokers on one side of the aircraft, non smokers on the other and this was on narrow bodied aircraft. The joke was that this must be Aer Lingus. The truth was it was Lufthansa. Just how German efficiency prevented the smoke crossing the aisle on a B737 for instance has never been revealed.

Phil Blinkhorn


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Southampton Corporation – AEC Regent V – 373 FCR – 353

Southampton Corporation - AEC Regent V - 373 FCR - 353

Southampton Corporation
AEC Regent V 2D3RA
East Lancs H37/29R

373 FCR is a Regent V, 2D3RA, from the Southampton City Transport fleet. Unlike some, which had Neepsend bodywork, she is listed as having East Lancs bodywork, of the H66R configuration. She was new in 1963. She’s seen in Winchester, during a King Alfred Running Day on 1 January 2009, on the roundabout at the eastern end of The Broadway…

373 FCR_2

…and, yes, she is heeling over somewhat!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

26/05/14 – 09:40

Even allowing for some over enthusiastic cornering, it looks as if some of the leaves in the rear spring have failed, a matter that should receive urgent attention.

Roger Cox

26/05/14 – 11:28

373 FCR_3

This really is an action photo! The upstairs passengers might well have wondered if she’d ever recover!

Chris Hebbron

06/01/17 – 11:11

I purchased 373 FCR in 2012 and indeed a new set of springs was needed! Progressive restoration work got her back to Class 6 test standard in 2015 and she ran in revenue earning service for Stagecoach at Goodwood Races that year

Andrew Dyer

06/01/17 – 14:21

On seeing the dramatic picture I had a feeling that springs or tyres must be to blame – the Regent V, especially in 8’0" form, was a very stable vehicle indeed normally. Strangely, we had a batch of fifteen "eight footer" lightweights at Leeds City Transport. The last one in service, well after the others had gone, looked almost as alarming when stationary at stops – I openly admit to have been petrified of 909 1909 NW and was very glad to see the back of it.

Chris Youhill

06/01/17 – 14:22

Andrew, I saw the entry attributed to "Andrew Dyer" and wondered if you were the one about whom I had heard via Simon Bell, then I read your comment. Welcome aboard, young sir. Hold very tight, please!

Pete Davies


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 8th August 2022