AEC Regent III 9612E
This would of been a lovely shot apart from the glare on the front upper deck but then again it does not take anything away from the sleek lines of a Duple bodied bus. There is as usual the decoration associated with Duple more a coach than a bus builder on this vehicle which did spoil the looks sometimes.
I started looking into the history of this operator but what a minefield Scottish Omnibuses Ltd was made up of three separate operators Eastern Scottish, Baxter’s Bus Service and Stark’s Motor Services. I think the history of the Scottish Bus Group of Alexander, Highland Omnibuses, MacBrayne, S.M.T. and Scottish Omnibuses is far to complicated for this posting more for an article if anybody is up to it.
A full list of Regent III codes can be seen here.
I liked these Duple bodies with the mouldings. However, am I right in thinking that Duple only made lowbridge versions with these features? I can’t think of any highbridge examples. I’d love to be proved wrong.
As far as I know you’re dead right about there having been no highbridge Duples of this design on AEC chassis, more’s the pity. The Red and White group had a number of very nice examples of both lowbridge and highbridge design on Guy Arab III chassis though. In addition to the "home fleet" four highbridge models were delivered to the Venture, Basingstoke fleet in 1950. These were reallocated to the former Newbury and District fleet when only a few months old. Here they joined one highbridge and two lowbridge examples of a similar vintage, all of which survived in Thames Valley ownership until 1968. Newbury depot also had some utility highbridge Guys and, following a couple of low bridge incidents when highbridge vehicles had been allowed to accidentally strayed onto the Lambourn road it was decided to renumber them in a series H1-H16, the splendid Duple bodied examples being H10 (the original N&D example) and H13-6 (the former Venture vehicles). The two lowbridge vehicles, which had platform doors and heaters as well as what were effectively dual purpose seats from new and which had been chosen to compete with the Lambourn Valley railway on the Newbury – Lambourn routes, retained their original numbers, 170/1. I quite literally grew up with these buses and they were absolutely superb. The highbridge examples were a little less luxurious than the lowbridge but still of a very high spec. Despite being non standard in the Thames Valley Bristol/ECW fleet they were very well thought of by both drivers and engineering staff and were both well used and beautifully presented throughout their lives. The two lowbridge examples were still invariably on all day workings up to their withdrawal. Sadly, despite rumours to the contrary none survived to see further service or preservation as at the time of their withdrawal Gardner engines were worth a fortune and all seven of these are believed to have ended up powering junks in Hong Kong! The buses that they came from were all scrapped very quickly thereafter. A beautiful Red and White highbridge example lives on in preservation though.