J W Fieldsend Ltd (Salford)
Ford Thames Trader 570E
I feel fairly sure that the above shot was taken at the 5th National Coach Rally which started in Wigan and finished in Blackpool where this shot was taken. According to a Buses Illustrated report on the event it was a very foggy morning so much so that only 20 of the 47 entrants had arrived at the starting point in time, but due to the bad weather conditions the penalties made to late arrivals were discarded for this particular rally. The Fieldsend coach above was driven by J T Wareham and came second in the 30ft and under class mind you I found out that the year before Mr Wareham won National Driver of the Year award in the same coach. It is also interesting to note that TRJ 731 was one of only seven built prior to 1965 at the rally that year.
Is this a typo or simply bad info? The Plaxton Embassy IV body was only produced for one season – 1964, not 1961.
The info for the Ford was
TRJ was from March 1961 and URJ was from July 1961
and this info from Bus Lists Plaxton page
602353 TRJ 731 Fd 570E 510E53471 C41F 5/1961 Fieldsend, Salford
Thanks for that. I have to say, then, that either Bus Lists is wrong – which according to registration chronology looks unlikely – or it needs further investigation. I can say with absolute certainty that that is a 1964 body; the design was only produced in that year. Was it new in 1961, stored and not bodied until 1964? Was it involved in an accident and rebodied? Did Fieldsend’s do what Manchester Corporation did – have a block of registrations which covered about five years? (Highly unlikely).
More questions than answers. [For what it’s worth, according to Bus Lists, all the "surrounding" Ford/Embassys were of the Embassy I type, only just introduced in 1961.
Intrigued by your shot of Thames TRJ 731, not least because it carries a version of the Embassy body produced only in 1964, a fact which is clearly at odds with its registration (and, on checking a chassis listing) its date of manufacture. Presumably the original Plaxton body had been replaced by the one illustrated. Does anybody have details of the accident/fire/etc which made this necessary? Fieldsends’ livery was particularly unimaginative, cream with a black flash. This style of Embassy bodywork looks much better in a ‘proper’ colour scheme!
There is obviously something not quite right here does anyone have any clues that may solve this mystery.
First a minor correction. The body type is Embassy III not IV, but I agree that the model was only produced for the 1964 season (for which many people were very grateful).
I have found another entry in Bus Lists Plaxton lists which may explain it, although if it does then it contains at least one typo. Sticking out like a sore thumb in a block of 1964 Ford 570Es, with registration numbers missing and chassis numbers in the L80 series, is 510E54371, shown as delivered to Victoria, Salford. This is the only entry on the site for that operator, which I’ve never heard of.
So, if one of 53471 and 54371 is a typo, and if Victoria = Fieldsend, then TRJ 731 was rebodied in January 1964 with body number 632926
Victoria. This company was a subsidiary of Fieldsends the full title being Victoria Garage (Leigh) Ltd another twist is not Leigh, Lancashire but Leigh on Sea, Essex. BLOTW has a vehicle listed under Hackett Leigh, Hackett being the name of the owners of Fieldsends from when the Fieldsend family sold the business until 1983
Have to disagree with Tim Presley, this vehicle never operated with Victorias of Leigh-on-Sea who were an entirely different company to Hackett (Victoria Coaches) of Leigh, a subsidiary of Fieldsends after the Hackett family bought out Fieldsends and "reversed" their own company into it. The Leigh-on-Sea company was probably most famous for operating a pair of Bristol SC4LK coaches, later sold to Vagg of Knockin Heath.
I owe an apology to Tim Presley for stating that the Hackett family of Fieldsends had no connection with the Leigh-on-Sea company known as Victoria Coaches. Further research shows that the Hacketts purchased three different Southend-area coach companies in 1958 and amalgamated them into Victoria Coaches (Leigh-on-Sea) Ltd, presumably taking the title from that of their company coincidentally based in Leigh, Lancashire. By 1964 the Essex company had been sold to a locally based proprietor, however, so my belief that the Ford had never run for the Leigh-on-Sea company is still correct. Incidentally, while the Fieldsends business and its associates (which also included Cash of Urmston) were owned and run by J. and W. Hackett, a Mr Hubert Hackett of All Saints in Manchester was running a parallel coaching empire in the 1950s including such companies as Timperley Coaches. Was he related to the other two Hacketts?
10/05/11 – 07:22
No Hubert Hackett was no relation.
A bit of further information for you Fieldsends, Salford also acquired Wheatleys of Patricroft around the same time as Cash the Southend business was run by Arthur Hackett with Jim Hackett, Stan Hackett running the North West business
07/07/11 – 06:33
Fortunately the PSVC recently published their information on buses with Salford registrations in their Journal, and this confirms that TRJ 731 was indeed rebodied.
The full known history is –
New 5/61 to J W Fieldsend, Salford; withdrawn 5/63
To Victoria Service Station, Salford, rebodied Plaxton 632936 C41F 1/64; withdrawn 11/69
To E W Kemp, Chillenden 4/70
To T Rowland (Terry’s Coaches), Faversham 12/75
To D C Farmer, Kennington 6/78; sold 3/81
17/08/12 – 10:19
So nice to see a photo of TRJ 731 again. J.T.Wareham was my father and I remember the rallies well. Sadly pictures of that time are long lost.
Dad started working with Wheatleys and stayed with the company when Fieldsends took over.
07/09/12 – 07:43
re TRJ 731 it was in a rta in 1962 and rebodied in 1964 it was on the miners run going to Wigan to pickup miners for the new pit Agecroft. Fieldsends had 3 or 4 buses on this run.