Old Bus Photos

White Bus Service – Gilford 1680T – EV 7580

White Bus Service - Gilford 1680T - EV 7580 
Copyright Chris Youhill.

White Bus Service (Wilson and Hughes Ltd. Bridlington) 
Gilford 1680T
Wycombe C32F

Here is one of my favourite pictures which I took as a teenager with my old roll film box camera. Obviously the standard is very poor, but it brings back lovely memories, for me, of happy times as a devotee of the several small operators in Bridlington in those days. The vehicle was new in 1932 to Hillman’s Saloon Coaches Limited of London, and in April 1934 passed to London Passenger Transport Board being immediately transferred to Eastern National (fleet number 3524). It came to Bridlington in May 1939, being withdrawn by White Bus in January 1950. Still in khaki livery, no doubt as a result of wartime camouflage for the sensitive coastal area of Bridlington, it is seen in the railway station yard where it languished inexplicably until it was taken away and scrapped in 1953. Of particular note is the endearing abbreviation of "Flamborough" to Flamboro. Where oh where have the last sixty years gone ??
The varied and wonderful fleets of the White Bus Service and of R. Williamson and Sons, both of whom managed to provide local bus services in the resort against the might of the equally commendable East Yorkshire Motor Services, were a joy to have experienced.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Youhill

Oh Chris, what a wonderful evocative photo, where has the Brid of the 50’s gone as well? I well remember the station yard, when it was a station full of West Riding steam loco’s! It is good to see photos of some of the smaller operators in the area; is there any more where this came from. The black & white is wonderfully atmospheric, not to say the subject also. As you may be aware the EYMS website has photos of all of the White Bus fleet which was purchases by EYMS

Keith Easton

What a wonderfully evocative picture which captures the sadness of a loyal servant now discarded. The Gruss Air Springs really show up on this low-profile shot.
I think I only ever saw one Gilford, a Hera (their last model?), as a fairground vehicle on Wimbledon Common in pre-Womble days, around 1950. It really did look quite smart and I took a photo (with my box Brownie), sadly long lost. But your shot has made up for it, Chris!
The one outstanding ‘true’ coach that LT inherited was from Hillman, an AEC Renown with Harrington body. Withdrawn in 1939, unusually it was retained at Tilling’s former depot at Bull’s Yard, Peckham, where many unusual vehicles were stored for the ‘duration’. The yard was bombed in the Blitz and it was a casualty, along with many other gems.

Chris Hebbron

Being a Bradford lad, we had regular holidays in Brid, and later owned an old Bradford tram at Skipsea as a bungalow.
I vividly remember WBS and Williamsons, as well as Boddys, and can well remember WBS Bedford OWBs, and can still see the rear of an early 1930s single decker with oval window, which could well have been this Gilford. I also seem to remember a 6 wheel Guy double decker. of Williamsons ( ex Leicester?) and both Williamson and Boddys had ex YWD centre entrance TD2s, the latter on the Filey-Flamborough service. The later Halifax Regents, and London Daimlers of WBS come vividly to mind! Super days!! I was about 5 or 6 when these memories occurred, and I have similar nostalgia from Morecambe, where we also had holidays in the late war and early post war years.

John Whitaker

Wonderful memories of Bridlington John and thanks indeed for them. Sadly though the Williamson’s Guy six wheeler is only a happy dream – don’t we all have them eh ?? – but is actually very close to reality. The Firm operated two ex Doncaster giants – one was a Leyland Titanic and the other an AEC Renown. The financial incredibility of such "over equipment" (petrol engined especially) on two flat town services of a little over a mile each remains for ever completely fascinating.

Chris Youhill

Thanks Chris for following up on WBS, and clarifying my distorted 6 wheel memory!
Skipsea was a delight re. old buses… there were 2 more Doncaster 6 wheelers on the cliff top near us from about 1949.. I remember climbing into the cabs before they were "done up"! All sorts of other treasures too.
Do we have a fleet list for WBS by any chance? It will always remain one of my all time favourite fleets on the trip up to the "Lighthouse".
Great to share these memories.

John Whitaker

Chris Youhill mentions the Leyland Titanic (clever twist on Titan!) and AEC Renown in one sentence, which made me think of all the Renown competitors which had to bow down to AEC’s successful six-wheeler. Double-deck makes/models like the Guy FCX, LGOC’s CC and LS models, Crossley’s sole Condor and the wonderfully-named Sunbeam Sikh! There were also the single-deck Leyland TS6 and TS7 T’s and D’s. Although their stars had faded by the late 1930’s, they set the scene for the ascendancy of six-wheeler trolleybuses until about 1950.

Chris Hebbron

I do have a "sketchy" but relatively complete fleet summary for Williamson’s, and also one for White Bus Service, and will try to condense them some time soon when I have the chance.

Chris Youhill

Hi Chris (Y), would you please be so kind as to let me have a copy when available. Thanks a lot

Keith Easton

With reference to WBS fleet I believe the first vehicle for passenger work by user Alf Wilson was actually the boat shell of a fishing Coble put on wheels and pulled by horses. I’ve heard that Yorkshiremen are ‘tight’ in the purse area the phrase Cobbled-together takes on a new meaning up ‘ere in’t North. Reuben Williamson came a close second to this when in 1920 he fitted an ex-double deck Horse-bus body onto a Republic 2ton chassis.
At Easter 1912 their Horsebus plied the Bridlington Promenade and took £3 0s 6d in one day, this equals 726 one penny fares, hence the term coining it in?

Ian Gibbs

01/04/11 – 07:32

Three brief comments about the White Bus Service Gilford EV 7580 shown at the top of this site:
Firstly, Chris, the colour in which you saw it in the Station yard (which I recollect as nearer to dark grey than khaki) was definitely not a hangover from war camouflage, as my clear memory (which goes back to 1943) is of all the White Buses being in their normal livery of creamy white and red; the only buses I saw in wartime camouflage were those of United (with a few exceptions).
Secondly, WBS also had a second Gilford, WG 332 (ex-W.Alexander);
Thirdly, although both were withdrawn from service in 1950 (November and January respectively) they were then stored in the garage in the Old Town for some years, both appearing in the Station yard in about 1953, for what I recall as a short time only, they both seemed to be full of junk I remember.

Patrick Hooper

01/04/11 – 21:00

Thanks indeed Patrick for this extra information. You are no doubt right about the strange colour of EV 7580 whilst in the station yard – I wonder what on earth was the purpose behind this odd transformation. I also remember WG 332 very well from my very junior days, and in the same period I was not even aware of the locations of any premises for WBS – which is perhaps as well or poor old Dad would have been dragged even longer distances, and he was already commendably patient and tolerant about my avid interest in the buses in the Town Centre and in the West Riding here where we lived.

Chris Youhill

14/05/11 – 18:38

I just have to tell all you guys of my experience with the White Bus Company. In the early 50’s whilst at Huddersfield Technical College, the summer breaks was a time for earning some cash! My parents lived in Flamborough village so I had to find a local job. My stepfather, Gilbert Readhead, was senior driver for the WBSC and he got me the job of bus conductor from June to September. As a result my knowledge of the Company is quite considerable. Owned jointly by Jack Wilson and Billy Hughes they ran a one bus service during the winter between Flamborough and Brid and had a minimum of 5 buses in the Summer. I could go on for a long time so I would welcome questions from anyone interested in the activities of the White Bus Company, Queen St., Bridlington.

Tim Hepworth

24/05/11 – 07:49

A long-time friend of mine (Charlie Bullock, now aged 96) recently told of the time he took his PSV test in Scarborough during the 1930’s. All appeared to be going well as he took his steed – a Gilford – around the streets of the town. However, when the time came to carry out the hill start, Charlie said he was a little perplexed at one point, to say the least. His examiner asked him to pull up on Chain Hill, which he dutifully did. The examiner then alighted and briefly disappeared from view. On re-appearing he asked Charlie to set off when he was ready, but then remained outside the vehicle. Charlie set off, but had only driven a few yards before the examiner asked him to stop. He then disappeared again and returned holding a matchbox. Apparently he had placed this behind one of the Gilford’s front wheels in order to check that the vehicle had not rolled back at all during the hill start. Charlie was informed that as the matchbox was still in pristine condition, he could proceed with the rest of his test! Needless to say, Charlie passed that day with the Gilford, and went on to spend what he says were many happy years driving for United Automobile Services at their Scarborough depot.

Brendan Smith

11/01/12 – 13:31

Hi Tim H, my dad remembers your stepfather, Gilbert Redhead, but sadly not you he is ninety so maybe forgiven, White Bus Service finished in 1955, sold to East Yorkshire Motors, my grandad never talked about his life, so anything I read or hear from, means I can put together a life that until now, was a mystery. Thanks

John Hughes

18/02/12 – 16:31

Hi Tim H I have not looked at the white bus site for a while your offer for questions is generous can I mail one or two via either email to Peter or you by letter when I have time

Ian Gibbs

19/02/12 – 16:36

Hi Ian. I too, would be interested in anything "White Bus".
In fact, if we all got together, perhaps we could assemble an accurate fleet list for White Bus, and Williamson.
As well as the HS Lion Cub, there was a WBS post war "Regal" with a Lincolnshire mark, which is not in the PSV Circle list. Chris Y., well known in these columns, is pretty well versed in all things "Brid Independent" too, dare I say!

John Whitaker

20/02/12 – 10:39

ABE 957_lr

I can answer John’s query about the Lincolnshire registered AEC Regal. It was ABE 957 and was ex Enterprise and Silver Dawn of Scunthorpe, and before joining WBS was with an operator from far away called, I believe, "Reliance." The picture was taken by the late Robert F. Mack.

Chris Youhill

21/02/12 – 07:11

Hi John W; off the top of my head the above WBS Regal is listed in PB17 in the list of vehcles acquired and taken over by EYMS. (But not used by them.) Count me in for any "BridBus" information, and I look forward to Ian’s book on the subject!

Keith Easton

21/02/12 – 16:40

Great stuff Keith!
I also look forward to Ian`s book.
Wonder why Enterprise and Silver Dawn sold this Regal so soon. Is ABE a pre-war mark..? I had assumed this was a Mk2 (post war) Regal, but the more I find out, the less I know!

John Whitaker

22/02/12 – 07:11

According to the Old Classic Car website, ABE was first used for Lincolnshire (Lindsey) from August 1937 to April 1939. (BBE registrations started in May 1939).

Stephen Ford

22/02/12 – 07:14

John W…ABE 957 was issued in Lindsay, Lincolnshire during late February/early March 1938. Does that help or hinder?!!

Richard Leaman

22/02/12 – 07:16

ABE was indeed a pre-war mark, issued in 1938. There was an article about Enterprise and Silver Dawn in Buses, Aug. 1965 which lists the fleet at takeover by Lincolnshire Road Car in 1950. Listed are ABE 951-956 and ABE 958/60/61. Missing are ABE 957 and ABE 959 with gaps in the fleet numbers. So, as John W asks, why would they have sold these two when they still had Regals dating from 1931/32 in the fleet in 1950! I wonder if Chris Y knows which "Reliance" company was involved in the story of ABE 957? The very nice looking bodywork was by Plaxton.

Chris Barker

22/02/12 – 07:18

Whilst still in "Bridlington Independent" mode, is there a kind gentleman out there who can fill in the previous owner and dates new/acquired detail for the following White Bus vehicles extant at the 1955 EYMS takeover?
HS 8306, CEL 223, ASD 149, EWW 149, and when ABE 957 was new and acquired.
I don`t suppose anyone has a photo of a London Daimler in WBS service ?

John Whitaker

22/02/12 – 15:22

I am happy to be able to provide all the answers which John W seeks today.
HS 8306 New 1935 – to WBS October 1951 from Graham of Paisley
CEL 223 New 1937 – to WBS June 1953 from Pulleyn, Dunninglen (spelling questionable)
ASD 149 New 1943 – to WBS May 1947 from Lennox, Whiting Bay
EWW 149 New 1944 – to WBS May 1952 from Robinson, Kippax
ABE 957 New 1938 – to WBS May 1949 from Enterprise (Mark 1 Regal of course)

HGC 294_lr

HGC 279_lr

Pictures also attached (purchased long ago and sources unknown) of both of the Ex LT Daimlers in service – one in Queen Street, and the coloured one at Flamborough.

In answer to Chris B’s query about ABE 957, after disposal by EYMS it went to Reliance of Brightwalton, Berkshire.

Chris Youhill

22/02/12 – 17:55

Just to say how great it was to get answers so quickly for the wonderful White Bus Service, and also Williamsons, questions I have pondered for some time now. It all comes back as though I was 10 years old again, in vivid clarity, so thanks to all, and especially Chris. It is a great pleasure to discover that so many other enthusiasts share a love both for these fleets, and the era in general, and I trust we can revel in the enjoyment of this site for many years to come!

John Whitaker

25/02/12 – 07:35

WBS Brid UL5805 Gd

Hello all, Chris nice photos, in return I have found this WBS Gilford 1660T from D Okill when he was studying Gilfords I sent Dick extracts from tax records for his project in return he sent this photo I take the chance of sending it to OBP and hope no one will object, details New 2/29 Highways London No 8 London Lorries C30 to Clarke Bros Ripon 5/32 to WBS 7/33- any other owner?
Clarke Bros were Stage Carriage & Excursions they had a cracking fleet of mainly S/H coaches read like abc of makes, started 1914 with a Ryknield? Chara ferrying troops around locally I think then set up business has psv circle done a fleet? I calculated 37 but odd ones may be lorries from the Spud carrying work DWT 725 Leyland had Barnaby Coach Body

Ian Gibbs

25/02/12 – 14:26

Coaches of this era, to me, always had a sleek look even thought it wasn’t actually sleek, if you know what I mean! It must be the go-faster curtains! I love the stylish curved rear. Nice post,

Chris Hebbron

26/02/12 – 07:22

Re WBS Gilford picture posted above the Reg No was UL 5805 sorry I missed it out.

Ian Gibbs

07/04/12 – 07:14

According to PSVC book UL 5805 was with WBS until March 1938 after which there is no known history.

Andrew Stevens

07/11/12 – 06:46

Hi, chaps : rejoining the correspondence about White Bus Service buses etc., after a long absence! I was born (1938) and bred in Bridlington, so White Buses were very much part of the fabric of my childhood. Just 1 small amendment to make : CEL223 bore the name and address "Victor Pulleyn, York" when it arrived at WBS. ("Dunninglen" may be a misreading for "Dunnington", which is a small village a few miles to the east of York, but it didn’t appear on the actual vehicle.) I’m not aware that CEL223 was ever used in normal service; certainly it was never fitted with a destination blind, the destination indicator box glass being painted over with "Private" on it.
I’d be delighted to reminisce with anyone about WBS, Williamsons or any of the other buses in the East Yorkshire area; better to use e-mail, as I rarely have time to look at websites!

Patrick Hooper

21/01/13 – 05:55

One more comment, about the ex-Enterprise AEC Regal ABE 957 – it was indeed not operated by EYMS but sold by them to Reliance of Newbury, Berks.
Does anyone have a photograph of White Bus Commer AAD 140?

Patrick Hooper

21/01/13 – 05:58

Just to add that AAD 140 was a Gloucestershire registration.
The area abounded with folk who GAD about, were MAD, SAD, BAD, DAD and were bounders, sorry CAD’s, amongst others!

Chris Hebbron

21/01/13 – 15:59

*AD says Black & White Motorways – who were keen Gilford operators for a short while…..

David Oldfield

23/01/13 – 07:06

That would have just been a FAD… (Sorry David!)

Brendan Smith

23/01/13 – 07:07

CEL 223 was a Leyland Cub KPZ2, new in June 1936 with a Beadle C20F body to Hants and Dorset – originally in their version of the Royal Blue livery, for use on tours and excursions. In 1937, to avoid confusion with the coaches of the Royal Blue express services – by then owned by Southern/Western – H&D repainted their coaches into cream and green. It was withdrawn by H&D in August 1951. My notes say it went then to the dealers, North, in Leeds, and to G Bamborough, Chester-le-Street in the November. Subsequently, it was noted with an owner in Wakefield in February 1954 – possibly as a mobile caravan.

Peter Delaney

23/01/13 – 09:13

Nice one, Brendan.

David Oldfield

21/07/15 – 08:41

CEL 223 Passed to White Bus Service from Victor Pulleyn, Station Garage, Dunnington, he had operated it as a psv from 12/51 to 3/53. It came into service with White Bus Service in 6/53 and was still current when East Yorkshire took over, it was not used by East Yorkshire and sold to PVD at Marton (the dealer) in March 1956 and had passed to Stepney Contractors at Beveerly by June 1957 presumably as a site hut.

Mike Pearson

18/09/15 – 05:55

I have just seen this post. I can remember ABE 957 with Reliance of Newbury. Somewhere I have a photo at Brightwalton garage. If I can dig it out I will be in touch. It was a regular performer on the Newbury/Brightwalton service.

Paul S White

18/09/15 – 10:11

To see such a picture of ABE 957 would be realy interesting Paul if you can find it.
In the picture above of ABE 957 in Queen Street a fascinating glimpse of times gone by can just be made out in the far distance – I’ve only just noticed it myself. The building to the right of the OWB with the black signage is at the end of Prince Street, and is in the unmistakeable erstwhile format of "Montague Burton, the tailor of taste." In recent years it was a McDonalds eaterie but that has now closed.

Chris Youhill

20/10/15 – 06:49

I’ll update Dad {Ian} with this info, I am sure he will be interested. Despite his stroke he is still very much buzzing with bus chat. I spent three hours with him yesterday talking about Everinghams. Possibility of a magazine article being written up about them.

Matt Gibbs

13/03/16 – 07:50

My family owned Reliance of Newbury and were delighted yesterday to have have a talk from my old schooldays friend David Wilder. He told us much that none of us knew. The hunt is now on for photos of any vehicles at the old Brightwalton depot where several if my generation spent much of our childhood in the 1950s. I have seem Paul S White’s previous post (18/09/15 – 05:55 above) mentioning Brightwalton and wonder if he or anyone else can help?

Barrie Hedges

12/05/16 – 17:20

AAD 140

Commer AAD 140 when owned by Pulham & Sons of Naunton, Gloucestershire.

Ian Pope

EV 7580_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

11/06/20 – 07:27

UL 9486

One of four Gilford coaches operated by the Great Western Railway on the Oxford to Cheltenham service pictured at High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire, circa 1930. Although the GWR railway did have a service to Witney and beyond to Fairford, it never completed the route through to Swindon or Cheltenham and in place of this they operated a joint passenger road service with Black & White. I painted this in 2002. The original is now owned by Mr. Dave Jones of Suffolk.

Ray Jackson


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Valliant Direct – Gilford 168OT – GW 713

Valliant Direct Coaches - Gilford 168OT - GW 713
Copyright E J M Abbott, used with permission.

Valliant Direct Coaches
Gilford 168OT
Weymann C30D

This is a photo of a 1931 Gilford 168OT coach with Weymann semi-fabric body along Brighton seafront. It is painted in the livery of Valliant Direct Coaches of Ealing, who owned it for many years. The coach was eventually saved by well-known bus saviour, Prince Marshall, and it languished for many years at the Science Museum Annexe at Wroughton, Nr Swindon, Wilts. Eventually, with the financial generosity of the London Omnibus Traction Society, Seb Marshall was able to restore it thoroughly to the immaculate state we see in the photo above.

Gilford was a short-lived company from 1929 and 1935. It was unusual in that it never made anything, merely being an assembly outfit. It also made Wycombe bodies, with the parts also being made to order and bought in. As might be deduced from the body name, they were based in High Wycombe. They used American petrol engines, especially Lycomings. One unusual feature was the suspension which used Gruss Air Springs, another US import, the front cylinders being easily spotted either side of the radiator. They were more like shock absorbers and enabled vehicles to ‘glide along smoothly and supremely comfortable on four cushions of compressed air’! These were indeed superior vehicles!
Gilford were very successful in the early years, but the Wall Street Crash and Depression took its toll and competition from the big boys intensified, with sales dropping relentlessly from 1932, despite new models coming out and a move towards goods vehicles. A late attempt at fitting the unreliable Meadows diesel engine did not help the situation. The final straw was what caused problems for several companies, the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, with the consequent takeover and demise of lots of independents in London and much of the adjoining counties. (Christopher Dodd, a London bus body builder, who’d supported the independents almost exclusively, was wiped out at a stroke). The success of Gilford in selling vehicles to independents over the years created the situation where, after the takeovers, London Transport became the largest operator in the UK of Gilford buses and coaches at 220, for some five years, until standardisation started in earnest!

Seb Marshalls blog on restoring GW 713 can be read here.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

Didn’t Gilford produce a prototype double decker of extremely low height and very modern appearance for the early 1930s?? I can’t remember if it was first a bus and later a trolleybus, or the other way around – I rather suspect the former. In any event it sadly never caught on apparently.

Chris Youhill

Bus then trolleybus. The remains of Gilford went through two rapid changes of owner before ending up with Sentinel. Another case of interesting antecedents – like the Roadliner to Dennis R via Duple 425 "family tree".

David Oldfield

If we’re going ancient, let’s have more Gilford – although there weren’t many. What about Reo? [They were also used by the likes of Black and White.] …..and Sentinel who enjoyed a brief and honourable fling post war. If Gilford were the great might have been pre war then Foden and Sentinal were the great might have beens post war. Just a thought.

David Oldfield

I’m afraid my shots don’t go that far back, but if anyone wants to send me some then I will post them.

See the ‘Coming Soon’ panel the next two contributions fall into the ancient category


I’m sure I saw a photo of Gilford’s double-decker bus/trolleybus once, but can’t pin down where. It was certainly modern-looking for its time.
We’ve all heard of the famous AEC Q front-entrance double-decker, but around the same time, Leyland also built a similar vehicle, which had a squarer flat front (might have been lowbridge) and also looked modern for its time. I don’t believe there were any takers and it was broken up in the end, if memory serves me right. Anyone got a photo of it? I’m not sure where the engine was placed, though, but not at the front.

Chris Hebbron

Chris H, are you sure it wasn’t the Leyland TTB front entrance trolleybus?

David Oldfield

You’re right David, I was a little adrift there!

Chris Hebbron

I am sorry to say that Chris Hebbron’s original information is not quite correct in that the photo of GW 713 in Valliant livery was taken some years ago after initial restoration by Prince Marshall & not as a result of recent restoration by his son Seb Marshall. It is currently in a very dismantled state and the subject of a very major restoration by Seb after his acquisition of the coach from Science museum storage at Wroughton the progress of which can be seen on his blog via link at end of Chris’s article.
Hopefully it will not be too long before it is once again restored to the immaculate condition shown in the photo.


I contacted Seb Marshall to fill in the gaps between its original restoration and its subsequent sad demise into the condition it sank into before he started restoring it. I can do no better than send you his reply which I think is worthwhile printing.

Hi Chris,

The photo was indeed taken in my father’s time, if you look closely he is driving, I believe it is Brighton ’63.

Alas early preservation did not have the funding it does today and the body was very tired back then and was only cosmetically enhanced by Valliants. As we’ve gone into it we’ve discovered it has had a very hard life, with a number of framework repairs evident not surprising really as it went to war!

We were planning to have it ready for Brighton next year, but work has dictated otherwise so sometime in the not too distant future is all I can say at the moment.

All the best,

Chris Hebbron

You are right Chris, Gilford did build a low-height double-decker in 1931, and it was displayed at that year’s Commercial Motor Show. It was a very advanced design incorporating front wheel drive, thus allowing a very low floorline, as the usual bulk of the rear axle and differential casing were dispensed with.
After delving into various books, all manner of things came to light. The bus was known as the ‘D-type’ (presumably for double-decker), and was of chassisless construction with an overall height of 12ft. 11ins, which was pretty impressive for a ‘decker with central gangways on both decks. The engine was also unusual in being a German-built Junkers horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder two-stroke diesel unit. A four-speed constant mesh gearbox was mounted ahead of the engine, and the drive then went to the front wheels. As usual, Gilford had fitted Gruss air springs to the vehicle, and the front suspension was independent to boot!
The Wycombe 56-seat rear-entrance bodywork was of steel-framed construction, and was of a modern-looking full-fronted design. A Tilling-style three-piece front window arrangement was used on the upper deck, with the outer glasses curving round to meet the front side pillars. Unfortunately, no orders were forthcoming, and as David rightly says, it was then converted to a trolleybus, and apparently saw service as such with Wolverhampton and Southend-on-Sea. A picture of the bus in its original form was shown in Buses Illustrated No.8, but I’m sure I’ve seen a picture of it elsewhere, and will keep looking!
Gilford chassis designations were generally straightforward. The numbers denoted the wheelbase (in feet and inches) and the letters described the driving position. So an SD was Standard Drive (meaning bonneted, or normal control), and an OT was Over Type (meaning driver alongside engine, or forward control). As such, the engaging 168OT in the photo would be of 16ft.8ins wheelbase, Over Type layout.

Brendan Smith

Its nice to see my grandfathers coach on the sea front I remember him talking to me about the coaches he had.

Stephen Valli

Stephen – I’m glad that the photo gave you pleasure. You will no doubt know that your grandfather is greatly respected among the bus enthusiast fraternity for his successful efforts at bus preservation when it was in its infancy.

Brendan, Thx for researching all that useful information on the ‘D’-type, most of which I was unaware of. As ever, it was a mixture of their own construction and buying-in parts and, as ever, the conservative bus industry of the time stayed well away from purchasing it, despite the general good name and record of Gilford. A photo of it would be wonderful, if you can track one down. Sadly, although I can boast about three of the earliest Buses Illustrated somewhere, No. 8 wasn’t one of them, more’s the pity!

Chris Hebbron

The patent number for the D-type is (GB)353,902 and was applied for by the Gilford Motor Company Ltd and Edward Bert Horne on April 29th 1930 and accepted on July 29th 1931. The drawing shows a lower deck plan, with the engine protruding significantly into the lower saloon with two pairs of rearward facing seats to each side of it, and a vertical section through the bus showing the front wheel drive and Gruss springs. You can view the drawing here. 

Malcolm Thwaite

Thank you for posting such an interesting technical drawing Malcolm. I had read somewhere that the engine on the D-type had intruded into the lower saloon, but had not envisaged it doing so by quite as much as shown! The seating arrangement around it was fascinating – and what seats for the enthusiast they would have been, right next to that two-stroke engine….

Brendan Smith

24/01/12 – 05:52

Nice to see a colour picture of a Gilford. My grandfather drove for them when they were in High Wycombe and I have a photo of him sat on a chassis outside the factory

Andrew Stevens

05/04/14 – 07:07

I remember reading an extensive history of Gilford in Buses Illustrated once complete with many photographs. One reason for their demise mentioned was a large part of their market was to independents, and I understand that the problem was many of them were unable to pay the instalments on the purchase. The same thing brought down Guy in South Africa, where they sold direct to small operators who didn’t pay up or disappeared into the night.


05/04/14 – 09:37

Don’t I remember a section here on OBP about a year ago devoted to the Gilford decker, photos, drawings and all? I’ve searched but can no longer find it.

Ian Thompson

05/04/14 – 09:38

Is this what you mean Ian


05/10/15 – 07:03

GW 713

Here is another picture of GW 713 taken at Madeira Drive at the end of an HCVC London – Brighton Run in the early 1960s. By the 1970s this coach had been repainted into the livery of Evan Evans Tours.

Roger Cox


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