Old Bus Photos

Sheffield Corporation – Leyland Leopard – 1881 WA – 3081

Sheffield Corporation - Leyland Leopard - 1881 WA - 3081
Copyright Roger Cox

Sheffield Corporation
1961
Leyland Leopard L1
ECW C41F

Here is a colour shot of 1881 WA, No. 3081, a sister vehicle to the Ian Wild posting of 1882 WA, No. 3082 in June 2011. The photo was taken in the early part of 1970, though I cannot now identify the location. As John Stringer says in a comment to 1882 WA this bus passed to the Calderdale fleet via Todmordon JOC together with its two stable mates, 1880/2 WA. I always admired this ECW "MW" body style for its restrained elegance and excellent finish, well above the standards of some of the contemporary "commercial" competitors.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

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15/01/12 – 07:21

Agree fully with Roger about the ECW body. Although I’m a Burlingham and Weymann man, I always thought the ECW Leopards were the best looking of the lot in Sheffield. [This ought to be tagged Sheffield JOC – they weren’t owned by the Corporation.]
I went to music college in Manchester in 1971 – by which time the 48 was taking the Stocksbridge, Flouch, Woodhead route to Manchester. With the disbandment of the JOCs, although technically a joint route with North Western, by 1971 only NWRCC were running the mileage. 1968/70 AEC Swifts were also running the 48 in the last months of operation.
I suspect the photo was taken on the Manchester side of the Pennines. By the way it’s leaning I’m tempted to suggest that maybe it’s leaving Ashton Bus Station?

David Oldfield

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15/01/12 – 12:05

I well remember these buses along with the Weymann and Burlingham bodied examples working the 48 Manchester service. They used to have a 15 minute refreshment stop at The Dog & Partridge at Bordhill, a mile up the road from Flouch. During the 1950’s and 60’s my aunt and uncle kept this pub and I used to spend my summer school holidays there. Several times in the late sixties the friendly crews would take me to Manchester with them or I would go to Sheffield with my aunt for an afternoon out, we never paid any fares!
I still have a letter the Sheffield General Manager sent them thanking them for the hospitality they had shown the crews and passengers over the years when they left the pub in 1968.
I don’t ever remember it being a joint service with NWRCC at this time though.

Eric

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15/01/12 – 12:12

XLG 477_lr

The location is definitely Ashton Bus Station. The attached photo shows the same backdrop. The pub which is the most prominent of the building is the Ladysmith. The view has changed significantly with the building of a new civic centre on the open land in the near background and the complete remodelling of the bus station.
The bus is former SHMD 77, later renumbered 108 and (as seen here) SELNEC 5068. This bus lasted longer in SELNEC days than might be expected and is shown here on 6th August 1971. It is an Atkinson PL745H with Northern Counties B34+27C bodywork. The present tense is relevant as the bus survives in preservation, albeit not very actively (I repainted it in 1976 and it never ran so adorned!). My previous negative (which I didn’t choose as it doesn’t show the background as well) shows it overtaken by Ashton 44, a front-entrance PD2 which is also preserved.

David Beilby

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15/01/12 – 15:00

I may have said it before but it surprises me that this service hasn’t been restored. Presumably there was a time when it was unviable commercially, but today with vast numbers of people, particularly students, travelling across the Pennines and the rail service bursting at the seams, I would have thought it could be a lucrative service now. With Stagecoach having a presence in Manchester and Sheffield (and Barnsley too) the logistics are there although perhaps the fact that they are involved in part of the rail service precludes them from doing it.

Chris Barker

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19/01/12 – 05:39

I’m sure the 48 wasn’t in the North Western timetable when I lived in Manchester (up until 1968), unlike the other two Sheffield-Manchester services, the (X)39 via Snake and (X72) via Castleton. Could it be that it never was a joint service, but was taken over by North Western when SJOC disappeared?

Peter Williamson

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19/01/12 – 10:54

North Western took it over sometime 1970/71 following the disbandment of the JOCs. They were sole operator by the time I started my student days in September 1971. [A measly two round trips a day during the week.] It was part of agreement with some routes so that the Corporation could "keep" routes – even if they didn’t "run" them. By the end, I think the joint fiction had ended in fact.

David Oldfield

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22/01/12 – 15:55

When the Sheffield JOC was disbanded, 48 became a joint route for the first time. The PSV Circle fleet list suggests that Yorkshire Traction became a joint operator, along with Sheffield Corporation and North Western, but, if so, this would just have been for licensing purposes as I’m fairly sure they never ran on the route.

Geoff Kerr

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23/01/12 – 07:26

You’re absolutely right, Geoff – and I also remember the Tracky connection, but they never actually ran it.

David Oldfield

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24/01/12 – 15:49

The writing was on the wall by November 1969. The 48 was still running, according to the Sheffield Transport time table, as One Man Operated service, the timetable notation of "subject to alteration" said it all. I have wonderful memories from the 1940’s of the 48 when it was not unknown for a convoy of 2/3 Weymann bodied Leylands to depart from the old Midland Railway Station. Tea and buns at the Dog & Partridge were all part of the treat. We and others did our family clothes shopping in Manchester after the Luftwaffe had done a demolition job on the Sheffield City Centre

Jerry Wilkes

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30/01/12 – 16:26

Hi, I have a South Yorks fare book, issue 1, August 1974. It lists all the routes operated at that time. Is it of use to anyone? Now I have found this site, I will post many memories & questions on busses in the 50s & 60s. My dad was a bus driver on the 33, 34,35,36 bus routes out of Bramall Lane depot. He used to do the 12 Chesterfield route.

Andy Fisher

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31/01/12 – 07:57

Andy. Another Sheffielder. Welcome. The West Yorkshire lot are a friendly enough bunch – but I think they still outnumber us!

David Oldfield

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01/05/12 – 20:05

I have many happy memories of The Dog and Partridge !! Never travelled there by bus, unless we did so when I was very young and I have forgotten. However, when I was growing up my paternal grandparents had many relatives living in Lancashire, particularly around the St. Helens area and we always used to make a refreshment stop at that pub, in both directions when travelling from the Bircotes/Harworth area to Lancashire. I distinctly remember the ham sandwiches, which were, by far, for some reason, the best I had ever tasted at the time. They must have been good, I can almost taste them now, and that was 50+ years ago. Thank you all for mentioning this pub, brings back so many happy memories, and the last thing I expected when perusing a bus enthusiasts website.

Trevor Evans


 

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Progressive Coaches (Cambridge) – AEC Regent 1 – DLU 116

Progressive Coaches (Cambridge) - AEC Regent 1 - FXT 215
Copyright Victor Brumby

Progressive Coaches (Cambridge)
1935
AEC Regent 1
London Transport (Chiswick) H26/30R

I am coming to the end of my boyhood ex-London Transport (photographed) sightings now. I proffer this shot of ex-London Transports STL 2117 during the building of Stevenage New Town, when Mowlem Construction hired their workers’ transport from Progressive Motor Coaches of Cambridge. STL 2117 was seen in the company of STL 971 on April 8th 1958, awaiting its next muddy-booted cargo.

DLU 116 tax disc

I also managed to get an old tax disc from STL 2117 for 1957 showing a yearly charge of 86 pounds 8 shillings.

Photographs and Copy contributed by Victor Brumby

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12/01/12 – 05:43

As a kid, I always thought works buses looked drab and neglected. In retrospect, knowing how many fine vehicles were scrapped at the end of their PSV lives, I suppose this did extend their lives. How many subsequently survived into preservation, though?

David Oldfield

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12/01/12 – 05:44

Not to mention those who survived as showmen’s vehicles in many guises and often ingeniously (sometimes very professionally) modified. It was more interesting for me to look at these than partake of the amusements/rides – how sad is that? At least these vehicles survived longer than worn-out, hard-worked, often-abused works buses.

Chris Hebbron

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12/01/12 – 17:10

Progressive Motor Coaches was formed in 1934 by Albert Edward "Paddy" Harris who had previously worked for Lord Astor Coaches (which, despite its high sounding title, was run by a family named Brown). The Progressive livery was pale green and white. As Victor’s picture shows, this operator had two STLs, Nos. 971 with Chiswick H29/19F body (ex Country area) and 2117 with a later Chiswick H30/26R body (like the others in this batch, its original metal framed Park Royal body had proved to be a disaster). These two were bought in 1955, and were kept until at least 1958. Progressive also had a total of five so called "pre war" RTs (in fact, all except RT 1 entered LPTB service between 1940 and 1942). These were RTs 32/40/76/84/139 FXT207/215/251/259/314, all of which were bought between January and April 1956. RT 32 was sold on almost immediately, RTs 76 & 84 lasted beyond 1958, and RTs 40 and 139 were disposed of in 1959. I owe much of this information to Ian’s Bus Stop website, and to Paul Carter’s detailed books on Cambridge in the Prestige Series.

Roger Cox

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DLU 116_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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12/01/12 – 17:18

Thanks for the information Roger guess what was on the same scan of the DLU 116 tax disc.

FXT 215_tax_disk

There is also BLH 828 if anyone knows more on that Regent 06613259 I will post it.

Peter

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13/01/12 – 07:30

According to Ians Bus Stop, BLH828 was STL971, mentioned above.

Bob Gell

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13/01/12 – 07:31

BLH 828 tax disc

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Peter, BLH 828 was the registration of STL 971. This was one of the Country Area green STLs which had a Chiswick built body of the peculiar front entrance design which seated only 48 passengers, 29 upstairs and 19 downstairs. This design had no entrance door, it being supposed that the angled front bulkhead would prevent draughts from entering the saloon. Of course this theory was preposterous, and these buses were notoriously cold to travel in. (I can confirm this from my own childhood recollections of these things on the Chelsham operated routes across Croydon.) Progressive upseated BLH 828 to 52 by adding four seats downstairs over the wheel arches.

Roger Cox

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13/01/12 – 09:14

Roger Cox beat me to it with details from Paul Carter’s excellent books so I will just add that my memories of International Progressive Coaches (as they became) are from the 1960s when their modern coaches (half a dozen brand new every year) passed my home. Sadly it all went pear shaped in the early 1970s and by 1974 the business was finished.

Nigel Turner

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13/01/12 – 13:38

Nigel you say "International Progressive Coaches (as they became)" do you know when the name changed, I do have a good reason for asking.

Peter

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13/01/12 – 14:24

Unfortunately Paul Carter’s book doesn’t say exactly when the name changed but it implies that it was between 1964 and 1969. However it seems that at least some of the coaches kept the old fleet name after this time. Continental trips had started soon after WWII.

Nigel Turner

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13/01/12 – 15:34

Thanks for that Nigel that is near enough for me, you will see my reason for the question Friday 03/02.

Peter


 

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Portsmouth Corporation – AEC 661/EE – RV 9148 – 294

RV 9148_lr
Copyright Barry Cox

Portsmouth Corporation
1937
AEC 661T/English Electric
Craven H26/26R

Portsmouth Corporation had 115 trolleybuses in its fleet.
The first 15 (1934) were a motley collection of chassis/electrical equipment and bodies, four and six wheelers, bought for evaluation.
The next nine (1935/36) were, to me, the most handsome of them all, were AEC/EE ones with English Electric bodies. Unable to move under their own power, they lived a shadowy life, latterly neglected and shabby. See here for a ‘smart’ photo of one.
The last 15 (301-315), BUT9611T, with Burlingham bodies, were the last delivered, in 1951, for a route extension.
294, from the third order, in the range (225-300), was the largest group delivered, in 1936/37. Amazingly, with not a Craven body appearing previously, these wore those bodies! They bore the brunt of the services and proved to be sound vehicles all round, although the ash bodies needed rebuilding during their 26/27 year lives.
In this rare colour photograph, 294 (like the Leyland PD1A/Weymann bus I recently posted), is also crossing Guildhall Square on tennis racquet-shaped route 17/18 from Eastney to the Dockyard, 17 anti-clockwise and 18 clockwise. The destination would be changed at Dockyard and Eastney. This photo was taken on an early Summer’s evening in 1963, on the cusp of the system’s demise on 27th July 1963. 294 lasted to the end.
Two trolleybuses have survived, but neither of them represents this range; a loss really, for I’m not aware of Craven using this body design for any other vehicles.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

———

Thank you Chris for another lovely Portsmouth photo of a very deserving type of trolleybus. The AEC 661T/Craven trolleybuses were the workhorses of the fleet and I have very fond memories of a visit to ride on them in 1963. I have always remembered the internal finish of the Portsmouth Cravens to be an excellent show of Civic pride.
I do believe similar Craven bodies were built for Kingston -upon-Hull on Crossley TDD4 trolleybus chassis nos. 27 to 46 in 1938.

Richard Fieldhouse

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08/01/12 – 16:22

OBPJan2012285

The Cravens (full title Cravens Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd) bore similarities to the twenty Cravens bodied Crossleys delivered to Hull in 1938. the majority entered service on 2 September 1938, eight lasting until 3 February 1962. There was an option for a further 54 bodies which was not taken up.

Malcolm Wells

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08/01/12 – 18:25

Thanks, Richard/Malcolm for the comments/photos about the similarly-bodied trolleybuses to the above example. I can see a likeness.
I always liked the inside décor and furnishings of Portsmouth’s pre-war buses. Mahogany bulkheads with bevelled-edge mirrors, leather-edged, comfortable seats with a flowery pattern more akin to art nouveau than art deco. Covered lights and lined-out ceilings completed the picture.
If you use the link I mentioned above, go to David Beilby’s website and scroll a few pictures back from the one on display, there are some examples of what I mean.

Chris Hebbron

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11/01/12 – 06:44

When clicking on the link to one of the batch of nine English Electric bodied AECs of 1935, a picture of No 24 is displayed. A previous picture on that site shows No 21 of the same batch. The contributor there notes that the electrical support structure on the roof is enclosed on No 24, but is open framed on pictures of the others in the batch. I suspect that the reason for this is that No 24 was exhibited at the 1935 Commercial Motor Show, and was built thus for that purpose. Although presumably delivered to Portsmouth after the Show, it did not enter service until April 1936. It became the last of the batch to survive, being withdrawn in 1958. As far as the Cravens-bodied stalwarts are concerned, they were what a Portsmouth trolleybus was expected to look like – just as an RM or RT represents London! No 237 reportedly survived in a Portsmouth scrapyard near the erstwhile airport for several years – possibly even into this century? But I have not heard whether it still survives, and if so whether it is accessible. No 313, a Burlingham bodied BUT of 1951 (Portsmouth’s last to run in service on 27 July 1963) is in fine fettle at Carlton Colville, I believe. No 201 (Portsmouth’s first numerically) has had a more chequered preservation career, first at Beaulieu Motor Museum, then back to Portsmouth, and ended up at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. About two years ago, it looked rather sorry for itself, and at my last visit early last year, it was not on display. I would hope that it is out of display for some smartening up work at the very least.

Michael Hampton

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11/01/12 – 10:33

Thx, Michael, for the interesting titbit about 24 being in the 1935 Comm. Motor Show. You mention one Cravens survivor hanging on in Pompey somewhere and I believe another one did for a few years as a public convenience in Bristol – I think I saw a photo of it once, painted white. I saw 313 only in October, but it was in the ‘garage’ and I was unable to see anything other than an impeccable rear: it wasn’t running that day. Were these distinctive Burlingham bodies replicated on other contemporary (trolley)buses? I can’t recall any others, off-hand. And you’re so right about the Craven’s ones. The comprehensive and intensive system Pompey had, meant that a trolleybus was barely ever out of sight and the 75 Cravens ones seemed to total more like 200, always popping up. Wherever you went, there they were! Fratton Bridge was a complex junction for the overhead and I used to happily spend 20 mins watching the poles picking their way across the wires and frogs. The last (evening) journeys were still by trolleybus, even when the system officially closed down, and that was my last ride on a Cravens. Happy days!

Chris Hebbron

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11/01/12 – 13:19

I always thought that Cravens bodies were full of character, regardless of operator or application. Having waxed lyrical in many discussions about how I loved the Cravens RTs in London I’ve usually found that I couldn’t convince the opposition – sad really, because I think that they are missing something very attractive in the five bay construction within the RT classic outline – a magical combination in my view.

Chris Youhill

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11/01/12 – 17:08

I have a prejudice in favour of Cravens because they were from my home town (Sheffield) and provided many STD buses from the mid thirties until 1950. [At this point they left bus building until they bought East Lancs in 1964 – and also formed Neepsend Coachworks.]
The last Cravens (1950 Regent IIIs)were among my favourites – and I thought amongst the most attractive of the immediate post war designs. They were almost identical to the RTs – but minus the "Londonisms".

David Oldfield

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12/01/12 – 06:01

I always liked the Cravens’ RT’s, too. They were nicer to look at, in all respects, save for the hunched back and, if I recall correctly, the emergency windows and lower rear window did not match up, either. Nevertheless, they made a good stab at making a pseudo-RT body from a standard design shell. Surprisingly, there are only two postings of Cravens’ bodied vehicles on this website, which should be rectified! Perhaps David could post a photo of the 1950 AEC Regent III’s he mentions. It would make an interesting exercise to compare them with the Londonised RT’s.

Chris Hebbron

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12/01/12 – 06:07

LWB 836_lr
Copyright P R Doughty

The latest comment by David Oldfield on the Portsmouth Cravens trolleybus has reminded me of this slide, taken by a friend of mine when we visited Sheffield in December 1966. I guess this is the batch he is mentioning

Bob Gell

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12/01/12 – 06:05

Re above posting from Chris H, Here is a picture of the rather unfortunate Portsmouth ‘bus that ended it’s days in a rather unusual service role. It was used as such for many years, maybe around fifteen or even more! It was in use during 1961 and as far as I am aware it disappeared about 1980 http://farm8.staticflickr.com/  
No 313 has survived in fine condition and can be seen in running order here. http://www.youtube.com/

Richard Leaman

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12/01/12 – 10:38

Bob’s slide is most pleasing, and shows well the very attractive upper saloon front bay and roof dome which I’ve always found to be a particularly classic outline.
Richard’s comparison of the two latter careers of the Portsmouth trolleybus are heart warming, and the visitors to Carlton Colville are obviously flushed with enthusiasm at the relaunch.

Chris Youhill

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12/01/12 – 10:39

Thx, Bob, for the Sheffield bus photo, from which I can see something of the ‘RT’. Did these bodies have the hunched back that the ‘RT’s’ possessed?
And thx, Richard, for reassuring me that my memory of the ‘Ladies’ trolleybus wasn’t faulty! I think we can say that preservation of it was not an option by this stage! And it was nice to see 313 in action, too. I was surprised to read that this vehicle, after being saved, went for scrap and was rescued a second time.

Chris Hebbron

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12/01/12 – 10:41

Thanks, Bob. This is indeed the batch. [Strange how vehicles which spent most of their lives with grey roofs looked bald when repainted without it. Apparently this grey was called "smudge" – an STD concoction from mixing paint.] Put a London cab and London opening windows in and they are more or less identical styles.
This vehicle was departing the small Bridge Street Bus Station for the borders of Ecclesfield which, at the time, was actually in the West Riding. [It became part of Sheffield after the 1974 Government reorganisation.] Bearing in mind the common 13 year life of STD buses, 1966 was very late for a bus of 1949/50 vintage, but occasionally vehicles reached 16 – and exceptionally 20 – years service.
Please note, in the distance, one of the Neepsend bodies I mentioned earlier. STD had about 40 on the atrocious PDR1/2 Atlantean between 1964 and 1966.

David Oldfield

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13/01/12 – 07:21

Chris Y, Chris H, David – Thanks for your kind comments; pleased to help. David, thank you also for identifying the location, which I wasn’t sure of.
A nice co incidence getting two Sheffield bodied vehicles on the same shot.

Bob Gell

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24/01/12 – 05:59

Michael Hampton recalls that No. 237 languished in a Pompey scrapyard for many years. I’ve found a photo of it on David Bradley’s excellent website, having just arrived at Jordans Scrapyard and it can be found at the link below. Apparently, it survived until about 2000 and a Sheffield group of Craven’s enthusiasts looked into saving it, but it was too far gone. The majority finished up in a quarry on Portsdown Hill where a cutting was made some years ago to bring the A3(M) through to join the A/M27.
David Bradley’s website  http://www.trolleybus.net/

Chris Hebbron

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25/01/12 – 05:13

Here’s a three minute ‘collage’ of Portsmouth trolleybuses, both Craven and Burlingham-bodied types, along with glimpses of Southdown and Corporation buses, especially some Bedford OWB’s. The first scene shows the brilliant acceleration, (driver showing off?) despite the sounds of old age, creating a tram-like whine. You can also hear the ‘twang’ of the overhead wires at one point, something I’d forgotten about. See HERE: http://www.youtube.com

Chris Hebbron

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07/02/12 – 16:37

Thanks to Chris H for more info and the links to other sites re the one that ended up in a "convenient place" in Bristol, and the evocative clip of several swishing their way through Portsmouth streets. Many places still recognisable, but with subtle (and not some not so subtle) changes.
In an earlier contribution (11th Jan), I mentioned that pioneer trolley 201 (AEC/EE) had been in a rather down-at-heel condition at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, and had disappeared from there at my last visit. A friend handed me a cutting from a recent local paper (The News, Jan 31, 2012) which has a few paragraphs reminiscing about the trolleybuses. Most importantly, it states that from June 2009, 201 has been in the care of the City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot, at Portchester (nr Fareham, Hants). So it’s good to know that it’s disappearance from Basingstoke is not sinister, and that it’s still being looked after.

Michael Hampton

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08/02/12 – 06:21

That’s good news, Michael. I would think that it’s in much the same state as the London ‘Diddler’ by now – delicate!

Chris Hebbron

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28/04/12 – 07:57

As a Sheffielder I well remember the Cravens batch of AECs. I thought they had nice simple clean lines. Cravens later effort on the only Bedford ever in the Sheffield fleets, number 11 KWA 811D was an ugly beast by comparison. What a shame that no Sheffield Cravens Regents were ever preserved.

Les Dickinson

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28/04/12 – 08:54

Oh how I agree with everything you say, Les.

David Oldfield

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RV 9148_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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15/10/12 – 07:41

Recent pics of Trolleybus 201 can be found here www.cpptd.co.uk

Tony Hawes


 

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