Brutonian Bus Company
East Lancs B47F
Bruton is a settlement on the River Brue. It is in Somerset, between Frome and Yeovil. STC 928G is a Bristol RESL6G, new to Accrington Corporation Transport in 1969. It has East Lancs B47F body and passed to Brutonian in 1982. The fleet number and Accrington livery were so near Brutonian’s requirements that neither was changed. The operator became part of the Cawlett Group and is now part of First. We see the bus parked in New Canal, Salisbury, on 17 April 1984, having come in on a market service.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies
19/02/17 – 16:22
4 vehicles were acquired by Brutonian in 1982 from Hyndburn as successor to Accrington CTD. The vehicles were reliable and popular and the livery was retained and looked attractive as can be seen from Pete’s photo in Salisbury. None were ever repainted and by 1987 the livery had deteriorated as can be seen from the attached taken in Dorchester.
19/02/17 – 16:23
It wasn’t in such good condition three years later see link www.sct61.org.uk/ac28a
20/02/17 – 07:09
Keith and Keith, Your photos suggest that this vehicle was on its way to a breaker, rather than in service. Given what became of Brutonian, one might wonder if it’s a ‘practice’ for the Barbie livery!
20/02/17 – 13:26
Perhaps we should have a section for the worst presented buses- "battered buses"? Even on the original photo, you can see the untreated deterioration around the "peak" and front wheel arch. The grille was starting to go on the first pic, and then… Brutal!
21/02/17 – 07:06
How could a vehicle so neglected be allowed to operate? What about the vehicle examiners and the traffic commissioners? I don’t think I have ever seen a bus operating in such a sad state, and the final shot was hopefully before scrapping – it would have been a mercy killing.
Brutonian, with the emphasis on the ‘brute’.
Thank goodness for operators like Safeguard at Guildford.
21/02/17 – 16:15
David, I agree with what you say about the appearance, but the condition of the paintwork is not a criteria for a vehicle test. However, the body is, so presumably it must have been up to standard or it would not have been granted a C.O.F. There is of course the reverse of the coin that a coat of paint hides a multitude of sins
21/02/17 – 16:16
To be fair – maybe – things were different then in particular the powers that be were more concerned with de-regulation and local authorities had to ensure non-commercial services would continue. The owner of Brutonian had agreed to sell to a local businessman whose interests included a travel agency and the transfer was delayed until de-reg ie end of October 1986. As well as existing routes and new commercial ones , the new company had gained additional tenders – not least the trunk route 6 between Sherborne and Dorchester. Despite the poor external appearances , the REs were apparently mechanically sound and reliable and the additional work probably extended their lives. Unfortunately the 6 passed County Hall and comments were apparently made therein !! No 28 was withdrawn soon after the photo was taken and continued concern saw the tender itself subsequently transferred the following year to another local operator.
Attached is another photo taken in May 1985 in Castle Cary on the Saturday evening Bingo service and is probably how these fine vehicles should be remembered.
A new book on Brutonian concentrating on the routes and operations is to be published soon through the Omnibus Society.
22/02/17 – 07:11
I think ‘the ugly face of de-regulation’ is a term that sums up this situation. A similar thing happened in the North West where the once proud Yelloway having been asset stripped by new owners secured a tendered service into Manchester formerly run by the PTE. They used very unsavoury looking cast-off Bristol VRT/ECW vehicles in worn out ex NBC liveries with no fleetnames and paper stickers in the windscreens as a destination display. It was a disgrace. Fortunately the powers that be stepped in fairly quickly and terminated the arrangement with the service being re-tendered. Not the British bus industry’s finest hour.
22/02/17 – 07:12
I have read that Brutonian only repainted vehicles when they were in for other maintenance, resulting in the most unreliable ones being repainted first and vice versa. So looking at the state of this one, Keith’s comment about its mechanical soundness rings true!
27/02/17 – 07:49
Chris Knubley the owner of Brutonian never really had much money. There was an injection of money into the business in 79 when he bought his first RE (GAX 5C – a great bus!) and CYA 181J (survices) along with WYD 928H from H&C, the latter was never painted. Generally the most reliable buses were painted 217 UYC and 497 ALH for example, while others ran in a range of former operators colours 8087 TE and TET 166, for example. Not creating consistency was something he had done from 1972! There was clearly something wrong with the last paint job done by Hyndburn on MTJ 926/927G and STC 928/928G. Alternatively the guy who replaced me washing them down from Sep 82 was using the pressure washer incorrectly, or it had been inadvertently fitted with the sandblasting nozzle! 27 became the donor to the others although lasted until a few years ago along with 26 and 29 in Shobdon before final scrapping. 28, in the picture, I understand was in fact the most reliable and went onto be repainted and see further service with Metrowest (the only one of the four). It was indeed different times…I now own the only bus to carry the Brutonian colours which is OVL494, an identical bus to Brutonian’s OVL 495, which was scrapped after an attempt to convert it to a half cab. All other survivors are in original operator colours or in CYA 181J’s case, awaiting restoration.