Old Bus Photos

Eastern Counties – Bristol RESL – KVF 660E – RS660

Eastern Counties - Bristol RESL - KVF 660E - RS660

Eastern Counties Omnibus Co Ltd
1967
Bristol RESL 6HLX
ECW B46F

There are several non-ECW bodied RE buses featured on this site but few if any of the first Tilling Group RESL standard bus. This is RS660 (KVF 660E), the last of a batch of 14, which I believe was supplied to meet an outstanding order for MWs. The fact that they had 46 seats, compared to the maximum of 45 to date, didn’t prevent them being accepted immediately for one man operation, several based at the many outstations for which the company was famous. Alongside are FLF359 (ONG 359F) and SB664 (NAH 664F). A large number of recent deliveries, which the advert fixers had yet to purloin, were assembled in the forecourt of Thorpe Station, Norwich on Sunday, May 12, 1968 to meet an excursion train hauled by the Flying Scotsman. There were several tour options for passengers around the city and county before the return journey.

This period saw Eastern Counties explode from its long 4 and 5 cylinder era into that of the 6LX and 6HLX! The FLF found its way to Western SMT a couple of years later in the great FLF for VRT swop between National Bus Company and the Scottish Bus Group. The Bedford with ECW bus body was one of a batch of four, two with Bedford engines and this and SB663 (already shown on the same day in a Bedford VAM string in OBP) had Leyland engines.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Geoff Pullin


23/12/19 – 06:45

I believe that Eastern Counties’ next batch of RE buses were RELLs, and these were supplied with 6HLW engines, which were quickly swapped with the 6HLX engines from the RESLs.

Nigel Frampton


23/12/19 – 06:47

We had two Bristol RS’s at Cambridge. One of them was almost permanently on route 428 Cambridge station to Bedford. It was a long duty….two journeys….and was the only week on the rota that had two rest days for that reason. I worked it for a week when the regular driver was on holiday and enjoyed it immensely. The RS’s were super to drive…fast and powerful, and although they were rear engined, they had a very precise manual gear change, and a long gear lever. I also recall that they had a high pitched whine at speed from the transmission.
The other RS was usually on the 113 Cambridge to Haverhill and Kedington services, so they could inter change for maintenance and repairs. The RS’s were a vast improvement on the ordinary Bristol MW’s.

Norman Long


24/12/19 – 07:37

Nigel, I don’t think this is true. The first RELLs were in service in June 1968 (the month after the above photo) and I’m sure they had 6HLX engines as well. Although the company was adept at physically changing types of engine after years of downsizing double decks to 5 cylinders and much later installing a Gardner into a Leyland National, the change to 6HLX from 5HLW for buses was the policy introduced by the new General Manager who had arrived from Eastern National. In the 1960s, it was company policy to ‘fairly’ share new vehicles across the whole vast area, so, unlike today, sadly the advantages of better vehicles and performance didn’t reflect into timetables!

Geoff Pullin


24/12/19 – 10:05

The FLF would have had a 6LX engine also, although retaining a manual gearbox. All EC’s previous batches of FLFs having 6LWs.The former BCV test vehicle which they acquired in 1967 may have had a Bristol BVW initially.

Brian Crowther


25/12/19 – 05:52

Geoff, I must admit that I cannot remember exactly where I read about the engine swap – I think that it was in "Buses" magazine. However, the page on Rob Sly’s website for KVF 658E (the preserved survivor from this batch of RESLs) says that the engine was swapped during 1969.
http://bcv.robsly.com/kvf658e.html
Other online sources say that it now has a 6HLX, so presumably it was changed again (or never changed at all!)

Nigel Frampton


25/12/19 – 05:53

Think the RESL at Carlton Colville has a 6HLW.

Roger Burdett


26/12/19 – 06:15

Nigel is correct, the 14 RESL’s 647 to 660 were delivered with 6HLX engines which were later replaced with 6HLW’s from RELL’s but without checking back I can’t confirm which RELL’s were delivered with 6HLW’s. I thought they may have been replaced with a later batch but as the first 14 RELL’s RL665 to 678 all had PPW registrations it’s possible that they were the donors.

Mark Ellis


28/12/19 – 06:18

Is the Bedford missing it’s front grille? It seems we are looking directly at the radiator without anything covering it.

Chris Barker


28/12/19 – 09:20

Looking at various photos of the four Bedfords in the batch SB661-664 (NAH 661-664F), the grille format appears the same on them all even after sale to other operators.
As Chris B says it does look very much like the grille is missing. Looking at photographs of the examples operated by West Yorkshire (4) and Western National (12), also new in 1967, all those seem to have more obvious grilles.

David Slater


28/12/19 – 15:10

NAH 663F

This photo, taken on the same occasion, shows SB663 is fitted with a manually adjusted radiator blind in the traditional Bristol on-radiator fashion.

NAH 663F_2

I don’t remember if this was ECW standard or an ECOC special.

Geoff Pullin


22/01/20 – 06:45

Not ECW norm-see www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=30561

Stuart Emmett


23/01/20 – 08:56

In the close-up shot it would appear that the grille on the VAM has been set back from the front panel to allow for the fitting of a radiator blind. Whether this was fitted ‘in build’ by ECW at Lowestoft, or done by Eastern Counties themselves I’ll leave it to the ECOC experts.

Brendan Smith


 

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West Yorkshire – Bristol LS5G – MWY 226 – EUG 15

West Yorkshire - Bristol LS5G - MWY 226 - EUG 15

West Yorkshire Road Car Co
1954
Bristol LS5G
ECW DP41F

Quite what this Harrogate based West Yorkshire LS5G was doing in Waterhouse Street, Halifax, in the summer of 1965 I am unsure, but it seems to be a curious choice of vehicle if it was on private hire duty. No doubt our Halifax experts will come up with a suggestion. MWY 226 was delivered to West Yorkshire’s Harrogate depot in July 1954 as a dual purpose vehicle and it then carried the fleet number EUG 15 (Express Underfloor Gardner). In March 1959 its role was downgraded to that of a bus with the new fleet number SUG 15 (Single deck Underfloor Gardner) in which guise, a trifle battered, it is seen here. It was still based at Harrogate when finally withdrawn in October 1968 thereafter passing into the hands of dealers.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/10/19 – 05:24

Although West Yorkshire’s LS5Gs were renumbered from EUG to SUG, and repainted in the livery shown, they retained their dual purpose seats until some time in the sixties, so would have been suitable for a private hire job, especially if it was a summer Saturday.
Many years ago Crosville charged a lower rate for private hires if a dual purpose vehicle was used rather than a coach. Perhaps West Yorkshire had a similar scheme?

Don McKeown


18/10/19 – 05:25

West Yorkshire never bought any new LS pure service buses, but they did eventually re-seat many of the dual-purpose vehicles with bus seats. Sixty-eight were received as LS5G’s with ECW DP41F bodies and they came in five batches from 1953 to 1958. All of them had no rear indicators and the front indicators were always of two side-by-side windows. Each of the five batches had slight body variations and this along with West Yorkshire’s "normal" policy of declassifying/ re-seating/ livery changes gave a visually mixed and varied picture.

Stuart Emmett


20/10/19 – 06:39

I think it made economic sense to buy saloons in DP form then as they became older to reseat and down grade them to buses. Although I would love to know where all the bus seats came from to facilitate this, presumably from older, withdrawn stock.
A common nick name for the "SUG"s was "SLUGS" presumably due to the limited power produced by their five pot Gardners.

Mr Anon


21/10/19 – 06:07

ECW did some of the bus seat conversions Mr. Anon = a long way to/back from Lowestoft.

Stuart Emmett


28/10/19 – 06:57

Some fascinating memories, and how good it is to see the stalwarts getting some recognition. They were put to work on anything going. I used to work as a junior traffic clerk, latterly at Low Harrogate in the mid-60s, which was where tours and private hires were dealt with. There was no discount for using DPs instead of coaches. All quotes for hires were charged at the same mileage rate and the whole fleet for the allocation to Harrogate was particularly smart because it was Head Office. You should have seen the things which were hired out when the film "Sound of Music" was showing in Leeds! We were desperately short of vehicles and reckoned we could have hired out a tow truck. Private hire and tours were based in Montpelier Parade, Harrogate, which, if I remember correctly, had been completely refurbished some time around 1964.

LWR 431

There was one LS which stood out from the rest and was a product of West Yorkshire’s involvement with Cave-Brown-Cave. It seemed to work OK, but I remember one journey from Bradford to Harrogate on a dreeky damp day when this SUG had for some reason been put on the 53 service (probably working its way back to the depot it always worked from). It dripped and dribbled merrily down the inside of the windscreen.

David Rhodes


29/10/19 – 05:34

LWR 431 entered service in 1953 as EUG1 with a DP41F body and was delivered in the normal "express" livery of red with cream relief and this included the windscreen.
Fitted with Cave Brown Cave heating in late 1954 or early 1955 or early 1957 (and also was reported as 1/1965!!!) but this was most likely to have been concurrent with being reseated in 1957 as SUG1. The CBC system was placed in the destination box compartment, so the destination box was moved to be below the windscreen. First was a very small box, then was, as seen, in the pix from David.
Reseated as SUG1 by ECW as B45F in early 1957 and with no cream on the front windscreen.
Renumbered SMG1 in April 1962 when fitted for OMO.
Garaged at Pateley Bridge depot from 1956 to 1968 for the routes into Harrogate, it also regularly operated in the early 1960’s one return journey on route 51 to/from Bradford that left Harrogate at 0820 hours.
Withdrawn in July 1969 and then to North dealers in November 1969.

Stuart Emmett


 

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East Kent – Leyland Titan TD4 – JG 7017

Roger CoxJG7017

East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd.
1936
Leyland Titan TD4
ECW L27/28R

In 1936, East Kent received twenty examples of the Leyland TD4, JG 7010-29, all fitted with Brush L27/26R bodywork with curiously outmoded piano front destination displays (though these were rebuilt with conventional destination indicators before the outbreak of WW2). They were immediately followed by a further TD4 batch of fifty, but these had Park Royal L27/26R bodies, before deliveries switched to the newer TD5 model, sixty five of which arrived before the outbreak of war. In the post war period, East Kent extended the lives of many of these reliable machines by a rebodying programme using the products of Eastern Coach Works and Park Royal. In the picture above, taken in Canterbury Bus Station in 1961, TD4 JG 7017 with 1948 ECW L27/28R body (East Kent did not use fleet numbers, but took care to avoid the duplication of the number element of the registration) stands alongside two Guy Arabs. EFN 185 was one of a batch of forty Arab IIIs, EFN 170-209, with 6LW engines and Park Royal L27/26R bodies delivered in 1950. This was the style of body fitted to some of the rebodied TD Titans. The 1950 batch of Arabs comprised the last lowbridge double deckers to enter the East Kent fleet. At the far end of the line up, GFN 909 of 1953 was East Kent’s first example of the Arab IV with Park Royal H30/26RD bodywork, though GFN 908, the very first Arab IV in the East Kent fleet had a Guy built body of 1950 without platform doors that had been originally intended for an Arab III of Newport Corporation; when Newport cancelled that order, the body was transferred to the East Kent Arab IV chassis.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


09/07/18 – 05:58

Does Roger Cox mean Bible destination displays?

Stephen Howarth


10/07/18 – 07:24

Are these the "Bible" destination blinds shown on the EYMS Beverley Bar Titan on this site?

Joe


10/07/18 – 07:25

No, the roller blind destination box on these original Brush bodies projected forward from the front bodywork above the cab. A picture may be found on page 10 of the book "Glory Days – East Kent" by Glyn Kraemer-Johnson and John Bishop.

Roger Cox


10/07/18 – 07:27

The following web page of Leicester City Transport vehicles illustrates some examples of the Brush bodywork style fitted to the 1936 East Kent TD4s. https://books.google.co.uk/books

Search for AEC Regent 53, JF 1529, and Leyland Titans 54/57, JF 1530/33, which appear fairly near the top of the page. The fitment of this 1931 style of bodywork to the 1936 batch of East Kent TD4 Titans seems to have been a curiously retrograde policy.

Roger Cox


 

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