Old Bus Photos

Crosville – Bristol RESL6G – OFM 2E – ERG 2

Crosville - Bristol RESL6G - OFM 2E - ERG 2

Crosville Motor Services Ltd
1967
Bristol RESL6G
ECW DP42F

Crosville was the first to operate the then latest version of the Bristol RESL with shortened wheelbase and extended front overhang giving a wider entrance door arrangement. These were also the first with this design of ECW body characterised by the shallow flat windscreens.
Crosville put this batch of six into service in July 1967 on the long Rail Replacement service D94 between Wrexham and Barmouth. This served a sparsely populated area with Llangollen, Corwen, Bala and Dolgellau as the intermediate towns of any size. These six were synonymous with this route for many years but here in 1977 is ERG 2 in NBC days crossing the Cambrian Coast Railway line at Fairbourne on the S28 Tywyn to Dolgellau route. The NBC ‘Local Coach’ version of the leaf green livery with white upperworks looks pretty smart.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


10/07/20 – 06:14

I think these were the only dual purpose RESLs in the THC group of companies, although Midland General famously had two RESHs. Some of these vehicles were used elsewhere when brand new; ERG 2 was new to Llandudno Junction, and ERG 3 and 4 were at Caernarfon, although they soon migrated to the D94. Around 1974, A longer example, ERG 272 was transferred to Dolgellau Depot for use on the D94, and ERG2 was then used on other services from Dolgellau as shown here.
When new, these vehicles were painted cream with a green waistband, and they looked superb in that livery. ERG 3 is magnificently preserved in that livery.

Don McKeown


10/07/20 – 06:16

As far as the shorter length RE was concerned, the RESL seems to have been the almost universal choice for bus work but I wonder about it’s merits for dual purpose use, particularly if some of the front seats faced sideways. However, Crosville seemed to like them and as Ian says, used them on some long services although I’m not too sure about the prospect of sitting rather low down or sideways at the front for perhaps a couple of hours or so.
Midland General had a couple of short REs with this type of body but on the RESH chassis, with 43 dual purpose seats, all facing forward. Surprisingly, I believe they were the only ones bodied by ECW.

Chris Barker


16/07/20 – 10:16

United used the long version of the dual purpose RE on the five and a half hour 505 Newcastle to Edinburgh via Berwick service – not to my mind the most suitable of vehicles, and the seats were not especially comfortable. The route was jointly operated by Eastern Scottish who used Leyland Leopards and AEC Reliances with Alexander Y Type coach bodies. These were much more comfortable to ride on and seemed better suited to the route, although with the disadvantage of high entrance steps. The RELLs would be replaced after a few years by dual purpose RELHs with all forward facing seats and they in turn were replaced by downgraded RELH coaches, originally used on the Newcastle to London service. They would I suppose have been about ten years old then, but were still superb vehicle to travel on, however by that time, the service was being operated in two parts with passengers required to change vehicles at Berwick.

John Gibson


 

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Eastern National – Bristol MW6G – OO 9548 – PL9360

Eastern National - Bristol MW6G - OO 9548 - PL9360

Eastern National Omnibus Co Ltd
1962
Bristol MW6G
ECW C34F

Whilst on holiday in mid Wales in 1971 this coach parked opposite us whilst its passengers enjoyed an ice cream from the conveniently sited van. The location is the Elan Valley from where the large reservoirs fed water to the Birmingham conurbation.
The Eastern National coach was  along way from home on an extended tour of Devon and the Wye Valley. The 34 seats would have given plenty of legroom.
BLOTW gives the original fleet number as 562 but it shows PL9360 here. Is PL a depot code?
At nine years old the coach looks in good fettle. This style of ECW coach body caused quite a stir when introduced – very different from previous ECW designs- but quite pleasing in retrospect.
And what about the registration number – would be worth a lot of money now!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


01/06/20 – 07:35

The code PL refers to Prittlewell Depot which was located in Southend and was an ex Westcliff-On-Sea garage, there was also another ex Westcliff-On-Sea garage in Southend which used the code SD.

Ian Mason


01/06/20 – 07:36

Contrary to appearances, this was actually Tillings Travel PL9360 when the photo was taken. It started life as Eastern National 562 in May 1962 becoming 360 in the August 1964 renumbering. It passed to Tillings Travel as 9360 in January 1971. PL indicates that it was allocated to the Prittlewell (near Southend) garage of Eastern National which maintained the Tillings coach fleet. 9360 passed to Silcox of Pembroke Dock in late 1973 where it served until 1982.
The saga of vehicle interchanges between Tillings Travel and Eastern National has already been covered on this website but I can’t work out how to link to the appropriate page.

Nigel Turner


01/06/20 – 07:37

Apparently this vehicle was renumbered 360 in Aug 1964 then transferred to Tillings as 9360 in Jan 1971. http://www.bristolsu.co.uk/mw/ However the picture clearly shows Eastern National as fleetname.
PL was the garage code for Prittlewell (a former Westcliffe depot) http://www.sct61.org.uk/ 

Stephen Clough


01/06/20 – 07:38

The original fleet number, 562, was changed to 360 in 1964, and the 9 was added when it became part of Tilling Travel (NBC) in 1971. PL will be Prittlewell – depot at Southend. Tillings Travel (THC) Ltd had had some similar MWs from new, also with 34 seats. I have an ECW drawing which shows that those had additional interior luggage shelving at the rear of the coach – in the equivalent space to the 5 person back seat as I recall.

Peter Delaney


01/06/20 – 07:39

PL is the garage code of Prittlewell, and the 9xxx denotes this was a Tilling allocated vehicle.
New 5/62 562 (ironic), became 360 in the 1964 fleet renumbering scheme, then transferred to Tillings Travel in January 1971. The two fleets were closely associated until National Travel (South East) Ltd took control of the coaching unit in 1974.

Ron Mesure


03/06/20 – 06:23

Here is a link to a photo whilst in service with Silcox:- https://www.flickr.com/

Keith Hanbury-Chatten


 

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United Automobile – Bristol RELH6G – NHN 143E – 4343

United Automobile - Bristol RELH6G - NHN 143E - 4343

United Automobile Services
1967
Bristol RELH6G
ECW C43F

United had a small Garage at Pickering where the forecourt doubled up as a Bus Station.
Here 4343 (originally RE43) is loading for a trip along the A170 seventeen miles to Scarborough.
I expect this vehicle retained its manual gearbox which I would think could be tricky on a Stage Service. It is a good looking bus/coach – shame about the livery!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


12/05/20 – 06:48

Are you sure it had the manual gearbox? Crosville’s E registered RELH6Gs had semi automatic boxes. Even in bus livery, these coaches looked beautiful!

Don McKeown


13/05/20 – 07:03

Probably was semi automatic. West Yorkshire’s E registered RELH were as well. As regards manual boxes I remember some West Yorkshire drivers struggling with earlier B, C, and D registered RELL buses.

Stephen Clough


14/05/20 – 06:52

According to United Automobile Services Part Two by messrs. Townsin, Groves and Banks (Venture Publications), this batch RE41-65 were the first coaches to be delivered with semi-automatic gearboxes.

John Gibson


16/05/20 – 06:33

It might be 17 miles from Pickering to Scarborough, but three times a day (twice on Sundays) the route began in Ripon, via Thirsk, Ampleforth and Helmsley to Pickering and Scarborough, distance of some 60+ miles, some of it on minor roads. In 1976 this took around three and a half hour end to end. The route number groups with other Ripon services, but how it was crewed is a mystery to me. I guess Ripon crews were relieved for a break at Pickering, as two of the through journeys had only five minutes turn round at Scarborough. I would be very interested to know more about the operation of the 128.

Andy Buckland


17/05/20 – 06:37

Andy’s comment reminded me that in the James Herriot book "Vets might fly" James bunked off from his RAF training in Scarborough one Sunday afternoon and travelled by bus to "Darrowby" (which we now know to be Thirsk) to see his pregnant wife, Helen. He had less than an hour before he had to catch the return bus – and as I recall it, his absence without leave was never detected! I assume that this escapade, like many others, was founded in real life.

Stephen Ford


18/05/20 – 06:34

Stephen, by 1976, the date of my timetable, this would not be possible on a Sunday, with just two through journeys each way. You had to leave Scarborough at 10:45 to reach Thirsk by 13:35, returning at 18:10. Now, if in earlier years there had been a third return, as during the week, then 12:45 from Scarborough, arrive Thirsk 15:40, return at 18:27 was possible. Add a bit of poetic licence and we perhaps have the basis for the story.

Andy Buckland


20/05/20 – 07:18

I have been looking at the summer timetable for 1957, and it shows that from 7th July to 14th September, there were three journeys each way between Scarborough and Ripon on Sundays. If he left Scarborough at 10.45, he would reach Thirsk at 1.40 p.m. He could then leave Thirsk at 3.50 p.m. arriving back at Scarborough at 6.40 p.m. So yes, this journey would have been feasible as long as it was made at the height of the summer.

John Gibson


20/05/20 – 07:19

I travelled on service 128 from Helmsley to Ripon in 1976 (MWs all the way from Middlesbrough to Harrogate!!). If memory isn’t playing tricks, we had to change buses at Sproxton, west of Helmsley, and the respective buses then returned home. I can’t remember if the change was advertised in the timetable. A trip form Ross-on-Wye to Abergavenny by Red and White in 1970 (MWs again) certainly involved a change at Broad Oak even though the timetable showed the buses working through.

Phil Drake


21/05/20 – 06:56

And there we have the answer, Phil!
Certainly there is no reference to a change of vehicle at Sproxton, indeed it does not even merit entry in the timetable, but if you look at the times for Helmsley and Ampleforth, then buses would cross roughly where Sproxton is. What makes it strange is that Sproxton is only a few minutes west of Helmsley, where some journeys stood time and interchange facilities are much better. Was there perhaps some unwritten rule that Helmsley to Scarborough was dedicated to Pickering/Scarborough drivers and Ripon was “another company”

Andy Buckland


21/05/20 – 06:56

Definitely semi-auto, we had 4344 at Darlington for a while, not the fastest, comfortable for both driver and passengers it did what it was supposed to do. I used to call it the old mans bus.

John Wake


31/08/20 – 06:27

Regarding the operation of the Ripon to Scarborough service, I lived in Ripon in the late 1960s, and at that time the buses definitely worked through on the whole route, but the drivers did not. When opposing vehicles met, usually in the middle of nowhere, they stopped and the drivers changed over, returning whence they had come from. I presume that with three services each way on weekdays, a Scarborough based vehicle would spend alternate nights at Ripon garage, and vice versa. Obvious the drivers would get back home at the end of their shifts.

Chris Appleby


03/09/20 – 06:18

Where the garage was may be seen here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/
It would appear that the property was modified to become the carpet showroom it is in the photograph.
I have a snapshot photograph I took on Sunday 23 July 1972 which has four single deckers parked within. http://www.ipernity.com/

David Slater


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 25th September 2020