Old Bus Photos

Provincial – AEC Regal 4 – CG 9607 – 24

Provincial - AEC Regal 4 - CG 9607 - 24                                                                                          Copyright David Whitaker

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
1934
AEC Regal 4
Harrington B32R

I well remember these Regals from my childhood in the Gosport area between 1949 and 1952. The very first Regal 4 – the Arabic numeral denoted the installation of a four cylinder engine – was converted in June 1930 from a stock Regal chassis simply by replacing the 7.4 litre six cylinder petrol engine with the four cylinder 5.1 litre petrol used in the Monarch and Mercury goods ranges. However, sales of the new model were very modest in comparison with the main competing four cylinder offerings, the Leyland Lion and Dennis Lancet. In March 1933 an oil engine option became available for the Regal 4, initially of 5.35 litres capacity but soon increased to 6.6 litres, which enhanced the market appeal of the model. Provincial took an interest and ordered eight, CG 9606-9613, numbered (rather illogically, though this might have reflected the 1934 delivery dates) as 23/24/29/30/25/26/27/28, with Harrington B32R bodywork. These Regals went on to acquire a legendary reputation in enthusiast circles. In 1945/46 the four cylinder engines in these buses were replaced by 7.7 litre six cylinder units. Between 1953 and 1955 four of the batch were rebuilt to forward entrance format and then, in the years from 1957 to 1962, all eight received new Reading bodies, varying in capacity from FB33F to FB35F.

CG 9607

The final two rebuilds, CG 9607 and 9612 had bodies partially constructed by Provincial and completed by Reading. At the end of 1966 the redoubtable manager, Mr H Orme White, who had begun his Provincial career at the Great Grimsby Street Tramways Company, retired at the age of 81 after 30 years at Gosport, and the inexorable decline of the Gosport & Fareham business then began. Under the new manager, withdrawals of the Regals took place between 1966 and 1970, Provincial Traction having been sold off in the interim period to the Wiles Group, later renamed the Swain Group, part of the Hanson Trust, in 1969. The title picture above was given to me in 2006 by David Whitaker, the owner of the also illustrated 1961 rebuilt survivor, CG 9607, and it shows Nos 25/24/23, CG 9610/9607/9606, possibly not long after delivery in 1934. I did initially wonder if the photograph had been taken at Hoeford, but the unidentified double decker in the background is not a Provincial vehicle, though it certainly appears to be contemporary with the second half of the 1930s. More information about these Regals may be found at this link.
Click on the arrow near the bottom of the page and then select ‘Provincial AEC Regals’ from the list that appears.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


 

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E J Deeble, Liskeard – Leyland Tiger Cub – MMR 553 – 4

MWR 553

E J Deeble Liskeard
1955
Leyland PSUC1/2
Harrington C41C

E J Deeble operated some local services in the Liskeard area of Cornwall. In June 1978 this coach originally owned by Silver Star, Porton Down who sold out to Wilts and Dorset in the 1960s was operating a service outside Liskeard Railway Station – a commendable bus/rail link. Note the raised front headboard above the destination boxes where the Silver Star motif was originally fitted. This bus can’t have been ideal for local service work because of its centre entrance.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


04/05/20 – 05:52

This coach and its Silver Star fellow appears elsewhere on OBP: www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/

Roger Cox


05/05/20 – 05:54

I have been interested this operator since I first saw a picture of 2 of their Leylands, a Cub and Comet in the book ‘Buses in Camera South West’ by Norman Aish, published in 1977. About 25 odd years ago returning from Cornwall to the Midlands I decided to take detour to Upton Cross, there I found in a Portacabin office a Mr Deeble who explained to me he was the son of the founder. He went on to chat about the company saying where ever possible they bought Leylands . He also related the story of a new Comet chassis that was shipped to a local bodybuilder (non PSV, I can’t remember the name). When the vehicle was complete it was found to be too tall to exit the building. The answer was to remove the wheels and drag the vehicle out on its hubs! (I have no idea if this is true but it is what I was told). Mr Deeble also said that the single vehicle garage next door, was not only built by his father, but he made the bricks as well! I could have chatted for ages but as my wife was waiting patiently in the car I decided it best to resume my journey to the Midlands. So a random detour proved very successful on that occasion.

John Rentell


06/05/20 – 07:21

Further to my post above concerning the Deeble Leyland Comet with a locally built body I have come across the following details in a list kindly supplied by Roger Grimley some years ago.MRL 910, Leyland Comet with a 33 seat Mashford body new on 5/50 and withdrawn on 5/71 after accident damage. As I have not heard of Mashford previously I am wondering if this is the vehicle Mr Deeble was referring to as a local body builder. If anyone has a picture I’d love to see it.

John Rentell


06/05/20 – 07:23

On the hubs? That’s nothing: http://archive.commercialmotor.com

Martin Ingle


07/05/20 – 06:42

John R, no picture, I’m afraid, but apparently Mashford Brothers were boat builders who had a go at building coaches for a while. They were/are based in Cremyll, Cornwall and it seems they are still in business today as boat repairers.

Chris Barker


08/05/20 – 06:19

John, there’s a photo of MRL 910 (when past its best) on flickr – https://flic.kr/p/RMTprx  – new to Deeble 5/50. According to James Taylor in his book A-Z of British Bus Bodies, Mashford built six bodies at their boatyard at Cremyll, two in 1948, two in 1949 and two in 1955. The first two were Bedford OB, ECO 746 and ECO 997 for Millbrook Steamboat and Trading Company. The remaining four are captured by photographs on flickr. MRL 764, Austin for Hawkey, Wadebridge – https://flic.kr/p/xXkkAf  MRL 910 as above and URL 838/9 for Willis, Bodmin – https://flic.kr/p/xYtRjG 

David Williamson


10/05/20 – 06:52

David, thank you for sending these links. When the first Mashford body appeared on my screen I was not sure what to expect, however I think they look pretty good, identifiable by there own style side flashes. The Deeble Comet looks to have suffered serious damage to the off-side front, so understandably it was withdrawn, but apart from that it looks OK for a 20+ year old motor. If I can just master printing from FLICKR I can add these shots to my lists of these operators.

John Rentell


 

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Wilts & Dorset – Leyland Tiger – CHR 485

CHR 485

Wilts & Dorset Motor Services
1940
Leyland Tiger TS8
Harrington C32R

When photographed at Brighton during the 1970 HCVC Rally, this ex Wilts & Dorset Leyland Tiger TS8 with a Harrington C32R body had been converted into a caravan. A picture of this coach in its former glory may be found here:- www.flickr.com/photos/ingythewingy/ 
Although the TS8 had nominally been superseded by the TS11 in October 1939, the exigencies of war resulted in deliveries of the earlier version continuing well into 1940, when Wilts & Dorset received fleet number 186, CHR 485. The TS11 model became quite a rare beast from its eventual appearance in mid 1940, and when Leyland turned its entire resources over to war work, the final 22 TS11 chassis emerged as a result of the “unfrozen” programme in 1942. They were the very last TS type Tigers to be produced. The photo in the above link of CHR 485 in Wilts and Dorset ownership is interesting in that the glasses of the destination indicator and those of the fixed passenger windows below the opening sections have flush rubber glazing, which must surely have been a later modification to the 1940 vintage Harrington body. The same features are evident in its later guise as a caravan. I can find no current record of CHR 485 being in existence today.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


23/10/18 – 12:59

Sad that despite having survived till 1970 this superb Tiger is no longer around. Let’s hope that it’s sitting somewhere awaiting restoration, though I feel that that’s unlikely.

Ian Thompson


29/10/18 – 06:08

Sorry, the 1993 Slater/Godwin preserved buses list has it as "chassis only" with the South Lancashire Transport Society in 1986.

Peter Williamson


02/11/18 – 07:05

How come that W&D, I presume a Tilling company, ordered Leyland chassis and not Bristol ones?

Chris Hebbron


02/11/18 – 12:09

In pre-war days, W&D had close links with Southdown, and followed it’s purchasing policies rather than Tilling ones. Indeed, at the outbreak of war, a fair number of Southdown Leyland TD1s found their way to W&D because of the need to cover wartime service personnel services in their area [Salisbury Plain]. The 1942 split of T&BAT arrangements left W&D in the Tilling camp rather than BET.

Michael Hampton


02/11/18 – 12:10

The reason why is surely that this was before nationalisation, and I recall reading somewhere that before WWII Wilts & Dorset was heavily influenced by Southdown – a Leyland fan.

David Wragg


03/11/18 – 06:42

Thx for that, Michael/David. For some reason, most Tilling group company bus photos I’ve seen have always been Bristols, hence my query.
My experiences with Bristol buses has been very limited and greatly influenced, negatively, by the pre-war Bristol K’s on the Isle of Wight, noisy, vibrating things, which made me think that Wilts & Dorset were very wise in buying Leyland vehicles in preference! My other was riding in more civilised post-war Bristol K’s from Fareham Bus Station to Warsash when, living in Southsea, I was posted, for some bizarre reason, to RAF Calshot for a my last 6 weeks National Service!

Chris Hebbron


03/11/18 – 06:44

There were actually quite a few BTC companies that used Leylands – Cumberland, Lincolnshire, Western and Southern National – and even Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company itself!

Stephen Ford


04/11/18 – 07:24

The Slater/Goodwin book told a partially correct story.
The chassis of CHR 485 came to the South Lancashire Transport Society from the well known Bolton PSV dealer – Lister’s. It was acquired as a donor vehicle to aid the restoration of Ribble Tiger 209 (1400), RN 7588. Upon completion of RN, the chassis of CHR was stripped for anything useable and scrapped locally.

Mike Norris


12/12/18 – 08:49

United also had many Leylands, especially fir their London coach services.

Peter Stobart


26/01/19 – 10:02

I remember seeing what remained of CHR 485 at an open day where preserved buses were kept around 1983 at Bolton (Smithills Road rings a bell, please forgive me if I am incorrect). By this time only the front of the cab & chassis remained, great pity when it looked so nice thirteen years earlier & could have been put back to original

Andrew Spriggs


I was very surprised to see a photo of CHR 485 on your page. I and two colleagues bought this bus from Norman Myers (Bolton) in 1973 with a view to restoring it. It was our first venture into restoration however the enthusiasm of our then youth was not matched by any experience and we had to admit defeat after at couple of years when we sold it on. CHR 485 was rebodied by Portsmouth Aviation hence the unusual window panels, however it had been later altered to transport racing cars so the interior had been stripped out and the rear end substantially modified. The engine still ran when we acquired it however we discovered a substantial crack in the block which looked very expensive for our modest means. I have always wondered what became of it and am pleased to learn that it was a useful donor vehicle although would have loved to see it back to working condition.
Time moves on and I have since acquired and restored a Warrington PD1 (EED 5) that I have now owned for over 40 years and which continues to attend several rallies each year.

Phil Clark


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 27th November 2020