Old Bus Photos

East Kent – Dennis Lancet – HJG 6

East Kent - Dennis Lancet - HJG 6

East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd.
1954 – 1957
Dennis Lancet UF – Guy Arab IV
Duple C41C – Park Royal H33/28RD

East Kent’s first foray into underfloor engined vehicles occurred in 1951 when six Leyland Royal Tigers with ornate but rather uncertainly styled Park Royal coach bodies arrived in 1951. In 1953 came two more Royal Tigers, this time with well proportioned Duple C32C Ambassador bodies. Thirty more similar Duple coach bodies, the first six being C32C, the rest C41C, arrived in the following year, but this time mounted on Dennis Lancet UF LU2 chassis, East Kent having been an enthusiastic customer for the front engined Lancet in pre and early post war years. These coaches were registered HJG3 to 32 – East Kent did not use fleet numbers, but duplication of the number element of the registrations was always avoided. This Lancet UF order was the largest Dennis ever received, and the total production figure for the model was a mere 71. Factors influencing this outcome were the low driving position, the high pressure hydraulic braking system and the idiosyncratic Dennis ‘O’ type gearbox, a four speed crash unit with a preselective overdrive fifth. That gearbox had been a feature of the vertical engined Lancet and East Kent drivers were fully familiar with it, but, in the UF model, its remote location together with the engine halfway long the chassis made clean changes by ear difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, these Lancet UF coaches were very refined, fast and reliable, achieving a service life of up to 17 years.
East Kent’s pre war standard double decker was the Leyland Titan TD4 and then the TD5. During the war East Kent was effectively in the front line, and the fleet suffered extensive damage through enemy action in the air and from artillery firing across the Channel from the French coast. Utility Guy Arabs were allocated to East Kent to meet vehicle losses and the rugged dependability of the marque so impressed the company that the Arab became the standard post war double deck chassis up to 1957. The BET preferred supplier system then oversaw the transfer of subsequent orders to the AEC Regent V, though three Bridgemasters were also bought, all with Park Royal bodywork. Thenceforward the melodious murmur of Gardner engine and Guy gearbox was supplemented by the atonal scream of the AEC transmission. MFN 896 was an example of the last batch of Guys, one of 20 Arab IVs of 1957 with Park Royal H33/28RD bodywork of outstandingly classic proportions. The first AEC Regent Vs that followed in 1959 were the PFN registered ‘Puffins’ which wore a full fronted version of the traditional Park Royal design, but thereafter the Regent body deliveries witnessed a decline from the sublime to the ridiculous by carrying the hideous Bridgemaster derived highbridge design that so offended Southampton Corporation that it quickly transferred its long standing patronage from Park Royal to East Lancashire. The ugliness of the design was accentuated later when these Regents were turned out in NBC poppy red.
The picture was taken in Canterbury in 1967 when East Kent was still a BET company, and shows 1954 Lancet UF HJG 6, by then reseated to C41C, alongside 1957 Arab IV MFN 896, with another Arab of the same type to its right. These Arabs originally presented a full destination blind display, but by 1967 the aperture had been reduced to a single line. On the right hand edge of the photo are two of the ugly duckling Park Royal Regent Vs of 1961 onwards that eventually totalled 121 in the fleet.

More details of the Dennis Lancet UF and the earlier Dominant may be found here:- https://www.dennissociety.org.uk/nl/dandl.html.

A detailed article covering EKRCC operations, principally in the Dover area, is here:- https://doverhistorian.com/2016/12/16/east-kent-road-car

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


21/01/21 – 06:24

I’m so pleased to see someone saying what I’ve long thought about the the later Regent Vs. I was a schoolboy in Folkestone in the early ‘60s, and whereas the MFN Guys were my favourites and I quite liked the PFN Regents, I thought the later Regents were freaky and designed by somebody who would probably have done well in some other occupation. On the other hand I was pleased to see the back of the lowbridge PD1As; travelling upstairs on one of those could be a depressing experience.

Don


22/01/21 – 07:38

If it wasn’t for the Duple single decker I was all ready to say "Edinburgh Corporation". What a similarity of livery colours, livery application, double decker bodywork, etc.

Bill


01/02/21 – 06:34

Just to say that this photo is taken at ‘The Garth’ in St Stephens Rd Canterbury.

Clive Bowley


 

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East Kent – Leyland Titan TD4 – JG 7017

East Kent - Leyland Titan TD4 - JG 7017

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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East Kent – Ford Thames 570E – TJG 440

East Kent - Ford Thames 570E - TJG 440

East Kent Road Car Co Ltd
1960
Ford Thames 570E
Harrington Crusader Mk1 C41F

East Kent Road Car Co Ltd. bought this smart unique vehicle into the fleet at the start of the 1960’s, this was a common sight with the coach touring fleets around the country but for East Kent, this was a one off. A Ford Thames Trader 570E #510E34629 with Harrington #2147 C41F body was new in January 1960 to supplement and update its excursion fleet (1xBedford OB; OKE 470 & 2x Bedford SB; GFN 600/1) on the Isle of Thanet, but this work began to wain and TJG 440 found itself regularly working the express runs to London. This vehicle was an elegant looking coach and stood out against the regular "boxlike" London express vehicles of the TFN & WFN batches which East Kent used at the time. This view taken in the works section at the back of Westwood depot, in pristine condition and ready for another excursion around the countryside depicted in "The Darling Buds of May", the Garden of England.
What other rare, unusual or odd looking pictures of PSV’s do you have out there, I look forward to seeing some more very special photos.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ron Mesure


26/01/15 – 06:31

This is certainly an interesting variation, Ron, of the ‘normal’ Cavalier body. I’ve never seen one like this, with a gentle slope forward of the emergency door.

Chris Hebbron


03/09/15 – 07:09

Thanks, lovely to see another old picture of my bus!

Steve


05/09/15 – 07:08

I’ve looked back at my records and have found that I saw this coach at Walton on the Naze on August 28th 1975 while it was with Viceroy but sadly I didn’t take a photo. Please don’t tell me that was forty years ago because that would make me feel very old.

Nigel Turner


01/12/19 – 07:39

I am really pleased to find out that this fine old bus still exists! She features in several East Kent books I have. What is her current state of preservation, and will she be back on the road in the future? I’m just an East Kent bus fan, and old vehicle enthusiast.

Robbie Robson


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 19th September 2021