Old Bus Photos

Western National – Bristol L – JUO 943 – 1211

Western National - Bristol L - JUO 943 - 1211

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
Bristol L6B
Beadle C31F – ECW FB39F (1958)

A 1948 Bristol L6B, when it was delivered to Western National it had a Beadle C31F body. Ten years later it was lengthened to a LL standard and rebodied by Eastern Coachworks to this FB39F style, I presume both happened at the same time.
We see it in the Weymouth rally on 1 July 1979,

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

15/05/17 – 07:44

The very fact that this is a Bristol L6B with an ECW body makes this a thoroughly good bus, but what a pity that ECW fell into the trap of the then-current "mouth-organ" fad! I wouldn’t insist that they had gone for a proper Bristol radiator, which would have been the best-looking option, but at least they could have tacked on an enlarged version of the shapely little grille fitted to the SC4LK. Just one of my fantasies…

Ian Thompson

17/05/17 – 07:51

I have a "bought" slide of a Lincolnshire SC in DP guise, with the same style of front end as this. You are right, Ian. The usual SC arrangement is FAR better!

Pete Davies

17/05/17 – 07:52

The "mouth organ" wasn’t designed specially for rebodied Ls. The entire dash panel, complete with grille, was the one used on the coach version of the SC4LK.

Peter Williamson

18/05/17 – 07:52

Peter is right, and OBP has a page showing this type of SC4LK body at :- this OBP link  
Ian is right also, though. The grille is pretty horrible, though nowhere near as bad as some of the Detriot "inspired" excrescences that were to emerge from Duple in the years that followed.

Roger Cox

18/05/17 – 11:02

The front is virtually identical to the SC coaches but on the one CMS ECW re-bodied PS1 (JAO 837), the bulge is greater, as it seems to be on the L6B above.
JAO 837 also had a slightly bottom curved windscreen and the side window framing is also different from the above L6B

Stuart Emmett


Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page



Western National – Tilling Stevens – JY 124 – 3379

JY 124

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
Beadle B35R

JY 124 is a Bristol L, dating from . . . NO!

Despite the Bristol radiator, this is actually a Tilling-Stevens, new to Western National (fleet number 3379) in 1932, and given a new Beadle body in 1947. After some years in use with a fairground operator, it was rescued for preservation, and we see it during the open day at Winkleigh on 3 October 1999. Jenkinson (1978) lists it as a B49A7 while the PSVC 2012 listing notes it as a B39A7. Is there a typing error here, or did the specification change at some point in its history?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

18/12/16 – 13:30

I’d like to warn the readership that this is another in a series of "Not quite what they seem" views. The Darwen Regent V (434 BTE) published a few days ago was in this category, and there are several others in the pipeline subject, of course, to their passing our Editor’s filters.

Pete Davies

18/12/16 – 13:31

From August 1930 Tilling-Stevens (there should be a hyphen between the two words) adopted the abbreviated branding of T.S.M. to allay the perception that the company still had links with the Tilling Group. JY 124 is, or was originally, a B39A7 of May 1932, when it was fitted with a Beadle B32R body. This model was an undated version of the very successful B10 type that first appeared in 1928, that was itself a development of the 1926 B9. From 1931 T.S.M. adopted an alphabetical sequence for its mechanically geared ranges, and, as the letter ‘B’ had already been adopted for the B9/B10, the next model used the letter ‘C’, and so on. The designation B39A7 means:
B – model type
39 – the engine is the four cylinder 5.12 litre Ricardo designed side valve petrol unit that ultimately developed about 75 bhp
A – forward control
7 – the wheelbase is around 17ft 6ins (UK single deck length)
The B49A7 was a much rarer variant using the four cylinder 106 bhp four cylinder 6.97 litre petrol engine used in the TS15A and TS17A petrol electrics. By 1947 the body of JY 124 had been updated to B35R, and the chassis had acquired a Gardner 4LW engine, thus making the chassis technically B4LA7, the ‘4L’ indicating the 4 cylinder Gardner.
In 1937 T.S.M. abandoned the abbreviated badging and reverted to the Tilling-Stevens name.

Roger Cox

19/12/16 – 08:54

Thank you, Roger!

Pete Davies

01/08/17 – 07:34

I think it is strictly incorrect to refer to the radiator on JY 124 as a Bristol radiator. The radiator was manufactured by Coventry Radiators, and is of the same pattern as they supplied to Bristol for use on its buses but I believe they were acquired by WNOC/SNOC direct from Covrad. Similar radiators were available on general sale. I have seen one attached to a generator unit.
As regards the chassis designation, I have been told in the past that it was suffixed with the word ‘Express’.

Peter Cook

02/08/17 – 06:57

Tilling-Stevens adopted the name "Express" – optimistically for a bus with a four cylinder 64 bhp 5.12 litre petrol engine – for the B9 of 1926 and the B10 of 1928, the latter becoming the most successful T-S type in terms of sales in the company’s existence. The B10 was updated over subsequent years through the B39 and (larger engined) B49 models, almost invariably of A7 wheelbase, finally becoming the HA39 and HA49 by 1935. The name was revived in 1950 for the very basic flat framed 30ft by 8ft Meadows 4DC330 80 bhp engined L4MA8 model which was hopefully christened "Express MkII". It was Tilling-Stevens’ swansong and did not sell very well. At the end of 1950, by which time the Bedford SB had arrived on the scene, the Maidstone company sold out to the Rootes group.

Roger Cox

03/08/17 – 06:50

I meant to add that the radiator badge on the WNOC TSM’s was ‘Western National’ rather than the Bristol scroll. Took me a long time with a hand lens peering at Alan Cross’s pictures of the bus in Tavistock and Okehampton to figure out what it said.

Peter Cook


Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page



Western National – Bristol L – DOD 518 – 333

Western National - Bristol L - DOD 518 - 333

Western National - Bristol L - DOD 518 - 333

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
Bristol L5G
Beadle B36R

This vehicle has appeared on this site before but I thought a rear view of it may be of interest. DOD 518 is a Bristol L5G dating from 1940, but she was rebodied in 1950, receiving the Beadle B36R unit (with door) that we see here. The first view shows it in the rally at Netley on 23 July 1989 and the second one shows it at Southsea on 10 June 1990.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

08/11/16 – 07:31

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking it was an ECW body that’s had a bit of front end alteration.

Ronnie Hoye

08/11/16 – 15:21

My thoughts exactly, Ronnie, one wonders if it was a rebuild or a rebody.

Chris Hebbron

09/11/16 – 09:01

Think you will find it is a rebody as a rebuild would be to make again in the same style.

Roger Burdett

09/11/16 – 09:23

Either way, it’s a superb-looking machine, and mechanically every bit as well designed as the appearance suggests. Roger Burdett’s point makes perfect sense, yet many of Thames Valley’s numerous and varied rebuilt TD1s looked very different from the originals. I wonder where we draw the line?

Ian Thompson

09/11/16 – 14:33

Thank you for your various comments gents. All I’ve been able to find about this vehicle says she’s a 1950 rebody.

Pete Davies

10/11/16 – 07:37

Chris, the ‘Bristol SU’ and ‘Classic Buses’ (Survivors) websites give 333’s original body as being Bristol (BBW) B31R, later reseated to B35R.

Brendan Smith

10/11/16 – 07:38

This is a 1950 Beadle body but it was built to a Tilling/THC standard which is why it resembles so closely the standard ECW body. The original body was by Bristol (BBW).

David Beilby

10/11/16 – 07:38

Genuine curiosity: why is this bus in an elegant "Derby Green" when I expected the usual Tilling green from my childhood holidays?


10/11/16 – 09:02

Joe, I think it’s a combination of lighting, film, and being scanned that produces this effect. I recall Derby green as being of an olive tone. This isn’t.

Pete Davies

10/11/16 – 14:34

Looks a bit olivey to me on this pic…Todmorden green or even Salford- but not really Tilling! Must be Fuji!



Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page



All rights to the design and layout of this website are reserved     Old Bus Photos does not set or use Cookies but Google Analytics will set four see this

Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 11th December 2023