Old Bus Photos

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


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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!



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Western National – Bristol MW – EDV 502D – 1420

EDV 502D

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
Bristol MW6G

I’m sending you this picture of Bristol MW EDV 502D and EDV 505D because they entered service with Western National in May 1966 – 50 years ago this month. 502D was built in the Jan and 505D in the April. They are Bristol MW6G with ECW C39F body. Unusual in being in Royal Blue colours but with Western National branding in red. They were the third and final design of Bristol MW and some of their detail you can see in the Bristol RE Coaches. They look just as elegant and modern 50 years on. They came together for a special photo shoot at the Taunton running day on May 8th 2016. EDV 502D had been in service during the event running trips to Wellington. EDV 505D had been on static display. The owners drove them round to be photographed in Taunton bus station. They are next scheduled to be together during the Royal Blue Run in June. There already previous pictures of Royal Blue runs on your site. These two vehicles came out of Western National service in 1978

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

19/05/16 – 06:24

Nice, Ken! Thanks for posting. It’s very rare to see sisters posed like this . . .

Pete Davies

25/05/16 – 17:59

Of course Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust look after ex Western SMT MSD 407-8 and the vehicle history suggests they’ve been together in service and preservation ever since they were bodied at Stirling. http://gvvt.org/stock-list

Stephen Allcroft


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