Old Bus Photos

Black and White – AEC Reliance – AAD 249B – A249

AAD 249B

Black & White Motorways
AEC Reliance 2MU4RA
Harrington Grenadier C41F

This batch of five coaches seems to be rarely photographed despite their superb appearance enhanced once again by a beautifully simple livery on the most elegant of bodies.
Delivered in May 1964 they were AEC Reliance 2MU4RA chassis with Harrington Grenadier C41F coachwork, fleet No’s were A247-A251, the photo was taken on Marine Parade Eastbourne probably in the summer of 1965.
My impression was that Black and White operated very few extended tours or other excursion work instead concentrating on their extensive express service network, perhaps someone can confirm or contradict me on that point.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

29/06/16 – 16:14

I am not sure about extended tours but I think that Black and White did have a day excursion programme- how big the catchment area was I do not know.
Given the peak requirements on Summer Saturdays, a source of midweek revenue was desirable.
The only company I can think of with an express commitment pattern like Black and White (Yelloway) did have a substantial day excursion traffic with a huge catchment area.

Malcolm Hirst

11/07/16 – 07:30

Black and White did handle quite a lot of excursion work as Malcolm states. Sometimes the official definition of ‘Excursions and Tours’ as used by the Traffic Commissioners etc was over embracing in many cases as operators may have run excursions but may not have run extended tours.
In Kevin Lane’s book ‘Glory Days – Black and White’ there is the odd reference to ‘tour’ work (in the context of ‘not excursion’ work like these passages:
In addition to its work for Associated Motorways, Black & White was very active in the field of tours and excursions, which is how it all started out.
An eight day luxury tour was also offered to North Wales and Snowdonia.
‘he best – usually the newest – vehicles were used for tour work, which required the hiring of vehicles from other operators to fulfil Associated Motorways commitments. A pool of drivers employed on tour work was established based on seniority – a highly prized position.
There are numerous references to ‘tours’ to the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean etc which I think were references to day excursions but that is just my interpretation.

David Slater


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Black & White – Leyland Leopard – DDG 256C – 256

Black & White - Leyland Leopard - DDG 256C - 256

Black & White Motorways
Leyland Leopard PSU3/3R
Harrington C47F

DDG 256C is a Leyland Leopard with Harrington coachwork, in the fleet of Black & White Motorways of Cheltenham. We see her at Southampton Coach Station – the "real" one in Bedford Place – on 22 August 1970. She’s on an Associated Motorways (remember?) service to Derby.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

03/01/16 – 10:44

256, Black & White/A M, Harrington. She would have been on the cross country service via Oxford that ran with connexions at Oxford with the Northampton – Bournemouth service crewed by outbased drivers.


07/01/16 – 08:36

If the Derby destination is correct, a check of the Associated Motorways timetable suggests this is more likely to be operating a summer Saturday journey which used the M5 and kept through traffic out of Cheltenham. It’s 09:34 from Portsmouth, 11:15 Southampton to Derby for 19:50. Non-stop from Southampton to Kidderminster apart from a halt at Strensham services.
I don’t think Derby was served off the daily Oxford "mini interchange" – just Northampton and Nottingham by further connection.

Mike Grant

19/01/16 – 10:19

The timetable and the fare chart, where two things. The fare chart had routes that we could combine, often services, that include a mileage charge to be paid to Western/Southern National or other operators for running at peak times on their routes. This was so one coach would take the overloads for a couple of routes, often to cover holiday fortnights. At certain time of the year seasoned travellers would apply by post for tickets on direct coaches, from their area to the coast.
Then one Saturday morning the wrong charts got printed, instead of route instructions being printed direct night service via Cheltenham ere printed. The police where not to happy, we brought Cheltenham to a stand still at 01:00 in the morning, private operators who did the same work for years made their only visit to Cheltenham to be told to go away. We did have a few deckers turn up with overloads or taxis, one decker came up from Bridgewater, when we thought we had got rid of it it turned up at 03:30, on the night service driven by a fitter with another overload, or the Red and White with 9 taxis following who wanted paying there and then.
Monday morning when the traffic manager and the accountant went through the cash books the duty clerk and inspector had some explaining to do, or why they booked 7 rooms at Carrs Hotel for Ribble/Yorkshire Traction drivers who came down on overloads from various points who expected to return straight away only for us to use their dps to move the passengers on.


19/01/16 – 15:47

Yes, the Derby destination is correct. This entry on the blind shows quite clearly on my original, but please, nobody ask me to translate the windscreen sticker!

Pete Davies


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Black and White – AEC Reliance – 8222 AD – 222

Black and White - AEC Reliance - 8222 AD - 222
Copyright Bob Gell

Black and White Motorways
AEC Reliance 2MU3RV
Duple C37C

Seen at their base in Cheltenham Coach Station on Sunday 20 August 1967 on Associated Motorways services are two members of the Black and White Motorways fleet. 182 (PAD 182) is a Willowbrook bodied Guy Arab LUF, new in 1955 and 222 (8222 AD) is a Duple bodied AEC Reliance new in 1961. Both are 37 seaters, with a centre entrance, which was standard for Black and White at the time, apart from a batch of 5 Roe Dalesman bodied Reliances new in 1959, which had 41 seats and a front entrance. The somewhat flamboyant Duple body on 222 contrasts with the restrained, classic elegance of the ECW bodied Bristol MW in Royal Blue livery alongside, also on Associated Motorways work.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Bob Gell

05/09/12 – 08:45

Another gem! I never experienced Cheltenham Coach Station, but I had two years of coach travel between Birmingham and Lancaster in the 1966/68 era. A veritable rainbow on steroids.

Pete Davies

05/09/12 – 08:46

What a great pic. Things aint what they used to be. Thanks for sharing that.

Les Dickinson

06/09/12 – 06:53

As an AEC (and Bristol) man, it’s amazing how many Guy Arab UF/LUF coaches have pitched up on this forum in recent months. I never came across one personally, but it is significant how many of you hold them in high regard and great affection.

David Oldfield

07/09/12 – 07:17

On that subject, David, in 1955 Northern General took delivery of 16 Weymann Fanfare’s, 6 on AEC chassis went to Wakefield’s, the other 10 for Northern were on Guy Arab UF/LUF and had the almost indestructible Gardner 6HLW. They had quite long lives for coaches, they were re-trimmed an re-seated by Plaxton’s in 1964 and were still around in 1968. Sadly I don’t think any survived into preservation, but to my mind the Fanfare was timeless classic that wouldn’t look out of place now

Ronnie Hoye

07/09/12 – 07:19

I worked in and out of Cheltenham from Eastbourne in the summer during the early 70’s when working for Southdown arriving to connect with the 16:00 hrs mass departure and leaving the next day with the 14:00 hrs departure these mass departures were a sight to behold looking chaotic but in reality very well organised any late arrivals contacting the control office to advise of any onward connections so that only those services needing to be held back were.
I remember the Reliance/Duple coaches by that time relegated to mainly duplicate journeys and were not very popular and known to all Black & White drivers as "Bubblecars" usually given to first season drivers who were then told to follow the service car he then found the service driver with the well known request "don’t lose me as I’ve never done this run before". I never lost one and always felt sorry for them as I felt it was not a good way to learn any route especially one like ours which took around 7 hours. One of the station inspectors told me they could get around 140 coaches in the yard, to me it seemed they proved it on many summer Saturdays and as this was in the very early days of National white livery with many vehicles still in company colours it was a truly magnificent sight also of course there were many private company vehicles on relief journeys which added to the spectacle. Oh happy days.

Diesel Dave

08/09/12 – 07:31

I agree about the Weymann Fanfare, Ronnie.

David Oldfield

10/09/12 – 07:30

Ronnie and David, the Northern General Guy Arab LUFs with Weymann Fanfare bodies were my favourite coaches of all time – see half way down this page //sct61.org.uk

Peter Williamson

11/09/12 – 06:39

As you say on the other site, Peter, the Guy Weymann’s were extensively used on the Newcastle – Liverpool service and that was pre motorway era, so regardless of the route you took it involved a lot of up’s and downs on single carriageway roads, but it says a lot about the vehicles that they lasted as long as they did, reliability was never an issue but at times seating capacity was

Ronnie Hoye

27/05/14 – 14:00

I Remember it well driving my new 53 seater Ford with Plaxton body on dupe from Leicester to Cheltenham and ending up in Devon on service, Anyone out there remember the old Caff in Bridgewater open all night.

I Williams
Ex N & S Travel

07/03/20 – 07:25

During the late fifties to mid sixties my family travelled at least once every year from Eastbourne to Cheltenham to stay with my Aunt and family. A seven to eight hour journey through every town and village from south to north west. I, as a child thought the older coaches were very comfortable, probably Guy’s. They left Eastbourne Southdown depot in a queue, Black and White coaches being a highlight of the trip. I remember coach drivers changing places by a complex arm link dance on the move. Pretty common for those days on long trips.



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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 15th April 2024