Old Bus Photos

King Alfred – Albion Victor – AAA 756 – Victor 6

King Alfred - Albion Victor - AAA 756 - Victor 6

King Alfred Motor Services
Albion Victor PK114
Abbott C20C

AAA 756 is an Albion Victor PK114 and it dates from 1935, when it was delivered to the King Alfred fleet. It has an Abbott C20C body and is seen outside Winchester Guildhall on 25 April 1993, the running day having been moved to April to mark the anniversary of the operator’s sale to Hants & Dorset. Its fleet number was Victor 6, according to the book on KAMS, but such things don’t seem to have appeared on the vehicles themselves. I know I’m digressing and perhaps it’s just my warped mind – please, don’t all agree! – but Victor 6 seems reminiscent of "Z Cars", though there were only ever two of them, ZV1 and ZV2. I know that one of them was KTJ 578 and the other was (numbers unknown) VTB. I know, too, that KTJ was actually a Leyland Comet chassis which was bodied as the Lancashire Constabulary horse box. I saw it parked in Lancaster on a number of occasions. Any thoughts, please about what VTB was?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

23/03/17 – 07:55

ZV2 Registration number was 348 VTB, a Ford Consul saloon in the series. Information found on You Tube, hope this will be of use to the experts.

Ian Mason

23/03/17 – 07:56

No info on VTB, but IMCDb has JVX 959C and PHK 613D as well as KTJ 578 www.imcdb.org/movie_129723-Z-Cars.html

John Lomas

24/03/17 – 17:03

Thanks, John & Ian. I had stopped watching by the time the two Essex registrations came into the programme.

Pete Davies

24/03/17 – 17:03

Both this handsome Albion Victor and the little 1931 Dennis 30cwt, a fraction of which is just visible in the left of the picture, will be in service on King Alfred Running Day on the first of May.

Ian Thompson

28/03/17 – 07:25

AAA 756_2

Here is another picture of this Albion taken in Brighton during the May 1970 HCVC run, when it wore a less than accurate version of the King Alfred livery. I believe this vehicle still has its original 65 bhp 3.89 litre four cylinder petrol engine. The PK114 was the 17ft 2in wheelbase normal control version which appeared in 1934, four years after the introduction of the Victor model in 1930. Victor production ended in 1939 with the outbreak of war. The Abbott business emerged in 1929 from the failure of the car coach builder, Page & Hunt, at Wrecclesham, just south of Farnham on the Bordon/Petersfield Road. The firm concentrated mainly on car bodywork, but, during the lean 1930s, commercial vehicle coach building and sailplane construction was undertaken also, though these latter activities ended with the advent of WW2. Abbott continued car bodywork manufacture post war, but the diminishing market for this specialised business led to the firm’s closure in 1972.
AAA 756 has a curious history. It was bought by Robert Chisnell in 1935 as a coach for special outings, notably to race meetings at Epsom and Ascot, and it continued in service until war broke out, during which conflict it seemingly met with little use. Probably it was lucky to escape being requisitioned by the military. It saw some activity post war until withdrawal in 1949, after which it lurked in the basement of King Alfred’s Chesil Street garage until emerging from its hibernation after private purchase in 1959 by the Rolls brothers. It made several appearances thereafter before a programme of restoration was undertaken by Dave Hurley, by then its owner, in the 1980s. From 1993, now restored and in the correct livery, AAA 756 made many appearances from its base at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, until, in 2013, it became part of the FoKAB fleet. Incidentally, I think that the fleet name/number of AAA 756 is Victor 2 rather than Victor 6. Victor 1 was AAA 755, another PK114 of 1935, but fitted with a Duple C20R body. This was withdrawn in 1951. The third and last Victor to enter the King Alfred fleet in came in 1938, but this was a PK115 forward control example equipped with a Strachan C26F body. This one did get requisitioned during the war, and never came back.
The complete King Alfred fleet list may be found :- at this link

Roger Cox

29/03/17 – 06:25

You are correct, Roger. 756 is listed in the Freeman, Jowitt and Murphy history of the operator as "Victor 2". Now, how did I conjure up "Victor 6"? It can’t be a simple typing error!

Pete Davies

25/12/20 – 06:30

KTJ 578 was definitely a fake number used for filming. I can’t think of a reason apart from the possibility that they wanted a Lancashire-looking number for Z-cars. However, the same number, on a Mark 3 Zephyr, also appeared in the film "The Christmas Tree", in which, weirdly, it was again driven by Brian Blessed playing a policeman (this time in Bagshot!) 348 VTB was a proper number for the time, and probably the right number for the other Z-car.

Jonathan Cocking


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King Alfred – Leyland Atlantean – REU 52E

King Alfred - Leyland Atlantean - REU 52E

King Alfred Motor Services
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2
Roe H43/33F

Here is a Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2 with Roe H76F body, from the fleet of King Alfred Motor Services, Winchester. EU was a Brecknockshire (or Breconshire) registration before 1974, when it passed to Bristol, and King Alfred Motor Services never bought any buses from an operator in that area, so what’s going on? It is really HOR 592E and it has carried VCL 461 as well, but it has reverted to the original plate since I captured this view on 25 April 1993. This was a running day to mark 20 years since the sale of the company to Hants & Dorset.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

03/06/16 – 06:41

HOR 591E

Here is fellow Atlantean HOR 591E seen re entering Winchester on route 11 from Basingstoke in 1970. My first experience of a journey on a Metro Scania (single decker) was on this route in the following year on one of the King Alfred examples. I was not greatly impressed with the rather wallowing standard of ride. R. Chisnell & Sons Ltd, t/a King Alfred Motor Services, ceased operation on 28 April 1973, and the three King Alfred Metro Scanias went to London Country for use on the Stevenage Superbus services. They only lasted until 1977/78, when they were less than seven years old.

Roger Cox

04/06/16 – 06:49

Fellow independents West Riding and South Yorkshire also had Atlaneans with this style of Roe body. All date from around the same time and I’ve often wondered if the small King Alfred and South Yorkshire batches were tagged onto the West Riding order.

Chris Hough

04/06/16 – 06:50

Thanks, Roger. One thing that many cannot understand about KAMS is the continuing use of a number on the destination blind after the introduction of a separate box for the number. I have read that the direction of any particular service was achieved through a simple half turn of the blind, and I’m supposing that it allowed for interchange of blinds between vehicles but, as I noted above, many find it an odd arrangement. The half turn of the blind was useful in a number of cases, such as a series of Hants & Dorset routes from Southampton, where we had Southampton Woodlands, Woodlands Cadnam, Cadnam Nomansland – all very easy for the skilled conductor to do!

Pete Davies

04/06/16 – 06:51

King Alfred HOR592E was taken over by Hants & Dorset as number 2304 in 1973. Then passing to Bristol as number 8600 in 1979.
It passed to the newly formed Badgerline in January 1986 still as 8600 (HOR592E), being re-registered to VCL461 in May 1986.
Upon sale by Badgerline in 1990, it was re-registered to REU52E which was issued by Bristol LVLO.

Dave Farrier

05/06/16 – 07:17

In answer to Chrish Hough’s query about the similarity of livery, I suggest a look at Philip Rushworth’s views in respect of the KAMS Renowns. It seems that the good folk at Charles H Roe made more than one mistake!

Pete Davies

05/06/16 – 07:18

I think that the featuring of the route number within the destination display was simply a measure to allow standardisation of the blinds between single and double deck vehicles, and those double deckers that did not have a separate route number box, like the Guy Arab utilities. Once upon a time this practice might have been disparaged as being "overcareful wi’ munnie", but it has since gone up considerably in the world and is now graced with the name of "Recycling". There is an informative web page about King Alfred:- www.fokab.org.uk

Roger Cox

05/06/16 – 07:19

King Alfred bought a batch of four of these Roe bodied Atlanteans, as a result of a shrewd purchase, through the continuation of a batch in build for West Riding. HOR 589-592E all passed on to Hants & Dorset and, after four or five years, were transferred to Bristol Omnibus and subsequently Badgerline. 589 was numbered 8603; 590 was 8602; 591 was 8601; and 592 was 8600. Three of them were converted to open top in 1979 for service in Weston-super-Mare and later in Bath. The exception was 591 (8601), which retained its roof and seems to have been used as a driver training vehicle and general engineers’ runabout. I saw 591 at Lawrence Hill many years ago and it looked very down at heel.
In 1983, 589 was scrapped. In the same year, 591 was bought by the Friends of King Alfred Buses as a derelict wreck for £40. It was cosmetically returned to King Alfred condition for the running day in 1984. Subsequently, in 1990, FoKAB bought open top 592, which was in much better condition, both bodily and mechanically. But King Alfred had never operated open top buses, so the decision was taken in 1992 to dispose of 591 and transfer its roof to open top 592. This involved parking the two buses close alongside and all screws and fixtures were undone. Then a gang of volunteers lifted the roof and windows from 591 and slid it across to 592. Then a hasty clamber down the stairs of 591 and up the stairs of 592 to receive the roof and begin the process of fitting the roof. The story goes that, despite the two vehicles being from an identical batch, 591’s roof was about ¾ inch longer than the recipient 592. But it was persuaded into place and the remainder of 591 was scrapped.
592 had been re-registered VCL 461, but this registration was retained by Badgerline and subsequently used on a hybrid drive Mercedes minibus, which was experimentally used in Portsmouth, but that’s another story. So 592 was sold with the temporary registration REU 32E, until its proper HOR 592E could be reassigned.
So what you see in the pictures above are indeed 592, with the roof of 591, during the very short period that it operated without its proper registration. And, the lower picture, of the same roof on 591,but the rest of that bus no longer exists.
Finally, as a tailpiece the remaining member of the batch, 590 was acquired by FoKAB in 1987, but, as there are no more suitable roofs available, that remains in open top condition and is a favourite vehicle for rides around Winchester on sunny days.

Peter Murnaghan

06/06/16 – 06:46

Thank you Roger C and Peter M. It’s always good to read your thoughts. Is Peter M still attending "The Castle" or has he now retired from there? I retired from Southampton about 8 years ago.

Pete Davies

07/06/16 – 07:07

Thanks for your kind words, Pete. Now resident in Liskeard, Peter M was released from captivity in The Castle five years ago.

Peter Murnaghan


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King Alfred – AEC Renown – 595 LCG & 596 LCG

King Alfred - AEC Renown - 595 LCG & 596 LCG

King Alfred - AEC Renown - 595 LCG & 596 LCG

King Alfred Motor Services
AEC Renown 3B2RA
Park Royal H44/31F

595 and 596 LCG are AEC Renown 3B2RA vehicles with Park Royal H72F bodywork from the fleet of King Alfred Motor Services of Winchester, and date from 1964. They are both seen during one of the famous Running Days on 1 January 2009. Note the different applications of the livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

07/08/14 – 17:16

Are you sure it’s different livery and not different light? [The mirror is in a different position though.] They are a rather splendid pair. We await developments with a replacement for the New Year running days.

David Oldfield

08/08/14 – 06:02

According to the FoKAB website the event will be 3rd(eve)/4th May next year

Ian Comley

08/08/14 – 06:06

David, Thanks for your comment. Yes, it most certainly is a different green. The two photos were taken on the same day and in similar conditions. I compare it to the different applications of Aldershot & District or West Riding against Southdown.

Pete Davies

08/08/14 – 06:07

I do believe that 595 is lighter green.

Mike Morton

08/08/14 – 06:08

On my computer screen the greens look fairly similar or "why bother with two such similar colours" but on an ipad ("Retina" screen?) they look distinctly different.


08/08/14 – 06:09

Like David, I suspect that this is a trick of the light. I saw the King Alfred (R. Chisnell) fleet pretty frequently, and rode on it occasionally, when I lived in Hampshire from 1966 to 1975, and I recall only one shade of green being used. In fact, I did attend an interview in 1971 to see about a job in the Traffic Dept., but I was less than impressed with the outfit at that stage and didn’t pursue the matter. It was no surprise when it simply folded two years later.

Roger Cox

08/08/14 – 06:10

King Alfred did change their livery in the last years of operation. The upper picture of 595 LCG has the later (final) livery, all the same shade of green. The lower 596 LCG has the earlier livery with the darker shade of green at lower deck level. I think I have stated this correctly, unless the old grey cells are misfiring. (There was a coach livery too in the fifties and sixties, described as "eau-de-nil" – a sort of pale green, with a green stripe or flash related to bodywork embellishments).

Michael Hampton

13/08/14 – 07:05

According to "King Alfred Motor Services: the Story of a Winchester Family Business" (James Freeman & Robert Jowitt, Kingfisher, 1984), the later livery first appeared on the four Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2s (589-592) as a result of a mistake by the Roe paint-shop. Not only was the Brunswick green omitted from the lower panels, but the wheel centres were painted red – this was because these four vehicles followed on from a larger batch (101-125) of almost identical vehicles for West Riding, in whose livery they were mistakenly painted.
Apparently, the Chisnell family (the Directors of KAMS) were quite taken with the result, and decided to adopt the simplified livery (although, I think, without the red wheel centres) as the fleet standard.
This raises a number of questions! Firstly, how can a paint-shop get things so wrong? – even though the application of the KAMS livery was in the same proportions as WRAC’s surely the different destination apertures and application of KAMS fleet-names/legal lettering etc. might have suggested that the four Atlanteans concerned should have not received WRAC livery? . . . and what about final quality control? Secondly, the light green – was the KAMS light green exactly the same shade as WRAC green? – Freeman and Jowitts’ story suggests that the same light green was used on both the WRAC and KAMS buses.
So. Were KAMS offered a cheaper price by Roe if they took the four Atlanteans to more-or-less West Riding specification as a follow-on order? – the bodies are more-or-less identical except for destination aperture, an extra horizontal grab-rail behind the near-side windscreen on the West Riding bodies, and the Atlantean badge on the front of the KAMS buses. Were KAMS persuaded also to use West Riding green as being very close to their own light green? . . . and was that mis-interpreted in the Roe paint-shop as an instruction to use WRAC livery, full-stop?

Philip Rushworth


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