Old Bus Photos

Aldershot & District – Dennis Lancet III – GAA 611 – 975

GAA 611

Aldershot & District Traction Co.
1948
Dennis Lancet III J3
Strachan C32R

During the latter stages of WW2, all commercial vehicle manufacturers had new models awaiting production to take advantage of an anticipated post war boom in passenger and haulage markets. Dennis revealed EOR 743, its prototype of the Mark III Lancet, in the early months of 1945. A major improvement was the entirely new 7.58 litre O6 diesel housed in a longer bonnet in place of the 6.5 litre O4 in the pre war Lancet. From 1948 to 1951 Aldershot & District took a further 114 examples of the Lancet III with saloon bodywork, and these were complemented in 1948 by fifteen Dennis Lancet J3 coaches with Strachans C32R bodies, GAA 609-623, Nos. 973-987, which replaced the externally very similar O4 powered Lancet II/Strachans C32R vehicles of 1937-38. The post war Lancet was an exceptionally fine machine, and the 24 valve, wet liner, O6 engine was probably the smoothest running commercial diesel engine of the time. Coupled with the Dennis ‘O’ type five speed gearbox, it yielded excellent reliability, a high standard of refinement and good performance on the road. Notwithstanding the apparent complexity of the engine, the Lancet III became popular with and respected by many independent operators. In the 1961 photograph, GAA 611, No, 975, delivered in June 1948, is crossing Bridge Street, Guildford (now one way in the opposite direction) and about to turn right into the railway station. This coach was withdrawn in that same year. In 1953, having sampled a number of underfloor engined demonstrators, Aldershot & District stayed with the faithful front engined Lancet III and ordered fifteen 30ft by 8ft examples of the J10C with Strachans full fronted FC38R bodies. Finally, in 1954 the company bowed to the inevitable and turned to the AEC Reliance.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/06/22 – 06:34

Strachans produced a very distinctive and rather nice coach body after WW2 and this appears to be one of them but it looks so different with a full canopy at the front. It was far more familiar in half canopy form and I imagine it’s purpose as such was to provide better forward visibility for passengers on excursions and tours etc.
Full canopy coaches seem to have been popular with South of England operators, East Kent, Aldershot & District, Southdown, no doubt because of their many London services, they wanted something which looked rather more ‘business like’ and also capable of providing a clear and comprehensive destination display.
Full canopies were also popular with the Scottish companies on coaches but perhaps for different reasons in that they were also used extensively on stage carriage services.
I like this A&D Dennis, it’s a fine looking coach but I do think the side ‘flash’ is a little over done though!

Chris Barker


 

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Southdown – Dennis Falcon – FUF 181 – 181

FUF 181

Southdown Motor Services
1939
Dennis Falcon P4
Harrington B30C

In 1938, Dennis replaced its multiplicity of of small buses for lightly trafficked routes – Dart, Pike, Arrow Minor, Ace and Mace – with one model, the Falcon. This was offered with normal or forward control, the engine options being Dennis 3.77 side valve petrol, or Gardner 4LK or Perkins P6 diesel. In 1938 Southdown took over the Worthing Tramocar business and began replacing the original Shelvoke and Drewry Freighters, at first with new Freighters. More about the Tramocar business may be found on OBP here:- //www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=19218 
In April/May 1939 Southdown moved towards conventional buses for the Tramocar services, and purchased FUF 180/1, fleet nos. 80/1, two forward control Dennis Falcon P4s with Harrington B30C bodies offering easy access to the elderly clientele of Worthing. A third similar chassis, JUF 82, no. 82, but with Dennis B30R bodywork, arrived later that year in December after war had broken out, by which time only about 50 Falcons in total had been been produced by Dennis. In 1949 Southdown again turned to the lightweight Falcon P4, buying a further nine with Dennis B30R bodies, JUF 83-91 with matching fleet nos., for its service between Havant and Hayling Island which crossed a frail, elderly wooden bridge over the Langstone Channel built in 1824, on which a toll applied. Even then the bus went over tentatively and unladen, the passengers having to alight and walk across to rejoin it on the far side. The two ex Tramocar Falcons were transferred to the Hayling Island service to complement the ten later arrivals. The Langstone Bridge was replaced by a new structure in 1956, but the crossing toll remained until 1960. None of the Dennis bodied Falcons seems to have survived, but Harrington bodied FUF 181 of 1939 was once extant on the preservation scene. It is seen above at Brighton on the HCVC Rally in May 1970. Currently it is recorded as undergoing further restorative work. The prominent starting handles on all the Southdown Falcons suggests that they were powered by the robust 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine rather than the Gardner 4LK, but confirmation would be welcome.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/11/21 – 06:24

Hello Roger, I have just checked in Colin Druce’s excellent book ‘Southdown in Austerity’, and he confirms that these buses were indeed fitted with the Dennis 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine.

Roy Nicholson


01/03/22 – 06:47

I read with interest the notes on the captioned. I had been looking for any information regarding its present state, to date, to no avail. However despite my not being fully computer literate I managed to get the following, it is/was with Seaford & District who I understand have been taken over by 7 Sisters Bus & Coach whatever they might be in 01-2021. On the Seaford web site under Vintage Bus there is a Flickr Photopool, under Group Pool, Paul Goldsmith there is a shot of said bus, headed DCS_0105, dated 08/2017. It looks to be a VERY comprehensive works in progress, to say the least!. I should add that I have several times in the past sent E-mails to S&D regarding this vehicle but on no occasion did I get any reply, customer service?.

John Adrian Pearce


 

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London County Council – Dennis Triton – MUL 614

MUL 614

London County Council
1952
Dennis Triton TV3
Dennis B21C

The Dennis company during its independent days was ever prepared to meet specialist needs in the passenger, municipal and haulage transport fields. The Dennis Triton was a flat framed, small passenger chassis, seemingly a variant of the Pax municipal type, with a wheelbase of 10ft 6ins, though a 9ft 6ins wheelbase version was also available for van bodywork. The engine was the dependable 3.77 litre side valve petrol that had appeared in the 1933 40/45 cwt goods chassis and the contemporary Ace bus. This drove through a wet clutch into a four speed sliding mesh gearbox. The hydraulic brakes were non assisted. From 1952/3 the London County Council operated a fleet of 72 Triton TV3 buses with Dennis bodywork for 21 children with central passenger doors on both nearside and offside to facilitate access. A further two had special 12 seat bodywork with a tail lift to cater for the requirements of disabled children. Only one other Triton was built, which carried a Reading 12 seat body for Jersey Motor Transport in 1953, bringing the production total to 75. This little bus featured on a Jersey postage stamp, as seen here – the 1963 date is an error:- www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/

Ex LCC Triton MUL 614 is seen at Brighton on the occasion of the 1966 HCVC Rally, by then in the ownership of one of the National Saturday Clubs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its rather neglected state on that occasion, no present record of this bus seems to exist, nor, sadly, that of any other Triton.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 5th July 2022