Old Bus Photos

Solent Strutters – Bedford SB – 539 XTF

Solent Strutters - Bedford SB - 539 XTF

Solent Strutters Majorettes
Bedford SB5
Duple C41F

539 XTF was a Bedford SB5 with Duple C41F body, and it has been relegated to duty for the Solent Strutters Majorettes group. The registration indicates it was new to an operator in Lancashire in the period 1961 to 1963, depending on the gap between order and delivery (Look, for example, at Lancaster’s 201-203 YTE). We see it in the rally at Netley on 13 July 1986: soon after this it sank to even greater depths with travellers and has since been scrapped. So much is fact, but now we have a question: who was its first operator?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

17/07/16 – 08:12

New to Barnes, Rawtenstall, Lancashire in March 1962, along with with 540 XTF.

David Hick

18/07/16 – 08:39

Thank you, David. I did wonder if the first operator might have been Battersby/Silver Grey of Morecambe. They had several of this combination (well, SB if not this model).

Pete Davies

29/09/19 – 07:08

539 and 540 XTF were the only Barnes fleet members taken into the Ellen Smith of Rochdale fleet when Smiths took over Barnes business. I think they were retained because they possessed a Leyland engine (Smiths were big Leyland users). Ellen Smith kept them until 1967 and they were replaced by two new Bedford VAM/Plaxton coaches.

Andrew Spriggs

30/09/19 – 06:26

Going back to 539 to 540 XTF, many years ago whilst on hire to Ellen Smith one of their drivers told me each one had a Leyland engine. However the original caption of 539 XTF says its a SB5 which would indicate Bedfords own engine. A Leyland power unit would indicate them being SB8 or SB13 models. Perhaps some engine swapping has gone on?, we will never know as most of Ellen Smiths drivers I remember from forty years ago who would know have retired from coach driving or sadly passed away.

Andrew Spriggs

06/10/19 – 08:06

Ended its days with travellers https://www.travellerhomes.co.uk/?p=2356

John Wakefield


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