Old Bus Photos

United Automobile – Bristol LL5G – 991 CHN – GS3

United Automobile - Bristol LL5G - 991 CHN - GS 3

United Automobile Services
Bristol LL5G

These nice looking centre entrance buses did the Scarborough Sea Front Service from The Corner Cafe in the North Bay to The Spa in the South Bay. I think hey were actually rebodied half cab single deckers as NHN 128. I think the bodies were mid 50s and the chassis were from the 30s but they had an easy life on the Sea Front Service. If you know different please put me right any info appreciated.

I have found out that the body was built in 1957 and was a B39C and it was a rebuild on an old 1946/7 chassis. there is a photo here of a very sad view of 992 CHN.

A full list of Bristol codes can be seen here.

A full list of United codes can be seen here.

These fine buses were originally built in 1946/7 as Bristol L5Gs. They were lengthened to 30ft (thus becoming LL5G) and rebodied by ECW in 1957, with a centre entrance version of the old ‘Queen Mary’ style of coach body last produced in 1952. They were fitted with 39 bus seats, and I believe replaced pre-war Leyland Tigers on the Scarborough sea front service.
They were as you say, nice looking vehicles and they must have come as a pleasant surprise to locals and tourists alike, as the buses simply exuded charm and more than a hint of class. It is amazing to think that those curvaceous bodies were all hand built by craftsmen. Their elegance leaves  many modern vehicle designs in the shade. How did they manage without computer-aided design and mass-production techniques? Very well indeed by the looks of it!

Brendan Smith

26/08/11 – 07:27

During the 1950’s and early 1960’s our family summer holidays were mostly in Scarborough, staying in the North Bay. Never mind roundabouts, donkey rides and amusement arcades, the highlight of my holiday would be being taken for a ride from Corner Cafe to Aquarium Top and back on one of these special Bristols. As a child, for a few years my ultimate ambition in life was to move to Scarborough and drive these buses on the 109 Seafront Service.
The reality would probably have been very different, and I suspect that though a steady job, it could have been rather tedious. But I was a child.
It was very sad when one day a few years later whilst out cycling, I called at Jackson’s scrapyard in Bradford and viewed with dismay the dismembered remains of one of these splendid machines in the blue livery of Clugston’s, the contractor. I was surprised to see that behind the ‘frowning’ front grille panel there was still the complete original Bristol L radiator shell and grille and bonnet.
It’s an old cliché I know, but if only one had survived into preservation……..

John Stringer

21/03/13 – 06:36

996 CHN

Talking of sad pictures of United’s special sea front Bristol L Types, here is 996 CHN, obviously at the end of its days in the junk yard in Northumberland. I think this one ended its days with Bedlington and District. Evidently the only thing wanted from this was its engine.

David Rhodes

22/03/13 – 17:00

After a period of no open toppers in Scarborough they were reintroduced by United using Bristol VRS. In the years following de-regulation several companies have run on the route East Yorkshire have used Routemasters Shorelin Suncruisers currently use Metrobuses in the eighties Applebys used a motley collection of older types including an ex Bristol Lodekka and ex Chester Fleetlines a pair of Southend Fleetlines a Park Royal bodied Fleetline from Sheffield and an ex Plymouth Atlantean Scarboro & District (East Yorks) use Alexander bodies Scanias currently

Chris Hough


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 26th January 2020