AEC Regent I
Park Royal L26/26R
RD 7127 is an AEC Regent I with ‘oil’ engine, making her an O661. Those with petrol engines did not have the O prefix, and it dates from 1935. It has Park Royal bodywork, to the L52R layout, and we see it at Longcross, Chobham, on 1 April 2007.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies
18/03/17 – 07:14
Sister vehicles 11 and 46 were withdrawn as early as 1950, but the Corporation gave 47 a body rebuild and she ran till the end of February ’56, to the delight of a small knot of enthusiasts, one of whom sat in the front nearside seat upstairs as she rumbled over a cobbled bridge, celebrating the fact that she was now in her 21st year of service.
Seven years later Reading Transport Society member John Whitehead announced that 47 was still active, ferrying mushroom farm employees at Thakeham, W Sussex, and that the owners, A G Linfield, were shortly to donate her to the Society. In October 1963 we went down to pick her up and, being the only one of us over 21, I had the honour of driving. No bus could have been kinder to the novice: ideal driving position, excellent visibility, positive controls with no slack anywhere, nice progressive clutch and brakes,
easy gearbox, reassuring stability…47 has it all. Mike Dare and I did all our pre-PSV-test driving practice on her before joining Smiths Coaches. Over the next few years we covered hundreds of miles in 47 to and from rallies, museums and—sadly—trolleybus system closures. Still in good mechanical shape, she awaits structural work on the body before being fit to carry a full load again.
18/03/17 – 16:12
Thanks for your thoughts, Ian. As previously, if you or any other members of the readership don’t have a copy of your own of this view, Peter has my permission to forward on your request.
18/03/17 – 16:14
Memories of Doncaster’s Regent no 60 which apparently ran from 1942 to 1962 in a similar livery and Roe body, no doubt ferrying miners home from shift. It is no wonder that Donny seemed to like AEC’s: although nothing beats its all Leyland PD2’s with trolley rebodies which all did 25-26 years.
19/03/17 – 07:05
Provincial’s number 35 is a very similar vehicle except for being highbridge. That ran in service 1936-1966 with its original company before being sold to preservation. Its body is teak framed and aluminium panelled which accounted for longevity – does anyone know if this combination was used for other bodies by Park Royal and if they too lasted a long time.
21/03/17 – 15:57
Thanks for the kind offer of a copy, Pete. Superb photo!