Old Bus Photos

Provincial – AEC Regal 4 – CG 9607 – 24

Provincial - AEC Regal 4 - CG 9607 - 24                                                                                          Copyright David Whitaker

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
1934
AEC Regal 4
Harrington B32R

I well remember these Regals from my childhood in the Gosport area between 1949 and 1952. The very first Regal 4 – the Arabic numeral denoted the installation of a four cylinder engine – was converted in June 1930 from a stock Regal chassis simply by replacing the 7.4 litre six cylinder petrol engine with the four cylinder 5.1 litre petrol used in the Monarch and Mercury goods ranges. However, sales of the new model were very modest in comparison with the main competing four cylinder offerings, the Leyland Lion and Dennis Lancet. In March 1933 an oil engine option became available for the Regal 4, initially of 5.35 litres capacity but soon increased to 6.6 litres, which enhanced the market appeal of the model. Provincial took an interest and ordered eight, CG 9606-9613, numbered (rather illogically, though this might have reflected the 1934 delivery dates) as 23/24/29/30/25/26/27/28, with Harrington B32R bodywork. These Regals went on to acquire a legendary reputation in enthusiast circles. In 1945/46 the four cylinder engines in these buses were replaced by 7.7 litre six cylinder units. Between 1953 and 1955 four of the batch were rebuilt to forward entrance format and then, in the years from 1957 to 1962, all eight received new Reading bodies, varying in capacity from FB33F to FB35F.

CG 9607

The final two rebuilds, CG 9607 and 9612 had bodies partially constructed by Provincial and completed by Reading. At the end of 1966 the redoubtable manager, Mr H Orme White, who had begun his Provincial career at the Great Grimsby Street Tramways Company, retired at the age of 81 after 30 years at Gosport, and the inexorable decline of the Gosport & Fareham business then began. Under the new manager, withdrawals of the Regals took place between 1966 and 1970, Provincial Traction having been sold off in the interim period to the Wiles Group, later renamed the Swain Group, part of the Hanson Trust, in 1969. The title picture above was given to me in 2006 by David Whitaker, the owner of the also illustrated 1961 rebuilt survivor, CG 9607, and it shows Nos 25/24/23, CG 9610/9607/9606, possibly not long after delivery in 1934. I did initially wonder if the photograph had been taken at Hoeford, but the unidentified double decker in the background is not a Provincial vehicle, though it certainly appears to be contemporary with the second half of the 1930s. More information about these Regals may be found at this link.
Click on the arrow near the bottom of the page and then select ‘Provincial AEC Regals’ from the list that appears.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/12/20 – 07:16

I remember these very well, especially in the original form. I used them rarely as we used the double deck 1 and 3 services. At the age of ten, I accompanied my family to Malta for three years, and on return found the rebodied examples running around. I am not sure how extensive the rebuild was, as clearly the front had changed and so had the windows and seats, but the windows were very narrow for the late 1950s, and the rear ends seemed unchanged.

David Wragg


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 21st September 2021