Old Bus Photos

Lodge – Bedford SB – MJB 481

Lodge - Bedford SB - MJB 481

Lodge (High Easter)
Bedford SB
Duple C37F

MJB 481 was new to Chiltonia, of Chilton Foliat, in 1956. Chilton Foliat is near Hungerford and is mentioned in the television series ‘Band of Brothers’. It has a Duple body to the C37F layout although BLoW has it listed as C41F, we see it in the markings of Lodge, High Easter, near Chelmsford. It is at Duxford on 28 September 2003. Yes, it’s Showbus and it’s been raining!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

26/03/17 – 09:32

Lodges are getting quite a collection of vintage Bedfords.
BXM 568 Duple since 2/08 (under restoration)
CFV 851 Duple Vista acquired 9/16 (under restoration)
LTA 752 Duple Vista open side 12/10
TMY 191 Duple Vista 11/06
FFS 867 Burlingham Seagull 2/17 (awaiting restoration)
MJB 481 Duple Vega by -/89
EDD 685C Duple Bella Vega 2/14
DJL 126D Duple Bella Venture 2/14 (awaiting restoration)
HDL 126D Duple Bella Venture 8/15 (spares doner for DJL 126D) also
Chevrolet X
ES 8440 charabanc replica 4/15

John Wakefield

13/06/17 – 07:30

Re John Wakefield post Lodges coaches.
Bedford OB CFV851 is shown in a photo elsewhere taken by John showing Isle of Wight destinations. I believe this coach operated on the Island in the 1970s. Does anyone know who with and when

Andrew Mead

24/06/17 – 06:26

Andrew Mead asks if Lodges Bedford OB CFV 851 body has ever operated on the IoW
not according to the history I have on it. Although I don’t have a town for Couchman. After that it appeared to have spent time in Surrey, Gloucestershire & London before going to Fisher of Southend in 1976. It then spent 38 years in preservation with Doug Payne of Thundersley, Essex before going to Lodge in June 2016.
New to Wood t/a Seagull Coaches, Blackpool 3/48
?/?? Couchman, -?-
5/70 Chivers Coaches, Elstead
?/?? McCann, Forest Green
1/73 Taylor. London
1/74 Baker, -?- (dealer)
?/?? W.E. Preservations, -?-
-/76 Fisher, Southend
-/78 Doug Payne, Thundersley – kept at Castle Point Transport Museum
9/16 Lodge, High Easter 9/16

John Wakefield

14/02/20 – 06:42

Just to add to CFV 851’s history. Looks like it worked for Crouchman Garage on Maidstone Road, Lenham, Kent 1966-70 and prior to 1966 was with an operator on Station Approach in West Byfleet, Surrey for a few years after leaving Blackpool (possibly since 1957?). From 1/72 it operated for Tony McCann t/a McCann Coaches at Forest Green Garage, Dorking Surrey. Don’t know if anyone can further enlarge the info on Richard Haughey’s flickr photo!

Peter Hadfield

15/02/20 – 06:23

The only things I can add to the history of CFV 851 is that Wood withdrew it in February 1952, after which it passed to Howarth, West Byfleet (no dates recorded) and the Lenham operator was Couchman, rather than Crouchman, and it was acquired by him in October 1966.

John Kaye

16/02/20 – 06:07

Douglas Payne, the long time owner of CFV 851, published a booklet dated October 1989 containing a brief history and a number of early photos of S&J Wood Ltd, the coach’s original operator. Douglas had restored the coach to Wood’s Seagull Coaches livery, though whether it remained like that I do not know. In it, he records that he purchased the coach in May 1978 (recorded as -/78 above).

David Williamson

20/02/20 – 15:52

CFV 851 remained with Doug and in Seagull livery until he sold it the Andrew Lodge in 9/16 when it was painted in Lodge’s livery. For most of its life with Doug it was housed in the Castle Point Transport Museum on Canvey Island. In latter years it did not venture far, but now back into revenue earning service as part of Lodges heritage fleet. Numerous pics of it on Flickr.

John Wakefield


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Berrys Coaches – Bedford SB – 107 GYC

Berrys Coaches - Bedford SB - 107 GYC

Berrys Coaches (Taunton)
Bedford SB3
Duple C41F

107 GYC is a Bedford SB3 with Duple C41F body, new to Bowerman, Taunton, in 1960. In this view, it is in Lodmoor Car Park, Weymouth, showing ‘Berrys’ in the indicator box and visiting the annual rally, although it doesn’t appear to be taking part in it. I have recollections of submitting this in the past, but it hasn’t been published (possibly as too dark) but I have a new editor now, and I’ve managed to lighten it! The date is 1 July 1979.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

22/01/17 – 13:03

107 GYC_2
(pic by ‘Showtrac’ via Flickr).

Bedford SB3 Duple Super Vega, 107 GYC passed to Andrew Hall, Winkhill by 1997 & then to current owner Roger Chambers of Bristol for preservation in 9/05, pic taken just prior to the move to Roger Chambers.

108 GYC

Sister vehicle 108 GYC also new to Bowerman, was last known with Redwoods of Hemyock. My pic shows it withdrawn in a barn at the rear of Brian Redwood’s bungalow in April 2004. Is it still there?
Both coaches had 7ft 6in wide bodies for the narrow Devon lanes.

John Wakefield

23/01/17 – 07:36

What a superb preservation of a grand unpretentious vehicle. My admiration of Bedford/Duple coaches knows no bounds – they "did what it says on the tin" and grand style and with no empty embellishments.

Chris Youhill

26/01/17 – 10:28

I have recently spoken to Redwoods & they still have 108 GYC in the shed as in my pic above. They have no plans to sell it at this time.

John Wakefield

28/04/18 – 07:47

That SB showing Doone Valley may have been ridden in by me, as it was a regular summer afternoon ride on Berrys from Taunton, including up Porlock Hill, along the narrow lanes to the Doone Valley Farm for tea, then Lynmouth (adults into the pub), and home immediately up Countisbury Hill.
The old Bedfords just engaged bottom gear and wound up the A39 1 in 4 gradients. It was a bit difficult for the cars behind on the steep hills who couldn’t quite manage the slow walking pace on the uphill.



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Don’s Coaches – Bedford SB – NKY 161

Don's Coaches - Bedford SB - NKY 161

Don’s Coaches (Great Dunmow)
Bedford SBG
Yeates C41F

NKY 161 started life with Fairways of Bradford in 1957. It is a Bedford SBG with Yeates C41F body. By the time of this view, at Duxford on 24th September 1995, It was with Don’s Coaches Great Dunmow Essex. Great Dunmow is one of the once-delightful villages near Stansted Airport, where many of the residents didn’t want the facility extended. They were ignored, as indeed were the folk twenty or so miles up the road at Lakenheath and Mildenhall who did want to host the third London Airport. Ah, well. It’s called democracy!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

22/12/16 – 09:27

Dons acquired this from Fairway when it was only two or three years old. Dons sold it for preservation (in the 1970s?) but later reacquired it.
I only met Don Hale once but I would agree with the comment on the company website that he was a true gentleman. The business continues, now in the hands of Steve Harvey whose family had been associated with the business for many years.

Nigel Turner

22/12/16 – 10:02

It may be the camera angle, or perhaps its the body style, but compared to say a Duple or Plaxton from the same era, it looks very narrow, is it a 7’6” chassis? A handsome beast none the less.

Ronnie Hoye

22/12/16 – 10:46

Thanks for your thoughts, Nigel and Ronnie. I’m not sure if it is a narrow chassis, but I am sure that someone among the readership will complete our education in this matter. Certainly, there have been comments in the past about the features of a Yeates body and I wonder if it’s just a bit taller than Duple or Plaxton to accommodate all that brightwork!

Pete Davies

25/12/16 – 06:24

The SB chassis were all the same size, the distance across the rear (double) wheels being 7ft 3 7/16" It was the bodies that were different widths. In the case of NKY 161 it is an 8ft wide body. Its the height that makes it look narrow.
Incidentally this is one of only 5 Yeates Europa’s known by me to survive on a Bedford SB chassis. The others are:
5200 AH part restored with Kenzie, Shepreth
WWX 48 derelict with Kenzie for spares
618 KRA under restoration with Chambers, Derbyshire
JEP 861 a caravan with Cook, Corton, Suffolk

John Wakefield


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 15th April 2024