Old Bus Photos

Priory Coaches – Bedford WTL – BXM 568

Priory Coaches - Bedford WTL - BXM 568

Priory Coaches (Gosport)
Bedford WTL
Duple C20F

Here we have a Bedford WTL with Duple C20F bodywork from 1935. She is seen in the livery of Cyril Cowdray (Priory Coaches) of Gosport, another operator put off the road after upsetting the Traffic Commissioner once too often. She was new to Blunt, Mitcham, and spent some time on the Isle Of Man as CMN 986 before returning to the UK. The scene is an Open Day at the Provincial depot, Hoeford, on 8 June 1985.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

10/08/15 – 11:24

This coach has been with J. W. Lodge & Sons of High Easter for some years undergoing a thorough rebuild however I think it was put to one side while they were restoring their Ford T. I believe that their ultimate aim is to have a representative vehicle from each decade that the company has been operating. Since they are well in to their tenth decade that’s quite a fleet of historic vehicles!

Nigel Turner

10/08/15 – 16:04

Thank you, Nigel. Yes, it will be a VERY impressive collection when they decide that it’s complete. "Now, have we room in the garage for another OB?"

Pete Davies

11/08/15 – 16:49

The whole Lodge operation is very impressive and a credit to the three generations who have built it up over the last 95 years. I have no idea why I referred to them restoring a Ford T in my earlier comment, it is a 1926 Chevrolet

Nigel Turner

25/06/20 – 07:19

Lodge are still very active, but their vintage fleet now consists of Bedfords’ OB, SB, YMT and said Chervolet Charabanc. Sadly, no mention of the WTB.

Chris Hebbron

27/06/20 – 06:44

The WTB project was on display at an event at Lodge’s premises on 24 March 2019. At the time there was a lot of work to do on the vehicle.

David Slater

28/06/20 – 06:56

"I was intrigued about the Bedford WTL chassis, as it seems to have led a rather shadowy life. There is little written about it, either, but some research revealed the following.
The first Bedford chassis designed for PSV use was the WHB, built from 1931 to 1933, for a 14-seat body. Only 102 were ever sold. The larger WLB chassis quickly followed, with greater success, with over 2000 built between 1931 and 1938, when production ceased.
The WTL chassis was a three-ton lorry chassis, modified to sell as a still-larger PSV, but was not popular as a passenger vehicle in any great numbers, initially with just over 200 being built as such in its first two years, 1935 and 1936, but, nevertheless, it soldiered to receive passenger bodies in penny numbers until 1939. One’s or two’s describe the numbers bought by most operators, although, in 1935, Vauxhall had at least four in use for staff transport, Walter Alexander bought five and at least eight were exported to the Netherlands. Bodybuilders were varied, with small orders using Robson, Thurgood, Wilmott and Willowbrook, Unsurprisingly, however, the majority were bodied by Duple, although, in 1939, several of them were bodied by Plaxton. Those which went to the Netherlands were bodied by two firms, Werkspoor (Amsterdam) and Jurgens.
The WTL could, in retrospect, be considered a stop-gap chassis, its far more successful compatriot being the three feet longer WTB, introduced in late 1935..
However, the WTL (as well as the WTB) chassis were upgraded in 1938, which included an all-metal cab area with redesigned front wings. The radiator grill/bonnet area became rounded and modern-looking, foretelling the future OB front, minus radiator cap!. Engine power was increased from 64 to 72bhp."

Chris Hebbron

28/06/20 – 10:01

One little titbit I omitted from my post of 28/06/20 was that the redesign of the front ends in 1938 was a joint venture with Duple.

Chris Hebbron

28/06/20 – 10:03

BXM 568 Bedford WTL Duple C20F chassis No 875523 body No 5058
New to W E Blunt t/a Mitcham Belle, Mitcham 6/35
5/38 B B Atkinson, Douglas, IoM re reg as CMN 986
4/39 J W A Wightman, Onchan, IoM t/a Sunny Hours Coaches
9/61 L Q Keen, Douglas, IoM (not operated)
4/62 Kirkby Central, Anston (dealer) reverted to BXM 568
5/68 G A Arnold, Holmesfield (preservation)
11/71 Geoffrey Pitt t/a Doug Jones Coaches, Littleton
-/73 Howard Herridge, Gosport (preservation)
-/75 C Cowdrey t/a Priory Coaches, Gosport (later stored in Mid Hants railway yard at Medstead)
6/93 Ray Dodds, Fareham (preservation)
circa -/03 Len Carter, Fareham (dealer) but not moved from Ray Dodds premises)
2/08 Lodge Coaches, High Easter for restoration & eventual return to service in Heritage Fleet.

John Wakefield

02/06/21 – 08:48

I thought this might be of interest to visitors to this site, a newspaper article which appeared in the Fraserburgh Hearld and New Counties Advertiser, 13 January 1931. The article relates to my Gt.Gt Grandfather George Jaffray from Rosehearty, Fraserburgh, who was a master joiner and local businessman. George was fined 25 shillings in the first case of its kind in the Sheriffs Court, for allowing a motor omnibus for which he owned to ply for hire without having painted in conspicuous place the total number of passengers which the vehicle was allowed to carry.

Clive Taylor


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