Old Bus Photos

Western National – Bristol L – JUO 943 – 1211

Western National - Bristol L - JUO 943 - 1211

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
Bristol L6B
Beadle C31F – ECW FB39F (1958)

A 1948 Bristol L6B, when it was delivered to Western National it had a Beadle C31F body. Ten years later it was lengthened to a LL standard and rebodied by Eastern Coachworks to this FB39F style, I presume both happened at the same time.
We see it in the Weymouth rally on 1 July 1979,

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

15/05/17 – 07:44

The very fact that this is a Bristol L6B with an ECW body makes this a thoroughly good bus, but what a pity that ECW fell into the trap of the then-current "mouth-organ" fad! I wouldn’t insist that they had gone for a proper Bristol radiator, which would have been the best-looking option, but at least they could have tacked on an enlarged version of the shapely little grille fitted to the SC4LK. Just one of my fantasies…

Ian Thompson

17/05/17 – 07:51

I have a "bought" slide of a Lincolnshire SC in DP guise, with the same style of front end as this. You are right, Ian. The usual SC arrangement is FAR better!

Pete Davies

17/05/17 – 07:52

The "mouth organ" wasn’t designed specially for rebodied Ls. The entire dash panel, complete with grille, was the one used on the coach version of the SC4LK.

Peter Williamson

18/05/17 – 07:52

Peter is right, and OBP has a page showing this type of SC4LK body at :- this OBP link  
Ian is right also, though. The grille is pretty horrible, though nowhere near as bad as some of the Detriot "inspired" excrescences that were to emerge from Duple in the years that followed.

Roger Cox

18/05/17 – 11:02

The front is virtually identical to the SC coaches but on the one CMS ECW re-bodied PS1 (JAO 837), the bulge is greater, as it seems to be on the L6B above.
JAO 837 also had a slightly bottom curved windscreen and the side window framing is also different from the above L6B

Stuart Emmett


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Wilts & Dorset – Bristol L – FAM 2 – 285

Wilts & Dorset - Bristol L - FAM 2 - 285

Wilts & Dorset Motor Services
Bristol L6B
Beadle C32R

FAM 2 is a Bristol L6B with Beadle C32R body (with door) and it dates from 1949. We see it passing Beaulieu on 20 August 1978, while taking part in a vintage vehicle run through the New Forest. It included cars and fire appliances. It was owned at the time by the family who owned the village garage in Fawley – home of the Esso refinery and the power station.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


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South Midland – Bristol L – FMO 937

South Midland - Bristol L - FMO 937

South Midland Ltd (Witney)
Bristol L6B
Windover C33F

Photographed in Oxford in the summer of 1960 is South Midland Ltd. FMO 937, a Bristol L6B of 1950 with a Windover ‘Huntingdon’ C33F body. Windover was a very old established firm that was known as a saddler and harness maker in Ottery St Mary from the year 1600. The family later became carriage builders, moving first to Grantham and then, in 1856, to Huntingdon where, by the 1920s, it became one of the largest employers in the town. Manufacturing premises held by other members of the Windover family in Manchester and Bradford were acquired in 1893. Production transferred in 1924 to Hendon until the firm sold out to the car dealers Henley in 1956. South Midland was a subsidiary of Thames Valley, with whom this coach first entered service as No. 555 in July 1950 before passing to South Midland some nine years later. It didn’t stay long at Witney, for, by October 1960, it was back with Thames Valley for a further year until withdrawal in October 1961. The following month it was sold to the Hampshire firm, Creamline of Borden, its subsequent fate being unrecorded.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

29/01/17 – 07:11

I had forgotten Windover had supplied Thames Valley/ South Midland with coaches on Bristol Chassis. Other outside coach bodies on Bristol L and LL I can think of at the time were Western ANd Southern National- Beadle and Duple. Hants & Dorset/ Wilts and Dorset Portsmouth Aviation and United Automobile Services Harrington; can anyone think of any more?

Stephen Allcroft

29/01/17 – 08:45

Interesting post, Roger. Thank you. I think Borden relates to a chemical company and that you mean Bordon, in Longmoor Military Railway territory.
Wandering, nay running, wildly off-topic, there is a roundabout at the junction of A27 and B3397 (Hamble Lane) which is officially Windhover Roundabout. Note the H. In this context it means a Kestrel. Does anyone know or have any ideas about the meaning in the coach builder’s context?

Pete Davies

29/01/17 – 09:48

Six Eventful Generations
Bartholomew WINDOVER was a bespoke saddler and harness maker working and living in the town with his wife Mary.
From 1633 when Bartholomew was born to 1796 when Charles James Windover died, six generations of the family lived through some of the most exciting times in British history.
More here:- www.windovers.co.uk/default.htm

John Lomas

29/01/17 – 11:27

I have a model of this vehicle in North Western Road Car Company livery.

Richard Hill

30/01/17 – 07:12

Should have added the fleet number, 270, and the registration DDB 270.

Richard Hill

30/01/17 – 07:13

Yes, Pete, it’s a typo. I mean Bordon – at one period in my varied transport career I regularly drove Aldershot & District Loline IIIs through there on the Aldershot – Petersfield – Steep route 6. One of the prominent figures in the Southampton based group of the Institute of Transport when I was a member in the 1960s and ’70s was Brigadier Nightingale of Longmoor Camp and its railway.

Roger Cox

31/01/17 – 07:25

I don’t think the reference to "South Midland Ltd (Witney)" is quite right. This was the organisation set up in the mid 1980’s when NBC split the Oxford-South Midland business into two parts.
In 1960 FMO 973 would be owned by South Midland Motor Services Ltd. This company had been part of the Red & White group and in 1950, on nationalisation, passed to the control of Thames Valley along with Venture and Newbury & District.
The head office became Thames Valley’s in Reading and South Midland ran out of depot premises in Oxford.

Mike Grant

01/02/17 – 07:31

Withdrawn by Creamline in 1963, presumably for scrap.

Philip Lamb

01/02/17 – 07:31

For about three years, from 1961 to 1964, I lived in Southsea, but worked in Guildford. Every morning, the 07.06 slow electric train from Fratton would stop at Liss Station and on the other side of the platform would be anything from a WD Black 5 to a modest saddle tank loco pulling just two coaches with army/civilian staff who were changing trains for Bordon.
What a comedown for such powerful locos as Black 5’s!

Chris Hebbron


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 21st April 2018