Old Bus Photos

Hants & Dorset – Bristol LL5G – KRU 993 – 787

Hants & Dorset - Bristol LL5G - KRU 993 - 787

Hants & Dorset Motor Services
1952
Bristol LL5G
ECW FC37F

KRU 993 came to Hants & Dorset in February 1952 as a standard half cab LL6B with an ECW B39R body, one of a batch of seven similar vehicles, KRU 988-994, fleet nos. 782-788, delivered between September 1951 and February 1952. In June 1955 the Bristol AVW engine in KRU 993 was replaced by a Gardner 5LW, making the vehicle an LL5G, a conversion that had happened surprisingly earlier in October 1952 to KRU 990, and to KRU 991 in February 1953. It would seem that the other four retained their Bristol engines. Between September 1959 and July 1960 six of these buses were rebuilt by the operator to full fronted FB39F configuration for OPO operation, with KRU 992 being the last to be so treated in January 1962, but this had the lesser capacity of FB37F. All the others had their seating reduced to 37 in the years 1961 to 1966. The frontal treatment of the conversions ranged considerably from the plain appearance illustrated by KRU 993 through a variety of front panel designs, some bearing the more flamboyant ECW ‘coach’ style radiator grille. KRU 993 is pictured in Southampton in 1962 when it was still a 39 seater, the reduction by two seats occurring in November 1964. 787 was was the first of the batch to be withdrawn in January 1967 when it passed to a dealer. The rest were sold out of service in the following year. I acknowledge the http://www.bristolsu.co.uk and the Local Transport History Library websites as sources for much of this history.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


03/05/21 – 07:11

I assume the motive behind these engine swaps was to obtain 6-cylinder units for use in 5LW-engined K-types. The problem which BT&CC and presumably H&D found with the arrival of the KSWs with their higher power was that where older lower powered vehicles were mixed in with them they had difficulty keeping to time – hence taking 6-cylinder engines out of single deckers to use in the double deckers.
Various other interesting features on H&D 787; the kerb view window similar to the SC type, the usual H&D sun-visor. This would also have had the pedestal type drivers seat with a catch released by a foot pedal allowing the seat to rotate so the driver could face the passengers to issue tickets. I always wondered about the safety aspects of these; what was to stop the seat going walkabout while on the move if it failed to catch when returned to the driving position?

Peter Cook


29/05/21 – 07:39

Far better looking than the leering toothy-grin radiator grille that marred so many other L rebuilds.

Ian Thompson


 

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Nadder Valley Coaches – Bristol L5G – EDL 16

EDL 16

Nadder Valley Coaches
1946
Bristol L5G
ECW B31F

In 1946 Southern Vectis added the first three post war examples of the Bristol L5G to its pre war and wartime fleet of the model. EDL 14 -16 arrived with Eastern Coach Works B35R bodywork, but, in 1961, all three were rebuilt with ECW B31F bodies for (what was then called) OMO operation. These later bodies incorporated the unprepossessing style of ECW radiator grille that must surely have been inspired by the dental profession. Having gained some 23 years of faithful service from these buses, Southern Vectis sold all three in 1969, whereupon EDL 16 passed through a dealer in 1970 to Nadder Valley Coaches of Tisbury, Wiltshire, with whom it is seen above in Shaftesbury in 1971. Nadder Valley ceased to operate EDL 16 early in 1972, and its subsequent fate is unknown.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/06/18 – 07:27

I am sure that a contemporary BI has these as rebodied by ECW rather than rebuilt.
Compared with a standard ECW L body the windows appear somewhat larger and the roof profile looks a little different although it could be an optical illusion. The treatment has an air of the SC4LK about it.
I guess it is difficult to decide where rebuild ends and rebodied begins. Is there a percentage of the original below which it becomes a rebody?

Malcolm Hirst


19/06/18 – 06:03

Yes, Malcolm, rebodied is the better word.

Roger Cox


19/06/18 – 06:03

EDL 16_2

Here is another shot of this bus on its arrival in Shaftesbury.

Roger Cox


19/06/18 – 06:04

I recall many years ago coming across a bus with this style of body in Morpeth Market Place. When I first saw it, I assumed that it was a Bristol SC4LK, a type that I had not come across as United did not operate any. However on closer investigation, I found that it was not a Bristol, but a Leyland. As far as I was able to find out, it was a Leyland PS1 originally with Cumberland Motor Services, who’d had it rebodied, although what it was doing in Morpeth I have no idea. I assume that it had been purchased by a local operator. Perhaps some-one has more details on this vehicle.

John Gibson


19/06/18 – 06:05

Bus Lists on the Web has this as rebodied FB35F.

Peter Williamson


19/06/18 – 06:05

Malcolm, Messrs Doggett & Townsin’s book ‘ECW 1946-1965’ states that the Southern Vectis trio were rebodied by ECW in 1961/62. It is stated in the book that: "The demand for a smaller and lighter type of single-decker was being met by the Bristol SC type, as described in the previous chapter, but the body design developed for it was also used for rebodying Bristol L-type and other chassis in a way which made them suitable for one-person operation. The forward-entrance layout and full-fronted cab suited this requirement, and the body design could be lengthened if need be".
Southern National, Western National, Thames Valley and Hants & Dorset are mentioned as having Bristol L coaches rebodied thus, these being lengthened in the process to LL dimensions, whereas the three Southern Vectis L-types were not lengthened. Cumberland also had a Leyland Tiger PS1/Associated Coachbuilders coach similarly rebodied by ECW. Looking at one or two photos, the rebodied heavyweights appeared to have strongly resembled the SC in many respects, including the side windows, roof contours and the later more ornate ‘mouth organ’ grille. The SC’s familiar one-piece rear window was also utilised. One subtle difference I’ve noticed between the SC and L-type rebodies relates to the windscreen. The lower edge of SC windscreens is horizontal, whereas that on the L-type has a slight downward slope towards the outer corner of each screen. The other difference relates to the front wheels – the SC having eight wheel studs/nuts per hub compared with the L-type’s ten. So Malcolm, your comment that "The treatment has an air of the SC4LK about it" certainly rings true!

Brendan Smith


20/06/18 – 06:54

Cumberland in 1949/1950 got a batch of Leyland/ACB coaches registered HRM 79 and JAO 831-840 Between May 1958 and April 1960 all the JAO’s and the HRM were re-bodied, ten by Cumberland as B34F and one JAO (837) by ECW as FB35F.
All were fitted for one-man operation.
The ECW bodied JAO837 was unique for Cumberland but it was like the ECW bodied Bristol SC4LK coaches. Meanwhile, the Cumberland half cab ones were very good looking buses.

Stuart Emmett


 

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Western National – Bristol L – JUO 943 – 1211

Western National - Bristol L - JUO 943 - 1211

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
1948
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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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 22nd September 2021