Old Bus Photos

Crosville – Bristol Lodekka – RFM 413 – DLB 668

Crosville - Bristol Lodekka - RFM 413 - DLB 668

Crosville Motor Services
Bristol Lodekka LD6B
ECW H33/25R

This bus is from the first production sanction of Lodekkas and delivered to Crosville in March 1954. It is seen here in August 1963 at the remote terminus of the service from Holyhead to South Stack Lighthouse. I can’t imagine there has been a bus route there for many years but the bus has a few top deck passengers. I thought the original deep front grille made the Lodekka a very purposeful looking vehicle. The 58 seat layout and lack of entrance doors seemed fairly common amongst early Lodekkas, soon 60 seats and doors were standard. This was one of my earliest bus photos, taken with a Brownie 127 camera and has stood the test of time well.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

28/01/16 – 07:12

Yes, I can remember going to South Stack on a Lodekka in 1961. It was a useful link for folk staying on holiday at Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno etc. and who then bought railway Holiday Runabout Tickets. As I recall, the bus was pretty full in both directions. In those days, before lighthouses were automated, you could have a guided tour – very popular.

Stephen Ford

28/01/16 – 09:38

A lovely picture Ian of a very fine vehicle – and the picture conveys the fascinating "desolate cliff top" atmosphere of the location – you can almost smell the sea air!! The earliest Lodekkas (we had two such at the Ilkley depot of West Yorkshire) seated only 58 because of the large intrusive castings in the gangway intended to accommodate the twin diffs and prop shafts of the original height saving concept. By the time production commenced this had been amended to one prop shaft and diff only, and therefore the normal longitudinal seats for three could be fitted over the wheel arches, hence the capacity rising to 60. Personally I always preferred the original full depth radiator – the subsequent and later standard shorter one gave the impression that minor accident damage had been neatly repaired by shortening the bottom of the grille !!

Chris Youhill

29/01/16 – 07:12

Now Stephen, what a coincidence! We were on holiday at Llandudno – armed with a weekly rail runabout ticket for the North Wales Coast hence a visit to Holyhead and the trip to South Stack and the bus photo.

Ian Wild

29/01/16 – 12:58

Ian, I suspect Crosville’s South Stack route, and Trearddur Bay for that matter, did rather well out of the holiday runabout tickets. Holyhead was about the longest trip you could take, so everyone did it – but once you got to Holyhead it took about 3 minutes to conclude that the town was a dump! So where can we go from here?

Stephen Ford

29/01/16 – 17:37

Nice to see the photo of the Lodekka at South Stack. As can be seen , the terminus was a piece of waste ground and it was some distance from the lighthouse ,at least a quarter mile walk. Apparently the route was first introduced by the Holyhead Motor Company trading as Mona Maroon and passed to Crosville when said Company was acquired by the LMS Railway in November 1929. The 1932 Crosville timetable showed 5 weekday journeys worked as a loop – with the short double run to the terminus then referred to as Hill Top – via either Llaingoch [ which later became the N17 ] or Porthdarfarch [ which became the N19 ] , the latter involving a narrow twisting lane. By 1958 just 3 winter weekday journeys [ the morning one just twice a week ] but enhanced in the high summer so that in 1964 there was a choice of 9 journeys for July and August including a Saturday evening return at 9:25pm [21:25 hrs] and a limited Sunday service. However by 1972 there were just 4 weekday journeys which ran only in the high summer and I believe the service ceased entirely soon after , probably from early September 1973.

Bristol SC4LK

The attached shows the terminus in 1971 when a downgraded Bristol SC4LK coach – CSG class – was more than sufficient for the loadings. It was a nice ride but as I say a little inconvenient for visiting the lighthouse.
Lovely 1963 photo. Lovely weather too.

Keith Newton

02/02/16 – 06:58

Holyhead still is a dump. Have to regularly pass through using the ferries with only the South Stack area worth visiting. The lack of Crosville hasn’t helped.

Phil Blinkhorn

03/02/16 – 13:50

What a very sad and non transport related coincidence in the news. I’m sure that I’m one of many folks who’d never heard of South Stack until this interesting topic appeared here but now the remote location is the centre of an awful murder inquiry following a distressing discovery in a house at Allerton Bywater near Castleford West Yorkshire of a mother and two children in their home – it seems fairly certain that the suspected perpetrator has himself been found dead at South Stack, perhaps the best part of a hundred miles away – very very sad.

Chris Youhill


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Hants & Dorset – Bristol Lodekka – 7678 LJ – 1478

7678 LJ

Hants & Dorset Motor Services
Bristol Lodekka FS6B

7678 LJ is a Bristol FS6B with ECW H60RD bodywork, new to Hants & Dorset as 1478 in 1962. Under the 1971 renumbering, she became 1137. As we see, she has the offside illuminated advert panel and is in the NBC poppy red livery. She’s at Barton Park, Eastleigh in August 1976. This is where the waters become decidedly murky. The PSVC listing for this fleet (PK782) does not record her as having been painted thus, though it does mention some of her sisters, and it does not tell us when she was withdrawn. She looks to have been newly repainted in this view, but is among several withdrawn ones in W&D red, H&D green and NBC red. Any comments, folks?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

16/07/15 – 15:30

Withdrawn in 1976 according to Peter Gould website.

Graham Woods

16/07/15 – 15:31

7678 LJ was repainted into NBC red livery in June 1975, withdrawn in August 1976, and sold to Martin (dealer) at Middlewich the following month.
It had had the air suspension (at the rear) replaced by coil springs in September 1968.
I don’t have information on any subsequent owners, however.

Peter Delaney

17/07/15 – 05:46

Between 1965-69 I worked as a fitter at West Yorkshire Road Car, York Depot. The air bags at the rear usually one would loose air and the flex beam that supported it would break, the other air bag could compensate for awhile. On replacing said components it had to be reset with the levelling valve by removing alloy plates near the rear seats. Also the Lodekka had upstairs heater radiators, getting the air out of the water system took sometime if the heads etc had been off. Best fitting job I had.

Peter Lister

17/07/15 – 05:47

Thank you, Graham and Peter. I’m forced to ask, if she was withdrawn in 1976 – as my photograph suggests – then why bother with the repaint? It’s like British Railways in the Beeching era – the line closes in three weeks, so let’s put down some new ballast!

Pete Davies

17/07/15 – 12:37

………or RAF stations, Pete D. If they started tarting one up, you knew it was doomed within the year!
Happened twice to me!

Chris Hebbron

18/07/15 – 06:16

Been to Mildenhall recently, then, Chris H? The Pentagon have announced its closure within two or three years. The units there don’t want to move [to Germany] and the locals are hoping a Republican gets in at the next election.

Pete Davies

29/12/15 – 06:51

I think I can answer this one; As a local enthusiast at the time, I was making regular visits to Poole depot where this vehicle was based. I clearly recall this bus as it was in fact the first ‘later-style’ FS to be taken out of service, and this was because it suffered major engine failure and being fitted with a BVW unit, was withdrawn prematurely rather than being repaired (there were I believe, still some late LD’s in service at the time). Hope this is helpful!


29/12/15 – 10:44

Thank you, Geoff. That explains everything!

Pete Davies


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Eastern National – Bristol Lodekka – AVX 975G – 2614

Eastern National - Bristol Lodekka - AVX 975G - 2614

Eastern National Omnibus Co Ltd
Bristol Lodekka FLF6G
ECW CH37/16F

AVX 975G is a Bristol Lodekka FLF6G from the Eastern National fleet and was new in 1968. As can be seen, she has the usual ECW bodywork, but this time it’s in CH37/16F format, so she has "reversed" livery. The Tilling Group’s answer to the Ribble White Ladies? Hardly – I’d prefer not to think about how this combination would look with a full front! She’s seen at Wisley on 11 April 2010.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

02/05/15 – 06:55

These coaches were some of the very last FLFs to be built. Like most people I liked them but apparently the semi auto ones were not nice to drive.

Nigel Turner

02/05/15 – 08:38

What a lovely picture – a classic very handsome vehicle of impeccable parentage showing clearly the dignity intensified by a very simple but bold livery.

Chris Youhill

02/05/15 – 09:29

A very handsome vehicle – it makes one regret that so few colour photos exist of vehicles of the era that interests us.
What express services did Eastern National operate? Was there a proper bus station at Kings Cross? Birch Bros. used to use the forecourt of St. Pancras Station as a terminus, if memory serves, from a week’s course I spent in a building opposite in 1959.

Chris Hebbron

03/05/15 – 06:40

There’s an audio clip of this vehicle on the Old Bus Sounds page of this site.

Peter Williamson

03/05/15 – 06:41

Thank you for your comments, folks.

Pete Davies

04/05/15 – 07:53

Chris H, ENOC redeveloped the Tilling depot in Northdown Street into a coach station after it assumed management responsibility for Tilling – my dates are a bit vague, but there are some photographs of Northdown Street coach station on this site that were posted in response to a question I raised about the same some time ago. The volume of "The Years Between 1909-1969" (Crawley et als’ three-volume history of the "National" companies) that deals with ENOC (II or III?) will contain a detailed route history – I’m decorating my study at the moment, but I’ll have a route through the storage boxes tonight and try to post a list of ENOC express services operating in 1968 . . . unless somebody else gets there first (please!).

Philip Rushworth

04/05/15 – 07:57

It was May 1963 when Northdown Street coach station opened – all the London express services passed-through or terminated there.
ENOC express routes operating "at some time" in 1968 (as far as I can work out – corrections welcomed) were:
X2 Sudbury – Brixham (jt Royal Blue, Biss Bros)
X3 Southend – Brixham (jt Royal Blue, Harris’s Coaches)
X8 London – Southend via Airport, Direct
X9 Southend – Weston-Super-Mare (jt Bristol Greyhound)
X10 London – Romford – Basildon – Southend/Canvey Island (Canvey island branch ex X7 in 1967)
X11 Enfield – Southend
X14 London – Halstead
X16 Southend – Ilfracombe (jt royal Blue)
X20 Southend – Worthing
X22 Southend – Folkestone
X23 Southend – Hastings – Eastbourne
X24 Southend – Margate – Ramsgate
X25 Southend – Great Yarmouth
X26 Southend Bournemouth
X27 Southend – Clacton – Jaywick – Walton
X28 Southend – Cambridge- Northampton – Birmingham (jt ECOC, Premier, BMMO)
X29 Southend – Derby (jt Trent, Barton, Skills)
X30 Southend – Southsea (DTC)
X31 Basildon – Southsea (DTC)
X32 Clacton – Folkestone (DTC)
X33 Walton – Hastings – Folkestone (DTC)
X34 Clacton – "Thanet Resorts" (DTC)
X35 Southend – Royal Tunbridge Wells (DTC)
X36 Clacton – Rye (DTC)
X40 Gillingham – Great Yarmouth (DTC)
X42 Tilbury – Walton
X44 Horsham – Basildon – Harwich (DTC)
X45 Sudbury – Basildon – Worthing (DTC)
X46 Southend – Norwich – Sheringham
X50 Harlow – Clacton – Walton/Jaywick
X51 Bishop’s Stortford – Southend
X52 Harlow – Felixstowe
X60 London – Stansted Airport
X70 Chelmsford – Great Yarmouth
X71 Braintree – Great Yarmouth (ex Moores, Kelvedon, 1963, from Silver End until 1966)
DTC = Dartford Tunnel Coachways, jt East Kent, M&D, Southdown
X52/X70/X71 were placed in the East Anglian Express pool (jt ECOC, Grey Green) from 25.05.68:
X1 London – Felixstowe via East London (ex ECOC A, GG 1)
X2 London – Great Yarmouth via Bury St Edmunds (ex ECOC P, ENOC X71)
X3 London – Great Yarmouth via Ipswich (ex ENOC X70, ECOC F/Q, GG 12)
X12 Harwich – Sheringham (ex ECOC QQ, GG 12)
X35 London – Felixstowe/Great Yarmouth via North London (ex GG 35)
X52 London – Felixstowe via Harlow (ex ENOC X52)
ENOC were also partners in the Essex Coast Express pool- jt Grey Green, Suttons (Clacton) – from 02.10.67:
X4 London – Walton via East London (ex ENOC X12, GG 4, Suttons)
X33 London – Walton via North London (ex GG 33)
X80 London – Harwich (ex GG 2, incorporating ENOC stage service 80 – Grey Green purchased Colchester – Great Oakley/Dovercourt stage services of Hooks in 10.1967 to facilitate provision of a London – Harwich service via stage connection from London – Clacton service at times when traffic did not justify provision of a through coach, connecting service subsequently worked by ENOC as 80/A/B but jointly licenced to ENOC/GG/Suttons.)
and not forgetting:
322 Great Cornard – Sudbury – Braintree – Dunmow – Harlow – London (stage Great Cornard-Harlow, express Harlow – London; ex Hicks Braintree-London 1950)
or the Limited Stop services introduced in 1967-8:
402 Southend – Grays – Dartford
411 Southend – Chelmsford – St Osyth – Clacton – Walton
419 Southend – Maldon – Weeley – Clacton – Walton
446 Harlow – Chelmsford
453 Tilbury – Chelmsford – Clacton – Walton/
. . . and the longer stage services into London:
151 Southend (Seaway) – Pitsea – Basildon – Brentwood – Wood Green
251 Southend (Tylers Avenue) – Billericay Brentwood – Wood Green
351 Chelmsford – Brentwood – Wood Green

Philip Rushworth

05/05/15 – 07:25

What a superb and classy combination of design and colour scheme – they just look as though each was specifically created for the other….Even the ‘bling-bling’ chrome wheel covers seem right, and you don’t say that very often when you’re talking about a double decker !!

Stuart C

06/05/15 – 07:25

Your rooting was successful, Philip and I appreciate your finding out the routes. I’m amazed at the number and extent of ENOC’s Express routes, admittedly some joint, and the wide variety of places they went to as well. I don’t recall ever seeing any of their coaches, either in London, Southsea or Essex, when I periodically visited relatives in Colchester. Strange that.

Chris Hebbron

08/05/15 – 06:40

Did Tilling operators ever have DP vehicles and a hybrid colour scheme like the famous red and black NWRCC Willowbrook/Tiger Cubs ?

Stuart C

08/05/15 – 17:35

Stuart, Wilts and Dorset had a d/p livery – standard tilling red below the waist-line, and a very dark maroon/red above, with a cream waist band and other cream embellishments. It looked very handsome. I don’t have any photos to add, but I am looking at an EFE model of a Bristol LS saloon decked out in this way, and I remember coming across them on various occasions in my youth. I think Bristol Omnibus also added more cream to their standard Tilling green/cream buses when they were d/p vehicles. Did they also add more green to some cream coaches when these were demoted?

Michael Hampton

31/05/15 – 06:37

What a fine picture of a fine vehicle. Not readily apparent in the design is that from 1967 onwards, ECW adopted a one-piece glass-fibre assembly for the front upper deck of FLFs. The body outline remained unchanged, but the moulding extended from the front dome down to the top of the cream band above the cab, and as far back as the first side pillar. The practice was continued with the introduction of the Bristol VRT in 1968. For many years West Yorkshire kept a spare VRT front upper deck assembly in its Body Shop on Westmoreland Street in Harrogate. The assembly was suspended from the side of the gantry above the woodwork shop with strong ropes, and looked to be quite a substantial affair.

Brendan Smith

31/05/15 – 09:03

Well Brendan that is a surprise and I for one never realised that such a one piece assembly had been designed by the wonderful Eastern Coachworks. Another brilliant "one piece" component, which always impressed me greatly, was at the rear of the lower saloons of the VRs. This was a beautifully styled affair which, quite apart from looking neat and pleasing, no doubt shielded the passengers from engine fumes and "soot marks" which were sadly often evident in many early rear engined double deckers.

Chris Youhill

20/07/15 – 06:58

I was a conductor in Basildon in 1970 and conducted these to Kings Cross. We had special coloured Setright ticket rolls to use on the expresses.

Mr Anon

20/07/15 – 16:40

Intrigued by Philip’s list of services above, as there are two X2 and two X3 in the list London – Great Yarmouth or Southend/Sudbury – Brixham.
I wondered if the latter had numbers determined by the joint operation, but the Royal Blue timetable has the Sudbury and Southend – Brixham service as X22, and joint between RB and ENOC (only). Similarly, the ENOC Southend – Ilfracombe X16 is listed as X23 in the Royal Blue book, and the X26 Southend – Bournemouth is X28 in the Royal Blue book.
It seems the service was co-ordinated, but the service number not — and still leaves ENOC with two pairs of routes with the same number. (Not to mention two different X23 and X28 services at Southend).

Peter Delaney


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 14th February 2016