Old Bus Photos

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her as having been painted thus, though it does mention some of her sisters, and it does not tell us when she was withdrawn. She looks to have been newly repainted in this view, but is among several withdrawn ones in W&D red, H&D green and NBC red.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Withdrawn in 1976 according to Peter Gould website.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7678 LJ was repainted into NBC red livery in June 1975, withdrawn in August 1976, and sold to Martin (dealer) at Middlewich the following month.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 I’m forced to ask, if she was withdrawn in 1976 – as my photograph suggests – then why bother with the repaint?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


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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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Mansfield District – Bristol Lodekka – 248 MNN – 552

Mansfield District - Bristol Lodekka - 248 MNN - 552

Mansfield District Traction Company Limited
Bristol Lodekka FLF6B
ECW H38/32F

A smart looking Lodekka pictured in Mansfield in August 1968. Detail differences from the THC ‘norm’ were the livery with its larger area of cream and the destination layout. The Bristol BVW engine would no doubt ensure a refined journey on this bus.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

05/12/14 – 05:52

It’s good to see a shot of a Lodekka in something other than a standard Tilling red or green livery and with a different destination display. It almost gives a taste of what might have been if the Bristol/ECW make had been made available on the open market much earlier than it eventually was. There would have been no need then for the Loline and would we have seen Lodekkas in the liveries of such as Luton, Reading, Leigh, Oxford and Lancashire United and dare we say Aldershot & District. Interesting conjecture.

Philip Halstead

05/12/14 – 05:53

At the time of the photograph, Mansfield District had a multiplicity of starting points for their services in the town, this was one of them, Queen Street. Since then, one bus station has come and gone and Queen Street now runs past the frontage of the new bus station which is a short distance ahead of where this Lodekka was standing.

Chris Barker

05/12/14 – 11:35

No need for the Loline? Perhaps, but, good as the Lodekka was, the Loline was a better bus, and I’ve driven both.

Roger Cox

05/12/14 – 11:36

The link below will take you to some magnificent photos of Mansfield District buses, including one of the slightly later FLF/6G’s. Apart from livery, they look so much nicer when shorn of adverts. http://midlandgeneralomnibus.

Chris Hebbron

06/12/14 – 07:10

Is it really on the pavement- because the road is already broken up? Clearly cared for- look at the undented dome. Does the camera lie or was that really the green?
But seriously, did these go to West Riding, post Wulfrunian or were those Gardners?


06/12/14 – 12:01

Whilst it shouldn’t have been parked there I don’t think it’s on the pavement. It’ll be well close inasmuch as the roadway at the rear was tight. It’s not ‘on stand’. There was a small café just behind the photographer that survived on trade from the busmen. The 101 stand was about 100yds further on. As for the condition of the vehicle, quite normal for this operator. MDT prided themselves during the 60’s / very early 70’s in not sending any dirty or damaged vehicles out on service. That policy was sadly abandoned once ‘leaf green’ appeared in the stores!

Berisford Jones

07/12/14 – 06:13

Chris H: many thanks for the link to the gallery. The Sunbeam Sikh is nothing short of magnificent, and the rake of the steering column brings us back to Lodekkas and Lolines.

Ian T

07/12/14 – 06:15

Nice to see MDT in the spotlight. I recall my first sighting of an MDT bus when I was about 6 or 7 years old, on a walk with my grandma somewhere in the Moor Bridge area of Bulwell. I identified what I thought was an MGO AEC (same style bodywork, same destination display) but it was GREEN where I was expecting MGO blue.
I remember managing to read the "Mansfield District" fleet name and was intrigued by this first (to me) manifestation of a group corporate style. Obviously I later came to understand this local grouping and always treasured the rare sightings of MDT vehicles. I think the photo captures the shade of green rather well, it was lighter than Tilling green, more a sort of apple green but its rarity in the public domain is all the more special.
Local acquisitions meant that the MDT fleet contained some rarities that sister companies like MGO did not possess, but of course these feature in my my long list of pictures I should have taken but didn’t.
The transfers to West Riding to replace Wulfrunians were rear-entrance LDs/FSs as far as I know, but this is one of the eras I need to revisit when I can get my time-machine working properly.
I suspect I am not the only one with this problem?

Rob Hancock


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 25th November 2015