Old Bus Photos

Booth and Fisher – Bristol SC4LK – 612 JPU

 Booth and Fisher - Bristol SC4LK - 612 JPU
Copyright Ian Wild

Booth and Fisher
1957
Bristol SC4LK
ECW B35F

Booth and Fisher operated a selection of stage and works services from their depot at Halfway on the South Eastern outskirts of Sheffield.

Whilst their staple stock for many years were Bedford OBs, they also bought AEC and Leyland single deckers new and amassed quite a collection of Albion Nimbus as well. Relatively unusual second hand purchases were two of these Bristol SC4LK from Eastern National in the late 60s. This one was Eastern National 446, the other ex 451 had the splendid registration 9575F. I suppose a common theme of Bedford OB/Albion Nimbus/Bristol SC was "lightweight" but then they did operate in the flatter areas across towards Worksop. 612 JPU is seen outside their depot in either 1967 or 1968 in company with other members of the fleet.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


08/06/11 – 09:57

Very nice indeed to see a smart but totally unpretentious livery and a very clean and tidy looking depot. I never came into contact with Booth and Fisher, but they appear to have been an operator with the right priorities – too many are just the opposite, employing "spin" with nothing behind it – especially nowadays.

Chris Youhill


09/06/11 – 08:35

Strictly speaking, Booth and Fisher were a Derbyshire operator. Their depot is round the corner from the Halfway Supertram terminus and came inside the Sheffield boundary when the city expanded in 1967. The photograph must have been taken very shortly after this event.
The trunk B & F route (Sheffield to Halfway via Coal Aston and Eckington) became SYPTE 253, briefly operated by "Aston" after deregulation. They were, in turn bought out by Stagecoach (then East Midland at Chesterfield) who run this route to this day as part of their new, expanded, Sheffield network. Stagecoach. of course, now operate out of the former Yorkshire Terrier depot in Holbrook – just up the road from the B & F depot.
The B & F depot passed to SYPTE when they bought out Booth and Fisher and only recently TM Travel (now part of the same group as Trent Barton) moved into this depot – by now abandoned by First Group – from their nearby Stavely HQ.
In latter years, B & F built up a large fleet of AEC service buses (and DPs) and Ford coaches. The last to be bought were a sizeable number of 6MU4R Reliances with Grant specification Panorama Elite III Express bodies – all of which passed to SYPTE.
The featured SC4LK would have fitted in with the fleet at the time, though. It was sometimes known as the Bristol SB – fulfilling that role for Tilling Fleets – and even had propriety Bedford axles and other components. SCs were built in such small numbers that minimal expense was the order of the day for R&D.

David Oldfield


09/06/11 – 08:36

If I remember rightly they also had an ex Guy single deck demonstrator with the reg no GUY 2

Roger Broughton


09/06/11 – 08:36

Two of Booth and Fishers more unusual AECs were a pair of Park Royal bodied Monocoaches bought in 1955 These were fitted with a lower profile body than was the norm to pass under the many low bridges in the area One of the pair WRA12 is preserved at the South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Rotherham

Chris Hough


09/06/11 – 08:38

Like you Chris, I never came into contact with this well known operator, but vividly remember the name from the fleet news in Buses Illustrated as a teenager – Booth & Fisher, Halfway – as it always raised a smile. As you say, the livery is indeed smart and unpretentious, and all the better for it in the eyes of many. I’ve never quite understood the trend to dress modern buses up as circus wagons in order to attract motorists out of their vehicles. Most cars are single, or two-tone in colour, as manufacturers wish to convey a ‘perceived quality’ image. How many people would be attracted to a family car with a fancy colour scheme and vinyls covering the windows so only the driver could see out? Amazing how such established concerns such as East Yorkshire and Delaine’s (to name two) manage to retain a dignified traditional livery in a modern style. Ah! Quality!

Brendan Smith


09/06/11 – 08:40

Well Chris Y, Booth and Fisher are long gone but their depot survives and is operational! Their fleet strength was around forty vehicles and when they sold out to South Yorkshire PTE, the garage was used by SYPTE for some time before being deemed surplus to requirements. Today, it houses the fleet of TM Travel, a Wellglade (Trent Barton) subsidiary who have operations in Sheffield and North Derbyshire with around 100 vehicles.

Chris Barker


10/06/11 – 09:49

Roger mentions the ex GUY demonstrator Guy 3 This bus was exhibited at the 1950 Commercial Motor Show In 1957 it was acquired by Ledgards as part of the takeover of Kitchen of Pudsey It ran for Ledgards until they were taken over by West Yorkshire RCC in 1967

Chris Hough


10/06/11 – 09:55

In 1973 B&F bought some 12 year old Reliance service buses from Maidstone and District, and these passed to the PTE in 1976 when they were already 15 years old. You might think that SYPTE would have sent them off to Barnsley for scrap, but they kept them until 1980 when they were resold (as part of a job lot which included a Seddon Pennine IV-236 "midibus") to Silver Star of Upper Llandwrog (Gwynnedd). Repainted into Silver Star’s attractive two-tone blue and cream livery they gave good service for a few more years on the company’s stage services from Caernarfon to Rhosgadfan and Cesarea, suggesting that they had been excellently maintained by both M&D and B&F/SYPTE. Booth & Fisher were indeed a classic independent!

Neville Mercer


13/06/11 – 07:55

I have a record of three ex Maidstone Reliances with Booth and Fisher (but there may have been more).
336 NKT acquired 7/73
334 NKT acquired 8/73
340 NKT acquired 6/74
all with Weymann DP40F bodies.
I can’t be certain now about the accuracy of the acquisition dates, they may be the dates on which I first saw them.

Ian Wild


13/06/11 – 10:48

Check out this link for a comprehensive fleet list of Booth and Fisher.
You missed 332 NKT, Ian, see fleet list. Bought 1975 with the last three 6MU4R, the last ever purchases before selling out to SYPTE. It had slipped past me that the last two were Duple bodied.

David Oldfield


12/01/12 – 09:05

I am looking for people who used to work for Booth & Fisher and knew my husband Ian Fretwell. I am going to give him a surprise party next year for his 65th. So I am trying to find as many of his old mates as I can, if anyone knew him please get in touch with me through this website. Or if anyone has a better idea on how to find ex Booth & Fisher employees please let me know.

Wendy Fretwell


28/04/12 – 07:48

Between 1958 & 1965 I attended Westfield Comp. As I lived in Frecheville I had a school bus. Normally Frecheville, Birley and Base Green pupils were transported by Sharpes of Beighton. Over the years they had SBs augmented later by SC4LKs and LWL6Bs ex Lincs Road Car. When the coaches were off doing coach work then one or more buses would be borrowed from Booth & Fisher. These were always from the large selection of OBs and OWBs. I doubt any-one had a more varied OB fleet than Boothies. Bodies included Allsop, Mulliner, Beadle, Barnaby, Roe, Woodhall-Nicholson and Duple. We never knew what would turn up, but could be sure of the bus having character!!

Les Dickinson


18/05/18 – 06:50

Does anyone know how large the fleet was around 1970, they had an impressive garage which could hold most if not all of the fleet under cover.

Jim


23/05/18 – 06:41

Jim, from 1970 the fleet tended to hover around 40. According to "South Yorkshire’s Transport" (Scott Hellewell, Venture, 1996) in 1973 44% revenue came from contracts (mainly NCB), 42% from stage carriage (Dronfield local [jt SCT/CCT]], Killamarsh-Dronfield-Sheffield, Beighton-Killamarsh-Worksop), 12% private hire/E&T, 2% garage business. The premises are still in use to today as the depot of Wellglade subsidiary TM Travel.

Philip Rushworth


612 JPU_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


17/07/18 – 06:39

Can anyone answer this question that has baffled me for years.
As you drive past Clowne ponds you reach the crossroads of the Worksop to Chesterfield road, driving straight over for about 1/2 mile use to be a lane on the left that led to either 1 or 2 possible railway houses, in the yard was parked about 6 buses red I think, this was in the 70s and 80s,who was this firm, Kirkby Andrews were based in Harthill at that time but this wasn’t actually in the village, anyone know.

Jim


 

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Crosville – Bristol SC4LK – 803 FFM – CSG 623

Crosville - Bristol SC4LK - 803 FFM - CSG623
Copyright Ian Wild

Crossville
1958
Bristol SC4LK
ECW DP33F

Here we have Crosville CSG623 seen outside the small depot in Llanwrst, Conwy, Wales in September 1967. This is one of 24 Bristol SC4LK with Eastern Coachworks DP33F body supplied to Crosville but by the time of this photo it had acquired bus livery and was ending its days as an omo vehicle on rural services. This model in coach form was supplied mainly to Crosville and Lincolnshire Road Car. Unless they had significantly better sound insulation than the bus version, they must have been pretty dreadful vehicles in which to travel any distance.
The other vehicle parked in the depot doorway is another Bristol SC4LK registration 802 FFM fleet number CSG622.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


04/05/11 – 11:47

I used hate driving the type back in the 60’s and early 70’s at Pwllheli’s Crosville depot. Gutless wonders and noisy too boot. Having said that in crawler gear they would easily ,though very slowly, ascend the steepest of hills, reckon one would shin up a telegraph pole too. It was virtually impossible to run early with the type. They were handy when delivering parcels as there was ample stowage room alongside the port side of the 4 cylinder Gardner "power plant" in the cab for bulky items , apart from exhaust pipes from Groom’s Porthmadog. Fare collection was not all that easy either as passengers entered the vehicle behind the driver rather than alongside. Gear changing was fun as they were not selected in the normal H pattern. A case of all over the place and hit and miss operation in the 5 forward box. Now I would give my eye teeth, allbethem false, to have a day behind an SC4 wheel. Never satisfied and ready to grumble, always the driver’s way! Wonder if that’s really true in my case as I passed my PSV back in 1960 and am still engaged driving coaches on a part time basis. If the lottery comes up I’ll buy one. Well we can take that as a never then cant we!

Evan Herbert


07/05/11 – 06:12

Thanks for sharing the experience of driving the SC4LK Evan. My experience of the type is limited to a journey from Llanwrst to Betws y Coed (pretty flat) in genuine SC days and then a trip from Beaumaris to Bangor when Crosville Wales tried them as a bit of a novelty in the 1990s. The route turned right away from the estuary up a fearsome hill, the noise level and vibration in the saloon whilst climbing was excruciating! But the old SC just took it in its stride.

Ian Wild


03/06/11 – 07:27

I remember the service from Beaumris To Penrhyn Castle using SLC12/13 I travelled to the old MOLD depot to pick up one them and then I drove one all day every SATURDAY what fun. I’m Retired now but still watch the Modern Buses go by and I often wonder what these Young drivers that drive along the flat roads of the Fens where I now live would do with the old SLC on a good Welsh Hill

Ieuan Williams


03/06/11 – 17:07

Ieuan, you should meet a friend of mine who is still a driver for First Leeds – he has a wicked mischievous sense of humour !! A few years ago he was involved in the preservation of a Leeds City Transport AEC Regent 1 of 1934, and parked it briefly at a City Centre bus stop. A newly qualified young lady driver was among a few waiting to take buses over, and my mate said to her "Are you waiting for running number **** love ??" "Yes I am" she replied.
"Oh good, this is yours then" said he, and walked away nonchalantly. They reckoned her face was a picture !!

Chris Youhill


08/06/11 – 09:55

Back in the mid 60s as a kid we had family at Llanbedrog who we’d stay with, I’d get out on the local Crosville routes. The R17 Sarn Bach-Abersoch-Pwllheli seemed always to be an SC bus, as were the short workings on the R26 from Pwllheli to Porthmadog.
The SCs seemed to go everywhere. By about 1965 it seemed Pwllheli depot had gone fully OMO with some new MWs for the R26/R27, and now had just 1 seasonal Lodekka on shorts to Butlins.
This was a shame as I was still to experience a ride on a Lodekka. My first ever sight of one, an LD at the tollgate at Boston Lodge had me in awe, it was an R26 heading to Blaenau Ffestiniog, fully blinded with Criccieth, Portmadoc (I think it was referred to at the time) and Maentwrog in the intermediate blind.
I had a few trips on the MWs too, often back to Abersoch as an R19 or R20, with a consequent long walk back along the Warren Beach to Llanbedrog over the cliff.
My last service ride on a Crosville SC was from Wrexham in about 1975, on a short working of the D1 to Acrefair.
I don’t remember much about the noise, but when you put your cash in the tray for the driver it would jingle up and down with the engine vibration. I also remember the occasional crunching gear changes.
In the early 70s the route network around Pwllheli seemed to get cut back and frequencies reduced. I seem to remember there were some of the early Perkins engined Bristol LHs (SLPs) in use there by then? I didn’t ride on them at the time as I had little interest in them, but now wish that I had done!
It was great to read Evan’s first hand experiences of the type, especially so in the context of Pwllheli.

Keith Jackson


14/09/11 – 07:53

Evan you would like to drive an SC again, where abouts in the country do you live?
In the following post to yours Ian discusses his memories of the SC and the trips from Penrhyn to Beaumaris Castles with SC 12 & 13.
SC 13 has been off the road all of this year with engine problems but I have just managed to re-build the engine and it went back on the road last Friday when it journeyed to Lincoln to have it’s MOT.
Hopefully it will be at Meadowhall this weekend.

Gordon Burkinshaw


16/09/11 – 09:31

Hi Gordon. Still live in former SC territory, Pistyll close to Nefyn on the Lleyn Peninsula. Been doing a bit of casual driving for Clynnog and Trefor Motor Co Ltd. Usually NX dupes and privates using B12M’s. Ugh didgie tachos.

Evan Herbert


18/09/11 – 06:14

Hi Evan,
Nice to hear that you still live in a lovely part of the world.
I will try and get SC13 over to Llandudno next year so perhaps you might manage to meet up if I do.
Will keep you informed.

Gordon Burkinshaw


25/09/11 – 20:40

Glad to hear that SC13 is back on the road Gordon. My memories are of SSG677 and CSG637 at Holyhead around 1970-71. They were the only buses from the Holyhead depot that could be used on the N1 service to Amlwch because of the narrow lanes around Llanfairynghornwy.
I’m now re-living my Bristol SC days as I have a Gardner 4LK in our narrow boat!

Tim


20/11/11 – 13:41

Not a bus enthusiast as such, but missed seeing the lovely green buses on a nostalgic return to Abersoch. The green livery fits well with the scenery. Websites like this help to relive happy memories of trips around the Lyn peninsula (we didn’t have a car back then).
Thank you for the photos.

Mr Anon


26/04/12 – 12:13

It’s so good to read about the old buses but what about the drivers who drove them, is there any left out there from the North Wales depots i.e Caernarfon, Bangor and The Isle of Anglesey please let us know.

Ieuan Williams


28/04/12 – 08:02

Just found your site as I recall we used to have a couple of these in Oswestry when I was younger. I was really trying to find out what happened to a bus I use to travel on a great deal, Bristol RE fleet number SRG 208. As for the buses in the photo I think ours in Oswestry had very slow sliding door, but I may have that wrong as it is a good few years ago.

Kevin Young


27/08/12 – 11:17

Kevin, I have photos of former Oswestry RE SRG208 which may be of interest to you. They illustrate where she went after disposal by Crosville Wales and how she met her unfortunate end…
www.flickr.com/photos/crisparmour/  1  
www.flickr.com/photos/crisparmour/  2  
I hope they are not too distressing for you!

Crisparmour


02/10/12 – 14:59

Why did the David Brown gearbox on the SC4LK have a strange gear pattern from third to fourth coupled with a large difference in gear ratios? I believe high revs were needed in third before engaging fourth.
Was this box primarily designed for use in other applications?

Nigel Richards


18/04/13 – 07:15

The Bristol SUL4A’s operated by Southern Vectis had the same David Brown box with similarly queer gears, I never did quite get the hang of them, but the men who drove them regularly got used to it and could make those buses fly on the level!

Patrick Hall


14/08/13 – 06:22

I was the last manager at Llanrwst before it was made into an outstation of Llandudno at the end of summer 1969. Mind you I was only 19 at the time and a trainee as they did not want to appoint another permanent manager.
These buses used to go on all the routes and had great fuel consumption in the hands of some drivers. Over 20 mpg I recall.
There was one journey which was very busy during the summer and that was the 15:00hrs to Betws and Cwm Penmachno. There would sometimes be people hanging out of the door leaving Llanrwst.
Some of them later made their way to Liverpool and the drivers used to refer to them having Welsh gearboxes.

Mike Lambden


15/08/13 – 07:00

Re Patrick Hall’s comment (Hi! Pat haven’t spoken for a while) Many years ago I was totally confused by one driver at Minehead, Western National, who referred to the climbing abilities of the ‘David Browns’ they had – and there are some real hills around here!! To me a David Brown was a tractor and it took me some while to fathom out that he was talking about the SU’s, being a clever clogs teenager it was beneath me to ask – oh how I wish I had asked more questions of the old drivers.

David Grimmett


15/08/13 – 11:56

On the subject of David Brown gearboxes, the six speed type used on lorries caught out many a driver until they got used to them. It was a normal left to right ‘H’ layout 1/4, but 5/6 were the other way round, so you went round the gate from 4 to 5, then forward for 6
        1 3 6
       -I-N-I
    R 2 4 5

Ronnie Hoye


24/04/14 – 09:31

I’ve got many fond memories of Crosville from the early 70s as a teenager spending a weeks camping trip at school near Beddgelert, I distinctly remember after all these years seeing srg1/3 and 5 in the area plus the then new Bristol LH’s, I also sneaked off to Caernarfon to visit the depot but can’t remember what was allocated there as my records have been long lost, also remember seeing a few FLF’s at Rhyl and a few RE’s/MWs? On the road bus spotting at London Victoria I always kept a sharp eye out for any CRL’s, I always thought they looked superb in the Crosville cream/green livery. As a midlander brought up on Midland Red I have to say Crosville was right up there and visiting nth Wales now has a little something missing, still got the great memories tho!

Wally


803 FFM_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


24/11/14 – 06:37

I’ve only just caught up with this posting from three years ago. Ieuan Williams asks if there are any old drivers from Crosville in North Wales still out here. I was a driver at Caernarfon Depot from 1977 to 1986 and remember Ieuan very well. I would love to get in touch with him through this site!

Don McKeown


 

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