Brighton, Hove & District Omnibus Co.

Brighton, Hove & District Omnibus Co.

In 1933, the London bus operations of Thomas Tilling were absorbed by the newly formed London Passenger Transport Board. The Tilling operation in Brighton continued until it was reformed within the TBAT grouping, as the “Brighton, Hove and District Omnibus Company”. From this time, most, if not all, of the indigenous fleet of AEC Regents, plus the 6 Dennis Lances, were fitted with oil engines. Most of these were Gardner 5LW types, but some were 7.7 litre AEC units.
2 of the Lance buses received AEC engines and radiators, and these 2 passed to Westcliffe on Sea after withdrawal, along with the 5LW Lances, in 1949.
A Gardner 4LK unit was fitted to one of the Dennis single deckers.
During WW2, many of the Regents were rebodied by ECW, or Beadle, the ECW units being a forerunner of the post war shape. The company also built some bodies themselves in the early post war period, on reconditioned chassis.

In 1939, Brighton Corporation replaced its tram fleet with a fleet of AEC Regents, and AEC 661T trolleybuses, all with handsome Weymann bodies, and entered into a joint agreement with the company, with both of them standardising on a red and cream livery with identical destination layout. The company also introduced some trolleybus working as part of the mileage balance agreement.
Altogether, a very interesting set-up!

Bristols entered the fleet as the standard type after the company was reformed, and standard type double deckers entered the fleet in the post war period, but there was always that “different” feel about BH&D due to its non standard livery and destination display, even though it was a typical Tilling Group operation in many other respects.

The photographs in this gallery were purchased at a car boot sale in Leicestershire for £2.00! I have no idea who took them, but they would appear to be dated to the 1950s. If any reader can fill in, or supply more data, then it would be gratefully received, as the purpose of this gallery is to stimulate interest in this fleet, so we can all learn more about it, and perhaps develop a comprehensive fleet list if there is not one already out there!

John Whitaker

NJ 9058 - 6325 a 1936 Bristol G05G with a 1949 BH&D body.

CAP 187 - 6360 a 1940 K5G/ECW and was rebuilt as an open top in 1955/6.

GHT 124 - 5989 a 1940 Bristol K5G/ECW. Purchased 1955 from Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co, and converted to a convertible open top.

HGC 244 - 5998 a 1945 Bristol K6A purchased in 1953 from London Transport and ftted with an ECW body in 1955.

CPN 6 - 6381 a 1946 Bristol K with ECW bodywork and an experimental Bristol AVW engine.

EPM 4 - 6407 a 1949 Bristol K5G with an experimental ECW four bay body.

EPM 14 - 6417 a 1949/50 Bristol K5G with ECW H56R body.

FNJ 107 - 6425 a 1951 Bristol KS5G with an ECW H60R body.

HAP 996 - 6458 a 1954 Bristol KSW6G with an ECW H60R body.

MPM 497 - 497 a 1957 Bristol Ks6G and back to a 7ft 6ins wide body.



22/09/12 - 06:45

A wonderful car-boot sale purchase of photos of a very evocative BTC fleet.

To add to the Gallery, I have attached a photo of one of the BH&D company 1940 AEC 661T/Weymann trolleybuses that were stored throughout the war and entered service in 1946 with new registrations. The photo of AEC trolleybus 6341 was taken on 11 June 1957 by the late J Copland.

Richard Fieldhouse

23/09/12 - 06:39

Great to see another gallery of Bristol buses and if you haven't looked yet you can compare the picture of GHT 124 in this gallery with GHT 127 taken this year and is in the previous gallery [BVBG / The Bristols] Here is a quick link to view.

Ken Jones

09/10/12 - 08:15

It's always been a mystery why their 1940 trolleys were stored for the duration and how they were allowed to get away with it. After all, coal (for electricity) was less valuable that fuel.
Also, how was it that they were never called upon to lend their dormant t/buses to other operators in need?

Chris Hebbron

31/10/12 - 07:07

I began work in the Winchester Rd body repair shop in 1951. I did quite a lot of the panel work on the open toppers. The bodies were rebuilt from the floor up & the original top deck seats were padded, of course when it rained they became sodden. They were removed & the cushions were put through our sheet metal rollers as a temporary measure whilst new slatted seats were made. The conversions were made in two separate batches. The first lot did not have the small side windows over the lower deck windows.

Ted Taylor



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