Delaine, Bourne, Lincolnshire.

Delaine, Bourne, Lincolnshire.

As I noted in my reply to Orla's comment about the Mid-Wales Motorways Bedford SB RCT 2, there are - so far - no vehicles of this well-respected operator on this website. Here is a mini gallery which I hope will go towards a remedy. All have been taken on or approaching rally grounds and all are from slides.

Pete Davies

DTL 489D, 1966 Atlantean PDR1/2 with Willowbrook H76F bodywork has fleet number 60. She's in Netley, on her way to the rally on 9 July 1995. Sorry the overhanging tree obscures some of the roof!

RCT 3, 1960 Titan PD3/1 with Yeates H73RD bodywork. Fleet number 50. She's seen in Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley - the site of a military hospital - during the rally on 8 July 1984.

MTL 750, Tiger Cub PSUC1/2 with Yeates DP43F bodywork (fleet number 47) Both views were taken at Duxford, the front nearside view on 26 September 2004 and the rear offside view on 27 September 1998.


13/06/14 - 09:05

Excellent shots depicting an interesting and very traditional operator, the likes of which are now sadly lacking as a result of Ridiculous Ridley's supposed competitive deregulation measures. Thankfully this operator survives.
By the way, is the Atlantean towing the Corrtina or is it just the telephoto lens?

Phil Blinkhorn

13/06/14 - 09:29

Don't be silly, Phil. You've been around long enough to know that there are hundreds of people around who are so mean that they will always hitch a ride in your boot to save money.

David Oldfield

13/06/14 - 15:34

Is there a more attractive independents livery than the Delaine?
If so I haven't seen it. Even the current fleet which I saw a couple of years ago in Stamford immediately draws the eye. So classy and just a bit brassy.

Orla Nutting

14/06/14 - 08:23

What a very apt description Phil of the totally uninformed Ridley, referred to once by the Baroness (probably before she was one) as "Dear old Nick." Neither of them can have had the remotest idea about the practicalities of realistically legal bus operation. The continuing superb faultless and impressive Delaine operation is almost too good to be true in present times, but I am only one of many to admire the Firm greatly.

Chris Youhill

14/06/14 - 08:25

David, the real question is, if it isn't being towed, is it a professional doing a bit of slipstreaming or a prat tailgating!!!

Phil Blinkhorn

14/06/14 - 08:31

There was a view included, which Peter has decided to leave out - it wasn't one of my better results and I suspect it was too dark for him to process - but it was of the operator's other PD3. OCT566 doesn't appear in the PSVC listing for 2012. Is she now departed this life?
Phil, so far as I can recall, the car wasn't attached to the bus, in the way I've seen a few folk with motor homes towing the family car.

Pete Davies

15/06/14 - 08:04

Living a mere 8 miles by crow (a bit further by bus) from Peterborough, I see the Delaine fleet quite often, and sometimes travel on its service to Stamford. Mercifully, this operator has always resisted the juvenile fad for flying stripes and attendant aberrations in its livery, which remains traditional to this day. Not only is the colour scheme dignified in appearance, but it is always maintained to the very highest degree, unlike that of a certain major Scottish based bus group sharing the Peterborough streets, whose gimmicky fleet paintwork (guess who 'designed' it) quickly degenerates into a sombre state of matt finished scruffiness. Delaine's high standard is equally to be noted at the Bourne depot. Never elsewhere have I seen such a clean garage floor.

Roger Cox

15/06/14 - 08:04

The Delaine Buses website gives the current status of PD3 48 (OCT 566) as being preserved in Belgium, but most other sources give the most recent ownership as Mart Leek of Monnickendam, Netherlands (6/99?) for use as a wedding bus, after quite a few years of preservation in the UK. However, it is reported to have fallen foul of Dutch height restrictions (although there are certainly other full-height ex-UK double deckers in existence in the Netherlands) and not used for its intended purpose.It was photographed in 2002, apparently stored in the open.
I have found no reference to OCT 566 having been scrapped, but, even if it still exists, it's not likely to be very healthy if it's been stored in the open for many years.
Is the PSVC publication a list of preserved buses, or of ex-UK vehicles known to be in existence abroad? If it's of preserved buses, then OCT 566 should not be included, since it's certainly not preserved.

David Call

15/06/14 - 08:07

Delaine is certainly an interesting company which upholds the very best traditions of the bus industry.
BTW, my son nicknames tailgaters Velcro (wo)man!

Chris Hebbron

15/06/14 - 11:21

Very apt indeed Chris H, and I do admire your son's rather prickly sense of humour - I'm off now !!

Chris Youhill

15/06/14 - 11:22

Roger's thoughts about a certain Scottish company are very interesting. One of my friends used to work at the Winchester depot. I asked him on one occasion if there was any form of link between that firm and a certain (French?) petrol company. Here's the reasoning: when bus had stripes, so did petrol, same combination of colours. When bus moved on to swirls, so did petrol, and same layout. My friend wasn't aware of any link, but folk on here may have other ideas.
Incidentally, the 'designer' Roger has in mind wasn't directly involved in the current bus livery, though he may have been responsible for that on the trains the firm runs as well. Winchester depot had some buses held for rail replacement services, or to run a link between Romsey, Hursley and Winchester. These were painted in the same livery as South West Trains - some had that as the fleetname. The boss man came down to Winchester one day, saw these vehicles in 'non-standard' livery, asked the reason and was told. He decreed there and then that it should be fleet standard.

Pete Davies

16/06/14 - 06:31

Actually Roger Cox isn't quite right about Delaine having never succumbed to stripey liveries. One decker did sport diagonal stripes some time around the early 1980s but they obviously thought better of it.
A recent group visit to the depot in rather damp weather bought forth the following comment from one of the Delaine-Smith family- "we would take you out for a ride in the Atlantean but we have just cleaned it underneath and we don't want to get it dirty so it will have to be a ride in an Olympian instead". I thought that rather summed up the standards of the operator. I'm sure we could all name some companies who don't seem to wash the visible parts of their fleet let alone the underside.

Nigel Turner

16/06/14 - 06:32

Pete, you may be right about the "certain Scottish" livery, but our local 'Busway' effort of blue and green (which, traditionally, should never be seen), which can also be observed alongside Delaine in Peterborough, is certainly one of our 'friend's' creations. It doesn't wear well, as this picture indicates:-
The corner cutting, cost obsessed big groups don't come within a million miles of Delaine when it comes to pride in appearance. Incidentally, the claim on the back of the Busway Scanias that they run on 100% biofuel is less than entirely honest. These buses have two fuel tanks, the main one for biofuel and a smaller one for normal mineral diesel. These buses have to be started and run until warm on the mineral fuel before switching to biofuel. Biofuel also waxes at low temperatures, a problem that was eliminated from mineral diesel decades ago, and recourse to the mineral fuel tank has to be made in such circumstances.

Roger Cox

17/06/14 - 13:40

Roger Cox's comment and photo sets off a train of thought about modern bussing- not just livery. The Busway livery is truly frightful. There's been bits on TV recently about "dazzle" camouflage against early U boats- perhaps it is meant to frighten off route predators? What are those giant half-tone dots trying to be? At one time you could fade with these between different shades of the same colour- but not here. The telling bit, though is that the bus is so scruffy, despite its apparent newness. On a seemingly dry day, the area behind the rear wheels is filthy- and the lower deck windows- whilst the real giveaway is the diesel slick beneath the filler: those of us who have owned diesel cars know how to deal with this, but not, it seems, Stagecoach.
Change of track: why are these buses so big? I thought that passenger numbers were falling? A modern single deck bus holds as many passengers as a late 1940's double, when bus travel was supposed to be in a golden age. I know that reversed staircases and wheelchair space (good) take up a good deal of the lower deck, but why are we still looking to seat 80+ with noisy, lumbering gas guzzling buses when smaller nimbler vehicles could do the job better?


18/06/14 - 10:51

As a side line of interest, the office block used by Delaine was originally the workshop for the famous ERA motor racing team.

Roger Broughton

18/06/14 - 15:37

Joe, A major problem for operators is variable demand, even in these times of mass and multi car ownership.
As the majority of the country's routes are now covered by a handful of operators, it makes sense for them to buy in bulk to get the best price. As body and chassis builders prefer to build standardised vehicles, unlike in days gone by when even "standards" like the MCW Orion could be ordered with many variations, it is economical for both operators and manufacturers to limit the types of vehicle ordered. Add in the need for wheelchair space, take into account the failure of the "bread van" mini buses of the late 1980s and remembering that even the very successful Dennis Dart got progressively bigger as operators realised the cost of multiple smaller buses, extra staffing, equipment and spares costs and you have your answer.

Phil Blinkhorn

19/06/14 - 07:47

Yet more interesting thoughts from Roger and Joe! I know it's conventional NOT to have blue and green together as shop or bus "house styles" - WH Smith tried it a few years ago and it was dreadful - but we see blue flowers with green leaves.
The idea of standardising on double deckers, or single deckers for that matter, does depend on the local demand. Some operators, as we know, have an all singles fleet, others have an all doubles, others have a mixture.
My local route (operated by First) has singles most of the time. On school runs morning and evening, we usually have a double. The first available bus for Over 60's pass holders leaves Hamble for Southampton at 09.00 (I live in Eastleigh Borough territory, and they allow residents to start at 09.00). It's a single and is usually full two stops before we cross the Southampton boundary. There have been several requests for this particular duty to have doubles, but the idea is rejected every time it's raised. The rest of the day the buses run virtually empty until evening peak (but they still have a single!).

Pete Davies

19/06/14 - 09:23

Here's a link to the 2002 shot of OCT 566 I mentioned above. From what little you can see, it looks to have been in reasonable condition at the time.

David Call

20/06/14 - 07:24

Not sure I agree about the need to run leviathans everywhere, Phil. There must be a sort of norm or average: if the megacompanies can run route branded buses, then they can make the bus fit the route. It is the old command economy Atlantean argument again, whilst PD3's and the rest are eliminated. Is it a case of too much Government interference creating false financial structures for subsidies and so on that the big boys play along with?
One result is that the buses can only use main roads, and another pollution. Thought for the day: saw a new Arriva Yorkshire Pointer/Dart type bus today in a new livery (dark front so you can't see it)- so it can be done!


06/04/16 - 06:15

There is a recent picture of OCT 566 at this link
It's no longer residing outside, but not in a very good condition either.
This is the only picture, there just was no space to even see more of the bus.




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