Fieldsends Coaches

Fieldsends Coaches

After seeing the posting of the J W Fieldsend Ltd Ford Thames Trader I had a root in the archives and found these pics (copyright unknown) which I hope will be of interest. Any additional information to the captions will be appreciated.

Andrew Critchlow

EBA 265 a Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger PS1 which was new in 1949

FBA 647 a Leyland Royal Tiger with a Harrington body new in 1951 alongside NWU 382 a Seddon with a Plaxton body belonging to Arthur Rowes

HHJ 294 a Plaxton rebody with a 1953 registration on what looks like an AEC Regal chassis. Next to it is Samuelsons MLF 428

LBA 791 Commer Avenger IV TS3 with a Plaxton C41F body shown as sold to Hackett of Leigh-on-sea in 1959 it was new in 1956

MRJ 595 a 1958 Bedford SB3 with a Plaxton C41F body

RRJ 488 a 1960 Bedford SB1 with a Plaxton C41F body. OBA 776 a 1959 Bedford SB1 again with a Plaxton C41F body. 454 DTJ a Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2 with a Duple C41F body owned by Walls of Higher Ince near Wigan

XBA 647 a 1963 AEC Reliance 4MU3RA with a Plaxton C51F body

XRJ 417 a 1963 Bedford Val 14 with a Plaxton C52F body. Alongside is 273 STF a Lancashire United Transport AEC Reliance 2MU3RV with a Plaxton DP41F body

20/12/13 - 17:55

Lovely collection of Fieldsend pictures. Thank you, Andrew. Just two things. i) EBA265 has a Plaxton body
ii) you have transposed two of the SBs. RRJ488 is a 1959 Plaxton Concort; it's neighbour is a later Embassy - 1960 or 1961.
XBA 647 is a lovely picture of a 4MU3RA/Plaxton. I had a superb journey in the '70s on a similar Ribblesdale vehicle (on hire to Ribble) on the Glasgow/Manchester National Express diagram.

David Oldfield

26/12/13 - 08:39

I don't understand David's second correction. RRJ must be a later registration than OBA. Both look like Consort IVs, although RRJ 488 may possibly have simplified trim, similar to that used later on the Embassy.

Peter Williamson

27/12/13 - 13:28

One ex-Fieldsend coach was photographed a few times when it eventually arrived with East Kent. EBA 857 was a Bedford OB/Duple "Vista" C29F new to Fieldsend in June 1950, and sold to Sarjeant Bros, Cheriton in August 1951. It passed to East Kent with 2 other Sarjeant OBs in May 1953. Does anyone recall the colour of the moquette used by Fieldsend in the early 1950s, please?

Mike Harvey

EBA 265 was new in 5/50 according to the PSVC. It served as Northern General 1529 from 1953 to 1957, by which time its Plaxton body had been converted to FC33F. The coach came to NGT with the business of SF Hunter of Great Lumley, who had acquired the coach from Fieldsend in 1952.
HHJ 294 was an unusual coach in the Fieldsend fleet because they normally operated a very modern fleet, buying new and selling after only a few years. The Southend registration indicates it was first operated by their associated company, Victoria Coaches (Leigh-on-Sea) Ltd. An article in a 1954 Buses Illustrated magazine had a photo of a similar coach, GHJ 839, describing it as a former LT STL chassis with a 1953 Plaxton body. Their fleet was said to contain several re-bodied re-registered pre-war Leyland Titan and AEC Regent chassis (apparently extended).
LBA 791 was an exhibit at the 1956 Commercial Motor Show and did not enter service until March of the following year. This was the initial style of Consort body which was produced for the 1957 season only. Its chassis number was 94A0000, perhaps an indication that it was the first Mark IV Avenger to be built.
The caption dates for RRJ 488 and OBA 776 are correct (5/60 and 5/59 respectively, to be more precise, according to the PVSC) and both are Mark IV Consorts. They nicely illustrate an option offered by Plaxton for the Bedford SB around this time. This was a slightly raised floor level to reduce engine and wheel arch intrusion, and also included adjusting the steering column to a more upright position. Comparing the two, it can be seen that on RRJ the steering wheel is flatter, the lower edge of the emergency door is higher to match the higher floor level and the depth from top of grille to bottom of windscreen is greater and sufficiently deep to accommodate the destination indicators.

David Williamson

The caption for EBA 265 has been changed from 'Harrington body' to 'Plaxton body'

30/03/15 - 16:12

Another fascinating set of images of Fieldsend. Two comments:
It's stated that Commer LBA 791 was sold to Hackett of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. This is interesting because Victoria Coaches Ltd utilised an identical thunder flash on the side of their fleet. Perhaps Hackett was subsequently a director of Victoria and he adopted it from Fieldsend? [coincidentally front-engined HHJ 294 carries a Southend CBC registration dating from Autumn 1953, which seems a bit late for a Regal III unless it was a rebody.
Furthermore, there is a flickr photo from "Westrowman" showing 11m Reliance XBA 645, which I recall once seeing myself, at the fenland Bungalow of H J Eagles, still sporting, incongruously GB plates and gold sign written "British and Continental Travel"

Felix P Ormerod



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