Five Shots Taken in the Fifties

Five colour photographs taken during the 1950s. Not the best of photography, I fear, but possibly useful for the record.


Ian Thompson

Taken at Hastings in 1957, a Maidstone and District 1936 Leyland TD4 CKE 418, with a 1950 Beadle body that at the time I took to be original because of its prewar look.

Also taken in 1957, an East Kent 1947 Dennis Lancet J3 with Park Royal body.

Taken at Endless St bus station in May 1956, a pair of Wilts and Dorset 1940 Bristol K5Gs with ECW bodies. The 4+4-riser right-angled staircase differed from the winding stairs on our Thames Valley prewar K5Gs.

Taken at Lymington in the 1950s, a pair of Hants and Dorset Morris-Commercial single-deckers, a prewar K5G and a postwar K (also 5G?), both with ECW bodies.

Taken at Newbury in about 1957, a Reliance of Newbury (ex-Thames Valley) 1937 Leyland TS7 with 32-seat ECW body. On the web this morning I found a nice b&w picture of a sister ship to the M&D Titan.



A fascinating group of photos taken at a time when colour photography wasn't the norm. Thx for posting, Ian.
It's surprising that the 1950 Beadle in the first photo should have a 6-bay body, when you consider that four-bay ones were being built in the very late thirties! In all respects, it looks old-fashioned.
The two Hants and Dorset Morris Commercial/Beadle single deckers in the fourth photo rang a bell with me and I recall that quite a lot of detail on these were in an OBP post in 2012. Here it is: West Yorkshire - Morris Commercial - HYG 972 - 618

Chris Hebbron

20/02/20 - 15:45

Thanks for posting these photos, Ian. As a (very) youthful resident in rural Kent from 1946 to 1949 I encountered the buses of both Maidstone & District and East Kent. I recall with particular fondness the Dennis Lancets that would take me on rides from Faversham to Herne Bay, where the enormously lengthy pier rivalled that at Southend, but now, like the Lancets, sadly long gone. Those Dennisses were of the pre war Lancet II variety, probably of the 1939 vintage AJG 46-59 batch, powered by the smooth running four cylinder O4 engine, and I loved them. In moving towards diesels, EK initially trialled the then new O4 against the Gardner 5LW before opting for the Dennis engine, surely a testament of its quality and reliability. The Dennis company was an engineering business of very high order. I have a less sharp recollection of the Maidstone & District 'deckers as the village of Doddington was served by Tiger TS2 petrol and TS7 or TS8 diesels, but I did encounter the M & D Guy Arab utilities and the Chatham & District Bristols on visits to the Medway towns. Turning to the Hants & Dorset picture, the postwar K could be either a K5G or a K6A, but the registration, rather difficult to establish for certain, might be GLJ 965, a K5G of 1947. The two buses in the Wilts & Dorset picture both have that style of staircase; was this a W & D standard of the time?

Roger Cox

21/02/20 - 06:27

During the war Beadle constructed bodies using up stocks of ready held parts, and the 1930s style design closely resembled that on the Maidstone & District double deck TD4 picture. The registration CKE 418 makes this a 1935 chassis. I am very surprised that the body shown dates from 1950, but this picture of fellow bus CKE 414 makes the same claim.
This immediately predates the time that some BET companies embarked with Beadle upon the rebuilding certain prewar chassis into full fronted saloons and coaches. Did Beadle supply the 1950 double deck bodies as a tempter perhaps?

Roger Cox



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