A Quick Norwich Tour 1969/70

A Quick Norwich Tour 1969/70

Half-a-dozen photographs from 1969/70 around the Norwich Eastern Counties bus "hubs" where I used to go with my friend.
The first two are pictured at Silver Road Depot, a remnant of the old Norwich Electric Tramways sheds. This was where buses were often delivered brand new before entering service, or more sadly, the last Eastern Counties resting place for de-licensed and withdrawn vehicles.

Photo 1 shows LKH265 (LNG 265) a Bristol KS6B, the only Bristol engined bus in a small batch of five 1951 vehicles. Beside it is LKH 255 (KNG 255) a K5G of 1950.

Photo 2: A few months earlier we see LKH135 (HPW 135) a K5G, pretending to be James Bond. Alongside is LS766 (UNG 766) an LS5G coach and an un-identified LH.

A couple of miles away is Thorpe Railway Station. Around the frontage were a series of ornate bus stands where many routes terminated. Photo 3 shows K5G LKH137 (HPW 137) unusually without adverts, waiting for its next turn. All the bus waiting shelters have now gone, as inevitably the area now contains a modern surface car park.

About a mile along Thorpe Road from the Railway Station was Cremorne Lane Works, and the Eastern Counties Head Office, and Bristol RESL RE652 (I think) KVF 652E is pictured alongside the workshops. Of more interest to me was L5G LL679 (GPW 679) I believe the last L5G in Norwich (I stand to be corrected).

Up in the City Centre, Photo 5 shows the large bus garage at Surrey Street Bus Station. Interestingly in this picture, it shows LL744 (MAH 744) a prototype 41 seat LS4G of 1951. Beside is KSW5G LKH308 (MAH 308) of 1951.

Across the road from the top of the bus station was a temporary bus parking area beside Queensway Warehouse and here we see LKH336 (NAH 936) a 1952 KSW5G. Just to be seen in the background is a Bristol SC turning out of the bus station.

Graham Watling

26/10/13 - 07:31

Seeing these photos reminds me of childhood visits to and holidays in Lincolnshire. I always preferred the high-bridge to the low-bridge versions of the ECW body on both K and KSW Bristols. Lincolnshire Road Car had these on 6LW chassis - which I always preferred to 5LW - although the 6B was my favourite. Didn't get to Norfolk until the late '60s and it was LDs that abide in the memory there.

.....and before I get an avalanche of comments, yes, I do know that many (most?) of Lincolnshire's Ks were K6As.

David Oldfield

29/10/13 - 07:24

Lovely set of photos, Graham - as a very small boy at the time I was only just becoming dimly aware of the LD5Gs and FS5Gs which plied my local routes in the city, so any 60s and 70s views of Norwich will always fascinate me.
Just a few notes regarding your shots - all five of the 1951 highbridge KSs (LNG 261-5) were originally Bristol engined with replacement to Gardner 5LW carried out early in life - LNG 265 was so converted in 1958. The giveaway to engine type on halfcab Bristols is the bonnet side - Gardners had the two access holes in a straight line, while those for Bristol and AEC engines were diagonal.
The LH in Photo 2 looks like it could be one of the XPW 902-6H batch new in July 1970.
Turning to Photo 4, L5G GPW 679 was in permanent use as a staff bus at that time and had become X52 in the service fleet. The KVF-E RESLs were classified as RS, RE being used for RELH coaches.
I vaguely remember the overspill parking at Queensway in Photo 6 which continued for a few years afterwards. The warehouse was demolished in the mid 1970s to be replaced by Bland Payne House (which became Sedgwick, then Marsh) which stands on Queens Road opposite the top entrance to the bus station. The parking problem was alleviated by Vulcan Road depot opening in 1976 which took care of a few dozen vehicles.

Nigel Utting

30/10/13 - 07:12

Yes David, the highbridge K5G's were always our favourite machines, especially with the four-bay ECW bodies. I attach another picture at Surrey Street bus station of LKH419 (HPW 106) in June 1969 going to another place called "Service", for your delectation.
Thanks for the information about the bonnet sides Nigel, - I didn't know that! Yes, I remember now the RESL' s were allocated "RS" fleet numbers of course. I have mis-laid my BBF East Anglia book, otherwise I would have stated this. I have many more pictures of buses parked at Queensway, but they are not too good. I may see if I can get the best ones copied for Old Bus Photos.
Visits to the Silver Road Depot were always tinged with excitement, what would we find there that day? a new bus delivery? a road traffic accident victim? a bus or coach awaiting a new engine? or more sadly, one of our favourite K5G's awaiting the trip to the breakers yard?
Thorpe Station was a different venue completely. Buses would pull-in from the Prince of Wales Road/Riverside Road junction and set down their passengers at the unloading bay. They would then proceed empty, past the station building and drive all around the forecourt to the bus stands to collect new passengers for the return journeys. More buses would stop on the adjoining Thorpe Road and Riverside Road bus stops making the area a hive of activity.

Graham Watling

01/11/13 - 08:15

These photos bought back memories as I was a student in Norwich from 1971 to 1974 and knew most of the locations well, although I rarely went to Silver Road and only remember the doors always being closed.
The forecourt of Thorpe Railway Station ceased to be used as a bus terminus in the Summer of 1971 when the city services were completely remodelled for the first time since the tram era. Ironically it came back into use several decades later.
I remember how surprised I was, one day, to see a Bristol VR in full Western Scottish Motor Traction livery parked at Cremorne Lane, in those pre-internet days news travelled a lot more slowly.
Surrey Street Bus Station was a favourite haunt on Wednesdays as we students had the afternoon off, ostensibly for games practise. The prototype LS4G just survived in to my time at Norwich although I never rode on it until it became part of the Ipswich Transport Museum collection.
The parking area opposite the Bus Station had originally been the Victoria Railway Station which had closed to passengers as long ago as 1916. I believe the Queensway store had originally been the customs shed at the station. Coal trains continued to use the sidings until the 1980s, I remember the odd Class 08 engine shunting there.

Nigel Turner



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