Red and White Guy L1749 - Part One

Red and White Guy L1749 - Part One

My wife and I are the present owners of Red & White Services Duple bodied Guy Arab III double decker HWO 342 Fleet No L1749, which I helped to restore to a roadworthy condition in 2003 in Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, after nearly 30 years of neglect. In 2004 the owner Andy Mayo, decided to sell the bus, and asked me if Shirley and I would buy it to keep it in itís original operating area of Red & White Services, which had itís Head Office and Central Workshops at Bulwark, in Chepstow. It was an offer that we could not refuse, as L1749 was one of the buses which we had worked together on as newly wed Driver and Conductress on the Red & White in 1959, operating the Cardiff/Gloucester and Newport/Caldicot/Chepstow services from our depot in Newport. In fact, I had first met Shirley on one of the Guy double deckers in 1956, when she was a trainee Conductress on the Gloucester route, while I was in the Royal Air Force traveling home on leave. So we both had good nostalgic memories of the old Guy double deckers, and to be offered the chance to own L1749 which I had previously driven over 40 years earlier, was unbelievable, especially as it was now the sole roadworthy survivor out of the original fleet of 30 Guy double deckers new to the Red & White in 1949/1950. I believe that the only other survivor is HWO 334, Fleet No L1149, which I had also driven, and which is preserved in the BMMOT museum in Wythall in Birmingham. Although freshly painted in the later Tillings livery, L1149 is presently not in a road worthy condition. We enjoy taking L1749 to vintage rallies in the Summertime, and get pleasure in hearing older people tell us of their memories of going to school or to work as teenagers on the Guy double deckers, and love to sit in their favourite seats again.
The previous owner, Andy Mayo, who was also a former Red & White Driver, still drives L1749 to any events in the Gloucestershire area, such as Stroud and Toddington. Although I left the Red & white after 10 years to return to my former R A F trade as an Aircraft Technician, I have always regarded my time driving buses and later express service coaches out of Cheltenham Coach Station as the happiest period of my career.
We live in the London area, but keep L1749 preserved undercover in South Wales.

I do hope you enjoy my gallery which is in three parts:
Part one - L1749 whilst in service with Red & White with other Red & White Guy Arab IIIs
Part two - Under Preservation
Part three - L1749 as she is today

Ken Morgan

L1749 whilst in service with Red & White

L1749 about to reverse off the stand in Gloucester bus station en route for Chepstow, Newport and Cardiff during its service days, possibly 1961/2. Note the original Red & White livery of white window pillars has been changed to that of the BTC Tillings livery

L1149 HWO 334 in Gloucester while operating the Cardiff/Gloucester service in the late 1950s, following it's repaint into BTC Tillings group livery of red body with cream line.
L1149 is now preserved at the BMMOT Transport Museum in Wythall, Birmingham and is believed to be the only other survivor out of the fleet of 30 identical buses new to Red & White in 1949/50.

HWO 326 fleet number 26 before the takeover by BTC Tillings group is photographed having just passed through the ancient town arch in Chepstow which shows the height restriction of 10ft 6in. Photo taken when 26 was new in 1949.

L1749 left to decay in Winkley, Devon where it remained until rescued from demolition in 1992 by Jason Allen and his father Doug who towed it to Ross on Wye for restoration work.

To view Part Two click here



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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 11th August 2020