Porters – Bedford OB – HOD 75

Porters - Bedford OB - HOD 75

Porters (Dummer)
Bedford OB
Duple C29F

HOD 75 was new to Western National in 1949. It has a Duple C29F body on the Bedford OB chassis, and the first view shows it in the Southsea rally on 8 June 1980. In this view it is in the livery of Porters of Dummer, near Basingstoke.

Porters - Bedford OB - HOD 75

This second view, taken in The Broadway, Winchester, and shows it in the markings of Mervyn’s Coaches of Innersdown, also near Basingstoke. It is about to pass NXL 847,  AEC Regal from Eastern Belle. The date is 1st January 2009 and it’s another King Alfred running day.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

03/04/17 – 08:43

In case anyone is (a) not familiar with the area and (b) interested, Dummer is the home village of Sarah Ferguson, Price Andrew’s "ex".

Pete Davies

04/04/17 – 07:05

Is this the same OB that turns up in all those wartime dramas pretending to be ten years older than it is?

Ronnie Hoye

04/04/17 – 08:45

Not ten years Ronnie. It was in Foyles War from 1941/42, and I think Miss Marple – So only seven years ish.

Pat Jennings

20/05/18 – 06:08

I’m pretty certain that was the exact same coach that used to take us to school there was two that took us and Porters rotated them sometimes we had the vintage one in the photo and other times we had their ultra modern brand new one.


14/11/20 – 08:01

It appears in "Woman in Black Angel of Death", supposedly in 1941 – eight years before it was built!


16/11/20 – 06:09

Not as bad as the Routemaster that turned up in Foyles War.
For a moment I thought I was watching Dr Who, and the Tardis had changed its disguise.

Ronnie Hoye

17/11/20 – 06:20

I understand that the series of Foyle’s War was filmed in Dublin, and the Routemaster was all that was available there.

Peter Williamson


Lodge – Bedford SB – MJB 481

Lodge - Bedford SB - MJB 481

Lodge (High Easter)
Bedford SB
Duple C37F

MJB 481 was new to Chiltonia, of Chilton Foliat, in 1956. Chilton Foliat is near Hungerford and is mentioned in the television series ‘Band of Brothers’. It has a Duple body to the C37F layout although BLoW has it listed as C41F, we see it in the markings of Lodge, High Easter, near Chelmsford. It is at Duxford on 28 September 2003. Yes, it’s Showbus and it’s been raining!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

26/03/17 – 09:32

Lodges are getting quite a collection of vintage Bedfords.
BXM 568 Duple since 2/08 (under restoration)
CFV 851 Duple Vista acquired 9/16 (under restoration)
LTA 752 Duple Vista open side 12/10
TMY 191 Duple Vista 11/06
FFS 867 Burlingham Seagull 2/17 (awaiting restoration)
MJB 481 Duple Vega by -/89
EDD 685C Duple Bella Vega 2/14
DJL 126D Duple Bella Venture 2/14 (awaiting restoration)
HDL 126D Duple Bella Venture 8/15 (spares doner for DJL 126D) also
Chevrolet X
ES 8440 charabanc replica 4/15

John Wakefield

13/06/17 – 07:30

Re John Wakefield post Lodges coaches.
Bedford OB CFV851 is shown in a photo elsewhere taken by John showing Isle of Wight destinations. I believe this coach operated on the Island in the 1970s. Does anyone know who with and when

Andrew Mead

24/06/17 – 06:26

Andrew Mead asks if Lodges Bedford OB CFV 851 body has ever operated on the IoW
not according to the history I have on it. Although I don’t have a town for Couchman. After that it appeared to have spent time in Surrey, Gloucestershire & London before going to Fisher of Southend in 1976. It then spent 38 years in preservation with Doug Payne of Thundersley, Essex before going to Lodge in June 2016.
New to Wood t/a Seagull Coaches, Blackpool 3/48
?/?? Couchman, -?-
5/70 Chivers Coaches, Elstead
?/?? McCann, Forest Green
1/73 Taylor. London
1/74 Baker, -?- (dealer)
?/?? W.E. Preservations, -?-
-/76 Fisher, Southend
-/78 Doug Payne, Thundersley – kept at Castle Point Transport Museum
9/16 Lodge, High Easter 9/16

John Wakefield

14/02/20 – 06:42

Just to add to CFV 851’s history. Looks like it worked for Crouchman Garage on Maidstone Road, Lenham, Kent 1966-70 and prior to 1966 was with an operator on Station Approach in West Byfleet, Surrey for a few years after leaving Blackpool (possibly since 1957?). From 1/72 it operated for Tony McCann t/a McCann Coaches at Forest Green Garage, Dorking Surrey. Don’t know if anyone can further enlarge the info on Richard Haughey’s flickr photo!

Peter Hadfield

15/02/20 – 06:23

The only things I can add to the history of CFV 851 is that Wood withdrew it in February 1952, after which it passed to Howarth, West Byfleet (no dates recorded) and the Lenham operator was Couchman, rather than Crouchman, and it was acquired by him in October 1966.

John Kaye

16/02/20 – 06:07

Douglas Payne, the long time owner of CFV 851, published a booklet dated October 1989 containing a brief history and a number of early photos of S&J Wood Ltd, the coach’s original operator. Douglas had restored the coach to Wood’s Seagull Coaches livery, though whether it remained like that I do not know. In it, he records that he purchased the coach in May 1978 (recorded as -/78 above).

David Williamson

20/02/20 – 15:52

CFV 851 remained with Doug and in Seagull livery until he sold it the Andrew Lodge in 9/16 when it was painted in Lodge’s livery. For most of its life with Doug it was housed in the Castle Point Transport Museum on Canvey Island. In latter years it did not venture far, but now back into revenue earning service as part of Lodges heritage fleet. Numerous pics of it on Flickr.

John Wakefield


King Alfred – Albion Victor – AAA 756 – Victor 6

King Alfred - Albion Victor - AAA 756 - Victor 6

King Alfred Motor Services
Albion Victor PK114
Abbott C20C

AAA 756 is an Albion Victor PK114 and it dates from 1935, when it was delivered to the King Alfred fleet. It has an Abbott C20C body and is seen outside Winchester Guildhall on 25 April 1993, the running day having been moved to April to mark the anniversary of the operator’s sale to Hants & Dorset. Its fleet number was Victor 6, according to the book on KAMS, but such things don’t seem to have appeared on the vehicles themselves. I know I’m digressing and perhaps it’s just my warped mind – please, don’t all agree! – but Victor 6 seems reminiscent of "Z Cars", though there were only ever two of them, ZV1 and ZV2. I know that one of them was KTJ 578 and the other was (numbers unknown) VTB. I know, too, that KTJ was actually a Leyland Comet chassis which was bodied as the Lancashire Constabulary horse box. I saw it parked in Lancaster on a number of occasions. Any thoughts, please about what VTB was?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

23/03/17 – 07:55

ZV2 Registration number was 348 VTB, a Ford Consul saloon in the series. Information found on You Tube, hope this will be of use to the experts.

Ian Mason

23/03/17 – 07:56

No info on VTB, but IMCDb has JVX 959C and PHK 613D as well as KTJ 578 www.imcdb.org/movie_129723-Z-Cars.html

John Lomas

24/03/17 – 17:03

Thanks, John & Ian. I had stopped watching by the time the two Essex registrations came into the programme.

Pete Davies

24/03/17 – 17:03

Both this handsome Albion Victor and the little 1931 Dennis 30cwt, a fraction of which is just visible in the left of the picture, will be in service on King Alfred Running Day on the first of May.

Ian Thompson

28/03/17 – 07:25

AAA 756_2

Here is another picture of this Albion taken in Brighton during the May 1970 HCVC run, when it wore a less than accurate version of the King Alfred livery. I believe this vehicle still has its original 65 bhp 3.89 litre four cylinder petrol engine. The PK114 was the 17ft 2in wheelbase normal control version which appeared in 1934, four years after the introduction of the Victor model in 1930. Victor production ended in 1939 with the outbreak of war. The Abbott business emerged in 1929 from the failure of the car coach builder, Page & Hunt, at Wrecclesham, just south of Farnham on the Bordon/Petersfield Road. The firm concentrated mainly on car bodywork, but, during the lean 1930s, commercial vehicle coach building and sailplane construction was undertaken also, though these latter activities ended with the advent of WW2. Abbott continued car bodywork manufacture post war, but the diminishing market for this specialised business led to the firm’s closure in 1972.
AAA 756 has a curious history. It was bought by Robert Chisnell in 1935 as a coach for special outings, notably to race meetings at Epsom and Ascot, and it continued in service until war broke out, during which conflict it seemingly met with little use. Probably it was lucky to escape being requisitioned by the military. It saw some activity post war until withdrawal in 1949, after which it lurked in the basement of King Alfred’s Chesil Street garage until emerging from its hibernation after private purchase in 1959 by the Rolls brothers. It made several appearances thereafter before a programme of restoration was undertaken by Dave Hurley, by then its owner, in the 1980s. From 1993, now restored and in the correct livery, AAA 756 made many appearances from its base at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, until, in 2013, it became part of the FoKAB fleet. Incidentally, I think that the fleet name/number of AAA 756 is Victor 2 rather than Victor 6. Victor 1 was AAA 755, another PK114 of 1935, but fitted with a Duple C20R body. This was withdrawn in 1951. The third and last Victor to enter the King Alfred fleet in came in 1938, but this was a PK115 forward control example equipped with a Strachan C26F body. This one did get requisitioned during the war, and never came back.
The complete King Alfred fleet list may be found :- at this link

Roger Cox

29/03/17 – 06:25

You are correct, Roger. 756 is listed in the Freeman, Jowitt and Murphy history of the operator as "Victor 2". Now, how did I conjure up "Victor 6"? It can’t be a simple typing error!

Pete Davies

25/12/20 – 06:30

KTJ 578 was definitely a fake number used for filming. I can’t think of a reason apart from the possibility that they wanted a Lancashire-looking number for Z-cars. However, the same number, on a Mark 3 Zephyr, also appeared in the film "The Christmas Tree", in which, weirdly, it was again driven by Brian Blessed playing a policeman (this time in Bagshot!) 348 VTB was a proper number for the time, and probably the right number for the other Z-car.

Jonathan Cocking


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