Old Bus Photos

Eastern Scottish – Bristol RE – EWS 166D – XA 166 A

Eastern Scottish - Bristol RE - EWS 166D - XA 166 A

Eastern Scottish
1966
Bristol RELH6G
Alexander C38F

Seen on layover in London are three of the Alexander C38F bodied Bristol RELH6G coaches operated by Eastern Scottish from a batch totalling 33 vehicles of the type delivered in 1966. These toilet equipped coaches brought a new level of refinement to the lengthy journey between the Capital and Caledonia for several years. In this picture, none of the vehicles is carrying the ‘Bristol RE’ nameplate on the radiator grille which they certainly wore at another time in their lives.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


11/07/22 – 06:02

Just to clarify, the vehicles from left to right are EWS 166D, EWS 193D and EWS 190D, with matching fleet numbers XA166/193/190 A.

Roger Cox


11/07/22 – 06:03

I could be wrong on this ‘I frequently am’ but I’m pretty sure that the services to Scotland, i.e. Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, were all overnight only.
Unlike the United Tyne Tees Thames, which was twice a day. 8am and pm if memory serves.

Ronnie Hoye


12/07/22 – 05:43

EWS 193D

Eastern Scottish did operate daytime services between London and Edinburgh, per my photo herewith.

Richard Slater


13/07/22 – 06:15

Thanks for that, Richard. I did say that I was frequently wrong.
The location looks to be the start of the Tyne Bridge, heading north towards Newcastle.
The bus facing us, is probably a Gateshead & District Alexander ‘A’ type bodied Leyland Atlantean, and the one to the left is a Newcastle Corporation, or possibly by that time a PTA turning to go towards Gateshead Station.
Bit hard to tell, but my guess would be a P/R bodied MkV AEC Regent.

Ronnie Hoye


13/07/22 – 06:16

I think you’ll find that you are both correct. Eastern Scottish called the daytime services "Tours" – as they took 2/3 days to do the journey with overnight stops.

David Oldfield


14/07/22 – 06:01

The Summer 1969 ABC Bus and coach guide shows conventional daytime journeys on both routes (Edinburgh and Glasgow), which completed the journeys within the same day. As far as I know, the 2/3 day tours were only operated by Eastern Scottish.
Departure was at 08:00 from both ends, on both routes.

Nigel Frampton


15/07/22 – 06:05

Memory tells me that, in my student days in Birmingham, the Standerwicks would move out of the fast lane only for blue lights and the Scottish coaches, and I think they were usually Western, rather than Eastern, on the M6.

Pete Davies


16/07/22 – 06:24

Speaking as a retired LGV Instructor, Pete, I can tell you quite categorically that there is no such thing as the ‘Fast Lane’ on UK Motorways. You drive on the left, unless overtaking

Ronnie Hoye


17/07/22 – 06:29

Ronnie: Unfortunately regardless of how many times broadcasters have been told by me and others to stop using "Fast Lane" in traffic reports they will persist and thus those like Pete perpetuate it in everyday usage.
I remember once climbing the M6 southbound from Penrith towards Shap Summit and there were 3 coaches from different companies (Well different liveries anyway) having a 3 mile drag race up the gradient.

John Lomas


 

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Grayline Bicester – Bristol LHL6L – UBW 625H

UBW 625H

Grayline Bicester
1969
Bristol LHL6L
Plaxton C53F

Photographed during the British Coach Rally of 1970, UBW 625H was one of two Bristol LHL6L coaches bought by Grayline of Bicester. According to BLOTW, 174 examples were constructed of the LHL6L, the extended version of the LH for 36ft long bodywork, though eleven were fitted with specialist van bodies. Of the remaining 163, all received Plaxton coach bodies except for two that were bodied by Duple. The LH6L was powered by the Leyland O400 engine which was fitted to the majority of LH and LHS orders, the alternative being the Perkins H6.354. No examples of the LHL had the raucous (I speak from experience) Perkins engine, but the Leyland power unit was no paragon of quietness either. Apart from the London Transport deliveries that had either six speed manual or automatic gearboxes, the standard fitment was the Turner Clarke five speed synchromesh. At least one, KRE 345K, had a semi auto gearbox, but this might have been retro fitted. The O400 engine proved to be of suspect reliability and was supplanted by the O401 in the last production LH variants. The LH, and the short LHS in particular, soon gained reputations for bad riding, which might well have been ameliorated in the longer LHL, though no variants of the LH model were regarded as being among Bristol’s most reliable or inspired engineering achievements. UBW 625H was delivered to Grayline in August 1969, its stablemate UBW 626H arriving in the following month. Both had Plaxton C53F bodywork. UBW 625H passed from Bicester to the Gosport arm of Grayline, formerly Hutfields, in December1970 and was sold by Grayline in September 1974 to Eagle Coaches of Bristol.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


31/01/22 – 06:19

According to the PSV Circle Bristol LH chassis list, there was one LHL fitted with a Perkins engine – YMD990H supplied to Wilder, Feltham (chassis LHL-143). Whether that is correct, I am not sure – Wilder purchased several LH models, with a mix of Leyland and Prerkins engines.
Chassis LHL-168 had a Leyland engine and a Plaxton body, but it was a Derwent bus body, B55F, for Coity Motors (ATG459H).
Chassis LHL-206 is shown as having a Plaxton DP49F body, for the Irish Army, but I have never seen a photograph of this vehicle, so I am not sure of the body style.
Roger also says: "Apart from the London Transport deliveries that had either six speed manual or automatic gearboxes, the standard fitment was the Turner Clarke five speed synchromesh." London Transport did not have any LHL chassis, only LH and LHS models. As I understand it some LH models for NBC subsidiaries were fitted with semi-automatic gearboxes – Midland General and United Counties, as far as I am aware. I believe that the first 6 vehicles supplied to Bristol OC were also fitted with semi-automatic boxes. However, the PSV Circle book only mentions the LT vehicles, as per Roger’s comment.

Nigel Frampton


01/02/22 – 09:21

Sorry if my text was unclear, Nigel, but my comment about transmissions was meant to cover all the LH variants, not just the long version. I did not know that some of the LH/LHS deliveries to NBC had semi auto boxes. Certainly London Country for whom I worked in an admin capacity had synchromesh boxes in their LH buses, though I think that they were four speeders, and one might have expected LCBS to have taken semi auto if that option had been available. I do recall the engineering department expressing general dissatisfaction with the LH model, and particularly with the synchro boxes, though the latter may well have arisen from the unfamiliarity of most LCBS drivers with manual transmissions. As for some LHL coach operators specifying the Perkins engine, what on earth were they thinking about?

Roger Cox


02/02/22 – 06:09

Taking up the points mentioned by Nigel:-
LHL-206 for the Irish Army can be identified by the body number, 733170, as being a Plaxton Panorama Elite II coach body.
Wilder, Feltham:- From P.S.V. Circle News Sheets
364-EDIT-27:- Brighton Rally entries:
Wilder, Feltham YMD 990H Bl LHL6P  LHL-143, and YLY 594H Bl LHL6L   LHL-144
365-MET-59:- YMD 990H new 4/70 – Bl LHL6L LHL143
380-MET-128:- YMD 990H quoted variously as LHL6L and LHL6P, is LHL6P.
Since the data in the Rally Report pre-dated its appearance in the News Sheet, there can be no doubt that the LHL6P and LHL6L for the Rally entrants was taken from the relevant chassis plates.

John Kaye


04/02/22 – 05:48

Just picked this up. This livery is one of my favourites. This stems back to Gliderways Smethwick in my youth, the first company I wrote to and asked for a fleet list, only to be told they did not issue fleet lists. However I did receive a letter beautifully embossed with the crimson Gliderways fleet name. I suppose the element which made the presentation of the coaches stand out was that the grey/crimson colours were the only colours used, including any lettering and the fleet name. A great look in the 60’s. Grey also weathered well in service, not looking too shabby even when dirty

John Rentell


04/02/22 – 05:50

United had quite a number of the short wheelbase versions with Leyland engines.
They were known as ‘Stotty Boxes’
Stott being a Geordie word meaning ‘bounce’ and my word, they certainly did.

Ronnie Hoye


08/02/22 – 06:17

A little surprised that the O.400 was suspect in reliability. Noisy and underpowered it most certainly was, but I thought that otherwise it had quite a good reputation. I would certainly agree with Ronnie about the shorties. I cannot remember the history of the vehicle – but I believe that it had been with ABC Guildford before reaching the operator for whom I drove it. Possibly the worst, and certainly the most bouncy bus or coach that I have ever driven. How can something as dire as an LH come from the same factory, and at the same time, as an RE?

David Oldfield


09/02/22 – 05:57

I recall that the prevailing view after Leyland bought shares in Bristol was that the Transport Holding Company allowed Leyland to take control from a technical standpoint. The THC wanted a successor to the SU, but Leyland wanted a successor to the Tiger Cub. I see from Wikipedia that the LH’s front and rear axles came from Leyland’s Bathgate plant, which suggests to me that it was designed and developed under Leyland’s thumb.

Peter Williamson


 

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Hants & Dorset – Bristol LL5G – KRU 993 – 787

Hants & Dorset - Bristol LL5G - KRU 993 - 787

Hants & Dorset Motor Services
1952
Bristol LL5G
ECW FC37F

KRU 993 came to Hants & Dorset in February 1952 as a standard half cab LL6B with an ECW B39R body, one of a batch of seven similar vehicles, KRU 988-994, fleet nos. 782-788, delivered between September 1951 and February 1952. In June 1955 the Bristol AVW engine in KRU 993 was replaced by a Gardner 5LW, making the vehicle an LL5G, a conversion that had happened surprisingly earlier in October 1952 to KRU 990, and to KRU 991 in February 1953. It would seem that the other four retained their Bristol engines. Between September 1959 and July 1960 six of these buses were rebuilt by the operator to full fronted FB39F configuration for OPO operation, with KRU 992 being the last to be so treated in January 1962, but this had the lesser capacity of FB37F. All the others had their seating reduced to 37 in the years 1961 to 1966. The frontal treatment of the conversions ranged considerably from the plain appearance illustrated by KRU 993 through a variety of front panel designs, some bearing the more flamboyant ECW ‘coach’ style radiator grille. KRU 993 is pictured in Southampton in 1962 when it was still a 39 seater, the reduction by two seats occurring in November 1964. 787 was was the first of the batch to be withdrawn in January 1967 when it passed to a dealer. The rest were sold out of service in the following year. I acknowledge the //www.bristolsu.co.uk and the Local Transport History Library websites as sources for much of this history.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


03/05/21 – 07:11

I assume the motive behind these engine swaps was to obtain 6-cylinder units for use in 5LW-engined K-types. The problem which BT&CC and presumably H&D found with the arrival of the KSWs with their higher power was that where older lower powered vehicles were mixed in with them they had difficulty keeping to time – hence taking 6-cylinder engines out of single deckers to use in the double deckers.
Various other interesting features on H&D 787; the kerb view window similar to the SC type, the usual H&D sun-visor. This would also have had the pedestal type drivers seat with a catch released by a foot pedal allowing the seat to rotate so the driver could face the passengers to issue tickets. I always wondered about the safety aspects of these; what was to stop the seat going walkabout while on the move if it failed to catch when returned to the driving position?

Peter Cook


29/05/21 – 07:39

Far better looking than the leering toothy-grin radiator grille that marred so many other L rebuilds.

Ian Thompson


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 19th August 2022