Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Dennis Falcon – FUF 181 – 181

FUF 181

Southdown Motor Services
1939
Dennis Falcon P4
Harrington B30C

In 1938, Dennis replaced its multiplicity of of small buses for lightly trafficked routes – Dart, Pike, Arrow Minor, Ace and Mace – with one model, the Falcon. This was offered with normal or forward control, the engine options being Dennis 3.77 side valve petrol, or Gardner 4LK or Perkins P6 diesel. In 1938 Southdown took over the Worthing Tramocar business and began replacing the original Shelvoke and Drewry Freighters, at first with new Freighters. More about the Tramocar business may be found on OBP here:- //www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=19218 
In April/May 1939 Southdown moved towards conventional buses for the Tramocar services, and purchased FUF 180/1, fleet nos. 80/1, two forward control Dennis Falcon P4s with Harrington B30C bodies offering easy access to the elderly clientele of Worthing. A third similar chassis, JUF 82, no. 82, but with Dennis B30R bodywork, arrived later that year in December after war had broken out, by which time only about 50 Falcons in total had been been produced by Dennis. In 1949 Southdown again turned to the lightweight Falcon P4, buying a further nine with Dennis B30R bodies, JUF 83-91 with matching fleet nos., for its service between Havant and Hayling Island which crossed a frail, elderly wooden bridge over the Langstone Channel built in 1824, on which a toll applied. Even then the bus went over tentatively and unladen, the passengers having to alight and walk across to rejoin it on the far side. The two ex Tramocar Falcons were transferred to the Hayling Island service to complement the ten later arrivals. The Langstone Bridge was replaced by a new structure in 1956, but the crossing toll remained until 1960. None of the Dennis bodied Falcons seems to have survived, but Harrington bodied FUF 181 of 1939 was once extant on the preservation scene. It is seen above at Brighton on the HCVC Rally in May 1970. Currently it is recorded as undergoing further restorative work. The prominent starting handles on all the Southdown Falcons suggests that they were powered by the robust 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine rather than the Gardner 4LK, but confirmation would be welcome.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/11/21 – 06:24

Hello Roger, I have just checked in Colin Druce’s excellent book ‘Southdown in Austerity’, and he confirms that these buses were indeed fitted with the Dennis 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine.

Roy Nicholson


01/03/22 – 06:47

I read with interest the notes on the captioned. I had been looking for any information regarding its present state, to date, to no avail. However despite my not being fully computer literate I managed to get the following, it is/was with Seaford & District who I understand have been taken over by 7 Sisters Bus & Coach whatever they might be in 01-2021. On the Seaford web site under Vintage Bus there is a Flickr Photopool, under Group Pool, Paul Goldsmith there is a shot of said bus, headed DCS_0105, dated 08/2017. It looks to be a VERY comprehensive works in progress, to say the least!. I should add that I have several times in the past sent E-mails to S&D regarding this vehicle but on no occasion did I get any reply, customer service?.

John Adrian Pearce


 

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Rye Hill Park Coaches – Leyland Tiger – CKO 979

Rye Hill Park Coaches - Leyland Tiger - CKO 979

Rye Hill Park Coaches
1936
Leyland TS7
Harrington C32F

In May and June 1936 Maidstone & District bought twenty oil engined Leyland TS7 coaches with Harrington C32F bodies. These proved to be excellent purchases, but after thirteen years, including wartime, of hard work, the Harrington bodies showed signs of fatigue. During 1949 and 1950 the entire batch was equipped with new Harrington coachwork, again C32F, and went on to give upwards of eight further years of service. Seventeen were sold to a dealer in October 1958, but the remaining three survived until 1962. CKO 979, Maidstone & District No. CO 576, was one of those sold in 1958, serving first with Diadem Coaches of Luton before passing, in July 1960, to Holmes of London SE15, t/a Rye Hill Park Coaches. It is seen here in 1960 at New Addington, a large Croydon council estate on the extreme south east border of the then borough with Kent. A year later it went to Taylor of London SE1 who kept it for just four months before selling it to Elm Park Coaches of Romford in August 1961. Its subsequent history is not recorded. I acknowledge the Classic Buses website as the source of the historical detail.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


05/09/21 – 06:00

Even for a rebodied bus 25 years’ service is very creditable. I far prefer the restrained curvature of the Harrington body seen here to the exaggerated swoops that some builders went for, particularly after WWII. Do any photos of CKO 979 after rebodying survive?

Ian Thompson


06/09/21 – 07:26

Ian, I presume that you mean "Do any photos of CKO979 BEFORE rebodying survive?" This photo was taken after rebodying!

Nigel Frampton


06/09/21 – 07:31

DKL 591

Not of the same group, Ian, but here, nevertheless, is a 1936 M&D TS7 with original Harrington body. I used to travel from Kingston-on-Thames to Portsmouth on Southdown’s TS7s with this body type in the early to mid 1950s, although theirs had a sliding sunshine roof, on one occasion being opened at the Hindhead tea/toilet layover on a hot summer’s day!

Copyright: R.Marshall, via Bristol Vintage Bus Group

Chris Hebbron


 

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Provincial – AEC Regal 4 – CG 9607 – 24

Provincial - AEC Regal 4 - CG 9607 - 24                                                                                          Copyright David Whitaker

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
1934
AEC Regal 4
Harrington B32R

I well remember these Regals from my childhood in the Gosport area between 1949 and 1952. The very first Regal 4 – the Arabic numeral denoted the installation of a four cylinder engine – was converted in June 1930 from a stock Regal chassis simply by replacing the 7.4 litre six cylinder petrol engine with the four cylinder 5.1 litre petrol used in the Monarch and Mercury goods ranges. However, sales of the new model were very modest in comparison with the main competing four cylinder offerings, the Leyland Lion and Dennis Lancet. In March 1933 an oil engine option became available for the Regal 4, initially of 5.35 litres capacity but soon increased to 6.6 litres, which enhanced the market appeal of the model. Provincial took an interest and ordered eight, CG 9606-9613, numbered (rather illogically, though this might have reflected the 1934 delivery dates) as 23/24/29/30/25/26/27/28, with Harrington B32R bodywork. These Regals went on to acquire a legendary reputation in enthusiast circles. In 1945/46 the four cylinder engines in these buses were replaced by 7.7 litre six cylinder units. Between 1953 and 1955 four of the batch were rebuilt to forward entrance format and then, in the years from 1957 to 1962, all eight received new Reading bodies, varying in capacity from FB33F to FB35F.

CG 9607

The final two rebuilds, CG 9607 and 9612 had bodies partially constructed by Provincial and completed by Reading. At the end of 1966 the redoubtable manager, Mr H Orme White, who had begun his Provincial career at the Great Grimsby Street Tramways Company, retired at the age of 81 after 30 years at Gosport, and the inexorable decline of the Gosport & Fareham business then began. Under the new manager, withdrawals of the Regals took place between 1966 and 1970, Provincial Traction having been sold off in the interim period to the Wiles Group, later renamed the Swain Group, part of the Hanson Trust, in 1969. The title picture above was given to me in 2006 by David Whitaker, the owner of the also illustrated 1961 rebuilt survivor, CG 9607, and it shows Nos 25/24/23, CG 9610/9607/9606, possibly not long after delivery in 1934. I did initially wonder if the photograph had been taken at Hoeford, but the unidentified double decker in the background is not a Provincial vehicle, though it certainly appears to be contemporary with the second half of the 1930s. More information about these Regals may be found at this link.
Click on the arrow near the bottom of the page and then select ‘Provincial AEC Regals’ from the list that appears.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/12/20 – 07:16

I remember these very well, especially in the original form. I used them rarely as we used the double deck 1 and 3 services. At the age of ten, I accompanied my family to Malta for three years, and on return found the rebodied examples running around. I am not sure how extensive the rebuild was, as clearly the front had changed and so had the windows and seats, but the windows were very narrow for the late 1950s, and the rear ends seemed unchanged.

David Wragg


 

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