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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Crosville – Bristol RESL6G – OFM 2E – ERG 2

Crosville - Bristol RESL6G - OFM 2E - ERG 2

Crosville Motor Services Ltd
1967
Bristol RESL6G
ECW DP42F

Crosville was the first to operate the then latest version of the Bristol RESL with shortened wheelbase and extended front overhang giving a wider entrance door arrangement. These were also the first with this design of ECW body characterised by the shallow flat windscreens.
Crosville put this batch of six into service in July 1967 on the long Rail Replacement service D94 between Wrexham and Barmouth. This served a sparsely populated area with Llangollen, Corwen, Bala and Dolgellau as the intermediate towns of any size. These six were synonymous with this route for many years but here in 1977 is ERG 2 in NBC days crossing the Cambrian Coast Railway line at Fairbourne on the S28 Tywyn to Dolgellau route. The NBC ‘Local Coach’ version of the leaf green livery with white upperworks looks pretty smart.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


10/07/20 – 06:14

I think these were the only dual purpose RESLs in the THC group of companies, although Midland General famously had two RESHs. Some of these vehicles were used elsewhere when brand new; ERG 2 was new to Llandudno Junction, and ERG 3 and 4 were at Caernarfon, although they soon migrated to the D94. Around 1974, A longer example, ERG 272 was transferred to Dolgellau Depot for use on the D94, and ERG2 was then used on other services from Dolgellau as shown here.
When new, these vehicles were painted cream with a green waistband, and they looked superb in that livery. ERG 3 is magnificently preserved in that livery.

Don McKeown


10/07/20 – 06:16

As far as the shorter length RE was concerned, the RESL seems to have been the almost universal choice for bus work but I wonder about it’s merits for dual purpose use, particularly if some of the front seats faced sideways. However, Crosville seemed to like them and as Ian says, used them on some long services although I’m not too sure about the prospect of sitting rather low down or sideways at the front for perhaps a couple of hours or so.
Midland General had a couple of short REs with this type of body but on the RESH chassis, with 43 dual purpose seats, all facing forward. Surprisingly, I believe they were the only ones bodied by ECW.

Chris Barker


16/07/20 – 10:16

United used the long version of the dual purpose RE on the five and a half hour 505 Newcastle to Edinburgh via Berwick service – not to my mind the most suitable of vehicles, and the seats were not especially comfortable. The route was jointly operated by Eastern Scottish who used Leyland Leopards and AEC Reliances with Alexander Y Type coach bodies. These were much more comfortable to ride on and seemed better suited to the route, although with the disadvantage of high entrance steps. The RELLs would be replaced after a few years by dual purpose RELHs with all forward facing seats and they in turn were replaced by downgraded RELH coaches, originally used on the Newcastle to London service. They would I suppose have been about ten years old then, but were still superb vehicle to travel on, however by that time, the service was being operated in two parts with passengers required to change vehicles at Berwick.

John Gibson


 

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United Automobile – Bristol RELH6G – NHN 143E – 4343

United Automobile - Bristol RELH6G - NHN 143E - 4343

United Automobile Services
1967
Bristol RELH6G
ECW C43F

United had a small Garage at Pickering where the forecourt doubled up as a Bus Station.
Here 4343 (originally RE43) is loading for a trip along the A170 seventeen miles to Scarborough.
I expect this vehicle retained its manual gearbox which I would think could be tricky on a Stage Service. It is a good looking bus/coach – shame about the livery!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


12/05/20 – 06:48

Are you sure it had the manual gearbox? Crosville’s E registered RELH6Gs had semi automatic boxes. Even in bus livery, these coaches looked beautiful!

Don McKeown


13/05/20 – 07:03

Probably was semi automatic. West Yorkshire’s E registered RELH were as well. As regards manual boxes I remember some West Yorkshire drivers struggling with earlier B, C, and D registered RELL buses.

Stephen Clough


14/05/20 – 06:52

According to United Automobile Services Part Two by messrs. Townsin, Groves and Banks (Venture Publications), this batch RE41-65 were the first coaches to be delivered with semi-automatic gearboxes.

John Gibson


16/05/20 – 06:33

It might be 17 miles from Pickering to Scarborough, but three times a day (twice on Sundays) the route began in Ripon, via Thirsk, Ampleforth and Helmsley to Pickering and Scarborough, distance of some 60+ miles, some of it on minor roads. In 1976 this took around three and a half hour end to end. The route number groups with other Ripon services, but how it was crewed is a mystery to me. I guess Ripon crews were relieved for a break at Pickering, as two of the through journeys had only five minutes turn round at Scarborough. I would be very interested to know more about the operation of the 128.

Andy Buckland


17/05/20 – 06:37

Andy’s comment reminded me that in the James Herriot book "Vets might fly" James bunked off from his RAF training in Scarborough one Sunday afternoon and travelled by bus to "Darrowby" (which we now know to be Thirsk) to see his pregnant wife, Helen. He had less than an hour before he had to catch the return bus – and as I recall it, his absence without leave was never detected! I assume that this escapade, like many others, was founded in real life.

Stephen Ford


18/05/20 – 06:34

Stephen, by 1976, the date of my timetable, this would not be possible on a Sunday, with just two through journeys each way. You had to leave Scarborough at 10:45 to reach Thirsk by 13:35, returning at 18:10. Now, if in earlier years there had been a third return, as during the week, then 12:45 from Scarborough, arrive Thirsk 15:40, return at 18:27 was possible. Add a bit of poetic licence and we perhaps have the basis for the story.

Andy Buckland


20/05/20 – 07:18

I have been looking at the summer timetable for 1957, and it shows that from 7th July to 14th September, there were three journeys each way between Scarborough and Ripon on Sundays. If he left Scarborough at 10.45, he would reach Thirsk at 1.40 p.m. He could then leave Thirsk at 3.50 p.m. arriving back at Scarborough at 6.40 p.m. So yes, this journey would have been feasible as long as it was made at the height of the summer.

John Gibson


20/05/20 – 07:19

I travelled on service 128 from Helmsley to Ripon in 1976 (MWs all the way from Middlesbrough to Harrogate!!). If memory isn’t playing tricks, we had to change buses at Sproxton, west of Helmsley, and the respective buses then returned home. I can’t remember if the change was advertised in the timetable. A trip form Ross-on-Wye to Abergavenny by Red and White in 1970 (MWs again) certainly involved a change at Broad Oak even though the timetable showed the buses working through.

Phil Drake


21/05/20 – 06:56

And there we have the answer, Phil!
Certainly there is no reference to a change of vehicle at Sproxton, indeed it does not even merit entry in the timetable, but if you look at the times for Helmsley and Ampleforth, then buses would cross roughly where Sproxton is. What makes it strange is that Sproxton is only a few minutes west of Helmsley, where some journeys stood time and interchange facilities are much better. Was there perhaps some unwritten rule that Helmsley to Scarborough was dedicated to Pickering/Scarborough drivers and Ripon was “another company”

Andy Buckland


21/05/20 – 06:56

Definitely semi-auto, we had 4344 at Darlington for a while, not the fastest, comfortable for both driver and passengers it did what it was supposed to do. I used to call it the old mans bus.

John Wake


31/08/20 – 06:27

Regarding the operation of the Ripon to Scarborough service, I lived in Ripon in the late 1960s, and at that time the buses definitely worked through on the whole route, but the drivers did not. When opposing vehicles met, usually in the middle of nowhere, they stopped and the drivers changed over, returning whence they had come from. I presume that with three services each way on weekdays, a Scarborough based vehicle would spend alternate nights at Ripon garage, and vice versa. Obvious the drivers would get back home at the end of their shifts.

Chris Appleby


03/09/20 – 06:18

Where the garage was may be seen here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/
It would appear that the property was modified to become the carpet showroom it is in the photograph.
I have a snapshot photograph I took on Sunday 23 July 1972 which has four single deckers parked within. //www.ipernity.com/

David Slater


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 16th August 2022