MIKE'S BUS PAGES

Subtitle

 

ODDS & ENDS

 

                

Even into the 1960s there used to be quite a few of these still about - I think some were adapted to house equipment used for trolleybuses. Not this one though as it was somewhere near to Stockwell bus garage in the mid-sixties, so what exactly its role was then I don't know.

 

Well, there's bound to be some things now and again that don't quite fit into any of the other pages and here's the place for them. Heaven knows what might end up here, but I hope to be able to include much that is not actually buses. The page 'AFTERLIVES' caters for vehicles in 'retirement' roles  Take a look at the selection that follows this little bit of opening nonsense. If you have anything you can tell about the subject matter please use the guestbook and record it................

 

 here's something a bit different to kick this page off ........................................

 

 

PRETTIEST BUS SHELTER??

 

 

Not something that one usually associates with any semblence of beauty or attractiveness, but I spotted this in summer 2007 on the A39 in North Devon between Bideford and Clovelly at a place called Fairy Cross. Apparently built as a form of memorial to the Manager of a nearby farm, it is served by only a handful of buses each day so I couldn't wait for one to come along.

 I don't think they come any nicer than this (let's hope the vandals leave it be) but do you know better. Get in touch via the guest book to discuss if you are aware of anything to trump it.

 

 

 

Perhaps this is a close runner - thankfully now preserved at Carlton Colville, a true art-deco masterpiece from Lowestoft. It apparently weighs about 130 tons and was removed in one piece, apart from the roof which was skillfully rebuilt on site

 

 

 

 

and.....

Remember these? Up to the 1970s at least there were still a select few sites for these wonderful Victorian structures originally for Hansomm Cab drivers that were still in use as cabmens shelters. Most were in a poor state but moves to demoilish them were met with much resistance from the cabmen themselves aided by conservation groups. Motor taxi drivers could still use them to rest a while and get a welcome hot drink. This one was, I think, in the Temple Station area.

 

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I just couldn't resist this!

P--u--s--h! How often do we come across this when rather too much of the overnight wet stuff has rendered the rally field totally unsuitable on the day for parking heavy vehicles? I can personally recall having to do this for STL1871, 833J, RTW467, RT1431 and my then own Q83 which tended to sink on the heavier offside, and seeing many more like this where I just watched. It really ain't much fun. The Ipswich Atlantean next to it looks to be in trouble too.

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Later, in 1967 LOTS Craven RT 1431 got the chance for some film work at Shepperton Studios. It is seen here parked at the side of what was  (we were told) a re-creation of Carnaby Street, for the film Salt 'n Pepper which starred Sammy Davis Jnr. The bus was to run up and down in general traffic and was used for several takes - whoever told them buses ran down Carnaby Street??

Sadly, after all it nearly all ended up on the cutting room floor and RT1431 was replaced by a standard coach.The money received though was almost as much as was paid for the bus, so came in very useful.

During the evening' some of us went off unofficially around the studio grounds and came across a wonderfully created Georgian crescent with grass areas, iron railings and 'houses' - actually just facades supported by scaffolding behind. I recognised immediately that it had been used for the film Oliver. 

 

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SELBOURNE ROAD WALTHAMSTOW - 1968

 

I WAS NOT SURE WHERE TO INCLUDE THESE TWO VIEWS, SO HERE THEY ARE  -  explanation below

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the original Central Buses Re-Shaping Plan was drawn up it called for as many as forty local schemes to be implimented to introduce drastic changes to individual area buses and bring on shortened flat-fare standee type services in place of sometimes long established crew operated routes. That this type of operation would greatly increase the need for terminal facilities on a major scale was seemingly not at first taken sufficiently into account and this was to cause some difficulties in fairly short order. The first stage of the plan , known as the 'Wood Green Scheme' and introduced eventually on 7th September 1968 brought on major works to construct a covered bus station at the existing open facility outside Turnpike Lane Underground and a lesser development of an interchange at Walthamstow Hoe Street Station - shortly to be re-branded as Walthamstow Central in connection with its being reached by the new Victoria Line Underground. This latter involved major works to Selbourne Road there and these two shots illustrate the extent of works involved before operations could commence. In the event these were not completed by the start date and side street facilites were temporarily used. The old coal-fired power station on the other side of the British Rail line was not involved but I suppose is long gone now

 

 

 

 

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I found this photo in my files recently and got to thinking - What would we London Bus enthusiasts be doing today if it had not been for the foresight over 185 years ago of the gent whose mortal remains lie here?

I took the photo in an Essex churchyard in the 1970s - I do hope that his memorial is now being better looked after than was apparent at that time 

 

 

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IS THIS THE FUTURE - A BUS NOT DEPENDENT ON FOSSIL FUELS?

 

 

Mercedes Citaro Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus on view at the Cobham Open Day a few years ago

 

 

Seddon  was for many years a minor player in the British bus market. In the demonstration park at the CommercialMotor Show in , I believe, 1972 was their 'Inter Urban' model. I don't think many were sold. 

 

         ..........and in 1968 there were some interesting exhibits there too

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Northampton Corporation 190 was retained as a trainer until about 1981 but sold off just for the engine and scrapped!

In the early days of its takeover of Northampton Transport The First Group tried out K1 GRT, an experimental articulated vehicle. It appeared on my local route where it was seen here at the Newton Road outer terminus.

 

 

 

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Saw this in deepest Devon about 1972 on our way to visit the Colin Shears Collection. It's an early GreenLine T. Sadly, although it looks eminently saveable by todays standards and a lot of the useful bits of the engine were still in situ nothing was done at the time and I heard that it was shortly afterwards destroyed by fire.

NB  Seb Marshall (Historic Vehicle Restorations, Byfleet) later provided a Guestbook comment to say that his late father Prince Marshall did in fact save it and that the remains (not sure how much of it) are now retained by the London Transport Museum.

 

...........and after we saw that we went on to see this!

 

 

 

 

 

We looked at another ex-LGOC/London Transport relic, an AEC Renown LT 'Scooter' of c.1930.It was then resting in the rear garden of a large house at Teignmouth, Devon

This was later removed and saved by an intrepid party of London Bus Preservation Group members. Rescue entailed chopping down trees and a lot of undergrowth before also taking down (and later having to have re-built) part of the rear garden wall. Despite being unmoved where it was for two decades, initially as holiday accommodation, I believe that they actually got the petrol engine started. Today it remains in the care of the LBPT and still, 40+ years later awaits restoration. The recent full works treatment of a similar machine by the London Transport Museum is sure though to keep it at the back of the queue for some time yet. It's difficult to tell from these photos so I'm not sure whether this one was ever re-built by Marshalls of Cambridge as many were. Given the 'as new' treatment of the LT Museum example to LGOC condition, I'd hope it could be restored as a post-war re-build which I think made them look very good.

 

 

 

............and here's one that, sadly, definitely did not make it.  'Tunnel' bodied STL1871 (1937) was the subject of a brave early  preservation attempt by a private individual who acquired it from Mulleys Motorways in the early 1960s. I personally got involved regularly for a while in helping to maintain this and, looking back, without the inexperience of youth, it is more easily possible to recall just why it became a losing battle. Resources of the owner were limited, undercover accommodation very difficult to find and mostly impossible to afford, and the bodywork, despite its appearance here, was in an appalling state -  the ride was A sometimes worrying experience. There was considerable movement in its ash frame which had lost much of its integrity and the whole thing needed a total rebuild, perhaps unsurprisingly, for it was then already getting on for three times as old as its designed lifespan. Coupled with significant mechanical shortcomings all this led to its eventual demise. Today, of course it would be safeguarded and funds to restore it, though considerable, would have eventually been found.

So the preservation movement could not save a 'Tunnel' type and, many years earlier, an attempt to save an LGOC bodied example (albeit then on a later chassis) was thwarted in the bidding process for not much more than a tenner. As is recounted elsewhere on this site we do though have a small number of STL survivors but, considering the variety of bodywork designs that emerged these are, sadly now not well represented. The preservation chances that have come along in the last fifty years have given us two more or less identical pairs plus a ' decapitated' (as a tree-lopper) front-entrance type and  post-war stop-gap country bus type.

 

 

 

On the outskirts of Dublin in 1966. Almost certainly it was a former Dublin City tram The last of those ran in 1949  I believe. It looked rescuable so was it eventually preserved? It shows fleet number 112.

 

 

.....and here's one that was eventually saved - thanks to the efforts of the late Prince Marshall this ex-Tilling ST of 1930 was rescued in 1965 from its resting place in a Hitchin Scrapyard, where it is seen the previous year. Its history over the past 35 years is well known - today it is owned by the London Bus Preservation Trust and resides safely at Brooklands

 

 

...........and on her first day in  London Vintage Bus service in March 1972

 

SCHOOL BUSES

 

One has to be a mite careful nowadays when photographing these which is a shame because there are some interesting vehicles about including a whole generation of purpose built 'yellow perils' hailing from such places as Turkey - local ones to me are BMC's. To start this off here's one I saw in Stratford-upon-Avon a few years ago. I think it was an ex-Greenline vehicle

 

 

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I could not figure out how and where on the Railways page to include this and I want to keep the afterlives page for road vehicles, so I think it is best here. I ought to know a lot more about this than I do as I would see it almost daily when working in Daventry, where it is seen in the early nineties as a children's plaything on the recreation ground. Funny how it used to be considered OK for kids to risk injury climbing on this, however with the rise of the 'elf 'n safety profession its days were numbered,even after the ground area around it was re-made of a very soft compound to cushion falls though that always struck me as a bit useless for a drop from almost any part. It was an ex-quarry engine and was I think not very old at all (1950s?). It's gone now of course and has I think entered preservation,though it will need an expensive rebuild to work again.

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I thought this well worth inclusion here. It's actually from a photograph I took in Berlin in 1973 of a giant billboard that stood just by that Wall, and was adjacent to a viewing platform which allowed you to see over to the 'other' side. As viewed the land was then a derelict wilderness infested with barbed wire and other traps and (so we were told), mines - I did see observation towers too, but the 1929 photo showed what it had been like prior to WWII destruction of the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUNICULARS, CLIFF AND OTHER RAILWAYS ETC

These are far more popular and numerous on mainland Europe - there are not many in the UK. I thought it best to keep them separate from the Railways page so this is where they will end up.

 

Undoubtedly the best, and not for the faint hearted, this 500+ foot riser has connected the North Devon towns of Lynton and Lynmouth since late Victorian times. 2013 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the devastating flood at the latter. It kept on working during all that and made a major contribution to the rescue efforts. It even enabled HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to visit the scene of the disaster and be taken away safely afterwards It has an unblemished safety record going back well over a hundred years.

..AND HER'S ANOTHER  - ABERYSTWYTH

 

The elegant Victorian structure at the lower level includes the booking office and the control room 

 

 

 

 

The view of Aberystwyth sea-front from the top. The area shown suffered extremely badly from high tides and flooding a year or two ago.

 

  

                                                                                                              Going down!

  ............. and this one is 'somewhere in Switerland' - can't recall where at the moment so will update in due course. I think it went up and down serving an outer part of Lake Geneva.

   

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                                                  HYTHE PIER TRAMWAY

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          I think that's one of the new generation 'Queen' liners in the background but I'm not sure which

 

 

                                                                                                                                                             

 historical notes to follow....................

 

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                        THE GLASGOW UNDERGROUND 1966

 

 

 

                       A couple of views here only.........................historical notes to follow

                      

 

 These original trains were still operating in 1966. They dated from 1896-1906 I think and whilst most had acquired sliding doors, some still had their original 'gate' entries at the end of the carriage, They always went one way round the circle and traction current was collected via a side mounted tram style trolleypole to a wire on the wall of the tunnel with earth return via the rails.

 

 

 

                                                                                   

 

 

 

              I have never visited central Glasgow since these shots, now fifty years ago. I know the whole circular underground line was upgraded and modernised many years ago, gaining the amusing name due to a change of livery and new trains, of 'The Clockwork Orange'  the city centre has undoubtedly changed too, but please, don't tell me that they've destroyed this architectural gem - the line's then St. Enoch station. I think the adjacent main line station has gone now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING YOU TO & FROM AND AROUND THE AIRPORT BUSES

 

I always found the vehicles used by airlines to be interesting. Also to be included here will be those vehicles that spent their working time actually airside, transferring passengers to and from their aircraft etc. Most of what I have seems to be British European Airways (BEA) connected but there are a few others to add in due course.

 

 

220 CXK, an AEC Regent V was a one-off in the BEA Fleet

 

 

During the early seventies a number of discarded ex-LT RFs came into BEA use

 

 

No other operator took delivery of any standard layout Routemasters but a front-entrance version was ordered by British European Airways and Northern General. LT had decided initially, having had a prototype built,  that the front entrace was unsuitable for its particular operating circumstances but they managed and ran a fleet of 65 of these configured to tow a luggage trailer on behalf of the state owned airline. Ironically, in the later 1970s LTE took these into its own stock and operated them for a few years as trainers to overcome the appalling vehicle unreliability it experienced with its then newer fleet

 

 

Four RFs share this line-up with what looks like a couple of Bedford SB's

 

 

Obviously on a Bedford VAL chassis but bodywork by who? - Wadham Stringer perhaps??

 

 

Quite possibly these two were for staff transport

 

 

 

Presumably for delivering passengers to aircraft this view shows that for speed of operation they had entrances/exits on both sides

 

 

Articulated units based again on Bedford chassis were also used for this purpose

 

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Sadly I was not prepared for the approach of this vehicle, one of a small number owned by the then British Overseas Airways Corporation, so with the camera not appropriately set the view is out of focus and it doesn't  seem that I encountered them again.

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JUST NEEDS WRAPPING

 

 

A dull day look at the exterior area of the Eastern Coachworks factory - September 1962. In these pre VR and RE days production was apparently heavily into bodying the new FLF's as can be seen here. I think this may have been a Saturday as there did not appear to be a lot of activity, although some light work was underway on one or two of the vehicles shown. It is interesting to note that I simply walked through the factory gates wielding my camera and wandered around the area in front of the building. Nowadays there would be high barbed wire topped fences, CCTV and a security presence at the gate at least!

 

 

At the head of this line-up EOO587 is awaiting its time to take up its identity as Eastern National 2745. It was a 6B version

 

 

242MNN was destined for Midland General and is presumably in their non-standard blue/cream colours although I cannot remember

 

Thanks to 'John' for his  Guestbook message and to Paul Chambers via e-mail stating that 242MNN was delivered to Mansfield & District not Midland General and would therefore have been in that operators green/cream colours

 

 

Showing the fleet number DX150 identifies this as awaiting registration 274 BWU for West Yorkshire Road Car Co. Although it looks like an FLF this is an FS6B. Unlike the others depicted here it is of conventional rear platform entrance configuration.

 

 

510 OHU is destined for a life pounding the streets of Avon for  the Bristol Omnibus Company. Both this and WYRC DX150 above have the Cave-Brown-Cave heating and ventilation system fitted

 

 

542 BBL was Thames Valley Traction Co 874, another FLF6B

 

Late in 1961 I was told about a film by Kodak called Tri-X. At 400 ASA is was fast for irs time and was my saviour when flash photographing the last rites of London's trolleybuses at stages 13/14. However in terms of grain and defintion it was then truly abominable, at least as developed by my local chemist and I should not have used it for anything in daylight thereafter. These pictures are not therefore as well defined as I would have wished.