The Classic Buses Website homepage

Website launched in August 1996, and this page was last updated on 30 January 2014.


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*** STAR PICTURE ***

Here's a great new picture to remind you of sunny days and summer rallies. Kindly sent to me by Steven Wood, it shows a line-up of buses at Eastbourne railway station during the 2013 Running Day held in the town on 14 July. By the way, the 2014 event will be on 3 August.

Let's start on the right. Open top JK 5605 hasn't been seen in the town for a very long time. It's a Leyland Titan TD4 built in 1937 as Eastbourne's No.95, becoming "White Ensign" when its top was lopped off for seafront services in 1955. Now back in circulation after many years, it was a wonderful sight and the star of the show.

The single decker next to it is No.12 (JK 8418), a 1939 Leyland Lion LT8 (or LT9, depending on your point of view), which is a welcome and regular visitor to events in the town. Next is AEC Regent No.69 (KHC 369) dating from 1963, and now proudly owned by the photographer, Steven Wood. Next is No.82 (DHC 782E) from 1967, and part of the Stagecoach preserved fleet. Finally I'm delighted to say that Stagecoach has repainted one of its DAF SB120 / Wright Cadet single deckers into a heritage livery to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Eastbourne buses in 2013. I saw it recently, and it's still like that. Thanks very much to Steven for sending this great photo.


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A warning for anyone who uses remote storage in the Yorkshire region

Two vehicles have recently been stolen, UVT 49X and RMO 77Y. UVT was the last Bristol VRT built and is/was in Crosville Wales green/white livery and RMO was a former Reading Leyland/Park Royal Titan in Brightbus green and was both distinctive and unusual. Both were in secure location whose locks were cut.

It is very likely that both will have been broken quickly, both were complete and would be too obvious to have been offered for sale.


*** TO HIRE A WEDDING OR PROM BUS, CLICK HERE FOR MY BIG LIST OF SUPPLIERS ***


?? MYSTERY PICTURE ??

John Wakefield kindly sent me this picture. He says "I wonder if someone can identify this chassis which looks to date from around the 1920s, maybe before. I think this is probably a lorry chassis but as buses were built on the same chassis in those days it could have been used for a bus. The only identifying mark is a T superimposed over an O on the back axle differential, but this may be the axle manufacturer rather than complete chassis."

"It has wooden spoked wheels and a mid-mounted gearbox. It was thought to be Locomobile but this has been discounted by an expert in that make. The chassis is owned by the Burwell Museum Trust in Cambridgeshire. They have no particular interest in it as it's not thought to have any local connections. It was donated to them after use as a store shed or similar, the body being long gone. It is available to a preservationist for a suitable donation to the museum and contact can be made via Brian Camps 01223-811764."

If you think you know anything about the chassis please Email me here with your thoughts. Other pictures are available if you think it will help.

Peter Delaney kindly sent me an article from Motor Traction dated 16 June 1915, and added the following comments;

"From the style of wheels, rear axle, front 'dumb irons', and the 'step' fixed to the forward part of the frame, I wonder if this is a Selden. The Selden was an American chassis imported at that time, as it enabled operators to maintain a service when the British-made chassis - notably Thornycroft, Daimler and Dennis - had been requisitioned by the War Office. It was available with a chain-driven back axle, but most I have come across seem to be the worm drive, as in your picture. The bearings were made by Timken - whose factory was in Canton, Ohio - which might relate to the TO logo mentioned on your webpage - or is it a T over a CO ?"

"No proof that this is what the vehicle is, but maybe some 'food for thought'. They were supplied in the first part of WW1 - at least - and bodied as lorries and as charabancs, although some of the latter were rebodied as lorries for 'second users' after the war". Many thanks Peter. We'll see if anyone can add to that.

Steve Gosling, an expert in and owner of a WW1 Dennis lorry, reckons 99% that its a Palladium, made in Putney, like these;
Pictures here, and here.

LAST MYSTERY PICTURE The picture of the Bedford with the mystery body has been moved to the News & Mail page.


Welcome to the home of classic buses and coaches on the net. I'm Dick Gilbert. This site is all about nostalgia for British passenger transport vehicles from the 1920s to the 1960s, with an unashamed bias towards 'halfcabs'.

Each page has a different colour scheme which is supposed to be reminiscent of some bus or coach company from the era, and this one is meant to represent Western / Southern National. As a result of this arrangement, some of the pages are hard to read, and some will scramble your brain. I'm sure you'll manage.

My interest in British buses began in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the buses and coaches that were around then are all 'classics' now. It was an interesting period, when there were still pre-war and wartime 'utility' machines about (although mostly on the point of retirement), and a large number of halfcab vehicles that had been built immediately after the war. At the same time, new products like the Leyland Atlantean, AEC Regent V, and a host of 'modern' coach designs (Plaxton Panorama, Harrington Cavalier, Weymann Fanfare etc.) were appearing. It was a transitional period when vehicles from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s could all be seen in use at the same time.

Having been born in south London, London Transport was the first operator that I lived with, then we moved to Sussex and I grew up with Southdown, Maidstone & District, East Kent, and the municipal fleets of Eastbourne and Brighton, as well as the large number of excursion coaches that used to visit the south coast every summer.

In the early 1960s I used to make trips to London to visit Victoria Coach Station, or see the last of the London Transport trolleybuses, or the last halfcab single deckers (TDs). Unfortunately, although I saw what I went to see, most of the photographs I took are not particularly brilliant, or have been lost. However I do have some black & white pictures taken at Victoria Coach Station, London, and in Sussex between 1960 and 1962 which are barely reasonable, and some of them appear around this site. Here's one;

Lincolnshire Leyland Cub

This was taken at 'The Crumbles', Eastbourne, in the summer of 1962, where Claude Lane was running the narrow gauge Eastbourne Tramway (now moved to Seaton, Devon). He had used this ex Lincolnshire Road Car Leyland KPZ01 Cub as a lorry in the past, and it was left to rot outside his depot. New in May 1937 it was FW 8855, originally fleet number LC502, one of thirty delivered that year with Brush B20F bodies. I guess someone might rescue it these days.

I attend a few rallies around the country, and like to see the old machines that people have restored. Reviews and/or pictures of some of the shows I attend appear on the pages here, although it can take a while before I get round to it. The whole idea of the site is to entertain the sad souls (like me !) who have a soft spot for old PSVs, and also be a sorting office for information on the subject.

It's all for fun, so relax and have a wistful rummage through the scrapbook. If you weren't around in the 1960s (and they say that, if you were, you won't remember it) then these pages might provide an insight into the variety of glamorous machines that could be seen on British streets at the time.

Incidentally, this site has no connection whatsoever with Classic Bus magazine, but I thoroughly, absolutely, unreservedly and totally recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject. It is published 6 times a year, and regular readers all wish it was 12 times a year. Folk in the UK should be able to order it through their newsagents. Those offshore should contact Classic Bus Publishing Ltd., 18 Brunstane Road, Edinburgh, EH15 2QJ, Scotland. When it falls on your doorstep it's like when the delivery guy has brought you a really good pizza.

Please keep in touch, as changes are taking place here all the time, and let me know if you spot a mistake somewhere - I do try to keep things pretty accurate. I know that there are some real boffins out there, and I need you to tell me when something is inaccurate. So welcome to the site, browse around and make yourself at home.


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SOME QUICK LINKS WITHIN THIS SITE;  Email me   Events Diary   CLASSIC BUSES WEBSITE SHOP   Halfcab survivors   Links   Small ads   Classic Irish Buses

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