The Classic Buses Website homepage

Website launched in August 1996, and this page was last updated on 9 December 2014.


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

OR CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE WEBSITE MENU


Visit the Classic Buses Website shop for bus books, models, videos & DVDs.

To support this website, please click on the Amazon logo (top left inside the shop) to do your Amazon shopping. Thanks.


*** STAR (Festive) PICTURE ***

Here's a seasonal picture from Michael Thorne that caught my eye. It shows an unidentified M class Metrobus in London's Park Lane on 8 February 1991. Michael says "With some rare heavy snow for London, a lucky lunchtime shot of the Metrobus finding the conditions too much, being taken back to Willesden garage presumably."

It just goes to show that you can't trust these modern buses. A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A GREAT NEW YEAR to everyone, and many thanks to Michael for letting me use this image. You can see more of his photo collection here.


HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BUS?

This 1949 Morecambe & Heysham AEC Regent III No.62 (KTF 591) was stolen from locked premises in Carnforth in April 2014 and so far the police have failed to find it. If anyone has seen it, or has any information which could help to recover it please contact Ian Hutt, as he says it would be great to get her back.


Latest Additions;

....and don't forget to check the constantly-updated Free Small-ads Page for something that might be of interest to YOU !

For a complete list of the contents of this website, click here, or scroll down the page.


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


?? MYSTERY PICTURE ??

Garth Wyver and I have been struggling with this picture for quite a while. We know what it is, but can't figure out where it is. Leyland Tiger TS8 with its Park Royal C32R body was the only vehicle delivered to East Kent in 1940. The picture, by kind permission of the M&D and East Kent Bus Club, was probably taken in the early 1950s, and the coach was scrapped in 1958.

So where is it? Garth and I have looked into London coach stations at New Cross and Brockley, Kennington and Victoria, coach parks around the south coast and Dreamland Margate. We've also been trying to find a match for that tower (bell tower?) in the background - a church, a railway station, a town hall, a school, a sporting venue?

Does anyone recognise this location? Please put us out of our misery and Email me here with your thoughts.

Andrew Colebourne has brilliantly directed us towards Rochester, where it turns out that the Visitor Centre in the High Street near the cathedral and castle has exactly that style of tower. We must be nearly there. Thanks Andrew.

Bob Wingrove has given the matter some serious thought. He says "Since I only live a mile away from Rochester and my office is also a mile away but in the other direction, I recognised the tower immediately. The picture I think is either taken in what is now the Cathedral car park or from what is now Corporation Street. Looking at Google Maps the outline of the shiplap roof isn't there any more, but there is a small factory premises in what could have been the location. There are some strange 'Coolicons' being used as external light sources hanging down on swan necks which would relate to the yard."

"If it's not the car park, then the location on Corporation Street is behind what used to be a transport cafe which burned down a few years back. It had a parking space behind, which is now waste ground, so it could be there as well, but there is an elderly brick wall (faced in concrete render)."

LAST MYSTERY PICTURE The picture of the lad eating an ice lollie on the top deck of an open topper was established to be a Bournemouth CRU xxxC Fleetline in the turning circle at at Alum Chine - terminus of Route 12. The Lollie was probably a Three Stage Booster.


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.


GUIDE TO SITE CONTENTS

THE CLASSIC BUSES PROFILE PAGES


You can Email me here.


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

OR CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE WEBSITE MENU


Internet Content Rating Association

eXTReMe Tracker

SB