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Website launched in August 1996, and this page was last updated on 4 February 2016.

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*** STAR PICTURE ***

This is Exeter Bus & Coach Station as seen during its 50th Anniversary event on 5 July 2014. Redevelopment of the site has now been agreed and work will commence later this year, so all this will soon be history. The full story has been put together by Philip Platt and can be seen on my News & Mail page. Meanwhile have a close look at this view and see how many gems you can spot.

Many thanks to Dave Godley for letting me use his fine picture.


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?? MYSTERY PICTURE ??

Another Mystery Vehicle from John Wakefield. It is currently licenced as a 1968 Leyland (chassis No.LBA 1862) believed to have been one of two built by Leyland as 23-seat works buses for their factory on a 350EA van chassis. It was acquired by the current owner Philip Thompson of Manea from Doncaster in 1993 already converted to a camper and listed by DVLA as having a 2661cc diesel engine. But the 350EA had a 2.5 petrol or diesel! 1968 was the first year the EA van was produced, so maybe this was a prototype chassis.

Can anyone put a positive i/d on this Leyland, or can tell us anything about its history? As always, email me here if you can offer some answers. The photo is by 'Nivek.Old.Gold' via Flickr Feb 2015.

Richard Mellor of the PSV Circle has now advised that it's a Leyland 90 truck chassis (not a 350EA) with a Cravens Homalloy 20-seat body, and it was new to Standard Triumph, Coventry.

LAST MYSTERY PICTURE

We never did get a definite identity for the body manufacturer of the East African Bedford KZ.


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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