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Website launched in August 1996, and this page was last updated on 26 November 2015.

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A bit "modern" for this website? I know, but I just loved the atmosphere of this photo taken by Peter ("BristolRE2007" on Flickr) of a London Northern MCW Metrobus in Muswell Hill in 1991. M1485 (VRG 419T) was the last of a batch of five Metrobuses new to Tyne & Wear as No.419 in 1979 (which is 36 years ago after all!), passing to Busways, Newcastle, and was acquired by London Buses in 1988. It only lasted three years in London service and, a few months after this photo was taken, it was scrapped as a result of fire damage. That's everything I know about Metrobuses!

Thanks to Peter for letting me use his fine seasonal picture to wish all my readers a Happy Christmas and a great 2016.

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John Wakefield sent this picture and asks if anyone can identify who made the body. The vehicle is a 1947 Bedford KZ which was imported to the UK from Zimbabwe in 1992. It has a petrol engine and an alloy body, chassis number 49016, appeared briefly in the Warners Bros film "The Power of One", and now wears date-related British registration HSK 566.

The owner was advised that it had been imported new into Kenya by BOAC to ferry crews and passengers around, then came to Zimbabwe via Tanzania, but it doesn't appear in BOAC fleet lists, so that may not be correct. BOAC did have some very similar vehicles (Bedfords and Commers) with dual-entrance bodies by Spurling but with slightly different windscreens. Another suggestion for the body-builder is Allweather.

So does anyone recognise this style of body? Who made it, for whom, and was it bodied in UK before export, or bodied locally in Kenya? As always, email me here if you can offer some answers.


The reason why's Brian the Robot was sharing the conveyor belt to hell with a post-war number plate wearing the number (LN 4743) of a very pre-war B-Type bus was never established. and the Imperial War Museum (owner of the bus) both independently said it was probably 'coincidence'. I don't believe that and suspect that it was something created by the film props company for some reason, but I can't prove it, so the case remains unsolved in my book.

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.



SOME QUICK LINKS WITHIN THIS WEBSITE;  Email   Links   THE COMPLETE WEBSITE MENU   Events Diary   Halfcab list   Small-Ads   Classic Irish Buses