MY OLD PHOTOGRAPHS - Part 1; Around Eastbourne

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Last updated 5 November 2017

Somehow I managed to keep all the negatives of my early photographs, and had them scanned in 2015. The results have brought back fond memories for me, and I hope you enjoy taking a look at some of them. We start with views around my (then) home town of Eastbourne in 1961-62.

Here are more of my old pictures, taken in all sorts of places.

To open the album, here's a picture I took just east of Eastbourne pier in the summer of 1961, showing a Southdown coach advertising tours and excursions. These days I would have made sure I could see the registration number for subsequent identification, but this was my first venture into photography. However I made a note at the time that it was 1075 (SUF 875), a Beadle-bodied Leyland Tiger Cub, first in the 1957 batch numbered 1075 to 1114. Let's assume that I was right.

I couldn't resist taking this one. All-Leyland PD1A Titans 308 and 309 (HCD 908 and 909) find themselves side-by-side in Southdown's Cavendish Place garage with "DELICENCED" stickers in their windscreens. Both were delivered on the same day in June 1947 and were based at Eastbourne thereafter. You might be forgiven for thinking that the buses had been withdrawn and were being prepared for sale, but in fact the pair were transferred to Worthing depot and continued in service until 1964. Frank Cowley, the Salford dealer, then bought both of them and sold them (for the first time in their lives) to two different operators. In 1967 No.308 was scrapped in Scotland and 309 in Wales.

Here is another all-Leyland Titan, seen outside the Southdown bus station in Pevensey Road, but this is one of the first batch of the later PD2 models. No.321 (JCD 21) was delivered to Eastbourne in February 1948 and remained there until 1964 when it moved to Worthing. Sold in 1965 it became staff transport for Mother Hubbard Kitchen Cabinets in Chadderton, near Manchester. Later it became a mobile showroom, and was last seen in 1971 being used as an office in an Oldham scrapyard. The cinema poster for "The French Mistress" in the background dates the photo to late 1961.

Also seen from Pevensey Road is this photo of two buses in the bus station - not a great picture but it certainly reminds me of those days. On the left is Maidstone & District 1959 lowbridge Leyland Atlantean DL44 (44 DKT). Route 15 was an hourly service to Hastings via Hailsham and Bexhill, shared with Southdown. These were the first Atlanteans I had seen and was very impressed with them. DL44 (later renumbered 6444) was retired in 1975 and became Orpington & District No.5.

On the right is Southdown Guy Arab No.536 (PUF 636) delivered new to Eastbourne in March 1956. Like the Atlantean, it is 8 feet wide. Transferred to Brighton 1966 it was sold in 1969 and scrapped in 1972. It's a shame that the route to Heathfield and Hawkhurst doesn't still operate, as it would run right past the end of my road and be very useful!

Here are some photos inside Eastbourne's two Southdown depots, where vehicles laying-over would be garaged. I just loved the Harrington Cavalier from the first moment I saw one. Southdown and Maidstone & District examples were the most commonly seen in Eastbourne but others would also pass through. Here we see XXT 519, an AEC Reliance from the fleet of Timpsons, frequent excursion visitors to the south coast. One of 15 delivered in 1960 (four of which wore the livery of associate operator Bourne & Balmer) this example was seen in 1961 inside Southdown's Royal Parade garage on Eastbourne's eastern seafront. That was a bit unusual, so it was probably a busy weekend.

Visiting Southdown's Cavendish Place depot in the centre of town in the summer of 1962 is Hants & Dorset No.858 (SRU 972), a Bristol LS6G coach delivered in 1956 as one of five. It was converted to a bus in 1967, withdrawn in 1974 and scrapped.

Seen in the summer of 1962, a Midland Red C3 coach draws into the coach station - from "Birmingham, via Aylesbury" - and I realised how similar it was to Southdown's range of tour coaches with all their flashy brightwork. Later that year I started visiting Victoria Coach Station and found that Black & White were using Willowbrook coaches that looked just the same, and Midland Red were now running fabulous CM5 coaches on their major routes, hurtling down from the West Midlands and bringing a wide grin to the face of many a gricer. They too had a smart black roof, and it was a shame when they removed this feature in later years. Southdown made the same mistake by deleting cream.

Parked up inside Cavendish Place garage is Maidstone & District AEC Reliance coach CO335 (TKM 335) built in 1955 with the distinctive Harrington Wayfarer Mk.2 37-seat body. It was withdrawn in 1969.

In roughly the same place at Cavendish Palce is Eastern National No.011 (PTW 107), a Bristol L6B. Built for United Counties in 1950 with a style of ECW coach body that definitely wasn't my favourite (even if it did have panoramic windows), it was transferred to Eastern National in 1958 and is seen here in 1962. The design was - I believe - known unoffically as a Queen Mary, unlike the Southdown Northern Counties Leyland PD3/4, which was (not surprisingly) always known as a "PD3/4". The following year it was retired, winding up with a contractor in Lincolnshire. I've no idea who the little chap is.

However, in November 2017 I received an email from Barry Horton, who said "I think I am the 'little chap' stood on the step of the Eastern National 011. I don't actually remember doing this but I was always in the coach station as a bus spotter and later worked in the booking office." Isn't the internet amazing? What a delight to put loose ends together, and thanks very much to Barry for getting in touch. We have a bit more information from him regarding the picture below.

At the Southdown Cavendish Place depot in 1962 we see a visiting Aldershot & District AEC Reliance on their Coastal Service, pulling out of the depot into the coach station area watched by an inspector. No.383 (383 AOU) was delivered in 1961 and wears the bus livery with a green roof.

Barry Horton (see the picture above) says "The inspector in the picture is Jack King who worked there when I was a booking clerk a few years later. Thank you for your excellent site." Well thank you too for getting in touch and adding details to my humble pictures.

This view is in virtually the same place in Eastbourne's Southdown depot, with its entrance to the garage in Susans Road and exit through the art deco coach station in Cavendish Place. On a different occasion in 1962 we see another Aldershot & District 1961 AEC Reliance, this time it's a dual-purpose model, No.422 (422 DHO) and has the cream roof of the coach livery.

Aldershot & District ran a coastal service through Eastbourne, and here we see a 1954 AEC Reliance in Terminus Road on its way home to Guildford in 1961. No.271 (MOR 602) had a Strachan 'Everest' centre-entrance bus body with a high floor and high waistline, and was one of a batch of 25, the company's first significant AEC order.

Round behind the town's railway station was Eastbourne's Central Coach Station, where all the visiting independent tour coaches could be found. Here we see 7 BXB, Tilling Transport's Bedford SB8 / Duple Super Vega C41F, one of three delivered in 1961. By 1971 it was spotted on the 'hippie trail' from London to Kathmandu wearing the name Indigo. "Traveller Dave" has a photo of it here. London Transport hire buses (usually RTs or RTLs with an occasional RF) were banished to a small piece of waste ground outside.

When the fair came to town (usually based in the recreation ground where Seaside met Whitley Road) there were always interesting vehicles to be seen. This, in the summer of 1962, is Mansfield District No.107 (GNN 206), a 1944 utility Guy Arab 6LW being used as a generator unit, with a lowered upper deck and a lifting roof to let the heat and fumes out. The body was built by Strachan.

Here are some more of my old pictures, taken in all sorts of places.

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