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Website launched in August 1996, and this page was last updated on 17 September 2021.


*** STAR PICTURE ***

You may have noticed that there aren't many Routemasters or Lodekkas on this website. I must admit that's because there are hundreds of them everywhere and I can't get excited about something so common. But actually they are very popular all over the world - and they're classics! - so here's an attempt to redress such an unfair bias on my part. This picture shows 1960 Thames Valley FLF6G Lodekka 837 (UJB 203) at Reading Station back in the 1960s, taken by Peter Esposito and kindly sent to me many years ago by Chris Stanley.

Many thanks to Chris for this atmospheric shot from his archive, and I recommend that you visit here to see what a fabulous collection he has.


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?? MYSTERY PICTURE ??

This time the mystery is not the identity of the bus in the picture above (although I don't actually know the exact identity of it, apart from the fact that it's one of six Gloster/Gardners built for Red & White in 1932/33) but a query relating to the bodywork that it carries. Aaron Matthews is the founder and trustee of the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Museum, and he would like to know if there are any surviving buses or coaches that once carried (or still carry!) a Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon (GRCW) or Gloucester Carriage and Wheel Works bodies. Apparently they built bodies for Gilford, Guy, Thornycroft and Gloster/Gardner as seen above.

Please email me if you know of any survivors. Many thanks.

LAST MYSTERY

We never did establish the identity of the coach seen on Avonmouth harbourside.


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. You can order it through your local newsagent or go to this website. When it falls on your doorstep it's like when the delivery guy has brought you a really good pizza.

Please call back from time to time, 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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