Friday, 24 February 2012

On The Buses

I have never described myself, or even thought of myself as a bus enthusiast. But a few photos went through the scanner recently of a commercial vehicle rally in Blackpool from 1983.

These used to take place every year along the Middle Walk - and still may do these days for all I know. Though the last event I noticed seemed to have lots of modern buses and a drivers' competition and seemed by far more about today's bus companies than about nostalgia and older vehicles.

The above bus, NTF 466, is a 1952 Daimler CVG6 (someone will know what that means...) in the livery of Lancaster City Council. At the time and for a considerable number of years we used to see it regularly on the roads of the Fylde and Wyre districts as it was available for hire.

DGS 625 is a 1951 Leyland Tiger PS1 in the livery of Lonsdale Coaches and with a totally weird angled window across the corner of the half-cab...

Although these photos were taken almost 30 years ago and the vehicles were already over 30 years old themselves at that time, I had no problems at all in finding out the details about them, thanks to lots of interest in bus preservation. Simply by putting the registration number into Google, I found not only all these details but lots more besides.

Whilst I found scores of photos of these vehicles, some from the same event as here, I have to admit I don't get all that excited about knowing the chassis number...

But for the die-hards, here's a shot of a double decker with the bonnet up! NLE 882 is an AEC Regent III from around 1953, fleet No. RT 3775 with London Transport.

These were the real London double deckers and instantly recogniseable. Two at least achieved fame on the silver screen - one being driven to Athens by Cliff Richard in the film Summer Holiday and one being driven under a low bridge by Roger Moore in the James Bond film, Live and Let Die. I know who I'd rather drove me out of the two...

They are made of sterner stuff than the James Bond film would have you believe. Roger Moore, in his book about the filming of his first Bond film, recalls they had already cut the top and put it on runners so that it would immediately zip to the back of the bus and drop off, allowing the lower deck to drive on!

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