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It is not possible to save and restore all lorries that have come to the end of their working life. In operators' yards there is often an assortment of old vehicles, with some used for spares to keep others running. Scrapyards also often have a motley collection of vehicles in various forms of decay. Of course, with the ever increasing interest in preserving our past quite a few vehicles have been rescued and rebuilt from seemingly impossible states of disrepair. This book offers a fascinating insight into the twilight years of some of these lorries.
The low-floor bus was first introduced to the streets of London in 1994 with a fleet of sixty single-decks entering services with London Buses Limited, passing quickly to the new privatised operators. These vehicles were not that popular, and no further examples arrived into London until 1996 in the form of the Dennis Dart SLF. It was almost another two years before the first low-floor double-deckers entered service in the capital. The early 2000s saw low-floor buses flood the capital, mainly of the DAF and Dennis variety, with a smaller number of Volvos entering service. The second generation of low-floor vehicles were introduced to the capital in 2006 in the form of the Enviro range produced by Alexander Dennis Limited. The Enviro 200 and 400 models were taken into stock by many London operators, but some chose other models. With 180 wonderful photographs, David Beddall has produced a fascinating tribute to this part of London's bus history.
The North Western Road Car Company is just a fading memory now, but for fifty years its red and cream buses served a broad sweep of England's North West from the Cheshire plain to the Pennines, and from Manchester's industrial mills to the threshold of the Potteries. It was known as a friendly company, familiar as a commuter bus in Stockport, or market-day transport in rural Peak Forest, or as a fast express coach to London. Eventually, through no fault of its own, the company found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time and was dismembered to satisfy bureaucrats poring over a map. The name was revived briefly in the 1980s but today the only buses with the proud name 'North Western' on their sides are to be found in museums. This book isn't a history of the company - it's a taste of the days when a North Western timetable could be found in every home in its territory, providing a lifeline and a cheerful wave. Paul Williams has collected a unique set of photos taken between the 1950s and the 1970s from the collection of the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester, to show that North Western's memory is worth saving.
The exact definition of east Scotland can be difficult to define due to its wide geographical areas, but for the purpose of this book the bus services covered are from a wide range of destinations including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Perth, Fife, the Borders and the Lothians. Each of the areas covered are unique and require a complex network of routes through smaller towns and villages as well as larger cities, as well as linking railway stations, park and ride facilities, airports, shopping centres and hospitals. Not only do large well-known operators such as Stagecoach, First and National Express serve the communities here, but so do companies such as Borders Buses (part of the Craig of Campbeltown West Coast Motors group), Lothian Buses, Lothian Country Buses, East Coast Buses, Moffat & Williamson, Rennies, Prentice, Eve's, Ratho Coaches and Edinburgh Coachlines. In this book, Richard Walter illustrates the scenic and contrasting areas that these buses operate in. The bus remains an essential lifeline in many of the smaller towns and villages and vehicles change and adapt as necessary, from the provision of contactless payment and USB ports to the carrying of bikes.
Shuttle Buses, based in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, celebrates thirty years in business in 2020. During that time it has grown from running two Ford Transit minibuses to a modern fleet of fifty-five buses and coaches operating throughout south-west Scotland. Over 150 vehicles have been operated over three decades and twenty manufacturers have been represented in the fleet. Traditional suppliers like ADL, Leyland, Mercedes, Optare, Scania and Volvo are joined by less common buses from Bedford, CarInd, Fiat, KingLong and Talbot, in what must be one of the most diverse fleets operated in the UK in recent times. Almost every vehicle ever owned is pictured in this collection, at work and in less frequently photographed situations. Written by the co-founder and managing director, the informative captions give an operator's perspective of each type, detailing mistakes that have been made over the years and the company's many success stories.
Throughout their existence from 1904 until 1981, the Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Company were an idiosyncratic operator whose area of operations ranged from the Welsh Marches and Shropshire in the West to Northamptonshire and Rutland in the East and from Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire in the South to Staffordshire and Derbyshire in the North. Much of their area was distinctly rural but in Birmingham and the Black Country, Worcester and Hereford, Stafford and Leicester, intense urban services were operated mainly by double-decker buses and it is these buses that this volume examines. Looking at the coaches that formed a part of this iconic fleet, David Harvey utilises his collection of rare and unpublished images to explore the fascinating world of Midland Red coaches.
In 1961 the maximum length of single-deckers was increased to 36 feet. Bristol Commercial Vehicles and Eastern Coach Works designed their first rear-engined single-decker to take advantage of this new length. Two prototypes were built and tested in service in 1962. United Automobile Services had the RELL version with a low chassis frame for bus work. South Midland had the RELH version with a high frame for coach work. Production started in 1963, with Eastern Coach Works-bodied buses and coaches for the nationalised Tilling Group companies, plus some Alexander-bodied coaches for the nationalised Scottish Motor Traction Group companies. In this book the author illustrates the Bristol RE in service from 1970 to 1994 in England and North Wales. This includes Tilling Group companies, National Bus Company subsidiaries, municipal operators and independents, some of the new companies created from bus deregulation and privatisation from 1986, plus a few more recent photos of preserved Bristol REs.
Britain's biggest county, Yorkshire, was particularly affected by the period of deregulation. Many independents have fallen by the wayside over the years but others have come to take their places. The blue buses of Samuel Ledgard of Leeds, the red ones of Connor & Graham in Hull and the delightful colours of Felix Motors of Hatfield may now be only memories, yet there are still plenty of other small businesses providing bus services within the boundaries of Yorkshire. These vary from Powells providing buses in industrial South Yorkshire to Reliance Motor Services running out from York to the rural north. John Law was born and bred in Yorkshire and has been photographing the bus scene there since the 1960s, often focusing on the independent firms that have flourished throughout the county over the years. In this book he has chosen the best of his collection, featuring a variety of photographs to illustrate the independent bus sector in the great county of Yorkshire.
Although to many enthusiasts, municipal vehicles never extended beyond the trams, trolleybuses and buses that were required to provide the basic public service, behind them were a range of vehicles that were required to enable operations to proceed smoothly. These vehicles - tower wagons, tree-loppers, towing vehicles, training vehicles, mobile canteens and numerous others - are vehicles that, historically, have tended to be ignored when writing the history of municipal operators but without which operation would have been impossible. Some of these vehicles were often elderly buses converted for new duties, others were specially constructed for their somewhat specialised tasks; all, however, are fascinating examples of historic municipal vehicles. Gavin Booth, one of the country's leading experts on the subject of public transport history, has delved deep into the archives of many of the country's leading transport photographers to produce a fascinating survey of these often ignored vehicles. Dividing the subject into each of the specialised tasks, he shows how the various types of vehicle evolved during the twentieth century. Alongside the excellent photographs, the author's well-researched text and detailed captions make the book an essential work of reference for all those interested in the history of Britain's municipal bus operations.
Steam power led the transport revolution in England throughout the nineteenth century, but was crippled on the road network by punitive legislation. As the century turned, the laws were altered in such a way that the development of the English Steam Lorry or Wagon became a viable transport proposition. For the best part of four decades, the steam lorry was a major player on the transport scene, being developed into a highly technical machine designed to beat competition from the petrol and diesel lorry. The most advanced machines were efficient and very fast. Made by a variety of builders, including the famous Sentinel company of Shrewsbury, who built waggons with a double 'g', and Foden, of Sandbach, steam lorries came in many shapes and sizes. This book looks at their birth, and the operation and engineering that set them aside from the traction engine and steam roller. This book is part of the Britain's Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain's past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with steam lorries in all their variety.
Around the early 2000s, there was a concern among transport enthusiasts that variety in terms of vehicle type and livery in the passenger transport industry in and around the South Wales Valleys would decline. This was mainly attributed to the expansion of larger groups across the region that opted for standardised vehicle types and corporate liveries. There was no need for concern: looking back over the past twenty years shows that there has been plenty of variety in and around the Valleys. Variety has been the spice of life; various vehicle types have adorned the operating area, from the common to the rare and the unique. Pleasant liveries, branding and colour schemes have emerged with some surprises along the way. With a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, Simon Ingham documents the local bus scene in the Valleys.