History of Bere Regis Motor Service book – artworker needed

There’s an opportunity for someone with design or artworking skills to help publish a book on the history of Bere Regis Motor Service. The pictorial history has already been written and images have been scanned. I have been involved in similar publications before, most recently a pictorial history of AEC vehicles in the South West.

“One Hundred Years of AEC in the West Country” is published by the Westcountry Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust (WHOTT) and was written by local AEC officionado Phil Platt and John Sykes, who worked for AEC (and then Leyland) for many years.

The Bere Regis book will be very similar and needs someone with access to suitable page layout software (Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress for example) to prepare the artwork. There is a budget for this available but it’s not huge, as the funds of the Trust are limited.

If you can help, please leave a comment and I will put you in touch with my contact at WHOTT. Thank you!

Preparing for Crosville Running Day

Yesterday I spent some time at the Crosville Motor Services depot preparing vehicles for the forthcoming Running Day and Depot Open Day. I also had a meeting with a graphic designer in the town who may be able to take on some of the design and artwork I’ve been doing in my spare time. The volume of work required by Crosville has increased massively as the company has grown and matured, far beyond my capacity to keep up in my spare time!

It was very interesting to see Crosville during a typical working day. As I arrived, the Hants & Dorset Bristol FLF was up on jacks having its chassis cleaned in preparation for being silvered.

After my meeting with the designer I took myself off in the car to drive around the Service 152 route (Weston-super-Mare to Uphill) which is my rostered duty for this Sunday, the day of the Running Day. I’ve only ever seen the route on a map, not in the flesh, as I haven’t actually been any further into Weston than the depot!

In the afternoon I joined a team which was cleaning the heritage buses in preparation for the Running Day. These included several buses belonging to the Bristol Omnibus Vehicle Collection which are garaged alongside Crosville’s own heritage fleet. Already outside the garage door was a Bristol Omnibus Company (BOC) Bristol KSW. I donned a borrowed dayglo-orange overall and used a jetwash to rinse down the bus after one of the team had been around with a soapy brush. We also checked oil, water and fuel levels.

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Wilts & Dorset photo archive

A few months ago I inherited a photograph collection devoted to the buses and coaches of Wilts & Dorset Motor Services Ltd, whose head office and centre of operations was in Salisbury. The photographs have been collected by my father, who grew up in Salisbury and followed the development of the company and its vehicles until the early 1960s.

Here is one of the early photographs, showing a 1929 Leyland TS single decker wearing the pre-1948 livery and fleetname. The collection is spread over three volumes and contains several hundred photographs. I haven’t counted them all yet! Most are postcard-sized black and white prints, published for collectors and enthusiasts by distributors such as Haynes, Simpson and Pennels. A few of my father’s own shots are included too.

Prior to the standardisation of the state-owned Wilts & Dorset, when ECW body on Bristol chassis became the norm, W&D ran buses and coaches from all the major manufacturers such as Leyland, AEC and Daimler. Shown above is a 1931 Leyland TD1 passing the Style & Gerrish department store in Salisbury. Fleet number 97 has a Leyland body and wears the pre-war livery of red and grey.

One of the last photographs in the collection is of this 1967 Leyland Leopard PSUR1/1R, acquired in 1971/2 from Maidstone & District.

I photographed the fleetname on this bus after it had been withdrawn in 1973 and was languishing in the dump at the back of the bus station in Castle Street, Salisbury.

This reflected my interest, not only in the buses of Wilts & Dorset but also in letterforms because I began training for a career in graphic design in the same year.

These are just a few examples of the many photographs in this wonderful collection. Maybe I’ll share a few more of them later!