This photo brings back so many memories for me. All through my childhood, while staying with my grandparents in the summer holidays, I travelled into town on Lodekkas, including this one. Consequently it represents my favourite half-cab bus of all time. It belonged to Wilts & Dorset and is pictured (by me, in 1973) approaching the bus stop outside the West End pub in Wilton Road, Salisbury. My grandparents’ house is just out of shot on the right and just at this moment, my pulse would be racing as I anticipated another journey, albeit ever so familiar. I can still hear my grandmother saying to the conductor after we’d found a seat, “two and one half to the Blue Boar Row, please”. And then that characteristic, metallic whirr as the conductor’s Setright machine spat out the requested tickets. I could never have guessed then that I would be doing his job 40 years later, on a Lodekka in service!
Bristol LD6B LMW 680 was looking rather battered by this time and would soon acquire a coat of NBC Poppy Red (yuk) instead. Many of the fleet had already lost their Wilts & Dorset fleet names, to be temporarily replaced by Hants & Dorset in the new National Bus Company (NBC) style. Gone too was the top cream band just under the upper deck windows. It seemed such an insignificant part of the livery to paint out when a new livery was going to be applied within a few months. Bristol LD6G UAM 941, pictured below at the back of Salisbury Bus Station, is wearing the aforementioned interim livery.