Lunch break for Bristol bus crew

Here’s a photo of a bus crew in about 1969, taking a lunch break in Blackhorse, Bristol. I came across this image by chance, while my father-in-law was scanning his collection of colour transparencies onto his computer.

Bristol Tramways bus crew at Blackhorse

The subject of the photograph wasn’t the bus crew, in fact they only occupy a corner of the image. The main event (the opening of a new church building) was taking place behind them. I’ve cropped everything else out to illustrate the uniform of the time and to chuckle at the Elvis hairstyle and loud socks. Curiously, the conductor has placed the chin strap (normally an obsolete feature, just above the cap’s peak) over the top of the cap. I wonder why?

Their green and cream Bristol Omnibus steed, probably a Bristol LD or FLF, was out of shot to the left.

I’m interested to note that, although both the conductor and driver are wearing summer dust jackets, the conductor’s cap doesn’t have a white top. Some operators issued these removable fabric covers (or ‘gloves’) to crews in the summer but the practice doesn’t seem to be as widespread in Tilling group companies as I’d thought. I’ve seen another image recently of a Western National crew wearing summer jackets but not white topped caps. Words of wisdom, anyone?

8 comments on “Lunch break for Bristol bus crew

  1. JOHN IMMINS says:

    The dust jackets look good. As you mentioned, there a number of old buses now being restored for public use and the crews need to be kitted out correctly to complete the scene. I am looking for original old conductor kit and find it hard even to get a leather cash bag. I would be interested to know how you find the dust jackets when they arrive.

    • busmanjohn says:

      The dust jackets project is a ‘slow burn’ I’m afraid. I’m relying on a fellow bus man to source the correct shade of cotton twill before we can place an order for manufacture. When there’s anything to report I will write a new post.

      • JOHN IMMINS says:

        Thank you for your reply regarding dust jackets. I believed someone in our group has a source now and I will await further developments.

      • busmanjohn says:

        Would you be kind enough to let me know if your group is successful in sourcing accurate reproduction dust jackets? I can put plenty more orders their way if my own project comes to nothing! Incidentally, which group do you belong to?

      • JOHN IMMINS says:

        I will let you know more re the dust jackets once I have the info myself. The Leicester based group I joined about two months ago is the LTHT.

  2. JOHN IMMINS says:

    Here is the info of the supplier of the dust jackets you were interested in.
    TEL: 01493 842289 EXT 1021 and ask for Sharon

    • busmanjohn says:

      Ah yes, I’ve had one of their jackets before. Unfortunately, unless they’ve updated their spec, they don’t use the correct cotton twill fabric or the original double stitching method. Thanks anyway!

      • JOHN IMMINS says:

        Have you now got another supplier who produce the required spec. It would be nice to buy a decent quality jacket, as the saying goes, ‘ Buy the best, buy it once’.
        I have just bought a very nice bus conductors cash bag from Peter Jones in Wales. This may be a help to anyone else trying buy a new bag.

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