Wilts & Dorset photo archive, part 2

Here are some more images from my collection of historic Wilts & Dorset photographs.

This is a 1946 Bristol K5G, of which there were many in the Wilts & Dorset fleet in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Note the early design of ventilator on the side windows. Eastern Coach Works was soon to change this to the more familiar all-aluminium design as seen below. Also caught in the shot is the rear end of a Vauxhall Wyvern (or Velox), one of those sit-up-and-beg cars from the 1950s that resembled the American design style of the time. My grandfather had one.

Shown here is a 1947 Bristol K5G, seen either when brand new or fresh from a re-paint.

At the other end of its life, I photographed Bristol KSW6G in the yard at Salisbury’s Castle Street depot in 1973, shortly before withdrawal. I suspect it was having battery troubles, hence the starting handle being inserted through the radiator. However, I wouldn’t fancy being the chap with the job of swinging the heavy Gardner lump with a handle! I remember seeing these old Bristol Ks on country services, en-route to such far-flung places as Hindon. As seen above, they were also put out on Private Hire runs. I clearly recall being taken to Sunday School on one of these, which was hired by the Elim Pentecostal church in Salisbury town centre. I enjoyed the lengthy ride all round the city, gathering up children from the suburbs.

Continue reading

Wedding Fair with a Crosville Bristol L5G

Last weekend was unusual for several reasons. Firstly, I spent a day in uniform but didn’t do any conducting or driving. Secondly, I wrote off a car in an accident but more of that later. I was invited to help promote the reborn Crosville Motor Services at a Wedding Fair in Bristol.

Accompanied by the proud owner of this fine vehicle and a member of his family, I travelled up to Clifton College, Bristol where the Wedding Fair was to take place. The weather was perfect and the autumn colours were vibrant as we made our stately progress along the A370 from Weston-super-Mare. It was almost a convoy of vintage buses that morning because another three Bristols had left the garage just ahead of us, a Bristol KSW6B, a Bristol LD6G and an ex-New Zealand Bristol RE. They were all heading for a rally in Brislington, their birthplace.

We had a small stand in the exhibition, which was organised by the South West Wedding Guild. The beautiful banquet hall, with its high vaulted ceiling, was the location for the Fair which provided a showcase for everything you could possibly need for a wedding. As long as you had plenty of the folding stuff, of course.

Continue reading