It has been some time since I posted any photos from my Wilts & Dorset photograph collection so here’s another helping. This time we’ll look at a few vehicles which have cheated the scrapman and survive today.
First up isn’t a Wilts & Dorset bus at all, but an example from an operator which rubbed shoulders with W&D. While not in direct competition, Silver Star shared road space and bus stops with the red and cream brigade in certain locations.
1013MW is a Leyland Altantean PDR1 delivered in 1962 to Silver Star of Porton Down and after only 6 years service was sold to Berresfords before being preserved. I believe it regularly re-visits some of its former haunts in Wiltshire but the clip below shows it leaving Winchester during the 2010 FoKAB Running Day:
Seen here in original format after passing to Wilts & Dorset from neighbouring Hants & Dorset is BOW169. Built in 1938 as a Bristol J single deck saloon, it was converted into a recovery vehicle in 1956.
It is preserved in this condition and spent some time at Winkleigh in Devon. It may still be there – does anyone know? At some point it was repainted into Hants & Dorset NBC Poppy Red livery as seen here.
Bristol L6B EMW284 was built in 1948 and is preserved in a similar livery to that seen here.
It now belongs to the Bristol Vintage Bus Group and is seen regularly at rallies and running days.
I have heard that there is one Wilts & Dorset Bristol K perserved in the UK (possibly in Gloucestershire) but there are sure to be one or two others in the USA. Many were exported there after service in this country, only to be incorrectly lettered “London Transport”! There are many Bristol K photos in my collection but at the moment I don’t know if any of them survive.
Here is a Bristol LD6G, in need of a good wash. The caption in my album states that this is fleet number 622 (re-numbered 423), which was OHR123 in the W&D fleet.
This bus now resides in Denmark, according to Rob Sly’s excellent list of Wilts & Dorset Lodekka Survivors.
I’ve included OHR918, fleet number 629 (429), here because it represents the only Wilts & Dorset Lodekka which survives in the UK as far as I know.
Sister vehicle OHR919 (fleet number 628) is now owned by Three Counties Bus Preservation, Southampton. I would dearly love to drive this vehicle as it is quite likely that I rode in it as a small boy! [Edit – I’ve driven it now, twice!]
Wilts & Dorset, in common with other operators of the Bristol marque, had many of the longer FLF variant. EMR295D was one of the last acquired by W&D.
This bus owes its survival due to its continued use as a driver training vehicle and now lives on in Germany, wearing a spurious London Transport livery.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of forays into Wilts & Dorset territory, courtesy of my Dad’s collection of historic photographs. I am now the proud custodian of this collection and I might just post one or two more in the future.
Next Saturday I’m out and about with a Bristol L5G. I’m driving an ex-Crosville example on a wedding duty in rural Somerset, an outing which I am looking forward to immensely.