Wilts & Dorset Buses book published

After many months of preparation, my new book ‘Wilts & Dorset Buses’ has been published.

Regular readers will know that my bus driving roots go back to my childhood days watching and riding on Wilts & Dorset buses in Salisbury, Wiltshire. My interest was mostly inherited from my father, the late Derek J Dawkins, who also passed on a large collection of photographs to me. The new book is based on this collection but also includes some of my own photos.

The albums I inherited had been carefully annotated by my father but I have had great fun expanding on these with my own knowledge and research to create more readable captions. There’s a ‘Postscript’ section at the end which gives a more personal view of a couple of commemorative events in Salisbury in which I took part. You may have already seen that I covered these in my blog in 2014 and 2015.

I have to admit that I’m not the world’s best authority on Wilts & Dorset buses (although I know a man who could take that title) and I didn’t set out to write a reference work. I hope you’ll see that it’s a personal impression of the bus fleet as it was when my Dad was growing up in Salisbury and later, as he started his working career.

The softback book has 128 pages and the images on the inner pages are black and white. It can be obtained through Amberley Publishing and I commend it to you!


9 comments on “Wilts & Dorset Buses book published

  1. Ray says:

    Pleased to hear your blog is live again, now we know why!
    Congratulations on the book.

  2. Alan Bond says:

    Hi John,
    Looks like a nice volume to me – I will certainly be buying a copy when funds permit as W&D has many interesting vehicles over the years, not least of which were the ex Venture Transport buses at Basingstoke, a company that was formerly part of the Red & White group.

  3. Congratulations – i often wonder if I have a book in me about my first love (devon general) and my varied driving experiences since.
    Look forward to reading yours.

  4. Bob Harrison says:

    Hi John,

    I have followed your blog since meeting you years ago on back of the 400. I had hoped to make it to Salisbury but domestic responsibilities intervened. I have only made one Exeter running day and the Winkleigh events.

    I had a walk on Exmoor a couple of summers ago and caught Quantocks 300. Only return fares which made our one way trip very expensive – a strange pricing policy. Surprised it is running again this summer.

    Very pleased you have gone into print and have ordered a copy, to remind me of an enjoyable gap year in Salisbury during 1972- 1973.

    Keep up the good work.


  5. Philip E Davies says:

    A very good book, however a couple of caption mistakes! Top picture p64/rear cover is Andover Bus Station (early 1950’s buses showing route numbers 71/73/75/82) and bottom picture p67 is Newbury Bus Station (135 ex Venture route).

    No criticism of your book intended.

    Philip E Davies

  6. Alan Bond says:

    Looks like a good ‘un to me. I shall definitely be adding a copy to my collection. I have a particular interest in Venture of Basingstoke as they were part of the Red & White empire until taken over by Wilts & Dorset. Among the fleet were two or three AEC Regent IIIs with fluid transmission which Wilts & Dorset retained for many years. This was in contrast to the Cheltenham & District ones which Bristol Omnibus wasted a lot of money on by having them converted from fluid transmission to crash gearboxes, replacing the compressed air braking with vacuum servo and fitting 7.7 AEC engines in place of the 9.6s. All that to save a few coppers on fuel !

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