Bath Services bus crew in miniature

Some time ago I featured a few photographs of a very well researched model of a Bath Services Bristol L5G. Now, to complete the scene, a colleague and I have joined the bus on the fine scale model railway.

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The detailed layout, along with its skilled owner, is located in far-away Melbourne, Australia and the bus crew is of course represented in miniature form! The layout is described in more detail in this post from March 2014.

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The addition of the driver and conductor was the finishing touch to this wayside station cameo and Ray, always keen to get the details right, asked for some help with the bus crew uniforms. Although I’m a relative newcomer to the world of vintage buses I did have some photographic reference, including a shot of a colleague and me wearing authentic ‘Tilling’ uniforms beside a Bath Services Lodekka.

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Ray used these photos as reference material for the professional model makers who painted the cast resin bus crew. I hope you’ll agree that the finished scene is remarkable. I also approve of the early Morris Minor in the background, complete with split screen and clap-hand wipers!

In other news, I’m ‘between jobs’ as they say in the acting profession. Driving for the local sightseeing tours has come to an end now and, although I have a couple of wedding duties with Crosville coming up in November, I’m driving a desk and catching up with jobs at home before the next bus-related project comes along. Also on the horizon is a new book, based on the early part of this blog and covering the trials and tribulations of a bus conductor who is looking for promotion up to the noisy end! Good fireside reading – anyone interested in buying a copy one day?

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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?