Wilts & Dorset Photo Archive, part 4: Survivors

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.

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Wilts & Dorset photo archive, part 3

I’ve dipped into my Wilts & Dorset photo collection again and have pulled out one or two unusual vehicles.

Like many other operators at the time, Wilts & Dorset acquired ex-military recovery vehicles to rescue broken down or accident-damaged members of the fleet. This one is an AEC Matador recovering what could be a Bristol LS saloon from Romsey town centre. Like most of the ex-military recovery vehicles in bus fleets, this one has been re-bodied, probably in the company’s own workshops, to re-fit it for it’s new task.

Before the standardisation of the nationalised Wilts & Dorset fleet, a wide variety of vehicles were operated. Some, like this AEC Regent II, were absorbed from Venture. Before that, it ran in the Cheltenham & District fleet and before that, Newbury & District.

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