News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norseman’s ire
Rudely but greatly begat they the framing of State and Shire
Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
If we trace on ancient headlands the twist of their eight-ox plough.”

-Rudyard Kipling
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Topic Summary

Posted by: smiler
« on: February 21, 2012, 08:36:11 »

May 1st 1928 A sight for astonished eyes in Kent is the trolley bus, seen for the first time this week in Maidstone on the well used route to Barming. Northern cities have been using them for years but a regular service in London has still to be introduced. If the Maidstone experiment is a success a trolleybus will also run to Loose.
"Kent a chronicle of the century" by Bob Ogley.
Posted by: Megapack162
« on: October 24, 2011, 17:40:20 »

Quote
With the advent of the rear engined bus, such as the Leyland Atlantean, there was no need for a prop-shaft to run the length of the vehicle, so the floor could be low anyway. Nevertheless, I have a vague memory of M&D having some Atlanteans with the lo-deck configuration, thus giving a 'lo-lo-decker' - can anyone confirm?

Quite right peterchall. They were outwardly the same as a "normal" height Atlantean, just not so high. Fourteen of the original order of fifty Atlanteans were of low height  for operating under a low bridge in the Hastings area, I believe Cooden Railway Bridge. All initial fifty were allocated to Hastings as trolleybus replacements in 1959. Thereafter M&D only took Daimler Fleetlines when a low bridge type was required.

Hope this confirms your memory!

Peterchall,
The Bristol Lodekka (and all other Bristol Commercial Vehicles products) were unavailable to Maidstone & District and other BET (British Electric Traction) companies between 1948 and 1969.

M&D's lowbridge Atlanteans were bodied by Weymann and seated 73 as opposed to 78 (later 77) for the Highbridge versions because they lost 5 seats upstairs.

I spent the last few years periodically looking for interior photos of the original lowbridge Atlanteans after my one and only trip on Maidstone & District 6445 (45DKT) which was covering a Rochester Maths school service not long before its withdrawal in 1978.

I finally found some on Flickr, namely Trent and Ribble examples which are thankfully now preserved as none of M&Ds were saved, especially DL43 which was one of the first 4 to be built and was exhibited at the 1958 motor show.

Hopefully these photos show the main differences between Atlantean PDR1/1 highbridge and lowbridge variants (later PDR1/2s had a drop centre rear axle that removed the need for a sunken gangway altogether).

Lowbridge PDR1/1, upstairs looking rearwards


Highbridge PDR1/1, upstairs looking rearwards


Lowbridge PDR1/1, downstairs showing the bulge into the upper deck although the nearside (just out of view) still has reduced headroom because of the upstairs side gangway


Mikeb,
The lowheight Daimler Fleetlines were ordered to allow the complete replacement of the front entrance lowbridge buses, along with high capacity single deckers.
In 1973 when the lowbridge Atlanteans started to show their age, M&D received their first new Bristol buses for 25 years, they were Bristol VRTs with extra low ECW (Eastern Coach Works) bodies that were 13' 5" high but had 77 seats, the lowbridge Atlanteans' days were numbered and all 14 had been sold by 1978.
Seven were sold to Western National in Cornwall and they (along with another 26 highbridge versions) allowed the rapid conversion of services to one man operation, soldiering on until final withdrawal and scrapping in 1982.
Posted by: peterchall
« on: October 24, 2011, 14:46:34 »

They probably varied over time, but Sept 1951 timetable shows all 9 (2/hr), 20 (1/hr), and 25 (1/hr) journeys via E & W Malling, and all 109 (1/hr) journeys via A20. No 20 ran 1/2 hourly from Gillingham to W Malling, only alternate journeys going on to Maidstone and requiring lo-dekkers.
Posted by: mikeb
« on: October 24, 2011, 13:43:16 »

Over time of course routes were altered to serve developing areas of Larkfield and East / West Malling, but basically in the 1960/70's it was :-
Service 9 Maidstone - Borough Green - Sevenoaks and service 20 Maidstone - Snodland - Gillingham went via East / West Malling via the low bridge. These services HAD to be low bridge buses or they would be converted to open toppers by the bridge. It did happen!!
Service 25 Maidstone - West Malling - Wrotham - Borough Green and service 109 Bearsted - Maidstone - West Malling both went via A20 & Town Hill. These could be normal height buses. There were however peak variations especially for school term when a 25 or 109 was routed via East Malling and the operating staff had to be on their toes when allocating buses, especially early mornings. It was not unknown for an inspector to be dispatched by car very urgently to catch up a service which had been given the wrong size bus!! I've done it! Service 20 was jointly operated by Maidstone & Gillingham and Gillingham were especially adroit at this.

The other consideration of course was to avoid low trees, but that's another story.
Posted by: seafordpete
« on: October 24, 2011, 13:22:51 »

Did the 25 go into W Mallling or just pass it on the A20?  Hated the DLs always smashed my head if downstairs or fell into the trough footway upstairs, after negociating 3 other people on the bench seat
Posted by: peterchall
« on: October 24, 2011, 13:02:14 »

Yes, it does. It looks like I was thinking of the wrong bridge. The 1951 M&D timetable shows 3 routes between East and West Malling - No20 that I've already mentioned; No9, Maidstone to Sevenoaks; and No25, Maidstone to Wrotham. I know Nos 9 and 20 used lo-deckers, and presumably No25 used them or single deckers.
Posted by: mikeb
« on: October 24, 2011, 11:57:55 »

The railway bridge out of Maidstone on the A20 at Allington, aka "Kent Messenger Bridge" to old(er) bus men, is high enough to take a standard height bus. Maidstone depot, and Borough Green, had an allocation of low bridge double deckers in order to pass under the bridge between East & West Malling. In my day these were all Fleetlines although Maidstone did acquire one of the low bridge Atlanteans from Hastings for a while. Buses operating Maidstone - West Malling direct were / are of a standard height. Modern double deck buses are, as far as I know all standard height, the same as standard height front engined buses of yore. To-day if operators have a low bridge to negotiate they buy high capacity single deckers. As far as I know, and I stand to be corrected, no manufacturer offers a low height double decker.

Hope this helps.
Posted by: peterchall
« on: October 24, 2011, 11:38:32 »

Thanks. Like Torpointblue earlier, i'm glad to have my memory confirmed. Now to clarify a further point if possible - due to the lower floor, are today's 'standard' double deckers lower than the old front engined/rear platform ones? I ask because they use the A20 London Road out of Maidstone, passing under the same railway bridge (with presumably the same clearance) that once required the old lo-deckers.
Posted by: mikeb
« on: October 24, 2011, 10:49:34 »

Quote
With the advent of the rear engined bus, such as the Leyland Atlantean, there was no need for a prop-shaft to run the length of the vehicle, so the floor could be low anyway. Nevertheless, I have a vague memory of M&D having some Atlanteans with the lo-deck configuration, thus giving a 'lo-lo-decker' - can anyone confirm?

Quite right peterchall. They were outwardly the same as a "normal" height Atlantean, just not so high. Fourteen of the original order of fifty Atlanteans were of low height  for operating under a low bridge in the Hastings area, I believe Cooden Railway Bridge. All initial fifty were allocated to Hastings as trolleybus replacements in 1959. Thereafter M&D only took Daimler Fleetlines when a low bridge type was required.

Hope this confirms your memory!
Posted by: chasg
« on: October 24, 2011, 04:27:21 »

Posted by: Lyn L
« on: October 23, 2011, 17:14:47 »

I remember those buses, but that was in the Ramsgate  and Broadstairs area and must have been in the 50s sometime, perhaps the bridges were low there ?  the one for the railway in Broadstairs seemed low, we always 'ducked' when we went under it  :) but what they were I have no idea it was just a bus to young child.
Posted by: peterchall
« on: October 23, 2011, 17:05:52 »

Bristols made a low height double decker, called the 'Lodekka', that had the normal centre gangway layout on the top deck. This was acheived by lowering the bottom deck by using a drop-centre rear axle with the prop-shaft drive from the gearbox passing down one side of the bus to the rear axle, clear of the gangway. This meant that there was a bulge in the floor passing under the seats nearest the side (I think left side) of the lower deck; the drive then had to be taken across to the other side by a system of gears to a low shaft passing across under the flooor, with more gears to bring the drive up to the centre of the road wheel on that side. Complex and expensive, and it seems that M&D didn't have any. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Lodekka

With the advent of the rear engined bus, such as the Leyland Atlantean, there was no need for a prop-shaft to run the length of the vehicle, so the floor could be low anyway. Nevertheless, I have a vague memory of M&D having some Atlanteans with the lo-deck configuration, thus giving a 'lo-lo-decker' - can anyone confirm?
Posted by: Paul
« on: October 23, 2011, 14:19:57 »

Posted by: torpointblue
« on: October 23, 2011, 13:36:33 »

Many thanks Peterchall.I'm glad I'm not going crazy . Must have been for relief use as you say because we rarely had one like that . Just remembered it because it was different .
Posted by: peterchall
« on: October 23, 2011, 13:15:37 »

This was the lo-bridge layout that reduced the height of a double decker for use on routes that had a low bridge on the way. They wouldn't have been in regular use on Service 1 to Maidstone because there were no low bridges. The only service that I can recall needing lo-bridge buses from the Medway Towns was Service 20, via Snodland, West Malling etc, to Maidstone, because of a low bridge on London Road just outside Maidstone. Any service from Maidstone along that road needed them, such as to Sevenoaks.

Lo-bridge buses in the M&D fleet were numbered DLxxx, as compared to DHxxx for normal height double deckers.
Posted by: torpointblue
« on: October 23, 2011, 12:56:31 »

Sorry I cant recall bus names and types but I need confirmation of a seating arrangement that nobody I've spoken too can ever remember. Please somebody tell me I'm not going mad :-).. I lived on Twydall Estate and went too Napier Road School. So I'm talking about the No1 bus route. Circa 1960. Upstairs there was one footwell Isle on the right hand side . You had to step up into the seats which were 4 seater benches . This arrangement caused for head hight on the right hand side of the lower deck was approx 9 inches lower . anybody else remember this ???
Posted by: Paolo
« on: June 05, 2011, 19:54:07 »

Fascinating pictures of East Kent buses but does anybody remember/have information or pictures on  Sargents single-decker buses that ran from Folkestone to Hythe in the late 40s or early 50s?  I believe they used the same stops and route as the 103/103a from Wood Avenue to the Light Railway. 
Posted by: DaveTheTrain
« on: April 16, 2011, 18:48:10 »

I see that GKE 68 has come up in this thread, I hope nobody minds, or they may be interested in the pics I have of GKE 68, taken about 7 or 8 years ago.  They were forwarded to me when the owners were looking for a buyer to take the vehicle on.  As a collector of scrap / interesting old iron I was a potential candidate but did not have the room at the time with several other vintage vehicles to stable, although an old bus will one day feature in the plans.

Anyhow, here goes









Regards
Dave
Posted by: chuffchuff
« on: February 15, 2011, 12:33:19 »

Friend was working on this
Getting a good rub down




Paint all done




Non standard interior

Posted by: TowerWill
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:12:50 »

A nice collection of pictures!Delboy's pictures of buses in the Market Square reminded me of being there one very hot day probably between 1968 and 1971.This big articulated lorry came out of Castle Street and turned right around the roundabout to go up Cannon Street.Many of us will have noticed tarmac turning soft in hot weather,well the inevitable happened and the lorry's trailer wheels pushed the tarmac up into ridges.They were there next to the roundabout for ages.
Posted by: alkhamhills
« on: February 14, 2011, 20:54:34 »

Dellboy--that pic of the market Square, posted today 14th feb. Is that the Pelosi coffee bar opposite Nat West Bank?  A reminder of my misspent youth in early 50's, playing the juke box!! Sounds soft by today's standards !
Posted by: delboy
« on: February 14, 2011, 19:20:45 »

one more from the M&D and East Kent Car museum. This is where the Cannon St. shell landed and the damage is under repair. You can see the bus crew standing in front of the bus and there are some people aboard.I would assume that they reversed into Market Street and then went off up the town when ready,delboy

Posted by: delboy
« on: February 14, 2011, 15:37:03 »

These are some p/cards and photos that I have collected. A couple I got from the M&D and East Kent Bus Club a few years ago. The adverts are from  1923 and 1935 Dover guides.








Posted by: patmore
« on: February 10, 2011, 14:42:45 »

 I posted this on another thread recently. If it had a half cab and a door at the back it was a real bus, when I was a young lad the only difference was that red and cream buses were 'seaside buses'!
                                                            James
Posted by: Sentinel S4
« on: February 09, 2011, 21:31:24 »

Interesting to see so much on Busses. There is a Maidstone Trolley Bus at the Carlton Coalville transpsort museum near Lowestoft. I damn near put the car in a ditch when I saw a Brown and Cream double decker with 'Bull Inn Barming' on the roller blind. I know it is not Kent but the post on the Hastings Trolley bus; is it really diesel engined now? I saw it about two years ago on the Autoroute just North East of Verne in Belgium. It was towing a trailer with a couple of thick cables leading up to the trolley poles. The trailer did look like a generator. She was doing about 25mph at the time. I was one of the many HGV drivers caught out by the speed, or lack of, and nearly remodeled the rear end of the machine......... Hey Ho
Posted by: busyglen
« on: February 09, 2011, 19:31:30 »

I've just come across a load of scanned photos of Sheppey in a relatives folder, don't know where from, but these two buses were amongst them.  They look a bit blurred, as it looks as if they were enlarged, but thought they might be of interest. Had a quick check, but couldn't see them already posted.

NB:  Yippee DB.   Photobucket worked!!



Posted by: gully
« on: November 27, 2010, 15:18:22 »


Quality is not the best but is very close to that published originally

Must really wonder with limited equipment how much work it was to remove a Bus Body and replace with Truck [Whops Lorry] Body







Posted by: gully
« on: November 26, 2010, 18:56:49 »

Reading with interest stories from the Buses.
My late Father worked for M&D from post war until we Emigrated to Canada in 1957. I think mostly at Gravesend but sometime in Gillingham.

Living in Luton we knew many of the Conductors which worked great for as a Kid as very often they would 'forget' to collect my fare. Gave me some extra spending money.

After reading this discussion I remembered I have several issues of Inside Only which appears to be a M&D and Hasting Tramways newsletter

If someone can explain how I have images of a Bus was converted daily to a truck

Another of the a converted 1946 A.E.C Regal Mark 1
used in Hasting as a tour Bus

Pete g

Posted by: Peterj
« on: November 12, 2010, 21:45:02 »

If you like coaches from 1965..........................I don't know if any were from Kent though..........surely at least one!

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=70126
Posted by: Peterj
« on: November 11, 2010, 22:39:39 »

Maidstone & District coaches in 1964. These are all AEC Reliance 470 fitted with Harrington 41 seat Wayfarer bodies which were new in 1958 - 1960. There are a few unrestored survivors of this type in storage.

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=63695

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