News: The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or possibly from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook"
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Topic Summary

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 »

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.

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

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'!
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!
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.

Posted by: Peterj
« on: November 11, 2010, 22:14:37 »

East Kent buses in Canterbury 1951 plus other transport of that time;
Posted by: Megapack162
« on: November 11, 2010, 17:56:41 »

I found these pictures a while back on the Transport Photos website of WFN839 and WFN840 approaching the Allington roundabout where the A20(m) "Maidstone Bypass" split from the A20, on their way to the land of red and cream in 1961?

and while we're at it, recovering buses...

I dread to think how it happened but given it was only 4 years old at the time, it was repaired and lasted in service until 1981
Posted by: peterchall
« on: November 11, 2010, 16:17:38 »

Thanks again Megapack. It has come back to me now. The trolleys ran to Sutton Road and Loose. The bus service to Penenden Heath ran via Perryfield Street; I presumed it was a trolley service because the terminal had a turning circle.
It seems as if the history of Maidstone Corporation was nearly as complex as Hastings. Here is a pre-war Crossley Mancunian; I think they were white (or cream) and brown:

There are many pictures of Maidstone buses and trolleys in this next link, and it seems that both were brown until the trolleys were replaced, then became blue. I had completely forgotten they had Daimlers and both short and long bonnet Guy Arabs:

Posted by: Megapack162
« on: November 11, 2010, 15:19:23 »

Of course in 1974 when the Borough Council came into being, they decided that double deckers were bad and dumped them all in favour of high capacity single deckers. The independents loved it however, picking up the best part of 30 buses which were less than 10 years old, some were only 2-3 years old.
Posted by: peterchall
« on: November 11, 2010, 12:18:19 »

Thanks for the replies, Megapack162.
I'm going to deal with 3 different items here:
1)   Re Reply#53, it seems that Hastings buses went through a chequered history of liveries and company name.
2)   Re Reply#54, my understanding was that the DD bodies were specially designed to have top decks removed, but that may have applied to pre-war buses which were all Leyland Titans. Perhaps the ones that were difficult were wartime utility bodies that would have been standard. I'm not presuming to gainsay the M&D history, but just wondering if this gives more detail. Do you know the make of the bodies concerned?
3)   Back to Reply#53, quoting ?Maidstone Corporation's trolleys were brown and cream, their buses were pale blue and cream?. I knew I'd seen blue buses somewhere :).

I have a couple of memories of their services;
(a)   The trolleys terminated alternately at the 'Fountain' and the 'Bull' at the western end of the route, but I'm not sure about the other terminus - was it Penenden Heath, where there is still what could have been a turning circle on Sandling Road?; if so, what route did they take. I believe there was a motorbus route to Penenden Heath that went via Sandling Road and Perryfield Street.
(b)   The motorbuses were Crossleys, not a very common make and, from their appearance, I don't think the bodies were a common make either.
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