Transportation => Work Vehicles => Topic started by: Leofwine on March 08, 2012, 17:40:24

Title: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Leofwine on March 08, 2012, 17:40:24
I found some images of a bus crash in Brompton just by the Dock Road Roundabout, and wondered if anyone had any details about it. It looks like the bus managed a spectacular wrong turn!

Here are the images (sorry they are so small, but the site they are from doesn't allow larger versions to be posted).

(http://www.na3t.org/images/photos/road/GM00245-01.jpg)
http://www.na3t.org/road/photo/GM00245-01

(http://www.na3t.org/images/photos/road/GM00245-02.jpg)
http://www.na3t.org/road/photo/GM00245-02

(http://www.na3t.org/images/photos/road/GM00245-03.jpg)
http://www.na3t.org/road/photo/GM00245-03

(http://www.na3t.org/images/photos/road/GM00245-04.jpg)
http://www.na3t.org/road/photo/GM00245-04

All I know about it is that it must be 1958 or later (the road opened in that form in '58) and that the bus concerned was a Maidstone & District Bristol K6A, reg. no. HKE 212, running on route 19.

Over to you....
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: mikeb on March 08, 2012, 18:47:09
No idea what happened, but......
1) Buses on service only went up the hill, in Brompton only services to Chatham went through the High Street.
2) It looks as though it has damage to the near side upper deck and front wing, perhaps even it has knocked the windows out.
3) In the photo taken from the top of Dock Road, the lampost appears to have taken a knock.

Has he come up from Pembroke Gate intending to turn left for Gillingham, hit the lampost and finished up across the road through the railings? If so he could not have been going at any speed.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Leofwine on March 08, 2012, 18:56:23
No idea what happened, but......
1) Buses on service only went up the hill, in Brompton only services to Chatham went through the High Street.
2) It looks as though it has damage to the near side upper deck and front wing, perhaps even it has knocked the windows out.
3) In the photo taken from the top of Dock Road, the lampost appears to have taken a knock.

Has he come up from Pembroke Gate intending to turn left for Gillingham, hit the lampost and finished up across the road through the railings? If so he could not have been going at any speed.

The Up Wood Street/Down Middle Street route stil runs today. Originally Wood Street was too narrow for two-way traffic, and the redevelopment in the 50s widened it to fix this. C&D/M7D decided to stick to the old route despite the widening having taken place over 50 years ago.

I hadn't noticed the wonky lamp-post, but looking at it in the other pics the lamp seems to be gone from the top of the post. It could be the bus clouted it then skidded acros the road into the railings.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 08, 2012, 19:58:43
It seems a long way to stop or skid at the speed a K6A Bristol was capable of. I wonder if the driver was taken ill.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 08, 2012, 22:46:24
Service 19 ran between Gillingham Green (the east end of the ex-Chatham & District Service 3 to Frindsbury) and Grain (always a terminus of Maidstone & District Service 19), and the two services must have been combined when M&D absorbed C&D, and the date of the photo depends on whether Luton or Gillingham depots operated it.

HKE212 (DH111) was allocated as follows:
Luton in 1958, when the new road layout was opened.
Hastings - July 1961
Luton – October 1961
Tunbridge Wells – November 1961
Gillingham – January 1962
Sold – December 1965
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 09, 2012, 09:46:20
Source of my previous reply was M&D and EK Bus Club

1957 timetable shows all early ‘running out’ and late ‘running in’ journeys for Service 19 starting/finishing at Chatham Town Hall (nearest point to Luton Depot); none start/finish at St Mark’s Church (nearest point to Gillingham Depot). This suggests it was operated by Luton and puts the date of the incident before July 1961, or Oct/Nov 1961.

If I had to place a bet I would suggest just before one of the vehicle's transfer dates, because after the accident it probably went to Postly Works and was then re-issued to another depot.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 09, 2012, 12:03:46
No idea what happened, but......
1) Buses on service only went up the hill, in Brompton only services to Chatham went through the High Street.
2) It looks as though it has damage to the near side upper deck and front wing, perhaps even it has knocked the windows out.
3) In the photo taken from the top of Dock Road, the lampost appears to have taken a knock.

Has he come up from Pembroke Gate intending to turn left for Gillingham, hit the lampost and finished up across the road through the railings? If so he could not have been going at any speed.
Apologies if I've hi-jacked this thread but, as support for  Mikeb, there were 2 additional Service 19 journeys from Gillingham Green to Pembroke Gate on weekday mornings that returned to St Marks Church (going to Gillingham Depot?), and 2 from Pembroke Gate to Gillingham Green on weekday evenings; were these extras operated by Gillingham Depot? If so it puts the date at HKE212’s time there - January 1962 to December 1965.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Megapack162 on March 09, 2012, 13:14:07
It's a pity that we can't see a larger, clearer version of the last image as this appears to show the depot allocation letters on the nearside rear panel immediately to the right of the open platform.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 09, 2012, 18:05:15
It's a pity that we can't see a larger, clearer version of the last image as this appears to show the depot allocation letters on the nearside rear panel immediately to the right of the open platform.
I’ve enlarged the photo of the back of the bus as much as possible and can only say that it looks like a 2 letter code. Gillingham code was GL, Luton code was C and later changed to LT – but when? I suspect it was quite late, in which case it is probably a GL plate on the bus.

But in any case, unless the damaged lamp-post is nothing to do with the incident, the bus must have come from the Dockyard direction to have hit it, as suggested by Mikeb. From the time-table evidence it would have been a GL bus, either returning to depot in the morning or going to Gillingham Green in the evening on the Gillingham Green - Pembroke Gate short working (All Pembroke gate workmens' journeys were allocated the route number of the outer terminus) . It would therefore be January 1962 to December 1965.

But why did it go so far before stopping, unless the driver was ill?

But I can answer the question in the link regarding make of body – it is Park Royal.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Peterj on March 10, 2012, 11:06:19
HKE 212 was a Bristol K6A,  fleet no. DH 111 built 1944/45.

It was one of 57 in stock which were rebodied in 1951 - 54 by WEYMANN with 56 seats.

A sister vehicle still survives in preservation (I did actually travel on her last year)
Link;
http://www.mdekbusclub.org/preservation.html










Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 10, 2012, 11:48:00
It was one of 57 in stock which were rebodied in 1951 - 54 by WEYMANN with 56 seats
Doh :) Yes, its original wartime utility body was built by Park Royal.

Looking at the 3rd photo again it seems that the lamp-post could equally well have been hit by the bus coming from Chatham and over-shooting the junction, as by cutting the corner coming from the Dockyard. So if the former it would have been between 1958 and October 1961 (apart for the short time spent at Hastings) when HKE212 would have been on the 'main' Service 19 operating from Luton. If the latter, it would have been between January 1962 and December 1965, when it would have been based at Gillingham and operating the Dockyard journeys.

I have e-mailed M&D and EK Bus Club to see if thay have any information on what must have been an unusual event.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: DaveTheTrain on March 10, 2012, 12:28:12
I think Gillingham Depot had a Matador with crane that I seemed to recall surviving well into the 1980's.  Still not an easy recovery though.  

DTT
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 12, 2012, 11:56:06
Reply received from M&D & EK Bus Club:
"Hello Peter,
Thanks for your most  interesting e-mail and for the KHF link.
This one will take a little time to investigate, so please  leave it with me and I will be in touch again once I have received replies from those of our members who are most likely to know.
Derek Jones
Secretary
The M&D and East Kent Bus Club
"

Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Leofwine on March 12, 2012, 17:29:51
Looking forward to what they come up with.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Leofwine on March 13, 2012, 16:02:03
Just for comparison, here is a set of present day photos showing the same spot (they are roughly the same views as the old ones.) Not that the railings are STILL smashed down! (OK, they were repaired long ago, but it seems there has been another accident in the same spot recently!)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7046/6833288516_2f1577eb71.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7069/6979416249_9a5f29178a.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7059/6979417261_ca95c0f67a.jpg)

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7047/6979414609_1e1e49ae17.jpg)
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Lyn L on March 13, 2012, 16:44:12
I smiled to my myself when we went past on Sunday and saw the broken fence as I'd read it was down again . Was there a grassed roundabout there at one time. I have vague memories of it, an old boyfriend went sailing across it on his scooter when it was thick fog and dented his chrome side panels, he was very upset  :) So it looks as though it's quite a hotspot for accidents there.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Leofwine on March 24, 2012, 18:34:28
With thanks to Brian Joyce of the Chatham Historical Society I now have some further information on this crash.

It was front page news in both the Chatham News (26.3.1959) and Chatham Observer (27.3.59). (Odd that this info comes to light pretty much on the anniversary of the crash!)
 
The bus skidded while going round the roundabout, struck the lamp standard on its nearside which locked the steering. It then shot across road in semi circle before crashing through the fence and hitting a ground floor flat. The flat was unoccupied, the bus was empty, and there were no injuries.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: peterchall on March 27, 2012, 09:01:54
Is there any more info from those articles, Leofwine? Both front wheels are turned through the same angle so are evidently still connected to each other, the nearside one appears to be undamaged, the wing or bodywork doesn’t seem to be pressing against it, and it was a massive beam axle, so I can see no reason why the steering should have locked. The bus was presumably coming from Chatham along Dock Road, and even if going flat out in top gear (max 35mph for a Bristol K6A) that was one heck of a distance to skid, and uphill at that.
Title: Re: Bus Crash in Brompton c.1960
Post by: Leofwine on March 27, 2012, 12:07:19
I'm not sure how much info there is peterchall, but I'm going to the archives on Friday so hopefully can get the full copies of the articles then.