Transportation => General Transportation => Topic started by: mikeb on March 10, 2015, 10:37:36

Title: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mikeb on March 10, 2015, 10:37:36
Another one to test KHF, although again I cannot be sure we are in Kent, but who knows?
CKO 996 was a Borough Green vehicle and should not therefore have been on service 18 which ran from Gillingham to Brighton. But where was the photo taken? The roof of a similar bus can be seen poking over the top of the wall on the left. Any ideas anyone?
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: peterchall on March 10, 2015, 11:57:37
In both Winter 1951/52 and Summer 1957 timetables Service 18 was jointly operated by M&D and Southdown between Hawkhurst and Brighton, and did not pass through Borough Green.

However, included in the Service 18 timetable there are buses between Hawkhurst  and Gillingham, Goudhurst, Rye and Ashford, without their service numbers shown, but evidently connecting services. For example, the 10:16am from Gillingham arrives at Hawkhurst at 12:09 and a bus is then shown departing Hawkhurst for Brighton at 12:26. But the Service 5 timetable – Gillingham to Hastings - shows the 10:16 departure from Gillingham as a journey on that service. Presumably examination of timetables from the other places listed would show the same thing.

So that photo would have been taken somewhere along the route Hawkhurst-Heathfield-Lewes-Brighton.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mikeb on March 11, 2015, 10:40:27
Thank you PC. It has been suggested elsewhere that the photo was taken on the Overcliff Gravesend. Certainly a BG vehicle would be "at home" there, but Ser 18?? That blind should not be in a BG bus at all!
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mmitch on March 11, 2015, 11:31:15
I don't recognise that road as the Overcliffe at Gravesend. There was a M&D bus garage there but they were parked round the back.There appears to be another road (or car park) above it.  It reminds me of the sea front at Brighton?
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: peterchall on March 11, 2015, 11:51:37
There was a Gravesend to Brighton service – No 122 – operated jointly by M&D and Southdown and which ran via Borough Green, but I don’t recognise the location as Gravesend Overcliff either.

The terminus for all M&D Gravesend services was the company’s offices, which were where Iceland is now, and buses turned by going ‘round the block’ from Darnley Road into St James’ Street and St James’ Road and into Overcliffe, and there was no high wall that another bus could stand behind.

However, I can’t remember where the Gravesend garage was.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: Mike S on March 11, 2015, 12:12:13
The Gravesend garage was immediately behind the offices. I think that the entrance was in the side road to the right as you face the offices.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: peterchall on March 11, 2015, 12:55:38
Thanks. That is Stuart Road, and I’m sure the bus was not parked there. Stuart Road runs north-south and the shadows are the wrong way, also the wall does not ‘fit’.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: Nemo on March 11, 2015, 13:21:31
Can one ask in what way the image was edited, eg. something appears to be just out of shot on the pavement to the bottom left? 

To the offside another kerb seems to be visible in the bodywork reflections.  Beyond is a structure with multiple storeys, apex roof and chimney, in front of which appears to be a lorry facing the camera.  Reflections in the bottom deck window suggest a structure behind the camera with a chimney and multiple pots.  On the nearside is a brick wall with decorative apertures enclosing a bus yard, followed by a structure with apex roof and apertures.

When I was a lad intent on avoiding playing rugby, the local bus garage paint shops were a welcome alternative.  Blinds were finest quality linen, spray-painted black by hand - a nasty, smelly, slow business.  Blinds generally were depot-based, but also had to take some account of route changes and transfers between vehicles having the same window width and depth.  Vehicles were also transferred between depots.  In short, it was not unknown for extra details to be prepared and stitched-into existing blinds and, equally, details to become "redundant" and left in the blind.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on March 15, 2017, 17:42:45
It becomes even stranger when one considers that this was a lowbridge bus.  This batch of Weymann-bodied TD4 Titans were sold out of service in about 1950/51, although some Beadle-bodied examples were rebodied just after the war (Beadle again) and lasted until about 1958.  The same style of Weymann bodies appeared on Bristol GO5G chassis in 1936 but were transferred on to new K5G chassis in 1938; these lasted until about 1955.  Equivalent highbridge Weymann bodies were supplied to the subsidiary Chatham and District fleet in 1936, again on GO5G chassis later transferring to K5G.

Later in the 1950s, Borough Green (BG) had four lowbridge buses for the no. 9 and one highbridge for the 122.  The rest of the allocation was single deck.  Apparently a lowbridge would sometimes deputise for the highbridge on the 122.  As the bus in the picture has "BG" clearly shown on the back, I suspect that this is what has happened here.  I am wondering if, at the time of the photo, there may have been inter-working of vehicles between the 122 and the 18.  I wonder, too, if the photo could be somewhere in Brighton, in which case the Weymann-bodied decker peeping over the wall could be an AEC Regent of Brighton Corporation.

I should like, if I may, to raise a further query, and that is as to whether BG at any time had more than the one highbridge decker and, if so, whether that could have appeared in Sevenoaks as a short working on the no. 9 between Sevenoaks and Borough Green (the through workings had to be lowbridge because of the low bridges at Platt and West Malling).  I have one of those nagging memories from my toddler years of seeing what must have been a Short-bodied TD4 heading along the Seal Road in Sevenoaks in the Borough Green direction. I suspect that this must have been a no. 9 short working.

Incidentally, the road was later lowered under the bridge at Platt although closure in the 1960s of Offham level crossing caused the route to be altered, involving yet another low bridge in Seven Mile Lane. 
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mikeb on March 15, 2017, 20:59:39
It is always surprising when a long dead topic re-surfaces! A year almost to the day!
Thanks to all who responded, but I still do not know the location of this photo. I now tend to think it was in Sussex / Brighton.
Certainly buses could be borrowed, loaned or even purloined in times of need, I've done it myself many times. This particular "loan" , if it was a loan, was long enough for the bus to be fitted out with correct blinds.
Before ser. 122 was split at T.Wells, T.Wells, Borough Green and Gravesend all had a share of the working, but I understood only T.Wells & Gravesend buses worked through to Brighton. I am not aware of any interworking between 122 & 18, but yes possible.
Ser. 18 was operated I believe by Gillingham, T. Wells and Southdown.
A thought, could there have been a temporary diversion on 18 which sent it under a low bridge and therefore low height buses were drafted in?
JohnH, your mystery TD4 could have been a replacement for a failed lowbridge at B. Green? to be replaced on the return working. I am surprised that B.Green had any normal height deckers at all, in my time all deckers were low, to give maximum flexibility.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: KeithJG on March 21, 2017, 16:46:14
I am now on the search also.

Living in Duncan Road Gillingham and both my parents worked for M&D in the 40`s and 50`s my hobby was collecting bus numbers and so i have dug out my old Ian Allan books dated from 1948.

They maybe a tad early as I am having trouble finding the reg. number.

It is obvious that this bus is in service as the destination roller says it`s route but route 18 was from Hawkhurst - Heathfield - Brighton and nothing to do with too far North BG. Although from that garage the route destination would not show what it does it would say "Relief".

Just found the details of the bus.


Just noticed it is two years ago almost to the day :)
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: redge on March 21, 2017, 18:56:47
Looks to me a bit like Tunbridge Wells, but I haven't found the road yet. Still looking
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on March 29, 2017, 17:33:49
I have just thought of a number of possible sources of information.  However, I think they would be more likely to reply to someone on behalf of Kent History Forum than to a private individual.

1. Dick Gilbert (he of "Classic Buses" website fame)
2. Ian Smith (he of "Ian's Bus Stop" website fame)
3. The M & D and East Kent Bus Club (possible contact Nicholas King)
4. The Southdown Enthusiasts' Club (since the 18 was one of a number of routes run jointly by M&D and Southdown)
5. The Leyland Society (contact Mike Sutcliffe)
6. The PSV Circle
7. The Omnibus Society

Hopefully one or more of these will post something on this site and hopefully resolve this query!
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on April 13, 2017, 16:46:28
Another idea!

Could Hawkhurst depot (HK) have borrowed this bus from BG for the 97, in which case could they then have put it out on the 18 in place of a failed vehicle?  That at least would explain the correct blinds.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mikeb on April 13, 2017, 17:59:45
Yes, that must be possible. If the loan was for a long period, say more than a week, then a Hawkhurst  (or any other depot who borrowed it) would have fitted their own blinds. Whoever had it on loan, it was only temporary, as the BG disc is still fitted. These were only changed on permanent transfer.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on May 30, 2017, 17:30:20
Dick Gilbert (he of Classic Buses website fame) points out that this bus was retired in 1951 so the photo probably dates from 1950 or before.  Apparently the M&D depot on Sandhurst Road in Hawkhurst was opened only in 1950 and the previous depot was on Winchester Road with an upper-level yard for 3 vehicles entered from the road and a lower-level yard for 4 vehicles entered from the rear.  Dick wonders if this photo could have been taken at the Winchester Road site.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on September 05, 2017, 17:30:21
Just for the record, in addition to Dick Gilbert I also contacted Ian Smith (he of Ian's Bus Stop website fame) as well as The Leyland Society, The M&D and East Kent Bus Club, the Southdown Enthusiasts' Club (because this M&D vehicle is on a joint route with Southdown), The PSV Circle and The Omnibus Society.  Apart from David Barton of The Leyland Society (who said that they had no information), none of the others replied.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mikeb on September 05, 2017, 18:08:46
JohnH, and indeed all those who searched, many thanks. I guess we will never know exactly where CKO 996 was resting, or why! Thanks again, but I do find out eventually, I'll post the answer in Guess Where!
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on October 02, 2017, 17:44:16
Just a thought - although The M&D and East Kent Bus Club has not replied to me, I wonder if this photo is one of their collection, in which case the originator of this item should consider trying that organisation
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: mikeb on October 02, 2017, 18:50:06
No JohnH, Good thought but I have checked there with no luck.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: Nemo on October 02, 2017, 20:45:40
It's delightfully infuriating and one can't help but feel that the answer's going to be obvious - once you know it!

Just a thought Mikeb, where did you get the image from? I don't particularly mean who took it or who collected it, but rather that I wonder what images were either side of it on the roll.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on October 06, 2017, 17:25:58
I wonder if MIKEB should forward this whole correspondence (including photograph) to the editor of "Buses" magazine for consideration for a future "Vintage Fenton File" feature.  Maybe some kind person would then come up with more information!
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: JohnH on November 21, 2017, 17:38:13
Just a little point - the reference on an earlier posting should be to David Berry (not David Barton) of The Leyland Society.
Title: Re: Another "Where can this bus be"?
Post by: GP on December 09, 2017, 22:11:25
The answer is, (From The M&D bus enthusiasts forum) which I have copied here:

In the absence of a solution to this one I showed the photo at yesterday's Club meeting in Hastings in the hope that someone might know more, and am pleased to say that someone did!

My thanks therefore to John Tippey who told us that the photo of DL318 (or just 318 if it was before the 1950 renumbering) was in fact taken outside the M&D depot in Gravesend (presumably near to the rear entrance in Stuart Road), by the late Tony Green.  He had set the blinds deliberately for the photo, though of course we still don't know why it carried a display for route 18 in the first place

I guess that one should never take such destination or route number displays too literally, particularly in photographs taken at or near depots.