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Offline editorsfoot

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Re: Buses
« Reply #71 on: March 12, 2012, 19:56:06 »

The grand building in Tunbridge Wells where the bus stops were is The Assembly Halls.


I think the grand building would have been the library and / or town hall, the bus stops would have been on Mount Pleasant and the LT stops at the bottom of Lime Hill Rd. I don't ever recall any bus stops by the assembly halls as all the buses would have come along Monson Road where a number of stops were located.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Buses
« Reply #70 on: March 12, 2012, 12:31:55 »
Some more information:
The Saturday only Service 92, Wadhurst - Crowborough, was withdrawn in 1958, so it was not that you transferred to.
If it helps to jog the memory, Services 79 and 90 were one-man operated from the mid-1950's, Services 152 and 191 went one-man from May 1966 - previously they had conductors.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Buses
« Reply #69 on: March 11, 2012, 23:10:14 »
The best I can do is to give you information from the Summer 1957 timetable.

In 1957 you could have gone from Tunbridge Wells to Rotherfield without changing, on Service 90 which was Tunbridge Wells Mark Cross Rotherfield Crowborough.

Other services from Tunbridge Wells to Mark Cross were:
79 to Uckfield, 152 to Hastings, and 191 to Eastbourne (this would have been the joint service with Southdown)

There was also a Saturday only Service 92 from Wadhurst Mark Cross Rotherfield Crowborough that you could have changed to by getting one of the above buses to Mark Cross, but things might have changed by the 1960s

You can follow the routes that I listed on this 1951 map, except for the section of the 191 between Heathfield and Hailsham:
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=5113.msg42913#msg42913

The grand building in Tunbridge Wells where the bus stops were is The Assembly Halls.

Hoping this helps.
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preserje21

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Re: Buses
« Reply #68 on: March 11, 2012, 20:01:58 »
New here - I wonder if anyone can help me with details of a couple of M&D routes running out of Tunbridge Wells, no doubt, but straying across the border into Sussex. As a kid, in the mid 1960s, our family occasionally undertook a rather lengthy trek by bus from Biggin Hill to Rotherfield to see my grandparents. It would start with an invariably long wait for a 705 Green Line to Sevenoaks, where we would have another long wait usually for a 704 to Tunbridge Wells. The Green Lines from London were always held up in traffic. Once in Tunbridge Wells, I remember we would walk round the corner from the London Transport bus stop to an array of M&D stops in front of a rather grand building set back from the road with flower arrangements in front - a little higher than the road, I think. I cannot remember the route number of the bus we used to catch then, to Mark Cross, but I think it went to Haywards Heath, or maybe Eastbourne - it was jointly operated with Southdown, and was usually the lovely 36 foot BET single-decker - maybe Leyland Leopards with Willowbrook bodies? We then connected with an unusually short M&D (Reliance?) to Crowborough via Rotherfield and Jarvis Brook - I would like to know the route number. We would alight at the Rotherfield & Mark Cross station, closed (I have just found out) in 1965 - it was still open when we first started going there - once we returned by steam train to Oxted (and they let me in the cab - a nice memory!) Anyway - reading this part of the forum seems to reveal a number of folk who possess incredibly detailed information about buses - even back then. So, can anyone help?

Offline smiler

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Re: Buses
« Reply #67 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.

Offline Megapack162

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Re: Buses
« Reply #66 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.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Buses
« Reply #65 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.
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Buses
« Reply #64 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.

seafordpete

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Re: Buses
« Reply #63 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

Offline peterchall

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Re: Buses
« Reply #62 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.
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Buses
« Reply #61 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.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Buses
« Reply #60 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.
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Buses
« Reply #59 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!

Offline chasg

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Re: Buses
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2011, 04:27:21 »

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Buses
« Reply #57 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.
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