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.......preserving our commercial road transport history for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations..........
  FJ 6154 - Maudslay ML3 - Exeter Corporation 5  

Accession 729 22/11/11

1929 Maudslay ML3 with Northern Counties B32D body.

New in April 1929, this Maudslay / Northern Counties bodied bus was one of seven vehicles that the council purchased that year to supplement the tram system. Running on four main routes across the city, they were later joined by more buses to completely replace the trams in August 1931.

This particular vehicle was withdrawn from service in 1939 and sold to a local farmer for use as family accommodation in Woodwater Lane. It later ended up in a barn at the top of Telegraph Hill where it remained until 1965 when it was purchased by a coach operator in Northampton which had, in the past, run many vehicles of Maudslay manufacture. Meanwhile, all the other early Exeter Maudslay buses had been used as ambulances during the war and were subsequently scrapped, leaving this bus a lasting reminder of a once familiar type. In November 2011 ownership of the bus changed hands and it was immediately placed in the care of the Trust (WHOTT) since when a lot of research into the original livery and interior design enabled a full restoration to take place. It made a visit to Westpoint in September 2014 and on 2nd May 2015 returned to the streets of Exeter for the first time in seventy-six years. The occasion was the outgoing Lord Mayor’s final charity coffee morning at the city’s Guildhall.

FJ6154 is believed to be the oldest surviving Maudslay bus in running condition and carries the oldest surviving bodywork by Northern Counties Engineering of Wigan. Powered by a Maudslay 60hp 4-cylinder overhead valve petrol engine, the drive is transmitted through a cone clutch and four-speed gearbox to an underslung worm differential. The 32-seat interior is arranged in two compartments, the rear one allowing for smokers

  Photo: WHOTT Archive  

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