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.......preserving our commercial road transport history for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations..........
  WEB NEWS 4, 5 and 6  
  In this issue of WHOTT's Web News we have a update on the Panther 'on tour', WHOTT receives their third vehicle, another Bristol KS found and the regular Pangs of Nostalgia with Bert.  
  Panther update - With the Panther restoration complete, we have had a hugely successful season in which the Panther has covered over 2,500 miles attending local community events, bus rallies, running days, railway open days, etc raising the profile of WHOTT. On only three weekends between mid-May and October did the Panther (and crew) have a rest. At the Plymouth rally on 29th July, an official ceremony was held to commemorate the handover of the vehicle to WHOTT from First Western National. 

Why not visit the Panther at one of the many events it attends through the year.


The metal plaque now fixed to the Panther, recording its generous donation to WHOTT by First Western National and unveiled at the WNPG rally.



Commercial Vehicles - We discuss the many garages that supported the large number of commercial vehicles that operated throughout the West Country. Franchised and non-franchised garages were in most towns and cities and in some cases villages. Over the years these garages have come and gone. We at WHOTT would like to learn more about them. If you have any information, then we would like to hear from you. Contact us at WHOTT.


Two ex ECC Heavy Haulage vehicles in a slightly sorry state at the China Clay Museum, St Austell, Left is an AEC Matador Mk III which carried an LRL registration. On the right is Commer TS3 two stroke RRL 492G.

  Pangs of Nostalgia as Bert Looks Back - In Newsletter 4, Bert travels through the Devon countryside in the Mid '70s. Before the war, operators had a regular programme of rebodying their vehicles. Bert explains what happened to these and searches out many of the old bodies and the many different uses they were put to. In Newsletter 5, Bert continues his travels back in history, this time with Western National at Exeter Airport!  A central holding area was set up in Exeter Airport, known as Site 35. This was used as a storage facility for vehicles that were now surplus to the requirements of Western National. Bert traces the 'comings' and 'goings' of the vehicles through Site 35. Towards the end of the NBC era, Bert looks at MAP (Market Analysis Project) in Newsletter 6. The purpose of MAP was to gauge the attitudes of existing and potential passengers; examine operational performance; to look at costs associated with bus stations, headquarters and repair facilities, to reshape methods of operation and manning levels; to provide an improved basis for discussion with local authorities on revenue support and to establish a better means to control cost effectiveness. In Newsletter 6, Bert examines how this affected Western National and the way it operated; he charts the vehicle movements, which involved 285 vehicles changing depots over one weekend.  



WHOTT's Third Vehicle - First Southern National Bristol LH6L/Plaxton 3307 (AFJ 727T) donated to WHOTT by First Southern National. 3307's Plaxton body was only 7' 6" wide and was one of 24 originally supplied to Western National and Devon General, which were built to this special width for narrow roads frequently encountered in the West Country. This vehicle was one of four that had been a familiar sight in the Taunton/Minehead area for many years. In recent years, the main role has been driver training with First Southern National.

  Recovery of a Bristol KS - Western and Southern National operated a total of 322 K types including KS and KSW variants. Only a few K's have survived (1.25%). In October 2001, a further K was located in the City of Canton, Ohio, USA via the internet. WHOTT Chairman, Colin Billington and Ward Jones arranged a visit to see the vehicle - LTA 946 (Southern National 1836). In the newsletter read the full details of how the vehicle was made mobile and recovered to the UK.  

GWR Guys restoration

Joy Riding in Plymouth & A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the West Country - members remember the early days of transport in the West Country

Restoration update - What's happening in Fifield (Berkshire)

Island Havens - No more - West Country buses that saw further service on Guernsey and the Isle of Man

West Country Coach & Body Builders

Archive update

The Future (events and activities for Trust friends)

YF 714 at Fifield, bearing a fair resemblance to her original form (from a distance) - but the condition is dire with much decay and many 'modifications'.


Would you like to see the full magazine?  If so, please consider becoming a Member and we’ll send current year copies right away.  Alternatively individual back numbers can be purchased at £2 each by request.  Our Shop postal rates apply.


Web News 1, 2 & 3

Web News Index

Web News 7, 8 & 9


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Registered in England Company No. 3780463. Registered Charity No. 1079795