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.......preserving our commercial road transport history for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations..........
  WEB NEWS 13 and 14  

In this issue of WHOTT Web News we take a brief look at the vehicles used for the transportation of Portland  Stone and West Country Minibus revolution.

  Portland Stone - In this issue we look at the history and vehicles that were used to transport the famous Portland Stone. Bath and Portland Stone Company have for many years been involved in the quarrying and cutting of local stone. In the early 1960s it was taken over by Kingston Minerals and recently by the Hanson plc group. Initially steam traction engines towing trailers were used, but in the late 1920s Sentinel steam lorries were introduced. However in the 1930s the switch to diesel oil engined lorries took place and the AEC was to be favoured with many orders over the years until the 1970s. The eight-wheeled 'Mammoth Major' fitted with the 7.7 litre engine formed the basis of the heavyweight fleet. AEC four wheelers comprised the Monarch in the pre and early post war period, with either the 4 cylinder 6.6 litre and the 6 cylinder 7.7 litre, followed by the Mercury in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Want to read the full story, then become a member and receive our quarterly newsletters.


A classic shot of unloading stone from a pre-war Mammoth Major eight-wheeler for shipment.

  The West Country Minibus Revolution - With the forthcoming de-regulation in Britain, the NBC had been alerted to the potential of minibus operations and recognised the importance of leading the field. The newly appointed Manager of Devon General Ltd was Harry Blundred, who was a leading proponent of the concept of high frequency urban minibus network. The first example, an Ford Transit, was delivered to Devon General in late 1983 for evaluation. In February 1984 services were commenced in Exeter. Following the success of the service several vehicles were loaned to other West Country operators for evaluation. By the end of 1985, there were over 500 minibuses in service with the NBC and this had risen to nearly 4,000 by De-regulation Day. Several type of vehicles were used, namely; Ford Transit, Leyland Sherpa, Mercedes 608D. The full story can be found in the current copy of WHOTT News.  
Red and yellow Devon General Transits 13 and 8 on Route E to Pinhoe are seen well loaded during the first week of minibus operations on 2 March 1984. In 1986 Transits also appeared in Exeter in blue & silver and green & gold liveries to the same layout.   An intensive publicity campaign for the Exeter minibuses included hoardings featuring No. 7 'Little Willie' now in the care of WHOTT.
  North Devon Hauliers in the 1960s - In the early 1960s North Devon was still relatively remote, with poor roads linking it with the rest of Devon and upcountry. It was largely a farming area but there were clay pits near Torrington and several locally based manufacturing companies. Roger Grimley recalls a good example of life in the haulage industry at that time is the story of one Barnstaple firm. The goods carried reflected the area - road and building materials, agricultural produce and requisites, coal, coke and clay. Roger takes us through the daily operations of this company and its vehicles. Want to read the full story, then become a member and receive our quarterly newsletters.  

75th Anniversary of the formation of Western, Southern and Eastern National Omnibus Companies

David Johnson - Driver HH46574

We're All Going on a Summer Holiday

Did Royal Blue drivers ever use the fool luggage racks?

Pangs of Nostalgia as Bert looks back

Paris Street Bus & Coach Station, Exeter

Just the Ticket - 2

The History of Tally Ho!

The Future (events and activities for Trust friends)


262 (ETT 956) and 1613 (LTA 772) at Stroud Bus Station on a tour to the Severn Valley Railway.


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 12

Web News Index

Web News 15


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