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  WEB NEWS 33  

In this issue of WHOTT Web News we take a brief look at further innovations, Isles of Scilly and WHOTT's on Ebay.


FURTHER INNOVATIONS - Chris Martin, Friend 35, has been taking a look back to 1975 to see what was happening on the buses in and around Plymouth at that time.  The launch of a new open top bus service, changes in some route numbering, alterations to stands at Bretonside bus station and the delivery of another large batch of Leyland Atlanteans heralded the completion of all Plymouth Joint Services (PJS), and their country routes, to one man operation.

Western National took delivery of four Bristol RELH dual purpose vehicles, 2504-7 (GFJ670-3N), all in Devon General livery and based at Torquay and Plymouth depots for use on the service 128 between Plymouth and Torquay.  Western National also introduced the first production Series 3 Bristol VRT double-decks with 75 seats and ECW bodywork – 1083-7 (LOD723-7P).  During August and September Devon General Bristol VRT 557 (ATA557L), with a yellow and white Launa Windows all-over advertisement was being used by Western National on the PJS service 5A  between Elburton and Torpoint Ferry.

ATA557L – With the Devon General fleetname carried across the radiator grill, Bristol VRT 557 (ATA557L), one of several vehicles to carry the Launa Windows overall advertising livery is seen on service 5 to Elburton in August 1975.   Far from the urban scenery more readily associated with Plymouth, Leyland Atlantean  204 (DDR204D) is seen in the Dartmoor China Clay Country on service 60 which was soon to be replaced the scenic circular routes 58 and 59.

Plymouth City Transport took delivery of fifteen new Leyland Atlantean double-decks with Park Royal bodies, 76–90  (GDR201-15N), twelve with dual doors seating 71 and three with single doors seating 74.  They were the last PCT double-decks to be supplied with rear route number boxes and the single door version (88-90) enabled the conversion from crew operation of service 58 Plymouth – Bickleigh, 59 Plymouth – Cornwood and 60 Plymouth – Shaugh Prior.  In their place came the daily 28-mile “scenic circular” one man operated services 58 (clockwise) and 59 (anti-clockwise). Meanwhile PCT Atlanteans dating from 1967, 218-220 (FJY918-920E) were fitted with OMO equipment and “Pay As You Enter” signs to enable the conversion of services 55 between Plymouth and Milton Combe, the 56 Plymouth – Meavy and the 61 Plymouth – Heybrook Bay.  Initially these vehicles had notices stating they could only be one man operated on those particular routes.  Consequently the conversion to one man of services 55/6 meant that they ran only as such between Plymouth and Yelverton at certain times of the day and between Yelverton and Milton Combe/Meavy most of the day.  Connections could be made at Yelverton roundabout with Western National services 83/4 between Plymouth and Tavistock using through fares.  To the east of the city PJS service 64 between Plymouth and Wembury was also converted to one man operation using PCT Leyland National single-decks 45/6 (UCO45/6L) dating from 1973.

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Devon General dual purpose 2505 (GFJ671N) seen loading at Bretonside bus station on Thursday 20 March 1975.  Illustrating the old method of reversing onto the stand for loading, a feature that was to change soon after the picture was taken. [Chris Martin]   159 (WJY759) ‘The Spirit of Plymouth’ one of the three Plymouth Corporation open-top Leyland Atlanteans that operated open top service 53 seen in June 1975 at Jennycliff on the climb up to Staddon.

The Isles of Scilly, or to be more precise St.Mary’s, offer a haven for small interesting coaches and minibuses looking for an easy life as they approach retirement!  These views were taken in June 1996 by Andy Richings.

VVS913 - the highlight of the visit was the very leisurely circular tour with a particularly humorous running commentary of St.Mary’s limited road network  in ‘Katie’ a 1948 Austin CXB with Barnard bodywork. NDS311V - Fred’s Bus operated by Fred Elms, provided a more regular circular bus service with this Ford A0609 with Moseley bodywork. ALC507S - when the sun wasn’t shining, ‘Katie’ stayed inside and Vic’s Tours operated this 1978 Bedford VAS5 with Duple Dominant bodywork.
  WHOTT's ON eBay -This is another in our occasional series about items that have been found on eBay.
In this case, the seller had listed a number of postcards of charabancs at the same time, the majority of them being from the Royal Blue fleet of Elliott Bros, in Bournemouth.
One postcard (right), however, was advertised as showing a charabanc that had belonged to Walter Dinnivan, also of Bournemouth, but which had passed to Elliott Bros on 1st July 1915. The card was dated 5th August 1915, so would have been in its time as a Royal Blue vehicle. Walter Dinnivan traded from premises at 48 Poole Road in Bournemouth, and had been providing charabancs in the horse-drawn era as well. He owned two De Dion vehicles that both passed to Elliotts - EL1718, on a 25 hp chassis, and known in the Dinnivan fleet as ‘Little Tich’, (of which a number of photographs exist) and a 35 hp chassis registered EL2038.
In due course, the postcard arrived. The bodywork was a much darker colour than the Royal Blue charabancs of the period, but the word ROYAL was clearly visible on the rear offside corner, in just the place where the wording ROYAL BLUE traditionally appeared. But somehow, it did not look right!
Closer examination also showed that the word under ROYAL on the rear corner was MEWS, and that this was not a De Dion chassis, but a Scout - a maker based in Salisbury. Elliott Bros were based at the Royal Blue Mews and the Branksome Mews, close by - and the Royal Mews was a separate establishment. Royal Mews had for a long period been home to Henry Laidlaw, who had been in the coaching and jobmaster business in Bournemouth somewhat before Thomas Elliott, and then was used by George R Melton as a base for his ‘Tally Ho’ business. Melton also had premises at the Lansdowne in Bournemouth, and it was to that address that EL2449 was registered on 18th January 1915.

2009 - A year of Anniversaries

WHOTT Archive Print Service

WHOTT Vehicles in service - 1

Every picture tells a story....

WHOTT's latest vehicle acquisition - the oldest in our collection

WHOTT's 2009

WHOTT's on the web

Just the Ticket - 14

Future Activities


Thanks to the strategically placed wood, which also proved invaluable when unloading at Knowstone, EFJ92 is safely loaded on the transporter.  John Grigg is paying close attention and, despite his heavy duty anorak, we actually set off in glorious sunshine - not readily associated with Manchester.



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Web News 32

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Web News 34


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