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Vehicles

 
     
  The following vehicles are part of the Medstead Depot Omnibus Group.  
     
 
 
 

FTR 511

1949 Guy Arab

Southampton Corporation 64

167 entered service on 6th March 1949 and it formed part of the initial order for tramway replacement vehicles. Along with many others it formed the standardisation of the Southampton Corporation Transport fleet of the 1950's. Selected for conversion to open top configuration in April 1966 to replace older Mk II Arabs, and renumbered 64 in 1972, so the fleet number did not clash with batches of Leyland Atlanteans entering service. 64 together with 67 (an identical bus) was used on City and Docks Tours, before being withdrawn for preservation by the Corporation in the 1980's. 64 was used to carry Southampton Football Club (The Saints) on their victory tour of the City. The team had beaten Manchester United 1-0 on the 1st May 1976.

64 - FTR 511 was subsequently licensed as a private vehicle to enable it to be preserved by a group of Southampton City enthusiasts, which evolved into the 7164 preservation group and then the Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust. 64 is still owned by Southampton City Council. Similar bus No. 167 - FTR 514 former Southampton Corporation Transport was withdrawn in 1975 from service and sold into preservation. It is kept securely undercover by its private owner.

 
 
 
 

GTR 484

1951 Guy Arab

Southampton Corporation 222

No.222 entered service with the Southampton Corporation Transport Department on on 1st July 1951. It was delivered in the immediate post-War darker red and cream livery with a red band below the roof-line. In subsequent repaints, the red became brighter and ivory replaced the cream, the upper red band disappearing. The smaller seriphed fleet numbers were replaced with larger simple gold fleet numbers and when Southampton became a city in 1964, the legal ownership changed from “Southampton Corporation” to “City of Southampton Transport Department”. The final batches of Arab IIIs had Cave-Brown-Cave heating systems, but this equipment was removed and conventional radiators restored. No.222 just missed this innovation.

The main batch of post-War Guys were withdrawn in the period 1962 – 1971 on delivery of Leyland PD2s, AEC Regent Vs, and Leyland PDR1A/1 Altanteans.  No. 222 was one of the last survivors, being withdrawn on 31st March 1971 as Woolston section routes were converted to OMO Atlantean operation and AEC Regents were displaced. Mr David Rider purchased the Guy from the Transport Department on 26th July 1971 for preservation and it was subsequently moved to Sheffield Park, by the Bluebell Railway in West Sussex. While at Sheffield Park, the Guy appeared in the Bluebell Railway vintage vehicle rallies of the early 1970s. No.222 had to be kept in the open and, unfortunately, in December 1991, it was entered and set on fire. The fire severely damaged the rear of the `bus, the heat being was so intense that holes were burned through some of the rear roof panels. This vehicle was then stored in a building at a farm in Lower Dicker in Sussex.

Eastleigh-based businessman Philip Blair purchased No.222 around 2010 and commenced restoration with the aim of adding the Guy to his collection of preserved `buses. However, the cost of restoration proved beyond Mr Blair’s resources and he sold the Guy to a group of Southampton and District Transport Heritage Trust members for continued preservation. The vehicle was towed to the premises of South East Coachworks (SECW) in Faversham, Kent, in July 2013 for professional restoration. Fortunately, the chassis and running units were in good condition, so much of the work involved repairing and replacing body parts. Restoring the opening windows proved particularly challenging. Around 80% of the body is original, but does have a new rear end, fitted on the original framing, and a lot of re-panelling around the cab to deal with corrosion. All of the interior fittings have had to be replaced, or refurbished in the case of the front-facing seats. The bench seats and floors are entirely new, as are a number of roof and side panels.

Space for the vehicle was found in the preserved vehicle store building managed by the Medstead Depot Omnibus Group and a Southampton 222 Group was formed, led by Richard Perry. After lengthy restoration, including fabrication of a replacement staircase, No.222 was returned to basic running order by April 2016 in time for the Detling Rally and then the Faversham `bus display event in May of that year. After some further work the Guy was driven to Medstead on Saturday 26th November 2016. The route back from Kent was via Sheffield Park to let David Rider see the restoration work and to re-unite him with the vehicle that he had previously owned.

No.222 needs work on the air brake compressor brake shoes and clutch, and should have the front lights re-aligned. It requires a rear route number and destination blind, and ought to have leatherette, not paint or varnish, on interior window cappings. The original type of gold leaf seriphed type of fleet number also needs to be replaced. Some period adverts would make the vehicle look authentic and may be added if sponsorship can be found.                                      Photo (C) Tom Lingwood (Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust)

 
 
 
 

LOW 217

1954 Guy Arab

Southampton Corporation 71

This bus entered service in September 1954, and was numerically the third from last of 150 similar vehicles to enter service with Southampton Corporation Transport Department. The first one having been delivered in January 1948 as part of an order for tramway replacement vehicles.
In August 1957 the bus was, along with others of the type were fitted with a heating and ventilation system which were developed by Wing Commander Cave-Brown-Cave Who was Professor of Engineering at Southampton University. The system proved successful, and was not removed from 71 until October 1969. 71 was the last Guy Arab to operate in the Southampton fleet and was last used by the department on a shuttle service between Shirley and at the time new Lordshill Centre.


It was withdrawn from stage carriage service and was subsequently licensed as a private vehicle in June 1975 and later preserved by the transport department until 24th October 1986 (deregulation) when 71 was handed over completely to Southampton City Council. This bus is still a corporation bus as it is still owned by Southampton City Council together with 64 – FTR 511 an open top version of this one. Similar vehicles 167 – FTR 514 & 222 - GTR 484, have also been privately preserved since withdrawal from service in 1971.

 
 
 
 

JOW 928

1955 Guy Arab

Southampton Corporation 225

The chassis was made by Guy Motors Ltd. at Wolverhampton, the body by Park Royal at Southall, London and the engine by Gardner at Manchester. One of twelve chassis new in 1952 but with only six bodied initially. They were originally destined to provide a new type of bus service between the Town Centre and Weston Estate giving more standing room over seat places. Loading was to be made through a rear door with passengers purchasing tickets from a seated conductor. Permission to operate these "Standee" buses was withdrawn by the Ministry of Transport therefore the first batch had more seats inserted and eventually tickets were obtained from the driver which is now known as Pay As You Enter.

The second batch including No: 255 were B36D plus 18 standing. Some were sold early but four were converted to B39F in 1964. No: 255 entered service on 1st May 1955 and was withdrawn in 1968 for conversion to a disabled persons bus which gave rear access through full width double doors and a tail-lift made by Ratcliff. It provided three space for wheelchairs but fewer seats and numbered 903 in the service fleet; it was used on behalf of Southampton City Council Welfare Dept. and based at Portswood depot. It carried an all over light cream livery relieved with a narrow dark red strip.
This was the first bus purchased by the Solent Transport Trust which took place in the Spring of 1976. Over the years much work has been done: removal of the tail-lift and double rear doors, construction of a new single leaf door, seat frames repainted, seat squabs and backs recovered in new red rexine, refinishing of interior wood strips & paintwork etc. and a complete external repaint.


However due to the bus being stored out of doors for most of its time in preservation some of this work has been undone by the weather. From Spring 2001 the bus has been under cover in a new safe storage location which is being regularly financed by members of the Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust, the successor to STT. In the Autumn of 2001 George Herd and his supporters began the next restoration in the history of 255. Nevertheless much work is needed to bring it to a usable condition and funds are always required for continuing restoration and maintenance therefore any financial contributions will be most welcome.

 
 
 
 

JRX 823

1955 Bristol KSW6B

Thames Valley 748

No.748 is a long term resident at Medstead depot and one of the most regular attenders at local rallies and events. It is one of a small number of preserved `buses operated by the former Thames Valley Traction Company Ltd, whose territory covered Berkshire, parts of Buckinghamshire and Surrey, and in to Hampshire. There were also Thames Valley express services into Central London.


The `bus is powered by a Bristol AVW 6-cylinder engine and has an 8’ wide lowbridge double-deck body by Eastern Coachworks of Lowestoft. Based on the post-War Bristol Commercial Vehicles “KS” chassis, these features give it its designation “KSW6B”. In the upper saloon, the sunken gangway and unusual staggered arrangement of seats gives the body reduced height allowing it to pass, safely, under low railway bridges which were found in parts of the former Thames Valley operating area.


No.748 was delivered to Thames Valley in October 1955, so is quite a late model – the last KSWs were delivered in 1956. It operated from Reading depot from new until withdrawn from passenger service in 1971. It was then adapted for use as a driver training `bus at High Wycombe depot and used as such until mid-1974 when it was withdrawn with an engine defect.


The vehicle was purchased for preservation by its current owner in December 1974 and has appeared at `bus rallies and transport events since then. It was one the vehicles that entered Medstead once the depot was opened in 2001and usually operates at least one of MDOG’s free services between Alton and Chawton. Events normally attended include:
     • The Basingstoke Festival of Transport
     • The HCVS Ridgeway Run (Henley – Quainton Road)
     • The Woodcote Transport Rally
     • The Mid Hants Railway Alton Bus Rally
     • Reading Buses open day
     • Rallies organised by the Thames Valley and Great Western Omnibus Trust.

 
 
 
 

POR 426

1956 Dennis Falcon II

Aldershot & District 282

The Falcon P5, registration number POR 428, Fleet No 282, was the last Dennis single deck bus purchased by A&D.  The design was a joint development between A&D and Dennis to achieve a lightweight OMO(one-man operation) normal control rural bus capable of carrying 30 passengers with a fuel economy of around 20 mpg.  Unfortunately the level of vibration emanating from the engine was transmitted through the body panels, which resulted in passengers referring to the Falcon P5 buses as ‘conker boxes.’  In retrospect the Falcon P5 bus marked the demise of the A&D small OMO rural bus. 

Falcon Fleet No 282, is fitted with a Gardner 4LK engine, a Dennis U Type 5 speed gearbox, a spiral bevel rear axle, vacuum over hydraulic brakes and carries a lightweight Strachans all alloy body.  It has an overall length of 26 ft 8½ ins and is 7ft 5½ins wide.  It was one of a repeat order of eight, which entered service in 1956 and spent much of its working life at the Alton Depot.   Withdrawn from A&D service in 1967, it was purchased and re-registered as 29HMN by the Isle of Man Road Services, where it operated routes across the Island until it was withdrawn in 1976.  It was subsequently owned by a series of different local bus enthusiasts for renovation and after many years of limited progress was eventually garaged in the carriage shed at Douglas Railway Station.

It was acquired by the present owners, the Falcon 282 Group, in 1997 when it returned to the UK mainland. The Group undertook the initial renovation at Monastery Farm at Shutlanger in Northamptonshire until 2001 when it was towed to the Medstead Depot Omnibus Group garage, where the renovation programme was continued. 

The Falcon was re- launched during the ADBIG 2010 Running Day at Farnham. During the summer of 2011 it re-visited the Isle of Man, resplendent in both A&D livery and with seats refurbished in new leather and A&D moquette.

 
 
 
 

462 EOT

1962 Dennis Loline III

Aldershot & District 462

This vehicle is based on Dennis Loline III chassis and is powered by a Gardner 6LW 6 cylinder engine, with a five-speed crash gearbox. It was one of batch fitted with Alexander 68 seat low height, front entrance double-deck body. Alexanders are based in Falkirk, Scotland, so long journeys were needed to get the chassis to the body manufacturers and then back to Aldershot for passenger service.


No. 462 was delivered new to Aldershot & District in 1962 and is now the sole surviving Dennis Loline with Alexander bodywork.  It is one of the few preserved `buses with a working illuminated offside between decks advertising panel, a feature popular in the mid-1960s.
After withdrawal form service by Alder Valley, the successors to Aldershot & District, the `bus eventually passed to the Aldershot & District Omnibuses Rescue and Restoration Society (ADORRS) preservation and many years of restoration work followed. After completion of restoration work in May 2012 No.462 was based at Medstead Depot but has spent periods of time at ADORRS’ workshop in West Sussex for further work to be undertaken. As with later Loline No.488, it can be frequently seen around the Alton area at displays and operating free `bus services

Events normally attended include:
     • The Basingstoke Festival of Transport
     • Model railway exhibitions held in the Basingstoke and Alton areas
     • The Mid Hants Railway Alton Bus Rally
     • Rallies organised by the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group in the company’s former operating area in Hampshire and Surrey.

 
 
 
 

318 AOW

1962 AEC Regent V

Southampton Corporation 318

Southampton, Corporation took delivery of ten AEC Regent Mark 5 models with Park Royal bodies, seating 66 in1962.  The ten buses were numbered 313-322 and registered 313-322 AOW.

Regent 318 entered service on 1st May 1962.  It was operated from Portswood depot, but transferred to Shirley five years later.  It was painted a dark red with two thin cream bands above the lower deck and below the upper deck windows. However three years later it was painted into the livery currently worn, with a broader cream band between decks and cream surrounding and above the upper deck windows, and a silver roof.

In late 1975, 318 was withdrawn from service and not long after sold to a Hampshire buyer to be converted into a mobile home.  It was later sold on to the MG club and then on to Cobbett’s restaurant in Botley.

In June 1991, 318 was purchased by the Solent Transport Trust then, in 2000, sold to Glenn Turner, who began the task of restoration of the converted vehicle back to being a bus.  Most of this work was undertaken by Ward Jones.  In 2010 the work was completed and in May of that year 318 ran once again on Southampton bus routes, carrying passengers - 35 years since having been withdrawn.
 
 
 
 

RCP 237

1962 AEC Regent V

Hebble Motor Services 619

AEC Regent Mark 5 registration RCP 237 entered service with Hebble Motor Services in West Yorkshire in 1962.  It was initially numbered 314 in a fleet that had twenty Mark 5 Regents, delivered between 1956 and 1964.

The Regent has a 9.6 litre diesel engine, a synchromesh gearbox and air brakes.  It was painted in the red Hebble livery and worked on long distance services, notably service 17 from Halifax to Bradford.  In 1970 it was renumbered 619.

Hebble Motor Services ceased operating stage service at the end of February 1971.   RCP 237 passed to Halifax Corporation and was numbered 76. It ran on Halifax local services for a short time but in 1972 was transferred to Calderdale Joint Omnibus Committee, renumbered 376, and then 366.  The bus returned to some it its previous routes, a situation that remained until April 1974, when the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive took over from its previous operator and renumbered the bus 3366.  It was withdrawn from service in 1976.

Although purchased for preservation some years later, work on the bus was never completed and it was sold to a scrap dealer in 2001.  It was rescued by Glenn Turner and brought down to Hampshire.  Work on the engine and transmission has been completed, but there is still work to be done on the body.

 
 
 
 

335 AOW

1963 Leyland Titan

Southampton Corporation 335

No.335 is one of the second batch of Southampton Leyland PD2A/27s with the “St.Helens” moulded fibreglass front, which were numbered  333 – 342 (333 – 342 AOW). No.335 was delivered to Southampton Corporation in February 1963 and is fitted with Park Royal highbridge bodywork. It was one of the first batch of Leyland PD2As painted from new in the traditional Southampton scarlet and cream livery, with central silver-painted roof section.

335 was allocated to Portswood depot after delivery and worked extensively on Woolston section routes in the Eastern part of Southampton, but spent time at Shirley depot in 1976. It was returned to Portswood for the rest of its service life, operating central routes 11 - 15 to Glen Eyre, Bullar Road (Bitterne), Swaythling, Townhill Park, and Bassett.

No.335 was one of the last seven Leyland Titans operated by Southampton, being taken out of service in February 1978, just after route revisions associated with the opening of the Itchen Bridge linking Southampton with Woolston.

Purchased for preservation on 3rd August 1981 by members of the Southampton Transport Trust (STT) and restored externally for the July 1985 Southsea Rally, 335 then spent a nomadic existence, being moved to various open sites. After attending several STT running days and other local events, mechanical problems then developed and 335 was stored outdoors. However, the Southampton and District Transport Heritage Trust (S&DTHT - successors to STT) were able to move 335 into closed storage at Medstead preserved `bus depot in Spring 2001. The Leyland was then adopted by the S&DTHT’s 335 Group and professionally restored from 2006 – 2013. Work included replacement of a completely rotten lower deck floor, corroded rear framing, faulty wiring, and rusted-out roof ventilators. Most of these difficulties arose from water ingress during the period of open air storage.

Since its second restoration, No.335 has attended the Alton Rally and has been displayed at various events in Southampton. The interior is shabby and badly needs refurbishment. This includes new lower deck seat coverings, if the correct pattern moquette (seat material) for the lower deck seats can be obtained.

 
 
 
 

370 FCR

1963 AEC Regent V

Southampton Corporation 350

Southampton, Corporation took delivery of fifteen AEC Regent Mark 5 models with East Lancs bodies, seating 66 in1963.  The buses were numbered 343-357 and were registered 363-377 FCR.  They have 9.6 litre diesel engines, synchromesh transmission and air brakes.

Regent 350 (370 FCR) entered service on 1st December 1963.  It was operated from both Portswood and Shirley depots and therefore covered all Southampton Corporation city services.

Most of the 1963 Regents were withdrawn in 1979, but 350 was kept longer as it served as a driver training vehicle in its final years, although also used in passenger service.  The bus was finally withdrawn in April 1981.

Not long after withdrawal 350 was purchased for preservation and for many years attended local rallies and events.  However in 1998 it was sold to a French Holiday Company in La Rochelle and in this time undertook a trip to Paris.

The holiday company offered the bus for sale in 1999 and it was purchased by Glenn Turner and Duncan Egerton and brought back to England in September 1999.

 
 
 
 

KHC 367

1963 AEC Regent V

Eastbourne Corporation 67

Eastbourne Corporation took delivery of AEC Regent No. 67 in 1963 – one of five Mark 5 models with East Lancs bodies, seating 60.  It is registered KHC 367 and entered service in June 1963.

Regent 67 has a 9.6 litre diesel engine, a synchromesh gearbox and was one of the last Regents to have vacuum brakes.  It was also one of the last buses to keep the Eastbourne dark blue and primrose livery – until 1975.

67 had a long career with Eastbourne Corporation and in 1976 was hired for a time to London Country Bus Services to cover a vehicle shortage.  It was finally withdrawn from service in August 1980.

Sold to Peter Scott, the bus then undertook private hire work for many years and was kept as a preserved vehicle, later being painted back into its original livery. It was sold to Nick Larkin in 1993 and then to Glenn Turner in 1996.

 
 
 
 

488 KOT

1964 Dennis Loline III

Aldershot & District 488

This vehicle is based on Dennis Loline III chassis and is powered by a Gardner 6LW 6 cylinder engine, with a five-speed crash gearbox and a dropped centre rear axle, as found in the Bristol Lodekka. In many respects, the Loline III can be regarded as a version of the Bristol FLF6G Lodekka. No.488 is fitted with Weymann 68 seat low height, front entrance, double deck bodywork. Dennis is based at Guildford in Surrey, and Weymanns’ factory was at Addlestone in the same county, so Aldershot & District were making efforts to ensure that they sourced their vehicles from local manufacturers.


No. 488 was delivered new to Aldershot & District in 1964 and operated from Aldershot depot until being sold to Prestatyn Coaches in North Wales for use as a school `bus. It was then sold to a firm in Newton Abbot, South Devon, for use as a driver training vehicle. It was then taken to the Derby area and subsequently moved to Huddersfield in Yorkshire where it was intended for use on a vintage `bus service. However, this venture failed to materialise and No.488 was eventually sold to the Aldershot & District Omnibuses Rescue and Restoration Society (ADORRS) for preservation and restoration in 1998. After some years of storage, including some years spent near to the Sandown park race course at Esher, Surrey, the vehicle was taken to ADORRS’ workshop in West Sussex and restored to full operational order.


It is a regular performer and can be frequently seen around the Alton area at displays and operating free `bus services.


Events normally attended include:
     • The Basingstoke Festival of Transport
     • Model railway exhibitions held in the Basingstoke and Alton areas
     • The Mid Hants Railway Alton Bus Rally
     • Rallies organised by the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group in the company’s former operating area in Hampshire and Surrey.


Similar vehicles, numbers 503 and 506, dating from 1965, are also preserved. Derelict No.508 from the same batch is being used by ADORRS as a source of spare parts to keep No.488 and other preserved Loline IIIs operational. During 2016 it donated its engine and gearbox to No.488, restoring this vehicle to its original mechanical specification.

 
 
 
 

BOW 507C

1965 AEC Regent V

Southampton Corporation 371

Southampton, Corporation took delivery of another fifteen AEC Regent Mark 5 models with East Lancs bodies in 1964-5.  The buses were numbered 358-372 and have 9.6 litre diesel engines, synchromesh transmission and air brakes.  These were the last Southampton buses to have manual gearboxes.

Regent 371 (BOW 507C) entered service on 14th March 1965.  It was operated from Portswood depot and therefore mainly covered services on the west of Southampton.

Most of the 1964-5 Regents were withdrawn in 1979, but 371 was kept longer as it had the honour of being painted in a special livery in 1979 to mark the centenary of Southampton Corporation transport services.

The bus was withdrawn from normal passenger service in 1980, but was kept by the Corporation as an historic vehicle.  In this role it was used on City events and heritage tours and was painted back into normal livery.

However due to the engine problems the bus was stored for some time.  In 2005, 371 was offered to the Medstead Depot Omnibus Group as the Council did not have the funds to repair and maintain it.

Although the engine has now been rebuilt, 371 still needs further work and a repaint before it will be ready to go back on the road.

 
 
 
 

H523 CTR

ACE Cougar V

People's Provincial 3

There was a need to replace the early Leyland Nationals that were reaching the end of their working lives. The MD of People’s Provincial, James Freeman was concerned about the braking system on the fledgling Dennis Dart, which in any case was a radical change from the existing fleet. Alternatives were considered, such as the Leyland Swift which was loaned to People’s Provincial in January 1989.

People’s Provincial was approached by ACE (Alternative Chassis Engineering) with their plans for a bus which would use components similar to the Leyland National and were ‘off the shelf’. People’s Provincial was attracted to the new design as a viable replacement. The resulting vehicle was the ACE Cougar which was fitted with a Wadham Stringer Portsdown body tailored to People’s Provincial needs, having an area of longitudinal seating to increase gangway space and a narrow body for use on routes where clearances were tight.

The ACE Cougar entered service with People’s Provincial in 1990 as No.3 and was transferred to First Hampshire in April 1999 and then First Hampshire and Dorset in May 2003. It was finally withdrawn from service in November 2003 when the engine failed. The following year the vehicle was donated to The Provincial Society by First Group.

The Society has replaced the engine and repainted the vehicle back into the original People’s Provincial livery.

 
     

(C) Copyright Medstead Depot Omnibus Group (part of the Working Omnibus Museum Project Limited)

Company Registered in England No. 02768057.  Registered Charity No. 1020411