Brutonian Bus Company Vehicle Pictures and History – Part 1

Chris Knubley’s Ownership – 1972-1978 (inclusive)

 

Research completed in August 2010 by Paul Welling, Michael Wadman and Ian Trotter. This is the first of four parts with Vehicle Pictures and History Documents covering the three different owners of Brutonian Bus Company. The names under the pictures own the copyright. There are several more pictures on www.flickr.com and you can get in touch by contacting welling.paul@yahoo.com

 

 



UPDATE JUNE 2012: A new book has just been completed on the HISTORY OF THE BRUTONIAN BUS COMPANY
Written by Ian Trotter, who was their manager from 1986 to 1991, it is available direct from the author at a cost of £14.50 plus £3.00 postage and packing.  Cheques should be made payable to MR I TROTTER and sent to him at:
Red Roses, Quarry Close,Stoney Stoke, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 8HR.


 

369EYA


369EYA

Martin Perry




History of Fleet Number 2

·      Jun 59 – New to Waterman, Spaxton

·      ? – Acquired by Berry Taunton

·      Dec 68 – Acquired by W Green, Bruton

·      Mar 72 – Acquired by Brutonian Bus Company

·      Apr 73 – Withdrawn and presumed scrapped

Technical information

·      C41F

·      Chassis – Bedford SB5

·      Body – Duple

 

Information

 

The Brutonian Bus Company history began with the purchase of a Bedford SB5 coach, which was the only vehicle belonging to W Green and Son, who operated it as a contract and private hire coach in Bruton and traded as Brutonian. Chris Knubley was a mechanic and driver for Viney’s haulage company and as Green kept the vehicle in the same yard, it is easy to imagine how Chris became involved in buying it and setting up Brutonian Bus Company. Green was trading as Brutonian and may have been doing so since 59 when he bought his first vehicle. We are not sure why EYA is fleet vehicle number 2. Green lived in Quarperlake Street, near to the yard.

 

Green’s first PSV was an 11-seater Austin which he bought in Sep 59 and sold to Morris of Bromyard when he replaced it with a Bedford SB/Duple C33F in Sep 61. Finally he replaced the SB with 369 EYA in Dec 68. He may have started as a taxi operator by taking over the West End Garage’s taxi service, then upgraded to a minibus and finally to a coach. Wakes took over West End Garage’s coach operation in 58 and probably were not interested in the taxis. The PSVC F-list confirms that he used the Brutonian fleet name, although originally Brutonian Coaches before Chris Knubley changed it later to Brutonian Bus Company.

 

A PSVC fleet list dated May 69 covering Somerset and other counties in the north of the WTA there is an entry for Green which reads as follows: W C GREEN, T/A W Green & Sons (Brutonian) Quaperlake Street, BRUTON, 369 EYA  Bedford SB5  70228 Duple  1105/432   C41F  1959   Berry, Taunton  12/68. PSV News Sheet from May 72 reports:

W C Green Quaperlake Street Bruton Somerset. (Under new operators C P Knubley 9/11 High Street Bruton Somerset - Although the reader is left to deduce that Knubley had acquired Green as 369 EYA also changed hands.)


 

RWV548

PM Photography

RWV548 in Brutonian Yard in c74 (JNT252E left)

PM Photography

RWV548 in Brutonian Yard in c74

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 3

·      58 – New to Shergold, Tidworth

·      70? – Acquired by Doyley (t/a Caribbean Express), London

·      ? – Gastonia, Cranleigh

·      72 – Acquired by Brutonian Bus Company

·      May 75 – Withdrawn

·      Apr 78 – Disposed of along with TET166 and presumed scrapped

Technical information

·      C43F

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance MU3RV

·      Body – Duple

 

 


 

5399TF

PM Photography

5399TF in the station yard in c74 (TET166 left)

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 4

·      Apr 63 – New to Bold, Melling

·      ? – Acquired by Kiddle, St Ives, Cambs

·      Aug 72 –Acquired by Brutonian

·      Aug 74 – Withdrawn by Brutonian

·      Nov 74 – Acquired by Tor Coaches, Street swap for YYB118

Technical information

·      C52F

·      Chassis – Bedford VAL14

·      Body – Duple C52F

Information

This Bedford VAL was an early vehicle in the Brutonian fleet and it was swapped in Nov 74 for bus YYB118, a Dennis Lancet/Harrington. YYB had been purchased by Tor Coaches of Street in Somerset from Hutchings and Cornelius of nearby South Petherton in summer 74. It didn't seem to fit into their fleet as they had a mainly Bedford VAL coaches. Tor Coaches painted YYB in their livery and it was probably swapped for 5399TF as Brutonian were growing into a bus not coach operation. 5399TF is believed to have been sold as a spares vehicle, as it had been out of service with Brutonian for 4 months before the swap.


 

217UYC

PM Photography

217UYC in Yeovil Bus Station on Route 10 in c74/5

Ian Trotter

217UYC on Route 12 in Shaftesbury in c76

R Marshall

217UYC at Salisbury Bus Station on Route 8 c79

Ian Trotter

217UYC at the Brutonian Yard being taken for scrap in Oct 87

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 5

·      Dec 63 – New to Hutchings & Cornelius, South Petherton

·      Oct 72 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Late 82 – Withdrawn from service?

·      Oct 87 – Disposed of to Wacton, Bromyard

·      Mar 88 – Scrapped

Technical information

·      B45F

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance 2MU3RV

·      Body – Harrington

 

Information

 

217UYC was the first bus, rather than coach, to be acquired by Brutonian. It was one of four buses acquired from H&C over 7 years, each one representing the main Somerset registrations and each of which is noteworthy (CYA181J and YYB118 are preserved, 217 UYC served the longest of any Brutonian vehicle (15 years) and WYD928H remained in H&C livery parked up until May 2010).

 

There were only two Harrington bodied buses in the history of Brutonian. Unlike the other Harrington bodied bus, YYB 118 which is being fully restored, 217 was scrapped at Bromyard.

 

In 80, 217 was off the road parked at the very back of the yard and covered in mud and oil splattered from the outdoor steam cleaning area. In 81 it was brought back into service. It was one of the worst buses for generating blue smoke, especially on a cold morning. It was generally a reliable runner with steep steps.

 

In 78 217UYC is believed to have had the lower body painted blue, probably when they had some spare blue paint after painting YRT896H. This was the last bus body built by Harrington and in terms of body numbers is quite a long way away from any of their other bus production. What is significant though is that the chassis number is the next one on from the well known batch of Cavaliers that went to Devon General (1 RVD - 8 RDV). The simple answer would be that the salesman picked up this order at the same time while he was in the area. More intriguing would be the question of who actually ordered this batch of 9 Reliance chassis, Harringtons or Devon General? Despite buying many coaches from Harrington, Devon General bought their bus bodies from a variety of other builders. This must have been particularly vexing for Harrington. Could 217 UYC have been built for Devon General to try, but in the end they did not take delivery?

 


 

TET166

Ian Trotter

TET166 at Gillingham Station on Route 12 with Jack Holland driving c73/4

TET 166 in Shaftesbury (CD 03)

Keith Newton

TET166 in Shaftesbury on route 480 (became 12) Oct 73

R Marshall

TET166 in Brutonian yard c75

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 6

·      59 – New to Rotherham CT

·      Apr 73 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Apr 75 – Withdrawn

·      Apr 78 – Disposed of along with RWV548 and presumed scrapped

Technical information

·      B45F

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance 2MU3RA

·      Body – Weymann

Information

 

TET166 may have been disposed of along with YNN773 in Apr 78. KEH445D ended up in the place of this bus at the front of the yard and was acquired in Jul 78.

 


 

JBO124

R Edworthy

JBO124 as the Brutonian office in c75/6

History (not given a fleet number)

·      54 – New to Western Welsh

·      ? – Acquired by Somervale Midsomer Norton

·      72 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      75 – Used as the Brutonian office/store for spares

·      May 79 – Disposed of and scrapped

Technical information

·      B44F

·      Chassis – Leyland PSUC1/1 

·      Body – 543552 Weymann M6544

Information

 

To accommodate the growing fleet, in 75 the business moved to a large yard at Bruton station, where the remains of Western Welsh Weymann-bodied Tiger Cub JBO124, which had been purchased for spares by Ray Cuff from Somervale Coaches, served as a store and office until it fell apart and was replaced by a caravan. Ray Cuff’s had a similar vehicle KDB696 and JBO124 was possibly not owned by Chris Knubley. KDB is preserved.


 

                                                                                                            JNT252E

PM Photography

JNT252E in Brutonian yard in c74

Ian Trotter

JNT252E at Yeovil Bus Station on Route 10 in c75

Michael Wadman

JNT252E in Dorchester on Route 9 in 75

Michael Wadman

JNT252E in Wincanton on Route 8 from Salisbury in 76

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 7

·      66 – New to Phillipson of Goldthorpe Rotherham trading as Dearneways in 66 as LWY820D and not operated

·      Apr 67 – Acquired by Whittle Highley who re-registered it as JNT252E

·      Feb 68 – Acquired by Wakes, Sparkford

·      Nov 73 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Jan-78 – Acquired by Kingsforth (dealer),

·      Apr 78 – Acquired by Thistle, Doncaster

·      Apr 79 – Withdrawn and presumed scrapped

Technical information

·      B53F

·      Chassis – Bedford VAL14

·      Body – Willowbrook (Duple Midland) CF1111

Information

 

JNT was originally delivered to Phillipson of Goldthorpe Rotherham trading as Dearneways in 66 as LWY820D. (Not Phillips of Shiptonthorpe which was a different operator). Phillipson didn't use the vehicle and it was sold to Whittle of Highley in Apr 67 who re-registered it as JNT252E.


Although JNT has a Willowbrook body, the badge on the radiator grille is definitely a Duple badge. The PSV Circle show it as Duple Midland. Wake's bought it to replace the last Wake's double-decker LYA449 an AEC Regent III with Reading L27/27R bodywork which was withdrawn in Jan 68. The Bedford VAL had 53 seats the decker 54! Although there were many coach bodied VALs bus bodied examples were comparatively rare.
With the introduction of one man operation on the main route from Yeovil to Shepton Mallet when the double deckers were finally withdrawn in 68, the usual vehicles to be found on this service was JNT252E. The second bus was usually one of the two dual-purpose VAMs with Willowbrook bodies, FYC 126/127C.

In 72/3 two Wakes Bedford YRT/Willowbrook bus-bodied 57-seaters took over the main route (NYC 824L and PYB743L). This was always a busy route and hence the bus size was increased. This is when Wakes disposed of JNT to Brutonian in Nov 73. They kept FYC126 and 127C for several more years, both appearing on the 78 fleet list. 126 was later acquired by Tony Gantley of Cranmore in Sep 81 was still running it in 88. 127 was later acquired by Peter Smith, Garnswllt near Ammanford then onto Eltys, Maenclochog in West Wales.

 


 

BND877C

Ian Trotter

BND877C on Route 12 around Shaftesbury cJan 75

Ian Trotter

BND877C in early 75 on the yard ramp that was originally used to unload cattle rail trucks and before the workshop was built

Ian Trotter

BND877C at the Bus Rally Weymouth with YYB118 in 75

Brutonian Leyland Panther Cub. by Renown.

Martyn Hearson

BND877C Brutonian Yard c80 (217UYC behind BCK367C left)

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 8

·      Apr 65 – New to Manchester Corporation

·      ? – Acquired by Conway Hunt, Ottershaw, Chertsey, Surrey

·      Nov 74 – Acquired by Brutonian Bus Co

·      Jul 79 – Withdrawn

·      May 82 – Disposed to Warren (breaker), Castle Cary and scrapped

Technical information

·      B43D

·      Chassis – Leyland Panther Cub

·      Body – Park Royal

 

Information

 

BND877C was another vehicle that clearly needed work, having been the work horse on the Route 12 to Shaftesbury at the hands of John (Jack) Holland for several years. Jack always wanted it back and cursed the best bus in the fleet CYA 181J, which he had been given instead. Whether Chris Knubley or Jack Holland ever wanted BND to run again, it never did, possibly it needed a new gearbox. It was one of many buses that cluttered up the yard, before the yard became too full and it was disposed of in mid 82.

 

In summer 1975, BND877C and YYB118 were entered into the Weymouth bus rally just after they had been painted in the Brutonian livery, well almost! They left the window surrounds white instead of painting them cream, perhaps for speed.

 

The Leyland Panther Cub, couldn't really be described as one of that great manufacturers better, or more successful products, but in the hands of independents, it, and many other less reputable types could be made to perform acceptably. The Panther Cub was as its name suggests a smaller version of the Panther, powered by a rear horizontal Leyland 400 series diesel.

 


 

YYB 118

Ian Trotter

YYB118 in service running in Tor Coaches colours cJan 75

PM Photography

YYB118 at Weymouth Bus Rally summer 75 with BND877C

Nick Webster

YYB118 at Povey’s yard, Slough before full restoration started in 04

Paul Welling

YYB118 undergoing restoration Oct 09

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 9

·      Aug 57 – New to Hutching & Cornelius South Petherton, Somerset

·      Sep 74 – Withdrawn and acquired by Tor Coaches, Street and painted

·      Nov 74 – Acquired by Brutonian Bus Company in exchange for 5399TF (Tor Coaches wanted it for spares)

·      Oct 76 – Withdrawn and parked up

·      By Apr 80 – Sold for preservation to Povey, an enthusiast in the Slough area

·      04 full restoration was not completed and it was acquired by Nick Webster

·      10 – Full restoration is ongoing

Technical information

·      B42F

·      Chassis – Dennis Lancet UF chassis number 160LU2

·      Body – Harrington

Information

 

YYB118 started life with Hutching & Cornelius in South Petherton, Somerset, who had favoured Dennis since the thirties. YYB 118 was the middle of another batch of three in August 1957 when the firm switched to Harrington bodies. YYB 117 had full coach seats and they all had steep steps. Apparently YYB 118 was the last UF remaining in service on withdrawal in Sep 74. Tor Coaches of Street acquired it and painted it before it was swapped with Brutonian Bedford VAL 5399TF.

 

YYB118 had been waiting for full preservation from 1976-2004! The real preservation has started in 2009, some 33 years after it was withdrawn from service by Brutonian! The other Brutonian Harrington bodied bus similar to YYB was 217 UYC, although YYB is six years older in design. By 1981 the bus had been withdrawn and sold for preservation to an enthusiast in the Slough area. Although the window rubbers were changed, full restoration was not completed and the bus was stored outside and not used until 04 when it joined the TH Collection, owned by Nick Webster.

 

Full restoration is ongoing in 2010 and it is hoped it will be completed in 2011/12 in the original H&C livery.


 

 

YLX76

PM Photography

YLX76 derelict in Brutonian yard in c75 (YNN773 left, TET166 right)

History (not allocated a Fleet Number)

·      60 – New to Glenton Tours, SE14

·      ? – Acquired by Bryant, Bristol

·      Dec 74 – Acquired by Brutonian and used for Spares only

·      By Jun 79 – Disposed of and presumed scrapped

Technical information

·      C41C

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance 2MU3RA

·      Body – Plaxton

 

 


 

YNN773

Ian Trotter

YNN773 at Yeovil Bus Station on Route 10 cApr 75

PM Photography

YNN773 on the Brutonian ramp in c75

R Marshall

YNN773 at Brutonian yard late 75 (RWV548 left, TET166 right)

Ian Trotter

YNN773 off to the scrap yard Apr/May 78

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 10

·      58 – New to Barton

·      Mar 75 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Jun 76 – Withdrawn

·      Apr/May 78 – Disposed of to? Towed away and presumed scrapped

Technical information

·      C37F

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance MU3RV

·      Body – Alexander

 

Information

 

YNN773 didn't last long in service, despite being painted (14 months). It sat at the front of the yard for several years and in summer 78 two PMT Daimler Roadliners arrived to take up the same slots at the front of the yard. So it is likely it was being towed for scrap, presumably in need of expensive repairs. The wrecker may be from either the local breakers at Castle Cary, unless someone bought it for a private fleet or potential restoration. TET 166 may have been disposed of along with YNN 773.

 


 

771NJO

PM Photography

771NJO being prepared for painting in summer 76 (BND877C right)

R Edworthy

771NJO in Brutonian Bus yard in summer 77

Ian Trotter

771NJO in Brutonian Bus yard in mid 79 (YYB118 right)

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 11

·      62 – New to City of Oxford

·      ? – Acquired by Irvine Law

·      Sep 75 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Dec 78 – Withdrawn

·      Aug 79 – Scrapped

Technical information

·      B53F

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance 4MU4RA

·      Body – Marshall

Information

 

771NJO was scrapped to make room for other new acquisitions – CYA181J, WYD928H and GAX5C. Not to mention the temporary loan of Leyland National NFR558T, which was a demo bus. Apparently Chris Knubley was not keen on Marshall bodied buses.

 


 

OVL495

Derek Persson

OVL495 in Motcombe heading to Shaftesbury in Jun 77

R Marshall

OVL495 in Brutonian yard in 80 (CYA181J rear, KEH452D left)

Tim Jennings

OVL495 leaving Somerbus at Easton Grey for Basingstoke to “General Railway Transport & Museum Society” in c89

Ian Trotter

OVL495 being converted to a half cab in 90

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 12

·      Jun 60 – New to Lincolnshire Road Car Company Limited, Lincoln (2486)

·      75 – Withdrawn

·      Jun 76 – Acquired by Passenger Vehicle Spares (Barnsley) Limited, Barnsley (dealer)

·      Aug 76 – Acquired by Brutonian Bus Company (12)

·      Jun 82 – Withdrawn

·      Oct 87 – Acquired by Wacton, Bromyard (dealer)

·      Nov 87 – Acquired by Tim Jennings of Somerbus, Midsomer Norton

·      90? – On loan to group in Basingstoke to convert to half cab

·      Oct 90 – Sold for scrap to PVS Barnsley

Technical information

·      B35F

·      Chassis – Bristol SC4LK

·      Body – ECW12015

 

 

Information

 

OVL495 was a rattly and slow vehicle. As passengers entered the door past the front wheel, the driver had to turn round and take fares across the engine arch. It was often used on Route 2 for the Evercreech Unigate workers. It was generally a reliable bus and rarely and remained in and out of service with Brutonian far longer than most vehicles (11 years).

 

Lincolnshire Road Car, Eastern Counties and Crosville used Bristol SC4LKs mainly in North Wales. With their 3.8-litre Gardner 4-cylinder LK engines, a design dating from 1935, they were not exactly overpowered! Lincolnshire Road Car had 20 Bristol SC4LK, which were apparently coaches to start with before being replaced with bus seats in 1970. They were fitted with a gear change gate that was upside down compared to normal.

 

It was sold to Martin Perry of Wacton in Oct 87 but it never reached Bromyard as it was purchased by Somerbus in Nov and moved directly from Bruton to their yard at Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Wilts (near Sherston). It went on loan-term loan to the group in Basingstoke called the “General Railway Transport & Museum Society”, who started converting it to a half-cab. But it seems that the group ran out of money, the neighbours and the council ran out of patience and wanted the vehicle moved, and with Somerbus''s agreement it was sold for scrap in Oct 90.


 

NJW709E & NJW719E

Ian Trotter

NJW709E at the yard cOct 81

Michael Wadman

NJW709E at the yard in c81 (KEH452D left, OVL495 right)

A fortunate survivor by Renown.

Martyn Hearson

NJW719E, GAX5C left BCK367C right (persevered) c79

Paul Welling

NJW719E at the Wythall Transport Museum in Jan 10

History of Fleet Vehicle Numbers 13 (719) and 24 (709)

·      67 – Both new to Wolverhampton Corporation

·      75 – Withdrawn and sold to Heyfordian of Oxfordshire

·      Jan 78 – 719E Acquired by Brutonian from Barwick, Barlow and 709E was acquired by Stevenson of Spath

·      Sep 81 – 719 entered preservation, having never been run by Brutonian and swapped for 709E

·      May 82 – 709E withdrawn and scrapped along with BND877C

·      Mar 83 – 719E Passed to the Transport Museum Wythall, Worcestershire

Technical information

·      B54D

·      Chassis – Daimler Roadliner SRC6 (719) AEC Swift MP2R (709)

·      Body – Strachans

Information

 

NJW719E was never operated by Brutonian and was swapped with 709E, which was an AEC Swift rather than a Daimler Roadliner. 709E was run for a brief period to get Brutonian out of a fix after the damage to YRT896H. It went to the breakers yard at Castle Cary, along with BND 877C and the old Brutonian tow truck.

 

NJW719E is the most known about survivor from the Brutonian fleet and a very different story to 709E, as it has been fully restored and is now kept with over 90 buses at the Transport Museum, Wythall, Worcestershire. It is now back in its original Wolverhampton livery but its restoration would not have been possible without the help of Cummins who, at no charge to the museum, completely rebuilt the engine to first class condition. It also appeared as an exhibition bus at the Expo at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham in 08.

 

Existing under-floor engine buses had high entrance steps causing operators to call for designs with rear engines under the floor thus maximising capacity, often with a standee area. Most of these early designs were unreliable including the Daimler Roadliner, introduced in 64. The powerful Cummins V6 engine drove a conventional rear axle. Transmission comprised a fluid flywheel and semi or fully automatic gearbox. So immediate were the problems that beset the vehicle type that orders soon began to be cancelled and the model was dropped after the Leyland Group takeover of Daimler. Roadliners generally ran only short lives with their original operators and are now very rare. Wolverhampton bought six in 67, 719 was one of the last when withdrawn in 75.





 

YRT896H

Keith Newton

YRT896H at South Cadbury in March 1980

Ian Trotter

YRT896H at Salisbury on Route 8 c79

YRT896H Brutonian AEC Swift

Paul Welling

YRT896H Aug 1980 being prepared for mobile t-shirt making!

Note the windows boarded up after the accident on the offside

Ian Trotter

YRT896H after it returned to Brutonian in 84

 

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 14

·      69 – New to Lowestoft

·      Jan 78 – Acquired by Brown, Motcombe (Shaftesbury and District)

·      Feb 78 – Acquired by Brutonian Bus Co

·      Jul 80 – Damaged beyond safe repair, taken out of service, stripped and turned into a mobile home and t-shirt printing vehicle by a husband and wife team from Mere

·      Apr 83 – Tax disc ran out and the business collapsed in early 84

·      May 84 – Returns to the Brutonian yard and parked at the very back as a seat store

·      Oct 87 – Scrapped through Wacton, Bromyard

Technical information

·      B45D

·      Chassis – AEC Swift 2MP2R

·      Body – ECW

 

Information

 

‘The Swift’ was not a reliable vehicle and was often in the workshop being repaired. One Saturday night after the Yeovil route 10, Brutonian driver Gordon Tozer pulled out from the end of Bruton High Street and caught the scaffolding outside the Old Post Office, which was being renovated in 80. A key structural pillar between two windows was snapped, taking the bus out of public service. The seats were stripped out and a husband and wife team bought it to use as a mobile home/t-shirt printing business. Much of the fitting out was done in the Brutonian workshop.

 

78-79 was a good year for the fleet as they had three buses under ten years old (CYA181J and WYD928H the other two), as most vehicles were about 15 years old. This was one of the few buses to have the semi-automatic gearbox.


The t-shirt printing business in Mere that collapsed in Jul 84 and the as the tax disc ran out in Apr 1983, it was probably static before that. In 84 it returned to the Brutonian yard to occupy the very back position and was used to store seats . In 86 it was part of the Brutonian vehicles sold to Tony Tucker of Air Camelot and in 87 it was scrapped along with several other vehicles at Bromyard through Wacton.

Lowestoft had ten AEC Swifts in total, all bodied by ECW:


1-4YRT 895-8H

13-16 GRT 862-5J

17/18 NRT 564/5L

 

YRT898H is in perseveration in full original Lowestoft livery at the East Anglia Motor Museum.

 

The AEC Swift was a rear-engined single-deck bus chassis built by AEC between 1964 and 1974. The chassis frame was the same as the Leyland Panther (similar to Brutonian BND877C). It was available in 33' and 36' lengths, with an AEC AH505 or AH691 engine. The design was suitable for driver-only operation which helped bus operators to relieve the problems of labour shortages and costs, and became one of the alternatives to the traditional British double-deck buses (operated by a driver and conductor, such as the London Routemaster). British legislation prevented driver-only operation of double-deck buses until the late 1960s.


 

KEH445D

One of life's missed opportunities. by Renown.

Martyn Hearson

KEH445D Out of service at the front of Brutonian Yard c79

Paul Welling

KEH445D being stripped of seats in Jul 80 (AOR379C right)

Paul Welling

KEH445D broken down enroute to Taunton Test Station Aug 80

Dave Godley

KEH445D before being scrapped in Jan 83

History of Fleet Vehicle Number 16

·      66 – New to Potteries Motor Traction

·      ? – Acquired by Hamlett, Middlewich

·      Oct 77 – Acquired by Rees (Lands End Coaches), St Just, Cornwall

·      Jul 78 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Aug 80 – Stripped and sold for conversion to a kitchen display unit

·      Jan 83 – Returned to Brutonian and scrapped

Technical information

·      B50F

·      Chassis – Daimler Roadliner SRC6

·      Body – Plaxton

Information

 

KEH445 and 452D are the first example of Chris Knubley buying buses in twos. He hoped if he bought two, at least one would be roadworthy and the other would end up acting as the spares vehicle for the runner. For this pair, the story was pretty grim: neither were ever operated. 445 was in better condition of the two and was mainly used as a store. In summer 80, someone wanted to buy 445 and Andy Heywood, the fleet mechanic, was tasked with getting the bus roadworthy. Gordon Tozer and the other drivers, such as Clive Greenway stripped the seats out whilst Andy did his best to weld a serviceable exhaust system in place. Chris Knubley was not impressed with the welding and was standing in for the haulage firm (Jeffries) on the other side of the railway line. Needless to say when Andy took the bus for MOT in Taunton it broke down on the A30, causing massive tailbacks. And who was in the tailbacks? Chris Knubley, who was driving a lorry with a load of hay; he was not impressed! The bus finally passed the MOT and went to be kitchen display vehicle.

 

It was never converted and for some reason ended up back in front of the yard in Jan 83 having been towed and looking ready to go to the scrap yard, where it probably should have gone originally in 1980!

 

B & D Rees acquired the garage (and coach) in Aug 73 and quickly purchased No 2, a VAM14 with rare MCW body. No 3 was the ex Devon General Nimbus XTA838. In Aug 75 they acquired a Commer Harrington minibus and then a Bedford J2 Plaxton Consort. The Lands End Coaches name started to appear when they acquired their first Roadliner in May 76. This lasted 18 months before disappearing over the cliffs near Mousehole. KEH445D was their second Roadliner and was sold to Brutonian after 9 months, followed by the Nimbus at the beginning of 79. The company ceased trading in May 80, by that time they only had a Commer.


 

KEH452D

Brutonian's third Roadliner. by Renown.

Martyn Hearson

KEH452D in Brutonian yard in 79

History (not allocated a Vehicle List Number)

·      67 – New to Potteries Motor Traction

·      ? – Acquired by Walkers of Anderton (Northwich)

·      Jul 78 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      ? 82 Scrapped

Technical information

·      B50F

·      Chassis – Daimler Roadliner SRC6

·      Body – Plaxton

Information

 

KEH452D was only ever used as a store for old bus components, seats, etc. It was in a purply blue and white livery. The driver's windscreen may have been used for WYD928H, which suffered some front end damage in 79. KEH452D, may have only ever have been bought as a donor for the two other Daimler Roadliners in the fleet at the time, NJW719E and KEH445D, both of which also never ran!


 

497ALH

Ian Trotter

497ALH at Yeovil Bus Station on Route 10 c80

Derek Persson

497ALH in Dec 84 in Salisbury

Michael Wadman

497ALH in Brutonian yard in 83

Ian Trotter

497ALH at Yeovil Bus Station on Route 10 c85

History of Vehicle List Number 15

·      Sep 60 – New to London Transport Aldenham on 322, 322A Hemel Hempstead

·      Jan 61 – Transfer for 427, 437, 456 Addlestone

·      Jun 61 – Transfer to Reigate used on 440

·      Nov 61 – Transfer as trainer to St.Albans service on 355

·      Aug 62 – Transfer to Stevenage

·      Sep 62 – Transfer for 333, 333B Hertford

·      Nov 62 – Transfer for 333, 333B

·      Jun 63 – Transfer for 322, 322A Hemel Hempstead

·      Oct 63 – Withdrawn and stored at Hemel Hempstead then stored at Garston

·      Dec 63 – Acquired by Chesterfield Corporation, #20

·      Dec 77 – Withdrawn

·      Apr 78 – Acquired by Brown of Motcombe (Shaftesbury & District), and sold onto Brutonian Bus Company #15. Remained in green livery

·      Aug 80 – Withdrawn

·      Aug 82 – Repainted and re-licensed

·      Oct 87 – Acquired by Wacton (Bromyard)

·      Feb 88 – Acquired by Brown of Motcombe (Shaftesbury and District)

·      Jul 88 – Acquired by Norman, Wallington, Surrey, for preservation

·      Feb 89 – Acquired for preservation D Smith and T Cole, Epping (remains stored in a shed partly restored)

Technical information

·      B42D

·      Chassis – AEC Reliance 2MU2RA

·      Body – Willowbrook

Information

 

497ALH in 80 was a scruffy looking bus, because it badly needed painting, although the interior seats were in good condition. Something went wrong with it and it was parked up for a year before it was repainted in 82 and brought it back into service. Two things were unusual about the design of this bus, the middle door wasn’t really needed and the windows on the side roof were an unusual feature. This is however a truly remarkable bus! It was an experimental bus for London Transport and one of three that was built. They only ran it for 3 years before selling it. Two of the three buses still exist and have their own website.

 

Shaftesbury and District were buying ones and twos of ex-council buses in the 70s by tender and 497ALH went to Brutonian via them. They also bought YRT896H and sold it onto Brutonian.

 

London Transport's purchased 495/6/7ALH to investigate aspects of fleet renewal. The Country Area RFs were not going to last forever and thought was being given to a bus successor. The opportunity was seized to investigate dual door layouts when Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport ordered a fleet of small Reliance buses from AEC/Willowbrook. LT placed a follow-on order for three.

 

The AEC Reliances had a 7.7 litre AH470 engine hung on the chassis. Transmission was through a Monocontrol gearbox like that on the RMs. The body was 8 foot wide with a dual doorway: an entrance at the front and an exit half way down. There was an emergency exit door at the offside rear, another departure from the long-standing London practice of central rear doors. This gave shorter windows than the standard BET body, and an odd little window at the back of the offside. The roof had quarterlights: five on the offside, three on the nearside avoiding the central door. The spacing of these matched the normal BET window spacing, so they did not line up with the windows below. Livery was standard London Lincoln green, but with pale cream relief applied as a broad band below the windows.

 

During the trial over three years they spent short spells at a number of garages, all three staying together except when one went ahead for type-training. They went to Addlestone, Reigate, St.Albans, Hertford and back to Hemel Hempstead. Nowhere were they received with anything approaching rapture. Overheating was a problem, the engine, fluid flywheel and gearbox being mounted as a group rather than separately. Also the crews disliked having to supervise the distant central doorway, and found difficulties with dual doors when stopping in tight spaces in rural lanes. The experiment was drawn to a close in 63, all three being withdrawn together from Hemel Hempstead and placed very briefly into store at Garston before their departure to Chesterfield Corporation. RW1 (495ALH) was scrapped, RW2 (496) was preserved in 77 and RW3 (497) went for further service with Brutonian before also being preserved.

 


 

TRN769

Ian Trotter

TRN769 at the back of the Brutonan yard cFeb 79 next to MMR552 (now fully restored)

Brutonian, Leyland Leopard, TRN 769 ... and newly acquired CYA! by Renown.

Martyn Hearson

TRN769 next to CYA181J being prepared for painting Jul 79

Michael Wadman

TRN769 at Yeovil Bus Station in 79 (possibly WYD928H right)


 

History of Vehicle List Number 17

·      64 – New to Ribble

·      Oct 77 – Acquired by Tillingbourne Valley, Gomshall

·      Dec 78 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Sep 79 – Acquired by Rev David Green at Weymouth (dealer) and swapped with 8087TE, before being sold onto Tally Ho! of Kingsbridge, Devon

·      Mar 83 – Withdrawn by Tally Ho!

Technical information

·      DP49F

·      Chassis – Leyland Leopard PSU3/1RT

·      Body – Marshall

Information

 

TRN769 was the only dual purpose vehicle Brutonian ever operated in 19 years. The front grille was changed in its time with Ribble. We don’t know what happened beyond being sold onto Tally Ho!

 


Brutonian Loan Vehicles

 

MOD952

2

Ian Trotter

MOD952 at Gillingham on 4 Oct 74

PM Photography

MOD952 outside Bruton Station in Oct 74

History

·      Dec 52 – New to Western National Omnibus Company Limited, Exeter (1661)

·      Mar 62 – Converted to B41F OMO

·      71 – Out of service with Western National Omnibus Company Limited, Exeter (1661)

·      Jun 71 – Acquired by Tillingbourne Bus Company Limited, Guildford

·      Jul 71 – Acquired by F G Wilder & Son Limited, Feltham

·      Jul 74 – Withdrawn

·      Jul 74 – Acquired by R S Brown, Motcombe (Shaftesbury and District)

·      Sep 74 – On loan to Brutonian Bus Company, Bruton

·      Nov 74 – Returned

·      Dec 74 – Withdrawn

·      Dec 74 – Acquired by Commando Industrial Cleaners Limited, Warwick (contractor)

Technical information

·      B41F

·      Chassis – Bristol LS5G

·      Body – ECW B45F

 


 

NAM995

NAM995

Michael Wadman

NAM 995 in 76

NAM995_Toton_21_Apr_68

David Mant

NAM995 operated by MacPherson of South Newton in Wilts at Toton railway depot in Nottinghamshire on 21 Apr 68

History (not allocated a fleet number)

·      Nov 55 – New to?

·      ? – Acquired by MacPherson of South Newton in Wilts

·      ? – Acquired by Moore, Shaftsbury (non-PSV)

·      Jun 76 – Acquired by Brutonian

·      Aug 76 – Withdrawn

·      By Jun 79 – Disposed

Technical information

·      C38F

·      Chassis – Bedford SBG (Petrol-engine)

·      Body – Duple

 

Information

This coach was acquired from a non-PSV operator in Shaftesbury as a stop-gap. A very unusual purchase for Brutonian and apparently acquired from a non-PSV operator in Shaftesbury who ran into trouble with their licence and it may have been acquired cheaply for spares or as a stop-gap during a vehicle shortage. 

Brutonian Recovery Vehicles

 

Brutonian Wrecker

Ian Trotter

File0012 Peter Seawood

OMR877G Bedford recovery van

 


Part Two of
the Fleet List
Part Three of
the Fleet List
Part Four of
the Fleet List
Mike Wadman's
History of Brutonian
Return to the
Countrybus
index page