STANBRIDGE - THE OAKFIELD DAYS
Some later pictures from Stanbridge in the early 1990s - the Oakfield days
In 1989 the Stanbridge business was acquired by Oakfield Travel of Blandford, run by Terry Greenslade and Joe Smith. Operations went on in much the same way as the two businesses had much in common with their daily mix of work, including private hire, bus services and school contracts. Thanks to Trevor Kenward, who worked there at the time, we have pictures of some of the vehicles that were in the fleet, together with some comments on their idiosyncracies! Trevor came late to coach driving and remembers many amusing stories from his days at the wheel, as well as being taught to drive by my long time mentor and friend Maurice Norman, sadly no longer with us.
|NTY226M - Trevor's
coach. An AEC Reliance 57-seater with Duple body, used on a
wide range of touring and contract work. New to Hartwool of Bicester in July 1974.
|RGS92R, a 1977 57-seater Leyland PSU5A with Plaxton body, new to Ebdon of Sidcup, shown on loan from Oakfield to Stanbridge for school work.|
|701GOO, an AEC Reliance with Van
Hool body. To keep it charging one had to carry a hammer and hit
the battery isolator switch periodically. New to Armchair of Brentford in June 1979 as FKX289T.
The registration number 701GOO was later reused for a DAF / Plaxton which saw service with Tourist Coaches of Salisbury and Marchwood Motorways in Hampshire.
|GDY550N worked at
Stanbridge for several years in Oakfield livery, mainly on local bus
services and school work. It was not fitted with a power door so
a length of string and a stick came in handy! New to Warren of Ticehurst in February 1975.
with Plaxton 50-seater body, new to World Wide of Lanark, Scotland, in July 1972.
|Bedford YLQ TSC916R, the
first coach Trevor drove at Stanbridge, on the Wednesday service
to Ringwood. A 45-seater with Plaxton body, new to Mitchell
of Broxburn in 1975. In the 1980s it was with Lewis of Llanrhystdd. The ends knocked wicked but it was OK
until another leaden footed driver used it and blew the bottom end out!
|OLE583E was a 1967 AEC
Reliance with 53-seater Plaxton body. It came to Stanbridge in
1984 and was Maurice Norman's coach for some years. (He later
drove GCK251N). New in July 1976 to Limebourne of London SW1 and subsequently with Ironside of Dunton Green.
There was no power steering so Trevor found it a bit of a pig to drive in tight spots, but it was a reliable starter in bad weather. Later was badly damaged at the front after a collision.
|WRJ221S, a Ford R1114 with Plaxton 53 seater body, new to Shearings of Altrincham in March 1978.|
|SWY336L, a Bedford YRT service bus with 53 seat Willowbrook body, new to Wigmore of Dinnington in 1972. It was underpowered with the body too much for the engine.|
|VUV246, a 49 seater
Plaxton semi-auto, which was new to Flights of Birmingham. This
was the last coach
Trevor had at Stanbridge and it was a peach to drive.
The registration was reused for a Volvo B10M / Plaxton with Southern Vectis (Fountain Coaches) on the Isle of Wight.