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  Archive/Photo of the Month & First Hampshire and Dorset latest news

Last updated: 20 August 2019

  Archive/Photograph of the Month  

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Provincial’s acquisition by the National Bus Company, I have selected for this month’s feature a couple of images that were taken during the company’s final years as an independent concern around the late 1960s.  The first view shows a pair of Guy Arabs adjacent to the fuel pump at Hoeford depot whilst the second shows a Seddon saloon parked just a few yards away.  Both images were kindly donated to the Society’s Archive in the form of negatives by member Fred York (ref PS05210-02 and 03).

The upper image shows the contrasting styles of bodywork on Guy Arab II No. 57 (EHO 869) and Guy Arab III No.7 (HCG 42).  New in 1949, No.7 carries 56-seat bodywork by Park Royal, finished by Guy Motors whereas No.57 carries the 54-seat coach-bus body constructed by Reading & Co of Portsmouth and fitted in 1953.  On No.57, it is just possible to discern the joint immediately beneath the upper deck windows which allowed the upper windows and roof to be removed for open top work.  Having attempted this operation on only one occasion, the company reputedly resolved never to repeat it, and the bus was destined to operate in closed-top form for the whole of its career.  By the time this photograph was taken, the vehicle’s luxurious coach seats had been replaced by conventional bus seats and the luggage racks and platform doors had been removed.  Following its withdrawal towards the end of 1970, No.57 was saved for preservation and the Society is in the process of reversing the modifications that were made over the years, including re-instatement of the platform doors and, ultimately, re-instatement of the high-backed coach seats.  In the photograph, it is interesting to note that the radiator grilles of both buses are painted Emerald Green and not the Dark Brunswick Green used for the wings.

The lower image shows Seddon Pennine IV No.44 (MHO 193F) in its original livery.  With its Strachan 40-seat bodywork, No.44 was one of a batch of nine saloons purchased new in 1968 – the first major purchase following the retirement of Manager & Engineer, H Orme White, at the end of 1966.  Beneath the offside front wheel are granite setts and a section of tram rail from the track fan that led into the original tram sheds at Hoeford which were constructed in 1904.  No.44 was destined to operate for Provincial for less than six years and, following its withdrawal in 1974, was largely stripped for spares at Hoeford.

If any members or non-members have similar images that they would like to donate to the Society or allow to be photographed or scanned, I should be grateful if you would contact me – Chris Richardsen – using e-mail address ProvSocArchive@gmail.com.

  First Hampshire & Dorset vehicle movement and news  


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Latest arrivals at Hoeford - a batch of StreetLites from First South Yorkshire.

63370 seen leaving Fareham this morning on the lengthy 3-1-1-3 circuit of Portsmouth & Southsea.

Photo by Malcolm Audsley 19 Aug 2019


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