|A March 1975 view
of Maidstone & District 3269 at the old Falaise Road terminus
of the Rye-Hastings main road service taken over from East
Kent. The route is now served by East Kent/Hastings
& District services 100 and 101 but Falaise Road, adjacent
to The Oval which hosts an annual bus rally, hasn't seen a
service bus for many a year.
& District model, this time a former Harrington coach
rebuilt as a bus, at Silverhill depot in 1976 following withdrawal
from service. Note the application of NBC style fleetnames
to traditional M&D livery. The former tram depot
at Silverhill is still the Hastings depot for Stagecoach.
|Silver Star of
Cesarea ran a brace of these ex M&D models which were
dispensed with by SYPTE after taking over Booth and Fisher.
340 NKT arrives at Caernarfon on the busy route from Cesarea
in September 1982. A nice touch was the use of the beading
to reinstate the cream "moustache" which was a feature
of the M&D pre-NBC livery. Both of the pair are
now preserved by Rother Valley RTS.
District converted their 325 NKT for open-top use at Hastings
in 1975, but dispensed with it after only two seasons.
After various moves and a reregistration it found its way
to London & Country who employed it on Surrey C.C. Sunday
services. It was seen at Chilworth in August 1993. More
pictures of this bus can be found on the Before
and After page.
||Nearby East Kent
was also an avid user of AEC Reliances. TFN 429 and TFN 406
were members of a large batch of Park Royal dual-purpose vehicles,
that were used on express services as well as service work
when new. Later in life they were downgraded to local service
work. They were seen at work in 1975 with 429 pictured in
June in traditional EK livery while 406 had been freshly painted
into National Bus Company red when pictured the following
month. The location is the former depot and bus station in
Ashford town centre, now the site of a leisure centre. It
had previously been a Maidstone & District depot before
transfer to East Kent in 1973, when East Kent's operations
at Rye transferred to M&D at the same time.
Photos by Phil Cattermole.
of Maesteg ran a number of AEC Reliances alongside other types
on their high frequency route between Caerau and Maesteg,
and on Maesteg local routes. 22 year old Weymann bodied 801
HTX was seen in Maesteg in October 1982. When South Wales
took over the Brewers company they applied the Brewers name
to all of their eastern operations including routes out of
the former National Welsh depot in Bridgend. Now the name
had disappeared altogther, replaced by the corporate First
tried an experimental batch of dual-doorway AEC Reliances.
Dual-door bodies on a high floor chassis always seemed to
be an uncomfortable combination, and the LT vehicles found
new owners after a relatively short period of time. One of
them, 497 ALH, was bought by well-known Somerset independent
operator Brutonian and was seen at the company's premises
in April 1986.
The major operator in the area, Southern National, was sold
by the National Bus Company in the same year and became part
of the Cawlett Group, which later bought Brutonian and merged
it with the SN operation, now a part of First Somerset and
|200 APB was new
to Safeguard of Guildford and passed to Safeway Motor Services
in 1962. It then passed into preservation and was used by
Rexquote Heritage on the summer Taunton Deane Heritage Bus
Service, still in its Safeway livery. It was photographed
at work in the 1999 season. This bus has now been repurchased
by the Newman family, proprietors of Safeguard Coaches, who
have restored it for use at special events and rally appearences.
More pictures of this bus can be found on the Before
and After page.
Photo by John Hammond.
|London & Country
also acquired this former Aldershot & District rebodied
coach from preservation for use on special Sunday services.
It was seen at Farnham station in August 1995. Under
Arriva these operations were given up and the heritage fleet
was dispensed with. MOR 581 is back in preservation,
but Arriva are still supportive by providing garage accommodation.
|Later short wheelbase
Reliances tended towards 33ft. in length rather than 30ft.
PHO 567G is another Aldershot & District example, which
became Alder Valley 368 following the merger with Thames Valley
under NBC control. It was seen at Woking station in August
|Another 33ft. Reliance
is Willowbrook bodied TYD 122G, seen at Wallingford with Oxfordshire
independent Chiltern Queens in December 1985. Chiltern
Queens had a long tradition of running AEC Reliances in the
South Oxfordshire villages that were once part of Berkshire,
but the company ceased trading in 2002 and the routes are
now operated by Thames Travel.
|Memory Lane Travel
bought TYD 122G and ran it on the Sunday Guildford-Redhill
service 32 for a number of years, but sold it on for further
preservation after 2002. Here it is at Guildford in
models became quite uncommon in the 1970s as operators favoured
higher capacity single deckers. One company to continue taking
them was South Wales Transport, an avid AEC user. Willowbrook
bodied number 216 is seen at Port Talbot depot near the end
of its career with the company in October 1981.
||Another of the
South Wales Reliances, older 210 was seen at Neath in December
1981. This is in the National Bus Company dual-purpose livery
of half white, half red (or green) for express buses with
coach seats in a bus body which could be used on National
Express coach services or on service bus work.
||Another of Brewers'
AEC Reliances, newer Willowbrook bodied DTG 297J was seen
at the Brewers depot at Caerau, also in October 1982. Brewers
had a depot in both of the main communities they served, Caerau
and Maesteg - where the depot was located adjacent to another
well-known independent, Llynfi Motors.