Questions and answers. . .

Do you have a question you would like answered? 

If you do, please feel free to submit your question by email to the webmaster

It will then appear on this page.

If I cannot answer it myself, a visitor to the site may be able to come up with an answer for you.

The answers will appear below their respective questions on this page.

Please send any answers to these questions to the webmaster. Thank you.

Question 1

Does anyone remember LM 452 (later LM 952) operating for John Brignell & Co, Builders of Cambridge between 1974 and 1978 and does anyone happen to have a photograph of the vehicle whilst operating for them as a workmen's bus in all over cream livery with yellow stripes on the side panels?

Answer 1

Site visitor Stephen Purkiss has very kindly provided these two photographs of LM 452 when with John Brignell & Co. Ltd c1976.


Question 2 

Does anyone remember LL 711 operating for Simplex Switchgear of Sawston, Cambridgeshire between 1968 and 1975 and does anyone happen to have a photograph of the vehicle whilst operating for them as works transport in all over green livery?

Answer 2

Site visitor Stephen Purkiss has very kindly provided this photograph of LL 711 when with Simplex Switchgear c1974.

Question 3

Does anyone recall the 'Nassington Flyer'?

This refers to a song by the Duffy Brothers and Ron Ryan on an LP in 1972. You can listen to it on YouTube.

It is commemorated from time to time by the Nene Valley Railway, most recently on 1st February 2015. However the 'Nassington Flyer' song was actually written about a bus service from Peterborough to Nassington on the occasion of the regular driver's retirement.

It was an Eastern Counties bus route to Nassington, either or both of the following

Service 311 - Peterborough - Nassington via Thorpe, Caistor, Ailsworth & Wansford

Service 317 - Peterborough - King's Cliffe via Alwalton, Wansford, Nassington, Fotheringhay, Woodnewton & Apethorpe

A1bus.co.uk is planning to run this route again for the
Peterborough Bus Rally on July 12th 2015.

I would be grateful for any information on these routes and the drivers as well as the type of bus (single decker), probably a Bristol, used.

(Pictured right - LK 35 (FNG 142) on service 311 to Nassington, sporting original utility bodywork by Strachans)

Answer 3

I don't know anything about the 'Nassington Flyer' as such, but I'm sure these routes would have been operated by Bristol L (LL) and later, LS (LS) and MW (LM) saloons, perhaps even by SC4LKs (LC) on occasions, as many of these light weight, small engined saloons were allocated to Peterborough, due to the largely flat territory of the North Cambridgeshire and South Lincolnshire fens.  Strangely enough, the landscape to the west of Peterborough starts to roll as passengers experience when travelling the routes to Corby and Kettering, the company's farthest flung destinations!  The A47 route towards Leicester is also surprisingly hilly too.  I will book the 12th July in my diary as it would be very nice to bring LC 556, my preserved 1958 Bristol SC4LK saloon, which was once allocated to Peterborough's Lincoln Road depot and has an original Peterborough destination blind installed and yes, it definitely has Nassington on it!  (webmaster)

Question 4

Does anyone happen to have any pictures of LFS 54 (54 CPW)?  Particularly interior ones of this or any other LFS examples as it currently has no interior. I am working on this, although I doubt we can get a set of the original round backed seats. I'm also after any history on it if anyone has any information?  I know it was at Lowestoft in 1975 then Peterborough, Cambridge and Yarmouth, but pre-1975 I believe it was at Ipswich but have no actual dates before '75.

Answer 4

Known information:

LFS 54 was delivered new to Eastern Counties in July 1963.  Bristol FS5G - chassis number 205064 and ECW body number 12939. Designation H33 27RD.  Withdrawn from service in 1981. Was one of the final batch of LFS class vehicles to remain in service with the company.  Had the unusual chrome wavy backed seats.  Was allocated to Yarmouth in the late 1970s to the early 1980s.  Also saw service in Cambridge during the 1970s.  Was sold to Ben Jordan of Coltishall upon withdrawal.  Later became a mobile home/publicity vehicle for a peace campaign.  Passed to Viv Carter of Carters Coaches, Ipswich and then to Julian Patterson of King's Lynn for preservation. (webmaster) (Photo shows LFS 54 (54 CPW) in Norwich, Surrey Street bus station awaiting departure to Ipswich on Service 14)

Update:  Now with Richard Masterman of Stroud, Gloucestershire for continued preservation - Feb 2015)

Question 5

Does anyone have any idea what happened to the short-range Setright Speed ticket machines that were used on Norwich and Cambridge city services?

Answer 5


Question 6

Mystery Lowestoft bus!

Does anyone know if the bus in this old photograph taken in Lowestoft is a United Automobile Services one? 


Answer 6


Question 7

The gentleman on the left in the 2nd photograph is Lou Howes as a conductor. He later became a driver.

Does anyone know who the other two gentlemen are in these two photographs taken with LKH 113 (HPW 113)? 


Answer 7


Question 8

Can anybody help me please?  I am trying to find out which buses of the Eastern Counties fleet were allocated to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft depots from 1931 to 1996, both new and second-hand.

Answer 8


Question 9  

I remember when I was a kid going on the route 11 in an old double decker with the top floor aisle going down the side of the bus instead of in the middle and very long seats.  Did that type of seat configuration have a name?

Answer 9

I think the buses you are referring to are those of the AP class. These were ECW bodied Leyland PD1A's registered in the GPW 3XX series and dated from 1947 and the 11 and 11B routes were one of their strongholds. Bungay out-station had a large allocation of these relatively unusual vehicles which were built to lowbridge design, hence the sunken upper deck offside gangway and four abreast seating arrangement in the upper saloon. There were also Bristol K type buses of the LK class which were built in this way. (Photo shows AP 353 (GPW 353) in Norwich, Surrey Street bus station awaiting departure to Halesworth on Service 11)

As far as I know, there were no special terms used to indicate this type of seating arrangement as it was the accepted thing at the time. By the mid 1950s the problem was overcome by the introduction of the Lodekka which enabled both decks to have two aside seating with central gangways. I always think how difficult it must have been for the conductor collecting fares on the upper deck of the older lowbridge buses!  

Question 10

I am the current owner of Gardner 4LK engine number 108044 (now fitted to a narrow boat).

The Anson Engine Museum has confirmed that this engine was supplied by Gardner to Bristol Commercial Vehicles on 11th April 1956 and then fitted to an Eastern Counties Omnibus Bristol SC under order number K6540 of 22nd June 1955. I am seeking to discover the exact Eastern Counties Bristol SC to which this engine was fitted and to ask if anyone has a photograph of this bus. Does anyone have any records that might shed some light on this? The bus will probably have been bodied by Eastern Coach Works and entered service with ECOC in 1956-57.

Answer 10 

If anyone can shed any light on the order number K6540 and match it to a chassis number, it will be quite easy to identify the particular vehicle.  I have photographs of all the Eastern Counties SC4LK buses and coaches (78 buses and 10 coaches), so will definitely have a photograph of the vehicle which was originally fitted with engine number 108044 (webmaster).

While you may be able to identify the original chassis that was fitted with this engine, it will most likely have been used in at least one other vehicle since then! The routine maintenance system at the time required all major mechanical units to be changed on a mileage basis. Engines would have been changed at the 6th dock approx 180,000 and later 240,000 miles. The units were programmed for exchange for reconditioned units from Norwich during docks at Cambridge, Newmarket Road, Ipswich, Norwich, Cremorne Lane dock shop and Peterborough. All units were returned to Norwich, Cremorne Lane central works for stripping and rebuilding to original standards and stored ready for the next demand (Geoff Pullin).

Question 11

Can anyone identify the location of this photograph of Bristol FS5G, LFS 18 (1118 PW)?


Answer 11 

It would appear that LFS 18 (1118 PW) is laying over in the Millfleet, King's Lynn whilst operating service 34 which ran from King's Lynn to Yarmouth via Narborough, Swaffham, East Dereham, Norwich and Acle.  The photograph on the right, discovered on the internet, depicts a 1960s overview of the Millfleet area which clearly shows a layover parking area behind the buildings to the left of the picture.  It appears that LFS 18 was caught by the camera whilst parked here awaiting it's next turn of duty. Thanks are due to Keith Shayshutt and Stephen Purkiss for their assistance in solving this mystery.

Question 12

I am a member of the RMWeb forum. One of our members posts regularly on there about his superb model of Peterborough North station set in 1958. 

I am modifying a Corgi model bus (the ECOC P lowbridge) into a 7’6” highbridge LKH, which would be a more appropriate addition on Crescent bridge. However I would like details of which routes went over this bridge so that I could finish it off.

Also, Spital bridge, at the north end of his layout, has a different road layout today. Back in his era, would there be any buses running over that? I suspect not as it was rather narrow, though I have suggested to him that a coach could be using that road. Any thoughts?  Stewart Singram.

Answer 12 

According to the Peterborough area time table from 1969, it was Route 305 from Walton and Gunthorpe Estates via the City Centre to Netherton Estate and Wootton Avenue which went via the Crescent Bridge.  It is also shown in the 1956 Western Area time table as following this route via Crescent Bridge too. Hope this is of some help.

See also Question 17...

Question 13

Does anyone remember a crew driver from King's Lynn who was definitely a “character”? His name was Bob (I can’t recall his surname) who beneath a gruff exterior had a heart of gold and was very popular. He was best known for driving slowly, often looking very fierce when at the wheel, and sometimes leaving Lynn late to give people longer to do their shopping! He lived in Grimston. Sadly, he died at the wheel in May or June 1976, a few weeks before he was due to retire.

Answer 13


Question 14

As a boy, I remember hearing about a fatal accident in the 1960s at Onion Corner near Castle Rising on the old 35 King's Lynn - Hunstanton route. I think a double decker overturned because it was going too fast. Does anyone have any more details?

Answer 14


Question 15

In the 1960s and 1970s, King's Lynn drivers on country routes observed an unofficial rule of not stopping to pick up passengers in the suburbs of Lynn travelling to the town centre in the daytime, on the grounds that the town services would do so. Did such a "rule" apply elsewhere, for example in Norwich and Peterborough and was it ever approved by management?

Answer 15

I'm certain this unwritten rule was observed in Norwich. I don't know about Cambridge or Peterborough. (Webmaster)

I remember during my schooldays in Cambridge in the 1950s being told that the 109 Cambridge-Ely service would not take passengers who were travelling to or from stops before Kings Hedges Road, which was the terminus of the 115 local service. I never had occasion to test this, as we lived on the eastern end of Chesterton Road, served by the 101 local service, but not by any country services. I would imagine the same would have applied on other roads out of Cambridge that had both local and country services. Whether it was official policy or not, I don’t know. (Mike Willsher)

From my experience as a frequent user of ECOC buses in the Cambridge area in the late 1940s-mid 50s I can confirm that red numbered country buses were not expected to pick up or set down passengers on routes also served by black numbered town services. For example, users of my local town service 106 to its terminus at Girton Corner would not think of getting on red numbered service 151 which continued beyond Girton Corner to Huntingdon and Peterborough. Also, country service 103 to Sawston would not stop for Trumpington-bound passengers for whom town service 115 was provided. The reasoning may have been to give seating priority to users of less frequent country services, who wouldn't want their longer journeys interrupted by frequent town stops. Whether this was official company policy or local tradition I'm unable to say, but the distinction was widely understood by local people. Also, different fare stages would probably have applied between town and country services , the latter thought to be more expensive for short journeys.  (Roger Wolfe)

Question 16

Following on the thread of site visitor, Roger Wolfe's memories of Cambridge buses in the 1940s (memory No. 10 on the ECOC Memories page), Roger would be interested to know if the discouragement of passengers from using the bell to request the bus to stop by conductors was unique to Cambridge, or was this practise common in other areas?

Answer 16


Question 17

Following on the thread of site visitor, Stewart Singram's query regarding Peterborough City services... Stuart now raises another question on this subject...

A further question from me with reference to Peterborough North station, as mentioned in question 12 above, if I may?

Did any routes ever reach the forecourt of the railway station? Or buses lay over there, or even run occasional specials? I know of routes over the bridge, and the road layout has changed significantly from what it was in c1958 which the model portrays.

Answer 17


Question 18

Does anyone have any photographs of the following outstation premises?

NORWICH AREA:  Beccles, Brooke, Bunwell, Loddon, Mundham, Salhouse & Wymondham

IPSWICH AREA:  Ardleigh, Bildeston, Boxford, Colchester, Gislingham, Holme Hale, Hopton, Hoxne, Lakenheath, Mistley, Orford, & Rougham

CAMBRIDGE AREA:  Bassingbourn, Caxton, Fenstanton, Hinxton, Linton, Litlington, & Royston

PETERBOROUGH AREA:  Grimston, Southery, St Johns Fen End, Spalding & Stoke Ferry

Answer 18

If anyone can assist here, please could you submit your photos to the webmaster's email address.  Many thanks!


Question 19

Does anyone know when Mr C. J. Foxlee retired as ECOC Company Secretary?  I know he took up the role on June 1st 1969.

Answer 18

As far as can be ascertained, Clifford J. Foxlee retired as ECOC Company Secretary in October 1981.  Precise date not known at present.