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The vehicles . . .

The Eastern Counties Omnibus Company operated a mainly Bristol/Eastern Coach Works fleet during the 'Tilling' era, but owing to the amalgamation of the four predecessor companies which formed Eastern Counties in July 1931, a relatively modern, but extremely varied fleet was inherited, comprising many different makes and models with an interesting variety of bodywork.  As time progressed, the Company worked towards standardising on a typically 'Tilling' fleet, comprising the rugged Bristol chassis combined with the very attractive and durable bodywork by Eastern Coach Works of Lowestoft.  It is worthy of note here that Eastern Coach Works Ltd was originally wholly owned by the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company, being inherited as part of the merger of the aforesaid predecessor companies.  Between 1931 and 1936 the coach building works was known as Eastern Counties Coach Works Ltd. (Please refer to the Company history page for further details of the predecessor companies and the part they played in the formation of the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company).

A series of .pdf format fleet lists are being compiled detailing all the many vehicle types which operated for Eastern Counties between 1931 and 1971. This will take some considerable time to complete, but you are welcome to view the progress so far . . .

Please click on the blue fleet class prefix letters below to view individual class fleet lists and use your browser's 'back' button if you wish to return to this page after viewing each list.

Clicking on the photos on the right of this page will reveal a .pdf format page displaying a set of example photographs of the vehicles referred to in the respective fleet lists. Using your browser's 'back' button will return you to this page after viewing the photographs.

Scroll to the foot of this page to access complete 'Tilling' era fleet lists in .pdf format sorted into four categories - Numerical by fleet number / Numerical by registration number / Alphabetical by chassis make & type / Chronologically by delivery date. 

These lists are particularly useful if you want to identify a vehicle when you may only know one or two facts about it.

(Please note, you will require Adobe Reader to be installed on your computer to download and view these fleet lists)

At present, mainly Bristol and Leyland vehicles are featured on this page. Eventually, it is hoped to include all the other various 'non standard' vehicles which were operated by ECOC between 1931 and 1971.

Such a pity...

The webmaster has compiled an illustrated list of Tilling era Eastern Counties vehicles which he wishes could have been saved for future preservation.  Click here to view.  

The good news!

Click here to see the webmaster's list of known preserved and surviving Eastern Counties Tilling era vehicles.


A & AH                                                                                                                                     

There were 50 members of the A & AH class.  Members of this class comprised five Leyland TD1 51 seater Leyland bodied lowbridge double deck buses delivered in 1932; five Leyland TD1 52 seater ECOC bodied lowbridge double deck buses delivered in 1932; twenty-one Leyland TD2 56 seater ECOC bodied lowbridge double deck buses delivered in 1932 and 1933 and ten Leyland TD4 60 seater ECOC bodied highbridge double deck buses delivered in 1935. These vehicles were primarily used on stage carriage city and county services. Many members of the A & AH class were renumbered at various times and many of the lowbridge A class were for some mysterious reason, reclassified as AH during the war years. All were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1961.  Unfortunately, there are no known survivors of this class in preservation.  The last known survivor of this class, AH 210, was noted as being an engineless and now derelict storeshed at dealer Ben Jordan's premises at the Dell, Coltishall in 2014. 

 


AP   

There were 20 members of the AP class.  All members of this class were Leyland PD1A 53 seater ECW bodied lowbridge double deck buses delivered in 1947. These vehicles were primarily used on stage carriage city and county services, with many being outstationed, Bungay outstation being a particular favourite haunt. All were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1964. Unfortunately, there are no known survivors of this class in preservation, the last known examples being noted languishing in Ben Jordan's farm field premises adjacent to Coltishall Aerodrome in the mid 1980s. Two derelict survivors of this class were subsequently discovered with Goldsmith's Coaches of Sicklesmere, Suffolk, but sadly they had been sent to a breaker by 2000.

 

 


AT  

There were 10 members of the AT class.  All members of this class were Leyland TS4 29 seater ECOC bodied rear entrance coaches delivered in 1933. Having said this, the last of the class (AT 136) possibly may have carried Bush & Twiddy bodywork. These vehicles were primarily used on express services, tours, excursions and private hires, before being downgraded to stage carriage work towards the end of their working lives with the company. The whole class was renumbered during the major fleet renumbering exercise of 1946 and 1947.  All were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1950. Unfortunately, there are no known survivors of this class in preservation. 

 

 

 


LG  

There were 22 members of the LG class.  Members of this class comprised eight Bristol GJW 48 seater Weymann bodied double deck buses delivered in 1933, ten Bristol GO5G 56 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1936 and four Bristol GO5G 54 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1937. These vehicles were primarily used on stage carriage city and county services. The whole LG fleet was reclassified as 'HLG' in 1950 and all were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1957, save for two, LG 4 and LG 6, which were converted to 'open top' for use on Felixstowe's sea front service 248. These were withdrawn in 1960 and were replaced with two former Brighton & Hove Bristol Ks.  Fortunately, one of these open toppers, HLG 4, survives in preservation, having been exported to the USA and then repatriated by a wealthy enthusiast some forty years later! 

 


LK  

There were 81 members of the LK class.  Members of this class consisted of twelve Bristol K6A 55 seater Strachan's bodied double deck buses delivered between 1944 and 1946; twenty-nine Bristol K5G 55 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1946 and 1950; fourteen Bristol K6B 55 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1947 and 1950; twenty-one Bristol KS5G 55 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1950 and 1951 and five Bristol KSW6B 55 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1951.  All these vehicles were of 'lowbridge' design, featuring an upper deck sunken gangway on the offside giving access to rows of four seats strung together on the nearside and a very low roof. They were mainly employed on county routes and were a familiar sight from the mid 1940s until the mid 1960s, the new fangled 'Lodekkas' bringing about their eventual demise. The last of the class was finally withdrawn from passenger service in 1969.  Fortunately, one example, LK 374, survives in preservation and is the latest project to be fully restored by the Ipswich Transport Museum Society in late 2007. 


LKH  

There were 177 members of the LKH class.  Members of the class consisted of six Bristol K6A 56 seater Park Royal bodied double deck buses delivered between 1944 and 1945; ninety Bristol K5G 56 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1946 and 1950; twenty-one Bristol K6B 56 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1947 and 1949; five Bristol KS6B 60 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1951; fifty-two Bristol KSW5G 60 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1951 and 1953 and three Bristol KSW6B 60 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1952.  All these vehicles were of standard 'highbridge' design, featuring an upper deck two-a-side seating layout accessed by a central gangway. They were mainly employed on town and city routes and were a very familiar sight on the streets of Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough from the mid 1940s until the late 1960s, eventually being ousted by the ever increasing fleet of new fangled 'Lodekkas'. The last of the class were finally withdrawn from passenger service in 1971.  Fortunately, three examples of this once extensive class, LKH 108, LKH 133 and LKH 341 survive in preservation. LKH 133 is fully restored and owned by David Gray of Lincoln and is housed at the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society Museum at North Hykeham, Lincoln whilst LKH 341 is currently undergoing restoration by the Eastern Transport Collection Society of Norwich.  LKH 108 was once owned by the Eastern Counties Omnibus Society, but was sold on for further preservation and is presently housed in a semi restored state in a farmer's barn near Raunds in Northants.  


LKD  

There were 55 members of the LKD class.  Members of the class consisted of seven Bristol LD5G 58 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1954 and 1955, twenty-nine Bristol LD5G 60 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1955 and 1957 and nineteen Bristol LD6G 60 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1958 and 1959.  These vehicles were known as 'Lodekkas' and were the first of the new breed of double deck buses which allowed for a normal centre gangway and two-a-side seating in the upper deck, whilst incorporating all the properties of a 'lowbridge' design. These vehicles were much used on city and county workings, from the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, with many members surviving well into the NBC days of the mid 1970s.  The last of the class was finally withdrawn from passenger service in 1976.  Fortunately, an early example, LKD 229, survives in preservation and is the flagship of the Norwich based Eastern Transport Collection Society.  Others survive in various forms in Europe, the USA and Canada, with many being passed off as Routemasters in full London Transport red livery!


LFS & LFL  

There were 120 members of the LFS class and 6 members of the LFL class.  Members of the LFS class consisted of one hundred and twenty Bristol FS5G 60 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered between 1960 and 1965. Members of the LFL class comprised six Bristol FL6G 70 seater ECW bodied double deck buses all delivered in 1962.  These vehicles were known as 'Lodekkas' and were the second marque of the new breed of double deck buses which allowed for a normal centre gangway and two-a-side seating in the upper deck, whilst incorporating all the properties of a 'lowbridge' design. These vehicles were much used on city and county workings, from the early 1960s and throughout the 1970s, with many members surviving well into the NBC days of the mid 1980s.  The last survivor of the class, namely LFL 57, was finally withdrawn from passenger service in 1984 after clocking up an amazing 21 years of revenue earning service!  Interesting to note here, is that five speed gearboxes were fitted to the 1964 batch of the LFS class from LFS 86 onwards, these vehicles becoming the first double deckers in the fleet to have them fitted from new.  Fortunately, one of the later examples, LFS 125, survives in preservation and has been fully restored in 1970s NBC Poppy red and white livery by the Ipswich Transport Museum. Two members of the LFL class are also preserved, LFL 57 has been fully restored in 1960s Tilling red and cream livery by the East Anglia Transport Museum, whilst LFL 60 has been rescued as a future preservation project by the Eastern Transport Collection Society.  Others survive in various forms in Europe, the USA and Canada, with many being passed off as Routemasters in full London Transport red livery!


FLF  

There were 83 members of the FLF class.  Members of this class comprised thirty-six Bristol FLF6G 70 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1966 and forty-six Bristol FLF6LX 70 seater ECW bodied double deck buses delivered in 1967 & 1968.  All these vehicles were known as 'Lodekkas' and were the third marque of the new breed of double deck buses which allowed for a normal centre gangway and two-a-side seating in the upper deck, whilst incorporating all the properties of a 'lowbridge' design. These forward entrance vehicles were much used on city and county workings, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, with all members surviving well into the NBC days of the mid 1980s.  The last members of the class were finally withdrawn from passenger service at the end of 1985. Very worthy of note is the fact that all the FLF6LX examples were exchanged for Bristol VR types from the Scottish Bus Group in 1973.  Although none of the FLF class have yet made it officially into preservation, various members are known to survive with other UK operators and others survive in various forms in the Europe, the USA and Canada, with many being passed off as Routemasters in full London Transport red livery!


LD  

There were 6 members of the LD class.  All members of this class were Dennis engined, Bristol JO4D 35 seater ECW bodied stage carriage saloons delivered in 1937. These vehicles were primarily used on county services, but were often utilised as express coach reliefs. The entire LD fleet was renumbered as part of the 1946/47 renumbering exercise and all were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1954, some falling into the hands of showmen who converted them into living vans with their engines being used to power generators to provide the power for fairground rides!  Sadly, there are no known surviving LDs in preservation. 

 

 


LN  

There were 10 members of the LN class.  All members of this class were Bristol JNW 36 seater ECOC bodied stage carriage saloons delivered in 1935. These vehicles were primarily used on county services, but were often utilised as express coach reliefs. The entire LN fleet was renumbered as part of the 1946/47 renumbering exercise and all were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1958, some falling into the hands of showmen who converted them into living vans with their engines being used to power generators to provide the power for fairground rides!  Sadly, there are no known surviving LNs in preservation. 

 

 

 


LJ   

There were 38 members of the LJ class.  Members of this class comprised ten Bristol JJW 32 seater ECOC bodied coaches delivered in 1935, twenty-two Bristol JO5G 30 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1936 and 1937 and six Bristol JO6A 28 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1937. These vehicles were originally used on express services throughout the UK and for private hires. The whole LJ fleet was renumbered as part of the 1946/47 renumbering exercise and like most coaches, were downgraded to stage carriage duties towards the end of their working lives in the early to mid 1950s. All were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1957, many falling into the hands of showmen who converted them into living vans with their engines being used to power generators to provide the power for fairground rides!  Sadly, there are no known surviving LJs in preservation. The last known survivor, LJ 38, was noted as a derelict hulk at dealer Ben Jordan's farm premises adjacent to Coltishall Airfield in 1985.  

 


LL  

There were 242 members of the LL class.  Members of the class consisted of Bristol L4G, L5G, LL5G and LWL5G ECW bodied 35 and 39 seater stage carriage saloons and one solitary prototype Bristol LS4G ECW bodied 42 seater saloon delivered between 1938 and 1952.  Having said this, there were also four Bristol LS5G and twenty-seven Bristol MW5G stage carriage saloons in this class, which for some mysterious reason, were originally classified as LL, but all of these were reclassified as 'LM' by 1960. For reasons of clarity, these vehicles are listed in the LM class schedule.  Used largely on county services, LL class saloons were the mainstay of the single deck stage carriage fleet throughout the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, the last members surviving right up until 1968 when the remainder of the class were finally withdrawn from passenger service.  There are a number of surviving LLs in preservation. Of these, three are fully restored, namely, LL 407, LL 711 and LL 718 and are in the hands of the Ipswich Transport Museum (LL 407), Patrick Burnside (LL 711) and the Eastern Transport Collection Society (LL 718).  Other survivors include LL 408, LL 666 and LL 679.  LL 651 survived undisturbed in a scrap yard near North Walsham, Norfolk for an amazing 44 years before finally being rescued for spares by the Eastern Transport Collection Society in June 2013 when the scrap yard owner died and his yard was cleared!


LS  

There were 93 members of the LS class.  Members of this class were a very mixed bunch indeed and the designation 'LS' simply indicated that the vehicle was a Bristol chassis in the coach fleet.  The class comprised two Bristol L5G 26 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1939; three Bristol L6B 28 seater Beadle bodied coaches delivered in 1949; five Bristol LWL6B 31 seater ECW bodied  'Queen Mary' style coaches delivered in 1951; three Bristol LS6B 39 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1953; twenty-three Bristol LS5G 39 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered between 1954 and 1957; twenty-two Bristol MW5G 39 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered between 1958 and 1961 and thirty-five Bristol MW6G 39 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered between 1961 and 1964. All these vehicles were widely used on scheduled express services, private hires and excursions with the vast majority being downgraded to stage carriage work towards the end of their service lives. Thirteen of the '53 to '56 delivery were reclassified as 'LE' in 1970. There are three surviving members of the LS class in preservation, namely, LS 789 with the Eastern Transport Collection Society, LS 809 with Ian Mahoney of Brentwood, Essex and LS 829 with the Ipswich Transport Museum.  

LS 766 (UNG 766) wins the National Coach Rally in Brighton in 1956


LE  

There were 28 members of the LE class.  Members of this class comprised seven Bristol L5G 31 seater ECOC bodied semi-coaches delivered in 1949 and 1950, five Bristol LS4G 39 seater ECW bodied semi-coaches delivered in 1952 and 1953; three former LS class Bristol LS6B 39 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1953; eight former LS class Bristol LS5G 39 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1954; three Bristol LS5G 39 seater ECW bodied semi-coaches delivered in 1955 and two former LS class Bristol LS5G 32 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in 1955 and 1956. These vehicles were originally used on express services throughout the UK , private hires and excursions. Many of the class consisted of downgraded LS class coaches which were reclassified as LE in 1970.  All members of this class were further downgraded to stage carriage duties towards the end of their working lives in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There is just one known surviving member of the LE class in preservation, that being LE 699, which is privately owned by Tony Brown and is presently in a semi restored state at the Chelveston Bus Preservation Group in Northants. 


LC  

There were 78 members of the LC class.  All members of the class were Bristol SC4LK 35 seater ECW bodied stage carriage saloons delivered between 1955 and 1961. These vehicles were of a lightweight design - even the main chassis members were constructed in aluminium!  They were designed for a service life of around ten years, although many well outlasted this time. They were used mainly on county services and some lightly loaded city and town routes and many were outstationed. With their frugal 4 cylinder Gardner oil engines, they were best suited to a flat area, the Cambridgeshire Fens, being a favourite haunt! There are only three known surviving LCs, two in preservation and one in use as a caravan.  Of these, LC 556 has been fully restored by Patrick Burnside and LC 543 is undergoing major restoration by owner Fred Ward of Ipswich. LC 551 is known to survive as a caravan in a garden in Southern Ireland.

 


LSC 

There were 10 members of the LSC class.  All members of the class were Bristol SC4LK 33 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered in two batches in 1956 and 1957.  These vehicles were of a lightweight design - even the main chassis members were constructed in aluminium!  They were designed for a service life of around ten years, although many well outlasted this time. They were used mainly on express services and private hires until they were demoted to stage carriage duties in the mid 1960s. With their frugal 4 cylinder Gardner oil engines, they were best suited to a flat area, but these lightweight coaches were allocated all over the company's territory.  Wholesale withdrawal in 1968 saw most of the class finding their way to independent coach operators and schools.  It was thought that there was one surviving member of this class in the Lincolnshire area, namely LSC 870, but information has now come to light that this vehicle was used as a fire fighter's practice model and was subsequently destroyed.  

 


LM  

There were 129 members of the LM class.  Members of the class consisted of twenty Bristol L4G 36 seater ECW bodied stage carriage saloons delivered in 1946 and 1947, four Bristol LS5G 45 seater ECW bodied stage carriage saloons delivered in 1957 and one hundred and five Bristol MW5G 45 seater ECW bodied stage carriage saloons delivered between 1958 and 1966. Having said this, the four LS5Gs delivered in 1957 and all the MW5Gs delivered in 1958 and 1959 were originally classified as 'LL' for some mysterious reason!  Conversely, all the L4Gs delivered in 1946 and 1947 were classified as 'LM' when surely 'LL' would have been more appropriate!  However, five of the L4Gs were reclassified as 'LL'  just prior to withdrawal in 1963 and all of the aforementioned LS5Gs and MW5Gs were reclassified as 'LM' by 1960. Used largely on county services, LM class LS and MW saloons with their underfloor mounted Gardner five cylinder oil engines were the mainstay of the single deck stage carriage fleet throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the last members surviving right up until 1980 when the remainder of the class were finally withdrawn from passenger service.  Sadly, only one LM class vehicle survives into preservation, namely, LM 452 which has been fully restored by Patrick Burnside since 1984.


RE  

There were 26 members of the RE class.  Members of this class comprised 23 Bristol RELH6G 47 seater ECW bodied coaches delivered between 1964 and 1969 and 3 Bristol RELH6G 49 seater Plaxton bodied coaches delivered in 1971. These vehicles were primarily used on express services, tours and private hires from the mid 1960s and throughout the 1970s. The three 1964 examples were renumbered in 1965 to bring them into line with the rest of the class.  All were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1981.  Fortunately, there is one surviving RE in preservation, namely, RE 896 which is privately owned and fully restored by Charles White of Harston, Cambridgeshire.  

 

 


RS  

There were 14 members of the RS class.  All members of this class were Bristol RESL6LX 46 seater ECW bodied stage carriage saloons delivered in 1967. These vehicles were primarily used on county services and some city workings, although many were outstationed.  These vehicles were the first ECOC stage carriage saloons with rear mounted engines and were fitted with infamous high ratio gearboxes and rear axles which often severely tested the skills of their drivers!  All were withdrawn from passenger service by the end of 1981.  Fortunately, there is one surviving RS, in preservation, namely, RS 658 which is with the Eastern Transport Collection Society and has been fully restored in 1970s NBC Poppy red and white livery.

 

 


See also...

Secondhand acquisitions  

A large miscellany of vehicles were acquired by Eastern Counties Omnibus Company second-hand as a result of taking over small independent operators or from larger concerns to offset vehicle shortages. Also included are vehicles transferred to ECOC by its four constituent companies upon formation in July 1931. Vehicle makes include ADC, AEC, Albion, Bedford, Bristol, Dennis, Foden, Leyland, Maudsley & Tilling Stevens. 

 

 


The non-standard vehicles  (ie. not Bristol or Leyland)  

Eastern Counties Omnibus Company acquired many non-standard (ie. non Bristol or Leyland ) vehicles which were delivered new to them. These include such makes as Albion, Bedford, Dennis, Maudsley, etc.  Many of these acquisitions were diverted orders, placed by independent operators which were subsequently taken over by ECOC.

 

 

 

 


Complete Eastern Counties Omnibus Company 'Tilling' era fleet lists

 Numerical by fleet number / Numerical by registration number / Alphabetical by chassis make & type / Chronologically by delivery date 

These fleet lists include all vehicles acquired from the four constituent companies, namely, United Automobile Services Ltd, Eastern Counties Road Car Company Ltd, Ortona Motor Company Ltd and Peterborough Electric Traction Company Ltd, upon formation in July 1931. Also included are the motor buses inherited from the Norwich Electric Tramways Company Ltd, upon the cessation of that company's trading activities on the 10th December 1935.

Please use your browser's 'back' button if you wish to return to this page after viewing each list.


The Omnibus Society Photographic Archive

The Omnibus Society possesses a wonderful archive of Eastern Counties Tilling era vehicles which are available to view and purchase online.

Please click here to view ECOC Archive 1 and here to view ECOC Archive 2


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