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A few more glimpses of the once familiar brown buses and coaches

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Two of the ten Bedford OB / Duple 29 seaters bought new in 1946 lined up outside the firm's offices at Bridport Road, Dorchester.  BPR 401 leads, and was in the Bere Regis fleet from August 1946 until January 1960.   Bedford OB at Bridport Road, Dorchester
The classic Bere Regis coach of my childhood years.  A Leyland PS1 with Gurney Nutting 35 seat body, seen here in Top o'Town car park, Dorchester.   Bought new in July 1950, EFX 39 served until January 1963.  (Gurney Nutting was a south London body builder better known between the wars for making car bodies for Rolls Royce and Bentley chassis; post-war there was a brief foray for a few years in building bodies for passenger coaches).    Leyland PS1 / Gurney Nutting
Leyland PS1 HTF 617 with Harrington 35-seat coach body, seen parked in Dorchester in August 1965.  Bought from Silver Grey of Morecambe in 1956.     HTF 617 Leyland PS1
Ex-Hants & Sussex FCG527 arrives in Dorchester from Bere Regis. Acquired in May 1950, this was a Leyland PD1 with Northern Coachbuilders 55-seater lowbridge body, and was new to Hants & Sussex in 1947.  It was one half of a pair, the other being FCG526, acquired June 1949, also from Hants & Sussex, and sold in 1960, whilst 527 was scrapped in the same year.

(photo from Colin Hallett).

FCG527 arriving in Dorchester

Seen here in Trinity Street, Dorchester in July 1993, GRP 922N is a Bedford YRQ 45-seater, operating the town service as can be seen by the signwriting. Originally new to United Counties in 1974, GRP replaced the ex-House of Hilton Ford that  was originally used on the town service, with the Ford then transferred to the Blandford to Sturminster Newton route.  In the Bere Regis fleet from October 1982 until August 1990.
   GRP 922N on town service
Seen at the foot of High East Street, Dorchester, OED 11 is on the Bovington service - despite the 'Private' showing on the blind.  This is a Bedford SBG petrol engined chassis with  41 seat Duple body. New in 1955 to Shadwell of Warrington, and acquired by Bere Regis in 1962, where it was in service until 1972.    Bedford SBG
VXE 278G, a 1969 Leyland Panther / Plaxton 51 seater, acquired from a Cornish operator in 1981.  Standing alongside is LRU 557P, a Bedford YRT / Plaxton 53 seater, bought new in 1975. VXE was in the fleet from 1981 until sold for scrap in 1990. LRU was bought new in 1975 and transferred to Dorchester Coachways in March 1994.    VXE 278G Leyland Panther
LCB 928P, one of a pair of 1976 Bedford SB5 / Plaxton 41 seaters acquired from Fairclough of Radcliffe.  The other was LCB 927P. Both were new in 1976 and came to Bere Regis in 1980 and both served until 1990.   LCB 928P Bedford SB5
Looking rather lonely is RLJ 187R, a Bedford YMT / Plaxton 53 seater, one of five such coaches bought new in 1977.  Five Bedford YRT / Plaxton 53 seaters had also been purchased new two years earlier in 1975. RLJ187R and sister vehicles 186R and 188R transferred to the short lived Bere Regis Coaches operation of Sandra Wylie at Blandford in March 1994.   RLJ 187R Bedford YMT
The first arrival at Bulleid Way, London Victoria, of the Dorset to London express coach service introduced in June 1983.   Arrival of the first London express service at Victoria
H443 JLJ, Volvo B10M / Plaxton Paramount 57 seater.  Bought new in 1990 it was the regular performer on the London express service. Sold autumn 1993 to Worth of Enstone, Oxfordshire.
  London express coach H443 JLJ

Colin Hallett remembers his days at the Sherborne depot in the 1980s - Coached the Bere Regis way.

Another selection of pictures (by Malcolm Knight) can be found here.

======== with thanks to Henry Frier and Roger Grimley for the pictures and much help and assistance over many years ========

cover of new book
the life and times of country busmen

written by Andrew Waller

A hardback history published in 2012 by Hobnob Press
new Bere Regis book