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2013 – Issue 2 of 4

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Heritage Buses in South East Wales<br />

Cardiff Transport Preservation Group<br />

Journal 41 April <strong>2013</strong> Price £2.50<br />

BEDWAS & MACHEN 6 RE-LAUNCH<br />

PONTYPRIDD TO CARDIFF IN 1933 by Arthur Hughes<br />

ILLUMINATED BUS ADVERTS SWANSEA EVENT<br />

Leyland Titans back at home in<br />

Caerphilly for the Civic Re-launch <strong>of</strong><br />

Bedwas & Machen 6, here seen<br />

passing Caerphilly 32, on Saturday 2 nd<br />

March <strong>2013</strong>. (Photo: Simon Nicholas)<br />

THE BUS DEPOT, BARRY<br />

Registered Charity No. 1063157<br />

1<br />

www.ctpg.co.uk


At Caerphilly on 2 nd March the newly repainted Leyland PD3 at the civic re-launch.<br />

Below; Civic dignitaries with Wendy Williams <strong>of</strong> the Caerphilly Ladies Choir in her<br />

Welsh National costume.<br />

(Simon Nicholas / Tudor Thomas)<br />

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CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE;<br />

Welcome to the Spring edition <strong>of</strong> the Newsletter, now renamed Bustler which we feel<br />

rather suits us since Barry Depot was once branded as “The Home <strong>of</strong> the Bustler”.<br />

Work is progressing towards this year’s events in conjunction with the relevant<br />

councils whose support is obviously much appreciated. Even this early in the year we<br />

have already had plenty <strong>of</strong> publicity, you have probably seen PAX in the Welsh<br />

newspapers or enthusiast press. Early in March we had a civic launch <strong>of</strong> the freshly<br />

repainted Bedwas & Machen bus. The owner <strong>of</strong> this bus, Julian Peddle, attended and<br />

following the event he very kindly donated the bus to the CTPG. During the event we<br />

prepared the groundwork for next year’s proposed 40 th anniversary <strong>of</strong> RVDC<br />

inauguration at which we would like to reunite the three preserved UDC saloons, more<br />

on that in the next few months. The May edition <strong>of</strong> Bus & Coach Preservation also<br />

contains a feature on PAX with several photos taken around the Vale area.<br />

Work on OUH 177G is nearing completion, mainly undertaken by Martyn Evans,<br />

with assistance <strong>of</strong> the mechanical and electrical experts. A successful MOT was obtained<br />

late in March and following lots <strong>of</strong> rubbing down the coach is ready to be taken to TDC<br />

in Lydney for repainting as they did such a good job on PAX. We hope to have it back in<br />

time for the Bristol Habourside rally on 28 th <strong>of</strong> April, please let me know if you would<br />

like to come along we will be taking the stall as normal. At the same event we will be<br />

temporarily handing HWO 323 back to its owner, Martin Bowering, who wishes to use<br />

it during the summer for display at Lydney’s former Red & White bus station. This<br />

popular exhibit will return in the autumn and we hope it will stay at Barry for the long<br />

term.<br />

Other vehicles receiving attention are Caerphilly 3 which continues to be the current<br />

long term restoration. Caerphilly 32 required work on its fuel pump and injectors and<br />

also needs a rear spring change which luckily we have in stock, also Cardiff 434 has had<br />

some panelling repairs and a general tidy up. Work on the Red & White Lodekka has<br />

started initially with a repair to the long term vacuum problem, we hope to replace the<br />

damaged steering box in the next month and follow that with some panelling. We hope<br />

both 32 and 434 will be available to run on our Municipal running day on Sunday May 5 th ,<br />

buses will be running from the Depot to destinations around the Vale and there will be<br />

stalls located inside the Depot.<br />

Finally please come along and help at the events below, as always these events assist<br />

with our funds and keep the Depot running.<br />

Municipal Running Day at the Bus Depot, on Sunday 5 th May<br />

Barry Festival <strong>of</strong> Transport at Barry Island, on Sunday 9th June<br />

Ebbw Vale Classic Bus Day on Saturday 20th July<br />

Bus & Coach Wales at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre on Sunday 8th September<br />

Mike<br />

Tel: 07733 302242<br />

Email : mikeystrad73@btinternet.com<br />

Also keep up to date on our Facebook page<br />

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BEDWAS & MACHEN SHINES AGAIN IN CAERPHILLY;<br />

By Tudor Thomas<br />

Placing events in history is important when heritage buses reflect different eras in times<br />

past. Bedwas & Machen Urban District Council was created in 1912 and in 1922 ran two<br />

buses but never owned more than nine at any one time, so it was one <strong>of</strong> the UK’s<br />

smallest municipal operators.<br />

In 1974 the council lost control <strong>of</strong> its own buses and became Bedwas, Trethomas &<br />

Machen Community Council within an enlarged Rhymney Valley District Council. Then<br />

in 1996, the community council continued under a further enlarged unitary authority as it<br />

is today, Caerphilly County Borough Council.<br />

On 2 nd March <strong>2013</strong>, on a cold crisp morning a 1979 Leyland Leopard, East Lancs<br />

bodied single decker in Rhymney Valley District Council chocolate, cream and yellow<br />

colours (16, YBO16T) drove into Caerphilly driven by owner Martyn Evans, just as two<br />

Leyland PD3 Massey bodied double deckers ran into the same town. The first, new in<br />

1965, driven by Richard Johnson and the other from 1968 driven by Richard Sanders.<br />

Both <strong>of</strong> these double deckers were in former Urban District Council colours, one in the<br />

mid Brunswick green <strong>of</strong> Caerphilly (32, GNY432C) the other, the star <strong>of</strong> the day, in<br />

Oxford Blue and Royal Ivory colours <strong>of</strong> Bedwas & Machen (6, PAX466F).<br />

The Bedwas & Machen bus was the last UK double decker to carry the sunken<br />

gangway type <strong>of</strong> lowbridge bodywork, with bench seats on the upper deck, and was one<br />

<strong>of</strong> the last Leylands supplied with an exposed radiator when delivered in 1968. In 1974<br />

Bedwas & Machen buses along with Caerphilly and Gelligaer merged into Rhymney Valley<br />

and all those kept were repainted chocolate, cream and yellow. However, number 6 had<br />

a repaint into blue and ivory in 1981 to celebrate 60 years <strong>of</strong> B&M council buses (1922-<br />

1982). Shortly after this Julian Peddle bought the bus for his bus services at Stevensons,<br />

Uttoxeter where it received their mainly yellow livery. It retained this livery when it<br />

passed to MK Metro in Milton Keynes. A couple <strong>of</strong> years ago it arrived at CTPG’s Barry<br />

Depot on long term loan and late in 2012 it was agreed to repaint the bus into its<br />

original Welsh council colours. This was completed in late February <strong>2013</strong> with a week<br />

to spare before its <strong>of</strong>ficial civic re-launch.<br />

The centre <strong>of</strong> any town can be congested but this Saturday morning it was not a<br />

problem, and there were plenty <strong>of</strong> todays’ local Stagecoach buses busy about their<br />

duties. At The Twyn, in the centre <strong>of</strong> the town opposite Caerphilly’s magnificent 11th<br />

century castle, the Bedwas & Machen 1968 Leyland PD3/4 bus pulled up. Nearby was<br />

one <strong>of</strong> Stagecoaches’ brand new Enviro 200’s, specially branded for the newly improved<br />

Caerphilly and The Rhondda services. The presence <strong>of</strong> the blue and ivory bus was seen<br />

by members <strong>of</strong> Caerphilly Ladies Choir and they came out in traditional Welsh costume<br />

adding a splash <strong>of</strong> traditional colour.<br />

CTPG are about restoring touch <strong>of</strong> traditional colour! It was here that a rather<br />

special heritage bus was re-launched in the presence <strong>of</strong> its owner Julian Peddle and<br />

CTPG Chairman, Mike Taylor.<br />

4


Above: The Civic re-launch Left - Mike Taylor, Julian Peddle, The Mayor, Cllr Gaynor<br />

Oliver CCBC , Chairman, Cllr Ray Davies BT&MCC and Vice-Chair, Cllr Liz Aldworth<br />

BT&MCC and below, the heritage buses lined up alongside the Council Offices at<br />

Bedwas.<br />

(Tudor Thomas)<br />

5


The Mayor <strong>of</strong> Caerphilly, Cllr Gaynor Oliver, thanked everyone for coming along and<br />

paid special thanks to Julian Peddle, for allowing the bus to come back to Wales to be<br />

cared for by Cardiff Transport Preservation Group at their restoration centre in Barry.<br />

The 45 year old bus looked resplendent in its newly re-painted Bedwas & Machen<br />

colours, not seen locally for 30 years.<br />

Cllr Ray Davies, Chairman <strong>of</strong> the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen Community<br />

Council, also spoke on behalf <strong>of</strong> local residents and expressed his pleasure at seeing the<br />

name on the side <strong>of</strong> a bus again. He related some tales <strong>of</strong> his younger days when he was<br />

Chairman <strong>of</strong> the Transport Committee. When they ran their own buses all those years<br />

ago, a report <strong>of</strong> a bus running two minutes late was a taken so seriously that the<br />

Transport Manager was told that heads would roll if it happened again.<br />

The invited guests including councillors, past employees <strong>of</strong> the municipal operators<br />

and The Mayor alighted onto number 6 for a heritage bus ride through the lower part <strong>of</strong><br />

the Rhymney River valley which took in most <strong>of</strong> the former council area. As number 6<br />

left it was joined in convoy by 32 and 16 for a run through Bedwas, Trethomas and<br />

Machen, to come back to Bedwas Council Offices. The three buses lined up outside the<br />

council <strong>of</strong>fices for photographers, whilst those who wanted could see inside a traditional<br />

council chamber completed in 1914. Soon the three buses were back on the road and<br />

dropped guests <strong>of</strong>f at The Twyn. Tea and Welsh Cakes were provided by Caerphilly<br />

County Borough Council Transport Unit and it gave a chance for CTPG members to<br />

relax before retuning homeward.<br />

A guest brought his privately restored 1966 Leyland PD2 with Massey double deck<br />

body in Caerphilly colours (36, LNY536D). While our three buses were away on<br />

convoy duties 36 was able to park at The Twyn, which meant passers-by who missed the<br />

main event, at least saw something was going on.<br />

It was a very successful day for CTPG, the councils and visitors, remaining dry and<br />

the sun shone at the end. Success can be measured in several ways. It was CTPG’s first<br />

civic event for a newly re-livered bus <strong>of</strong> local significance which reflected 100 years <strong>of</strong> a<br />

council that was formed in 1912. It reunited some former staff <strong>of</strong> the municipal bus<br />

undertakings and brought back memories <strong>of</strong> 39 years ago when these councils merged to<br />

form Rhymney Valley. It allowed the buses’ owner Julian, to see at first hand the<br />

reaction from today’s councillors, <strong>of</strong> how civic pride can be rekindled by bringing back a<br />

restored bus in its original livery to its home town. We have had thanks from Caerphilly<br />

Council and Bedwas Trethomas & Machen CC too, so we are winning friends.<br />

We created enough news coverage for our heritage buses for a wider public to know<br />

that we exist and what we are doing. CTPG would especially like to thank Huw Morgan<br />

and Alex Clarke <strong>of</strong> Caerphilly Council and Stephen Wren <strong>of</strong> Stagecoach for their<br />

support and assistance.<br />

Readers may like to checkout “YouTube” as Glyn Bowen has kindly produced a video<br />

<strong>of</strong> the days event. “Bedwas re-launch” is just over 14 minutes and can be seen online by<br />

going to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH2BSrm0OWY<br />

6


MEMORIES OF BUS COMMUTING IN THE 1930s. PART THREE;<br />

We continue with further extracts from the memories <strong>of</strong> Arthur Hughes who commuted from<br />

Merthyr to Cardiff by bus in the early 1930s. Previous articles were published in issues 38 &<br />

39. (Photos from the Chris Taylor Collection)<br />

Pontypridd to Cardiff.<br />

As we passed Pontypridd on our journey south the road took a sweeping left turn<br />

through a rock cutting, beyond which the town came into view. Below us a jumble <strong>of</strong><br />

factory buildings in the foreground and beyond the ro<strong>of</strong> tops <strong>of</strong> the town a vista<br />

stretching into the distance, up the Rhondda Valley, the hillsides clothed with coal tips<br />

that had replaced the sylvan woods that once flourished there.<br />

At a road junction we made a connection with the up bus on the Cardiff to Ferndale<br />

service, jointly operated by Rhondda Tramways (to become ‘Transport’ in 1934), Thos.<br />

White & Co., and Western Welsh. This connection was much appreciated by anyone<br />

who had to make a journey from the Merthyr direction up into the Rhondda, or vice<br />

versa. To make the same journey by train <strong>of</strong>ten meant a wait <strong>of</strong> up to 45 minutes at the<br />

wild and windy station at Pontypridd while changing trains.<br />

KG 340, White’s Motors first AEC Renown, new in 1931.<br />

At this time the Ferndale service was catered for by Rhondda’s new AEC Regent<br />

double decks with oil engines and metal framed rear entrance Weymann bodies. These<br />

were introduced in early 1934 as replacement vehicle for the company’s tramway<br />

system. Whites Motors usually provided one <strong>of</strong> their two petrol engine AEC Regents<br />

both <strong>of</strong> which had been demonstrators and were later converted to oil. On occasions<br />

these would be replaced by one <strong>of</strong> their six wheel Renowns with Short Bros. or<br />

Weymann bodies. Even today these would be an impressive sight, but way back in 1933,<br />

7


y comparison with the average bus that graced our roads then, they had the appearance<br />

<strong>of</strong> giants among pygmies. For most <strong>of</strong> the time though, these monsters were used on<br />

their Cardiff to Barry service via Wenvoe which was very busy, especially during the<br />

summertime.<br />

Whites livery ironically, contained more blue than white. The blue, not far removed<br />

from royal blue covered the panels up to a white band to include the lower deck<br />

windows, surmounted by two narrow blue bands each side <strong>of</strong> a broad white band<br />

between decks with again white windows for the upper deck. This livery greatly<br />

enhanced the length and general appearance <strong>of</strong> the massive Renowns.<br />

A short distance<br />

further on, at Glyntaff,<br />

we again encountered<br />

the overhead wires <strong>of</strong><br />

the Pontypridd<br />

trolleybuses. This time<br />

however it was on the<br />

connecting line leading<br />

to the depot which we<br />

past, high on the left.<br />

We came alongside<br />

the blackened waters <strong>of</strong><br />

the river Taff which we<br />

followed on its bank for<br />

a few hundred yards<br />

only to lose it again only Pontypridd U.D.C trolleys at their depot<br />

to be glimpsed occasionally<br />

for the rest <strong>of</strong> our journey. Crossing the river at this point were two bridges that led<br />

to the southern suburb <strong>of</strong> Pontypridd, called Treforest. The upper bridge known as the<br />

‘Machine Bridge’ was used by the trolleybuses to link up to the rest <strong>of</strong> the system. It<br />

also fed into the main road other bus routes, namely a local service to Rhydyfelin<br />

worked every 15 minutes by Pontypridd UDC’s Bristol ‘B’ type single deckers, the<br />

Pontypridd to Cardiff service run jointly by Whites, Western Welsh and Rhondda<br />

integrated at this point with the service from Ferndale to provide a 10 minute headway<br />

for most <strong>of</strong> the day,<br />

A service to Caerphilly was worked jointly by Pontypridd and Caerphilly UDC’s. The<br />

latter service was unusual in that it was a new route established, after the 1930 Road<br />

Traffic Act much against the wishes <strong>of</strong> the private bus operators. This proved to be an<br />

unpr<strong>of</strong>itable route and was operated by in the early days with small vehicles. As only<br />

one bus was required to operate this frequency, a solution had to be found for a joint<br />

service, thus it came about that each operator provided a bus for half <strong>of</strong> the day,<br />

alternating mornings and evenings every other week. This solution was not without its<br />

problems as when it was Caerphilly’s morning turn they ran light to Pontypridd to start<br />

the service, but when on evenings rather than repeat this procedure a timetabled<br />

8


journey was ran. This journey was omitted when it was Ponty’s turn, which must have<br />

posed a puzzler to some sozzled soul striving to remember what week it was and<br />

whether there would or not be a last bus home for him. Caerphilly livery was originally<br />

red and cream but by 1933 had become a somewhat dull, almost olive, green with little<br />

to relieve its monotony, on these older vehicles anyway.<br />

At this time Western Welsh was not well endowed with double deck buses so the<br />

Pontypridd to Cardiff was <strong>of</strong>ten operated by a single deck, <strong>of</strong>ten drawn from their<br />

collection <strong>of</strong> ‘hand me downs’ acquired from SWCM or GWR. Western Welsh livery<br />

was a pleasing bright red beneath white which extended over the ro<strong>of</strong> the windows<br />

however were picked out in matching red. They carried a distinctive illuminated sign<br />

having the letters W and W in white against a black background, integrated with each<br />

other and located just above the destination box. The words ‘Western Welsh’ were<br />

picked out in gold paint on the side panels, though in varying styles.<br />

Just below the Machine Bridge another similar bridge carried a road over to<br />

Treforest and here a connection could be made with The Pontypridd to Porthcawl<br />

service jointly run by Western Welsh and Rhondda. The word ‘connection’ is used<br />

loosely, as to get to the Porthcawl route meant having to cross the bridge and proceed a<br />

further 200 yards up hill where it was impossible to see the bus coming until it was upon<br />

you.<br />

ABS Thornycr<strong>of</strong>t A1 <strong>of</strong> Mr. Gray, Tonteg.<br />

9<br />

The Porthcawl road also<br />

carried a frequent service<br />

<strong>of</strong> buses operated by the<br />

Amalgamated Bus Services<br />

organisation. This was an<br />

association formed by<br />

several independent<br />

operators in a fight against<br />

the big companies who<br />

were trying to run them<br />

<strong>of</strong>f the road. For the most<br />

part Thornycr<strong>of</strong>t A1’s and<br />

A2’s predominated in the<br />

ABS fleet, painted a dull<br />

red with white windows<br />

and ro<strong>of</strong>, though there<br />

were many variations to this. At this time there were five members and remarkably<br />

some stayed together well into the post-war years. They were finally reduced in number<br />

by consolidations <strong>of</strong> one sort or another rather than any takeover by one <strong>of</strong> the big<br />

companies. The most well<strong>–</strong>known, longest lasting name in the ABS was S.A. Bebb <strong>of</strong><br />

Llantwit Fardre who absorbed the last <strong>of</strong> the ABS members in 1974.<br />

After Rhydyfelin and Upper Boat the scenery changed to a more rural setting with<br />

the winding road passing green fields on either side in the much widened valley. This<br />

tranquil scene was shattered in the mid-1930s and thereafter by the construction <strong>of</strong> the


Treforest Trading Estate. Why it was named Treforest I don’t know as we had past that<br />

village some two miles back.<br />

The village <strong>of</strong> Nantgarw, which was once famous for its porcelain, saw us exchange<br />

the Pontypridd to Caerphilly service that branched <strong>of</strong>f left up a steep hill. The Markham<br />

to Cardiff service also descended the same hill. This latter route was another joint<br />

operation provided by Cardiff Corporation, Caerphilly UDC and West Monmouthshire<br />

Omnibus Board and operated hourly on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The<br />

frequency was boosted up the rest <strong>of</strong> the week to half hour headway. Cardiff turned out<br />

their Leyland Tigers for this service, with Caerphilly using TSM B10A’s or Thornycr<strong>of</strong>t<br />

Cygnets. West Mon used their Leyland Lions which were painted in maroon, slightly<br />

darker than Rhondda’s fleet, with a light cream band beneath the windows. The fleetname<br />

was picked out in gold with an elaborate crest between West and Mon.<br />

A further mile brought us to the straggling village <strong>of</strong> Taffs Well at whose southern<br />

end the valley again narrowed to become a wooded gorge dominated on the left by<br />

Castle Goch perched high amongst the trees. The valley floor squeezed in two railway<br />

lines, two roads, a canal and <strong>of</strong> course the river Taff, while overhead, over 100 feet up in<br />

the air, soared the massive Walnut Tree Viaduct. This structure <strong>of</strong> lattice steel girders<br />

carried a freight line <strong>of</strong> the former Barry Railway which tapped the rich coalfields <strong>of</strong> the<br />

West Monmouthshire valleys. (This edifice was demolished in the 1970s though one<br />

masonry pier still remains. Ed.) Here we were also joined by another bus service which<br />

operated on a two hourly headway. This was the Western Welsh service from Church<br />

Village to Cardiff which usually saw one <strong>of</strong> their more ancient buses in operation.<br />

After Tongwynlais we reached the northern outskirts <strong>of</strong> Cardiff in the form <strong>of</strong> a<br />

collection <strong>of</strong> houses known as Hollybush. Here we performed the morning ritual <strong>of</strong><br />

picking up the tea can, as just <strong>of</strong>f the main road lived a lady who earned a little pin money<br />

by providing billycans <strong>of</strong> steaming tea to the inward bound bus crews. This was used to<br />

wash down their sandwiches which they gobbled down during their layover at Cardiff.<br />

Once aboard it was the conductor’s duty to see that the precious liquid did not spill<br />

over during the rest <strong>of</strong> the journey.<br />

A little under a mile further on we reached Whitchurch and the terminus <strong>of</strong> Cardiff’s<br />

23 service that served this place. Incidentally, although joined up to the city by a built up<br />

area, Whitchurch lay outside the city boundary. The 23 route was integrated with the<br />

Pontypridd-Cardiff service providing a 5 minute frequency for most <strong>of</strong> the day however<br />

after the city boundary at Riches Road was reached the Pontypridd buses were only<br />

allowed to set down passengers.<br />

Outstanding in my memory were two Dennis 4 tonners from about 1925/6 with<br />

covered tops but open staircases that crept along at a sedate pace between Whitchurch<br />

and the city centre on their solid tyres. Even the most modern buses that put in an<br />

appearance on this route, namely some <strong>of</strong> the four Thornycr<strong>of</strong>t LC double decks bought<br />

in 1930, had the look and style <strong>of</strong> an earlier period.<br />

10


(These Thornycr<strong>of</strong>ts LC’s were fitted with 4 cylinder engines as the new manager at Cardiff,<br />

Wm. Forbes, had a liking for this type <strong>of</strong> engine. They were obtained with a huge discount at<br />

£765 for the chassis and £500 for the body by Hall Lewis, who were then in liquidation. In<br />

1934 the batch received Gardner oil engines. Ed.)<br />

On we travelled along what had now became North Road to Gabalfa where to our<br />

left, in what was perhaps the inappropriately named Whitchurch Road, as it never went<br />

near the place, was the terminus <strong>of</strong> the No. I tram route. Colum Road ushered us into<br />

Cardiff’s magnificent civic centre and on to our terminus at the Gorsedd Gardens<br />

directly opposite the city hall clock which usually hovered between 9.00 and 9.05am<br />

when we arrived. Gorsedd Gardens was also the terminal point for the services from<br />

Pontypridd, Ferndale, Aberdare/Swansea, Church Village and Markham all <strong>of</strong> which took<br />

a different approach to the place than we did, coming down North Road instead <strong>of</strong><br />

Colum Road.<br />

As we reached our destination, a quick wave to the driver as we passed his cab and<br />

we raced <strong>of</strong>f to our respective places <strong>of</strong> work, leaving the bus empty for the crew to<br />

partake <strong>of</strong> their sandwiches plus <strong>of</strong> course, the contents <strong>of</strong> the billycan so carefully<br />

guarded by the conductor.<br />

(In a future edition we will dip into Mr Hughes’ experiences <strong>of</strong> buses in Cardiff City. Ed.)<br />

11


12


13


SEEING THE LIGHT; by Paul Burgess<br />

As the swinging sixties dawned, the boom years for Britain’s bus industry were beginning<br />

to slip away. With passenger numbers and ticket revenues falling, economies were<br />

sought, and secondary sources <strong>of</strong> revenue keenly examined. Mobile advertising may not<br />

have been new, but many fleets increased the number carried, and others introduced<br />

them for the first time. Some fleets saw long established liveries altered to<br />

accommodate adverts, much to the dismay <strong>of</strong> many observers. Cheaper ways <strong>of</strong><br />

applying adverts also followed, using printed paper rolls, though the growing trend<br />

toward all-over adverts would keep sign writers busy for several more years. The next<br />

development came about for two somewhat different reasons, both the result <strong>of</strong><br />

advancements in technology.<br />

Those <strong>of</strong> you with classic cars (or a long memory) will be familiar with the dynamo,<br />

an electrical generator which can trace its roots back to Michael Faraday. The humble<br />

dynamo produced a meagre output for its size, and nothing when the engine was at idle.<br />

Regular renewal <strong>of</strong> carbon brushes and adjustment <strong>of</strong> mechanical control boxes gave<br />

fleet electricians plenty to do. The alternator changed all this at a stroke. It effectively<br />

squeezed three dynamos into the space <strong>of</strong> one, did away with high-current brushes and<br />

even produced useful power at idle speed. All <strong>of</strong> a sudden buses had far more electrical<br />

power available, and the fleet electricians could relax a little. Buses stranded with flat<br />

batteries became a rarity, and it was soon realised that there was power to spare.<br />

Around 1958 Phillips announced the transistorised lighting inverter which turned flat<br />

electricity (dc) into the wavy electricity (ac) needed by fluorescent tube lighting. This<br />

major advance gave the double benefit <strong>of</strong> increased lighting levels yet using less power<br />

than traditional filament lamps. Looking at it another way, there was power to spare!<br />

Advertising agencies like Griffiths & Millington immediately realised that this new<br />

technology was well suited for illuminated exterior adverts, <strong>of</strong>fering advertisers the<br />

chance to brightly display their messages along every route. Many larger fleets took<br />

delivery <strong>of</strong> buses equipped with large illuminated panels, most being double deckers.<br />

Locally, Western Welsh and Red & White both signed up, but Cardiff Corporation<br />

perhaps wisely declined. After a few short years, the novelty had worn <strong>of</strong>f, and<br />

advertisers baulked at the extra cost. Most were abandoned and covered by<br />

conventional paper or vinyl adverts. Many operators removed all trace <strong>of</strong> them at<br />

overhaul, with the result that very few survive into preservation.<br />

Cardiff did however acquire some Tyne & Wear Atlanteans following extensive<br />

hiring in 1977. Perhaps reflecting the shortage <strong>of</strong> vehicles, 24 JVK was hurriedly outshopped<br />

in CCT orange with its previous owners illuminated advert untouched. After<br />

the missing fuse was reinstated, (no idea by whom) the full effect <strong>of</strong> its vibrant blue and<br />

yellow message- “It’s more than a good job with the PTE”, blazed ironically out over the<br />

streets <strong>of</strong> Cardiff.<br />

14


Red & White took several Lodekkas and<br />

Western Welsh had some Atlanteans with<br />

<strong>of</strong>fside adverts, but these seem to be all.<br />

Notable rarities were a batch <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Wales Transport AEC Reliances with<br />

illuminated ro<strong>of</strong> cove adverts.<br />

Very few nocturnal images <strong>of</strong> working<br />

advert panels are known, but happily<br />

Aldershot & District Dennis Loline 462<br />

EOT has recently been restored with a<br />

working illuminated period advert for a<br />

motor dealer.<br />

The advent <strong>of</strong> LED arrays has seen a revival <strong>of</strong> the illuminated advert now capable <strong>of</strong><br />

animated images. One wonders if it will find greater success this time!<br />

As used on some Western Welsh Atlanteans.<br />

15


16


17


Vale & Valley Link December 1976<br />

18


SWANSEA BUS MUSEUM RUNNING DAY;<br />

On the 24 th February CTPG members took their two Massey bodied Leyland PD’s, the<br />

former Bedwas & Machen U.D.C. No. 6 and Caerphilly’s No.32 to the Swansea event on<br />

a bitterly sub-zero day.<br />

Both vehicles behaved impeccably a tribute to those who have worked on them. It<br />

was the first event that No.6 had undertaken in its original livery and it looked superb.<br />

The only down side to the day was the attendance probably due to the low temperature<br />

and the Capital Cup Final involving Swansea City and Bradford.<br />

19<br />

At the museum it was very<br />

interesting to see their<br />

restoration <strong>of</strong> the 1959 AEC<br />

Bridgemaster UCY 837 was well<br />

advanced, a mammoth task if<br />

there ever was one. This vehicle<br />

was formerly 1203 in the fleet <strong>of</strong><br />

South Wales Transport Co. Ltd.<br />

The road runs followed the<br />

usual routes to Oystermouth,<br />

Mumbles, Caswell Bay, Pennard<br />

and Swansea town centre using<br />

former S.W.T. AEC Regents and<br />

Bristol VRT’s, a AEC Reliance <strong>of</strong><br />

Neath & Cardiff Coaches as well as our own Leyland PD’s.<br />

On display for the first time was the AEC 403 type, CY 5981 which had been<br />

acquired during 2012 still<br />

bearing South Wales<br />

Transport signage. This was<br />

from the second batch <strong>of</strong> this<br />

type <strong>of</strong> AEC bus purchased<br />

by SWT and is now 90 years<br />

old. Unfortunately this<br />

acquisition lacks an engine<br />

and gear box and is viewed as<br />

a long term project.<br />

This museum is well worth<br />

another visit. Let’s hope the<br />

weather is warmer next time.<br />

Paul Gilbertson


FEBRUARY MEETING -- LIVING WITH THE PAST;<br />

This was a slide show entitled, “Living in the Past” with commentary, presented by Mac<br />

Winfield. The start <strong>of</strong> our show was delayed slightly by our discussion <strong>of</strong> the new<br />

Barry Rally Site for the <strong>2013</strong> Barry Festival <strong>of</strong> Transport, but eventually got underway<br />

at 20:00.<br />

As the date <strong>of</strong> the evening meeting (20 th February <strong>2013</strong>), was the 63 rd anniversary <strong>of</strong><br />

the closure <strong>of</strong> the Cardiff Corporation Tramway system, appropriately, a series <strong>of</strong><br />

Cardiff tramway photos were presented. These showed double and single deck cars<br />

during the hey-day <strong>of</strong> Cardiff tram operation in the mid-1930s until closure <strong>of</strong> the<br />

system in 1950. Cars were seen in Cardiff’s main thoroughfare Queen Street in 1938,<br />

Newport Road during war time, Clare Road, Clarence Road, City Road and<br />

Adamsdown including the last tram journey from Whitchurch Road to St. Mary Street<br />

on the final day.<br />

Cardiff Trams No’s 1 and 70 in Castle Street in 1939.<br />

The next section dealt with London’s Trolleybuses, starting from 1931 with the<br />

introduction <strong>of</strong> the famous London United Traction “Diddlers” the 60 vehicles built by<br />

U.C.C. at Feltham were <strong>of</strong>ficially classified A1 and A2 in 1933 by the then newly formed<br />

London Passenger Transport Board who took over all <strong>of</strong> London’s major road passenger<br />

and railway operating companies in that year.<br />

20


A brief history <strong>of</strong> the vehicle identification codes, applied by the L.P.T.B. was given<br />

along with a list <strong>of</strong> the 21 garages, (depots) from which the Trolleybuses operated<br />

between 1931 and the end <strong>of</strong> Trolleybus operation on the 8 th May 1962. Colour and<br />

black and white images were displayed <strong>of</strong> the many common types along with a few <strong>of</strong><br />

the experimental types taken into stock between 1935 and 1940, one <strong>of</strong> the most<br />

interesting <strong>of</strong> these was the Leyland built 4 wheel turning vehicle number 1671, this bus<br />

remained the solitary vehicle <strong>of</strong> this type along with the only 2 axle Trolleybus. At one<br />

point the London Trolleybus system was the largest in the world with over 1.600<br />

vehicles in use, though all told there were 1891 vehicles owned and it remained the<br />

largest system in the UK.<br />

The next item dealt with was the privatised liveries <strong>of</strong> the British railway system.<br />

These slides were restricted to Locomotive operating companies, covering EWS,<br />

Railfreight, Load Haul, Advenza Rail, Colas Rail and a few others. Locos seen were <strong>of</strong><br />

classes 08, 20, 31,37,56, 57, 60, 66, and 67<br />

A break <strong>of</strong> about 15 minutes was then taken as is usual before the second part <strong>of</strong> the<br />

programme which commenced with Northern Municipal Buses <strong>of</strong> the 1950s and 60s, a<br />

chance to see vehicles <strong>of</strong> body types rarely seen in South Wales. Photographs <strong>of</strong><br />

vehicles were shown from the fleets <strong>of</strong> Northampton, Burton, Aston-under-Lyne, Derby,<br />

Leeds and Middlesborough, to name but a few.<br />

Eddie Stobart came up next with 24 views showing, 23 vehicles including their<br />

coach. As would be expected this is quite a modern fleet <strong>of</strong> trucks <strong>of</strong> various types and<br />

chassis makes with trailers to suit every type <strong>of</strong> transport operation, which include<br />

curtain siders, biomass trailers, refrigeration, containers, tankers and timber trailers to<br />

name a few. Vehicles <strong>of</strong> Volvo, Scania, M.A.N, Mercedes and DAF manufacture were<br />

seen at Carlisle and Crick depots as well as in action on Britain’s miles <strong>of</strong> motorway.<br />

Our last few slides were <strong>of</strong> the two preserved AEC Regal IIIs one former Gelligaer U.<br />

D. C. Longwell Green bodied bus <strong>of</strong> 1954 vintage now a resident <strong>of</strong> the Welsh Museum<br />

Collection and the other former Bedwas & Machen U.D.C. number 7, JWO355 the only<br />

Bruce bodied saloon in captivity, seen in service in the 1950s and 60s and also seen in its<br />

more recent surroundings in Durban, South Africa…….can it be repatriated ?<br />

I think all present enjoyed the evening and hope we can do it again.<br />

--------------------------------------------------------------------<br />

Mac Winfield.<br />

21


MARCH MEETING --BERWYN'S FILM NIGHT<br />

The film show started with footage <strong>of</strong> the launch <strong>of</strong> ex-Bedwas & Machen PD3 PAX466F<br />

by the Mayor <strong>of</strong> Caerphilly on the very cold morning <strong>of</strong> 2 March <strong>2013</strong>.<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> the rest <strong>of</strong> the programme showed scenes from the rallies our member<br />

Berwyn Pryce Jones had been to during 2012, all <strong>of</strong> which had, somewhat remarkably<br />

considering the poor weather <strong>of</strong> 2012, been held in dry conditions even if not particularly<br />

warm and sunny.<br />

Our first visit on screen was to the Wythall Bus Museum where the crowds were so<br />

large that a car park on a nearly business estate had to be utilised for parking with two<br />

buses <strong>–</strong> one an ex-WMPTE single-deck Fleetline <strong>–</strong> used to ferry visitors to the museum<br />

site. An added attraction for this visit was the inclusion <strong>of</strong> vehicles from the Aston Manor<br />

collection as both static and running exhibits.<br />

Just to add some variety to the proceedings and on a strictly non-bus theme, there<br />

followed a short interlude along the lines <strong>of</strong> ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ television<br />

programme when the presenter described how he’'d traced his aunt’s youngest sister and<br />

arranged for them both to meet for the very first time, one aged 84 and the other 88.<br />

Back to the buses and visits were paid to both the Group’s rallies at Barry and<br />

Merthyr, to the Beachley, Brislington, Swansea and Warminster Running Days, and to two<br />

new events, the Newbury Bus Rally and the (new-style) Crosville running day at Weston-<br />

Super-Mare. To add a little more variety, a holiday in Scotland produced footage <strong>of</strong> two<br />

preserved MacBraynes coaches on their way to a rally in the Highlands and <strong>of</strong> a visit to<br />

the new Waterside Museum in Glasgow where all the transport exhibits (four steam<br />

engines, two trams and a single bus) are laid out in such a way as to make it almost<br />

impossible to film or photograph them satisfactorily.<br />

Two short sequences with birds <strong>of</strong> the feathered variety were also included: one <strong>of</strong> a<br />

ringed plover almost totally camouflaged by pebbles on a remote beach on Skye and the<br />

other <strong>of</strong> a seagull happily bringing up her two chicks on spare track at Mallaig station<br />

despite the daily visits <strong>of</strong> ‘The Jacobite’ steam train from Fort William!<br />

--------------------------------------------------<br />

Berwyn Prys Jones<br />

22


1954 Advert featuring KDW 259 <strong>of</strong> Newport Corporation<br />

23


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY;<br />

Meetings will be held at Penarth Conservative Club at 19.30 on the third Wednesday <strong>of</strong><br />

the month. Summer Road Runs from Barry Depot will leave at 19.00.<br />

Sun. 28 th Apl.<br />

Sun. 5 th May<br />

Wed. 15 th May<br />

Sun. 18 th May<br />

Sun. 9 th June<br />

Sun. 16 th June<br />

Wed 19 th June<br />

Sat. 22 nd June<br />

Sun. 14 th July<br />

Wed. 17 th July<br />

Sat. 20 th July<br />

Sun. 11 th Aug.<br />

Wed. 21 st Aug.<br />

Sun. 8 th Sept.<br />

Wed. 18 th Sept.<br />

Sat. 28 th Sept.<br />

Wed. 16 th Oct.<br />

Sun. 27 th Oct.<br />

Wed. 20 th Nov.<br />

Wed. 18 th Dec.<br />

Bristol Harbourside Rally and Running Day.<br />

CTPG Municipal Running Event and Depot Open Day.<br />

Road Run T.B.A.<br />

Wales on Wheels event at Swansea Waterfront Museum.<br />

<strong>2013</strong> Barry Festival <strong>of</strong> Transport to be held at Barry Island.<br />

Swansea Bus Museum Open Day and Festival <strong>of</strong> Transport.<br />

Road Run T.B.A.<br />

Abertillery Classic Vehicle Show<br />

Glos & Warks Railway Bus Rally at Toddington Station.<br />

Road Run T.B.A.<br />

Ebbw Vale Classic Bus Day.<br />

Brislington Rally & Running Day , Bristol.<br />

Road Run T.B.A.<br />

Bus & Coach Wales <strong>2013</strong> at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre.<br />

Joint Meeting with Omnibus Society.<br />

Red & White Reunion Rally at Beachley.<br />

Meeting T.B.A.<br />

Swansea Bus Museum Open Day.<br />

Meeting T.B.A.<br />

Annual Quiz Night with Chris Taylor.<br />

Details <strong>of</strong> all events will be updated regularly on our website. www.ctpg.co.uk<br />

We hope you have enjoyed the first issue <strong>of</strong> “Bustler.” We have thought for some time<br />

that our quarterly was a bit more than just a newsletter. The chosen name is also<br />

appropriate as our home at Barry was also the first home to the “Bustler” back in 1986.<br />

REMINDER! We can now send members our newsletter in PDF format straight to your<br />

computer. This will save the group printing and postage costs. If you would like this<br />

facility, please inform the editor at viv.corbin@ntlworld.com<br />

No one has resolved the mystery bus<br />

featured in the last issue. GTX 484 was a<br />

Gilford Hera with Alexander C32F body<br />

used by E C Morgan <strong>of</strong> Tonypandy. It had<br />

been new to WSMT in 5/34 as CS 119.<br />

After war service with the Royal Navy as<br />

RN 7352 it was re-registered by Sidney<br />

Davies (dlr) <strong>of</strong> Penygraig in 1948.<br />

24


25


About the CTPG<br />

The CTPG lease the former Western Welsh Depot on Broad Street, Barry from the Vale <strong>of</strong><br />

Glamorgan Council. The CTPG organises two vehicle rallies each year and holds a monthly<br />

meeting on the third Wednesday <strong>of</strong> each month at the Penarth Conservative Club. Members<br />

receive a quarterly journal recently renamed BUSTLER and if they wish they can help to restore<br />

the Group’s buses, ride on them and travel to rallies.<br />

The Group aims to preserve representative samples <strong>of</strong> the buses that ran in South East Wales and<br />

the Valleys, as well as memorabilia and records <strong>of</strong> the operating companies.<br />

Annual membership <strong>of</strong> the Group is £20, which runs from the date <strong>of</strong> joining. Joint membership is<br />

also available for £25.<br />

CTPG Committee<br />

Chairman<br />

Deputy Chairman<br />

Secretary<br />

Mike Taylor, 10 Ger Nant Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed CF82 7FE<br />

Phone: 07733 302242<br />

email: mikeystrad73@btinternet.com<br />

Chris Taylor, 31 Heol Wen, Rhiwbina Cardiff CF14 6EG<br />

Phone: 02920 693734<br />

Gayle Alder, 16 Carter Place, Fairwater, Cardiff CF5 3NP<br />

Treasurer Paul Hamley email: squash33@btinternet.com<br />

Membership Secretary<br />

Derek Perry, 11 Countess Place, Penarth CF64 3UJ<br />

Other Non Committee Post Holders<br />

Bustler Editor Viv Corbin email: viv.corbin@ntlworld.com<br />

Webmaster CTPG Mac Winfield email: info@ctpg.co.uk<br />

Publicity Officer Tudor Thomas email: tudoralt@cf14.freeserve.co.uk<br />

www.ctpg.co.uk<br />

Published by the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group<br />

(Registered as a Charity No. 1063157)<br />

The opinions and views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those <strong>of</strong> the Group, its<br />

Committee or the Editor. Every effort is made to give due credit for all photographs and material<br />

used in this newsletter. Should there be any unintended breach <strong>of</strong> copy right; the Editor must be<br />

informed to enable a correcting acknowledgement to be made.<br />

26


Former Western Welsh 675 was sought out by Paul Gilbertson on 15 th February resting in the<br />

East Midlands. Below; Paul Hamley says he lined up his camera at the Caerphilly re-launch<br />

and the statue <strong>of</strong> Tommy Cooper appeared <strong>–</strong> “Just Like That!” Ding Ding - Fez Please!<br />

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