Buses at Laindon Station

By Trevor Savage

This is a City Coaches Bus at Laindon Station sometime between 1946 and 1952.  In my childhood sometime between 1955 & 1957, I can remember them being referred to as old Tom Buses.

Editor's note: Many thanks to David Lang for arranging permission to reproduce this photograph on the LDCA website. More information on the coach in this photograph and other trolleybuses trams and coaches that provided public transport in our district, can be found at the SCT'61 website: http://www.sct61.org.uk

Photo:City Coach B28 at Laindon Station

City Coach B28 at Laindon Station

Essex Bus Enthusiasts Group (Frank Church Collection)

This page was added by Trevor Savage on 04/06/2014.
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If you look under general - links to other sites of interest you will be taken to sct61 website where you can find photographs of many of the buses that were a familiar sight to many of us through the ages. John has a great interest in the buses that served our community and I am sure that he will provide us with details as time goes by.

By Ian Mott
On 16/06/2014

John Rugg’s 1959 photograph of a bus in Wash Road appeared for the month of March in the Laindon Archives’ 2013 calendar.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 15/06/2014

There is a lovely photo on the website mentioned above SCT'61 showing a single decker bus, one of the Vange-allocated vehicles being one of the MPU-registered L5G/DP31R batch in the aptly named Wash Road, Laindon during February 1959, the photo was taken by John Rugg. Clearly, knowing the sensitive views of the editor about such things as the internet, perhaps John Rugg could post it here himself.

The photo has special memories to me as sometimes the bus to Laindon Park School would divert through this route on a rainy winter's morning and cause a huge wave as shown in John's photo. Also my present car has an MPU number plate, a good old Essex registration.

By Richard Haines
On 15/06/2014

The City Coach vehicle in the photograph was new in 1946 and was operated until 1952 when City Coach Company Ltd was sold to the British Transport Commission and passed on to Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Services on the 17th February 1952. However the vehicle was withdrawn in August 1952 and sold to a contractor in Dagenham.

Tom Webster trading as Old Tom Motor Service operated in Laindon and district from 1921 to May 1936 when the business was acquired by City Coach Company.

By John Rugg
On 14/06/2014

Hy Ken, wonderful to see the old buses again, remember getting the 254 from Laindon Station to Gt. Burstead, do not know what make they were, but must have had bad gearboxes judging from the trouble finding the right gear.

Like you, I drove trucks when I was 18, for Jeakins & Hillburns for years, and then moved on to other companies, finishing off at Brain Haulage for a few years, wonderful job Brainy's.

Then moved to Sydney and drove goverment buses for 37 years, now retired, but have had many wonderful memories of  the road and not so wonderful ones as well.  

By Brian Slaughter
On 10/06/2014

Those old buses, how we all travelled  about in them.  I used to catch the school bus that ran along Lower Dunton road, mainly in the winter, summer time we usually walked along Beach Hall Gardens, up the Glade and down Berry Lane to school.

My favourite was the old Bedford as per the photo shows, they had their own sound and smell (usually stale tobacco smoke), they trundled along the lanes at their own leisurely pace, probably about 20mph. Now and then we would get a Commer, that had a different sound (but the same  smell unfortunately).  Both had four speed crash boxes and I watched, fascinated as the drivers changed gears, stayed on the narrow roadway, stopped and picked up other kids and carried on making it all look so easy. To a 7/8 year old kid that had yet to travel in a car!, (my dad had a motorbike and sidecar) it seemed somehow magic.

I did my first long bus trip in about 1954, went to Maldon in an Eastern National double decker with an older friend, picked it up from the Laindon hotel forecourt and I think it took well over an hour to do the journey; but what a ride, up the front upstairs all the way, ducking as we passed under low tree branches, looking out over fields and peoples gardens, you couldn't see much from a low sidecar. I never dreamed at that time that I would eventually work on London's Green Line service from Romford or that I would years later be driving buses and coaches (and trucks) in the Antipodes which I did for over thirty years.

Those pix lead to links that find the Eastern Nation route 251 from Southend to Wood Green in north London, they ran every 15 minutes for years and sometimes if my motor bike was out of action I used to catch one from the FOW to Romford market to get to the London Road Green Line depot. 

I think the Bristol Lodekkers were a much better bus to travel in than the old RTs that I used to work on even though they had a full manual gearbox, the RTs had a semi auto or pre select box.  None of them had power steering or decent seats for the drivers and I believe the old RTs had mechanical brakes, those drivers were a tough bunch for sure.

The last coach I drove here was an automatic Volvo with a Bostrom seat and power steering, aircon and all the driver comforts you needed.  My, how times have changed!  Hats off to those old bus companies and their crews, they did a sterling job, regards to all, Ken Page Melbourne.

By Ken Page
On 08/06/2014
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