| On 26 My 2015 I happened upon GFM882, a Bristol L6A with ECW B35F bodywork outside Minehead Station today. Currently preserved with Quantock Heritage it was new to Crosville as their KB73, later SLA73 in 1948, passed to Thames Valley in 1963 as their S302 (hence its current livery) then to various independents before entering preservation - though it is actually working a heritage service here!
The near side was awkward to photograph due to the bus stop!
Now some older photos first some taken at the West Somerset Railway's Spring Steam Gala at Bishops Lydeard Station where they were running connecting services. Note, in 2004 the name of the company changed to Quantock Heritage, some still know it by its original name of Rexquote Heritage - click on the thumbnail to see the full size image.
Waiting for passengers on the Park and Ride shuttle they were operating is 538JHU an ex Bristol Omnibus Bristol MW with ECW 45 seat bodywork. This type of bus was once commonplace on rural services across the South West, operating for Bristol, Western and Southern National, Hants and Dorset and Wilts and Dorset.
A slightly different view of 538JHU as it returns from the car park to the station.
891VFM is an ex Crosville Bristol FSF with ECW bodywork, in this case with an open top. The weather on the day was such that it spent the afternoon stood here, such buses are very nice to use when the weather is kind, but are of limited value on cold, misty March days.
Another Bristol Lodekka, this time an LD, the original version of this groundbreaking low height double deck chassis which did away with the need for the awful sunken gangway and gave a lower step into the bus and a flat floor on the lower deck. This is another ex Crosville vehicle, a long way from it's old stamping ground in North Wales.
Another bus that was a long way from its original home is this Bristol L type half cab single deck bus, AJA132 formerly North Western's No. 372 viewed from the station platform. The chassis was new in 1938, it was rebodied by Burlingham in 1950, the age of the chassis being disguised by the fitment of a post war style radiator.
UHY360 was Bristol's C8320, a member of the City Services fleet. It is a Bristol K with ECW highbridge bodywork.
Click here to go to the Quantock Motor Services site.
Another ex North Western single decker is RDB846, a 1961 AEC Reliance with Alexander bodywork.
LHY330 and AJA132 wait for custom outside the railway station. The presence of buses of this era added much to the setting of the steam trains, it was possible to have a powerful shot of nostalgia, the sound of 5 cylinder Gardner engine on one side and a steam loco moving around on the other side.
A last view of the day, some unrestored buses in Rexquote's yard, which is situated just behind the wall visible on the right of the previous photo. Hopefully these too will be restored and will feature in a future update to this section.
VDV753, a rare ex Western National Bristol LDL is seen outside Minehead railway station waiting to work a journey on service 400, a tourist service across Exmoor.
For comparison a view of VDV752 in service with Devon General, seen here on Paignton sea front. VDV752 is also now in the Rexquote fleet.
Another view of 1935 while still a Western National bus, seen here on depot in Cornwall.
Another open topper on the 400 at Minehead, this one's a normal length LD. BAS563 was originally with Southern Vectis on the Isle of Wight but lost its original registration before sale by them, the "DL" letters are prized on the island as they can give you priority on boarding busy ferries.
BAS564 is another ex Southern Vectis Bristol LD which has lost its original registration. Painted in a very different livery to its sister pictured above is also seen at Minehead on the 400 service across Exmoor. This route certainly shows that LD's are still very capable buses as it includes some of the steepest roads in Britain.
Another ex Southern Vectis open top Bristol LD, BAS562, turned up at Bishops Lydeard on a connecting service for the Steam Fayre in August 2002. Click here to go to the Quantock Motor Services site.
Seen at Minehead station is CHG545, a Leyland Tiger PS2/14 with East Lancs B39F bodywork. It was new in 1954 to Burnley, Colne and Nelson.
Moving on to the 2003 WSR Steam Fayre is ex Grey Cars (Devon General) 890 (890ADV), an AEC Reliance with a Willowbrook Viking 41 seat coach body, seen here at Bishops Lydeard station.
Parked up opposite 890 was an ex Morecombe & Heysham Corporation AEC Regent III 6811A, JTE546, while ex Stockport Corporation no. 65 Leyland Titan PD2/40, HJA965E passed between them.
A newcomer at the 2005 WSR Spring Steam Gala was ex Ribble "White Lady" double deck coach 1248 (OCK219), a Leyland Titan PD2 with the Ribble characteristic full front bodywork and unusual shaped destination blinds.
An addition to the fleet for 2005 is this ex London Transport AEC Routemaster which has been converted to open top, it is seen here at Minehead working Quantock's Exmoor Explorer service. For some reason it has been named "White Lady" despite its dissimilarity to the genuine Ribble one above.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend 5-7 May 2007 they were holding a special running weekend to mark their 30th anniversary, this one is a Bristol KSW with ECW body OHY938 which was in Bath Services livery seen at Bishops Lydeard on a Minehead to Taunton working.
There are photos of many of the Quantock Heritage buses in action at their running day on Quantock Running Days 2009
Two photos of Bristol LDL VDV752, ex WNOC 1935, loading on Minehead seafront on a dull August afternoon in 2011, despite the clouds it was well loaded on top by the time it departed.
On 8 July 2012 Quantock were running heritage bus trips around Minehead in connection with the West Somerset Railway, this is ABV43B a Leyland Titan PD2A/24 with East Lancs body work which was new to Blackburn Corporation in 1964.
The other bus out that day was one of the last half cab, rear entrance buses built, HJA965E a Leyland Titan PD2/40 with East Lancs (Neepsend) H36/28R body which was new to Stockport Corporation in 1967.
Two weeks later HJA965E was outside Quantock's Bishops Lydeard depot and then went past the West Somerset Railway station.
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This site was last updated 27-05-2015
Photos not otherwise credited are ©2001-2012 S G J Huddy. Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.