The Little Bus Company the-bus.gif (21152 bytes) LITTLE BUS COMPANY

6 Appleyard, Haworth Close,
Halifax, HX1 2NN.
Tel: 01422 301600

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www.little-bus.com

 

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BMR3
AEC Bridgemaster Rear Platform
,
Short - 27' 8"

 

The AEC Bridgemaster was developed, under AEC auspices, by Crossley Motors as AEC’s low floor alternative to the Bristol Lodekka, which, at the time, was only available to Tilling Group operators. The Bridgemaster was conceived as an integrally constructed bus, with separate front and rear running units, similar to the London Routemaster, and all production vehicles were bodied by Park Royal Vehicles Ltd in West London.

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Only 180 Bridgemasters were built, in long and short versions, with rear or front entrance, before AEC production of low-floor chassis progressed to the Renown, which used a conventional chassis.

The short 27’ 8" (H41/27R) version of the Bridgemaster was very much a Cardiff bus, with twenty with platform doors being supplied to Cardiff based Western Welsh in 1958/1959 and six similar buses to Cardiff Corporation Transport in 1960.

The kit is based on the Cardiff Corporation buses. Welsh municipal operators differed from those in England, in that they could operate outside the municipal boundaries, and Cardiff’s Bridgemasters were employed on the lengthy 36 interurban (or perhaps I should say "intervalley") route between Cardiff and Tredegar, operation of which was shared with Caerphilly Urban District Council and with the West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board.

The six English short Bridgemasters were two supplied to Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport Joint Committee in 1959 and a further four in 1960. These had open rear platforms, so will require conversion of the kit and will also require removal of the Cave-Brown heater radiators on the front upper-deck panel. The last of the six, 133, NJV 995, was converted to open top configuration for seafront service and outlived its colleagues until the late ‘70s.

A handy source of reference is the Bridgemaster booklet produced in 1979 by the Oxford Bus Preservation Syndicate, from which the following fleet details have been sourced.

Western Welsh 1958-1959 PBO 683-702 683-702    (Cardiff registration)

Cardiff Corporation 1960 TUH 361-366 361-366 (Cardiff registration)

Grimsby-Cleethorpes 1959 MEE 700-701 108-109 (Grimsby registration)

Grimsby-Cleethorpes 1960 NJV 992-995 130-133 (Grimsby registration)

 

Tony Swift, Kirribilli, NSW, Australia – September 2007

 

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LBC Models Ltd

Registered in England No: 4829422 

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6 Appleyard, Haworth Close,
Halifax, HX1 2NN.

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