The Devon & Dorset Group
  Home Weymouth Rally Torbay Rally Links Contact Future Events News
 
 

GROUP VEHICLES

The Group does not own any vehicles in its own right; they are all owned individually by members.  This is our 'fleet' as it currently exists.  Should you wish to know more about any vehicle please e-mail our General Mailbox using the 'Contact' link above.

View current fleet status & technical details

Devon General 88 (VOD 88K) - 1972 Bristol LHS with Marshall bodywork

The Bristol LHS was a small, lightweight chassis specifically designed for rural routes and was ideal for the narrow, windy, Devon lanes.  88 was one of six ordered by Devon General before the company was absorbed into the National Bus Company and was one of the last buses to be delivered in the famous maroon and ivory livery into which it has recently been restored.  It is unusual in having the rather angular Marshall body which very few operators bought.  88 spent most of its time at Newton Abbot depot before passing to an operator on Guernsey and later worked as an airport bus on Jersey.  Recovered to the mainland for preservation, restoration work commenced in 2005 after several years in storage, culminating in 2009 with a full repaint into traditional Devon General maroon and cream as delivered when new.

Full vehicle history     Read the story of 88's resoration

 

Devon General 563 (ATA 563L) - 1973 Bristol VRT with ECW bodywork

After buying Altanteans in the late 1960s, Devon General then switched to Bristol for their double-deckers and bought a large number of VRTs.  563 was part of the second batch and is an early Series 2 bus and one of the first to feature curved windscreens.  It worked all over the Devon General area including spells at Torquay, Sidmouth and Exeter.  Whilst at Torquay in the late 1970s, it was painted yellow to advertise the now defunct Torbay Aircraft Museum.  It later worked for East Yorkshire Motor Services and Spa Motors of Strathpeffer in the Highlands of Scotland.  It is now back in the South West and has been returned to the poppy red and white livery carried when new.

Full vehicle history

 

Devon General 913 (913 DTT) - 1960 Leyland Atlantean with Roe bodywork

913 is an example of a very early rear-engined double-decker and is an Atlantean PDR1.  It is part of Devon General's second batch of 23 buses.  Between 1959 and 1961 a total of 62 Atlanteans entered service in Torbay, the final nine of those, being the famous 'Sea Dog' class convertible open-toppers.  Only two of the 53 closed top buses still exist and this is the only one currently on the road.  913 ran in public service until 1983, albeit the last few years were spent working in Plymouth for Western National.  After withdrawal, it passed through several preservationist owners and the current owner has, over the past few years, thoroughly restored the bus back to near original condition.

Full vehicle history

 

Devon General 928 (928 GTA) - 1961 Leyland Atlantean with Metro-Cammell convertible open-top bodywork

928 'Sir Humphrey Gilbert' is one of Devon General's famous 'Sea Dog' class convertible open-top Atlanteans, all of which were named after famous historical sea-farers.  When new, the batch of nine identical buses were painted in a reversed livery of cream with maroon bands in the usual Devon General style.  Having convertible tops meant that they could run as open-toppers during the summer and as conventional roofed buses during the winter and were the first rear-engined double-deckers so built.  After retirement from service in Torbay in 1983, 928 spent a few years operating for Lincolnshire (as AFE 387A), before passing through a number of different hands until acquired by the present owner in 2005.  Since then it has undergone quite an extensive internal refurbishment (including replacement of the upper deck floor) and preparation for re-paint.  It is currently in store whilst attention is given to other vehicles in the Group collection.

Full vehicle history

 

 

Devon General 932 (932 GTA) - 1961 Leyland Atlantean with Metro-Cammell convertible open-top bodywork

932

932 'Earl Howe' is another of Devon General's famous 'Sea Dog' class convertible open-top Atlanteans, all of which were named after famous historical sea-farers.  When new, the batch of nine identical buses were painted in a reversed livery of cream with maroon bands in the usual Devon General style.  Having convertible tops meant that they could run as open-toppers during the summer and as conventional roofed buses during the winter and were the first rear-engined double-deckers so built.  After retirement from service with Devon General in 1983, 932 spent 6 years operating for East Yorkshire Motor Services, before being acquired by renowned DG preservationist, Bob Follwell.  Bob undertook a comprehensive restoration and owned the vehicle for the next 24 years until his untimely death in early 2014.  The bus passed to Dave Wright of Staffordshire who was very keen to see it go to a good home.  It was acquired by the Group in December 2014.

                                                                                              Full vehicle history

 

 

Southern National 1159 (AFJ 766T) - 1979 Bristol VRT with ECW bodywork

1159 is a Series 3 VR, new to Western National at Weymouth in 1979.  Remarkably, this bus managed to stay at Weymouth and Bridport depots for its entire career of over twenty-five years, despite ownership passing to the reformed Southern National in 1983 and later to First.  Interestingly, it should have been one of very few VRs in the country to receive First 'Barbie' livery but somehow, when the time came, it emerged in Southern National green and cream!  Finally withdrawn in the summer of 2005, it was secured for preservation and given a fresh coat of green and cream a couple of years later.

Full vehicle history

 

Bayline 701 (P701BTA) - 1997 Volvo B6LE with Alexander bodywork

701 at Lawes Bridge - 080811

The first low-floor vehicles delivered to Stagecoach SW were the Volvo B6LEs (P701-714BTA) during March 1997, this marking the return to ordering full-size single deckers after a period dominated by minibuses.  701 was the first of the batch to be used for driver training ahead of the launch of the remainder on the '12' service (Newton Abbot - Brixham) in April of that year.  The bus spent much of its early life in the Torbay area but then moved to Exeter in 2002 and also saw service in Exmouth during 2010.  701 has been acquired directly from Stagecoach and retains many original features.  A re-paint back into 'stripey' livery with EasyRider branding has now been completed..

Full vehicle history

 

Devon General 1804 (A680 KDV) - 1983 Leyland Olympian with ECW bodywork

The last new double-deckers bought by Devon General before the minibus revolution and later take-over by Stagecoach, were seven Leyland Olympians such as 1804.  The batch was split between Exeter and Torquay, 1804 being one of the Torquay-based ones.  It spent much of its time working on the 'Riviera Connection' express service to Plymouth before transferring to Exeter depot.  After Devon General, it worked for Southern National at Weymouth, Isle of Man Transport and the coach company Sanders of Holt in Norfolk.  It is currently painted in the cream and red livery which it carried in the late 1980s.

Full vehicle history

 

Devon General 2883 (FDV 829V) - 1979 Leyland National 2 integral

2883 was the first Mark2 National to be delivered to the National Bus Company and was one of three for the Devon General division of Western National.  Delivered in green, which was fleet livery between 1979 and 1983, it was based at Exeter depot for most of its life in Devon before being sold to Stagecoach in 1989.  It then spent three years at Winchester depot before moving to Worthing for another nine and was the last operational National to run for Stagecoach South.  Sold for preservation in the Midlands during 2001 and restored to original green livery, it changed hands in 2008 and is now back home in the South West.

Full vehicle history

 

Midland Red 5919 (RHA 919G) - 1968 BMMO S23 with BMMO bodywork

Up until 1970, the Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Company (better known as Midland Red) built the majority of their own vehicles in-house.  5919 is an example of their final design of single-deck bus, the S23 and initially it served at Banbury depot, later moving to Malvern in September 1971 and finally Wellington in October 1976.  It stayed at Wellington until withdrawal in July 1980, when still only eleven and a half years old.  Quickly acquired by a preservation group, 5919 was first used as a driver training vehicle before subsequently being preserved in BMMO livery and later in NBC poppy red. 2009 saw the bus returned to original Midland Red BMMO livery with gold underlined fleetnames and very nice it looks too!

Full vehicle history


Devon General 518 (CTT 518C) - 1965 AEC Regent V with Willowbrook bodywork

518 was one of a batch of 6 identical vehicles (515-520) delivered to Devon General during April 1965.  All had the smaller AV470 engine which was later superseded by the more powerful AV590.  518, along with sister vehicle 517, was immediately allocated to Exmouth Depot where it spent most of its time operating routes 59 & 59A (Withycombe - Littleham Village) and route 5 (Exmouth - Crediton) on Sundays.  The bus later saw service in Sidmouth, Exeter, Torquay and Newton Abbot before returning to Exeter for its final 12 months during which it was commonly used on route B (High Meadows - Beacon Heath) and route 2 (Exeter - Newton Abbot via Dawlish & Teignmouth, the doyen of Devon General Regents for many years).  1977 and 1978 saw the gradual withdrawal of all 6 of the batch with 518 the sole survivor by the time of its withdrawal in September 1978

 

Full vehicle history

 

 

TYD 911W - 1981 Leyland Leopard with Duple Dominant bus bodywork

New to the well-known Safeway Services of South Petherton, Somerset, this is a typical heavyweight 'independent' bus of the late 1970s/early 1980s and operated for Safeway for twenty years before moving to Merseyside and working as a driver training vehicle.  The bus is unusual in having 3+2 seating at the rear, to give a high capacity, thus avoiding the need for Safeway to buy a double-decker to cope with heavy peak loadings on their key route into Yeovil.  Following the stint as a training bus, it passed through a couple of preservationists before being acquired by the present owner in 2008. A full re-paint into original Safeway livery was carried-out during 2010.

 

336 EDV - 1960 Bristol SUL4A with ECW bodywork

402 at Loddiswell

The Bristol SU ('small, under floor') was a joint venture between Bristol Commercial Vehicles and Eastern Coach Works and was produced between 1960 and 1966.  At 7'6" wide, they were ideal for the narrow routes of the West Country so Western National and Southern National purchased 133 of the 181 vehicles manufactured.

402 was first registered in December 1960 and was intially allocated to Western National in Minehead.  It remained in service within the Minehead & Taunton area for the next 11 years until June 1971 when it was converted to 'Dual Purpose' use (ie; coach and service bus) after which it served in Plymouth, Minehead, Barnstaple and Bideford before final withdrawal in October 1977.  Further service was then seen with Vintage Coachways (Dartford) before it was eventually acquired for preservation in February 2000.

 
 

 (Photos courtesy of Terry Bennett, Malcolm Audsley, Graeme Selway, Gerry Tormey & Robin Woodcock)

 

Updated 31 January 2015          E&OE.  Nothing contained in this website constitutes a legal contract or guarantees availability.