Vehicle policy 1950-64

As a BTC (later Transport Holding Company – THC) company, Red & White and its former subsidiaries became customers of the Bristol Commercial Vehicles (BCV) range of chassis, with bodywork by Eastern Coachworks (ECW). Previously they had purchased very few vehicles from either manufacturer, but, by the time the last of the Guy Arabs purchased at the end of the privately-owned era were withdrawn in 1969, the R&W fleet was 100% Bristol/ECW.

However, initially several vehicles of other makes, that had been ordered prior to nationalisation, were delivered. A large batch of Leyland Royal Tiger underfloor-engined single deckers, mostly with Lydney bodywork, arrived over an extended period from 1951 to 1953. The last few of the lowbridge Duple bodied Guy Arab double deckers arrived in 1951, while 14 Guy Arab UF single deckers, with rare Duple Roadmaster metal-framed coach bodies, were delivered in 1952 and 1953.

The first Bristol-ECW vehicles arrived in 1953. These were LS underfloor-engined single deckers, 11 buses and 11 coaches. A batch of 6 LD type double deckers were given fleet numbers implying delivery in 1953, but in practice they arrived the following year. Thereafter, the policy followed a fairly typical pattern for a BTC/THC company, with just a few lightweight Bristol SCs purchased in 1957 as the only exceptions to a concentration on heavy duty chassis.

The geography of the operating area meant that few double deckers were owned – neither the natural nor the man-made environment were particularly conducive to double deck operation. One unusual aspect was the complete absence of any front-entrance double deckers. The Bristol MW single decker, produced from 1957-67, was purchased in large numbers. One Chief Engineer of the company is quoted as having wished that the fleet consisted entirely of MWs.