Trams And Buses - Vintage Airfix


Trams and Buses books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- BET Group Bus Fleets - By Jim Blake..
- British Buses 1967 - By Jim Blake..
- British Municipal Bus Operators - By Jim Blake..
- Commuters: The History of a British Way of Life - By Simon Webb..
- Last Years of the London Titan - By Matthew Wharmby..
- Leicester's Trams and Buses - By Andrew H Bartlett..
- London Buses 1970-1980 - By John Laker, Matthew Wharmby..
- London Buses in the 1970s - By Jim Blake..
- London Buses in the 1970s - 1970-1974: From Division to Crisis - By Jim Blake..
- London Transport's Last Buses - By Matthew Wharmby..
- London's Transport Recalled - By Martin Jenkins, Charles Roberts..
- Rails in the Road: A History of Tramways in Britain and Ireland - By Oliver Green..
- Regional Tramways - London Transport - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - Midlands and Southern England - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - Scotland - By Peter Waller..

 


 

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BET Group Bus Fleets

By Jim Blake

BET Group Bus FleetsDescription:

This book looks at the wonderful variety of buses and coaches operated by British Electric Traction group fleets in the 1960s, featuring previously unpublished photographs from Jim Blake's extensive archives.

Not only did these fleets, which served most of England and Wales, have a splendid variety of British-built buses and coaches with chassis manufactured by the likes of AEC, Crossley, Daimler, Dennis, Guy and Leyland – with bodywork by such firms as Park Royal, Weymann, Metro-Cammell, East Lancs, Northern Counties, Roe, Duple, Plaxton, Willowbrook and Leyland again – but they also had an array of distinctive liveries. Many dated back to the early part of the century when the operators first started bus operation. The smart maroon and cream of East Kent, the dark green and cream of Maidstone & District or the light green and cream of Southdown, for example, were supplemented by ornate fleet-names, often in gold lettering. These three fleets were just a few of those that served seaside towns, and will remind readers of holidays they spent in the 1950s and '60s.

Sadly, the years covered by this book are the final years of the BET group, which was taken over by the nationalised Transport Holding Company in late 1967, as a prelude to the creation of the National Bus Company, under which the distinctive liveries of the BET group fleets, and even some of the operators themselves, would disappear.

The 1960s also saw the demise of many traditional types of bus that these fleets operated, owing to the introduction of rear-engined double-deckers, such as the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline, as well as the spread of one-man operation. Many of the photographs featured in this book show the older types in their final days – pure nostalgia for the transport enthusiast!

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British Buses 1967

By Jim Blake

British Buses 1967Description:

This book looks at an important turning point in the history of the bus industry in Britain. 1967 was the penultimate year to the end of an era, when private and semi-nationalized company's operated the bus networks in this country.

After 1967 the network was never the same again, with the formation of the National Bus Company in 1968.

The NBC was a very bland organization compared to the colourful bus companies that had existed before nationalization, and many small municipal fleets amalgamated to form Passenger Transport Executives.

This comprehensive volume covers a large number of the bus companies throughout the country in 1967 and also has a good readable narrative describing Jim Blake's journeys travelling on these services across Britain.

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British Municipal Bus Operators

By Jim Blake

British Municipal Bus OperatorsDescription:

This book looks at municipal operators in England and Wales in the 1960s. Going back to the very first horse-bus or tram operations in Victorian times, many towns and cities throughout Britain had such operators, owned and run by the town or city councils. Most of them had tramway systems, many of which were replaced by trolleybuses from the 1920s onwards. In turn, after the Second World War, trolleybuses too were on the way out, with motorbuses unfortunately replacing both forms of electric traction. By the 1960s, only a handful were still operating trams, then by the end of the decade only few trolleybus systems remained.

During this period, some of these operators had very large fleets, for example those serving the conurbations of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, whilst others had very small fleets, such as West Bridgford Urban District Council in Nottinghamshire.

Municipal operators had a wide variety of vehicle types, encompassing virtually all chassis and body makes then in service, and were also well known for their distinctive, traditional liveries. In addition to the buses, there were also still trams and trolleybuses, which to many enthusiasts made them that much more interesting.

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Commuters: The History of a British Way of Life

By Simon Webb

Commuters: The History of a British Way of LifeDescription:

Before the Industrial Revolution, everyone lived within short walking distance of their workplace. However, all of this has now changed and many people commute large distances to work, often taking around one hour in each direction. We are now used to being stuck in traffic, crammed onto a train, rushing for connecting trains and searching for parking spaces close to the station or our workplace. 

Commuters explores both the history and present practice of commuting; examining how it has shaped our cities and given rise to buses, underground trains and  suburban railways. Drawing upon both primary sources and modern research, Commuters tells the story of a way of life followed by millions of British workers. With sections on topics such as fictional commuters and the psychology of commuting; this is a book for everybody who has ever had to face that gruelling struggle to get to the office in time.

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Last Years of the London Titan

By Matthew Wharmby

Last Years of the London TitanDescription:

Already depleted by withdrawals in the London Buses Ltd era, the Leyland Titan fleet of T class was divided upon privatisation between three new companies; London Central, Stagecoach East London and Stagecoach Selkent. Together with a host of smaller companies operating second-hand acquisitions, the Titans’ declining years between 1998 and 2003 are explored in this pictorial account that encompasses both standard day-to-day routes, emergency deployments and rail replacement services. Only small numbers remained to usher out the type altogether at the end of 2005, when step-entrance double-deckers as a whole were banished from the capital.

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Leicester's Trams and Buses

By Andrew H Bartlett

Leicester's Trams and BusesDescription:

In 1904, when Leicester Corporation opened its state-of-the-art electric tram network, it enjoyed a monopoly on routes and convenient central terminal points. But soon the first small independent motor bus companies became active, and by 1921, Midland Red – shortly to be the largest operator in England outside London – was busily establishing itself. The city fathers were faced with a quandary; protecting their territory and services, and possibly extending them, albeit in the face of determined competition, whilst at the same time endeavouring to provide termini that were as invitingly close to the city centre as possible. In this they were assisted by the 1930 Transport Act, which provided the template for fifty years of fairly peaceful co-existence between Leicester City Transport and Midland Red. That is until the provisions of a new Act in 1980 set them at loggerheads again.

Leicester’s Trams and Buses – 20th Century Landmarks examines in detail the background behind five key events – the opening of the electric tram network in 1904 and its closure in 1949; the arrival of Midland Red in Leicester in 1921, via the protracted planning for Leicester’s first proper bus station, to the so-called bus wars in the deregulation and privatisation era of the 1980s. It concludes that it was the pursuit of policies, at local and national government levels, which ultimately led to opportunities being missed that could have provided Leicester city and county with a fully integrated modern-day network.

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London Buses 1970-1980

By John Laker, Matthew Wharmby

London Buses 1970-1980Description:

The 1970s were among London Transport’s most troubled years. Prohibited from designing its own buses for the gruelling conditions of the capital, LT was compelled to embark upon mass orders for the broadly standard products of national manufacturers, which for one reason or another proved to be disastrous failures in the capital and were disposed of prematurely at a great loss. Despite a continuing spares shortage combined with industrial action, the old organisation kept going somehow, with the venerable RT and Routemaster families still at the forefront of operations.

At the same time, the green buses of the Country Area were taken over by the National Bus Company as London Country Bus Services. Little by little, and not without problems of their own, the mostly elderly but standard inherited buses gave way to a variety of diverted orders, some successful others far from so, until by the end of the decade we could see a mostly NBC-standard fleet of one-man-operated buses in corporate leaf green.

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London Buses in the 1970s

By Jim Blake

London Buses in the 1970sDescription:

Continuing with photographs from Jim Blake's extensive archives, this book examines the second half of the 1970s, when both London Transport and London Country were still struggling to keep services going. This resulted both from being plagued by a shortage of spare parts for their vehicles, and having a number of vehicle types which were unreliable the MB, SM and DMS classes.

In 1975, both operators had to hire buses from other companies, so desperate were they. Many came from the seaside towns of Southend, Bournemouth and Eastbourne. This continued until the spares shortage began to abate later in the decade, particularly with London Country.

As the decade progressed, the two fleets began to lose their 'ancestral' vehicle types. London Country rapidly became 'just another National Bus Company fleet', buying Leyland Atlanteans and Nationals common to most others throughout the country. Having virtually abandoned the awful MB and SM-types, London Transport had to suffer buying the equally awful DMSs well into 1978, but had already ordered replacements for them by that point the M class Metrobuses and T class Titans both of which would finally prove successful. However, plans to convert trunk routes serving Central London to one-person operation were largely abandoned.

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London Buses in the 1970s - 1970-1974: From Division to Crisis

By Jim Blake

London Buses in the 1970s - 1970-1974: From Division to CrisisDescription:

Using photographs from Jim Blake's extensive archives, this book examines the turbulent period in the history of London's buses immediately after London Transport lost its Country Buses and Green Line Coaches to the recently-formed National Bus Company, under their new subsidiary company, London Country Bus Services Ltd.

The new entity inherited a largely elderly fleet of buses from London Transport, notably almost 500 RT-class AEC Regent double-deckers, of which replacement was already under way in the shape of new AEC MB and SM class Swift single-deckers.

London Transport itself was in the throes of replacing a much larger fleet of these. At the time of the split, it was already apparent that the 36ft-long MB class single-deckers were not suitable for London conditions, particularly in negotiating suburban streets cluttered with cars, and were also mechanically unreliable. The shorter SM class superseded them, but they were equally unreliable. January 1971 saw the appearance of London Transport's first purpose-built one-man operated double-decker the DMS class. All manner of problems plagued these, too.

Both operators were also plagued with a shortage of spare parts for their vehicles, made worse by the three-day week imposed by the Heath regime in 1973-4. London Transport and London Country were still closely related, with the latter's buses continuing to be overhauled at LT's Aldenham Works. Such were the problems with the MB, SM and DMS types that LT not only had to resurrect elderly RTs to keep services going, but even repurchased some from London Country! In turn, the latter operator hired a number of MB-types from LT, now abandoned as useless, from 1974 onwards in an effort to cover their own vehicle shortages. Things looked bleak for both operators in the mid-1970s.

This book contains a variety of interesting and often unusual photographs illustrating all of this, most of which have never been published before.

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London Transport's Last Buses

By Matthew Wharmby

London Transport's Last BusesDescription:

The Olympian was Leyland's answer to the competition that was threatening to take custom away from its second-generation OMO double-deck products. Simpler than the London Transportcentric Titan but, unlike that integral model, able to respond to the market by being offered as a chassis for bodying by the bodybuilder of the customer's choice, the Olympian was an immediate success and soon replaced both the Atlantean and Bristol VRT as the standard double-decker of the NBC. It wasn't until 1984 that London Transport itself dabbled with the model, taking three for evaluation alongside trios of contemporary double-deckers.The resulting L class spawned an order for 260 more in 1986, featuring accessibility advancements developed by LT in concert with the Ogle design consultancy, but the rapid changes engulfing the organisation meant that no more were ordered. During the 1990s company ownerships shifted repeatedly as the ethos of competition gave way to the cold reality of big business, an unstable situation which even saw London's bus operations broken up.The L class was split between three new companies, but the backlog of older vehicles to replace once corporate interests released funding ensured the buses up to a further decade in service. Finally, as low-floor buses swept into the capital at the turn of the century, Olympian operation at last declined, and the final examples operated early in 2006.

This profusely illustrated book describes the diversity of liveries, ownerships and deployments that characterised the London Leyland Olympians' two decades of service.

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London's Transport Recalled

By Martin Jenkins, Charles Roberts

London's Transport RecalledDescription:

The rich variety of transport in the London area – stretching out as far as the one time limit of London Transport’s green bus operation – is reflected in this colour album from Martin Jenkins and Charles Roberts. Both authors have long-standing connections with the Capital and, using mainly previously unpublished colour views from the period 1948-1969, have assembled a remarkable array of views covering all modes of transport. The reader is taken on a fascinating journey of discovery, not knowing what will be around the next corner encountering buses, trams and trolleybuses; main line steam, diesel and electric; London Transport electric and steam as well as little known industrial railways; activities on the Thames, in docks and on canals; liners, ferries and pleasure steamers; plus aviation and even a coal merchant’s horse drawn cart. The images have been selected wherever possible to show changing streetscapes, buildings and fashions and will appeal to those who remember the period as well as the London of today. The stunning colour reproduction brings the pictures to life, as do informative captions. The book is a tribute to those photographers who had the foresight to record scenes before they were swept away in the name of progress.

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Rails in the Road: A History of Tramways in Britain and Ireland

By Oliver Green

Rails in the Road: A History of Tramways in Britain and IrelandDescription:

There have been passenger tramways in Britain for 150 years, but it is a rollercoaster story of rise, decline and a steady return. Trams have come and gone, been loved and hated, popular and derided, considered both wildly futuristic and hopelessly outdated by politicians, planners and the public alike. Horse trams, introduced from the USA in the 1860s, were the first cheap form of public transport on city streets. Electric systems were developed in nearly every urban area from the 1890s and revolutionised town travel in the Edwardian era.

A century ago, trams were at their peak, used by everyone all over the country and a mark of civic pride in towns and cities from Dover to Dublin. But by the 1930s they were in decline and giving way to cheaper and more flexible buses and trolleybuses. By the 1950s all the major systems were being replaced. London’s last tram ran in 1952 and ten years later Glasgow, the city most firmly linked with trams, closed its network down. Only Blackpool, famous for its decorated cars, kept a public service running and trams seemed destined only for scrapyards and museums.

A gradual renaissance took place from the 1980s, with growing interest in what are now described as light rail systems in Europe and North America. In the UK and Ireland modern trams were on the streets of Manchester from 1992, followed successively by Sheffield, Croydon, the West Midlands, Nottingham, Dublin and Edinburgh (2014). Trams are now set to be a familiar and significant feature of twenty-first century urban life, with more development on the way.

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Regional Tramways - London Transport

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - London TransportDescription:

The final volume in the ‘Regional Tramways’ series focuses on the history of tram operation in the London area. Starting the story with the pioneering horse tramways operated by George Francis Train in the 1860s, the book narrates how the various horse, steam, cable and electric tramways evolved in the period leading up to the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. The primary focus of the book is the period immediately after World War 2 when, following the retention of the tramways for longer than anticipated, the process of conversion – codenamed ‘Operation Tramaway’ – saw almost 1,000 trams eliminated from the streets of London in less than two years. Also covered in the book are the two second-generation tramways – the Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink – which now serve parts of the Greater London area. The book concludes with an overview of those London trams that survive into preservation.

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Regional Tramways - Midlands and Southern England

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - Midlands and Southern EnglandDescription:

This volume is the latest in a series of tramway books covering Britain's post war tram networks. The book covers the systems that survived the Second World War, in the Midlands and the South East of England, except London which will have a separate book.

This extensive volume, covers all the post war systems from their inception, through to closure, with often rare unpublished pictures depicting each operation, from horse tram days through to the end. The volume has good maps and material that will be of value to tramway modellers, with a selection of colour illustrations for livery details.

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Regional Tramways - Scotland

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - ScotlandDescription:

This is the first of a new series of books that will cover the history of tramway operation in the British Isles. 

Focusing on Scotland, this book provides an overview of the history of tramways north of the border from the 1940s, when the first horse-drawn service linking Inchture village to Inchture station opened, through to the closure of the last traditional tramway – Glasgow – in 1962. 

Concentrating on the big city systems that survived the Second World War – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – the book provides a comprehensive narrative, detailing the history of these operations from 1945 onwards, with full fleet lists, maps and details of route openings and closures. 

The story is supported by some 200 illustrations, both colour and black and white, many of which have never been published before, that portray the trams that operated in these cities and the routes on which they operated. Bringing the story up-to-date, the book also examines the only second-generation tramway yet to be built in Scotland – the controversial system recently constructed in Edinburgh – as well as informing readers where it is still possible to see Scotland’s surviving first-generation trams in preservation.

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