Bus Fleets of the Red & White Group
History, Liveries, Vehicle Types and Fleet Lists
The original vehicles of Red & White Services came from the constituent companies that were amalgamated in 1930. Watts of Lydney became Albion agents in the 1920s and the Watts companies favoured Albions in their fleets. Consequently the majority of the 150 or so vehicles that made up the original fleet were Albions. Other makes included Leylands, Thornycrofts and a few AEC, Bean and Daimlers. New vehicles received in the 1930s were almost exclusively Albions with N.C.M.E bodywork being favoured in the early years. Duple became the most common bodybuilder in the later part of the decade. A large number of vehicles entered the fleet at this time from the numerous operators that were acquired and these gave the fleet a great variety. In 1937 a major rebodying programme was started and a large number of the early vehicles received new Duple bodies. The vehicles were almost exclusively single deck, only three double deckers being purchased before the war.
With wartime restrictions on new vehicles, the companies’ association with Albion was put on hold. After receiving a batch of 12 Albion double deckers in 1942, the only vehicles available to the company were utility Bedford OWB single deckers and utility Guy and Daimler double deckers. A large number of vehicles were loaned from other operators between 1941 and 1945 including 13 Leyland TD2s from Oldham Corporation and 16 London Transport STs. These however were never included in the main fleet.
For a number of years after the war, the situation regarding the supply of new vehicles was difficult and many older second hand vehicles were acquired as a stop gap including 18 Leyland Titans from Newport Corporation and Wigan Corporation in 1947/8. The first large batch of postwar semi-
The Griffin, Ralph and Reliance fleets were absorbed into the main Red & White fleet between 1950-
The Swansea area companies also brought a diverse collection of vehicles to United Welsh, with Eclipse favouring Leyland Lions and Tigers, Bassett Enterprise bringing mostly A.E.C. Regals and Regents, and Gower Vanguard using mainly T.S.Ms and Dennises. Red & White influence was soon felt with about 50 Albions being delivered between 1936-
Cheltenham District Traction possessed 27 vehicles when acquired in 1939, 20 of which were double deckers. The vehicles were either A.E.C. or Guy with a solitary Bedford WTB. New and second hand deliveries under Red & White were almost entirely double deckers with the exception of 2 Albion single decks in 1941 which were immediately transferred to the Red & White fleet.
64 vehicles were acquired with Newbury & District in 1944, mostly Dennis and Leyland with a few Thornycroft and Bedford. Only one was acquired new by the old Company apart from some wartime utility Bedfords. Red & White managed to acquire a number of utility Guy Arab double deckers in 1944/45 but other deliveries in the immediate postwar period were mostly second hand acquisitions or transfers from other Red & White companies. The original Newbury & District vehicles were mostly disposed of by 1947. New deliveries in 1949-
South Midland Motor Services was acquired in 1945 with 16 coaches, mostly Leylands, all bought new by the company. New deliveries under Red & White were mostly A.E.C. Regals.
Red & White inherited nearly 50 vehicles when Venture was acquired in 1945, most of which were A.E.C. Regals and Regents with a few older Thornycrofts which were soon disposed of. Further deliveries in the postwar period were mainly A.E.C. Regals and Regents.
© Richard Smith 2012-