Bristol Commercial Vehicles Enthusiasts

This website is for anyone interested in the products of Bristol Commercial Vehicles, a manufacturer swallowed up by British Leyland and a tragic victim of the politics of the 1970s and early 1980s. The specific model we deal with in most detail is the Vertical Rear-engined (VR) double decker although we also cover all surviving Lodekka half-cab double deckers as well as single-deck RE and LH survivors. VRs are now very rare in normal service but current operators of the type are listed here. By contrast there are now well over 200 VRs recorded in various states of preservation in the UK with many more continuing to earn their keep in a multitude of uses overseas. Ever-faithful Lodekkas continue to earn their keep in all corners of the World, many of them now well past their fiftieth birthday!

Last Updated : April 16th 2014 (PAG515WGPD316N, GJB279 and KTT42P on eBay, Photo of the Month updated,  RE parts for sale, Three VRs and a RELL, EHU386K and CRU301L for sale)

***Most recent Unusual Bristol - Burning Man Festival VRs - UNW928R and LAK938W***

Click here for full VRT3 Service Manual

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Mission Statement
The aim of this website is to be the up-to-date reference point for all Bristol VR, Lodekka, RE and LH vehicles. Ultimately it is the intention to have a profile page for every one of these vehicles that were built including photos with every owner in every livery. Obviously this is a lifetime's work and will not be achieved without the help of a great many contributors - these kind folk have already helped to swell the number of photos held for publication to over 21,000, many of which are already in use on the site. I am very careful not to breach copyright but if I have used any of yours inappropriately please contact me and I will put it right immediately. With the dramatically reduced activity in the Bristol vehicle world in recent years I now record all major vehicle changes and items of interest on the Recently Recorded Changes Log.


I hope that whether you are a regular visitor to this site or you have simply stumbled across it you can sense the enjoyment I have derived over many years in compiling it (and continue to do so - there's still a long way to go before I'm "finished" documenting these wonderful timeless vehicles). I have recently started a number of new pages which deal with the more unusual and noteworthy aspects of operation and use of the VR, Lodekka, RE and LH models and I thought it was time to share the links for these new pages with you. All are still very much under construction so do please come back periodically and see what I have added. The first page deals with unfortunate incidents resulting in fire and accident damage. Next comes advertising liveries (this will take a long time to complete and so far I have only started the Bristol Omnibus and Eastern Counties pages!). Finally there is a repository for operations, uses and conversions which I think merit their own separate entry which I am calling Unusual Bristols. Don't forget I have listed some coverage of Bristols on YouTube as well. If you have any contributions for any of these pages I would be delighted to hear from you.

Recent interesting non-Bristols on eBay:

 UPDATED *** Former London Transport AEC Regal RF51 *** UPDATED
 
Leyland Tiger/Plaxton Paramount G983TSE
Ex-London Transport RM180
Ex-Strathclyde Leyland Atlantean UGB193W
Ex-Bournemouth open-top Daimler Fleetline CRU187C
Western Scottish Daimler Fleetline HSD86V 

Bristols For Sale
I do not charge any fees for listing Bristol vehicles for sale on this page, but I regret I cannot advertise events due to lack of available time. I do however list Bristols advertised on eBay in the hope of alerting buyers who may otherwise miss the opportunity and have added a few additional links to interesting eBay categories such as those for Photos and Models at various points on the website.

Parts Wanted and Parts for Sale
PartsMart - bowing to popular demand I also now advertise parts for sale and also parts required for specific vehicles. The same principles apply as for the vehicles for sale page - there is no charge for this service but I would be grateful for a small donation towards the upkeep of the website if you make a sale, and do please let me know when I can remove your entry from the page.

Click Here
Please help to support this website by using this link. Anything you buy (not just bus-related items) on eBay, having clicked through from here, results in a commission payment of a few pennies which I put toward the cost of having this website professionally hosted.

 

Operator Focus (November 20th 2013)

Western S.M.T. Lodekkas

Western S.M.T. featured a very attractive livery, exemplified here by SHN253F which arrived from United Auto via Northern General in 1974 during the great NBC/SBC Lodekka/VR exchange. A particularly high proportion of WSMT Lodekkas ended up being exported in the late 1970s/early 1980s which means that the survivors list is long, but in many cases the vehicles have gone long unreported. Any updated information or sightings would, as always, be very much appreciated. This evocative view with a native example pulling out behind was taken by Stephen Dowle in May 1978. The slipboard covering a worrying amount of the windscreen reads "via Clyde Tunnel"!

Operator Focus - Archive

The Operator Focus Archive contains a log of previously featured operators. If you can contribute to fill any gaps or correct any mistakes I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Photo of the Month (April 16th 2014)

KHW306E in May 2009

I just had to use this view of two preserved Cheltenham District/Bristol Omnibus RELLs from my youth - 1000 (KHW306E on the left) and 1003 (KHW309E) taken in Cheltenham by Dave Russell & Deric Pemberton on the site of the old Black & White coach station in May 2009. I travelled to school on both of these during the period 1979 to 1981 and have very clear recollection of a final journey on 1003 with its depot allocation plates already removed. Little did I know that I would still be able to ride on both more than 30 years later. 1000 is resident at Wythall (where it has been since withdrawal in 1981) and has been rebuilt to its original single door configuration, while 1003 is currently undergoing major rebuild having had many preservationist owners and liveries also since its 1981 withdrawal. It retains the centre door fitted at the ECW factory in 1969.

Photo of the Month - Archive

This is the latest photo in a regular feature intended to showcase the work of some of the very kind contributors to this website to whom we are very much indebted. 

 

Operator Focus

For a few years now I have been adding Illustrated Fleet Histories for operators who have run VRs, REs, LHs and/or Lodekkas at some point, ranging from large groups to tiny one-vehicle operations. Those added so far are listed by county on the Operator Cross Reference page (including an indication as to whether or not the list yet contains all the details and photos in my possession), but I now plan to showcase operators as I work on them. The purpose of highlighting them on here is both as a means of promoting the pages but also as a request for viewers to send in any photos that fill in the gaps in the Photo Archive sections on each page. The aim is to illustrate every vehicle in every livery with every operator and I want to thank all the very many kind individuals who have already made such contributions to this website.

The Illustrated Histories Log page details those vehicles that have already been processed. More are added each week. If you can help to complete any with either additional information or photos I would be delighted to hear from you, either through the submission of photos or slides for scanning, or through the email of digital images. You will find my Contact Information at the foot of this page.

 

ILLUSTRATED CURRENT SURVIVORS LISTS

VRs in Service

All current VRs operated around the UK.

Non-PCV VRs

Playbuses, exhibition units, caravans, etc. They're all here.

Preserved VRs

Over one hundred and eighty VRs are already in preservation. Keep up with their progress here.

All RE Survivors

Lists by original owner of all RE survivors from around the World

All Lodekka Survivors

Lists by original owner of all Lodekka survivors from around the World

All LH Survivors

Lists by original owner of all LH survivors from around the World

 

COMPLETE TYPE LISTS

BRISTOL VR

Here you will find all VRs that were manufactured, listed by original owner. The lists show the current location of all survivors, all others being marked as scrapped.

BRISTOL SU

Although we do not cover the Bristol SU, you will find very comprehensive comprehensive coverage on Gerry Tormey's website using the above link

BRISTOL MW

Gerry Tormey has also now completed a superb site devoted to the Bristol MW. Follow the link above.

BRISTOL SC

Further offerings from Gerry Tormey now include this site for the Bristol SC....

BRISTOL LS

...and this one for the integral Bristol LS model.

BRISTOL J and BRISTOL L

Here are Gerry's two latest websites, dedicated to these grand old Bristol single deck models.

eBay items index

Contact Information

Your webmaster would be delighted to hear from you about anything Bristol/ECW-related. His email address is rob@robsly.com.

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Bristols on Video
Following the use of JOU161P on free services in and around Cheltenham on Saturday 12th September 2009 a video of it appeared on YouTube, thanks to the prolific camera of Simon "Video47". This has prompted me to add a new page to this website where I will add links to videos of Bristol VRs, REs, LHs and Lodekkas across the Internet. If you find any more do please drop me a line at rob@robsly.com and I will build up this library of material.

Facebook Page
I thought it might be nice to have a forum whereby readers could easily comment on and raise issues about the website, chat with me and with each other and help with information and photos for use on the website. I have therefore added a page on Facebook where I will periodically post photos and information that might not normally make it onto this website. I have started off with four photos of Bristol Lodekkas which I hope we might be able to identify and thereby add to the historical record on here. Do please become a fan of this website - you can even receive updates on Twitter - I look forward to seeing you there!

The Doctor Who story has been moved here

Special Feature - a Bristol VR at the 2010 World Cup

Morocco Special Bulletin

Fantastic news is that after 22 years "missing in action" Series 1 flat-front VR BYG851H, former West Yorkshire VR44, has been spotted in good condition in Morocco. It was parked just off the main road heading back into Tangier from Cap Spartel and the "Caves of Hercules". Unfortunately Clive Williams (whose quick thinking provided enough of the registration to check its identity on this website) was on a tour coach at the time so it was impossible to get a photo. My request to readers is for anyone who finds themselves heading out to Morocco to keep their eyes peeled for this one (and to carry a camera with them!!).