Photo © Ken Jones. Please do not re-post without permission.
HDG448, new in 1949 to Cheltenham District, an Albion Venturer CX19 with Metro-Cammell 56 seat body.
The ownership of a company can influence the buses it buys and Cheltenham District is a good example. From 1914 it belonged to Balfour Beatty and bought Guys in the 1920s and AECs in the 1930s. In 1939 it passed to the Red & White Group which favoured Albions and, later, Guys. Red & White sold its British bus interests to the state in 1950 and Bristol/ECW buses became compulsory.
This Albion therefore belongs to the Red & White period of ownership. Albion double-deckers, built in Scotland, were fairly rare in England and Wales. This contract is interesting because the bodies were built by Metro-Cammell of Birmingham - noted for favouring larger contracts than this small batch for Red & White subsidiaries. Metro-Cammell, however, was bodying a considerable number of Albions for Glasgow Corporation
The Albions retired in 1961-3 and no. 72 became a school bus for the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It was bought by a Reading enthusiast in 1967. Three years later the Cheltenham Bus Preservation Group was formed to purchase no. 72 to represent the Red & White era. The Group decided to wind up in 1998 and Wythall Transport Museum were delighted to be chosen as the new home for no. 72.
Albion Venturers are now very rare. The Cheltenham group mechanically overhauled no.72 but the body requires considerable attention. My slide was taken a year before the Cheltenham Bus Preservation Group was wound up
Photo taken by Ken Jones, August 1997, Toddington
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