A look at service vehicles & former PSVs in various guises. There are many things you can do with a bus once its passenger carrying days are over.
Southdown converted a number of Leyland TD5s into very attractive breskdown tenders. These vehicles were long lived & survived well into the 1970s. This example originally had a Beadle body & still survives.
A novel use for this Guy Arab in the Great Yarmouth fleet was to convert it to a mobile library. It seems that the librarian, Miss Felicity Goodbody had said she wanted a Guy. I'm not totally sure that this was the sort of Guy she meant.
Crosville converted this Bristol MW6G into a most attractive recovery vehicle. It was not so common for single deckers to become breakdown vehicles, but Crosville was one of the operators that did.
This former Huddersfield trolleybus found service as a mobile toilet, if ever a vehicle needed its very own septic tank, this one did & I would hate to have been seated in the lower deck & not know what was occurring upstairs. No opening windows either.
This AEC Regent V in the Eastbourne fleet was involved in a spectacular accident when a fairly new bus. It's East Lancs body was rebuilt by Neepsend and went back into service. It became the first of its batch withdrawn from normal service & became this wrecker. It survives today.
This Bedford became a not so mobile home, a fate that befell many such vehicles. Seen here looking rather sorry for itself, it did not survive, which is a pity as not that many of these are still around.
This West Yorkshire Leyland TD2 was converted into this very formidable looking vehicle in 1948 & lasted in this form for eleven years. I wish that more service vehicles had survived & they can be as interesting as a bus.
Where better to sit down for a tea & a bun? This Leyland TD4 became a staff canteen for United Automobile & was no doubt a most welcome sight to crews. It had originated in Sheffield.
A tender vehicle with a difference. This is a Glasgow corporation cable laying tram. A most interesting vehicle that serves to remind us of such vehicles that were seldom seen in public.
This former Hastings Tramways Guy BTX became a static booking & enquiry office with Maidstone & District. It was located in Hastings town centre for many years & was kept in very fine order.
Another staff canteen conversion was this Nottingham AEC Regal with Craven body. New in 1936, it survived in this form until 1968 & surely deserved to survive. It would look good on any rally field.
This former Stratford Blue Leyland PD3 found its way to the Isle of Man. It is unclear what its use actually was in this shot, or even if it could move under its own power. It has no headlights so can't have seen much use.
This extremely neat breakdown tender started life in 1939 as a standard Bristol L5G in the Hants & Dorset fleet. It was converted thus by Hants & Dorset & is a very attractive vehicle & another I wish had survived.
This Eastern Counties Bristol K5G became a mobile exhibition unit for the Essex Police. It certainly looks well presented, but I'm sure that it wouldn't be much good in a pursuit with its 5 cylinder power unit.
This Leyland Lion ended up as a showman's living quarters, a once common fate for former buses. The roof modifications to its Massey body don't look that out of place & even in these reduced circumstances is an attractive vehicle.
Many buses became driver training vehicles after their service days were over. This Wigan Leyland PD2 looks very smart & no doubt worried a few trainees, but PD2s were usually quite harmless & I'm sure that many passed their tests on this example.
This Blackpool Corporation Burlingham bodied PD2 joined the tramway engineers fleet as a mobile bothy cum engineers vehicle. There can't have been many motorbuses converted to become a tramways tender after WW2 & this one still maintains its dignity.
This Southend PD3 was a familiar sight for many years as a playbus. Not so common now as they once were, I often wondered if the youngsters actually decorated the vehicles they played on. Somehow I think not, but at least these buses lasted a little longer.
This former Midland General Bristol FLF was converted to a Pizza bar. As far as I know it still is. I recall sampling its wares many years ago & being quite impressed by it. At least it is still with us, so one day it may enter preservation.
This impressive conversion of a Leyland Leopard was carried out by the late & lamented Pennine of Gargrave. This must be one of the smartest breakdown tenders I've ever seen & I can only hope that someone has secured it for preservation, even in this state.
Two for the price of one here with this pair of Southern Vectis service vehicles. The Dennis Ace had been converted to a lorry & the Bristol to a tree lopper. The Bristol had started life with Hants & Dorset.
Another eating emporium is this former East Kent AEC Reliance. It has moved quite some distance from its original area & appears to have survived until fairly recently. One of many buses that suffered this fate.
This former Trent SOS was another bus that ended up with a showman. It's a magnificent vehicle & I can only lament that it didn't survive. It really deserved better.
This 1939 Dennis Falcon became a welfare vehicle in Eastbourne after withdrawal by Southdown. It had been new to the Worthing based Tramocar fleet which had been taken over the previous year. This was one of a pair delivered to Southdown.
This former Maidstone Corporation Leyland PD2 became an advertising eyecatcher for a caravan sales park. Ay one time this was a fairly common use for former buses & this one looks very smart.
One of my favourite buses is the Bluebird LT. This example was purchased by the Essex Police & used as an exhibition unit. Its still a super looking bus despite a bit of a sag.
Another former London vehicle is this somewhat lowered STD class Leyland Titan that found its way to a showman. Despite the modifications it managed to retain its roof box. These buses were very popular with crews & it's a pity none survived.
Our London trio is completed by this STL that became a mobile furniture showroom. It does look smart & it's a shame that more buses that outlived their sisters by having such conversions failed to survive.
Top Desck travel used a fleet of Bristol Lodekkas as overland caravans, if that's the right description.. They travelled worldwide, looked smart & were a great advert for Bristol.
This former Lynfi Leyland PD3 with Massey body was converted to a mobile hotel. The livery looks superb & I, for one would certainly avail myself of its accommodation. It's a regular sight at shows & rallies.