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Homepage. This page: Two London Transport vehicles in the 1950s, an AEC Regent III RT bus and an Austin lorry.

AEC Regent III RT bus.

Who the chirpy mustachioed driver behind the wheel of this AEC Regent III RT London bus is we may never know (does any former London Transport staff reading this recognise him?). His bus though is easier to identify, it being a standard Weymann-bodied RT bus (number RT 3470) that first entered service in April 1952, registration LYR 889. It's early life was spent hauling passengers around the roads of Hendon, before switching to routes in Peckham. The RT was based on the AEC Regent III chassis.
As was common with RT buses, bodies were often split from their original chassis during overhaul. Initially this chassis was fitted with Weymann body number 7307, later switching to body 7149 during one of its overhauls at the London Transport workshops in Aldenham. Unfortunately this photograph isn't dated, so I'm unable to identify which body is shown below. Note the Pyrene fire extinguisher, mounted to the panel just behind the bus driver's right elbow.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
London Transport RT bus
While a number of RTs did enter service prior to the war, the vast majority were introduced in the post-war years, to both update and standardise wherever possible the double-decker bus fleet operated by London Transport. The final LT-operated RT bus bowed out in 1979, although many were sold to other operators, both in the UK and overseas, re-affirming the reliability and sturdiness of this AEC-based vehicle. Perhaps the best-remembered RT is the example that featured with Cliff Richard in the film "Summer Holiday".
The example above continued to be used until the mid-1970s when, after a period as a training vehicle, it was sold to Wombwell Diesels in August 1976, a breaker's yard where the majority of London RTs ended their days.

An Austin K2 lorry in service with London Transport.

The gent in this next photo looks quite similar to the driver above, albeit without the moustache. As both photos turned up together, it could well be the same individual. Rather than perched high up in the cockpit of a red London bus, this gent is shown preparing to climb aboard his Austin K2 or K4 lorry, again in service with London Transport. The location appears to be a depot of some description as other similar lorries can be seen in the background. The K2's registration begins with JX? ???, while the lorry seen driving away is registered JX? 405.
Austin K2 lorry with LT
Return to Page 14 in the classic & vintage vehicle photo gallery.

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