Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Old Buses in Herne Bay

"You wait ages for a bus and then two come along at the same time."
How many times have you heard that complaint? I went to the bus rally at Herne Bay where they all arrived at the same time.

A line-up of vintage double deckers at Herne Bay.
Having lived as a child in a country area of London Transport, I had only known green buses made by AEC but here before me were Leyland, Dennis, Guy and a nice pair of Bristols.

The Indian Warrior mascot of Guy Motors Ltd.
Guy Motors were an interesting manufacturer. They were set up at the outbreak of World War 1 and quickly prospered from the demand for military vehicles. They adopted the Indian Warrior mascot several years later, emblazoned with the motto which you can just read on this illustration, "Feathers in our cap".
The mystery to me is why, in 1961, Jaguar Cars bought the company. What would a famous manufacturer of sports and fast saloon cars want with a builder of buses and trucks?

A single deck Dennis in the red and cream livery
of the local bus company, East Kent.
Perhaps it was the attraction that they were one of the few motor manufacturers in Britain who at that time were making money. The irony of life is that after Jaguar Cars had merged with the British Motor Corporation, Guy Motors was closed down despite being the only part of the corporation that was operating at a profit. With economic logic like that is it any wonder that the British motor industry collapsed?

Self portrait in the rear bumper of an East Kent excursion coach.

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