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PART 2: PLYMOUTH CITY TRANSPORT INTEREST GROUP

P.C.T.I.G REVIEW OF 1979

SUN 27TH MAY PAIGNTON FOR THE TORBAY STEAM RAILWAY AND KINGSWEAR/DARTMOUTH

PCTIG evolved out of the disbandment of Plymouth bus club. More family orientated outings, mixing Transport interest and family entertainment destinations from Milehouse. So using nearly new private hire spec AN68 135 STK135T. This group of 5 Atlanteans 131-135 were actually the first to be delivered as driver only single door buses, some 10 years after the start of one-man operation. 135 took members to Paignton for a trip on the steam railway down to Kingswear and over to Dartmouth. Departing Milehouse at 10.00 travelling through Ivybridge, Totnes, up to Buckfastleigh and then back to Paignton. Travelling down on the railway, Dartmouth Western National depot was always an interesting place in the late 1970's, it being the dumping area of de-licenced WN buses. The depot at Mayor's avenue did not disappoint, 1980 was going to be the last year of Bristol SUL operation. Dartmouth still had 3 allocated for service, 6 were seen withdrawn. Left to right Bedford VAM5 700, LH3300, 2 unidentified SULs, VAM5 702, SUL 689, 1213, 683, 684

   

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Dartmouth's fleet allocation in 1979 was: Bristol SUL4A  667

                                                                 Bedford VAM5 700-701,702

                                                                 Bristol VRT 1103 - 1106

                                                                 Bristol SUL4A dual purpose 1221,1224

                                                                 Bristol LH6L coach 1301,1303

                                                                 Bristol LH6L  dual purpose 1319, 1329, 1330

Dartmouth pontoon saw Sunday 90 local Townstal service Bristol LH6L 1319 NTT319M ex royal blue Marshall bodied having been downgraded to local buswork .  

On the return to Paignton, we stopped at the long gone Woodpecker pub for evening drinks. 135 seen here with a bare looking A38 junction behind

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SUN JULY 1ST 9TH WEYMOUTH BUS RALLY

Another private hire Atlantean AN68 133 STK 133T was chosen to take us to Weymouth bus rally with the Chesil to Portland run. From A38 at Exeter along the A35 Dorset coast road through Bridport to West bay, before joining the vintage run at Chesil beach to Portland and onto Lodmoor car park where the buses would be parked up. 

 Seen from the programme costing 20p 79 entries, 54 single deck, 21 double deck and 4 miscellaneous. The Cotswold PSV group entered WNOC Bristol LL5G 262 ETT956, a Mr Thompson WNOC 1211 JUO943 rebuilt LL6B, messers Travers and Durrant entered royal blue Bristol LS6G 1299 OTT98 also 2200 OTT43. Western National entered the last Bristol LS in NBC service 1953 built 1701 OTT55, it had just been painted into the latest NBC leaf green. Bristol FLF 2080 BDV239C in sealink livery, Bristol VRT 1097 PTT97R painted in 50th anniversary of western national formation in 1929. Colin Billington entered Bristol SUS4A 600 672COD, still performing today at Kingsbridge running days. Trathens also entered Volvo B58 SDR437T 

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SUN 5TH AUG 
COASTAL TOUR TO DOBWALLS FOREST RAILWAY, LOOE/CAWSAND

PCTIG  hired P.C.T Leyland Titan PD2 358 MCO658 for a tour to Dobwalls forest railway in the morning and Looe in the afternoon. Leaving here at 18.00 and being a summer's evening the tour carried on through Seaton, Downderry, Portwrinkle, Whitsand and Cawsand. 358 is seen here entering and turning in Cawsand square

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SUN 30TH SEPT
MINEHEAD AND WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY

Needing a single decker for this trip due to low bridges and trees along the route, Leyland National 63 WDR663M was chosen. Departing Milehouse 09.30 Traveling via Exeter and then WN/Dg 217 route to Tiverton, Dulverton, Dunster and arriving in Minehead at 12.30. These were still early days for the WSR as can be seen by the rolling stock. Minehead still had a bus depot and station then, with an allocation of RE's and LH's. 2715 MUO319F was actually a Bridgewater allocated vehicle.

 Minehead allocation for sept 1979 was: Bristol RELH coach 1476, Bristol RELL6G 2717, 2748, Bristol LH6L 3306-3309.  The return trip followed the same route arriving back at Milehouse at 21.45 

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SUN 9TH DEC
SEATON TRAMWAY

Not sure who thought a trip to the east Devon town of Seaton and their Tramway in the middle a December was a good idea. Leaving Milehouse at 10.00 the weather was still dry and bright on arrival at Exeter High St. However the weather had closed in by the time we arrived at the coach park in Seaton at 12.00. Seaton tramway was nowhere near as developed as it is now back then and the extension to the town had only just been completed. Being out of season a tram had been laid on specially. Although tracks had been laid into the tarmac of the car park there was no sign of a tram.

 After a while the familiar sound of a tram clanking along the tracks was heard and number 9 appeared. Once all aboard we travelled around to the depot, built on the site of the former Seaton branch line for a guided tour. This was followed by a trip up the then terminus at Colyford, before the extension to Colyton was built. Photography was getting increasingly difficult in the worsening weather and fading winter light. We still managed to park up at the WN Seaton depot in the centre of town.

  Seaton's depot allocation dec 1979: AEC Reliance 9, Bristol LH6L 750 751 1587 1588 1611 1612, Bristol LH6L coach 1309 1310 3115 3132, Bristol RELH coach 1474 1587 1588 1611 1612, Bristol Loddeka FLF 2010, Bristol RELL6G 2702-2706, Leyland Leopard coach 3522.

We left at 15.30 returning through Newton Poppleford. On the approach to Exeter the windscreen wiper broke and we had to stop in at the DG Belgrave rd depot for repairs. Pulling in over the pits still with all the passengers on board, it took about an hour to fix and continuing on back to Milehouse at 20.00. Another diversion back in Plymouth took us to Leigham to sing Christmas carols outside a PCTIG member's family home, who had decided that Seaton in December had not been a good idea!!  This trip certainly stuck in the memory for the weather, time of year, hospitality of the tramway and the Belgrave rd stop.

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Other notable trips in 1979 were 24th June to Showbus using AN68 79 GDR204N painting in 1930s heritage livery marking 50 years of Plymouth becoming a city. Leaving Milehouse at 00.30 traveling up the M5/M4 to Hillingdon for 08.15 for the Hillingdon run. The Showbus rally finished at 17.30 and arrival back in Plymouth was 01.00, over 24hours after departure!!!

3RD Sept 358 was used to take members to the White Thorn at Shaugh Prior for drinks to mark the departure of PCT's under manager Mr Barry Moore, who was leaving to take up the position of general manager at Ipswich borough transport.

16Th Sept was the farewell tour in Exeter and East Devon of Exeter Leyland Titans DG 285 85GFJ and 290 AFJ90B.

22ND Sept 358 attended 75TH anniversary of Swindon Borough transport.

28TH Oct 135 STK135T was used to visit Bideford Barnstaple and Ilfracombe  

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SUNDAY APRIL 27TH 1980. TOWN AND COUNTRY TOUR
                LEYLAND PDR1 162 YCO 262

The 2nd tour of 1980 by Plymouth City Transport interest Group was a town and country tour using  YCO262. Delivered new in May 1963 it entered service in June '63, its main route was route 16 to Torridge way via higher Compton.

 By the time of this tour it was in the last few months of service. 164, 168, 172 and 174 had already been withdrawn between 1978 and 1980.  162 would be withdrawn in October, but would languish in the back of Milehouse until August 1981 when it was sold for scrap at Pearce (dealer) in Sutton rd Cattedown. (This needs to be a story in its own right soon!!) 

 Our trip began 14.00 at Milehouse, retracing the old P.C.T country route 51 from Bretonside to Shaugh Prior via Alexandra rd, Laira, Colebrook, Lee Moor. This route was previously 91 until 1958 and would become service 60 in June 1968 before it was combined with the 58 to Bickleigh and the 59 Cornwood, becoming the 58/59 scenic circular we know today in 1975.

 

 Our first stop was on Alexandra rd outside the Bowyers Beechwood meat and pie factory. A distinctive landmark with its tall chimney. The factory would be demolished in September 1980.  Now student flats garages and a gym.

 Our journey continued out through Laira, Colebrook, Lee Moor arriving at Shaugh Bridge. The next shot shows 162 at Wotter on the return journey near to the Moorland Hotel. The Plymouth Bus Club held 4 of its 1st 5 annual dinners here between 1971 and 1975. Transporting the members in a variety of P.C.T vehicles. 1971 FYJ 919E, 1972 and 73 NDR 515J and 1975 NDR 506J.

 Back in 1980 the old road still existed through the China clay pits around Lee Moor, The next shot shows 162 being overtaken by AN68 135 STK 135T amongst the China clay waste pits. Then a posed shot under the clay conveyer belt that took clay over the road and would often drop clay on passing vehicles underneath. 

The next view is at the former terminus of the 59 at Cornwood outside the Cornwood Inn

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The tour would continue back through Plympton to Saltram house where the traditional group photo was taken. Your Treasurer and webmaster are on the right nearest the cab window!! Then onto Burrator Dam, Buckland Monachorum, Milton Combe and Bickleigh returning to Milehouse for 18.30

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