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536JHU is owned by Group member Richard Avery.
536JHU was new to Bristol Omnibus Company in 1961, and was initially based at Gloucester.
Full technical information
This bus is one of 1,964 Bristol ‘Medium Weight’ vehicles built between 1957 and 1967.
Constructed as a joint venture between Bristol Commercial Vehicles (responsible for the chassis) and Eastern Coach Works (who built the bodies), the MW was intended as a replacement for the Bristol LS (the Group’s example of the Bristol LS type is YHY80).
Powered by a 5 or 6 cylinder Gardner engine, some 247 vehicles saw their way into service with Bristol Omnibus. Of these almost 200 were of the same design as 536JHU, with a small number being designed for bus and coach services and an even smaller number exclusively for longer distance coach travel.
536JHU entered service with Bristol Omnibus on the 7th March 1961 and was allocated to Gloucester where, along with sister vehicle 2513, it remained until withdrawn from service in September 1976. In September 1977 a new life beckoned when 536JHU was purchased by Axe Vale Coaches of Biddisham (between Burnham-on-Sea and Cheddar) for school services, continuing in this role until 1979 when it was purchased by Biswell Language Services in Northampton.
Sold again in February 1980 to Brian Holloway of Northampton, it remained in his care for over ten years before reluctantly being sold to an ‘enthusiast’ from Gloucestershire in August 1990. Unfortunately, the enthusiast was only out to make a quick profit and immediately sold it to travellers at a site near Dudbridge Railway Station, Stroud.
Having come to the notice of the local bus preservation group in Stroud, and fearing the vehicle would soon have a hole made in the roof for a chimney, it was purchased in September 1990 by Andrew Frusher. With the vehicle in poor condition much work was carried out during the summer of 1993 including re-panelling and repainting. It stayed in his possession until being acquired by Somerbus Ltd of Paulton, near Bristol, in May 1998.
During 2001 another change of ownership brought 536JHU into the hands of Rexquote Heritage Motor Services of Taunton, where it joined a large collection of other historic commercial vehicles. Being placed on the market again in early 2003 it was purchased by iour member David Cole, and brought back to its birthplace. It has since been sold to its current owners, both members of the group.
The vehicle has received major attention to the engine in recent years. It is used regularly – after all, that’s what they were built to do!
Manufacturer: Bristol Commercial Vehicles
Registration No: 536JHU
Date of first registration: 1961
Body manufacturer: Eastern Coachworks
Body Number: 11805
Body type: B45F
Original operator: Bristol Omnibus
Fleet number: 2514
Livery: Bristol Omnibus
Withdrawn: September 1976
- Axe Vale Coaches 1977-1979
- Biswell Language Services, Northampton, 1979-1980
- Brian Holloway, Northampton 1980-1990
- Andrew Frusher, Stroud 1990-1998
- Somerbus, Paulton 1998-2001
- Rexquote Heritage Motor Services, Taunton 2001-2003
- David Cole 2003-2014
- Rob Leighfield and Richard Avery 2014
- Richard Avery 2015