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Gloucestershire’s buses in Stroud since the 1900s
2012—the last Stroud Running Day
In immaculate condition and appearing at Stroud for its first Running Day was this tiny, narrow- bodied 30 seat Bristol SUS4A 862 RAE no. 301, one of three new to Stroud exactly 50 years ago and there it stayed for nine years, operating largely to Cheltenham via Slad; to Cranham; Ruscombe; and on the Nailsworth outstations. Note the destination display showing 430, a Minchinhampton service, where the SUSs might occasionally stray. But all is not what it seems. The SUSs came with three rather than four track route number indicators that could not accommodate the then Ruscombe route number 430A, a route upon which the bus was far more likely to be seen. Note the trademark front and rear longitudinal seats above the SUS's wheelarches. I am sure that the original three came with a continuous offside communications cord to ring the bell. 2382 KHY 383 is a 1948 Bristol L6B that arrived in 1959 and spent a short time in the town. A more familiar Running Day L is also another 1948 35-seat vehicle that was at Stroud from 1959 to 1961. I am sure that in 10 years’ time the preservation fraternity will be grateful this Dennis Dart/ALX200 had been saved. Even now, it seems strange that such a vehicle should be in preservation. It nevertheless helps to mark an important milestone in Stroud’s more recent bus history. Dating from 1998 and new to Stagecoach in Oxford, R810 YUD was the third of four such vehicles transferred between 1998 and 2000 to undertake a Sunday county council contract to Gloucester via Stonehouse. The vehicles, together with two ex-Manchester Marshall bodied Darts of 1994 that also arrived between the same dates, also served on the 21 between Stroud and Stonehouse and, between them, were Stroud’s first SLFs. Two former Stroud vehicles in two very different guises. Bristol RELH 2062, seen here in blue City of Gloucester “wind up” livery, did in fact spend time at Gloucester, though I do not know whether it was ever in blue. Note National 3024’s destination, previously shown as “ICI Fibres”, a once important contract to the Brockworth factory. Bearing the unused moniker “Stagecoach in Stroud” is 5543, not new to the town but arriving in 1983 in a paint trial related vehicle swap two years after delivery. When in 1983 Swindons vehicles went poppy red, Cheltenham & Gloucester transferred leaf green 5543 to Stroud to conclude its paint experiment. “Those, my friends, were the days and never-ending we thought they’d be” as Randall & Hopkirk (sic) probably never sung. 5540, one of six VRs new to Stroud in 1981, seen alongside 3024, demonstrating the double and single deck versions of the 1983 to 1993 Stroud Valleys’ liveries. Both were recent repaints, in 3024‘s case just a fortnight previously. And then along came the running day and the narrow lanes of the 563 route to Miserden via Sheepscombe...
Stroud Running Days
Cotswold Green RED & WHITE RED BUS _____
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