LTSV > Service Vehicles > Photos > Photo 6828
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This is a rather special photograph, due to the fleetnumbers that were allocated to the two vehicles shown. When London Country Bus Services (LCBS) was created from the country area of London Transport in 1970, it inherited a small quantity of service vehicles from LT. Most retained their existing fleetnumbers in the range 1148F to 1413F, though a trio of Austin vans had their numbers reduced by 1000. For new deliveries and acquisitions, a new number series was started at 1B, initially only for smaller vans. Larger vehicles were numbered from 578F upwards, the reason being that a batch of Ford D550 lorries had been ordered by LT as 1578F-1580F. These were delivered after the split and became LCBS 578F-581F. Successive numbers were used until the arrival of 586F in 1974, after which it was decided that lorries would be numbered in the main series (the first being 19F of 1976) while recovery vehicles would get M-prefixed numbers (eg M1). There were therefore just nine vehicles numbered in the 5xx series and this photo shows two of them.

Taken at Staines Garage on 2nd May 1981, the vehicle on the left is well-known. Low-height bus RLH44 was converted into a uniform issue unit in 1971 and numbered 581J. It served until 1982 (when it was replaced by former Leyland National bus LNB57) and was sold for preservation in 1983. Interestingly it has since been kept in semi-converted state, rather than being returned to pure bus layout. On the right is Ford D0910 stores lorry 585F, delivered new in 1973 and kept until 1982. It is believed to have originally had a grey livery but was in standard National Bus Company green by the time of this photo. Note that there was no attempt to match fleetnumbers to registration numbers, and the more suitable number 584F had already been used on a similar lorry new the year before. Although designated as a stores lorry, LCBS often used such vehicles for driving training duties, as evidenced by the labelling on the front.
Photo ID: 6828
Photo date: 02/05/1981 Size: Regular. An extra large copy of this photo is available.
Date added: 12/07/2021