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|Details: Kicking off today's batch of photos is this very interesting view of Chiswick Works taken on 23rd August 1977. The location appears to be part of the front yard, with the Scientific Laboratory building in the background. There was a road circuit around this yard, used by trainee bus drivers (and to build up speed before hitting the skid pan). A bus on this circuit is visible behind the red lorry on the right.|
The service vehicles visible are mainly ones that would have been awaiting disposal. On the left are two single-axle trailers (one atop the other) still in old green livery. The lower one appears to be York YT7, which had been new as a dropside trailer in 1960 and which was sold in November 1977. YT6 was also sold on the same date, these being the last of the original batch of York trailers to go. It is therefore highly probable that YT6 is the trailer on top of YT7. Next to the trailers is a Ford Thames Trader towing lorry, recognisable by its fixed sides and the cut-out in the centre of the tailgate. Derek reports that this was 1309F, withdrawn from Upton Park in 1977 (following replacement by Ford D1110 1988F) but not sold until April 1979.
Next in line is AEC Mercury 1071Q, one of three new in 1958 and which were fitted with an early form of tail-lift. Delivered in Chiswick Green with unpainted metal dropside bodies, 1070Q appears to have ended up in allover green while 1071Q and 1072Q were repainted in the 'new' grey livery. The bolster behind the cab is certainly a different colour, probably green. This has been seen on other vehicles, but usually in conjunction with a green cab roof, which does not seem to be present on 1071Q. 1071Q had been withdrawn in 1975 but was not sold until 1979. Curiously the other two Mercury lorries were both withdrawn in 1977 and sold within a few months.
Finally we come to the big red box thing. This is Leyland Titan Breakdown Tender 1278LD and, according to official records, it was the only vehicle in the line-up that was still in use. New in 1964 as a railway breakdown tender, it was switched to a bus breakdown role in 1976, being based at Cricklewood (although some official documents show it as still being allocated to 'Rolling Stock Technical Officer (Railways)' at the time). It was to remain in use until 1983 (as the last of its kind) so the reason for it being in the Chiswick dump is not clear.
Actually I can go a bit further with this photo. Just visible through the windows of the RT-type bus on the right is another red service vehicle. Although only a fragment is visible, I believe that this is AEC Mercury Tower Wagon 1077Q. The only tower wagon to be retained after the dismantling of the last trolleybus overhead wiring, 1077Q was used for other jobs requiring high level access. It was withdrawn in 1975 but (yet again) not sold until 1979. There is something red at the opposite edge of this photo (behind the trailers). This could be a shed or something, with a low angled roof. Or it could be one of the AEC Regent auxiliary breakdown tenders. 830J was still in use from Cricklewood Garage at this time, while Neasden's 832J was withdrawn in July 1977 so seems to be a more likely candidate.
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