Saturday, 26 May 2012
LGOC B-type Bus B340, 1911
Considered to be the first mass produced motor bus, and as common a sight on London streets in the Edwardian era as the red busses of today, the B-type Bus was built by the London General Omnibus Company from 1910 onwards, replacing the earlier X type and various other motor busses built in small numbers. With a seating capacity of 34, with 16 inside on the long benches and 18 on the open top deck, they were very popular with the LGOC and by 1913 around 2,500 were in service.
Headlights weren't fitted to the busses until 1913, as it was thought the interior lighting would be sufficient at night. As well as being the first 'proper' London bus, and a symbol of Edwardian London, during the First World War the B-type Busses were used on the western front. Around 900 served in France and Belgium, initially after a request to move Royal Marines quickly to Antwerp, and later by the British Army. They were mostly used to transport troops, originally still in LGOC red and white with the adverts and destination blinds still fitted, but before long they were painted in more military colours, and usually had their windows removed and wooden planks fitted instead.
Some were modified, including for use as lorries (either for general service, or fitted with an anti-aircraft gun), or, mostly retaining the original bus body, as a loft for messenger pigeons. This B-type Bus, B340, entered service in 1911 and is now part of the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden
Posted by Richard Hannay at 11:21