Peter Tulloch's
Bus & Coach Review
Another superb picture and story from Peter's archive.





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The subject this time is an early post war single deck PVSC6 vehicle which was operated by the West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board as their fleet number 1 (HWO 590). 

It operated on one of the most steeply graded bus routes anywhere in Britain, between Bargoed and Aberbargoed, including stretches at gradients as steep as 1 in 4.25, with almost a third of a mile at 1 in 8 or steeper. In addition there were two right-angle bends at the foot of the bank. Whilst negotiating these two turns the bus also had to pass under a low railway bridge. Not a route for the faint of heart! Indeed, only specially selected drivers were allowed to drive on this service.

The service was established in 1927 using Swiss-built Saurer buses, which were replaced in the mid-1930s by two Leyland Bull chassis fitted with Dodson bodies. The Leyland Bulls were fitted with sprag gears to prevent the buses rolling backwards in the case of a missed gear change.

To enable quick delivery the first Foden was fitted with one of the pre war Dodson bodies off a Leyland Bull. It was refurbished by Meredith of Blackwood before fitting to the Foden chassis in 1949, but was later replaced with a brand new Willowbrook body in 1953. A second Foden, fitted with an identical Willowbrook body from new, joined the original Foden in 1953 and the pair maintained the service until a new road bypassed the fearsome hill. The Fodens had been joined by a specially adapted Leyland double deck chassis in the late 1950s. The service was re-routed and the two Fodens were no longer needed and after a few months operating schools services the pair were taken out of service in 1964 and sold for scrap.

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