A Red and White bus on Whitecroft level crossing.
A "Red & White" bus negotiating the level crossing at Whitecroft
The registration number of the bus looks to be SAX 771
Peter Essex added: "... At the risk of utter nerdishness, I remember that kind of Red & White bus in the photo of Whitecroft crossing. My memory is triggered by the fact that its destination blind appears to have been wound to its extremities. In those days (or at any rate into the mid-fifties) there was a bus out from Lydney along Forest Road via Whitecroft and then by various routes to Coleford and Monmouth, but every other hour it continued all the way to Hereford. (I'm pretty certain that only the Cinderford bus from Lydney went out along the top Bream Road in that direction.) The Hereford bus alone had this body. I noticed this when staying at Forest Road. I once caught such a bus from the stop at the junction of Spring Meadow Road and Forest Road down to Lydney Junction and noticed that somebody had carefully painted the destination in whitewash (or something similar) on the front nearside windscreen. Precocious brat that I was, I told the conductor I'd never seen anything like that in London. He patiently explained that the bus didn't live anywhere near Lydney and therefore Lydney wasn't included in the destinations on the blind. I won't start gambling until I've seen a bookie on a bicycle, but I wouldn't mind betting that the bus in the photo is the through bus from Hereford. However, if you're right that the picture is from about 1960, this type of bus may have become more widely used by then".
Alison Phelps added: "... During the 1950s to Early 1960s there was a Red and White Bus like the one in the Picture that went from St Briavels to Blakeney Via Bream Whitecroft, Pillowell, Yorkley and Viney Hill. I travelled on this Bus with my Aunt and we used to get another Bus from Blakeney on to Gloucester".
Terry Harper added: ".. I've got the 1963 Red & White Timetable which shows the buses running through from Lydney to Hereford at 40 minutes past the even hours more or less, with the odd hours to Monmouth only. The Hereford buses went up Fetter Hill to Broadwell and then down into Coleford before returning to Broadwell then round the Lane Ends to Christchurch down to Berry Hill Pike and then on to Monmouth. The others to Monmouth only went to Bream then alternately via Clements End or Clearwell then Coleford and onward to Monmouth. The bus is a Bristol MW which came in to service from 1958 onwards. It may have come from somewhere like Abergavenny to Monmouth or Hereford and been pressed into service on the Service 40 in an emergency. I do n't see why they couldn't display the Service number though as the 3-track blinds were fitted".
Michael Stephens added: "... the Red and White bus looks as as though it was a 1958 Bristol with ECW bodywork and working in Coleford in mid 1960s I can remember seeing the Route 40 bus - which was Lydney Coleford Monmouth Hereford service. Back in the 1960's Red & White had depots in Lydney, Coleford, Cinderford and Monmouth".
Tony Davis added: "... The registration number Prefix SAX denotes that the bus was first registered in Monmouthshire as all Red and White buses were at that time".
John Bunker added: "... We used to catch this bus from Lydney to Bream to visit the Butfield Family. This was space age stuff for us as I think the previous bus was a single decker Guy Warrior".
Roger Chilton added "... was n't this bus nicknamed the sputnik?"
Peter Richards added "... Cannot be 100% sure but I have a strong feeling that the driver is my father Wilfred Richards".
Glynn Brown added: "... this is the St Briavels to Blakeney bus "sputnik". My father Harold Brown drove this bus reguarly with Charlie Cox conducting".
Bob Marrows added: "... Just a note re. the locally dubbed Sputnik bus which operated Red White's Blakeney-St.Briavels service through Whitecroft. That vehicle was not the type shown in the photograph but a Bristol SC small capacity with narrow bodywork and lower gearing more suited to that rural route. Lydney depot's one and only SC with its excessively noisy engine and unusual design inevitably stood out from the crowd. The vehicles adopted nick-name stems from the fact that it was delivered new just weeks after the launch of Russias Sputnik 1 satellite in October 1957 and then became the regular allocated vehicle for the St. Briavels service for more than a decade".
Roger Smith added: "... I joined Red & White as a driver at Lydney in 1970. I passed my test on a bus similar to the one in the picture. The Sputnik had been retired by then".
Peter Cook added (Sept 2014): "... My guess is that this is either a transfer between depots or a route proving journey. Based on the fact that the vehicle looks new and is one of the first of the type supplied to Red & White I would guess it is the latter. If the bus were on service it would carry at least the route number. Route proving - Each new type of vehicle would be driven around the routes it was expected to be used on to demonstrate that it could get round the corners, not get stuck under bridges or ground on uneven roads. I don't think we are told the source of the picture and I wonder if it was actually taken by the Red & White company to demonstrate that the bottom of the bus would clear the hump in the road on the crossing".
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