Posted on 25th April 2024

You may be forgiven for thinking this photo was taken in 1929, when on 26th March in that year this now beautifully restored Mawdslay single deck bus was delivered to Exeter Corporation Transport to operate short journeys as an alternative to those run by the city’s trams.


The bodywork was constructed by Northern Counties Motor and Engineering Company in Wigan and had two passenger doors, one at the front and the other at the rear, which meant that the 32 seats could be split into two separate compartments for smokers and non smokers, definitely not something you would see on today’s buses.


During the vehicle’s life and after having been saved from being scrapped by the Arden family, it spent a period as their temporary home, along with becoming a beacon for aircraft for which it was painted silver and also as a rest room between aero acrobatics.


It was then left forgotten in a barn until bought by York Coaches in 1965 who embarked on a serious restoration project bringing the bus back to almost original condition, although they did re-paint it in their own blue livery.

Maudslay nearside 17Nov12

Today York Coaches is owned by The Moseley Group, through whom The West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust (WHOTT) negotiated its return home.


As you can see in the top photo the destination blinds were meticulously recreated and supplied by McKenna Brothers.