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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Catch The Bus - Part 1

I have been searching for a model bus that fits the place and period of my model railway and I think I have found it. First I had to find out which bus service operated in Crewkerne in the 1960s and a route that included the station, because it is at the station I want to position the bus. The bus service that fits the bill was Safeway Services of South Petherton and the bus I fancied is the AEC Reliance with Burlingham bodywork, registration 200APB. Pictures shown on the web site about Safeway Services placed this bus in the early 1960s and in fact it eventually went into preservation in the 1990s and can be still seen at bus shows today.

I spent a long time searching for an 'off the shelf' Safeway Services model bus of the 1960s to no avail until I came across TiNY Bus & Coach Kits who are planning to introduce a 4mm scale kit of this very bus during 2009 (product no.TK8). (What a coincidence!) Tiny responded very quickly to my email about its availability and price. It is planned to be available later this year. I will need to supply my own decals for the model, not an easy thing to make. I started looking into what company logo Safeway had used on this bus in the 1960s. 

Photos of the bus from that period show an indistinct shield emblem that did not seem to match other Safeway logos from later years. It was only after researching the bus history that it dawned on me what was going on. This bus was originally owned by the bus company Safeguard Coaches of Guildford but was sold to Safeway in 1962. Safeguard had a shield type emblem and what I think Safeway initially did was paint over name details on the shield, which is why the shield in the Safeway pictures looks blocky. I still don't know what logo they applied to the bus before 1965 but I came across another photo of the bus from the period that shows no logo at all! So that could be a blessing for me as I will not need to create an intricate logo for the side of the bus.

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