Buses on Screen > Newsreel > Newsreel B > Busman's Holiday (1960, British Pathe)

Busman's Holiday (1960, British Pathe)

An absolute gem, this is a film extolling the virtues of touring Scotland by coach. It opens with footage of vehicles being built at the Falkirk works of Walter Alexander, and several vehicles outside the works, then shows a farmer in Galloway, Scotland going on holiday. Amidst the travelogue and the picturesque scenery you can see a variety of Scottish buses and coaches.

Vehicles seen at Alexanders are FMS744 (Midland Bluebird, Leyland Tiger Cub/Alexander), KSC543 (Scottish Omnibuses B465,an AEC Regal IV built April 1953) SVD113 (Baxters, Airdrie - Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1 new circa November 1958 - withdrawn by 1963), plus LCS201 (Western Scottish T1391, Bristol MW/Alexander new 1958).

At St Andrews Square we see LSC64 (Scottish Omnibuses A4 - Bristol LS6G/Eastern Coachworks built June 1954) and RSC542 (the 'star' - Scottish Omnibuses B465 - AEC Regal IV/Alexander built April 1953).

Roy Bowden comments:

"I'm not sure exactly when it was filmed but the Dumfries Guy Arab LUF 6HLW/Alexander GCS205 (Western SMT DG 1119) was transferred away from Dumfries in 1959, probably to Greenock,along with the other nine of the same type which were at Dumfries, so the Dumfries and Galloway scenes must have been filmed no later than 1959.

The scenes at Falkirk seemed to feature recent but not necessarily new Alexander bodied single deckers so it might be difficult to estimate a date from this sequence. Having said that, it can't have been earlier than 1958, as there was a Western SMT red and cream MW6G in the background from the LCS batch. (LCS 197-216, fleetnos. 1387-1406 Bristol MW6G/Alexander new 1958). Interestingly it has its fleetnumber on the offside under the driver's side window, so it was either new or only a year or so old, again indicating 1958 or 1959.

I had some inside information regarding the making of this film - it wasn't only the Highland scenes that were subject to some artistic licence. If memory serves me correctly, the Galloway bus driver, 'Ian McKenzie', I don't know if that was his real name or not, was in fact from Edinburgh (presumably New Street). With the likely exception of his conductress, who may also have been from Edinburgh, the other Western Scottish crews seen at Dumfries were authentic.

Now for the real historical gem - farmer Bill Anderson (he of the herd of Belted Galloways) was, I believe, the well known Dumfries and Galloway District Traffic Superintendent Jim Calder. This may indicate that the Highland coach tour passengers may also have been in some way connected with the bus industry in Edinburgh, or failing that, I guess that they may have been actors. Hopefully, somebody will know."

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