Back in the mid-20th
century bus services in and around the Wiltshire town of Swindon were operated
by two bus companies, Swindon Corporation Transport and Bristol Omnibus. In 1974 a reorganisation of local government
took place and Swindon Corporation Transport buses were renamed Thamesdown
Transport. In September 1986 Thamesdown
Transport became a limited company at ‘arms length’ from the borough council
ready for Deregulation in October 1986.
In 2017 the company was acquired by Go
South Coast and was rebranded as ‘Swindon’s Bus Company’, the buses wearing
a smart green and blue livery. Meanwhile
Bristol Omnibus was split up prior to Deregulation. In 1983 Western Travel Ltd was formed to
operate the former Bristol Omnibus services in Gloucester and Wiltshire. Local branding was adopted and ‘Swindon &
District’ served the town. In December
1993 Western Travel was sold to Stagecoach and it is Stagecoach West that still operates in the Swindon area in 2019.
Our filming on this
DVD programme takes place during August in both 2018 and 2019. Locations in 2018 include Manchester Road,
Corporation Street, Station Road, Fleming Way, Princes Street and the Bus
Station. Here we see ‘Swindon’s Bus
Company’ buses in-service in both their new Go
South Coast livery of green and blue as well as their former scheme of a
darker blue and green with stylish graphics still with large ‘Thamesdown’ fleet
names. Stagecoach buses are also seen in service. Older Swindon vehicles are Wright Solar-bodied
Scania single-deckers, some in the old livery.
Newer buses are Optare Versa, Wright Streetlite and ADL Enviro 200 and
200MMC single-deckers. Double–deckers
are former ‘Thamesdown’ Scania with East Lancs OmniDekka bodies that are used
mostly for contract work, but also occasionally on stage-carriage duties. Further filming takes place at Regent Circus,
Commercial Road, Farnsby Street, Farringdon Road and Emlyn Square. The 2018 filming concludes in the pretty
market town of Marlborough, where the short ADL Enviro200 buses are seen.
The 2019 visit to
Swindon begins at the smart, modern bus depot of ‘Swindon’s Bus Company’. Our cameras were invited by Go South Coast to film inside the
workshops and parking area. Here we see
the buses being attended to in the modern workshops and also have a look in
detail at 2776 (HF67 ATX), one of the new Enviro 200MMC single-deckers that
have ‘sociable seating’ at the rear. We
also take a look inside 507 (WX06 JYC), a Scania – Wright Solar single-decker that
has been converted to a permanent training bus.
Our cameras travel
onboard 403 (WX60 EDV) an Optare Versa into the town centre for more filming at
a number of locations including Fleming Way.
A further ride is taken on 2775 (HF67 ATV), an ADL Enviro200MMC to
Orbital Shopping Park and we return to Rodbourne Road on 219 (OY16 JVZ), an ADL
Envrio 200 to complete our 2019 visit to Swindon.
We conclude with some archive
video from the camera of Malcolm King of two visits he made in the early 1990s
featuring the buses in Swindon. We would
like to thank Go South Coast for their help in the making of this programme and
we hope you enjoy viewing it.
|| 1990, 2018 & 2019
|| 63 mins
|| Within UK - £16
|| Rest of world -
|| DVD -R
|| Picture Aspect 16:9