For today’s archive selection we take a trip to Oxford South in mid 1977 and first up is Oxford South Midlands Series 2 Bristol VRT/ECW 901 (OFC901H). It was originally ordered by Southern Vectis. It was later converted to open top in 1984 but then in 1991 had a roof re-fitted and was used as a driver training vehicle. Upon withdrawal it was bought by the Oxford Bus Museum as a source of spares for the restoration of OFC902H.
Midland Red S25, later F1, Ford R192 with Plaxton Derwent 45 bodywork 6330 (YHA330J) is parked up at the depot alongside Oxford South Midland Bristol RELH6G/ECW dual purpose coach 22 (LJB422E). The Midland Red Ford was new to Banbury but spent a few weeks in September/October 1976 on loan to Oxford. The X59 was a long distance route from Coventry to Oxford operated jointly by Midland Red and Oxford and we believe at the time of the photograph the bus was allocated to Banbury depot and had probably failed whilst in Oxford.
We were pleased to find these two AEC Renown/Park Royal double decks parked up in what was a rather dark area of the depot. On the left is 367 (DFC367D) parked next to 353 (CFC353C).
During the late 1970s Oxford South Midland experienced a vehicle shortage and took a number of withdrawn vehicles from fellow National Bus subsidiary Midland Red. The latter’s DD11 Alexander-bodied Daimler Fleetline 5254 (5254HA) went on loan to Oxford in November 1976 and was transferred to the Oxford fleet the following month where it was allocated fleet number 918.
Next we have Oxford South Midland 384(MJO384H) a Northern Counties Daimler Fleetline pictured alongside 910 (5284HA), a former Midland Red DD11 Alexander-bodied Daimler Fleetline. 5284HA went on loan to the Oxford fleet in April 1973 and was sold to Oxford in February 1975 where it operated until withdrawal in October 1979.
Another vehicle joining the Oxford fleet from Midland Red was 905 (NAC416F) Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 with Northern Counties bodywork. It was new to Midland Red subsidiary Stratford Blue as its fleet number 10 in December 1967. It was absorbed into the main Midland Red fleet in January 1971 and given fleet number 2010. It was withdrawn five months later and was transferred to Oxford in July 1971 where it remained in service until June 1979. It subsequently passed to the Oxford Bus Museum for preservation.
To bring our Oxford archive selection to an end we leave the depot and head out to Charlton on Otmoor where we find Leyland Leopard PSU3/4R/Plaxton Panorama 26 (CRN833D) which carries white NATIONAL livery with Oxford South Midlands fleet name but which was delivered new to Ribble.