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The Fodens of Hampton Red

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The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby system improver » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:50 am

I'm not sure how many Fodens (with Gardner diesel engines) arrived in Australia, but five of them ended up at Hampton Red in Melbourne. Hampton Red (owned by Mr Peeler), so called to distinguish it from Hampton Green, two metro bus routes emanating from Hampton Railway Station, first acquired a Foden in 1951 for their charter work. These photographs come from the John Masterton Collection and were taken by him (JM) or Bruce Tilley (BT) as noted.

Here are four of the five lined up at the Bluff Road Depot in 1968 (BT):
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Here is UV 811, reg 5/51 seen in 1954 as part of the contingent of buses for the Queen's first visit. It was bodied by Symons & Fowler (JM):
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The same vehicle was re-registered HLC 128 in 9/61, but in 11/63 was rebodied by Cheetham & Borwick, pictured here in 1964 (BT):
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Perhaps more famously, two ex Murray Valley Coaches Viewmasters were rebodied for Hampton Red by R V Piper in 1961. The first was HHS 260 reg 2/61, pictured here at Princes Park in 1963 (JM) :
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The second was HLA 042, reg 9/61 (JM):
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Two other Fodens were acquired by Hampton Red, both from Martin's of Albury. The first was a rear engined version with an MBA body, new in 3/56 and registered to Hampton Red in 8/62. It is pictured here at Princes Park soon after acquisition in 1962 (JM):
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The second was HUF 110, new in 7/48 with a Symons & Fowler body, registered to Hampton Red in 5/63, pictured here in 1964 (BT):
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The livery was changed from red with cream to cream with red in 1966. Most of these Fodens worked into the early 70s and I can remember seeing them on my trips to the beach at Sandringham in the 60s. They were "beasty buses" indeed.
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby Foden-nut » Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:27 pm

Hi,
I'm Peter Tulloch from the UK - otherwise known as Foden-nut for obvious reasons - and I have just joined the ATDB. I am a Foden Society, PSV Circle, Omnibus Society and Leyland Society member, but Fodens are my number one interest. I have produced the draft of the PSV Circle's two publications on Fodens and am (slowly!) working on a third, which will not only list all original owners of Fodens, but hopefully all their subsequent owners, plus any changes to the vehicles, such as rebuilt or replacement bodies. I am also hoping to produce an illustrated book on Foden buses and coaches, but that is taking a whole lot longer than I had hoped! Enough of the advertising!
To answer Sysytem Improver's opening question there were 43 Foden PSV chassis exported to Australia, plus another 11 tractor units which were used to pull passenger-bodied semi-trailers. I was delighted to see the great photographs of the Hampton Red Fodens, some of which I had not seen before. Many thanks. Notice the difference between the bodies of the two Symons & Fowler bodied Fodens. The former Martin's bus originally had the same style of windows as the one Hampton's bought new, but was rebuilt whilst still with Martin's. Presumably the window mountings had deteriorated to such an extent that the complete replacement of the frames with smaller windows was necessary.
'Beasty Buses' maybe, but in those days buses had character. Modern buses are all the same! There, that should stir up a few comments!
Any more Fodens for posting, System Improver?
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby system improver » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:09 pm

Hi Peter

Given the singular lack of comments, I didn't think anyone was too interested in the Fodens. So, your comments from the other side of the world are welcome.

Fodens in the 50s and 60s were 'big' buses compared to the more common private buses e.g. Bedfords. I'll send you a pm regarding more photos. I'm glad you enjoyed them.
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby Herbert » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:06 pm

On the contrary - great photos & of great interest, but from fleets from which I'm unfamiliar.

Nearly half of those imported went to one operator - 21 PVSC6s to WAGR Road Services. At least four survive in preservation. Wonderful buses - but very noisy by modern standards & certainly a challenge for those used to the ease of driving modern buses! I well remember sweating it out in F44 for an hour or so being taught how to use the stop-clutch, then not driving it again until over a year later with a load of fellow enthusiasts on-board.

I was very interested to see the photos of the PVR. Do you know whether it was Gardner-powered or had Foden's own two-stroke? I was unaware of any other Australian operator having these interesting buses which seemed to have enjoyed greater success in New Zealand.

Perth had 3 of them, including two with MBA bodies, one of which is claimed in one source to have been the original chassis displayed at Earls Court. They didn't last long with the MTT.
Get the gen, see the shots: www.perthbus.info
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby Foden-nut » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:57 pm

Herbert,

You are quite right that WAGRRS had nearly half of the Australian Fodens, all of which were Gardner powered, including the rear engined examples. The WAGRRS was the largest fleet of Foden PSVs anywhere in the world, beating even the larger Foden fleets in the UK, and generally they were a mixed bunch of new and second hand vehicles, with many different manufacturers and styles of body, unlike WAGRRS' standardised fleet. I was unaware that there were as many as four in preservation. I knew of Terry Duke's F44, which he has now donated to the BPSWA. I also knew that another vehicle, F46 with one of the clipper style bodies had been rescued by the BPSWA, though it might only provide spares for F44. I know that two or three others have been used in the past as movans, but do any of these survive - and are these the others you are referring to?

The New Zealand quintet of rear engined buses were, by contrast, all powered by Foden's two stroke engine. Whilst none too successful with their first operator (Whenuapai Bus Company), who sold them on pretty quickly when they lost the route they operated on, they were nothing short of a disaster for the second operator (City Bus Services, Napier) and contributed directly to their downfall. The company had struggled to maintian them properly with constant overheating problems. City Bus Services were bought out by Hawkes Bay Motor Company, who reasoned that the Fodens were better than the reputation the buses brought with them. They fully overhauled them, and in so doing found that the engine fan had been moved to accomodate the frame of the Hawke body, which accounted for the constant overheating the motors suffered. When this was rectified the Fodens went on to give good service up until the late 1970s, one even surviving until 1980. Most survived for many years as movans and one was sold on Trade Me! as recently as last month, albeit now powered by a Rootes 3-cylinder two-stroke motor!

There were a total of five rear engined buses in Australia - two with Nicholls, Perth, one with North Beach B C, Perth, the Martin's of Albury bus and one with Rutty's Bus Service of Wollongong, which also carried an MBA body. I think it was the Rutty's PVRG6 which was the one displayed at Earls Court, not one of the Nicholls' pair. I understand that the reason for the PVRG6s not lasting too long with MTT was mostly because that operator was, not unreasonably, trying to standardise a very mixed bag of chassis and body manufacturers products that it had inherited with the fleets from the various private companies acquired.

Keep up the comments. Foden-nut
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby HR ambo » Sat May 18, 2013 11:21 pm

Hi everyone. I know this thread is years old, but I thought I'd reply anyway. There may be someone out there still listening.. That first pic in Bluff rd was taken at the top of my street where I grew up in, in the 60's and 70's. I clearly remember the bus depot. They had two huge mechanic's pits in the floor of two huge bays for servicing buses. I think they had another covered area out the back for more servicing, maybe for the major repairs? I used to catch these buses regularly. it's highly likely I rode those exact buses. The depot then became Black Cab's taxi depot, then completely rebuilt to become an everyday petrol station/convienience store (I won't say service station, service is loooong gone)..
I'd love to know where pics 3 and 5 were taken. Anyone know?
This pic here:
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc90 ... an0015.jpg
Was taken at the other end of Hampton, near the station. This terminal was later moved to behind the station, maybe in the mid-late 70's?

Thanks for listening...

....Tim.
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby system improver » Sun May 26, 2013 3:17 pm

HR ambo wrote:...I'd love to know where pics 3 and 5 were taken...

Hi Tim

Pic 3 was taken in Bluff Road outside the depot and I think pic 5 is in Ludstone Street.
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Re: The Fodens of Hampton Red

Postby HR ambo » Sun May 26, 2013 8:44 pm

Hi Sys/imp, thanks for the reply. I reckon you may be right.
Pic 3 just near Apex Ave, looking across to Raynes Park rd. A bit further south from the depot.
See here, where that person is walking on the left, they would be looking from where this pic was taken:
https://www.google.com.au/maps?q=&layer ... CCwQxB0wAA

And yes to Ludstone st, but not too sure where abouts. It was a long street. Do you know the area at all?



Cheers..... Tim.
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