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Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

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Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby system improver » Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:44 pm

Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service seemed to operate two types of vehicle, route type buses and tourist type vehicles. They seemed to purchase one or two of each type at around the same time. Also, the name on the buses changed over time. The route buses were unsigned while their tourist type buses were signed Bridgland's Tours. The livery for both was cream with a red band lined with white. Later, Bridgland's Golden Tours arrived, corresponding with a change in livery. All of these vehicles were part of the acquisition by the STA on 24th February 1974 and all have Freighter bodies:

First, an Albion Aberdonian (number3), one of a pair new in 1958:

Image

Next, a Commer CMV (number 12) with TS3 engine (replaced by a Perkins 6.354), also one of a pair new in 1960:

Image

Here is its pair (number 14) in the revised livery:

Image

and then as renumbered with the STA:

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Bridgland moved to the Hino chassis in 1969. Here is number 15 on the BG13 chassis:

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Also new in 1969 was number 11, another BG13:

Image

The last new bus purchased by Bridgland was number 7, a Hino BT51 in 1973:

Image

Perhaps the most famous bus at Bridgland's (for enthusiasts anyway) was their number 5, new in 1953 with a Lawton body to the Adelaide MTT as their number 166. It is a Daimler Freeline with a Gardner 6HLW underfloor engine and was used by the MTT as a trial bus. Of course, the MTT eventually opted for the Leyland and AEC chassis for their tram replacement fleet. Number 166 was sold to Bridgland early on (date?). Here are two photos of it:

First, as delivered to the MTT:

Image

Second, after sale to Bridgland's. It operated with two doors for a number of years and the centre door was removed (date?). It is seen here painted in the new livery:

Image

All photographs come from the John Masterton Collection except pic 8 which comes from the State Records Office of SA and is used with permission. Pics 1 and 2 are official Freighter photos, pics 3, 6 & 9 by BruceTilley and the remainder were taken by John Masterton.
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby ALBION1881 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:30 pm

Did they say what happen to 166 a.k.a Bridglands 5 after it finshed service bridglands it would be another rare bus to search for great old pictures of great old buses.
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby leyland4ever » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:54 pm

Number 166 was sold to Bridgland early on (date?).


It was sold by the MTT in 1957. It had little use with them, and was unpopular due to a high floor, meaning an extra step.
I have never come across a photo of it in service, and, although I was only in short pants at this time, I don't remember ever seeing it on Anzac Highway services, which is about the only place it would have been used at that time.

I can remember seeing it on Marion Road, being used by Bridglands, still in full MTT silver livery - must have been just after they purchased it.

The centre door was removed soon after they purchased it - I don't recall ever seeing it with the centre door in Bridgland's livery.

I had many memorable trips on this bus between 1962 & 1966, when it was the regular bus I caught to school from North Plympton to Marion.

Towards the end of Bridgland's ownership, the 5-speed pre-selector gear box was replaced with a four speed monocontrol unit (from spare AEC Regal 1V MTT stock).

It was re-inherited by the MTT in February 1974, and, like several of Bridgland's buses, received a special livery of a dark orange band. (like 7214 & 7215 in the accompanying photos).

I hoped it would get painted back into all over silver, as many of the ex-private buses were from 1976 onwards.

However, it was one of the oldest buses, and leaked oil like a seive, so it was one of the first withdrawals when the Volvo B59s began to appear in 1977.

I was told that it was only allowed to do one round trip in each peak towards the end, and then had to have all the oils topped up!

I purchased it when the STA put it up for sale in 1978, and used it as a spare bus for the school runs I was operating at the time. The mechanic had a real job in sealing all the oil leaks - we were not allowed to run it as the MTT had! I had intended to keep it, and eventually restore it back to original MTT condition.

It was knocked back at its annual inspection in 1980, due to the appearance of rust in a few places - I did not have the resources to undertake a full body strip down at that time, so I put it aside - it even spent a bit of time back at Hackney Depot, in the old tram sheds at the rear of the depot (I managed to lease a bit of space there for a few months, but had to vacate when they demolished them.)

Due to lack of storage space, and other financial constraints, I sold it in about 1983 to a gentleman from Morgan, who intended to turn it into a mobile home. I have tried to track it doen a few times in more recent years, without successs - maybe it will turn up on EBay one day!

It was certainly a magnificent looking machine for 1953!
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Herbert » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:23 pm

Thanks Trevor for recounting that history of 166. I can well imagine your regret at having to part with it - and sadly it was not the only rare bird that had to be let go of in that era for exactly the same reasons (one that comes to mind is the Guy Arab underfloor). As far as I know 166 was the only other Freeline in Australia that wasn't operated by Perth's MTT, but also being unique here as it was Gardner-engined. 166 looked so modern with that large centre door.

A plodding 6HLW coupled to a 5sp mechanically actuated pre-selector understandably didn't have a chance competing with a Worldmaster.
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Santa » Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:59 pm

WOW!
Thanks guys I didn't know so much info was still available about Jumbo. In the 70's the name Jumbo was painted on the front along with lines that resembled a elephants trunk. I was trying to explain No5 (jumbo) to a newer (younger) driver a Goolwa Bus and Coach the other day. Now I'll have the picks to show I remember "with love and hatred mixed together" driving it in service in 1973-74 on the seacliff to city run, finding false neutrals running out of brakes, which were not good even when thy did work!

Like the film lets hope number five is alive. it should be resting in peace at Birdwood.

I would still love to know more about her. I do remember she was featured in truck and bus magazine in an item about old busses still in service of course most other busses featured were in India and Pakistan :D

Do you remember the commers with their crash boxes and the Leyland Tigers with their tripple dooors? :lol:

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby alburybuses » Sat May 09, 2009 2:05 pm

Some great photos from your archives, system improver, I wonder what else is there.

I have a couple of queries re variations on them,

sa.330.366 Commer, no. 14 :
- fuel filler on offside, - air vents under bumper, - angle 'nudge rail' along skirt, - smooth lower side panels(typical CMV),
- Perkins logo between COMMER and Number plate.

sa.SUN.346 Commer, no. 7214 :
- fuel filler on near side (were they twin tanks?), - ribbed lower side panels. - Perkins logo badge above COMMER (maybe due new panels)
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:59 am

Hello! Sorry if I am a non bus person, but those were my Grandpa's buses! Arthur Bridgland - although truth be told the whole operation was run by Grandma - Stella Bridgland. Wow! this brings back so many memories. I spent my childhood at Oaklands Park at the bus depot/garage/house. Uncle Merv (not related) was the manager of the company and Uncle Vic (related) did the maintenance on the buses. Mum worked in the garage and learnt to drive the buses at the age of 14. There was no number 13 because Grandpa was superticious. :D

I used go to Vermont Tech, so I'd get the bus from there down to the depot to work after school at the garage. I saw somewhere a mention of radio aerial, as far as I can remember, there was no radio and the drivers had to stick to a tight schedule (or else!) To be honest I'm not sure about the racks at the back - I think there were later on (1962 onwards). Grandpa died in 1971 and without him, the company had no reason to continue. The house and property were sold and Grandma moved to Moana - permanently.

Thank you all so much for bringing back so many good memories.

Elaine Hardy - daughter of Betty B and granddaughter of Arthur and Stella B
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Looselion » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:12 am

I enjoyed reading your comments just as much as the bus coy history Elaine....
It's great you've been able to reminisce via this forum, something I've also had the great pleasure of doing during the past year or so!
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:15 pm

Hi Looselion, Thank you for your kind words.

I don't know if anybody is aware, but the company started in Franklin street, Adelaide and Grandpa used to park the buses out on the street in front of the house. I was about 3 or 4 at the time when they moved to Oaklands Park (that's 1954). Even then the buses were parked out on the road until the early 60s when the council complained. So Grandpa flattened Grandma's garden to park the buses on the property. She was on holidays at the time. :(

If anybody has any questions, I can ask Mum, she knew just about everything about the history of the buses and time lines and I guess that she can also answer questions about the makes of buses etc.
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Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Rclasstramcar » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:53 pm

Welcome to the ATBD, Elaine.

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:51 pm

Rclasstramcar wrote:Welcome to the ATBD, Elaine.

Ben


Thank you. I spoke to Mum yesterday (I live in Northern Ireland, she lives in Adelaide) and she has some photos of some of the buses. When she sends them to me, I can upload them. She also told me that when the company was in Franklin Street, Grandpa initially had two buses, one caught fire and was destroyed. As a consequence (so Mum says) he bought the first all steel (Bedford) bus in South Australia.
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Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Rclasstramcar » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:00 am

No probs Elaine. Some great tales there.

Cheers,
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby B59 Volvo » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:16 am

I do remember Bridgland's service. The golden buses. The exquisite cursive signage : Golden Tours , Golden Clipper

Elaine M wrote: Sorry if I am a non bus person, but those were my Grandpa's buses! Arthur Bridgland - although truth be told the whole operation was run by Grandma - Stella Bridgland. Wow! this brings back so many memories. I spent my childhood at Oaklands Park at the bus depot/garage/house.


Ah,,, that would have been at the fork of Morphett & Diagonal Road, opposite the level crossing !

The south-western suburbs were the almost exclusive domain of private operators. Bridgland, Henstridge, Campbells, Cole (who purchased Worthleys), and Harcourt Gardens. I have a hunch Briscoes may have had a route from the outer south into Marion Shopping Centre. Maybe not.

I remember the bus stops along the northern face of Marion Shopping Centre. All private operators had their own livery. One could spot their bus without reading the desto roll !

If you have any photos you may kindly share, then I do look forward to seeing them posted.

There is another discussion on Bridgland's services in a history thread in the SA Forum. Scroll down the page, and you may be able to help these fellows in their quest to discover if Bridgland had any AEC coaches :

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=17866&p=752985#p752985
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:56 pm

I have a couple of very old photos of the first bus Grandpa had. I'm just waiting on my photoshop gnome to scan it so that I can post it..... Mum had a look at this thread and of course tells me that I've got a couple of things wrong e.g. Grandma didn't run things (I guess my memories of her telling everybody what to do was really only her telling Grandpa what to do :lol: ) - no change there! :roll: Anyway, the substance is the same.

Yep - the garage and bus depot was on the corner of Diagonal and Morphett roads. I'll have a look at the other thread - thanks.

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby The Phonj » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:41 pm

And just a reminder to all that once the depot was closed in 1977 (concurrent with the opening of Morphettville depot) the depot site was used for the realignment of Morphett and Diagonal roads south of the railway line. The former alignment of Diagonal Road is now called Diagonal Way (it's rather wide for a side street)
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:00 pm

Three photos sent to me by my mother Betty Hardy nee Bridgland. The first is a photo of damage to either the first Bridgland bus or the second (I don't know) by a trailer. According to my mother the trailer broke away when being towed and subsequently a law was passed that all trailers had to be fitted with safety chains.

The other two are photos of the first bus Grandpa and Grandma owned, In one of them, Grandma is standing at the entrance and my Auntie Dulcie is at the window.

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby The Phonj » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:34 am

Reading the list of destinations on the side of the bus shown in the second photo (above), I wonder how many passengers travelled to Murrayville, Victoria??
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:51 am

I understand that photo was taken when they bought it, so it may well have referred to trips made by the previous owner.
The little girl in the window - Dulcie, was born c.1922, to give you an idea when this photo was taken.

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby system improver » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:16 pm

The Phonj wrote:Reading the list of destinations on the side of the bus shown in the second photo (above), I wonder how many passengers travelled to Murrayville, Victoria??


I'm no expert on Adelaide, but my guess is that the "Murrayville" on the desto is a little closer to the city. The word, or abbreviation, after Murrayville will probably be the clue. Perhaps it is "Bridge" or "Road".
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby The Phonj » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:12 pm

Only problem is that I know of no other references to a "Murrayville" (even a Road, etc) in Metro Adelaide. Googling Murrayville Road and Murrayville bridge I did find a house for sale for $70,000 at 13 Murrayville Rd, Pinnaroo - Link if interested - but Pinnaroo is the last town before the border of Vic; and Murrayville is the next major town along the Mallee Highway. Makes sense to have a Murrayville Road there. Referencing the 1936 Gregory's (reprint) street directory I can find no references to a Murrayville (street/road/etc) or a Murrayville placename.

In any case, Sincere thanks for posting these photographs, Elaine M and hope you have a Merry Christmas
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby leyland4ever » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:06 pm

Yes - it is Murrayville, Victoira, just over the border from Pinnaroo!

This all goes back to what might be referred to as the first generation of private bus operators in Adelaide.

They were an enterprising lot, too - many were returned servicemen from the First World War.

It was illegal to caryy passengers within the state, without a licence.

These operators got around this by advertising that their buses were heading to Murrayville in Victoria - as there could be no constraints on interstate trade (I think that still applies today), this was perfectly legal, and the state authorities could not stop them!

Apparently, it was also legal for a passenger to 'break' their journey, by getting off in the City, if they so chose, and, of course, most passengers did just that (or elsewhere along the route in the metropolitan area).

However, if a passenger got on and paid a fare to Murrayville, then the bus was obliged to make this trip. I believe that it was mostly government officials who made such trips!

This was a time of almost lawlessness within Adelaide (hard to believe of the City of Churches, isn't it!)

The MTT's answer was to use some of the C-class single truck tramcars, which had more powerful motors (and were nicknamed 'Desert Golds" after a well-known race horse of the day) to operate as 'nark' cars - untimetabled with the brief to get ahead of the private buses and prevent them taking the Trust's passengers!

Apparently, the buses would even drive on the footpaths at times to get past the trams!


This interesting period is well-covered in Christopher Steele's and John Radcliffe's book, "The Development of Street Transport in Adelaide", which crops up from time to time on EBay, and which is in the SA State Library (and probably other libraries as well).

It eventually came to an end by the introduction of some sort of legislation - and probably the operators were losing too much money carrying the solitary government officials to Murrayville and back! The MTT took over the private buses, and was given the authority to licence all private buses in their operating area.

This is a bit of an "off-the-cuff' potted version of it all - I may have some of the fine detail incorrect, but the gist of it is right - have a read of the relevant chapter in the Steele/Radcliffe book next time you are near a library!

Cheers

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:04 am

Trevor,

Your story is fascinating and I can resonate with what you say. Grandpa was still a teenager when he went to Egypt as part of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, the Ulysses Group. According to the records, Private Arthur James BRIDGLAND, was a 19 year old Blacksmith from Woodville, South Australia. He enlisted on 26 July 1915; and at the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 25 January 1919.

From family stories, he and Grandma suffered along with everybody else during the depression. I was told that Great Grandpa Sandford (Grandma's father) was dying of tetanus and apparently told Grandma and Grandpa that the "money" was inside a roll of lino. It was that stash that was used to buy the first of the Bridgland bus fleet.

My memories were that Grandpa was a keen businessman - as you say, they were an enterprising lot! I have wonderful memories of my childhood at Oaklands Park, I was told that Grandma was a woman that could stand up in a room full of men and be counted and I believe that. I know Grandpa was a clever man. I'm very proud to be part of the Bridgland history, they were good people.
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby leyland4ever » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:08 pm

Hello Elaine,

Many thanks for your further family history - and my apologies for not acknowledging your photographs and previous information in my earlier post! They made a great early Christmas present!

As I have said earlier, I have great memories of Bridgland's buses back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s (I even owned a former Bridgland's bus - the ex MTT Daimler Freeline, No 5 - for a few years after the STA sold it in 1978 - I had intended to restore it to original condition, but like most of my plans, lack of money and other matters got in the way!)

Not very much has ever been officially written about the role private operators played in developing public transport in Adelaide - so often it was left to them to pioneer routes in sparsely populated outer suburbs that the MTT would never have looked at.

Anything at all you can remember about your famuily and their bus operations is very much appreciated indeed!

I have been trying to remember some of Bridgland's buses (and other private operators) of the 1940s-to 1970s era - I have fleet lists of several, which were prepared by the then Bus and Coach Society of SA just before the government took them over in 1974.

I can recall that Bridglands hade two fromt engine Guy Arabs, with Winders and Wadeson bodies - numbers 10 and 11 - number 11 was still running in 1962, and I think was withdrawn in 1963 or 1964. These were quite unusual buses for Adelaide at the time.

Also around 1962, Nos 1,2 and 9 I think were CAC Bedfords (with wrap arond windscreens from memory). I can also recall that there were some OB Bedfords, at least one of which had a rear door - this would have been in the late 1950s.

The two Albion Aberdonians, Nos 3 and 6, dating from the late 1950s, were always favourites of mine - they had a lovely melodious sounding gearbox - they both survived until the MTT takeover (and beyond!).

4,7,8,12 and 14 were all Commers (12 and 14 with semi-coach bodies - I was not so keen on them - I always became a bit queazy travelling on them, even though my journey to school was only 10-15 minutes long - I put it down to the high backed seats!) A further Commer, No 15, was purchased from Campbells in about 1963 - they had only two Commers, and disposed of both when they standardized on AEC Reliances. I think No 15 was sold prior to the takeover, and it looked very similar to one of the photos posted in another thread of Harris Bus Services in Gawler.

The three ex MTT Regal 1Vs, Nos 17, 18, and 19 were purchased arounf 1970/71, and looked a treat in the 'gold' livery! The MTT sent another AEC (No 730, I think it was) to the former Bridglands depot when they took over in 1974, and it got renumbered to 7220 (72 was the depot code for Bridgland, and 20 was the next available number.) It remained in MTT silver, and never got into Bridglands colouors, unlike severl other instances where such buses were painted into the appropriate private livery (it happened at Henstridge, Coles, and Transway at least).
No 5, the ex MTT Daimler Freeline mentioned earlier (MTT 166) was purchased from the MTT around 1957, lasted until the MTT takeover in 1974, and was eventually withdrawn by the STA (as the MTT had become) in 1978, so it had a long connection with Bridglands!

Well, Elaine, if you can find any errors I have made, or have any other information or photos about Bridgland's buses, I am sure we would be very grateful.

Indeed, if there are any other family members or any one at all who has memories of any of Adelaide's private operators, their buses over the years, or just any stories at all, this would be a great way of building up a more comprehensive history than we have available now!

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2012 to you Elaine, and to all board contributors!

Cheers

Trevor
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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby Elaine M » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:31 pm

Thanks Trevor,

The only person left in the family who could possibly help you would be Dulcie but she's in a nursing home. Mum has some basic knowledge, but not to the level that you'd need. Everybody else has gone. I don't know if any of the records of the company have survived. Sorry.

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Re: Bridgland's Passenger Transport Service

Postby system improver » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:03 pm

And here is a link which explains "all" about the trips to Murrayville.
http://www.trammuseumadelaide.com.au/01 ... olley.html

I wonder if the buses ever actually went to Murrayville, especially if there were no passengers left on board after passing through the centre of Adelaide.
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