State ownership brought an abrupt and premature end to Bristol’s export business in the 1940s, the last surviving example of which survives in a working museum in South Africa. JOHN TITLOW discovered this single-decker last year, along with some other British-built classics in a fascinating collection in Johannesburg
When Commission the British acquired Transport the Tilling Group’s bus operations in September 1948, one of the consequences was that its manufacturing interests — Bristol and Eastern Coach Works — were prevented from accepting new orders from operators outside BTC ownership, a restriction that remained until Leyland acquired a shareholding in the two companies in 1965.
That put an end to promising export opportunities that Bristol had only just begun to exploit in India and South Africa. ECW also got in on the act, bodying 50 Bristol LWL6Gs with Gardner 6LW engines for South Africa in 1948, just before Tilling sold out to BTC.