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Compared with all the plain green ones, this one looked very smart.
I doubt that few passengers ever noticed the difference, but I did!
Then came the new broom of NBC, like many other depots, vehicles were swapped between fleets, with some going from one end of the country to the other, to slightly misquote Oscar Wilde, the accountants "knew the price of everything and the value of nothing" corners were cut to try and save money, I.e.
bright trim and badges were painted over, or simply not replaced if bodywork was required, wheel trims started to disappear, and all in all the fleet started to look ramshackle and neglected. Unfortunately PTE’s seemed to be little better, in fairness, Go Ahead seem to make an effort, and their vehicles are better presented than those of another company of Scottish origin, but I’m afraid that apart from a handful of smaller companies, the glory days are long gone I like the acronym Ronnie has posted, NBC = No Body Cares.
More likely this was a maintenance edict issued by a management rethink.
Whilst it was a long while before wheel nut indicators etc., instances of loose wheels on large vehicles were not uncommon – I saw three trucks lose wheels on the M1 in a two month period in 1967 – and a stricter inspection regime than previously was put into place by many operators of large vehicles.
The Country Bus and Coach department, which was handed over to the National Bus Company, had no obligation to follow the same path.The trims were attached by a u shaped bracket bolted at each end to the hub.A spring clip in the centre of the bracket passed through a slot in the centre of the trim and secured the trim under pressure.So it seems that I may have got my wires crossed with my previous suggestion.
I confess to have not thought about this feature before, but I cannot recall ever noting a bus of the RF, RT or RM family in service without those smart rear wheel trims.I’ve just had a look through Ken Blacker’s book ‘RT’ (Capital Transport,1979) and he states that ‘in November 1971 the order went out to garages to remove the discs.and their retaining brackets from the rear wheels of all vehicles….reason given was economy…..I used to travel daily on Country Bus RTs from Godstone and East Grinstead and they all had the plain green discs, except one particular bus (don’t ask me which one).