P.R.V. - Red Faces?
And now a lesson in roof removal techniques employed at PRV
In the summer of 1948 a brand new bus off the production line was driven out of the Park Royal Vehicles, Abbey Road plant. It was one of a batch in its pristine glory (this theory is supported by the PRV advertisement attached to the nearside rear window), en-route to service with London Transport.
It's route should have been along Abbey Road, across the Grand Union Canal to the junction with the North Circular Road. But instead it took a left into Twyford Abbey Road and should have turned right into any one of the other three roads that, at the time, joined the North Circular - it didn't! Continuing along Twyford Abbey Road it encountered the Piccadilly Line railway bridge. The bridge won!
The event made the front page of the London Evening News and the photograph is copyright of Associated Newspapers Ltd., Northcliffe House, London. I reproduce it here in the trust that no one will take issue as this is for nostalgic reasons and not for commercial gain.
The photograph was taken outside number 38 Twyford Abbey Road and was kindly sent to me by Patricia Larbalestier who now lives in Vancouver. She is the little girl in the light blazer between the boy and the older girl.
I can bet there were some red faces at PRV. And how fortunate the bus was on an inaugural run with no passengers. I would not wish to consider the otherwise consequences.
Dave Kriesler has advised me: In Ken Blacker's book 'RT - the story of a London Bus' (Capital Transport, 1979 - ISBN 0 904711 18 8), on page 82 appears a ¾ nearside photo, taken inside the grounds of PRV's works, of RT682 (registration JXC45), minus its roof, with the caption: "Even before reaching London Transport, Park Royal bodied RT682 was de-roofed, an event which delayed its entry into service by six weeks. The strength of the upper deck framework was such that no distortion to the window pillars or cantrail is visible despite the severity with which the roof was torn off". The repaired RT682 eventually went into service at Holloway (J) garage in July 48.
If anyone can shed more light on what this unfortunate bus is, please let me know.