P.R.C. - Wartime Photographs
Park Royal Coachworks, as it was then, suffered bomb damage during the Second World War. I found these photographs in one of my father's storage boxes. I seem to recall him telling me that it was V2 rocket damage but I am not certain. I know not of any casualties.
This photograph (the second is just an enlargement) was also discovered in one of my father's PRV storage boxes. It is clearly of members of the armed forces but is it anything to do with Park Royal? I do not know! Do you? John Malamatenios believes it could be of the Park Royal Home Guard. It's Commanding Officer (name of Littlejohn), who was decorated, was the foreman of the panel shop.
Chris Ransted confirms the image above as being of the firm's Home Guard. One of the items in the photograph that determines that it's of the Home Guard are the black leather gaiters worn by the chap in the front row far left (the army wore canvas ones, and brown leather for officers). Chris adds that around fifteen members of the Home Guard [in the image] would have formed Park Royal Coachworks' own Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Unit that comprised of civilian volunteers from the workforce, who were, later in the war, incorporated into the Home Guard. They would have been affiliated to the local Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Unit who gave them the necessary training and specialist tools. Training would usually involve the work's unit assisting the Royal Engineers on unexploded bombs in the vicinity giving them experience of the "real thing" before having to potentially deal with a bomb on their own premises. The PRC Home Guard Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Unit was led by a Mr A. F. Stone (These guys were most certainly the bravest of volunteers! Ed.).
Chris Ransted kindly sent in this image of a WW2 1000kg bomb clearly protruding the rear offside wheel arch of an East Kent vehicle, apparently taken by an unknown (but brave) photographer in Norwich. This is quite possible given that buses travelled widely during WW2 for a variety of reasons. (Let alone the photographer, there is also a rather brave fellow standing next to the device. I admit to retouching the left side of the image that was heavily crumpled, creased and partly missing. Ed.) [see also the East Kent & Leyland Tiger pages]
Can anyone identify the vehicle? Could it be PRC/PRV or some other coachbuilder? The only clue appears to be the ash trays set into the back of the seating that leads me to believe it more likely a coach than a bus!
is the answer kindly sent in by Garth Wyver, Garth writes:
You have probably had someone identify the East Kent vehicle with the bomb protruding by now (it's June 2017 & no, I haven't Ed.). However here is my view. I think it was a Leyland TS 7 delivered in 1935 ( Reg JG5431) with Park Royal C32R body. After damage in an air raid it was rebuilt by Park Royal with a full length roof pannier for carrying band instruments. This coach carried the East Kent dark red livery with a narrow cream band, at the time it was damaged.
I gleaned this information from Dick Gilbert's excellent Classic Buses Classic Buses website
I would like to thank you for your excellent web site.
(Thanks Garth for your kind thoughts about my site and your well found input - here is the East Kent page on Dick Gilbert's splendid site - as you say it's all there. Ed.)
following pictures are of the Aircraft Factory machine shop
situated in one of the gantry areas that after WW2 became the setting out.
For more image of the aircraft factory see also (Aircraft Factory) & (The Halifax)