Bristol MW – 315 (PDL 515)

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owned by  –  The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum (click title to read more…)

Bristol MW Coach No. 315 (PDL515) is seen in Quay Road, Ryde. On 29 June 1974.
Bristol MW Coach No. 315 (PDL515) is seen in Quay Road, Ryde. On 29 June 1974. © Peter Relf

In post-war years, as business boomed, Bedford coaches were supplied to Southern Vectis, despite the fact that the type was less common in Tilling fleets. These proved adequate, then and in the following decade for Island tours. In those days, there was only an occasional need for vehicle movement to the mainland between the times of delivery and disposal but SVOC nevertheless kept a number of heavyweight Bristol coaches in case a mainland charter was required. 2 MW6G luxury coaches (Nos 314/5) joined the coaching fleet in 1958.

PDL515, seen in Sindall livery at Haslemere, Surrey on 28 May 1981 © Peter Relf
PDL515, seen in Sindall livery after purchase for preservation, at Haslemere, Surrey, on 28 May 1981. © Peter Relf

The Eastern Coach Works bodies featured roof lights and light green leather seats. 315 spent much of its career working from Freshwater depot, driven by coachman Nicky Carter, and would have conveyed Hants & Dorset passengers from Bournemouth on a Round the Island tour. Mainland excursions were uncommon but occasionally it was necessary to transfer groups of prisoners, with escorts, to or from the Parkhurst prisons and a Bristol coach would be used on this duty. 315 was withdrawn at the end of the 1974 season.

Former Southern Vectis 315 (PDL515) is seen in the isle of Wight Bus & coach Museum © Adrian Hill
Former Southern Vectis 315 (PDL515) is seen in the isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum © Adrian Hill

As with many time expired SVOC vehicles at that time it passed to Yorkshire dealer North’s at Sherburn-in-Elmet, being quickly resold to William Sindall Ltd, the Cambridge building contractor, for staff transport. It served for nearly 7 years in this capacity and was then sold for preservation to Peter Relf, at that time located at Haslemere, where it was kept in company with our former MW 806, one of the bus MWs. In July 1988 both vehicles were repurchased by SVOC as it was intended to restore 315 for “vintage” excursions using 806 for spares. In the event it was 806 that was restored by the company while coach 315, which had not been touched, was sold on to a local consortium in May 1991. It was displayed in, and later donated to, The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum.

Vehicle Details/Specification:

  • Bristol MW6G, Chassis No. 135.103
  • Body: ECW No. 10085

Key dates:

  • New, in Tilling cream & green  – May 1958
  • Withdrawn – September 1974
  • Sold to North, Sherburn-in-Elmet  – September 1974
  • Sold to William Sindall Ltd, Cambridge, building contractor, for staff transport  – September 1974
  • Withdrawn and sold to P. J. Relf for preservation – May 1981
  • Sold to Southern Vectis for restoration and further service, not restored  – July 1988
  • Sold to R,Newman, A.Peeling and D.Priddle for further preservation  – May 1991
  • Donated to The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum – 2003

Current Status:

  • Cosmetic  restoration in progress