Bristol K5G – 703 (DDL 50)

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Vehicle on Loan  –  owned by D. Priddle (click title to read more…)

Southern Vectis No. 703 (DDL 50) at Yarmouth
Southern Vectis No. 703 (DDL 50) at Yarmouth

703 (DDL 50) was the second highbridge vehicle of the 1939 order and the second Bristol K5G within the Southern Vectis fleet. World War II was already in progress by the time it was delivered and the apple green/cream (Southdown Style) livery applied was modified by painting the roof grey so as to be less conspicuous to enemy aircraft.

It shared the heavy wartime workload with its sister bus (702). The pair of them would work the last journey out of Newport to the West Wight loaded with military personnel.

Following the open-top conversion carried out on CDL 899 in 1959, DDL 50 also entered the Body Shop for a similar modification and swapped the post-war Tilling green/cream for the reversed cream/green livery. Garaged at Shanklin Depot along with CDL899, No. 703 also worked the Sandown/Shanklin Esplanade/ Ventnor corridor each summer but in 1969 was taken out of the bus fleet for use on tree lopping duties around the Island (and was lent to Southdown for similar work in 1974). It was eventually painted in the NBC leaf green/white livery and, numbered 001 in the service fleet, continued in use until 1979 when it was sold to the present owner, Derek Priddle of Farnham, for preservation.

Restoration took 11 years as the bus was somewhat battered after the tree cutting work but it now makes regular appearances at vehicle rallies restored to 1959 condition. 703 is on long term loan, with our thanks to its owner, to the Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum and is maintained and available for use events

Vehicle Details/Specification:

  • Bristol K5G , Chassis No. 55001
  • Body: ECW, No. 6685

Key dates:

  • New – January 1940
  • repainted Tilling green & cream – unknown
  • Converted by Southern Vectis to open top, repainted Tilling cream & green – 1959
  • Withdrawn from service – June 1969
  • Transferred to service fleet as Tree Lopper (001) – circa August 1969
  • Repainted into NBC leaf green and white – August 1972
  • Loaned to Southdown as Tree lopper – July 1974
  • Withdrawn from Service fleet – October 1979
  • Sold to D. Priddle, Farnham, for preservation – October 1979
  • Fully restored, MOT tested & roadworthy – 1990
  • On loan to The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum – 13 March 2005

Current status:

  • Fully restored, though currently not fit for service