Bristol MW6G – 806 (FDL 927D)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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

FDL927D 3
Former Southern Vectis 806 (FDL927D) is seen on newport Quay

The Bristol MW (Medium-Weight) was built in considerable numbers between 1958 and 1966 for Tilling group companies. Southern Vectis took delivery of 7 buses, late in the production run in 1965/6. By the mid ’60s however the high floor, underfloor engined MW, with its awkward stepped and narrow entrance had become rapidly dated. No. 806 was one of 4 vehicles in the 1966 batch (804-7), which followed the initial batch of the previous year. Fitted with dark green leather seats, these vehicles were delivered as 45 seaters but this was reduced to 43 in 1967 by the provision of a luggage pen (it reverted to 45 seat during its second stint with SVOC). They cost a mere £5366 each!

The MWs were powerful machines and were to be found on routes such as the rail replacement 39 between Shanklin Railway Station and Ventnor, which demanded fast running over a quite hilly route. 806 was allocated to Ryde and could be found operating to East Cowes, Newport via Havenstreet or on Ryde Town services. In the summer it would also be used on Wootton Bridge-Woodside, a short route which served several busy holiday camps. All the MW buses were withdrawn in 1977, 806 being the first and were sold to Paul Sykes, a Barnsley dealer, and quickly resold for further operation. 801-3/6 all went to J.P. Wood & Sons Ltd, Craven Arms, as staff transport for their Chukie Chicken factories, where they served for 4 or 5 years.

806 (FDL 927D) senn painted in a representation of former Isle of Wight bus company Enterprise
806 (FDL 927D) seen painted in a representation of former Isle of Wight bus company Enterprise

Our vehicle then entered preservation, owned by Peter Relf of Haslemere, but returned to the Island in June, 1988, when Southern Vectis bought it back along with a coach MW. It was anticipated that 806 would yield spares for the coach but the latter was never renovated. 806 did however undergo restoration and from August 1989 was used on competitive service 99 between Shanklin and Newport. As the competition passed, this bus became redundant in 1992 and after a period in store was placed on loan to the Bus Museum from June, 1997..

806 (FDL927D) is seen under repair in Southern Vectis Ryde depot on 27 May 2008, following a mishap with a tree
806 (FDL927D) is seen under repair in Southern Vectis Ryde depot on 27 May 2008, following a mishap with a tree

FDL927D was purchased outright by The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum in October 2001, initially it was retained in its ‘as withdrawn’ Tilling green and cream livery, which was applied during its second spell at Southern Vectis. Unfortunately the bus came to grief at Havenstreet in the spring of 2008 where it collided with a tree, by this time its paintwork had becoming very tired. It was sent for repair in May 2008 and a decision was made for it to be repainted it into a representation of the livery of the former Isle of Wight company, Enterprise, this repair work and repaint was completed by Southern Vectis.

Vehicle Details/Specification:

  • Bristol MW6G, Chassis No. 233076
  • Body: ECW No. 15853

Key dates:

  • New, in Tilling green & cream  – July 1966
  • Nearside luggage pen added, seating reduced to 43  – 1967
  • Partial repaint, Tilling cream into white, grey wheels and NBC fleet names to cove panels  – unknown
  • Withdrawn  – March 1977
  • Sold to P.Sykes, Barnsley (dealer) – October 1977
  • Sold to P.J. Wood & Sons (Chukie Chicken), Craven Arms – December 1977
  • Entered service as No. 7, repainted in light & dark blue – February 1978
  • Withdrawn and sold to P. J. Relf for preservation – August 1983
  • Sold to Southern Vectis for restoration and further service  – June 1988
  • Restored and repainted in Tilling green & cream, re-entering service  – July 1989
  • Withdrawn and stored – 1992
  • Loaned to The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum  – June 1997
  • Sold to The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum – October 2001
  • Repaired (following accident) and repainted to represent Enterprise livery – 14 July 2008

Current Status:

  • Fully restored and operational