1929 BRISTOL “B”-type HW6634, B557
Over 800 Bristol “B”-types (or “Superbus”) were built by the Motor Constructional Works of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company between 1927 and 1937 with the majority of these being supplied to the Tramways’ own operating company: B557 entered service with the Tramways Company in 1929, fitted with Bristol’s own 31-seat forward entrance wooden framed body and powered by their own 4-cylinder petrol engine. B557 was renumbered 350 in 1937 and was promptly withdrawn the same year, being first sent on loan to, and then acquired by, Pontypridd Urban District Council: in 1943 she was sold again, ending up with Morlais Motor Services of Merthyr by August 1944. Since that time there is no record of what happened to the bus, but it is suspected that, when rescued from woods on the Welsh/English border in November 2006, she had been at that location for almost 50 years, and had been used as living accommodation until about 20 years ago.
Over the next few years or so Martin Curtis and Mike Walker hope to re-unite her with appropriate mechanical components (a gearbox has been found, but an engine, rear axle and one wheel are required) and have a new replica body constructed, completing her in the blue livery appropriate to her early years of service in and around Bristol. It is thought that B557 is the only remaining example of this type of bus in the country.
B557 is currently at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, where the remains of the body has been stripped from the chassis, and the chassis has been stripped, shot blasted and painted.