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With fingers crossed I approached the output man for my bus to be told "You’ll have to take that 746 outside." Well, what an utter delight the vehicle was in every way – the gears were like silk, the brakes smooth and superb, visibility great, and the Bristol AVW engine enabled it to ascend the two mile long A660 in fine style.When we got to Leeds the disgruntled and totally disinterested young conductor came to the cab and said "I don’t know what you’re getting excited about, its only a b***** bus." So naturally I fully agree with everything that Ian Thompson says in favour of the model even though "mine" was slightly earlier and "thinner" – the pedigree was the same !!(What shameful thoughts Brendan, even for a early teenager! Well Dad said much the same as Ian and Chris (Y) have done and relished the experience.I recall him saying how light the steering and clutch were, and that the gearbox combined with the Bristol AVW engine worked a treat.
I have some American Railroad DVDs in my collection, with maps.KEL 728 is a Bristol KSW6B new to Hants & Dorset in 1951. After withdrawal from passenger duty in 1969, it became one of the driver training fleet, with various alterations including the fitting of a sliding door and the replacement of most seats by concrete blocks. We see it still in Tilling green and cream but with NBC fleetname in Grosvenor Square during the lunch break one day in August 1975.Living in Southampton as a schoolboy in the fifties, the Bristol engined Ks were familiar and friendly vehicles in the area. The extra width, the style and finish of the interior trim had an edge (in my view) over other contemporary buses and maintained a brighter environment when compared to its successor, the Lodekka.Well, he can never have driven a KSW, which has light, positive, bullet-straight steering, a light clutch, good progressive brakes, a gearbox less forgiving than some but still easy to get used to, a roomy cab with a good step and a firm handle to pull yourself up with, good visibility, reasonable level of engine noise, good stability… As a teenage enthusiast I found the ubiquitous KSWs and LDs uninteresting but a short spell of driving for Thames Valley in 1968 taught me what superbly designed vehicles they were.What an indignity for KEL 728, having to carry concrete blocks around!