The standard Southdown double-deck bus of the 1960s were Leyland Titan PD3s with bodywork by Northern Counties of Wigan and 285 such vehicles were constructed between 1958 and 1967.
Many were subsequently sold abroad and most since broken up. Fortunately, we were able to rescue and fully restore both open and closed-top examples of these wonderful buses.
Bus number 406 is a Leyland PD3, built in 1964 as one of a batch of 25 convertible open/closed-top vehicles - the detachable roof making this is a particularly unusual bus. In days gone by, the roof would be removed for the summer season and refitted for winter operation.
We operate 406 permanently open-top as we have other traditional 1960s closed-top buses available. 406 is the ideal vehicle for an exciting and unique outing and a firm favourite for shorter wedding journeys, a trip to the races, corporate entertainment or a birthday treat!
The bus can carry 69 passengers in total, with 39 seats on the top deck and 30 on the lower. May we suggest you consider limiting the size of your party to 30 people (lower deck capacity) to allow for any unexpected showers.
406 is usually available for hire each summer season between the beginning of May and the end of September. As you might imagine, this vehicle is very popular so please don't hesitate to get in touch at the earliest opportunity. 'Hats off to the sun!"
The slightly older of our two closed-top buses is number 954, built in 1964 to a style evocative of late 1950s design. On the other hand, bus number 350 built only 3 years later in 1967, fully embraced the swinging sixties by sporting state of the art large 'Panoramic' side windows and a special curved-glass front to the top deck.
Whilst some external details differ, the basic internal layout and design is the same. With 69 seats, (39 upper deck & 30 lower deck), these fine vehicles are a firm favourite with larger wedding parties or groups and ideal for a trip to the races, corporate entertainment or an outing with family and friends.
Available for hire each summer season between the beginning of April and late Autumn, these buses are real gems, being two of the few surviving examples of this type still available for hire.
This seating plan applies to both the open and closed-top buses.
Our vehicles were built in the 1960s and as such were not designed and are not equipped to carry some mobility impaired people. We will do our very best to assist where we can and provide here a guide to indicate how accessible each of our vehicle types are.
The entrance is 23½ inches wide and there is a low contrast polished steel handrail to the left and right. From flat ground without a kerb is a 15½ inch climb, which becomes reduced where there is a roadside kerb. (A portable step is also available).
Once on the lower step, there are 2 further steps of 11½ inches to the slightly inclined floor. Steps are silver with green treads providing some contrast.
Seats are not fitted with handrails but do have low head rests which are of some help to hold on to. Between the seats there is a minimum aisle width of 14 inches.
The entrance is divided by a central, low contrast, polished steel handrail giving a width of 20½ inches either side. From flat ground without a kerb is a 13 inch climb, which becomes reduced where there is a roadside kerb.
Once on the lower step, there are 2 further steps of 8 inches to the level lower deck floor. Steps are green with black nosing providing some contrast.
Seats have polished steel handrails attached to the tops and vertical poles are fitted where necessary. Between the seats there is a minimum aisle width of 16 inches.
One folded wheelchair can be accommodated on-board each of our vehicles. It is not possible for users to remain seated whilst the wheelchair is loaded onto the vehicle because of steps and width restrictions. Please also bear in mind that there are no lifts or ramps fitted to any vehicle, so the assistance of others may be required when boarding or alighting.
As with any substantial item, folded chairs must be placed in the boot of coaches or under the staircase in buses. They may not be left in gangways, block entrances/exits or placed in such a position likely to hinder evacuation of the vehicle in an emergency.
Access to the top deck is via a fairly steep staircase which turns through 180 degrees. There are 7 steps, each up to 11 inches in depth. Silver handrails are fitted both sides.
The staircase on our open-top bus is partly exposed to the elements. Extra care should be taken when using this vehicle as steps and surfaces may become slippery in damp or wet weather.
Additional exits are located at the rear of all vehicles for use in an emergency. Such exits are standard to buses and coaches in the UK and may involve a drop. Please make yourself familiar with the emergency exits when first joining the vehicle and be aware that others may need assistance when using them. It might not always be possible for the driver to assist.
All vehicles carry a first-aid kit. A fire extinguisher is located in the driver’s cab.
The vehicles are based in West Sussex and are usually available for hire in East and West Sussex, Surrey & Hampshire between April and late Autumn each season.
Peter manages our office and is first point of contact. The vehicles can be booked well in advance and we'll be more than happy to discuss arrangements over a year ahead.
Please feel free to get in touch now to check availability and receive a free, no obligation quote.