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About this eventJoin us in Essex for a full day of late Summer vintage transport photography featuring a 1956 Bedford Duple Vega carrying the livery of Lodge’s Coaches who own this impressive vehicle as part of their heritage fleet.
Our vehicle for the day is Bedford SB MJB 481 which was delivered new to Chiltonia of Chilton Foliat in May 1956 and passed through a number of operators until being acquired by Lodges in 1989 as the first member of their heritage fleet. MJB 481was restored over the next few years and was back in revenue earning service by the early 2000s. In common with other members of the Lodge’s fleet, the SB has appeared in numerous film and television productions including the comedy Rock and Chips and the Jenny Agutter and Bob Hoskins film Outside Bet, while most recently it has featured in a bingo advertisement, though Foxy will not be joining us for the charter as a re-enactor!
The Bedford SB chassis was launched at the 1950 Commercial Motor Show as the replacement for the famous Bedford OB whose design dated from the 1930s (though the majority of OBs were built in the immediate post-war years). The SB, with a number of variations, was a particularly long-lived design being in production for some thirty-six years until December 1986 by which time more than 54,000 had been produced, more than half for the overseas market. While Bedford produced the chassis, a number of different companies built the bodywork including the well-known makers Duple and Willowbrook (the latter was one of several companies which became part of Duple in the 1950s). It initially had a four-speed synchromesh gear box and was fitted with a variety of engines from different manufacturers over the years. The vehicles were also used widely by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army, and could be converted for ambulance use if required.
Lodges Coaches dates from 1920 when Joseph Walter Lodge and his cousin Charles Mead borrowed seven shillings and sixpence from Joseph’s mother in order to invest in a former military converted Model T Ford. They then began to operate a service from High Easter to nearby Chelmsford (the service itself is still running, though with somewhat more modern traction).
Lodges are based in the village of High Easter which is near Chelmsford, a location readily accessible to those living in the South East of England; we hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be an enjoyable event recreating the ambiance of the roads of the 1950s.
Images courtesy Lodges.
- Spare batteries
- All levels welcome
- Sturdy outdoor shoes
- Wet weather gear