Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith, best on Netscape 800*600

This page created 30th December 2003.

DMO1-7: the ex-Bournemouth Tour Buses.

DMO drawing In 1977 London Transport started looking for a replacement for its open-top buses on the Round London Sightseeing Tour. For three years it had been using hired OM-class buses, the magnificent ex-Midland Red D9s, but the contract for these elderly buses was about to expire. Perhaps inspired by London Country's experience with Bournemouth Fleetlines, LT bought seven of the slightly older Fleetlines from Bournemouth at the end of the 1977 season, after these convertible buses had regained their winter tops. Two had very briefly worked for London Country in August and September at Leatherhead, before progressing on to Aldenham Works.

Aldenham gave the buses a complete overhaul, updated the gearboxes, and familiarised itself with the process of converting the buses between summer tops and winter tops. The buses were also fitted with public address systems on both decks, and a tape-player. They were painted overall red by Aldenham, then went to Stonebridge garage for application of a broad white between-decks band and signwriting for the Round-London Sightseeing Tour. DMO1 went off to Chiswick while DMO2 went to Stockwell for training during April 1978. Roofs were removed, and all seven went into service at Stockwell in May 1978.
In October most of them paid a visit to Aldenham to have the tops refitted, although DMO3 seems to have stayed open-top until the following spring. Perhaps experience suggested the correct mix of open-top and closed-top vehicles for various times of year. Some went into store for the winter, although the tourist programme was increasingly becoming an all-year phenomenon.

The first three were named, but only the first -"Stockwell Princess" on DMO1 - stuck for more than a season.

The seven buses worked through until summer 1981, when their certificates expired. Most then went into store for eventual sale. DMO3 was recertificated, and worked sporadically through to January 1984. DMO1 and DMO7 were bought to operate on the Swedish island of Gotland, DMO4 became an engineering apprentice trainer at Acton, DMO6 was sold for further service in Sussex, and DMO2 and DMO5 were sold to Ensign Bus at Purfleet, subsequently going to California.

DMO3 was bought by Guide Friday in 1984, and went off for continued tourist duties in Stratford-upon-Avon. Following the takeover of Guide Friday by Ensignbus it is maintained in a preserved state by a group of Guide Friday drivers.

Bus Stop Sightseeing DMS. LC hires. DMO bus histories. photo refs.