The LONDON TRANSPORT/EASTERN NATIONAL GUYSThis page created 15th September 2020, by Ian Smith
The Grays GuysGrays was a divided town. Divided by the London Transport Act in 1933. London Transport could operate in the western, upriver section of town, and Eastern National in the eastern section - and never the twain should overlap. After nationalisation of both companies in 1948 sense prevailed, and Eastern National was ready to surrender its Grays operations to London Transport. Eastern National had a garage at Argent Street, and a mixed bag of buses, including ten lowbridge Guy Arabs. These were the only ten such Arabs in the Eastern National fleet, not occurring elsewhere. They had Brush built austerity bodies on Arab I chassis, with 5LW Gardner engines. Although they were from just two batches (1942 and 1943) there were minor variations. They had surrendered their war-time grey in place of Eastern National green and cream with black trim. Some had updated blind displays, replacing the original single pane (masked) display with two rubber-mounted panes. Others retained the single pane, but with two blinds behind. One was fitted with a widened blind aperture, in Eastern National's prewar style. All had the ventilators at the top of the front top windows removed, and replaced by plain glass screens. The side windows had the number of openers increased, in some cases using eight sliding ventilators on each deck, in place of the half-drops. Others had the number of half-drops increased from two to four (presumably using those removed from the others).
They worked on the Grays services, most of them serving the various industrial locations surrounding the town and docks, and including the link to the Tilbury Ferry.
In September 1951 London Transport took over the services, the Argent Street garage, the Guys and a number of Bristol and Bedford single-deckers. The garage was given its own code: GA on a red backround, and the buses were given London Transport fleetnames on top of their Eastern National green and cream - and duty number plate holders, of course! They worked for LT on the same routes as before, until December, with a modicum of London Transport STLs also working from Argent Street. Two were withdrawn from service early in December, and were stored at the LT garage, until all were returned to Eastern National at the very end of December.
From January 1952 London Transport introduced a new set of routes covering the town, joining up the routes east and west in a sensible way. The Eastern National route numbers disappeared. Argent Street garage was closed, all the remaining Eastern National buses were returned, and RTs made an appearance working from the LT garage (GY).
The returned Guys were divided between Braintree (which had acquired some Arabs from a take-over), and Clacton. They survived until 1955-56.
Eastern National Grays main routes