DBE 187 - memories of its days in service

The following letter was received from Mr John Clarke of Norfolk, following his visit to our November 2005 Open Day - he remembered seeing this bus in service, and later worked as a conductor for Lincolnshire Road Car and worked on it in service at Skegness.

I am afraid the photo is a bit dull but it was taken on a rather dull Saturday afternoon in August 1961 but I do not have the exact date.

The photographer was R. J. Hawkins, a fellow enthusiast who I met at University and who later became engineering director for NBC before his untimely death some years ago.

DBE187 - Bristol K6A

The vehicle is standing at the Ingoldmells Point stop (where Fantasy Island now stands) and is working what we termed a 'swinger' on service 93. In those far off days the 93 / 93A services provided a 10 minute headway to Ingoldmells Point from 0840 till 2300 but between 0925 and 1335 and again from 1625 to about 2130 three extra vehicles ran between the Station and Ingoldmells Point providing a 5 minute headway to that location. These were known as 'swingers' a term I have only come across in London apart from Skegness. These were much sought after pieces of overtime by the staff although having done 12 trips to Anchor Lane the prospect of another 7 or 8 to Ingoldmells Point did not always fill one with enthusiasm!

In 1961 2115 arrived in Skegness in late May and remained until 29th September when it was returned to Lincoln and I believe de-licensed. At Skegness it was usually utilised on spare duties such as the swingers mentioned above or on the through duplicates to Mablethorpe which operated with the 0900, 1000, and 1100 departures from Skegness in the peak of the season. I certainly conducted it on a through 'dup' to the 0900 on one occasion For a few weeks it also ran on service 96 (Winthorpe Avenue.) As I recall this service utilised three vehicles and for a while was operated by 2115 (K6A) 2128 (K6B) belonging to Sleaford and 2135 Skeg's own K5G Thus one could compare the three variants of the K.

I am not sure if 2115 was at Skegness for the 1962 season but it was certainly there again in 1963. By then I was employed in the traffic office at St Marks Street and one task that came my way was an analysis of loadings on service 90 between Skegness and Mablethorpe. On Wednesday 7 August 2115 worked duplicates at 0900, 1200 and 1715 through from Skeg to Mablethorpe and back and finished its day with a 'dup' to Anchor Lane 2210.

Going a bit further back in history I first came across 2115 in late 1946 / early 1947 when it was numbered 661. I lived in Spilsby until 1961. Service 6 then as now was the trunk route through Spilsby and the stalwart TS7's were replaced by double decks in 1946. At first 657 and 658 were the regular performers from the Lincoln end soon to be joined by 568 at Skegness. However 661 was the first new double deck to appear on that service and I recall being very impressed by the low radiator and bonnet line and by the varnished woodwork inside.

As I recall 661 made fairly regular appearances for a year or two joined by later deliveries of K's and by three of the PD1's (690-2, I never saw 689 on the 6). In the early fifties KS/KSW's had taken over on the 6 and I next came across 661 (2115) on the 65 at Holbeach where it seemed to reside for a number of years. On Sunday 9.12.56 I have a note of 2115 working the 1430 Skeg. to Lincoln - it would presumably be on its way to Bracebridge Heath for overhaul as it was customary to work Boston and Holbeach cars to Lincoln by services 57 & 6 to avoid dead mileage.

We are most grateful to Mr Clarke for this information, and permission to use it on our web site.

Stagecoach Lincolnshire service 6 is still the trunk route between Lincoln and Skegness, and frequent services still operate during the summer season between Skegness and Ingoldmells - although Bristol Ks can no longer be seen in service!

No. 2115 will be re-creating its August 1963 journey on Wednesday 7 August 2013, running from Lincoln to Skegness, then leaving Skegness (Drummond Road, former LRC bus station) at 12.00 noon for Mablethorpe.

It will then return to Lincoln via service 10 via Louth.

This is a members' outing, and the bus will not be in public service.

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