This evening a little piece of 1960s history was (probably) re-created when a 1968 N&C “Brown Bomber” (as they were known) travelled through Bridgend. At one time they were a regular sight as they provided a limited stop express service from Swansea to Cardiff. The company were never one to operate a fleet of identical coaches, but would acquire them from here and there in singles or small batches, some new, some pre-owned, each with a character all their own. Some of the examples I remember operating in the 1950s and early 1960s were true examples of the coachbuilder’s art, my favourites were the Burlingham Seagulls and the Weymann Fanfares. sadly no N&C examples of those two styles survive but two other later models are preserved: a fine Harrington Cavalier bodied AEC Reliance; and the coach that took part in today’s special, a 1968 AEC Reliance with Plaxton Panorama body.

Well, the plan was to intercept this coach at its pick-up point at “The Coach”, a pub on the main road through Bridgend. Fifteen minutes before the scheduled time of arrival, and with the rain chucking it down, I left the house to walk to the stop, I arrived by 7.30 and as it was not due until 7.40. I knew I’d be in plenty of time. I thought it a little strange there was no one waiting but guessed they were in the pub. Meanwhile the rain was beginning to trickle down my neck despite my hood being up and I waited; and waited; and waited. Finally at 8.00 I gave up and came home. I suspect it was either very early, or very late, either way I missed it so you’ll just have to settle with a photo I took at the traffic lights near where I waited!

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