Bedford OB

In the first of a number of posts about the vehicles at the forthcoming Stroud Running Day, we feature Dr Mike Walker’s Bedford OB.

You’ll have to be fairly senior in years to remember Stroud’s Bedford OBs but those who do have a very high regard for them. They are fondly remembered.

MHU 193 - Bedford OB

In all, 12 operated in Stroud by Bristol Tramways, at various times, from 1951, and they were something of the darlings of the depot. Their staple bus routes were the rural rambles along the Slad Valley and over Whiteway, on the back road to Cheltenham; and the so-called Nailsworth outstations, the small network of local routes radiating from the town of Nailsworth. The vehicles were never hard pressed on these routes: loadings were never of concern (even in the 1950s) and the narrow lanes upon which the diminutive Bedfords found themselves kept average speeds down. There was much hill climbing, though.

The Bedfords were ideal for the routes on which they tended to be allocated. They were progressively converted to on man operation, gaining a power-operated sliding door in the process.

Those in the know at Stroud have always tended to show affection for small buses like the OBs. They replaced similarly well regarded Dennises and, in turn, along came the equally tiny Bristol SUS to replace the OBs, another much loved type which, incidentally, will also be represented at the Running Day.

Dr Walker’s OB isn’t quite what it seems. In spite of the authentic looking registration number, it was actually owned by a school and refurbished by Walker to how it would’ve looked under BTCC.


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