Baxter's Bus Services (c1959 documentary footage, National Library of Scotland)


A fascinating view of Baxters of Airdrie, a longlived operator taken over by Scottish Omnibuses in 1962. This is a compilation of footage from the 1950s, and can be viewed in full at the National Library of Scotland. The presentation opens with a series of stills, followed by monochrome and the black and white footage. I've opted to rearranged the moving footage as a visual fleetlist, although there is much footage of the yard and the people who worked there, and there may well be additional vehicles I haven't identified. A section in the middle also depicts the trams operating in the area.

The stills begin with this 1916 Clyde, built by Mackay and Jardine of Wishaw, Lanarkshire, known as 'Baxter's Blue Bird':
V7055 was a Leyland with bus and truck bodies - this is the bus body:
I believe this is a Thornycroft dating from around 1920:
VA4928 was a 1926 Clyde carrying fleetnumber 5:
Leyland VA5199:
Smart 1934 Leyland Tiger TS2 11 (KF1267), new to Pearson of Blackpool:
A 1934 photograph reported by the film as showing (from left to right), Albion, Morris, Clyde, Dennis and two Leylands:
A 1937 photograph of a staff outing on this Leyland:
12 (MS9155) is an Alexander bodied Leyland Lion LT1 new to Walter Alexander in 1929:
A sleek long distance coach; this image was used by Baxters on a postcard to promote their 'Private Tours'. I believe it's 15 (XJ6772), a 1933 Leyland Tiger TS2/Alexander:


The moving footage is a joy to watch. This is a visual fleetlist:

22 and 23 (VD850 and VD817) are Alexander bodied Leyland Lion LT3s new in 1931
Parked under cover, 34 (EVD406) is a Crossley DD42/7 with Scottish Commercial lowbridge body new in 1949:
35 and 37 (CVA542 and CVA855) are postwar AEC Regals with Duple coachwork. 35 was new in 1946; 37 was one of a pair from 1947:
Both Maudslay Marathon IIIs bought in 1949, 38 (EVA55) and 39 (EVA56) had Pickering bodywork:
40 (KUP949) is a secondhand Burlingham Leyland Tiger PS1 new in 1950 to Iverson of Esh Winning. 41 (FVA565) is a Burlingham bodied Leyland Tiger PS1/1 new in 1950. It features in the first colour footage and was one of only three vehicles to wear this attractive livery:
1951 Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/11/Duple 42 (GVA289) and 43 (LUP13), a 1950 Burlingham bodied Leyland Tiger PS2/3 also acquired from Iverson:
44 (JVD910), a 1954 Leyland Tiger Cub/Burlingham Seagull; 46 (LVD218), a 1956 AEC Reliance/Alexander; 49, a 1959 Bedford SB1/Burlingham; 50 (CWR283), a 1938 all-Leyland Titan TD5 new as Todmorden 5:
54 and 55 (HVD59 and HVD60), all-Leyland Titan PD2/10; 56 and 57 (KVA657 and KVA658) Massey bodied PD2/10s:
Four more PD2/10s, 58 (KVD286), 59 (FVD224), 60 (HVD60) and 63 (NVD863)(58 and 63 Leyland bodied, 59 and 60 Massey):
65 and 66 are Massey bodied PD2/12s:
Both 1957 Massey bodied AEC Regent Vs operated by Baxters, 67 and 68 (PVD567 and PVD568):
69 (RVD469) is the only PD2/40 operated, bodied by Massey:
70 and 71 (TVD70 and TVD71) are Massey bodied PD2/41s
74 (VVD74), 75 (WVA75) and 77 (YVD77) are Massey bodied PD2/37s:
78 (78BVD) is the lone AEC Bridgemaster:
100 (LDD770) is a Willowbrook bodied Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/9 new to Bevan of Cinderford in Gloucester:
101 (HVA883), a 1953 all-Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/12:
106 (NVA142), a 1956 AEC Reliance/Alexander:
107 (NTJ985), a 1952 all-Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/11 new to Corless of Charnock Richard:
110 (RVA110), a 1958 AEC Reliance/Burlingham:

Some views from the yard:

There's also extended footage of 1959 Leyland Atlantean/Weymann demonstrator 661KTJ in service:
...and there are glimpses of four Scottish Omnibuses buses, Lodekkas AA720 and AA727 (SWS720 and SWS727), and two AEC Monocoaches:


The information in this page was gleaned from several sources, but particularly from Douglas G MacDonald's 2007 history 'Baxter's of Airdrie', published by Tempus Publishing, although I have corrected her a couple of errors that had crept in.

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