The dark red and white colours of Portsmouth’s buses were a familiar sight all over the city until the late 1980s and many of the vehicles still survive today thanks to a local preservation group.
That organisation retained the same initials as the former operator – CPPTD – which was the City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department and is now the City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot.
Between 1992 and 2003 the preservation group had a temporary home in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth when as many as 20,000 people a year sampled monthly free rides around the city.
Many of the vehicles still survive thanks to the preservation group with some on display at the Milestones Museum near Basingstoke. These include a late 1920s’ Thornycroft as well as Portsmouth’s sole remaining tramcar, No84.
Other vehicles, owned by the City Museum and looked after by the volunteers at their Portchester depot include a Crossley Condor converted from a breakdown vehicle about 1949; RV 720 which dates from 1931 and RV 3411 which dates from 1932.
‘The latter,’ says bus enthusiast John Kinchen, from Drayton, ‘was one of a pair converted for use as a Tower wagon for servicing the trolleybus overhead wires until they finished running on July 27, 1963 – a sad day for many people, the end of the silent service and fume-free transport.’
John has provided today’s pictures.