Coffee table book celebrates legacy of famous Scottish bus and coach builders

A new coffee table book has been published celebrating the final year of what was once Scotland’s largest bus and coach-building manufacturer before the firm was broken up for good.

Buses & Coaches of Walter Alexander and Sons 1960 celebrates the legacy of what was once Scotland's largest bus and coach building firm.

In his new book Buses and Coaches of Walter Alexander & Sons 1960, author and transport fanatic Henry Conn, looks at the final and probably most celebrated year of the Walter Alexander motor services legacy before the company was finally broken up in three regions the following year; the traditional blue liveries finally consigned to the pages of history.

Founded in the Camelon area of Falkirk, Alexanders’ Motor Services began running omnibus services in 1913, eventually expanding in the following decade to become a father and son operated business, W. Alexander & Sons Ltd.

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The company continued a meteoric growth in the region over the next 36 years, stretching from Glasgow and Oban in the south-west to Aberdeen and Forres in the north-east, and was one of the largest bus and coach manufacturers in the UK.

This is No P549 (WG 8128), an Alexander-bodied Leyland TS8 new in March 1939, and working a local Dunfermline service. It would be more than 22 years old when sold in November 1961.

Comprising 128 pages of pure bus and coach indulgence, Conn’s pictorial odyssey pays homage to the end of an era for the iconic Scottish firm, which, at its height, was the biggest in the country.

Buses and Coaches of Walter Alexander & Sons 1960 is available to order for £25 from www.mortonsbooks.co.uk.

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Route 336 ran between Perth railway station and Kirkcaldy, with short journeys to Newburgh. Working one such, with a journey time of 35 minutes, is Newburgh-allocated No PA49 (BMS 211), an Alexander-bodied Leyland PS1 new in March 1948; it would pass to Alexander Fife and remain in that fleet until sold in May 1969.

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The Seagate bus station was opened in 1958 to replace Alexander’s bus station on Lindsay Street/South Ward Road. The site was originally the Trades Lane Calendar Works. The bus seen here is No AC99 (JMS 50), an Alexander-bodied AEC Reliance new in July 1956; it is heading for Aberdeen via Brechin.
This is No G16 (AMS 546), a Duple-bodied Guy Arab III new to Lawson’s in March 1947. It operated in the Lawson fleet until taken over by Alexander Midland in May 1961, then passed to Renilson, a contractor in Forfar, in early 1966.
At the town’s bus station, working town service 3 to Macindoe Crescent, is No RO517 (AMS 232), an NCME-bodied Guy Arab II new in November 1944. It was withdrawn after nearly 23 years of service and passed to Muir in Kirkcaldy for scrap.
This is Nearest the camera is No PA15 (AWG 550), an Alexander-bodied Leyland PS1 new in May 1947. It is working route 360 between St Andrews and Leven, an irregular service taking just under an hour.
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