Reading Motorbus 47
Registration Number : RD 7127
Chassis: AEC Regent
Chassis No. 06613647
Engine : AEC A.172 (7.58 litre)
Bodywork : Park Royal L26/26R
Length 26ft 0in, Width 7ft 6in.
Unladen Weight : 6 tons 14 cwts 0 qt
Entered Service : 1 August 1935
Withdrawn : 29 February 1956
The first of a batch of 3 AEC Regents were delivered to Reading Corporation Transport (RCT) in 1933 which was to set the pattern for future motorbus purchases for the next 25 years. The following year saw five more enter service. Three more were taken into stock in 1935 and one of these was 47. These three vehicles were the first batch of metal framed bodies purchased by RCT.
The Regents were the mainstay of the town's motorbus services during the second world war years, coping admirably with the heavy loadings experienced during those difficult years.
This photo, taken in London Street in the early post-war years shows 47 in its original condition.
In 1950 47 underwent an extensive rebuild in RCT’s own workshops and this took most of the year to achieve. The front end was slightly re-designed and included a larger destination indicator. When it re-entered service in November that year its two sister vehicles bought in 1935 were withdrawn.
47 remained in service until the 29 February 1956 whereupon it passed to Lancashire Motor Traders of Salford. After nearly a year in storage it was eventually purchased for further service by A.G. Lingfield (Chesswood Mushrooms) to transport workers between Worthing and Thakeham.
The Reading Transport Society’s first aim when formed in 1961 was to purchase a pre-war RCT trolleybus and motorbus for preservation. AEC Trolleybus 113 was purchased and following discovery of AEC Regent 47 in Worthing, some RTS members visited the owners in August 1961. Although 47 was not for sale at that time they agreed to keep in contact and let them know when it was ready for purchase.
47 in its original AG Lingfield livery in 1961
Subsequently 47 was repainted back into Reading livery externally
and it took part in the 1965 London to Brighton Run.
In 1976 it took part in Reading Transport’s 75th Anniversary Parade and took part in a special running day for preserved ex-Reading buses in 1991 and 1993.
Over several years the interior was gradually restored including the seats being completely re-upholstered and the engine and cab being rebuilt. 47 is one of the oldest buses in roadworthy condition in Britain and made the long journey from Reading to Sandtoft to take part in the Reading Trolleybus event over the 2006 Spring Bank Holiday.
A return trip to Sandtoft was made over the Spring Bank Holiday in 2011 to take part in the BTS's 50th anniversary celebrations when all vehicles owned by the BTS were to be seen together for the first time ever.
It also was on display in Broad Street, Reading on 2 July 2011 and the Reading Buses Open Day the following day.
In August 2018 47 traveled to Sandtoft to take part in the Reading trolleybus 50 event. Sadly, 47s bodywork has become a bit fragile now and can only carry a few passengers at a time. To strengthen the bodywork will be costly and 47 will have to wait its turn until sufficient funds are available.