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Lolines at 50
Report on the event held on March 1st 2008 to celebrate
50 years of the Aldershot & District Dennis Loline
By Tim Stubbs

The 1st March 2008 was blessed with dry sunny weather as members, bus enthusiasts and the public gathered to celebrate 50 years of the Dennis Loline. The event was marked by operating a free bus service over the former Aldershot & District route 14 - Aldershot to Winchester. Dennis Lolines first operated on this route in March 1958 and a preserved ex-Aldershot Dennis Loline number 357 (SOU 465) was the star of the day. This bus worked the 10.00 departure from Aldershot over the 33-mile route, returning from Winchester at 13.30. In 1958 the journey was times at 1 hour 52 minutes and for the re-creation of the route, a 2 hour timing was used, to allow for photo stops and possible Saturday traffic congestion.

The route operated from Aldershot Bus Station, leaving the town via High Street and Chetwode Terrace. It then passed through Heath End and Hale to Farnham, from there continuing to Bentley, Froyle and Alton. The 14 then passed through a series of villages, these being Chawton (location of Jane Austen's cottage), Four Marks, Ropley and Bishops Sutton en-route to the attractive Hampshire town of Alresford. After Alresford the route avoids the main road and runs through Itchen Stoke, Itchen Abbass and the 'Worthys', namely Martyr Worthy and Kings Worthy, finally entering Winchester via City Road and terminating at the Bus Station. It was possible to follow the original route almost exactly, with the exception of parts of the road now converted to dual carriageway and the Bus stations at each end, which are used on Saturdays for commercial services.

Some other Dennis vehicles came along to join in the fun. These included a 1954 Dennis Lance K4, ex-Aldershot 220 (LOU 48), another bus which, when new, started its work on the 14 road, in this case in February 1954. In addition no less than three Mk III Dennis Lolines were able to take part on March 1st. They were ex-Aldershot & District 488, 503 and 506 (488 KOT, AAA 503C and AAA 506C). The timetable for the day provided no less than 9 journeys over the route.

Through the strong association exists between the Dennis, Aldershot & District and King Alfred Bus enthusiasts groups, two vehicles from the latter association, one a Leyland and the other an AEC, contributed to the event by working some journeys between Winchester and Alton.

The event was well attended throughout the day and in fact the 10.00 journey starting from Aldershot attracted over 80 passengers, so it is fortunate that two buses were provided. The photographs show some scenes from the day.

 
ex-Aldershot & District Dennis Loline 357
Star of the day - ex-Aldershot & District Dennis Loline 357 (SOU 465) seen here at Alton Station heading for Aldershot on the afternoon run
 
Alresford's outstation with Loline 357
The Aldershot and District Traction Co maintained an outstation at Alresford. The building still exists and here Loline 357 draws onto the depot forecourt
 
Dennis Lance K4 220 and Dennis Loline 357
Ex-Aldershot & District Dennis Lance K4 220 (LOU 48) and Dennis Loline 357 pause for a photo stop at Bentley whilst together working the 13.30 journey from Winchester to Aldershot.
Dennis Lance 220
In the 1950s, a feature of the route 14 was for the buses to operate a short return working from Winchester to Alresford before going back to Aldershot. The original terminal stand at Alresford is now the site of a pedestrian crossing but here, a few yards down the road, ex-Aldershot Dennis Lance 220 stands in the main street before setting off for Winchester.
Dennis Loline III 488 (Photo Peter Murnaghan)
Ex-Aldershot & District Mk III Dennis Loline 488 (488 KOT) arrives at the
Broadway, Winchester.
King Alfred Buses AEC Renown (Photo Peter Murnaghan)
King Alfred Buses AEC Renown 595LCG in Winchester broadway,
about to set off for Alresford.

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