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Dennis K3 Double Deck
at Aldershot & District
by E.L. Nixon

For some time while waiting for a slot in the bodybuilders programme of building, the chassis of the K3’s were stored in various locations on the Company’s premises. These vehicles were a first for the Company, having Dennis 6 cylinder diesel engines and 5 speed gear boxes. They were fitted with a new style cast aluminium radiator shell not found on any other Dennis products. The first to appear were a batch arriving in early 1949, some of these opening up the ‘20’ route, Aldershot to Guildford to double deck working for the first time. Owing to the pressure of work at the bodybuilders, East Lancs Coachbuilders, a small batch were assembled at the Yorkshire Equipment factory at Bridlington. The first batch to arrive were GAA 624-629 and GOU 824-833, delivered in 1949. The second batch reg GOU 834-847 and HOT 692-701 were delivered in 1950. HOT 697 was exhibited at the 1950 Commercial Motor Show. Three of this batch were assembled at the Yorkshire Equipment factory. Although the vehicles were delivered over two years there does not seem to be any difference in the design of the bodywork. HOT 692 was the first vehicle to enter service with the new style of fleet numbering.

All were delivered in light green with three cream bands and black lining out. For the first time the seating capacity was increased on double decks to 51 seats, the extra three seats being on the upper deck. Interior heating was introduced for the first time on double deck vehicles. There was a trunking in the centre of the front bulkhead which forced hot air into the lower saloon. Heaters were situated under the seats on the upper deck.

I remember travelling on one of these vehicles up over Hindhead on a very cold foggy night and thinking how nice it was to have warm air around one. The bodywork was metal framed with window pans taking sliding vents instead of the earlier half drop type opening windows. These, along with the new style front domes, were to be found on the last three CCG rebuilds, CCG 313,314 and 330. These three bodies presumably were the prototype for the K3 series.

The interior was to the high standard style adopted by A&D, which included light wood polished fillets around the windows and high backed moquette covered seats. The vehicles were distributed around all of the Company’s garages and with their larger engines and 5 speed gear boxes would have been appreciated by the drivers on the longer routes. The first of the batch were withdrawn in 1961, and the last went in 1962. Quite a number went on to operate with other companies and of the whole batch only one survives in preservation, that being 145 GOU 845.

From the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group's Newsletter, Issue No. 58
September 2008

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