LTSV > Service Vehicles > Photos > Photo 7329
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972J was one of 5 forward-entrance STL class buses modified as tree pruning vehicles in 1952/1953 as replacements for former ST buses that had been converted during WW2. Four of the vehicles were allocated to the country ('green') area with just one left over to cover the central ('red') area, although all five carried the standard green livery. 972J was the central vehicle for most of its career, being officially allocated to Riverside Garage in Hammersmith but outbased when required. It was photographed in about 1960 at a location believed to be the back yard at Harrow Weald Bus Garage. Note that adverts have been applied to the front. Was this normal? The five vehicles were eventually replaced by custom-bodied Ford trucks in 1962, though fortunately 971J wound up being preserved.
Photo ID: 7329
Photo date: c.1960 Size: Regular. An extra large copy of this photo is available.
Date added: 25/11/2022
Note added Mon 28/11/2022 by Clive G

Different photos of both 972J and 969J show them with and without adverts. I suspect those might all be for National Savings, but they're not all clear enough to see. What may be unique with 972J is the addition of that triangular topped panel on the upper deck above the entrance. It did not have it when first converted so I wonder what that was all about.
Note added Tue 29/11/2022 by Thomas Young

The triangular panel also featured on the offside and I suspect it may have been for a bar to support a tarpaulin to cover the staircase. See Also visible in both photos are additional (and larger) drainage slots cut in both sides at upper deck floor level, which also seem to be a later change. Finally, in the photo here, the front nearside window is uncovered. Others seem to have had this plated (or covered) over.
Note added Tue 29/11/2022 by Thomas Young

New question! Were these vehicles allowed to operate with just one headlamp?
Note added Wed 30/11/2022 by Ray

Is this the former 972J as the fleetname looks rubbed off and there is no longer legal lettering?