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Sunday, 13 June 2010

Bristol centenary

Well it's not very often you get a story and photos from an event before it is over!

One hundred years ago Sir George White founded the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company. In due course it became the Bristol Aeroplane Company and eventually the British Aircraft Corporation.

I can't do justice to the history here. The Bristol company produced aircraft, engines, lorries, buses and cars. Its Beaufighter was critical to World War II, the Bristol Britannia a cornerstone of civil avation history. Critically the Bristol company did much of the groundwork for supersonic passenger transport - its Type 223 a fundemental part of the development which led to Concorde which, of course, was built at BAC's Filton facility and where today's centenary event took place.

As is well known Bristol produced buses - mostly for the nationalised THC ('Tilling') companies - until 1983 when all production moved to Workington under British Leyland.

At today's event there was probably just about all of the surviving examples of Bristol lorry production, plus a huge range of cars and buses. The oldest vehicle - the newly-restored single-decker Bristol H of 1933 vintage from Colin Billington, and the 1940 double-deck Bristol K5G from the Bristol Vintage Bus Group were amongst the many vehicles which were on display at Filton. Later they would take part in a road run to Bristol city centre and back.

It wasn't quite possible to have Concorde in the background (the last ever flying Conconrde G-BOAF is on display nearby) but nevertheless there were many examples of Bristol engineering history nearby.

The 1940 Bristol K5G referred to in the text, a 1958 Bristol MW5G portraying the 1960s City Centre Circle bus route in Bristol, and Robin Masters' Bristol HG6L lorry new to BRS in 1955.

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1 comment:

  1. Bristol Aeroplane Company did not produce buses at any time in their existence. The buses were produced by the Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company, which was an entirely separate entity and later became Bristol Commercial Vehicles and that company was later merged with Leyland Vehicles.

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