AEC Bridgemaster

The AEC Bridgemaster was first introduced in 1956, A.J Romer, the AEC managing director at the time, had a major role in the introduction of the Bristol Lodekka, the first double-decker with centre gangways in both decks and a lowbridge overall height of 13ft 6in. So it was hardly surprising that attention should be turned in this direction at AEC, As it happened, after preliminary studies had been made, it was decided to hand over the design work to Crossley Motors, an associate company.

The first prototype Bridgemaster was built for Walsall Corporation and was fitted with an AEC AV470 engine. Registered YDH 225. Fitted with a Crossley body 72R, to a Park Royal design. In 1960 a forward-entrance version of the Bridgemaster appeared, all earlier examples were of the rear-entrance type. Production of both types continued until 1963 and among the last buses were 13 short (27ft 8in) buses for City of Oxford Motor Services, the last rear-entrance examples were for Leicester, 220-222 DRY, and Lincoln, TFE 535-538, other operators to order the Bridgemaster included East Yorkshire, Western Welsh and Cardiff Corporation, along with Sheffield Corporation and near neighbours, Rotherham Corporation.

The AEC Bridgemaster was by no means an overwhelming sucess and only a total of 179 examples were built in about six years of  production. Unfortunately only a small amount of Bridgemasters survive, including 116 TMD, the former Liverpool E3 and the first example to be preserved. Meanwhile ex South Wales Transport example UCY 837 has been restored at the Swansea Bus Museum and made a return to the road in 2014. ex Leicester City Transport 217 AJF, after thorough and complete rebuild made a superb debut on the bus rally scene in 2011. The latest Bridgemaster to return to the road has been the excellent ex East Yorkshire 9725 AT, which after restoration appeared at it's first rally in 2016.

AEC Bridgemaster's in Preservation or thought to still be around, any updated information appreciated.

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 80 WMH Demonstrator  Abroad?                                                                                        
 118 TMD  ex Liverpool

G. O'Brien - Merseyside Transport Trust.

 PBO 700  ex Western Welsh Gray, Sedgeford?
 UCY 837 ex South Wales Transport

South Wales Transport Group, restored.

 NJV 995  ex Grimsby-Cleethorpes Alan Charles 2015. Rallied 2016.
 307 MFC  ex City of Oxford Reported for sale in Australia, November 2016.
 312 MFC  ex City of Oxford G. Wareham.
 324 NJO  ex City of Oxford Graham. Hobbins. Bus being restored 2016.
 YJG 807  ex East Kent

Friends of the East Kent. Rallied 2016.

 9725 AT  ex East Yorkshire Malcolm Wright. Bus made a return to road 2016.
 3746 RH  ex East Yorkshire  Mike Sterling South Florida 2013
 3747 RH  ex East Yorkshire

Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company Ltd. Available for hire.

 1925 WA  ex Sheffield Corporation

Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company Ltd. Available for hire.

 217 AJF  ex Leicester City Transport 217 Bridgemaster Group, Leicester. Rallied 2016.