On this page I will include some personal anecdotes from the period in question and would be quite happy to include others. Please send anything you think might be suitable and of interest to other Southdown enthusiasts via the 'contact us' page.

Topless PD2

I believe that it was May/June 1970 when I witnessed a rather embarrassing accident involving at Leyland Titan PD2. My Dad had just picked me up from Emsworth County Primary school on Washington Road and we were to go to Westbourne to make a delivery. As we approached the junction of Victoria Road and North Street we didn’t really take too much notice of the bas that passed the top of the road as we waited to turn left towards the station.

There was then a very deep sounding rumble (akin to that made by an empty tipper truck) and as we turned towards the station we could see where the noise had come from. The bus we had seen was a full height PD2 and it was now well and truly wedged under Emsworth railway bridge which has a height of 11’6” or 3.5m.

Luckily it had been running light (I cannot remember what the destination blind was set to) and as we slowly drove past the driver was sheepishly climbing out of the cab – glass and other debris littered the road.

We avoided coming back that way so as to miss the traffic queues and I never did find out which vehicle it was – no doubt it was scrapped shortly afterwards!

NB - I was kindly contacted by Martin Brown (05/2015) who advised that this vehicle was almost certainly RUF 183 and was subsequently converted to become the company-wide tree lopper (an image of this vehicle appears on the 'Utilities' page. Thank you Martin!