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THE DENNIS LOLINES
Dennis Loline III with a Dennis Loline
Dennis Loline III with a Dennis Loline at Aldershot on the ADBIG Running Day 2000
(Dennis Loline III 503 and Loline 357)

Half of all the Dennis Lolines ever produced were operated by Aldershot & District (141 out of 280 built). The first version was essentially a Bristol Lodekka manufactured under licence, since at the time, the nationalised Bristol concern was not allowed to sell buses on the open market.
Starting on March 1st 1958, 34 "Loline I" buses, with 68 seat East Lancashire bodies, entered service with A&D, registered SOU 444-477. They were the Company's first vehicles with doors to the rear platform. However, in response to the accelerating trend towards front-entrance double-deckers, Dennis designed the Loline II chassis, which was marketed at the same time, though A&D did not order any. A number went to the North Western Road Car Company, and in the summer of 1960, one of these, RDB 813, came to Aldershot for a two month trial. One of the merits of a front entrance was the ability of the driver to see people boarding and alighting from the bus.

Cover - 1961 Time-Table
A Dennis Loline
was on the cover
of the 1961 Time-Table

Dennis introduced the Loline III in 1961 as its own development of the Loline II, with many features of Guildford design. A&D ordered 57 of this model, though as a result of difficulties at the works of their usual coachbuilder, East Lancashire, the bodies had to be built by Alexander. They were delivered between September 1961 and November 1962, and were registered 394-413 COR, 121-140 DOR and 449-465 EOT. The 68 seat bodies of a number of these carried illuminated offside advertisement panels, though these saw relatively little use after the first few years.

A decision was taken to standardise Lolines for the company's double-deck fleet, so a large batch of fifty was ordered for delivery in 1964. These were registered 481-530 KOT, but Hampshire started the year-suffix numbers in January 1965, so the later members became AAA 503-530C before they went on the road, The bodies were built by Weymann, and the building programme had been delayed into 1965 by a strike at the works.

In subsequent years, several of the Lolines were loaned to City of Oxford Motor Services. Initially, from November 1968, Loline III's of all ages were loaned, but as the arrangement was extended over the next two years, the older Loline I's were sent to Oxford instead.

All but one of the Loline I's were withdrawn before the Alder Valley takeover in 1972, and the demise of the Loline III's was hastened by the decision to adopt one-person operation, for which they were unsuited. The end came in 1980, when the last conductor-operated double-deck services ceased.

Peter Holmes


Preserved Aldershot & District Dennis Lolines

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