Duple Britania York Bros.
Only the third release on the 1:76 scale luxury Duple Britannia coach, York Brothers of Northampton follow on from the illustrious Wallace Arnold and Bartons versions which comprised numbers one and two in the series.
The history of Duple goes back to 1919 when the bus and coach bodybuilding company was funded by Herbert White in Hornsey, London. In the ensuing years, it survived two world wars, amalgamations with other companies and relocation to both Kegworth and Loughborough. The Duple Britannia belongs to the era following this decentralisation when the company became known as Duple Motor Buses (Midland) Limited, Manufactured between 1956 and 1962, It was based on its immediate predecessor the Elizabethan with underfloor engine chassis but with modified vertical pillars. Duple lasted exactly 70 years until 1989 when the Duple body designs were sold to the Carlyle Works of Birmingham.
Highly detailed in every respect, our flat fronted Duple Britannia is registered TBD 1 and the destination panel below the windscreen indicates it is heading for the British Coach Rally 1959 which was held in Brighton. Fitting therefore that the rear of our coach has the letters HMS Brighton printed under the rear window. Decorated with a bright blue lower body and a smoky blue upper body and roof, the roof lights and front roof windows are coloured in light grey with silver surrounds. The coach features the two windowed passenger door on the nearside with the driver’s door placed higher on the offside.
The interior floor and seating are moulded in smoke grey with a black dashboard and steering wheel. Outside trim is mostly silver or chrome plated and the wide radiator grille is masked black with the Britannia name etched above, the AEC winged badge and the Duple name below.
York Brothers were a local coach tour company established in 1924 based in Cogenhoe just outside Northampton and as printed on the side of the coach, their company address appears to have been 1 Derngate, Northampton. Their main business comprised school contracts, local bus services as well as private hire. We also see the coach seats 41 passengers with a maximum speed of 30 mph. The rear also tells us that the York Bros operation centred round Northampton, Kettering, Rushden and Wellingborough. In 2008 the company became part of Bowen Travel Group.
Our 1:76 scale Duple Britannia proudly displays the York Bros logo and comes on a plinth, clear lid and Oxford Omnibus wrap.