Buses ECW Eastern Coach Works Lowestoft England UK

ECW Eastern Coach Works Lowestoft England

Eastern Coach Works

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A preserved Bristol RE with ECW bodywork.

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Leyland Atlantean AN68/1R with ECW bodywork, built in 1978 (YNO 77S) for Colchester Borough Transport, later converted to an open top bus for City Sightseeing operation in Colchester.

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Bristol Lodekka with ECW bodywork

Eastern Coach Works Ltd was a bus and railbus body building company based in Lowestoft, England.

The company can trace its roots back to 1912, when United Automobile Services was founded in the town to run bus services. United began a coach building business at the Lowestoft site in 1920. In 1931, the East Anglian operations of United were hived off into a new company, Eastern Counties Omnibus Company, and Eastern Counties inherited the coach works – now concentrating on building bus bodies, with a workforce of over 600 people. In July 1936, the coach works were separated into a new company, Eastern Coach Works, which developed into the largest full-time employer in Lowestoft.

History

In May 1940, the factory received orders from the military authorities to cease production. It was thought that, following the outbreak of World War II, the East Coast would be the first target for an invading German army, so all wheeled vehicles were moved away from the site so that they did not fall into enemy hands. As a result of this, 950 staff were laid off. By 1947, though, production was back to pre-war levels.

ECW was nationalised in 1947. For the next 18 years, its business consisted mainly of building bus bodies, which were mounted on Bristol chassis, for state-owned bus operators. In 1965, the state-owned Transport Holding Company sold a 25% share in ECW to Leyland Motors, which enabled ECW to sell to the private sector. During the 1960s, it was common to see a bare bus chassis being driven through town by a goggle-wearing driver, delivering the chassis for a body. In 1969, ECW became part of a 50/50 joint venture between the National Bus Company (successor to the Transport Holding Company) and British Leyland (successor to Leyland Motors).

The materials to build the buses came into the Coachworks via Essex Road at the back of the factory, but the newly built buses were driven out of the big doors at the front. They drove down the short, narrow lane, with no pavements called Eastern Way, on their way to their new depot. Eastern Way used to be called Laundry Lane, but the name was changed to Eastern Way following the opening of Eastern Coachworks.

The joint venture came to an end in 1982, when British Leyland took complete control, and ECW closed in 1987. The site was subsequently demolished to make way for the North Quay Retail Park, which opened in 1990. ECW was one of Lowestoft’s largest employers, with around 1200 staff at its peak.

Products

ECW was probably best known for its close association with Bristol Commercial Vehicles. Amongst the Bristol buses most frequently bodied at Lowestoft were the:

Bristol LH – a small, single deck bus (1970s)

Bristol Lodekka – a front-engined double deck bus (1950s and 1960s)

Bristol RE – a single deck bus (1960s and 1970s)

Bristol VRT – a rear-engined double deck bus (1970s), successor to the Lodekka

004

1921 ECW 123 United Lowestoft

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1927 Dodson ECW

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1937 Bristol GO5G ECW H54R W-WY-GO5G

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1937 Bristol JO5G ECW B32F BWT-765

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1938 Bristol L5G ECW B32F CWT-859

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1938 Bristol L5G ECW B32F

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1939 1955 Bristol K59 ECW H30 Rebodied in 1955 OWT-201

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1939 ECW UK

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1941 Bristol ECW UK

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1945 Bristol K6A ECW 27-36R GHN840

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1945 Bristol ECW UK

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1947 Leyland PD1a ECW H30-26R LAE-13

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1948 Albion CX19 Venturer + Eastern Coachworks L27-28R body

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1948 Albion CX19 Venturer with E.C.W. L27-28R body

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1949 Albion 70, right and E.C.W. bodied Bristol NHY939 on the left. The Albion was a CX19 Venturer

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1949 Bristol ECW UK

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1950 Albion Valiant CX39N Roe South Yorkshire Motors 81 ECW

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1950 Bristol ECW UK

1950 Bristol K Lowbridge ECW

1950 Bristol K Lowbridge ECW

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1950 Bristol KS5G ECW L27-28R LTA-813

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1950 Bristol 2467 ECW UK

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1950 Bristol 309 ECW UK

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1951 A Royal Blue, Bristol L6G ECW, coach

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1951 Bristol LL5G ECW 39seat body

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1951 Bristol LL5G V108831 ©buspics.net

029

1951 ECW Bristol LHT 911

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1951 Bristol ECW UK

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1952 AEC Matador ECW body V108839 ©buspics.net

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1952 Bristol KSW6B ECW H32-28R PHN-809

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1952 Bristol LL6B ECW B39RD NFM-46

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1952 Bristol ECW UK

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1952 Bristol ECW UK MXX 317

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1953 GUY GS ECW B26 F MXXX-XXX

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1953 GUY GS ECW B26F MXX-343

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1953 GUY GS ECW B26F MXX-560

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1953, ECW 1299 (OTT 98) Bristol LS6G ©Richard Field

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1954 Bristol Lodekka LD6G ECW LD57R KDL-414

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1954 Bristol LS68 ECW 39F PNN774

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1954 Bristol LWL59 ECW FB39F LAM-107

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1954 GUY ECW UK

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1954 Red & White ECW, Bristol MW6G DS 758 (SWO 986). ©Richard Field

045

1955 Bristol ECW UK

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1956 ECW Bristol 201 United Countries

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1957 Bristol SC4LK ECW B35F 612-JPU

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1957 Leyland PD 2-20 ECW H31-28R YWB-294

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1958 Bristol SC4LK ECW DP 33F 803-FFM

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1959 Bristol ECW UK

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1960 Bristol Lodekka FLF6G ECW bodywork

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1961 Bristol ECW UK

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1961 Bristol ECW UK

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1961 Bristol ECW Royal Blue 1299

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1961 Bristol Leyland Leopard L1 ECW C41F 1881-WA

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1962 Bristol MW6G ECW 39F 7123-LJ

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1962 Bristol MW69 ECW C39F

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1963 Bristol ECW UK

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1964 Bristol RELH69 ECW DP47F AWR-405B

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1964 ECW Bristol MW6G CMG 561 (HFM 561D) © Richard Field

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1964-Preserved-ECW-Red-White-Bristol-RELH

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1965 ECW Bristol RELH6G CRG 106 (AFM 106G) © Richard Field

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1965 ECW Hants & Dorset E.C.W. bodied Bristol LH6L NLJ 525M at Jenkins yard on the 11th of May 1986 © Richard Field

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1965 Bristol ECW UK

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1966 ECW Bristol

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1966 Bristol ECW UK

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1967 Bristol Royal Blue ECW UK

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1968 Bristol RE ECW

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1968 Bristol ECW UK

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1968 Brist0l ECW UK

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1969 Leyland AEC badge to be seen, but A Sabre V8 with ECW coachwork

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1969 Bristol RELH6L ECW DP 49F WHW-374H

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1969 E.C.W. bodied Bristol RELL6L UHY634H © Richard Field

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1969 Bristol ECW 2365 UK

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1969 ECW Bristol RELH6G 2380 (OTA 640G) UK © Richard Field

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1970 Bristol ECW 2508 UK

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1970 ECW Bristol XDL 122L UK

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1971 ECW Bristol RELH6G’s, 623-4 (XWN 623-4J) UK © Richard Field

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1971 Bristol ECW UK

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1974 ECW Hants & Dorset Bristol LD6G SRU 981 UK © Richard Field

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1974 ECW Leyland Malta

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1975 ECW Leyland UK

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1976 Bristol VRLL ECW coach LRN51J with toilet a.o.t. UK

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1976 E.C.W. bodied Leyland Leopard 161 (ANA 92Y). Port Talbot, January 17th 1993 © Richard Field

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1976 ECW Bristol LH6L 31 (OJD 45R) UK © Richard Field

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1976 ECW Leyland Malta

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1977 ECW Bristol FLF6G 51 (OPU823D) UK

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1978 E.C.W. B51 bodied Leyland Tiger, was new to London Country as TL 36 © Richard Field

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1978 ECW South Wales Transport Bristol VRT’s 995-7 (WTH 955-7T) 1993 UK © Richard Field

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1978-Bristol ECW-UK

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1978 Leyland Atlantean AN68 ECW open topper

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1979 ECW Brewer’s Bristol VRT 598 (UAR 598W) was new to Eastern National © Richard Field

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1982 E.C.W. bodied Leyland Leopard 8827 (UKE 827X) © Richard Field

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1983 Leyland Olympian ECW Ribble

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1984 E.C.W. bodied Leyland Olympian 101 (WDL 748) © Richard Field

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1985 ECW UK

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1986 ECW Leyland UK

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1990 Southern Vectis ECW B51 Leyland Leopard

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Eastern Coach Works Coaches Card © Malcolm R. White

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ECW 1965-87

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ECW Buses + Coaches

103

ECW

coachworks

THE  END

Filed Under: AECALBIONBristolBUSESCoachbuildersDodsonECWEnglandGUY,LeylandRibbleROEUK

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Author: Jeroen

In Dutch, my homelanguage: Ik ben Jeroen, tot januari 2015 was ik al dik 26 jaar werkzaam in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis in een stad vlakbij Werelds grootste havenstad Rotterdam. Eerst als verpleegkundige/begeleider op high care, later op afdeling dubbeldiagnose (verslavingen) en ook nog een tijdje als administratief medewerker. Ik heb een spierziekte "Poli Myositis" (alle spieren zijn ontstoken) daardoor weinig energie. Sinds augustus 2015 is daarbij de diagnose Kanker gesteld, en ben ik helemaal arbeidsongeschikt geworden en zit middenin de behandelfase. Gelukkig ben ik daarnaast getrouwd, vader, en opa, en heb de nodige hobby's. Een daarvan is transportmiddelen verzamelen en daarmee een blog schrijven. Dit blog begon met bussen, maar nu komen ook sleepboten, auto's trucks en dergelijke aan bod. Kijk en geniet met me mee, reageer, en vul gerust aan. Fouten zal ik ook graag verbeteren. In English: I'm Jeroen, till januari 2015 I was already 26 years working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, near Rotterdam, Worlds biggest harbour with more than 98 nationalities living within it's borders. First I worked on closed high care ward and the last years on a ward with mainly addicted people. I liked my work very much. In 2007 I got ill. I got the diagnose Poli Myositis, a musscle dissease. Al my mussles are inflamed. And last august I got another diagnose. Cancer. It's plaveicelcel carcinoma and treated with Chemo and radioation. So I've even less energy than the last years. Still I try to make something of my life and the blog is helping with surviving with some pleasure.

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