Trams and buses through the ages

editorial image

‘Dundee’s Trams and Buses’, compiled by Walter Burt, is a collection of 180 photographs portraying what the title claims. (Published by Amberley, £14.99)

In addition to vehicles operated by the various tram companies, by Walter Alexander (succeeded by Strathtay and Stagecoach) and by Dundee Corporation (later Tayside Regional Transport, Travel Dundee and National Express Dundee), the reader is treated to stunning backgrounds, showing street and buildings of the city, Broughty Ferry and Monifieth in days of yore.

There are also pictures of some of the companies’ ingenious breakdown trucks.

The book could have done with more rigorous editing, as it does not quite seem sure of its route.

While most of the pictures are of Dundee service buses or trams, there is a cute little Austin coach owned by Dickson of Dundee. So if one private coach company is portrayed, where are, for example, Cosgrove’s Coaches, or the fleet of Napper Thomson?

Also missing are any of the coaches which Tayside Regional Transport bought from Greyhound, Arbroath, including four solid Irizar-bodied Volvos and a couple of Ikaruses which latterly had a worryingly damp smell about them.

If I may have one final niggle, I am sure the story of how WTS272T became an open-topper is not correct.

Hopefully Walter Burt can repair omissions with a second volume with the Dundee theme, including even more of the splendid Ailsa buses which formed Tayside’s double-decker fleet in the 1970s and ‘80s, and also further rare buses, such as the four short-wheelbase Leyland Tigers (originally registered B832-5VSR) with 35-seat Reeve Burgess Riviera bodies and funereal black trim.