In the days before ‘swooshes’

The Whisperer is always game for a little nostalgia and he’s rather taken with this new illustrated commentary of Scotland’s buses in the 1960s, from new publisher Fawndoon Books.

The majority of pictures are by Harry Hay, who spent a lifetime immersed in the industry and wielded his relatively basic photographic equipment to astonishingly good effect. The pictures have been improved with digital enhancement, bringing the colours of the time to life despite their age.

The Whisperer is reminded that Scotland’s buses in the 1960s were represented by a striking and colourful range of operators, liveries and technologies.

Some vehicles still on the road dated from pre-war years, while others heralded the new era of low-floor single-deckers and rear-engined double-deckers.

This was the era when the new Alexander companies – Midland, Fife and Northern – were coming into their own; when David MacBrayne still held sway in the Highlands; when independents continued to play a major role in the industry; and when traditional municipal liveries were still to be seen in Scotland’s four biggest cities.

While there was a range of colours, with the exception of the odd line following a designed coachline, there’s not a ‘swoosh’ livery to be seen. How times have changed.