Eastern Coach Works, known as ECW, was based in Lowestoft in Suffolk. The history of ECW goes back several decades, though in this book we pay tribute to buses and coaches bodied during the sixties, seventies and eighties. Originally formed by United Automobile Services, the Lowestoft operation was passed on to the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company in 1931. By 1969 ECW was jointly owned by the National Bus Company and British Leyland, with the latter taking full control in 1982. ECW bodies were most common on chassis built by Bristol Commercial Vehicles, of which the National Bus Company was certainly their biggest customer, and the stylish bodies graced the likes of the Bristol Lodekka, LH, RE and VR, of which the latter was a common sight still in service across England in to the twenty-first century, some twenty-five years after the factory shut down. ECW was closed in 1987.
In this evocative and lavishly illustrated tribute, Peter Horrex offers a wonderfully nostalgic view of an iconic British company.
Peter Horrex was born and grew up around Ipswich in Suffolk, taking a keen interest in the buses of Eastern Counties after his first ride on a Bristol Lodekka at the age of thirteen. Over forty years later, the era of the National Bus Company and Bristol-built vehicles with ECW bodywork are still his favourite.