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What follows is an attempt to create a brief history of the type, in the form of records and images designed to give even the casual reader some impression of the development and contemporary styling of this varied and interesting fleet of coaches.

My thanks to all those who have helped with valuable data - too many to name I'm afraid.

) when wearing the cream and leaf green livery in which they were delivered.

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Notes: 1619-1644 were converted to dual-purpose DP41C around 1961 with larger destination indicator boxes, but remained in coach livery.

The route numbers, when required, were shown on boards positioned over the front registration plate.

As always, mistakes are inevitable and some relevant information may be missing so, in order to make it as accurate a reference as possible, I would of course welcome any additions or corrections.

Since the list is arranged in order of delivery, the fleet numbers in this list are not in sequence.

The various body manufacturers had their products subtly varied by the company and thus became instantly recogniseable as Southdown vehicles, with their extensive window area and patterned brightwork on the front.

Services were operated under various titles, including "Beacon Tours" (named after Beacon Motor Services of Crowborough, acquired by Southdown in 1949), "Triumph Coaches", a Portsmouth company taken over in 1957 and whose smart blue and cream livery was applied to 21 Southdown coaches at various times through to the early 1960s, and "Buck's Coaches" of Worthing, whose cream / pale blue livery was applied to two Royal Tigers in the mid 1960s.

(Photo: unknown)Martin Cory writes "The picture of the Southdown Royal Tiger 835 is not at Brighton at all, but is actually at what is now called the Lombard Roundabout in Croydon, at the junction of Thornton Road and Purley Way (the A23) and Canterbury Road and Mitcham Road.

The trolleybus wiring overhead was for London Transport route 630 that ran along Mitcham Road, on its way from West Croydon to Harlesden.

Royal Tiger 1823 (LUF 823) is seen opposite Eastbourne Pier at the very end of its 'touring coach' life in the summer of 1961, touting for day-trip customers.

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