PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RIBBLE ENTHUSIASTS CLUB.
This information was handed to passengers as they boarded the vehicle:
"Ribble & Standerwick welcome you aboard this fabulous and luxurious vehicle, one of a fleet now operating on our long distance coach services between Lancashire, the Midlands and London, the Lake District and London, by day and by night, on the established routes and on the new routes via the M1 Motorway; and on express services between Lancashire, the Lake District, Carlisle and Scotland and to the West of England.
Built to carry you safely, speedily and in the utmost comfort, we hope your journey in it will be a pleasant one.
Revolutionary in many ways, these "Gay Hotess" coaches are unique in that they are the only vehicles of their kind in the world.
The seat in which you are sitting can be adjusted to any one of four positions. To sit upright, press the button near the base of the front support of the arm rest and while still holding it down, exert a little backward pressure on the seat. To adjust the seat to one of the reclining positions, press the button and exert pressure on the seat back - not the seat.
To most of the seats there are foot-rests which can also be adjusted. If, when reclining, you wish to stretch your legs, place the toe of one shoe under the foot-rest and lift, when it will adjust itself to the forward poition.
You will find the head-rests to the seats most comfortable. They are fitted with a small wing at each end so that you may rest your head in comfort.
There is an ash tray to each seat and below it you will find a small handle which, if pulled towards you, provides a small table which you will find useful when refreshments are served.
Your larger items of luggage will have been stowed away in one of the main luggage compartments - all inside the vehicle - but the parcel racks in each saloon will accommodate your hat, coat and the smaller and more personal items of your luggage."
"There is a toilet, complete with wash hand basin, at the back of the coach on the lower deck. A sign, facing the passengers in both the lower and upper saloons, indicates whether or not the toilet is engaged.
For night travel there is the normal interior lighting but in this vehicle it can be controlled for "bright" or "dim" by the driver. For those who wish to read at night, there are lights directed to each seat. They are fixed above each seat - in the lower saloon, on the underside of the luggage rack and in the ceiling in the upper saloon. By reaching up and moving the slide nearest to you, you can switch the light on or off.
The vehicle is manned by a driver and courier-steward or a hostess.
During the journey, the steward or hostess will be pleased to help you in every way possible and at intervals will make announcements of interest over the excellent public address system which is installed in this coach.
"Gay Hostess" is truly hospitable for provision is made for the serving of light refreshments.
From time to time a steward or hostess will offer for sale to you, in your seat, a wide assortment of confectionery at the usual prices, and at suitable times will bring round sandwiches (at 8d. to 10d. each) and cakes (at 6d. each). Then at points en route which will be announced, halts will be made during which tea will be served (at 6d. a cup) or if you prefer, orange drinks can be provided (at 6d. per carton)."
""Gay Hostess" is licensed for the sale of cigarettes which may be purchased from the steward or hostess at any time.
May we tell you what is our aim in providing a magnificent vehicle of the kind in which you are now riding?
IT IS TO GIVE YOU, THE PASSENGER, GREATER COMFORT AND ADDED AMENITIES AT OUR CURRENT LOW FARES.
Only by making full use of the maximum permitted length for public service vehicles, which, regrettably, is still only 30 feet, and building a coach with two decks has it been possible to provide the added room for refinements - refreshments and toilet facilities - and at the same time install 50 liberally spaced first class seats - 34 in the upper saloon and 16 in the lower saloon.
By fitting the engine at the rear of the vehicle, engine noise has been virtually eliminated from the upper saloon and greatly reduced in the lower saloon. By combining orthodox leaf springing with air suspension at the front, a smooth and pleasant ride is ensured.
Passengers who have already travelled in the upper saloon on trial runs tell us they cannot realise they are travelling "upstairs." This is due to the low level chassis, special springing, the luxury seating and the absence of engine noise and vibration. The comfort and pleasure of a ride in the upper saloon in the "Gay Hostess" is far superior to riding in an ordinary single-deck coach.
We are anxious to know what you think of our "Gay Hostess" and should be grateful if, at your journey's end, you would give your views to the driver, or the steward (or hostess)."
Frenchwood, Preston 1960