The bus scene around Southampton and its surrounding towns in the 1970s and early 1980s was one of change. The National Bus Company brought together the former nationalised Transport Holding Company fleets such as Hants & Dorset and Wilts & Dorset and the former BET fleets such as Southdown. At first there was little sign of change, but as the decade progressed Wilts & Dorset was merged with Hants & Dorset, area boundaries changed and new standard National liveries were adopted, replacing the former variety. More variety was lost when the much-loved independent operator King Alfred Motor Services of Winchester sold out to its NBC neighbour in 1973. However in 1983 it was all change again, when Hants & Dorset was split into Hampshire Bus and Wilts & Dorset, although their boundaries were different to those before the merger. In the east, Portsmouth was served by Southdown, while in the west of Dorset Southern National served Weymouth and initially also Swanage.??This, the first of a pair of books about the bus scene during this time and place, covers the mainland National Bus Company fleets in an area from Portsmouth to Weymouth and inland up to Salisbury and Basingstoke.