As an ex owner of a Bristol L with that same gearbox, I can thankfully say that there is a ‘neutral’ just below fifth so you only coast embarrassed to a halt before ferreting around to select first again and repeat said procedure.
It was described by someone else as a sonata in several movements by unaccompanied gear box. They nailed it there.
Other bus related boxes were the BMMO C5 with all of the right ratios but not necessarily in the right order. It was known as a ‘W’ change box and gears were not where you’d expect them to be. Late in life these motorway coaches were used on bus service. My god, after driving one for about 20 miles, the thought of one of these on an ten hour shift on stop start work would fill me with dread.
other notable mentions were the original MCW MetroRider which were manual gearboxes. The idea that a manual box in a minibus around the houses was bad enough but for added fuckwittery the gate was backwards and the linkage slack meaning obtaining fifth usually involved climbing out of the driving seat and heading towards the entrance door, gearstick in hand.
That leaves us with Fords. Six ratios were offered yet the linkage betwixt lever and box meant that of the six offered, it was random chance that the one selected was any where near the one requested.
Oh yes, may I interject with the Wilson preselect? A wonderful device that in fully manual form could break ones left leg if the selector pedal was sharply pressed and released without fully making sure that the quadrant was properly in gear.. When I say quadrant, some buses didnt use a quadrant to preselect the next gear, oh no. Guys used a gear lever like a manual box just to confuse matters. The Wilson direct acting preselctive gearbox mentioned above was a mere pussycat compared to what drivers had to endure beforehand.
On the subject of Guy buses, there was available at the same time a sliding mesh gearbox and a constant mesh gearbox, both ‘crash’ i.e with no synchromesh. The difference was that one was backwards gate (with the gear pattern reversed so fist was wheee tnird was etc; and one was normal gate. The only difference was that one had a red gearknob and the other black. After a few years in service, the knobs were mixed around so you could never get in a Guy and confidently pull away in first, first time. Bastard things.
Back to cars (well this is a cr sige after all, isn’t it?) Honourable mention must be given to the Cotal gearbox. A car version of the above picured semi-auto with its own version of a miniature gear-lever mounted upon the steering column. Exactly like the later bus box but about 30 years earlier.
I’ll shut up now.