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EYMS Tiger TS7s

In the late 40s and early 50s, we were regular travellers on the Leeds to East Coast services run jointly by West Yorkshire Road Car Co and East Yorkshire Motor Services. The contrast between the 2 operators was a source of constant fascination, especially so with vehicle types in use. The 5LW growl of the much loved WYRCC Js and Ls formed such a contrast with the EYMS offerings, mainly TS7 Tigers with that wonderful smooth growl of the Leyland 8.6.
My particular EYMS memories are of that beautiful "CKH" batch, with "Federation" ECW bodies, 311 being a particularly vivid memory. Oval rear windows too!
From Keith Easton`s excellent EYMS fleet list on this site, I have only recently noticed that 305, 7, 10-14 of this batch were sold to Southdown after withdrawal in October 1950. The question refers to their fate at Southdown. Were they operated, or were they "cannibalised" for spares?
I would love to see a photo of these buses in Southdown livery if they did, indeed, run for that concern.
They were new in 1937, so would be among the first ECW Federation bodies built, after the changeover from ECOC at Lowestoft, and even though they were of so called uniform "Federation" style, there is something about them which cannot be explained, but which points to Lowestoft construction beyond doubt!

John Whitaker

23/12/17 – 11:15

These vehicles are recorded as being acquired by Southdown for their engines only, all but one of the rest of the batch passed to a dealer in Hull. I wonder if the vehicles, or just their engines, made the journey south?

David Hick

23/12/17 – 11:15

These 7 Leyland TS7’s were amongst 50 vehicles acquired by Southdown for their 8.6 litre diesel engines for their plan to run an all diesel engined fleet. They were not operated and the majority had their engines replaced with redundant petrol units and resold immediately.

Pat Jennings

24/12/17 – 06:44

Many thanks to David and Pat for the speedy response to my question re. EYMS TS7s.
A pity they did not run for Southdown as they would have looked superb in that wonderful green livery!
Not that they were not superb looking in their distinctive EYMS colours!

John Whitaker


Slack – Tansley & Slack – Matlock

Can anyone tell me if these are the same business, possibly relocated c.1989/90?.
Is there any documented history available to buy or read?

Les Dickinson

18/12/17 – 07:11

Slack of Tansley, the last time I was there, were half way up the hill out of Matlock. Matlock is simply the nearest town – and possibly the postal town.

David Oldfield

18/12/17 – 07:12

Extract from Slack’s website which I think answers the question : "Founded over fifty years ago in Tansley near Matlock by Mr Ken Slack, the Company now occupies a substantial site on the Northern outskirts of Matlock…"

Stephen Ford


Harrogate to Ripon OB

I’m trying to identify the bus company who ran a school bus service from Harrogate to Ripon grammar school in the early 1950’s.
The bus was a Bedford OB livery as best I can recall was cream and blue.


15/11/17 – 07:22

George, one coach operator who springs to mind is Murgatroyd of Thruscross. I do not know much about Murgatroyd’s, but they did run several Bedford OBs coaches in the 1950s and the livery was white and blue. Thruscross is a hamlet in the Washburn Valley, lying west of Harrogate and north of Otley and Blubberhouses, so this could tie in with the Harrogate-Ripon school contract you mention. In the 1960s I remember Wray’s of Summerbridge, W Pyne & Sons of Starbeck and Dodsworth’s of Minskip (near Boroughbridge) operating their coaches on school work, alongside various buses and DPs of West Yorkshire Road Car, and the vehicles were all smartly turned out members of their respective fleets. As far as I am aware, Murgatroyd’s are still in business, although the livery changed to dark blue at some point.

Brendan Smith

15/11/17 – 07:24

Dredging up memories from the mid 1960s when I was at school in Harrogate, I recall an operator called Simpson of Ripon who had what I remember as a blue & cream Bedford SB RYG 609. (How have I remembered that reg no? Scary!)
Checking on buslistsontheweb, Simpson purchased a number of new coaches from 1949 to 1962, including the aforementioned RYG 609.
They purchased an OB, JWT 848, in 1950 but may, of course, have had other, used, purchases.
All of the foregoing is subject to the vagaries of memory, but it might prompt recollections from others.

John Carr

16/11/17 – 06:41

All of Simpsons OBs were bought new-JWT 848 was the last and remained in use until 1968. The others were:
FWU 231, FYG 809, GWT 340, GWW 292, HWR 61, HWT 531 & HWW 642
The last of these was withdrawn in 1958.

David Hick

16/11/17 – 06:43

Simpsons had at least eight Bedford OBs as follows fwu 231, GWT 340, FYG 809, GWW 292, HWR 616, HWT 531, HWW 642 and JWT 848 all bought new. The were fleet numbers 1-7 and 10. They also had at least four SBs

Les Dickinson


Destination Banner

I have just bought a destination banner off a local bus but I’m not sure which route it would have been. Supposedly it was a Penkridge bus. The banner says "Stonnall via Aldridge" – anyone got any ide which route this would have been and the operator please?

Chris Smith


Gallows Close Scarborough

I am about to make an N gauge layout of Gallows Close Scarborough. I would like to have a bus or two on the layout.
What buses were around in 1962.

Chris Martin

08/11/17 – 06:05

There would have been United Bristol KS, FS, FSF, LD, LDL, deckers, LS, SC saloons and the first RELL’s.

Roger Broughton

08/11/17 – 06:08

Company wise there are four possibilities for local bus operators around Scarborough in 1962. Some links to photographs of the types follow:
East Yorkshire Motor Services ran south to Filey, Bridlington and Hull.
Leyland Titan PD2/Roe:
AEC/Park Royal Bridgemaster new 1962:
United Automobile Services operated the town bus services with country services west to Pickering etc; south to Filey and Bridlington; and north to Whitby etc. West Yorkshire Road Car Company ran to Malton, York, Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate. United and West Yorkshire were both part of the nationalised British Transport Commission and their mainstream buses were generally of the same types:
Bristol K/Eastern Coachworks (lowbridge type):
Bristol K/Eastern Coachworks (highbridge type):
Bristol FS/Eastern Coachworks:
Bristol L/Eastern Coachworks:
Bristol LS/Eastern Coachworks;
Bristol MW/Eastern Coachworks:
United also had their ten seafront service buses:
Hardwicks Services to Ebberston etc – They had three double deckers which I photographed circa 1967. Two were Leylands which were new in the early 1950s so would have definitely been around in 1962. My photos may be seen by following this link:

Naturally, coaches of East Yorkshire, United and West Yorkshire were very familiar as were coaches of scores of other companies.
Hope this helps. By the way just where in Scarborough is Gallows Close?

David Slater


Whereabouts of Portsmouth Corp’n Crossley Condor

Does anyone know the current whereabouts of Portsmouth Corporation’s 1931 Crossley Condor recovery wagon – RV 720 and its condition?

Chris Hebbron

17/10/17 – 06:33

Re RV 720 – it is sitting in the corner of the CPPTD (City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot) depot at Wicor Farm where it has been stored for Portsmouth Museum & Records Service for some years (along with a Tower Wagon and trolley 201). It is complete, but has not run for many years and could do with a new coat of paint.

Kevin Warrington

19/10/17 – 11:25

Thx, Kevin, good to know it’s in safe hands.

Chris Hebbron


East Notts Bus Company

Would anyone have any info on the East Notts bus company in 40s 50s. I believe it was part of Lincolnshire Road Car and worked around Newark Notts.

Tony Phillip

19/10/17 – 11:21

I am not so sure about the 1940s/50s – my impression was that East Notts was a late invention (by NBC?) to operate the east Nottinghamshire (i.e. non-Lincolnshire) routes of Lincolnshire Road Car Co – mainly, I think, Newark locals (80 Farndon; 81 Balderton; 82 Hawtonville – there may have been others).

Stephen Ford

28/10/17 – 17:00

Tony, are you certain about your dates? I have checked a number of sources which reference larger independents in Newark (Wright’s,Gash) and long gone smaller ones such as Goodwin, Garood etc., but no mention of an East Notts. Certainly Lincolnshire were in the town by the late 1930’s and some of these were absorbed. It would be unusual for a Tilling company to retain an old operators name unless it was very substantial, in which case I would have anticipated seeing it somewhere in those sources.
Where the East Notts title does arise however is on Lincolnshire RCC vehicles based at Newark in the 1970/80’s. This arose when NBCcompanies were increasingly reliant on local authority subsidies. Nottinghamshire, covering Newark, were generous supporters in maintaining and expanding the network, whilst neighbouring Lincolnshire were much less so. Politically, it was not seen as right that the Lincolnshire brand should appear on Nottinghamshire sponsored vehicles and the East Notts branding was agreed to avoid this. For similar reasons it is possible that some buses at the Gainsborough depot may have been rebranded also, but not those at Lincoln or Grantham which came into Newark. I cannot recall any suggestion that this resurrected a historical name in any way.
I have a mid 1970’s Nottinghamshire CC/Lincolnshire Road Car timetable for all Newark bus services, which identifies the relevant routes as East Notts, Lincolnshire or shared as appropriate.
As a nod to the NBC Market Analysis project which was not applied in Notts., buses latterly gained local identity branding of Cavalier. Hope all this helps or at least is of interest.

Andy Buckland


ABC Bus Services

I just wondered if anyone has any information about ABC Bus Services, a company which operated from Dunham on Trent, Nottinghamshire, in the 1950s and possibly into the 60s? Proprietors were variously M, F B, and FF Applewhite. There were Applewhite coaches and an Applewhite Garage in Dunham at the time.

Peter Applewhite


Leyland 680 Emissions

Does anyone know of (or where I can find) the emissions data for the Leyland 680 diesel engine?

David Rawsthorn

11/09/17 – 07:05

David, as far as I’m aware, the ‘Euro’ emissions did not come into effect in the UK until 1992 with Euro 1, which is quite a while after 0.680 production ceased. I do not know if any specific UK emissions legislation was in place before that. When I left West Yorkshire Road Car in 1987, engines were still fully bench tested at Central Works on the firm’s two dynamometers, and we simply did a visual smoke check of the engine shop’s external exhaust stack with an engine under full load. Although I’m not sure of the exact date 0.680 production ceased, certainly WY’s Leyland National 2s delivered between 1980-1982 with 0.680 (L11) engines, which had many parts in common with the turbocharged TL11 engines fitted to Tiger TRC coaches, again simply had visual smoke checks based on "t’ rack of t’ eye" techniques, rather than anything more technical. Sorry I cannot be of more help with your enquiry.

Brendan Smith

12/09/17 – 06:36

I believe it was noise legislation that killed the Atlantean rather than emissions. The 680 morphed into the 690 which was a transition to the TL11.

David Oldfield


MCW Metrobus

I was wondering where I could find the technical drawings for the MCW Metrobus, I am doing a 3D project and wanted to bring this bus back to life so to speak for a bus simulator.
I saw the Leyland Atlantean on here and wondered if there was anyway to acquire those drawings for a model as well.

Myronn Codrington

03/08/17 – 15:11

Aldridge Museum have scanned factory drawings of Metrobus interior and exterior.

Roger Burdett

03/08/17 – 15:13

The Model Bus Federation has many 1:76 scale drawings of buses and coaches that include variants of the MCW Metrobus.
Their Metrobus drawings published in past Journals include:
Greater Manchester Mark 1 by Alan Johnson – Journal 210
London Mark 1 (Fleet numbers M1-1440) – Journal 362
Other drawings included in their file list which don’t appear to have been published include: 1980 by D Cole – Reference number 3
1979 Mark 1 (Single door) by T F Blois – Reference numbers 25 and 164
1979 Mark 1 (Dual door) by T F Blois – Reference number 165
1980 Mark 2 by T F Blois – Reference number 163

David Slater


Two Queries for the Price of One

Does anyone know how much the road fund tax for a 35-seat single deck bus taxed as a PSV would have been in 1965 please? A friend has suggested it was around £85 but my (frequently faulty these days) recollection is that tax for buses was pretty much the same as for private cars.
PSVs of that era usually carry a tax disc holder with spaces for three discs. One is obviously the RFT disc, the second is the PSV licence. What was the third please?

Peter Cook

15/09/17 – 07:14

No-one has come back to you and I don’t go back beyond ’68, but one of the discs definitely said ‘Hackney’ and, to make bus travel as economical as possible, it wouldn’t surprise me if the RFL wasn’t the same as a car’s. If C of F’s, the equivalent of a commercial MOT, had been introduced by ’65, could that have been inserted in your third disc holder?

Nick Turner


Trolley Bus Coasting Brake

Could one or some of you knowledgeable members of the site please explain the operation of the trolley coasting brake as used on Huddersfield and Bournemouth vehicles.

Roger Broughton

22/07/17 – 06:44

In addition to Bournemouth and Huddersfield, trolleybus coasting brakes were also specified by the Ministry of Transport for the LPTB and Brighton for certain routes.
The coasting brake was applied by the driver using a switch or lever on the master controller. It connected the traction motor armature and series field in such a way that it acted as a generator and was loaded to a portion of the starting resistance. Whilst in use, the brake limited the road speed generally to less than 15mph and also isolated the power pedal. Gradients of 1in9 and steeper were the deciding factors used by the Ministry for coasting brake use.
Four routes in Huddersfield required the use of the coasting brake and downward speeds were generally about 14mph though this speed could be less by adjustment of the starting resistance load value by the engineering staff.

Richard Fieldhouse

23/07/17 – 06:48

Thank you, Richard, most interesting.
Just a comment on 1 in 9 hills being the trigger point for the Ministry requiring coasting brakes.
In Bradford, the 33 Eccleshill terminus in Faltis Square involved a sharp right turn off from Victoria Road (and also a yellow on black compulsory bus stop), before going down on what was the steepest hill on the system, the 1 in 8 Bank.
The yellow on black compulsory sign was also used on the 8 inbound from Duckworth Lane at Whetley Hill, the 30 inbound on Church Bank and the 42 outbound to Greengates at Albion Road; however, these routes were lower than 1 in 8.
I have never heard of coasting brakes being fitted to Bradford trolleys, any thoughts, please?

Stuart Emmett

22/07/17 -06:15

Many thanks Stuart for your kind comments and yes Bradford was very much on my mind when I made my first posting. Bradford never had any routes where Coasting Brake Regulations were imposed. This was surprising as Church Bank, Whetley Hill and the hill to Faltis Square were all steeper than 1 in 9 criteria.
However I was wrong in saying Huddersfield had four routes with Coasting Brake Regulations as additionally there was the Longwood route which had two short steep sections where coasting brake regulations were lifted in 1949. This makes me think that short steep sections could be exempted so this maybe how Bradford was coasting brake free.
Another reason could be the improved rheostatic brake system introduced with the introduction of the new Series Dynamic and Rheostatic (SD) control system developed by the English Electric Company in partnership with Bradford in 1936/37 period with AEC661T no 634. The greatly improved control system (SD) became standard for most of the wartime trolleybus and post-war production and replaced the regenerative braking systems. By 1950 nearly all trolleybuses had better electric brake systems and were able to stop reliably on any steep gradient so some relaxation of Coasting Brake Regulations may have been possible.

Richard Fieldhouse

24/07/17 – 06:16

Thank you Richard for a very in-depth reply.

Roger Broughton

24/07/17 – 06:17

I cannot claim any special knowledge of the topic but it does occur to me that Bradford was an older system than the others – I think. I would have thought the likely reason if that is correct is that either the technology was unavailable when Bradford’s powers were granted or the Ministry had not reached its decision to insist upon them at that time.

Peter Cook

25/07/17 – 16:30

All sounds most plausible to me Richard, after all, as in many things, Bradford was the first and the last (as in trolleybuses nes pas).

Stuart Emmett


Three United Routes

I would be greatly obliged if someone could kindly provide me with some information. On 29th January 1971, I travelled on United Auto 2251 (651 CHN) on route 224 and the following day on 519 (LHN 219D) and 384 (5084 HN) on routes 222 and 225 respectively. I would like to know where these three routes ran to/from. With thanks in advance.

Alan Welsh

05/07/17 – 06:20

You not stated of where you boarded or departed on the services you travelled on. I would say you were in the Mid County Durham area. Durham,Stockton/Norton -on -Tees, Teeside Area. Routes 222, 224, & 225 fall in the above area. A photograph shows 225 to Middlesbrough, from where it started I no not.A list of stage numbers go from 215 to 275 United covered large area of the North East. 215 being to Sunderland again not known from where it departed from up to 272 Redcar to Stockton. Nearest I can get is services 220 is Durham to Sunderland 221 is Durham to Newcastle. 222 is unknown but maybe from Durham 223 is to Darlington unknown from where, 224 is unknown, As mentioned above 225 is to Middlesbrough. I feel others may be able to fill in the missing details.

Alan Coulson

11/07/17 – 06:59

BLOTW under search registration 5084 HN shows to United under More heading they are 2 photos of the bus you travelled on route 225 Middlesbrough. Photos confirm 5084 HN operated out of Middlesbrough garage photos show coach albeit on a different route 91 to Hemlington South of Middlesbrough. I am unable to find you photos of the other 2 buses you travelled on.

Alan Coulson

11/07/17 – 09:09

The United timetable covering 13th Sept 1970 to 19th June 1971 shows:
222 Redcar – Hartlepool
224 Darlington – Hartlepool
225 Hartlepool – Eston
All three used the same route between Hartlepool and Wolviston but varied as they penetrated Billingham.

Mike Grant

14/07/17 – 16:16

Many thanks Alan Coulson and Mike Grant for your assistance in this matter. Just to put some flesh on the bones as to my original enquiry, this was my first visit to the North East the impetus being to travel on and photograph the Teesside MT (previously TSRTB) trolleybus network before its eventual closure in April 1971. In effect, I had a spare day, and had planned to visit the Hartlepool Corporation system, and between you, you have shown that I used United Auto service 222 from Middlesbrough where I was staying to get to Hartlepool, and 225 to return.
As an aside, and totally non-PSV related, I walked out to the Hartlepool Corporation depot in Lancaster Road and passed the Football Ground at just after 3 p.m. It was only when I got back to Middlesbrough and read the newspaper the next day that I realised that I had walked past a football ground (twice) without realising that there was a match in progress (attendance just over 1,300)! Once again, thanks for your help.

Alan Welsh


Rochdale Cooperation Bus

Could anyone tell me where to find the make of DK 8027 a bus my dad bought in the late 1940s for conversion into a caravan.

Peter Butler

29/06/17 – 10:31

DK 8027 was a Crossley Condor with English Electric H26/24R body new in 1932.

Stephen Howarth


Wallace Arnold – RCA Fylingdales

Re: Wallace Arnold and their RCA Fylingdales contract (not the minibus Bedford’s internal contract, but the one that used former WAT coaches).
Grateful if anyone can answer ANY the following questions please:
1) It is known the contract started in 1963 but when did it finish (and why)? (For example was in 1987 when the Scarborough operations were sold onto East Yorkshire).
2) Apart from operating 24/7, 7 days a week to Fylingdales from Whitby, Pickering and Scarborough, what were the actual routes operated?
3)It is known that the former WAT coaches were operated (I have not given full details to save space):
-Fords: from the xxx UB and UG batches.
-AEC’s: from the xxxx UG and xx BUA batches.
-Leyland’s: from the xxx EUA and BNW xxxC batches.
However what other coaches were allocated to this contract, please?
I would be grateful for any responses, thanks in anticipation.

Stuart Emmett

28/06/17 – 06:53

Stuart, a few random thoughts on this one. WA took over Hardwicks of Snainton circa 1952 and the Scarborough to Ebberston route was then operated by sundry WA vehicles details of which I don’t have. However, by 1976, six Leopard/Plaxton DP 53 seat coaches of 1973 build were allocated at Hardwicks these being KUM 507L – 512L. To the best of my knowledge, these coaches operated the RCA services for several years. I don’t know when the contract ended but certainly as WA expanded their Scarborough activities, quite a few Leopards/Plaxton of the PNW 3xxW were active in the area and of these 311W, 312W and 333W were downgraded to DP53 presumably to replace the KUM xxxL batch in the early 80’s. These later ones were taken into the Scarborough and District arm of East Yorkshire early 1987 following the takeover of WA including Hardwicks. As far as I can recall, the RCA contract continued after the takeover with 311, 312 and 333 doing the business until the end of the contract whenever that may have been. Bit of a mish-mash I’m afraid but hope you find a snippet or two of interest.

John Darwent

29/06/17 – 06:55

In my comment above, I’m afraid I mis-wrote and should have said in 1987, East Yorkshire took over the Wallace Arnold operations in Scarborough including Hardwicks rather than suggesting that EY took over WA company itself.

John Darwent

29/06/17 – 06:56

I remember YUG 100 a Tiger Cub with a centre door a Plaxton body. A lovely coach to drive even though the 2 speed axle blocked off in high ratio meant crawler up Blue Bank all the other cubs were the same.

Peter Butler

29/06/17 – 06:58

Thank you, John and it is good of you to reply. I do have my "best efforts" fleet list of Hardwick’s from the WAT take over in 1952 right up to the end in 1987 if you would like a copy. This list also includes those buses WAT sold in 1987 to EY/S&D and were operated in Hardwick’s livery, as well as those transferred by EY and painted into Hardwick’s livery.
Actually, the six 1973 KUM’s were used by as coaches with WAT until the end of 1974 when they went to Hardwick’s to gain stage miles as they were a bus grant purchase and replaced the four ill-fated ex-Sheffield Swifts bought in 1971.
In 1978, two KUM’s returned to WAT as coaches (508, 510 that got new coach seats) and the other four got bus seats and these four KUM’s were Hardwick’s stalwarts until 1986 when as you surmise, they were replaced by ex WAT PNW’s.
They was actually four of them (311, 312, 332, 333) and these that went over to S&D/EYMS as their 211/212 and 232/233 who kept them until respectively, 1996, 1996,1997 and 1993.
EYMS also bought seven other PNW’s from WAT, one of which (336) was re-bodied with an EL2000 B53F body in 1991 and lasted until 2001.
However, the RCA contract had nothing to do with the Hardwick’s and the contract was operationally managed by WAT using, it is reported, RCA drivers. The RCA contract fleet also their own livery (see for example ) and WAT used those vehicles I have mentioned above. These take us up to around 1975; however, there were others in this time, plus also those used from 1975 until the contract finished sometime in the mid-1980’s. It is possible that Leyland’s KUM 501 to 506 and 520 to 524L were used and I suspect it was these you may have seen. Thanks again for the response John

Stuart Emmett

29/06/17 – 09:45

Peter Butler’s account of YUG 100 brings back happy memories for me of WA Leeds in the 1960s. YUG 100 was a "one off" vehicle rather than being part of a batch. It was regularly piloted (and I mean that in airline terms) by a delightful elderly driver called Joe Baines whose regular job was to to take the Bookies to all the local race meetings at high speed, and on arrival he would enjoy the races – he was in his element. I remember one York Races occasion when I had to take "The Tote" in their coach – I still don’t know what The Tote is, but it seemed to consist mainly of lady clerks. Well, in those days coaches were parked on grass and at leaving time Joe and his splendid mount YUG 100 took no prisoners and he led the field by menacing tactics so as to get out first and join the heavy traffic on the A 64. I think that the policemen attempting to organise the mass exodus had long since given up trying to beat Joe’s tactics !!

Chris Youhill

29/06/17 – 11:39

Tks Peter, I will check out YUG 100 on the RCA contract.
There is also a picture on :

Stuart Emmett

29/06/17 – 15:25

I will have to put Chris Y out of his puzzlement about the Tote. The Totalisator was a state owned organisation for (mostly) on-course betting. You placed your bet in fixed sums at the windows of these little huts and could bet for a win or place (1,2 or 3) The return or odds were based entirely on the final numbers of bets and sums placed- less the Tote’s cut- bit like the pools.
The staff were certainly more clerk-ish and less colourful than bookies, but the system was less intimidating for the inexperienced. I assume that the bookies’ coach did not leave in such a hurry until everyone was paid out! The Tote was privatised fairly recently.


30/06/17 – 06:46

Stuart, Thank you for your comprehensive post explaining the intricacies of the WA/Hardwicks operations in the Scarborough area. I would indeed appreciate a copy of your ‘best efforts’ fleet list as mentioned could you send it through Old Bus Photos. Incidentally, the former Hardwicks depot in Snainton is still extant albeit now used by a car restoration company for storage purposes.

John Darwent

30/06/17 – 08:56

I must thank Joe for his interesting explanation of "The Tote." Not being a betting man their whole purpose was a mystery to me until now. On very brief forays into betting, while at race meetings with coaches, I never actually "lost my shirt" but certainly many buttons and cuffs/collars came close !!

Chris Youhill

20/07/17 – 07:44

During the Cold War period, a site at Snod Hill on the North Yorkshire Moors, above Scarborough on the A171 road to Middleborough, became a missile early warning missile radar station. This was to compliment two other stations operated by the US in Alaska and Greenland.
Work stated in 1960 with the site built by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It became operational in 1963 as RAF Fylingdales and its large three 40 metres diameter golf ball style covers were a familiar landmark from 1963. Later on, between 1989 and 1992 these domes were dismantled and replaced by a single pyramid tower.
To get workers to the completed site, Wallace Arnold Tours from Leeds, who had a depot in Scarborough, were involved in bringing in people from Whitby and Pickering as well as Scarborough. With some on internal site "shuttle" transport, the main work was to bring in workers from the nearby towns/cities like Whitby, Pickering, and Scarborough and as the RCA operation worked a three shift 24/7 system, it was an intensive non-stop operation. Indeed a former resident of Snainton, notes that "you could almost set your watch by the bus coming through, 7.25 am, 3.25pm and 11.25 pm. They were always in a rush."
The coaches remained licensed to, and serviced by, Wallace Arnold and were managed from the WAT Scarborough depot. Initially using lightweight Ford coaches that had been on front line work for 4 years; later on, the contract work used heavier AEC Reliance’s that had worked on normal WAT operations for 7/8 years before they were transferred to the RCA contact. Once on the contract, one to five years more work came before final withdrawal and sale.
The WAT livery was kept and when the livery was mainly cream, there was an added red waistband that carried the letters RCA in white. Earlier some cream coaches just had the WAT names painted out, and a red "RCA" in a circle thus – RC above and A below and with no red stripe on the side. With the 1969 change to grey and white-cream livery, the RCA contract buses had all of the lower area below the waistband painted grey (such as seen on AUA423J) whilst some (such as BNW608C) did have a red waistband on the overall grey livery.
It is has been recorded that this contract had little support from many of WAT staff as the vehicles were "hammered" by the RCA drivers and were not kept in good condition, this being seen lowering normal WAT standards. How for those other than WAT staff (and enthusiasts and some passengers) would know the coaches were from WAT is questionable, however, "most employees considered that these vehicles were no longer anything to do with the company"
The main contract seems to have run from 1963 until January 1985 when I guess, personal car use had reached a zenith and the service was no longer required.
The coaches used up to 1975 have been reported relatively well in the literature that I have seen, for example after the use of Fords from 1963 to 1966 it seems likely that AEC’s from the NW batch were then used from 1966 to 1969, followed by UG’s and BUA’s up to 1971 and then the EUA Leylands up to 1973. (The EUA’s, were well photographed and 105.108.109 EUA are on the SCT61 site).
After this, it is a little vague but a process of educated guesswork and some rekindled memories in comments given, would suggest the following Leylands were used:
1973 to 1976/1977 BNW 600 to 610C
1976 to 1979 MNW xxxF
1979 to 1981 AUA xxxJ (at least 420,423 and 424J were observed)
1981 to 1983 KUM 501 to 506,520 to 524L
1983 to 1985 well another mystery as the contract was reported as finishing with nine Fords; perhaps these were hired ones?
Footnote: To all those who contacted me on this topic I sincerely thank you and hope the above "current only view" will be of help!

Stuart Emmett

12/09/17 – 07:14

Following my last posting on the 20th July some of my questions can now be answered.
The contract finished in 1985 with 9 Fords and these were from the batch of 15 registered PNW315 to 329W new in 1981 with Plaxton Supreme IV C53F bodies and would have been sent to Fylingdales probably in 1984 or 1985.
My assumption that the contract finished in 1985 due to increased personal car use was wrong, as WAT actually lost the contract at the end of 1985 to United.
The buses used by United were their remaining REMH coaches that had been displaced from National Express duties with the arrival of ‘Rapide’ in December 1984. They were from the last batch of 10 of REMH’s that had entered service in December 1974 (numbered 1326 to 1335 registered GGR430 to 439N with Plaxton C49F bodies) that were initially used on London routes and latterly on shorter National Express routes.
The nine remaining (as 1331 had been fire damaged in July 1983) were repainted blue-grey with a white roof and were sent to Whitby, Pickering and Scarborough for the worker’s bus contracts to the RCA Fylingdales base. They were not allowed to be used in public service and had the destination glass overpainted to prevent this happening and they also had a dedicated group of drivers who did work with RCA after and before they drove the bus.
They were only 105 Bristol REMH chassis built and seventy of these were bodied by Alexander, (many, or all, with the "M" bodies) for Scottish Bus Group companies. The remaining thirty-five with Plaxton bodywork came to United in three batches (10 in July 1971, 15 in 1973 and 10 in December 1974) and they all initially served on the London routes.
The 1974 batch, apart from 1327 that was fire damaged during 1986, was withdrawn at the end of 1986 after two years service and some replacements buses were already bought from United Counties (registered MRP224 to 228P Leyland PSU3C/4R with Alexander C43F bodies new in May 1976).
However, United lost the contract, reported due to unreliability, so the Leopards entered normal service, see for example
The REMHs were all stored at Bishop Auckland before being sold to Norths the dealers at Sherburn in Elmet, Yorkshire in 1988 and it is believed all were scrapped.
A remaining question, who then got the contract from 1987?

Stuart Emmet

28/10/17 – 17:04

Just an update to my last posting that asked who got the contract in 1987 after UAS.
The answer is East Yorkshire and am still researching their operation-seems so far they were working it, at least until 1994 but with fewer buses due to less demand and also they used blue/yellow liveried coaches managed by the Primrose Valley subsidiary

Stuart Emmett

02/11/17 – 07:24

I am at present compiling a second edition of the PSV Circle East Yorkshire fleet history, and I would be pleased if you could supply details of vehicles used on the contract since 1987, for inclusion. I do have some information on vehicles but those repainted in the blue/yellow livery are not all known for certain.
Operations are now carried out by Scarborough & District as Primrose Valley Coaches ceased some time after 1994, all vehicles/services being transferred to SDMS.

Keith Easton

04/11/17 – 06:52

The information I have is partly incomplete and is not yet cross-checked. You are welcome to my current view which has changed since my last posting, e.g. Primrose Valley seemingly were not involved and not all buses were painted blue/yellow-seems was only the last batch which included buses bought from Kinch and their livery was copied.
Corrections are welcome and please feel free to share what you have, between us we may make better progress! I will send over a pdf via “Old Buses Photos of what I have so far.

Stuart Emmett

05/11/17 – 07:25

The information I have is partly incomplete and is not yet cross checked. You are welcome to my current view which has changed since my last posting, e.g. Primrose Valley seemingly were not involved and not all buses were painted blue/yellow-seems was only the last batch which included buses bought from Kinch and their livery was used and then copied.
Corrections are welcome and please feel free to share what you have, between us we may make better progress. I will send via over a pdf via “Old Buses Photos” of what I have so far.

Stuart Emmett


Bedwellty & Mynydd Islwyn U D C

I have some uniform buttons for Bedwellty & Mynydd Islwyn U D C but cant find any reference to them actually running buses to warrant a uniform, any ideas please Mervyn.

Mervyn Pearce

09/06/17 – 13:15

The two UDCs mentioned teamed up together to operate buses under the West Mon fleetname, and the full title was West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board. It began operation in 1926, in spite of opposition from local independents. It was perhaps most famous for its Aberbargoed Hill route (24%), for which a succession of special vehicles were purchased. This info is from Reg Wilson’s "Municipal Buses in Colour 1959-1974" book. Incidentally he spells the second name Mynyddislwyn, as one word.

Michael Hampton

09/06/17 – 13:16

These two authorities came together to form the West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board, whose vehicles operated under the ‘West Mon’ identity.

John Stringer

13/06/17 – 06:36

When I worked at South Yorkshire Road Transport at Pontefract we had a new driver from Wales, and he was always interested in discussing Welsh operators with me. When I first showed him a picture of a Leyland Bull (before his bus driving days of course) descending the cobbled precipice round a treacherous bend he turned white, wobbled, and had to be revived with a good whiff of smelling salts.

Chris Youhill

13/06/17 – 07:27

There is a photograph of one of the Foden buses and further discussion of West Mon’s Bargoed to Aberbargoed hill route on this website:  

David Slater

14/06/17 – 09:11

As to whether ‘Mynyddislwyn’ should be one word or two, ‘mynydd’ is Welsh for mountain and ‘islwyn’ apparently translates as under the grove (I haven’t managed to establish the origin), so it’s conceivable that ‘Mynyddislwyn’ should be split into two words sometimes, lots of Welsh place names seem to be like that.
One thing which does strike me as odd is the fact that ‘Bedwellty & Mynydd Islwyn U D C’ should have ever appeared on uniform buttons at all. I mean, if someone should go to the trouble of forming a joint transport undertaking entitled the ‘West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board’ then that title (or a contraction of same) is what I would have expected to see on uniform buttons, if not pretty well everything else.
Another oddity is that ‘Bedwellty & Mynydd Islwyn U D C’ implies that that was the title of the local UDC, whereas, in fact, as two contributors have already stated, Bedwellty and Mynyddislwyn were quite separate UDCs which happened to pool their public transport interests but, presumably, kept most other things separate.

David Call

20/06/17 – 07:22

May I respectfully suggest that we are allowing our omnibus interest to run away with us. These buttons might be park patrol or lamplighters or any one of the various other municipal employees who wore uniforms in those far off days.
Strange fact number 199: The steep bit of the Markham route, the double right angled turn under the railway bridge and the one in not-very-many is referred to in every publication I have come across as either Bargoed Hill or Aberbargoed Hill. The actual name of the road is Bedwellty Road – no hills involved! As far as I can ascertain it has always been called that. When the raiiway closed, the bridge was removed and the hill straightened but the bus service and main road wdere diverted to a new road, Angel Way, some 600 yards to the south giving a much easier climb to the traffic lights half way up the hill. A very interesting route indeed – this link shows what happens if you got it wrong –

Peter Cook

21/06/17 – 07:14

Peter C, in respect of your first point I acknowledge that it does seem a little strange that Mervyn P should be so confident that his buttons were from a bus uniform when he had no knowledge of Bedwellty & Mynydd Islwyn actually running buses. I suspect that when they came into his possession he was assured that that’s what they were. Mervyn, perhaps you could confirm.
In the event, I for one am reasonably satisfied as to what they are, we do know that Bedwellty and Mynyddislwyn UDCs did come together to form the West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board, if nothing else.
I’ve always understood that the relevant hill was universally known (and probably still is) as Bargoed Hill, and not Aberbargoed Hill, even though it does of course connect the two localities. Whatever the hill might be called doesn’t stop it being located on Bedwellty Road, though, I doubt very much that Mount Everest is located on Mount Everest Road.
I believe that the bus route was diverted long before the railway bridge was removed, but I’ll stand corrected if necessary. The photograph featured in the above Flickr link actually appears twice in Mr Evans’ photostream. Here’a link to the second posting. You’ll see that considerable doubt has been expressed as to whether the damage shown was inflicted by the Bargoed Hill bridge.

David Call

22/06/17 – 05:48

Regarding the button mentioned by Mervyn Pearce, I think that this is the one in question, (from my collection). The title is clearly shown around the outside with the W.M.O.B. (West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board) initials in the centre. The 1967 edition of the Little Red Book shows the undertaking details, which were submitted by the Operator, as:- West Monmouthshire Omnibus Board. – (Bedwellty U.D.C. & Mynyddislwyn U.D.C).
So the undertaking did issue uniform buttons.
Hope this clears it up.

Stephen Howarth

23/06/17 – 06:39

It’s great that Stephen Howarth has been able to submit an image of the badge in question. I think we have all agreed that the two UDC’s maintained their independent existence, but co-operated for the West Monmouthshire bus operation. This makes the inscription on the badge somewhat puzzling as this reads "U D Council", and not "Councils". One would have expected the plural to be used to describe their joint co-operation. Perhaps the Council(s) were more closely linked than it first appears?

Michael Hampton

23/06/17 – 06:41

Does anyone remember the modern day hill run in the early noughties? I took my Tilling Stevens and at the hill bottom it still looked very formidable. The vehicle is extremely low geared and I "raced" up in 2nd gear rounding the curve at the top on full revs surprising the photographers. Never seen any photos of the occasion though

Roger Burdett


How many left running

I was wondering if you or anyone else would know how many Southdown Buses or Coaches are left running and are in good condition. I lived in East Grinstead for over 50 years, we had the 87 which was a local service, 36 to Brighton via Haywards Heath and the 92 to Eastbourne.

John Humphrey

31/05/17 – 06:36

I think the Southdown Enthusiasts’ Club would be the best place to find an answer.
At   they mention their publication "Southdown Survivors" with contact details for purchases.

Mike Grant


Alexander Coach Builders Perhaps?

Picture says it all.


Is this item bus related? Alexander Coach builders perhaps?

Over to the experts.

Phil Plumb

17/05/17 – 07:42

These are definitely domestic stair carpet clips.
Worth about £20 (to start) on Ebay.
I had the carpet fitters out, yesterday, to adjust the recently fitted stair carpet before a trip to A&E was required, and thought about old-fashioned carpet clips.
Spookily, your posting was on OBP this morning.

Dave Farrier

17/05/17 – 07:43

Vintage Alexander Fleur be Lys Chrome Stair Clips are advertised on E bay and look very similar.

Pat Jennings


GR Registration

Would a registration plate GR with 3 numbers in 1930 be a Sunderland County Durham registration.
I appreciate any replies.

Alan Coulson

06/05/17 – 11:20

Alan, prior to 1972, GR was Sunderland ‘B’ area registration, and RG was an Aberdeen index. With the formation of Tyne & wear, all local authority letters within the boundaries of the new administration were all lumped together, and RG was transferred to T&W

Ronnie Hoye

Thank you for your reply can you please clarify Sunderland "B" registration.
I seem to be mis reading something.

Alan Coulson

06/05/17 – 17:50

Three figure GR registration marks were issued by Sunderland from March 1933 until sometime in early 1935.

Stephen Howarth

08/05/17 – 07:50

Alan, Smaller areas such as my own ‘Tynemouth’ had one set of index letters, in this case FT. Larger administrative areas such as Newcastle and Sunderland had two or more, BB – TN & VK, for Newcastle, BR & GR for Sunderland. Presumably, they were subdivided into geographical areas, E.g. North/South, or East/West of a given point.
However, that theory falls flat on its face if you take NCT as an example. All their vehicle were registered at their head office in Manors, which should have resulted in all vehicles carrying the same index, but they had examples of all three. Perhaps they were issued on a time basis, whereby BR would be Jan/June and GR July/Dec? Who knows?
Government departments never make anything simple, and never explain anything by using one word when ten will do

Ronnie Hoye

08/05/17 – 11:09

"Explanation" Ronnie? How does that work then?! You take too much for granted in assuming that there is consistent rationale behind government decisions!

Stephen Ford

09/05/17 – 07:36

Stephen, the constant factor would seem to be ‘There is no plan, so nothing can go wrong’ If it does it becomes a computer error.

Ronnie Hoye

09/05/17 – 07:36

I’m afraid I’ve never heard of a registration-issuing authority assigning individual marks to a particular geographical area. A complete registration block might be reserved for one particular large user, such as the transport departments of Glasgow (FYS, SGD), Birmingham (JOJ), and Newcastle (JVK reversed) Corporations, and also the GPO, GUS, and others, and blocks could be reserved for a particular type of vehicle (e.g. commercial, or motorcycle) but that is as far as things usually went.
Further to Stephen Howarth (above), I estimate that, assuming a straight numerical sequence was followed, GR 999 would have been reached in mid-1934. since 1935 apparently started with GR1494.

David Call

11/05/17 – 06:37

My original question of GR with 3 numbers in 1930 would fit in with your reply 1933.

Reference Sunderland "B" area registration geographical I had thought of North/South Sunde
rland but dispelled it.

Further to your input together with Stephen Howarth reply your estimate of GR 999 being mid 1934 and that 1935 started with GR 1494. GR 219 (the number of which I received 24hrs. ago) would appear March/April/May of 1933.

Thank you for your reply’s.

Still of interest is Sunderland "B" area registration could the "B" stand for Borough looking at other Towns / City’s Carlisle, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Liverpool and Southend all show "B" area registration. No mention of "A" or " C" area registration.

Again I welcome your reply’s re the "B".

Alan Coulson

15/05/17 – 07:41

I can’t help with "B" area registration as I’ve never heard of it, and neither of the contributors who mention it say where they are getting it from. However, I can confirm what David says, that registering authorities did not allocate marks by subdividing their areas. The way multiple marks were used is best described by example, so as Ronnie has mentioned Newcastle I’ll use that.
In 1903 each registering authority was allocated one registration mark – for Newcastle it was BB. When they ran out of numbers in 1925 they requested a second mark and were allocated TN (some of these subsequent issues were specially requested for mnemonic reasons, and it seems likely that TN was for Tyne). When TN numbers ran out in 1929 they were allocated VK. By the time VK ran out in 1933 there were no more available marks, so they went into triple multiples. Each authority decided in what sequence these would be issued, and Newcastle was fairly typical: ABB, ATN, AVK, BBB, BTN, BVK etc. Incidentally JVK was reserved for municipal vehicles as described by David.

Peter Williamson

29/05/17 – 07:04

Can you please enlighten me where you gleamed the "B" from reference the Sunderland "B" area registration.

Alan Coulson

01/06/17 – 07:14

Sorry for the delay in answering Alan, I’ve been racking by brain cell ‘singular at my age’ to try and remember where that gem of information came from. Go to   you will find all the old index letters, and next to GR it is listed as Sunderland (B) but no explanation as to why

Ronnie Hoye

02/06/17 – 06:56

It’s possible that the "B" stands for "Borough" Council as opposed to (for example) Devon "County" Council. I remember old lists (now disposed of) using the letters BC or CC as appropriate after each designated place. Perhaps the list referred to here just uses "B" or "C" instead?

Michael Hampton

02/06/17 – 06:58

On the above website, Sunderland (B) simply indicates that Sunderland was a County Borough, as opposed to a County. This convention appears to have been followed in respect of all English and Welsh issuing authorities.
In respect of Scottish authorities, things don’t seem quite so straightforward. Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow are given as C of C, Dundee as B, Greenock, Motherwell & Wishaw, and Paisley as LB, and Govan, Leith, and Partick as Town C. I would guess that B stands for Burgh, but the others have me foxed at the moment. The key to the codes may be on   but I’m not being allowed access to that page.
I find that, as time goes by, sections of websites devoted to registrations are becoming increasingly inaccurate, presumably because people’s memories are beginning to fade. On the above website for instance, there is no acknowledgement that the letters XA to XF were ever allocated to London CC, in fact it is expressly stated that they had always been allocated to the post-1963 authorities to which they subsequently were. On the other hand Partick Burgh is acknowledged as having been an issuing authority, despite having ceased to be so from 1912.
A definite mistake concerns the letter combination BF, which is ascribed as having been allocated to Lindsey County Council. BE was a Lindsey mark, BF was initially Dorset, and (much later) Staffordshire.

David Call

02/06/17 – 07:01

The letter ‘B’ after Sunderland indicates that it is a ‘Borough’.

Stephen Howarth

02/06/17 – 07:02

Should have mentioned that both BR and GR have the letter ‘B’ after the word Sunderland in the list. Nothing to do with areas, just indicating it is a ‘Borough’.

Stephen Howarth

02/06/17 – 07:03

There is no magic about this. The (B) means that it is a Borough Council issued registration, rather than a County. If you check CO on the list, it says Plymouth (B), and likewise RD is Reading (B). That it cannot be a geographic part of a borough is evidenced by (for example) FJ which was the only Exeter mark, and on the list, given as Exeter (B).
It does appear that the author of the website may himself not have understood why there were suffix letters on the list he derived his information from.

John Grigg

02/06/17 – 07:04

Alan, I think you may have stumbled onto the explanation with ‘B’ signifying Borough.
Having had another look at some I know
BB – TN – VK – Newcastle
BR – Sunderland
CN – Gateshead
CU – South Shields
and FT – Tynemouth
Are all listed as (B)
Whereas JR – NL & TY – Northumberland
AO – Cumberland
and UP. Durham, have no letter afterwards, although Durham is listed as County.
Presumably so as not to be confused with Durham as a City

Ronnie Hoye

02/06/17 – 07:05

The B stands for ‘borough’. I first encountered this in an AA handbook of my father’s in the late fifties which listed all the letter combinations, and it definitely stated that B meant borough.

Jon Blake

02/06/17 – 07:06

Ref the debate on the letter ‘B’, I throw my hat in the ring for it to signify ‘Borough'(?)

Andrew Charles

02/06/17 – 07:07

Thanks Ronnie. That sort-of explains it. Looking at a sample of other marks on that site, it does appear that Alan was right in suggesting that B means county borough, and where there is no B it’s a county mark. However, that is only for England and Wales. In Scotland, where they had burghs instead of county boroughs, registration marks issued by burgh councils are described as "C or C" area. Curiouser and curiouser!

Peter Williamson

03/06/17 – 07:18

Thank you to all for reply’s posted today 02/06/17 and to anyone who may add after today.
All I will add is that reply’s have cleared that up reference the "B".

Alan Coulson

29/07/17 – 08:20

C of C (quoted by David Call) refers to "County of a City". From 1889 (or 1890 in Scotland) larger towns or cities were granted powers equivalent to those of shire counties (making them comparable in principle to modern unitary councils). In England and Wales these became known as County Boroughs, and in Scotland they were Burghs, but the term "County of a City", which had older origins, was attributed to some cities (including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen as mentioned by David).
As with the latest "combined authorities" including Greater Manchester, in some contexts the title of "County of a City" could bring specific benefits to a city, but otherwise the title was an honorary one. As far as vehicle registration was concerned, it simply allowed the authority to use a different label from Burgh or County Borough.

Derek Jones


Royal Blue Coach Colours

I have a 1950`s moped, and I think it would look good in the Royal Blue bus company colours. Could anybody tell me the name or colour codes of the shades of blue and white/cream that they used please?.
Thanks in hope everybody

John Almond

27/04/17 – 06:00

If I was painting a model in Royal Blue colours, I’d probably go for Humbrol paints, and I would use their Midnight Blue and their Ivory. Humbrol numbers 15 and 41.
I may be a bit out in translating that into the actual vehicle, though, because of the scale effect: I have mentioned on these pages before about a workmate who was building a model of a Southampton bus for his grandchildren and bought from the operator a tin of the red used on Atlanteans and a tin of cream. People kept telling him it was a pity he’d used the wrong shades, but he knew he hadn’t!
Someone else, a kit producer no longer trading, reported using West Midlands PTE blue, acquired in similar circumstances and with the same reaction.
Good hunting!

Pete Davies

27/04/17 – 06:00

Williamsons Paint at Ripon have the codes. I also have cans of brush paint of the blue available for sale.

Roger Burdett

27/04/17 – 06:01

That sounds like a great idea John. Perchance there are no direct responses to your question you might be able to find the answer from one of a number of preservationists that have preserved a Royal Blue coach.
The Thames Valley and Great Western Omnibus Trust website shows that on June 16-18 there will be a road run with a former Royal Blue Bristol LL6B coach. It would appear that the owner is a member of the TV & GWOT and maybe he could be contacted via the site:   
Another group with Royal Blue connections is the West Country Historic Omnibus and Transport Trust (WHOTT). Their website is:   
The following website shows the paint reference numbers of two manufacturers of paint for suitable for modellers. How accurate they would look though on a bigger item like a moped I don’t know.   
Hopefully someone might be able to add something further. Meanwhile I hope the above is a useful start.

David Slater

27/04/17 – 17:40

Williamsons is a very good colour match, although there are other agents throughout the UK for their formulations. Their colour references are SP7142 for the Blue and SP7845 for the Tilling Cream.

John Grigg


Northumberland Square

Long shot but has anyone a photo of the old bus terminal in Northumberland Square, North Shields.

Dave Falla

19/04/17 – 08:18

Go to the ‘Search OBP’ button on the OBP home page and enter ‘Northumberland Square’. A few pics from elsewhere on the site will appear. The same works on Google and other search engines, but add the word ‘bus’ to filter out pictures of buildings and flowers…

Tony Fox

19/04/17 – 08:20

If you don’t mind linking to SCT 61 there are 10 pictures there which respond to Northumberland Square as a location search.

John Lomas


Longwell Green

Has anyone a Body list of Longwell Green Coaches from 1944 – 1961.

Alan Coulson

12/04/17 – 07:22

The scarcity of Longwell Green bodied anything can be explained by the size of the works which was miniscule compared to most bus bodybuilders. The building is shown on Google street view now being used by The Carpet Barn and Ablefit Tyres. It is, not surprisingly, in Longwell Green – on A431 about 100 yards west of the junction with Marsham Way.
The coachworks also built delivery vans and lorry bodies as well as bus and coach bodies. In fact I would say PSVs were a minor part of its production.

Peter Cook

22/04/17 – 07:29

I have lists of Longwell Green built bodies around this period if you are interested. LG carried out much re-bodying and refurbishing as well as new bodies so it can be confusing. They stopped PSV work in the early sixties and concentrated on commercial vehicles and vans until 1983.

Phil Thoms


Lancashire United Transport and Liverpool


Whilst I was always aware that the front of LUT timetables always made reference to a Liverpool Depot in Bentley Road, Liverpool 8, I always wondered about it. Whilst it obviously was not on the same scale or status as Atherton, Hindley and Swinton depots, being well out of the way of LUT’s traditional operating territory in South Lancashire, I understood it was probably just a small premises used to garage a coach for LUT’s share of the Tyne-Tees-Mersey Pool, and possibly accommodated overnight stays for visiting United Automobile or Northern General vehicles in the same pool.
I doubt it was used for garaging vehicles on the 39 or 320 317 stage carriage services, as they were operated from Atherton or Hindley respectively and would end up at home at the end of the day.
I’d love to know if anybody has more information about this Liverpool ‘depot’, perhaps even a picture, years of start and finish of the operation there etc.
I also see in the list of Agents in that timetable that there were two agents; Frames Tours Ltd of 304 Park Lane, Liverpool 8, i.e. same location as the depot as well as Frames’ Castle Street Office in the city, so maybe there was some connection there as well. Any more info anybody?

David J.Smith

02/04/17 – 11:01

Also any pictures of Canning Place office would be good.
I remember using it before the Tyne Tees/Mersey pool service transferred to the Pier Head.

Stephen Howarth

03/04/17 – 08:37

I’m sure I’ve seen the address of LUT’s one-time Liverpool depot given as Church Road, Stanley -more or less equidistant from LCPT’s Edge Lane and Green Lane depots. Was there a move, at some stage, or was the Church Road information simply wrong?

David Call

03/04/17 – 08:40

Yes Stephen, I remember Canning Place was literally just around the corner from the 39, 317 and 320 bus terminus, which was just a stop and a shelter and a very welcome tea stall in South John Street, which was itself replaced in the mid or late 70’s by the small Paradise Street Bus Station.
All this area is now subsumed into the Liverpool One Development including a Bus Station.

David J. Smith

05/04/17 – 07:40

Just as there may be people who know of me and possibly expecting some reply from me on this topic, I wish I could say that I knew the answer, but I dont!
Although I worked both as a conductor and driver, both in part time and full time roles, I was based at Swinton, so we had no duties in Liverpool. Mind you, whilst on route learning, we had some other drivers from both Platt Bridge and Atherton during that week, so I ended up signed for the 32 & 39 routes from Manchester – but only as far as Wigan and Atherton respectively. The nearest that Swinton crews would have normally worked would be Wigan. That said, during one weekend, I, with others, were asked to cover duties on the service 1, from Atherton. Hoping for a front loader, so that I could get directions as I did not know that route, I ended up with rear loader 77 and a part time guard, who also did not know the route. So of course episodes of round the block several times in St Helens followed!
So I hope that some one does know the answer to this thread

Mike Norris

05/04/17 – 07:42

By June 1968, when I joined Liverpool City Transport as a conductor, the stabling point for the Mersey-Tyne operators would appear to have been at the back of LCT’s Edge Lane Works.
On 25/06/1968, I noted LUT 154 (DTF584B) and on 10/10/1971 I noted Northern General 2632(FCN 632F) and West Yorkshire RCC 1001 (AWR 401B).
At some point the overnight facilities were probably moved to the Liverpool Coach Station using Ribble’s small depot across the road in Hotham Place.
Both of these locations now sadly gone.

Dave Farrier

05/04/17 – 17:02

Talking about LUT depots, I remember reading in a 1960s BBF that LUT had six depots – Atherton, Swinton, Hindley, Liverpool, Warrington, and..
Could someone remind me where the sixth depot was?

David Call

05/04/17 – 17:04

Thanks for all comments.
I found,looking in Venture Publication’s 1906-2006 Centenary of Lancashire United Transport by Eric Ogden, that reference was made to the fact that the death of the Swinton Depot Super in 1938 caused an internal shuffle at the depots, and a Mr.Alan Roughsedge was transferred from Liverpool to Atherton.
The Bentley Road, Liverpool depot was shortly after requisitioned by the military in October 1940,and since it had been chiefly used for private hire work, and such work had by then been discontinued for the duration, it’s loss was actually a bonus in reducing operating costs.
I wonder though did it re-open after the war for either private hire or Tyne-Tees-Mersey pool coach stabling?
The new style timetable for June 1965, i.e. the new-format type a bit later than the one depicted no longer shows Bentley Road Depot, just a reference to an enquiry office at 19 Canning Place.
Private hire from Bentley Road, if there was latterly, wouldn’t seem to make sense, as one would think that dead mileage supplied by coaches from Hindley or Atherton depots wouldn’t be a big problem at all, and as regards The TTM service overnight stabling of pool coaches that could always be done one assumes from another larger operator’s premises e.g. Edge Lane as noted above in a reply.
So question is, again, does anyone know when LUT’s ‘Depot’ in Bentley Road, Liverpool 8 closed?

David J.Smith

06/04/17 – 06:06

David’s comment and request re the Bentley Rd depot prompted me to check out old maps.
Strangely there is no depot shown on Bentley Rd in either a pre or post war old map.
However there is a prewar "Car Shed" on Dingle lane, the other end of Princess Park, which is a bus depot on the 1954 map.
They either had the name of the road wrong or there was another Bentley Road in Liverpool 8.

John Lomas

06/04/17 – 16:57

You don’t have to pay to visit oldmaps.
My links can be seen easily by using the zoom-out button until the map appears and then remove the blue tint by clicking on the "Switch Print Extent Off" button.

John Lomas

07/04/17 – 06:58

The depot on the corner of Park Road and Dingle Lane was LCPT, it closed in the mid-1960s.

David Call

09/04/17 – 07:28

I can expand on David Call’s comments on LUT Depots.
Having kept(or re-purchased on E-Bay!) those essential and nostalgic BBF’S of the 50’s or 60’s.
LUT was originally lumped in BBF 6, the 1st edition of 1960 with all the municipals. There was no garage data etc for any of the municipals or LUT. Such details were included in subsequent editions, i.e the 2nd and 3rd of that BBF6, but by then LUT had moved to a new BBF Number 17 The North West, which included other operators not covered by BBF 6. The first such edition was in 1963, with the second and last edition in 1966. The garage data states depots at Atherton, Hindley, Liverpool, Swinton and Warrington. No mention of a sixth, although the next line states ‘the works are at Atherton’, so maybe that’s where the confusion was.
As regards Warrington ‘depot’ I’m reasonably confident the vehicles for the jointly operated services with Warrington Corp (the 77 to 81 group) utilised the Corporation Depot on Wilderspool Causeway, as indeed I think North Western did on their joint services with Warrington (10W and 11W).

David J.Smith

09/04/17 – 17:56

Hello David
No, LUT did not outstation in Warrington. The group of services you mention 77 to 81 were shared between Platt Bridge (Hindley) and Atherton depots.
With all the associated dead mileage. I am 100% sure about that

Mike Norris

Sunday 9th

I suspect I may have been confusing the LUT situation with that of Yorkshire Traction, who, in the early 1960s, had three main depots and three lesser ones, although I think that even the latter were a significant size, as bus depots go.
I don’t think that either LUT or North Western lodged with Warrington Corpy, but in order to avoid putting my foot in it (again) I’ll refrain, for now, from saying what I think their garaging arrangements were.

David Call

11/04/17 – 07:11

Thanks for replies.
It just shows you how we can all be mistaken. You can never be sure if you remembering once reading a fact somewhere, or just imagining it!
Thinking about it with hindsight I suppose the Warrington group of services would not entail too much dead mileage by running in off the Leigh direction routes 50, 51 and Hindley direction 60, especially those marked in the timetable as early works services.
The North Western locals in Warrington puzzle me though because that is quite a bit of dead mileage from Altrincham on 36, 37 or from Urmston on 102. And, you know, I’m still sure (in my mind!) that I have read North Western did outstation vehicles at the Corpy. depot. We definitely need ex-employees who worked there to tell us!

David J. Smith

11/04/17 – 17:33

David J Smith, NWRCC did dormy in the Corporation depot.

David Oldfield

11/04/17 – 17:34

Some NWRCC vehicles were Outstation at the Warrington Corporation Transport garage. By 1972 only one bus was involved.
The arrangement was terminated by Crosville after the demise of the North Western stage carriage operations.

Stephen Howarth

11/04/17 – 17:36

I think there’s a likelihood of our falling into the trap of supposing that such-and-such a situation was always so. For instance, I don’t actually disbelieve Mike Norris that the Warrington locals were operated from LUT’s Hindley and Atherton depots, but I suspect that his experience dates from a time more recent than the 1960s. If BBF17 said, in the mid-1960s, that LUT had a depot in Warrington, then I’m sure that it must have had, at that time.
As for North Western, going back to my own bus-spotting days (at its height in the early 1960s) I have a vague recollection of there having been a small NW depot somewhere in the centre of Warrington, but there is of course a risk that I’m thinking of the Corporation’s Lower Bank Street depot, which I believe remained operational until the mid-1960s. As for NW having lodged with the Corporation at Wilderspool Causeway, I have to say that I can’t actually remember reading of that happening, but I do remember seeing a photo on Flickr of one of the Strachans-bodied Bedford VALs parked there, supporting David’s recollection. However I can’t now find the said photo, and presume that it has been removed.

David Call

14/04/17 – 07:53

Hm, the debate continues about Warrington. As I was an avid spotter throughout the sixties (I lived at Lowton, then Culcheth, near Warrington) it would appear on balance from all your comments that I do remember somewhere either seeing, real or in photos, LUT or NWRCC vehicles outstationed at Warrington Corp depot.
I know as one of you said there was another Warrington Corp depot in Lwr. Bank St, but from what I saw it was mainly for older withdrawn or stored vehicles, as the new huge Wilderspool Causeway depot had been completed.
My memories (persistent 50 years on!) are of seeing an LUT Guy Arab IV parked on the depot apron with 77 Houghton Green on the front, and also at a different time an LDB registered black top DP Reliance or Tiger Cub with 11W Stretton on the indicator lurking within the garage. Were those memories real or did I see them in Buses Illustrated?
I don’t somehow think they were parked there for layover periods as the ample parking space at Arpley Station was used for most operators’ layovers.

David J. Smith

15/04/17 – 07:44

Anticipating the expected changes, a report in the Omnibus Magazine for March/April 1972 records "Garaging of North Western vehicles (or their successors) in Warrington is expected to cease in early March."
I worked for Crosville at the time and can confirm that when that company acquired the NWRCC share of operations in Warrington, the arrangement to house NW vehicles at the Corporation’s Wilderspool Causeway depot were superfluous and immediately discontinued.

Mike Grant

15/04/17 – 07:45

In a booklet published jointly by the Manchester Transport Museum Society and the Omnibus Society in 1972 covering the history of the original North Western Road Car Company, the following text appears regarding the dispersal of the depots when the company was split.
‘To Crosville: WARRINGTON – The Corporation Transport garage was used to outstation some of the North Western buses working services in the Warrington area. Originally Northwich, then Altrincham 8/69-7/71, and finally Northwich again. On 3/3/72 the allocation was one bus, a driver and two conductors’

David Slater

27/04/17 – 17:40


Further to the correspondence on the North Western Road Car Company (the original one of course), using the Warrington Corporation Garage to outstation their vehicles working in the Warrington area, I have come across this picture in my files.
It shows NWRCC Bedford VAL, AJA 130B along side two WCTD ‘withdrawn’ double deckers.

Stephen Howarth

28/04/17 – 07:04

In the nice photo posted by Stephen Howarth one of the buses in the background is not, I believe, a Warrington vehicle but probably an ex-Chester Foden bought for spares.

David Beilby

30/04/17 – 07:44

In Stephen Howarth’s pic above, what’s the bodywork on the vehicle thought to be an ex-Chester Foden? The Davies-bodied ones would have been long gone by the time the North Western VALs came along, and I don’t recognise the body as being typically Massey of the period, although I do appreciate that their highbridge and lowbridge bodywork could be quite different, and I can only manage to find rear shots of lowbridges on the net.

David Call

01/05/17 – 17:19

The Chester Foden in the VAL photo was 74 (JFM 747) a PVD6 with Massey H30/26R body.
It was acquired by Warrington in 12/1965 for spares only and was sold for scrap to a local dealer in 07/1967.
I assume that the Titan is 78 (GED 388) which went for scrap in 10/1967.

Dave Farrier

24/05/17 – 07:03

Returning to the original enquiry, a "Bus Maintenance Depot" shows on a 1954 OS map of Bentley Lane and I take that to be the LUT site. It is in the vicinity of what is now Garrison Close.
At search on postcode L8 0SY then select the 1954 1:1250 plan to view.
The 1970 plan titles the same premises as "Motor Repair Works". Early 1970’s the LUT vehicles on Tyne Tees Mersey were being overnighted at LCPT/MPTE Edge Lane.

Mike Grant

29/05/17 – 17:02

My attention has been drawn to a piece on p178 in John Horne/Bruce Maund’s Liverpool Transport Vol. 5 which addresses the outstanding queries. It records:
"Bentley Road, Princes Park (LUT): these premises originally known as Sefton Mews, were used as stables from the 1880’s. The original owner was John Wilson, jobmaster, who sold out to White’s Carriage Co. about the turn of the century. The buildings passed to Liverpool Carriage Co., who sold them, on 27 August 1919, to Lancashire United Tramways Ltd, who were developing an excursion and private hire business with charabancs based in Liverpool.
The capacity of the garage was 24 vehicles, but half was sublet to G.A Roberts for use by Avery & Roberts motor dealers, who also had a showroom in Renshaw Street. Roberts also acted as manager of the LUT coach business, and Avery & Roberts had other interests in North Wales. They went into liquidation in 1931, and LUT, by then Lancs United Transport & Power Ltd., assumed direct control.
Buses for the Liverpool-Manchester express service were based there from 1929, and after the company joined the Tyne-Tees-Mersey pool in 1932, the garage housed not only LUT vehicles but those of any of the other pool partners which finished their journeys in Liverpool. The building was requisitioned by the military on 16 October 1940, and not returned to LUT until June 1948.
It was intended to close the garage from 25 Oct 1965, but because of difficulties with a sub-tenant, remained in use until 2 October 1966. Thereafter, one double deck bus and three coaches lodged at Liverpool Corporation’s Edge Lane depot until 26 April 1974."

Mike Grant


E H Sims & Bradway Coaches, Sheffield

I believe that the proprietors of EH Sims and Bradway Coaches, both of Sheffield were related (brothers I think).
Some records show some vehicles supplied new to JH Sims.
Sims eventually sold out to Carnell of Sheffield.
My questions are as follows;-
Was JH Sims the proprietor of Bradway, or perhaps the descendant operator of EH Sims?
What was the forename of the proprietor of Bradway if it was not JH Sims?
Was there any family relationship between Sims and Carnell?
To whom did Bradway eventually sell?
I’m sure that one of the regulars on this site will be able to provide the answers (and probably more).

Les Dickinson

30/03/17 – 09:26

Eric and John Sims were brothers who fell out and went on to form their own successful and totally independent operations. Eric lived, and operated, from home on Bocking Lane (Greenhill/Beauchief), John from a road (I cannot recollect which) in nearby Bradway and called his operation Bradway Coaches. Eric’s coaches were always well kept and presented and was for some years a popular operator. John’s were, if possible, an up-marked operation – eventually including a couple of 36′ AEC?Duple Continentals. As I understand it, John priced himself out of the market and went into liquidation some time after 1967. Eric continued for some years more and it is him, I believe, who sold out to Trevor Carnell. I am not aware of any family connection between Sims and Carnell – but I stand to be corrected.

David Oldfield

31/03/17 – 06:39

Thank you David Oldfield for that insight, I guessed you would be first to respond! I posted a photo elsewhere on this site of Plaxton YWE 388 which I now know was one of E H Sims; coaches. The colour scheme I think was a pale turquoise blue together with beige/light fawn. Do you recall the livery of Bradway at all. I recollect a darker blue and ivory but cannot be certain. I have Bradway’s last new purchase as UWA 636F, a VAM14 with Duple Viscount coachwork and delivered in March 1968. Does anyone have fleet lists for either of these operators? I currently am aware of 12 with Bradway but around 45/6 with E H Sims.

Les Dickinson

31/03/17 – 09:31

BLOTW have 9 coaches listed to Bradbury you may /may not have these listed in your 12 . I cannot find any to Sims.

Alan Coulson

31/03/17 – 12:07

The nine listed to Bradway on BLOTW do figure in my list. More work has revealed that there are 16 discovered so far of which the seven earliest in my list were listed as supplied to JH Sims, the other nine to Bradway. If you search Sims% that list reveals 35 vehicles of which one was supplied to JH Sims (Bradway) that being RWJ 521, the rest to EH Sims as far as I have been able to discern. My list for EH Sims is now 41 strong. Thanks for the input. Any further observations would be welcomed.

Les Dickinson

31/03/17 – 12:08

I have the following
Eric Harold Sims 10/47-2/51
Eric Harold Sims & Harold Albert Sims 2/51-4/53
Eric H Sims Limited 4/53
Abridged fleet:-
KWA 729, MWB 310, LWE 432, NWA 937, OWA 26, PWB 914, TWE 238, TWJ 453, WWE 22, YWE 388, 7163 WE, 5880 WA, 61 CWA, 319 FWB, BWE 755B, FWA 611C, LWJ 474D, RWA 188E, AWA 730G, DWE 508H, DWE 952H, EWA 219H, JWA 966J, JWA 967J, KWA 930J, NWB 902K, OWJ 409K, OWB 412K, UWJ 248L, UWA 578L, AWJ 685M
(Incidentally MWB 310 still exists with Dodd, Belton)
John Henry Sims
Bradway Coaches Limited 4/63
Abridged fleet:-
BWJ 598, EWE 762, GWA 637, JWA 348, JWB 892, KWB 936, MWB 105, NWB 105, NWB 684, OWA 385, OWA 26, PWB 706, RWJ 521, TWJ 86, WWA 556, YWA 801, 6349 WB, TGP 669, 6212 WE, 9652 WJ, 9653 WJ, 4632 WA, 4633 WA, 53 CWA, 336 EWJ, AWB 417B, EWE 767C, EWE 768C, KWA 89D, KWJ 393D, OWB 471E, UWA 636F.

Mike Bennett

31/03/17 – 12:09

I went on BLOW to do a bit of extra research as well. I agree with you, Les, on the last recorded vehicle for John UWE 636F. From a fairly typical Bedford/Duple fleet in 1965, Eric’s fleet became far more interesting in 1966 and onwards. He was an early, and enthusiastic operator of turbo-charged Fords (R192 and R226), owning at least six. He then went upmarket and bought three Leopards (PSU3 and PSU5)between 1971 and 1973. My last recorded delivery for him is a Bristol LHL6L in 1974. I have vague recollections that Eric did much the same as Trevor Carnell and overstretched himself on payments for such new and expensive vehicles. [Ron Hague went upmarket at the end as well with Reliances, Leopards and Tigers(TRCTL11)]. You are right about John’s livery, a rich classy blue and ivory/cream. I never knew where he kept his motors but, for many years, Eric kept his on premises opposite the PO Sorting Office, by the railway, at the bottom of Woodseats Road. He later moved to Queens Road – between Havelock bridge and the Corporation Works. The only vehicle I have not mentioned yet is Eric’s Roadliner, (SRP8) which he probably got cheap as it was part of a cancelled Evan Evans order which came via Arlington, the dealer. My school used Bradway Coaches, the local scout troop used Eric – so I travelled many miles with both – but my allegiance ended up with Walter Martin, with whom I became friendly, and his larger than life wife, June (who I believe is still around and helping son John to run the business).

David Oldfield

31/03/17 – 15:34

Most of the vehicles listed by Mike Bennett are in my lists also, but not necessarily in the same fleets. The Bedford OB list (C1252) issued by the PSV Circle shows JWA 348, JWB 892, KWB 836 and MWB 105 as being supplied to EH Sims with OWA 26 being supplied to EH&HA Sims. Two additional vehicles shown supplied to JH Sims are FWJ 734 and GWA 806. I do not have such a list to cross-check the Duple entries and BLOTW show these simply as supplied to Sims, Sheffield so not much help in allocating them to the correct list. Can you shed any more light on this please Mike? Are yours personal observations or from some other list? All fascinating stuff though.

Les Dickinson

01/04/17 – 07:16

4632/3 WA Bedford /Duple and 53 CWA AEC Reliance/Duple Continental moved to Pilgrim tours of Lincoln by the late 1960s.

Steve Milner

01/04/17 – 07:31

I agree that BLOTW can be confusing. Factually correct but, unless specifically attributed to Bradway Coaches, mention of Sims could, in theory, be either Eric or John. [I drove for Cliff’s Coaches in High Wycombe. That was Cliff Neighbour. Different vehicles are recorded in BLOTW as Cliff’s Coaches or Neighbour. If you knew no different, you might think it was two different operators.]

David Oldfield

01/04/17 – 08:37

There is a bit more !
John Sims/Bradway Coaches. Address quoted as 7 Bradway Grange Road, Sheffield 8; later 10 Springfield Avenue, Sheffield 7. Sometime at Old Hall Road Garage, Attercliffe (no dates specified).
Eric Sims. Address quoted as 68 Bocking Lane, Sheffield 8; later 117 London Road, Sheffield, S2.
OWA 26 is shown as new to J H & H A Sims 3/52 passing to Eric 4/52. I agree that this does seem unlikely. The PSV Circle record cards were based on Traffic commissioners’ records rather than actual observation so could be the source of error.
There is no record of FWJ 734 or GWA 806 with either operator. What were they?

Mike Bennett

01/04/17 – 09:41

Thanks Mike for the additional information. OWA 26 appears in PSV Circle list B1150 (Plaxton) as supplied to E H & H A Sims which sounds more likely. FWJ 734 Bedford WTB 13170 Duple 588/2 and GWA 809 Bedford WTB 17317 Duple 6306/2 are both shown in PSV Circle list C1250 (Bedford 1930s) as supplied to J H Sims.
I have advised BLOTW that two separate companies are involved in the Sims, Sheffield, list and hope that his source information might resolve the story for us.

Les Dickinson

04/04/17 – 07:09

I have now assembled partial fleet lists for these two operators which I will, in due course, supply to Peter for inclusion on this site if he so wishes. There are seven shown in Mike Bennett’s list for which I currently hold no information. If Mike or anyone else cares to e-mail the details to Peter for onward transmission I will be happy to add into my lists before I submit the same to this site. The coaches in question are as follows;- GWA 637, NWB 105, OWA 385 ,PWB 706, PWB 914, TGP 669, TWJ 453. Crucial to the list is which of the two brothers each was supplied when new. It will be helpful if the source of that information is included (for example PSV Circle B1150 etc).

Les Dickinson

26/04/17 – 06:49

I attach fleet lists for the two Sims brothers operations in Sheffield.
Whilst every possible effort has been made to offer accurate information, if errors are found please do not be too harsh in your criticism. Writer will be pleased to receive any additional information for these lists.
Eric Harold Sims and John Henry Sims were brothers who operated separate companies. John Henry renamed his operation to Bradway Coaches in April 1963 with a rich blue and ivory/cream livery. When he died, brother Eric took the reins alongside his own operation maintaining the livery. Eric’s livery was a turquoise and light beige one. As the regular replacement of coaches continued,older models from both fleets were sold in turn or sometimes traded in as was KWA 89D, still in Bradway livery. I must thank Mike Bennett for supplying many vehicle numbers and Andrew Webster for rechecking much of the information in these lists, any errors are my own.


Les Dickinson


Longwell Green bodied Bedford OB’s


KKX 28. A Bedford OB coach with a Longwell Green body. Listed as new 7/1947 to Jeffways of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. A motif of J visible on side of coach I presume being a connection to Jeffways. Within months to Redby Coaches of Sunderland and to R. W. Carney of Sunderland in 5/1948. It is here doing the history of Carney I ask can anyone please enlighten me of difference re bodywork of Longwell Green bodied Bedford OB’s, they seem to be rare compared to Duple body versions. It’s only photo available not a good one at that. All I can see is door release handle and difference in layout on drivers door re opening of sliding Windows, some appear at lower levels others I have seen at higher level.
I would be grateful of anyone’s comments.

Alan Coulson

28/03/17 – 06:38

Formally W J Bence later to become Longwell Green Coachworks. More about them here   
Sorry I have no info on differences between the Duple Vista & Longwell Green bodies. They do look very similar in overall shape, windows etc. They later built bodies for Green Goddess fire engines.

John Wakefield


Yorkshire Traction Fleet List

Is there a Yorkshire Traction Fleet List (1930-1970) available to purchase anywhere??

Gordon Parker

05/03/17 – 15:59

The company itself published a book entitled ‘Yorkshire Traction, early development’ written by J A (Jim) Sykes.
This includes a fleet list, including disposal dates where known for not only original fleet vehicles but also those acquired through takeovers.
Well worth seeking out. Published in 1982 by B&B Press (Parkgate )Ltd (ISBN 0 9508320 0 6)
Good luck in the hunt!

Andrew Charles

06/03/17 – 07:04

Try looking on here

Stephen Howarth


Variety of Manchester Bus Fleets

I get the impression that buses from more companies, corporations and independents flowed through Manchester than any other city in the UK
That being the case, can we name all of them?

Chris Hebbron

25/02/17 – 09:58

Up to the formation of SELNEC and operating services between points, having a scheduled stop or terminating within the city boundaries:

Corporations: Manchester, Stockport, Salford, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton, SHMD.

BET Companies: North Western, Ribble Group, Black and White, Trent, BMMO, PMT, East Midland, Yorkshire, Northern, Yorkshire Traction.

Tilling Group: United, West Yorkshire, Crosville, Lincolnshire, Midland General.

Independents: LUT, Mayne.

Scottish: Western SMT.

Others: Sheffield JOC

Operators regularly passing through without a scheduled stop: Barton, Sheffield United, Fishwick

A host of coach operators, both local and from further afield could also be regularly seen and, by overlooking into Salford from just opposite the cathedral, buses from Leigh and Bolton Corporations would be visible.

Phil Blinkhorn

25/02/17 – 15:11

There was of course YellowaY Motor Services.
How could you forget them.

Stephen Howarth

25/02/17 – 16:48

As well as YellowaY itself, there were its joint operators:-
Premier Travel to East Anglia;
Grey Green to the south east coast;

Associated Motorways to the south and south west – this was of course a pool of operators, not all of which, including Black and White, would operate regularly to Manchester. But three that did, on summer weekend services, were Red and White to South Wales, Southdown to Portsmouth and Royal Blue to Bournemouth.

Other regular express operators were Abbott’s to Fleetwood and Scottish Omnibuses (Eastern Scottish) to Edinburgh.

Bolton Corporation was licensed to operate into Lower Mosley Street bus station on the X66 service from Blackburn, jointly with Ribble and LUT.

Barton were licensed to convey passengers between Manchester and Bakewell and points beyond on their X61 service to Nottingham, and the summer Saturday extension to Peterborough. However, I’m not aware that

Fishwick operated any regular services through Manchester.

Operators changed over the years, of course, but if we’re talking about 1969 when SELNEC was formed, Lincolnshire and Midland General had no Manchester services.

David Williamson

26/02/17 – 06:57

Stephen, David Yelloway was on my written list with Premier and Grey Green and I overlooked them when typing. Old age and all that!!
David, my post says up to the formation of SELNEC, not at, or in, 1969.
Bolton may have been licenced to operate into Lower Mosley St but in many visits to the bus station from the early 1950s up to 1969, I never saw one of their vehicles there, nor have I ever seen a photo.
Fishwick regularly operated both through and into Manchester, as I said, without a scheduled stop. Private hires to theatres, Belle Vue and venues beyond the city brought the vehicles into the city.

Phil Blinkhorn

27/02/17 – 07:44

Phil, I did wonder whether Bolton actually operated on the X66.
Two further operators that have come to mind are East Kent and Southdown, who of course were joint operators with North Western / BMMO on the through services to the south east coast. In this case Southdown was licensed in its own name, rather than as a constituent of Associated Motorways as in the case of the joint Yelloway services.

David Williamson

27/02/17 – 07:45

I know Chris’s original question used the word ‘bus’ in the title but in addition to the express service operators already listed there were also some ‘Forces Leave’ services that reached the city.
I know of Silver Star (later Wilts and Dorset). Did Bere Regis also work some?
Another one in the back of my mind (and I would certainly stand to be corrected on this one) could have been Maidstone and District from Chatham.

David Slater

27/02/17 – 15:58

David S, coach operators abounded at weekends in the 1950s carrying National Servicemen on weekend leave. At this remove it would be difficult to do a comprehensive list. Even a list from the late 1960s would need a great deal of research.

Phil Blinkhorn

20/03/17 – 05:51

Many thanks for providing such an extensive list of bus/coach companies serving Manchester. Such a variety of liveries, chassis and body makes.
What a dream for bus enthusiasts living in that part of the world.
The only time my London Transport life at Morden was enlivened from red Utility Daimlers, pre-war RT’s, a sprinkling of STL’s and two Green Line TF routes passing through, was Epsom Racing days and when Tilling and Maidstone Corporation lent its Bristols and Daimlers during the severe vehicle shortage of about 1949. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the Diddler trolleybuses at Raynes Park. But this pales in comparison!

Chris Hebbron


Trolley Buses

When I lived in Hull I travelled on trolley buses frequently, their acceleration was very good.
When they were slowing down by braking was any of the energy generated from this fed back into the overhead electricity supply?

David Ralphs

19/02/17 – 16:33

Without being familiar in detail with the Hull trolleybus system, the answer to the question would almost certainly be ‘no’. Technically it can be quite a difficult thing to do as the energy has to go somewhere. Even today utility suppliers are not very keen to take electricity back and the technology in the trolleybus days didn’t allow it.
So you had to use it in the system and that meant another vehicle had to be accelerating at the same time. What makes the control more difficult is that you cannot influence what the other vehicle is doing and if it suddenly decides to stop taking power you have to find somewhere for the energy to go – instantly.
This can be controlled much more easily nowadays with electronic control, but more traditional systems struggled to control the transient voltages that occur at times of rapid change.
There were Regenerative trolleybuses, Bradford notably having them. The long hills meant that the energy saving could be greater and also the benefits of reduced friction brake wear were greater. However, they were not without problems and later trolleybuses didn’t have regenerative braking.

David Beilby

20/02/17 – 07:02

Bradford struggled with its 1934/35 regenerative trolleybuses 597- 632 and later all were modified to "limited regen" after 1945. This caused the English Electric Company and Bradford Corporation in 1936 to develop a new trolleybus braking system called Series Dynamic and Rheostatic (SD) which dissipated the braking energy in resistor banks on the trolleybus. These same resistor banks were part of the traction motor starting circuits so the clever bit was the contactor switching arrangements when the brake pedal was applied. The pioneer bus 634 was major success and Bradford never ordered any more regenerative vehicles.
In Hull all their pre-war trolleybuses had regenerative control and their war-time and post war trolleybuses had a version of the EEC SD system called Special Regulated Field.
I agree with David B that old regenerative braking caused a lot of problems and only now with electronics do modern tram and railway systems use regenerative braking again. The big plus is reduced brake-pad wear and energy savings.

Richard Fieldhouse


Pennine Motor Services

I am still mourning the passing of this fine old bus company, which revives so many memories for me of the early post war period.
I would like to establish a fleet list from the company start up in 1925 to about 1954, when my personal bus interests begin to wane. Does anyone have a list already, or know of the existence of one, as it seems to be conspicuous by its absence as far as the usual sources go? I seem to recall a publication some years ago, but cannot trace it.
I know there is a lot of Pennine interest, so hopefully, some collective effort could produce such a list, past 1954 if necessary, to satisfy all tastes!

John Whitaker

07/02/17 – 06:15

There is a copy of Donald Binns’ book on Pennine available here:

John Stringer

07/02/17 – 06:16

The book "Pennine Motor Services 1925 – 2000" by Donald Binns has a fleet list. You can get it from Amazon at £24-99 second hand or at an impressive £195 for a new copy! I certainly didn’t pay that much for my copy.

Nigel Turner

07/02/17 – 06:17

You may already have these   
The first 8 feature chassis up to ’54.

John Lomas


SHMD Thornycroft Daring

I am trying to find a view of an SHMD Thornycroft Daring double decker.
In the 1960’s there was an old bus kept at Birkenhead Docks and used as a mobile office. Someone once told me that it was ex SHMD. Can anyone check the disposals for this class of vehicle in an attempt to identify the Birkenhead example. I think it had NCME bodywork, but there were no distinguishing numbers etc. Many thanks.

Bob Griffiths

06/02/17 – 09:58

Have we not been here before


06/02/17 – 13:22

There is a thread which mentions SHMD Darings on this website at   
I’ve done an extensive trawl on the web, but can find no trace of a photo of one of their Darings.

Chris Hebbron

07/02/17 – 06:14

I am fairly certain there is such a photo in the TPC publication on SHMD, but as I no longer have a copy, I cannot check.

John Whitaker

07/02/17 – 08:40

John is certainly correct about the TPC book on SHMD. I have had a quick look, but is seems the only pictures are of the ex-demonstrator 144 (CG 3025).

Andrew Gosling

07/02/17 – 09:16

There is a picture of SHMD Daring CG 3025, No. 144 in Alan Townsin’s book on Thornycroft published by Ian Allan in 2001.

Roger Cox


N & S Coaches

Around the early 1960s there was an Operator called ‘N & S Coaches’ from Leicester and Market Harborough who operated a number of Plaxton bodied 35 seat Tilling Stevens coaches. Does anyone know any history of theses vehicles or where they re bodies? I can remember seeing them running around the Leicester area in the early 1960s

Steve Sanders

30/01/17 – 09:38

I have a note in my family history of R. W. Carney of Sunderland later known as Carney and again as Carney Coaches which states N & S were of Kibworth Leicestershire. Bob Carney purchased a coach VME 243. In its history of ownerships it shows N & S.
A previous discussion on this coach can be found if you input VME 243 into the OBP web page scrolling down the found page you will find details of this coach purchased 2nd hand by N & S. in 6/1953.

30/01/17 – 09:38

31/01/17 – 06:25

The post war ranges of Tilling-Stevens (there is a hyphen between the two words) were all single deckers. Initially the dropped frame half cab K type of 1946 (mostly Gardner 6LW powered K6LA7, though the Meadows 6DC630 powered K6MA7 was an option) was offered for bodies of up to about 35 seats. This was supplemented in September 1948 by the flat framed L6PA7, a lighter weight chassis with the Perkins P6 engine for full fronted bodies of about 32 seats. A 26 ft version of the L6PA7 chassis for up to 31 seats emerged from the Maidstone works in 1949 as the Vulcan 6PF. In 1950 came Tilling-Stevens’ last throw of the dice in the passenger market, the 30 ft L4MA8, optimistically called the "Express Mark II" with a backward glance to the very successful B10 Express model of the 1930s. Essentially a lengthened L6PA7, this was designed for full fronted bodywork for up to 40 passengers, and employed the then very new Meadows 4DC330 engine, a compact unit incorporating counter rotating shafts to minimise engine vibration. This must have swallowed up some of the power because the output from 5.43 litres was a modest 80 bhp at 2200 rpm (this was subsequently raised in 1958 to 100 bhp at 2500 rpm, but, by then, Tilling-Stevens had long ceased to be a chassis manufacturer). At the end of 1950 the Maidstone firm sold out to the Rootes group. Tilling-Stevens and Vulcan vehicles were finally withdrawn from manufacture in 1953, but many lingered on unsold by dealers for a few subsequent years. I have found one reference to a Tilling-Stevens coach operated by N & S of Kibworth, Leics. This is KAY 903, a L4MA8 Express Mark II originally fitted with a Plaxton C39F body delivered to N & S in January 1954. This apparently still survives in chassis form only (see the last entry in the Tilling-Stevens list):-

Roger Cox


Devon General AEC Regal DDV 44

Does anyone know hat happened to Devon General AEC Regal DDV 44 that carried me to and from Dawlish to Exeter on school days in the early 1940s?

Duggo Armitage

31/01/17 – 06:30

There was a batch of Devon General AEC Regals registered DDV 420 to DDV 451 but not DDV 44

David Hick


Birmingham Air Services Bus

Info please! Could anyone shed light on the little covered topic of the Birmingham Air Services Bus to Elmdon Airport between 1949 and 1963. What I really would like to know is the route it took around the city centre on it’s outward and inward travel. Usually the Leyland Olympic 2261 was the preferred bus from 1950 but was supported as required by Tigers. Any snippet would be really helpful.

Colin Mytton

31/01/17 – 06:27

The inward route – from a fuddled memory – was Inbound along Coventry Road, up the Bull Ring, left into New Street, right into Corporation Street, left into Bull Street (past Greys & Lewis’s) into Colmore Row and then via Livery Street (Pick-Up point) back down New Street to the Station (Pick-Up point) and back down the Bull Ring onto Coventry Road to Elmdon. There may have been one Pick -Up point at Hay Mills, not sure though. Hope this helps.

Nigel Edwards

09/02/17 – 07:27

Many thanks Nigel,
This has helped a great deal.


20/05/17 – 06:51

I think the City Centre information supplied is incomplete as I travelled on this service in 1962 to Edinburgh (Turnhouse) changing planes at Glasgow (Renfrew). I boarded 2261 at the Airport Terminal behind the Hall of Memory next to Baskerville House. The departure building was a single storey flat roofed building which contained BEA offices and a Departure Lounge.

Tony Morgan


Midland Red C1s

I’m trying to find the Duple body nos. for the C1 coaches new c1949 – suggestions welcome!

Peter G

02/01/17 – 07:41

The BMMO C1’s were numbered 3300-3344 (KHA 300-344), and the Duple body numbers were 47501- 47545. Whether the body numbers were in sequence I can’t be certain as though I have 3301 as 47501, I have 3311 as 47512 and 3341 as 47542. I hope this is of some use, but if you do find out I would be pleased to hear as I am trying to put together a database of Duple bodies.

John Stringer

02/01/17 – 07:41

Reg Nos KHA 301 and 311 are in preservation, if you can find the owners they would possibly know their body numbers.

John Lomas


Seddon Mark 11

Does anyone know if any other bodybuilders than Plaxton bodied the Seddon Mark 11 chassis for UK operators.

Geoff Clayton

29/12/16 – 14:02

According to Bus Lists on the Web there were both Duple and Plaxton bodies on the Mark 11. There isn’t a dedicated Seddon listing and to make the search harder they are not listed consistently! I have found the following registrations:
SMB 880
SMB 757
TTC 211
TTD 234
PTF 329
JBA 157
SMB 881
SAR 510
Which may help – they’re split about 50:50. I have a picture of SMB 880 at and also one of SAR 510, not yet scanned.

David Beilby

30/12/16 – 06:59

The Seddon Mark 11 was a pretty rare beast in the UK, though, as was the case with most Seddon psvs, it was more successful overseas. The engine, fitted vertically under the floor amidships, was the 5.56 litre Perkins R6, supposedly giving 108 bhp at the very high speed of 2700 rpm, which all too often resulted in internal failure. A revised version of the R6 gave the reduced output of 104 bhp at 2500 rpm, but the dire reputation of the engine never recovered. The 4.7 litre 86 bhp at 2500 rpm P6 was offered as an alternative, but this would have been barely adequate to the task of propelling the Mark 11 thirty footer. The shorter 26 ft. version was called the Mark 10. David’s picture illustrates the fairly low driving position, rather like that of the Dennis Lancet UF. I have actually ridden on a Mark 11 coach back in 1958 when attending an ATC Cadet Summer Camp at RAF Colerne (‘Kullen’ to the locals, apparently) near Bath. The Seddon took us on a day trip to Wookey Hole, and I did take a picture of the coach, but the negative sadly went awol during family removals when I lived elsewhere. I cannot now identify the operator, who must have been based somewhere in the Bath/Chippenham area. I do recall the mediocre performance on hills, and, by sitting quite close behind the driver, I also remember the vehicle having a two speed axle, my first encounter with such a device.

Roger Cox

30/12/16 – 16:29

There was one bus in the UK, a Duple (Midland) bodied example for West Riding, it replaced an all-Seddon Mk 10 which was returned to the makers…

Stephen Allcroft

31/12/16 – 10:09

On the west side of the A29 between Fittleworth and Bury in West Sussex, just SW of Watersfield, there was a coach company that ran a few Seddon Mk 11s. The owner told me that the engines were vertical Perkins sixes, which I assumed at the time meant P6s, but on reading Roger’s very detailed account I now realise that they were probably R6s. I don’t recall the bodybuilder or the operator’s name. A few years ago a Mk 11 was on show at the Great Dorset Steam Fair at Tarrant Hinton.

Ian Thompson

02/01/17 – 07:30

Further to David Beilby’s posting, more Mark 11 Seddons appear to be MOR 194, 1 BMH, WWE 10-12. There is inconsistency in the listings in BLotW where they are shown as either XI, XL, IX, II or 11, but I’m sure these are meant to be the same model. The coach listed as IX (a typing error?) is 1 BMH which I have seen a photo of, and I recollect that it had a standard Duple Elizabethan body. New to Ted Heath’s Band (BMH = Band Master Heath), its Duple body number was in the same series as three of the others. There are photos of WWE 10 and WWE 11 here:-   and https://flic.kr/p/rqZgUk  
To summarise, RTF 7, TTC 211, TTD 234, JBA 157, SAR 510, 1 BMH and MOR 194 had Duple Elizabethan bodies, the others Plaxton Venturer bodies.

David Williamson

02/01/17 – 07:39

In 1959 Seddon produced the Mark 19 which had the AEC AH 410 6.75 litre engine mounted under the floor. It sold in modest numbers overseas, but only one appeared on the domestic market, VHO 200, bought by Liss & District (a former B.S. Williams company) in April 1959. This was fitted with a Harrington C35F body, and it still exists.:-   
Here is the cover of the Seddon Brochure for the Mark 11:- http://i.ebayimg.com/images/  
Here is another link:-  

Roger Cox


Information about 937 EFG

937 EFG is a Burlingham bodied single deck bus which appeared recently in an episode of ‘Inspector George Gently’ on TV. Firstly I would like to know the origin of this vehicle and secondly, I noticed a very odd feature in that there were just two windows at the rear, one of which was in the emergency exit. I’ve never seen such a thing before, all single deckers I’ve seen with rear emergency exits have them in the centre with a window either side. Does anyone know why this vehicle had such an unusual arrangement?

Chris Barker

30/12/16 – 07:10

Did you mean a rear window arrangement like this Burlingham bodied Tiger Cub?


30/12/16 – 07:10

Chris, are you able to identify the actual episode? You may recognise the storyline from the selection here.  

David Call

30/12/16 – 07:14

There is some information here:-   
I believe the Bournemouth Royal Tigers originally had rear entrances, which would probably explain the positioning of the emergency door.
The ECW drawings for some versions of the proposed single deck bodies on the Bristol N chassis also showed a similar arrangement, but those were never built!

Nigel Frampton

30/12/16 – 15:08

To answer my own question, the relevant episode was the second of series one, entitled ‘Bomber’s Moon’, first broadcast on 20 July 2008. The vehicle involved is almost certainly one of the Bournemouth Royal Tigers, of which I believe there are three in preservation.

David Call

31/12/16 – 06:28

Chaps, many thanks for the information, there’s absolutely no doubt that the vehicle is one of the ex-Bournemouth Royal Tigers, if I’d noticed the glazing in the roof cove panels I may have realised that but the red and cream livery and fake registration fooled me!

Chris Barker

02/01/17 – 07:32

Of the 3 preserved Bournemouth Royal Tigers.
Searches on the internet show:
NLJ 268 has a 1-piece destination display and no illuminated PAYE sign.
NLJ 271 has 3 narrowly-spaced strips across the front, correct destination box and PAYE sign.
NLJ 272 has 3 widely-spaced strips, correct destination box and PAYE sign.
So my money is on it being NLJ 271.

Dave Farrier

06/01/17 – 06:20

Following the lead set by Dave Farrier, further search on the internet seems to rule our NLJ 268 as it clearly has a rear entrance, steps and door, rather than the more conventional closed rear end with two windows, as seen on the programme. Also, a different destination screen from its days with Chesterfield, but that’s somewhat less structural than the different rear end.
I would agree that 271 looks to be the prime suspect in this case.



Burwell and District Dennis Ace


I am researching further history of B&D vehicles for my next publication and have come across several contradictions to details that I had previously regarded as facts.
The Dennis Ace AKR 937 has been listed as a Harrington body but the Eastern Counties fleet history 2PF1 shows it as a Waveney body. The only information I can find on the web is on Ian’s Bus Stop which also lists Waveney, adding that AKR 937 was the first of a pair ordered by Gravesend & District and delivered to LPTB numbered DC1 & 2 in green/black livery with ‘GENERAL’ FLEETNAMES. shown as withdrawn in 10/37, B&D acquired from Jordan, dealer of Biggleswade in 10/38.
My main interest is establishing the body make but also interested in any other details, including DC 2 which I presume was registered AKR 938?
I have been told that this bus was requisitioned during the war and converted for use as an ambulance but have no other details.
I attach an image that has been digitally coloured and lettered for B&D

Jim Neale

09/12/16 – 06:11

My initial reaction to the questions posed about this bus was to look in the volume Cambridge 1 by Paul Carter, an acknowledged authority on East Anglian operators. Unfortunately, the author is uncharacteristically shy about this Dennis Ace, simply mentioning its previous life with London Transport, and referring only its 20 seat bodywork without naming the manufacturer. I found the answers in Ken Glazier’s book "London Bus File, 1933 -39, Single Deckers", where the bodywork on AKR 937 and its fellow, registration BPF 318, is stated to be by Waveney. Both Aces dated from 1934. By comparison, the contemporary Ace body by Harrington is much more stylish :-   When the LPTB was set up in 1933 the eastern boundary ran right through the centre of  Gravesend, dividing the bus operations between London Transport and Maidstone & District. Indeed, both operators each had a garage in the town (the LPTB one was actually at Northfleet). I suspect that the confusion about the bodywork on Peter Gould’s site arises from the fact that Maidstone & District also had a four Aces which were fitted with Harrington bodies – AKT 832/34/35/40. In their later years these little machines were converted to open toppers for the Hastings seafront service:-  

Roger Cox

10/12/16 – 10:13


Roger’s Dennis Society link reminded me that I’d taken the attached shot in Hastings in 1957. Apologies for photographic technique!

Ian Thompson

10/12/16 – 10:53

What an interesting view from Ian! I see that there is a branch of Curry’s. My parents once bought me a bike in the Lancaster branch of that firm. Was it the same firm as now sells household appliances and cameras, or pure coincidence that they have the same name? Now that should exercise Monsieur Poirot’s little grey cells!

Pete Davies

10/12/16 – 16:28

See early days in this.

John Lomas

11/12/16 – 11:15

Thanks, John. Thinks: "Must look at Wikipedia more often!"

Pete Davies


Leeds Area Model

How many AEC Q Buses did Leeds city Tramways have and when were they withdrawn from service?
I have just come across the model of this unusual looking bus but with only a small number of these double decker types being built and the problems they had I am assuming they would be out of service by the period 1956-1958 I am modelling.
I am looking at buses and operators for my model railway which is based between Leeds and Tadcaster. Is there anywhere that I can get a route list and route numbers so I can make correct destination blinds?
I am a train-buff but not a bus-buff! I am assuming that the following operators would be possibles in the area mentioned. Leeds City Transport, West Riding, Samuel Ledgard, West Yorkshire Roadcar and East Yorkshire.
Any observations or comments you think helpful would be gratefully received.
As a youngster I lived in Wakefield, so West Riding buses were the familiar scene. I do somewhere have a few B & W pictures of West Riding buses in service in the early 60’s, when I find time to dig out the negatives I will send you digital jpeg copies….
I am all for preserving these little bits of history.

Phil Plumb

04/12/16 – 13:43

Phil, The old A64 between Leeds and Tadcaster your possibilities are almost endless! Just about every coach operator in East Lancashire and West Yorkshire would have passed along it at some time on private hires or excursions to either York or the coastal resorts. The companies you mention would certainly have covered the road.
West Yorkshire (WYRCC) service 43 between Leeds to Scarborough with Leeds to York shorts and duplicates. WYRCC worked jointly with East Yorkshire on services 44/45 from Leeds to Bridlington and 46 from Leeds to Hull.
A fleet list of WYRCC buses may be seen here:   
Regarding the models, I have listed a few suggestions to set the ball rolling. I have suggested some ‘off the peg’ models (rather than kits) which are available as current models or what I have just seen on eBay at modest cost as I type this (you might have to re-paint/re-letter some to become WYRCC). WYRCC was a subsidiary of a nationalised group whose buses were either red or green. Any red version of a model from the group could acceptably be re-lettered to represent WYRCC (e.g. Hants and Dorset).
By the way, take care regarding the scales of the models. Some are available in different scales 1:50, 1:76 and 1:148. Some casual eBay sellers don’t always mention which scale.

WYRCC Bristol L half cab rear entrance single decker (built 1946-1952) Photo:   Corgi 978xx range

WYRCC Bristol KSW half cab rear entrance double decker (built circa 1951-1953) Photo: Corgi 97856 is a WYRCC with service 48 blinds bound for Leeds which might be appropriate. This service ran from Leeds to Aberford via Seacroft and Barwick

WYRCC Bristol Lodekka half cab rear entrance double decker (built 1953-1959) The bus fifth from the right in this photo:   Corgi 99186

Burlingham Seagull coach (built 1953-1958) Photo:  

Wallace Arnold Corgi 40301 (Samuel Ledgard operated these also but I don’t know if there was a model produced in their colours). This model would be appropriate for a number of different operators in the area.

Ribble Leyland bodied Leyland Royal Tiger (New 1951-1953) These worked the summer seasonal X192 Liverpool-Scarborough service joint with West Yorkshire. Hebble also operated the type.

Some of the other contributors would be able to help further regarding the Leeds City Transport buses.
I don’t mind trying to help further once you start the project and when you have a more firm idea of your choices.

David Slater

04/12/16 – 13:44

Leeds City Transport had two AEC Q’s.
65, registered UG 6511, and 78 registered AML 778, both having MCCW 60-seat bodies, new 1933 and 1934 respectively. Both were withdrawn in 1940.

John Stringer

04/12/16 – 14:19

David Slater refers to Hants & Dorset as a red fleet – that was true in NBC days, when the Wilts & Dorset fleet was absorbed within H&D. (W&D having been a red Tilling fleet). In the era of the KSW and L types that David mentions, H&D was definitely a Tilling green fleet.

Peter Delaney

04/12/16 – 16:01

David, John, Peter,
I am overwhelmed by your kind and very quick responses.
There is plenty for me to go at there.
I will enjoy looking at the leads you have given me and following up with the research.
The model is 00 (1;76 scale), thanks David for the reminder to check the scales on ‘ebay’.
I bought the Leyland PD1 in Samuel Ledgard colours a couple of weeks ago suitably begrimed and weathered as the first bus for the project, which will be a long term one. I used to see these when I took the train from Wakefield to Leeds Central (train-spotting) and then used to walk over to City station to see what was going on there. The Ledgards seemed a bit different than the bigger operators standing out by the different livery, just as County Motors did in Wakefield bus station.
Sometime down the road I will be replicating a "Sunday Shed Bash" by the RCTS (Railway Correspondence and Travel Society). I would be taken on these trips by my dad and we would board a Law Brothers coach at Midland station in Sheffield at least once a month and go off on a days tour 7.00am was the start time and I was asleep when we got back at around 10.00pm. I seem to remember a Bedford OB in green and cream colours… certainly the colours are correct but the bus type may be erroneous. I used to get coach sick though, but after the first couple of times the driver cured this by always sitting me and dad in the seat immediately aft of the stairs so that I was not staring at a seat back but looking through the front screen and with something to engage my attention I forgot about the rolling motion of the bus and the driver was not obliged to stop a couple of times as he had to do on the first trips.
Thank you all again for getting me off the starting blocks.

Phil Plumb

05/12/16 – 10:41

David’s reference to the WYRCC service from Leeds to Scholes Barwick & Aberford has reminded me that there was a railway running from Crossgates through Scholes and Thorner (crossing the A64) to Wetherby. It closed in the fifties or sixties but various bits remain. A station was added around 1939 at Pendas Way presumably to serve the Vickers tank factory. I don’t know if it is within your scope or interest but it must have been a pretty route.


05/12/16 – 16:02

For photos of West Riding buses and others, I would direct you to the Huddersfield Passenger Transport Group at  

John Darwent


PSV Rally Hull – Bridlington or Scarborough 1971

Can anyone help with a reliable date for the above event please?
Whitsuntide would seem to be a possibility.
I am trying to date some photographs. Unfortunately the ones I have of this particular rally are not brilliant but they might interest a keen enthusiast and I am happy for anyone to have copies.

Malcolm Storey


British Period in Burma

I am trying to get pictures of British period in Burma, motor vehicle license plates, which is proving very hard to do. I have only found a couple so far, one bus and Bogyoke Aung San’s car that he used up till his assassination. Although I am not exactly a bus fan, if you happen to have any pictures of buses, or any vehicles that show, reasonably clearly, the old British period Burmese license plates, I’d be grateful to see them. I understand, but am not totally sure, that the series of plates issued at that time, started at RA…, & went up to around RF… and were used country wide, someone said that Mandalay had MA & MB series, but I have not further info. Thank you in advance for any help you can give. I currently live & work in Yangon.

Pete Newman

25/11/16 – 15:09

Hi Pete
I wish I could help but, like you, I cannot find anything much.
I have a number of books dealing with British Burma but none show any cars that have clear numbers. One booklet entitled "Electric Traction in the Burmese Capital" by Robert Sechler concerns trams and trolleybuses effectively eliminated by the Japanese in 1943. However, there is only one photo showing a 1927 Thorneycroft bus with the registration (RA 3545 I think). The trolleybuses don’t seem to carry registration plates.
There is, of course, a photo of a Burmese bus on this site – .  
I was always under the impression that "R" equals Rangoon, and "M" equals Mandalay, but have no proof.
I also found this photo during a web search but inevitably someone is obscuring the full plate.   
As I have a deep love of Burma (having been three times in the 1980s and a revisit last year, I wish you success and will keep looking.

Paul Haywood


Halifax CVG6

There was an item from Bradford on Look North (Leeds) tonight where the presenter’s "prop" was an immaculately preserved Halifax decker- looked like a CVG6/Roe, but I completely failed to note any ID. Is it the one from the Keighley Bus Museum..?… don’t think it has appeared here?


17/11/16 – 12:16

I didn’t see Look North last night, but the Keighley Bus Museum’s Halifax CVG6/Roe 119 (GJX 331) is the only such vehicle still in existence.

John Stringer


Luttrellstown Bus

I am doing a local history book and was just wondering if any one has a photo of the old Number 80 (Luttrellstown) bus which figured so largely in the lives of those living in Clonsilla, Strawberry Beds area especially, or even a photo of the bus type – it was red and cream and the interior seating had a grey gingham pattern.

Mary Reynolds

16/11/16 – 07:45

Mary, I have little knowledge or pics to help you although I did find the service mentioned on the net. It may help others here if you had any dates in mind for your local history. Someone will know which old company had red livery and when… like the UK, there was not then the sameness.


22/11/16 – 12:02

Mary, A useful place to start might be on Shane Conway’s ‘Classic Irish Buses’ website. Not only does Shane have a detailed lists of buses in Dublin and Ireland generally with some photographs but he also has links to other sites which might be useful to you.   
You don’t mention the era in your question or whether the bus was a single decker or a double decker. Being red and cream it would point to a provincial bus of CIÉ (Córas Iompair Éireann). Most of the provincial busses were red and cream rather than the blue and cream buses operated on the Dublin city services. I believe there could have been a bit of an overlap between the two ‘departments’ on services in the outer suburbs of Dublin though.
The ‘P’ class was a half cab bus built in the 1950s
The ‘E’ class was built in the early 1960s. A picture may be seen here:   
The ‘C’ class was built in the mid to late 1960s. In the following photograph there is a ‘P’ class and a ‘C’ class parked together although the ‘P’ had been relegated to use as a towing car:   
This site might be too modern for your project but might lead somewhere else:   
Another site I know of is this one which has some older photographs of Dublin’s buses is this:   
I hope some of the above is of help in your research.

David Slater


Lodekka Wanted

I am looking to buy a Lodekka preferably with a rear door but anything considered, if anybody knows of one please get in touch through this site.


12/11/16 – 07:14

I know it is not a rear door but this is for sale.  

Stephen Howarth

12/11/16 – 14:05

There is also this one – ex-Eastern Counties LFS68, so has the rear door:   Rob Sly’s website describes it as "derelict after being driven into a dyke", so some caution is probably required!

Nigel Frampton


Maudslay Coach

Can anyone help with info on the Maudslay coach in Coventry Transport Museum it has a Manchester registration, I would like to know the original owner? operator.
Thanks for any help.

Brian Hughes

18/10/16 – 16:53

This 1948 Maudslay Marathon Mk II Willowbrook-bodied coach was owned by Hubert Hackett of Chapel Street, Levenshulme, prior to going to Coventry.

Chris Hebbron

19/10/16 – 16:46

JNB 416 has a Trans-United coach body built in Rochdale.
Another trans-united body similar to JNB 416 is a 1947/8 AEC Regal III HTF 743. 

This vehicle SRB 425 a Daimler CD650 has a Willowbrook body and was parked nest to JNB 416 on my last trip to the Coventry Motor Museum.

Stephen Allcroft

21/10/16 – 06:19

Here are some photos of the coach with the Coventry Museum:-   Its livery with Hubert Hackett was grey with red relief.
It’s unfortunate that the Coventry Museum had been advised that the body was by Willowbrook, leading to a certain amount of confusion. But a Trans-United product it certainly is, and the only one of this make still in existence.
The PSV Circle give its history as follows:-
Maudslay Marathon II (60093) / Trans-United C33F, new 1/48 to H Hackett, Manchester;
To W Hartley, Levenshulme 3/54
To Timperley Coach Subsidiaries, Wilmslow 7/54, withdrawn 9/61
To Coventry Industrial Museum c1965
To Coventry Museum of British Road Transport ??.
I understand that the Hartley and Timperley companies were associated (subsidiaries, maybe) with Hackett.

David Williamson

21/10/16 – 15:47

Thanks David for the full ownership details. As I understand it, JNB416 is also the sole surviving Marathon II, which has a Maudslay twin-cam petrol engine and Maudslay gearbox; the later Marathon III having a 7.58 litre AEC Diesel and D128 gearbox as on the Regal I.
Albion were the only other British maker to offer Petrol Engined half-cabs post-war and although theirs were built to 1950 an overwhelming majority went for export.

Stephen Allcroft


Orange, Cream and Green Buses

I recently joined a Facebook page "Dear Auld Glasgow Toon" mainly because it has a photo of the orange, cream and green Glasgow buses as its cover photo. I commented on the site that they were similar to the old Halifax buses (though no doubt many of your members could point out the differences!)
I’m no bus expert, far from it, so, just out of casual interest, I wondered how many other bus companies had or have the same colour scheme.
Can any of your members help?

Stan Holroyd

16/10/16 – 05:11

Stan, So far as I am aware, the livery on Halifax’s buses is of the same pattern as Glasgow’s because the manager moved from Glasgow and took the livery with him. I am not aware of other operators using this same livery but, as often on these pages, I await correction!
In Southampton, the City Engineer came from Swindon, and brought the town’s peculiar shade of blue with him, to appear on all his department’s vehicles. Bill Lewis brought the shade of red used on the Atlanteans with him from Manchester.
Dear departed Pennine used black orange and grey because – according to a report in Buses Illustrated (as it used to be) in 1964 – the partners were touring the Leyland factory and saw a vehicle being painted for Leyland’s own Social & Athletic Club. They liked what they saw and adopted it as their own livery to trundle around the Yorkshire Dales.
Southdown’s arrangement of Apple Green and Cream ‘appears’ though it may technically be different shades on buses of Southern National before First took over and of a number of small independents in different parts of the country. No, they were not exSouthdown vehicles.

Pete Davies

16/10/16 – 08:32

You may well be correct about the manager change in Glasgow Pete, but there was also the question of a Glasgow painted AEC demonstrator sent to Halifax which really impressed them. Interested too in your Pennine comments as orange was used well before 1964, although in different combinations with other colours, which is probably what you meant anyway!

John Whitaker

16/10/16 – 10:39

John, the article I have in mind was published in March 1964 – the copy I have in front of me even has an orange cover! – but the visit to Leyland was the trigger, in 1927.

Pete Davies

16/10/16 – 10:39

There were two later incarnations of this colour scheme, both traceable to the Halifax version.
Geoffrey Hilditch, who had been manager at Halifax, took on a role with Cynon Valley District Council and with him he brought the colour scheme which replaced the dark red and white livery they were using. Unfortunately Cynon Valley didn’t long survive the ruthless competition that arose post-deregulation.
Back in Halifax, again in the post-deregulation era, Tony Blackman set up a new operation called Halifax Joint Committee which used the Halifax livery. This ran from 1995 to 2014.

David Beilby

16/10/16 – 10:40

No criticism, Pete – the story of the origins of the orange/green/cream livery of Halifax has taken many erroneous paths – but your version is a bit off the mark. The definitive account may be found on page 213 of Geoffrey Hilditch’s book "Halifax Passenger Transport from 1897 to 1963" (Oakwood Press 2006). It is thought that, during negotiations with AEC for the supply of new double deckers, Mr Walter Theodore Young, the then General Manager (who had been appointed in 1926 from a previous post in Dundee, not Glasgow) and Councillor Gledhill of the Transport Committee came across one of the prototype Regents in Glasgow colours, GE 6326, which spent some time during 1929 as a demonstrator. I look forward to a comment by OBP’s impeccably informed resident authority on HPTD, John Stringer. John’s knowledge of his local transport scene is extraordinary.

Roger Cox

16/10/16 – 11:27

The Halifax Corporation General Manager at the time of the adoption of the green, orange and cream livery was Walter Theodore Young, who most certainly had not been at Glasgow previously.
The Halifax livery had been dark red and ivory (though latterly all over dark red lined out in gold) which had been introduced by Young’s predecessor Ben Hall. Hall had brought this livery with him from his previous post at Wigan, then adopted it at his subsequent post at Portsmouth.
It is not strictly true to say that the powers that be at Halifax adopted the green, orange and cream livery having operated a demonstrator painted in Glasgow colours. When the prototype Short-bodied AEC Regent demonstrator MT 2114 visited Halifax it was still painted in its original AEC demonstration livery of white with blue bands. The vehicle certainly impressed and a number of identical ones were immediately ordered – Halifax’s first double deckers. It is believed that the original intention had been for them to be in the dark red livery, but at some point during their construction it seems that members of the Transport Committee had then encountered a bus in Glasgow livery maybe at an exhibition – quite possibly MT 2114, which had subsequently been repainted into Glasgow livery for a period of demonstration in that city. It may even have stopped off at Halifax on its journey from Southall to Glasgow and they’d seen it then. They were impressed by the colours and had their own forthcoming Regents painted in a similar fashion. The livery then continued with variations to the layout until the PTE takeover in 1974.
I was once told by someone who was around at the time that there was known to be an ulterior and more sectarian motive for certain influential committee members adopting the green, orange and cream colours (as may well have been the case at Glasgow) and that it was not purely because it looked bright and cheerful, but I’d better not venture into such controversial territory !

John Stringer

17/10/16 – 07:17

So the mystery is not really solved after all…I had always wondered about the connection here, John and the then composition of the transport committee- but as you say, we’re not going there.


05/12/16 – 07:13

Having scrolled down from the kind answers given above under the Leeds Model header I found this thread which stirred the old memory cells a little.
I remember seeing the occasional orange bus in Pond Street bus station in Sheffield. This would be prior to 1957, when I would have been nine years old, because we left Sheffield then to live in Wakefield. It certainly had other colours as well as the orange and it stood out from the cream and dark blue of the Sheffield fleet. I seem to remember, though how accurately at this time distance is debatable, asking my parents what it was, and something… "UNITED" comes to mind at their reply.
Any thoughts? Or was it a Halifax through service?

Phil Plumb

05/12/16 – 10:35

Your orange bus sounds like East Midlands in that location- a wonderful orange ("chrome yellow") brown and cream which later changed to a drab maroon. However, this is the interesting bit… if you follow this site you will find reference to the fact that East Midlands were originally Underwoods of Clowne, an offshoot of United from… not Darlington we are told… but Lowestoft!


05/12/16 – 10:36

Halifax Passenger Transport was a joint operator on the 68/X68 Halifax-Sheffield service in later years but I don’t think this began until the 1960s (??)
Is it possible that the livery Phil refers to could be the old East Midland livery?
East Midland participated in the London-Yorkshire express services through Sheffield and they had services into Sheffield from Mansfield (service 3) and Chesterfield (service 99).
In a posting elsewhere on the OBP site John Bunting mentions that their livery changed in 1955 but that wouldn’t have occurred overnight. Described as ‘yellow, brown and cream’ rather than orange but from photographs I have seen the yellow was very rich.
I’m struggling to find a colour photograph of an original bus in the livery but this link shows someone’s interpretation of it in model form.  

David Slater

05/12/16 – 13:25

It looks as though Joe and David have hit the nail on the head first time… So much for my 8/9 year old memory! The model picture is almost certainly what I saw in Pond street. The model referred to by David has I see, destinations of Eckington, Bolsover & Mansfield on the blind…a mere stones throw away!
What a brash and wonderful livery "I’m here you can’t miss me". Thanks guys for repairing another hole in life’s long wall.
Now, I mean this in the nicest possible way, It is wonderful to be amongst anoraks who really know their stuff. A lifetime of steady osmosis as one absorbs more than one ever realises about our individual passions….then when someone pushes the button…as I said at the beginning BINGO!
If anyone ever wants anorak help on Steam Engines or Austin Champs then I would be happy to reciprocate the help you have given.

Phil Plumb

08/12/16 – 13:29

East Midlands bus in the Orange, Cream and Brown livery here…

Phil Plumb

09/12/16 – 06:06


Here’s a nice picture of a retro-liveried Routemaster in the old East Midlands livery.

John Darwent


Bullock’s Buses

Does anyone have anything on my family (the Bullocks) who lived in Featherstone. I still have two aunties from their immediate family who are both in there eighties, also I’ve seen some media and photos from a David Allen. I would be very grateful of anything anyone may have.

Peter Bullock

12/10/16 – 11:23

Venture Publishing produced a book a while ago in their Super Prestige series on West Riding Automobile Co. (who took over B&S/Bullock’s of Featherstone) which includes information on the B&S history, as well as that of South Yorkshire Transport of Pontefract, which was originally owned by another branch of the Bullock family. I believe the book is currently available at half price (£8) from MDS Book Sales of Glossop, and should be widely available from other internet sellers.

John Stringer

13/10/16 – 07:06

Just a clarification to the above; the Super Prestige history of West Riding comes in two parts. Volume One (green cover) deals with West Riding itself while "West Riding 2" (a bit of a misnomer) is exclusively devoted to Bullocks and South Yorkshire. This is the one with a blue cover. Both are recommended reading.

Neville Mercer


Racing Car Transporter

I wonder if anyone can help with a rather vague search.
I am seeking details of a particular coach that we converted and used as a racing car transporter in the mid 1970s. I think it may have been unusual as it was Ford powered and had 4 front wheels, I think we knew it as a ‘Chinese 6’. It would probably have been at least 10 years old when we bought it.
My colleage from back then thinks it was a Plaxton body in cream and red paint.
I remember collecting it before it was modified, possibly from the Hertfordshire area.
I know that this is not much to go on, but I have not been able to find details of many Ford powered coaches with that wheel arrangement.
Could anyone possibly point me in the right direction to continue my search.

Lloyd Lewis

11/10/16 – 10:55

There is a photo on Flickr of a Bedford VAL/Plaxton which vaguely matches your description: Reg no. HBW 120D.
Try entering ‘Former buses converted to racing car transporters’, or something similar on the Flickr site. Can’t find any others.

Andrew Gosling

11/10/16 – 16:33

Lloyd, These pages on the ‘Old Bus Photos’ website show some different body styles if it helps to recall the precise style of body your transporter had.
There are four bodybuilders included in that set include Plaxton, Duple, Harrington and Yeates.
There are some websites on the net with photographs of numerous styles of coaches converted to stock car transporters – although I have not found any of the Bedford VAL/Plaxton combination! Therefore this site will only be of passing interest:
The SCT61 website contains 61 Bedford VAL coach (not transporter) photographs showing different styles of bodywork:
Key ‘Bedford VAL’ in the ‘Search in caption or message for’ box and enter.
If you did have some further clue like the registration number or other clue someone might be able to expand on the actual coach you are asking about.
I wondered if a cream and red coach from Hertfordshire might have been Premier-Albanian of Watford?

David Slater

12/10/16 – 06:34

I believe one of the King Alfred VALs was converted to a racing car transporter. It could have been in NBC red and white.

Steve Barnett

12/10/16 – 06:35

Is it on the Briscaf site- Paul Kaye, or is it me?


19/10/16 – 06:34


Found on the edge of Exmoor in the 1990’s. Bedford VAL with Plaxton Body, ex-Smiths Imperial of Birmingham and a coach I drove in the 70’s.

Tony Morgan

20/10/16 – 06:46


Not quite the same thing Lloyd, this was a bus conversion intended for horse power of the four legged variety. New to T&W PTE in 1977; OTN 432R was a Scania with MCW H46/30F body, and numbered 432 in their fleet. In later life it was one of several sold to H W Hunter of Seaton Delaval, who were now part of the Moor-Dale Group. I know one of them never entered service and was used for spares, but I don’t know about this one. I know Plaxton had a custom vehicle department, and among other types they built several racing car transporters on coach chassis.

Ronnie Hoye


Colchester Corporation Leyland PD2 No 28

I see from a 1962 edition of Buses Illustrated that the above was fitted with power assisted steering when new.
I must admit I never knew that any PDs were fitted with this. Can anyone shed any light on this please?

Steve Milner

07/10/16 – 07:52

I thought I’d try the Commercial Motor archive and was amazed to hit the right article straight away:
I can’t find a follow-up article to know how it performed in service. I hadn’t heard of this experiment before.

David Beilby

08/10/16 – 05:56

Thanks for this David . Very interesting !

Steve Milner

09/10/16 – 06:43

There is one aspect of the article that David has discovered that I find almost incredible. Apparently, the local water supply in Colchester necessitated the replacement of all aluminium parts in the cooling system with cast iron. Hadn’t they heard of antifreeze? How did all the local car engines with aluminium components cope?

Roger Cox


London Transport Wheel Trims

In the 1950s the whole London fleet (7000 buses?) sported full rear-wheel nave-plates which tidied up their side view and must have made for easy cleaning. Suddenly they were gone – why?
And do modern restorers seek them out, for a finishing touch?
And – whilst on wheels – how different (and awful) are/were AECs and Leylands running without their nuts-rings on the front wheels! It made them look like contractor buses.

Victor Brumby

06/10/16 – 17:07

Perhaps because they have ?mileometers on the rear hubs and those yellow nut indicators on the front – and rear? With the covers it was harder to see if the wheel(s) was falling off. Elf and safety yer knowas.


06/10/16 – 17:03

I seem to remember reading somewhere (though please correct me if I’m wrong) that a rear wheel trim disc once came off an LT bus whilst at speed and caused someone a serious injury, resulting in their immediate removal from the entire fleet.

John Stringer

06/10/16 – 17:03

Victor, I cant speak for LT, but I suspect it could all be part of the same couldn’t care less syndrome that effected BET and BTH companies when NCB came about. From 1967 to 1975, I worked at NGT’s Percy Main Depot ‘Tynemouth & Wakefields’ like most depots within the group they set themselves very high standards, vehicles were meticulously maintained, and after their weekly checks they were thoroughly cleaned from top to toe, this was in addition to the nightly excursion through the wash and the overnight sweep out. Pride in the fleet was still something to be encouraged, and this was reflected in the vehicle turn out, minor damage was repaired quickly, and wheel trims were always replaced after maintenance checks. Then came the new broom of NBC, like many other depots, vehicles were swapped between fleets, with some going from one end of the country to the other, to slightly misquote Oscar Wilde, the accountants "knew the price of everything and the value of nothing" corners were cut to try and save money, I.e. bright trim and badges were painted over, or simply not replaced if bodywork was required, wheel trims started to disappear, and all in all the fleet started to look ramshackle and neglected. NBC became an acronym for No Body Cares. Unfortunately PTE’s seemed to be little better, in fairness, Go Ahead seem to make an effort, and their vehicles are better presented than those of another company of Scottish origin, but I’m afraid that apart from a handful of smaller companies, the glory days are long gone

Ronnie Hoye

07/10/16 – 06:20

I like the acronym Ronnie has posted, NBC = No Body Cares. A slightly different one – unprintable in ‘family’ circumstances – was in a trade magazine which crossed my desk some years ago. Fortunately the hierarchy realised in time, and decided not to use NBG after all!

Pete Davies

07/10/16 – 07:49

Manchester was one of a number of undertakings that for a period specified rear wheel trims. Much to the annoyance of Head Office, certain depots removed them as soon as possible with the regular excuse of ‘lost in service’. Other depots kept them up until the mid 1960s. The real reasons for removal was brake overheating, time in removing and replacing them when wheels had to be changed and, most importantly, the need to regularly check wheel nuts for tightness which later became a mandatory regular check and, as I understand it, it was at that time that the London wheel trims disappeared in short order.

Phil Blinkhorn

07/10/16 – 17:03

I had heard the same story as John Stringer. They all seemed to disappear from buses almost overnight. So an edict from upstairs would seem reasonable. This was, of course long before the days of wheel nut indicators or hubometers, so the ‘falling off’ incident sounds eminently plausible.
I used to travel daily on Country Bus RTs from Godstone and East Grinstead and they all had the plain green discs, except one particular bus (don’t ask me which one). This had the raised circle, mid way between the middle and the perimeter picked out in polished aluminium. Compared with all the plain green ones, this one looked very smart. I doubt that few passengers ever noticed the difference, but I did!
I think that they might have been delivered new in this style, but normally were repainted without relief.
As to how/where preservationists find them now, that’s a mystery. Unless some garages stockpiled a quantity for use as dustbin lids!


08/10/16 – 05:49

It seems odd to me that after over twenty years and millions of miles in service a wheel trim should come off in such a way as to injure someone and trigger a mass removal. The trims were attached by a u shaped bracket bolted at each end to the hub. A spring clip in the centre of the bracket passed through a slot in the centre of the trim and secured the trim under pressure. The trims were a tight fit around the wheel rim so if the spring failed the disk would initially stay in place by centrifugal force. A change in speed or an uneven road surface would, eventually, dislodge the trim but with LT’s vehicles engines governed to low speeds and, even in the country areas, slow traffic, I just wonder what speeds could be attained to have the trim fly off so as to cause injury. More likely this was a maintenance edict issued by a management rethink. Whilst it was a long while before wheel nut indicators etc., instances of loose wheels on large vehicles were not uncommon – I saw three trucks lose wheels on the M1 in a two month period in 1967 – and a stricter inspection regime than previously was put into place by many operators of large vehicles.

Phil Blinkhorn

08/10/16 – 05:50

I’ve just had a look through Ken Blacker’s book ‘RT’ (Capital Transport,1979) and he states that ‘in November 1971 the order went out to garages to remove the discs. and their retaining brackets from the rear wheels of all vehicles…..the reason given was economy…..Some garages complied immediately and dealt with their entire fleet within a matter of days; others were more lethargic. The last two garages, Wood Green and Palmwrs Green gradually removed the discs from their RT’s and RM’s during the early part of 1972’. So it seems that I may have got my wires crossed with my previous suggestion.

John Stringer

09/10/16 – 06:44

I confess to have not thought about this feature before, but I cannot recall ever noting a bus of the RF, RT or RM family in service without those smart rear wheel trims. As far as I know, they were never fitted to the later “off the peg” designs operated in London. A quick look through my own slides and negatives reveals no RF/RT/RM family example without the trims, but, on the internet, I have spotted one picture of an RT lacking these fittings whilst still in LT service. The postulated 1971 date of the decree stipulating the removal of the trims fits with the fact that, from 1st January 1970, London Transport came “under new management” when the Central Buses and Underground operations were transferred to the Greater London Council. In the 10th June 1969 House of Lords debate on the proposed Transport London Bill, it was dismissively stated that “London Transport management is very weak”, this from a Tory politician whose career had been mostly in agriculture. Thus the Broadway/Chiswick dynasty that had effectively reigned since the days of the General came to an abrupt end. All new brooms like to be seen to sweep clean, even if some of the items thus discarded are of benefit. No doubt wheel trims were seen as a superfluous irrelevance. The Country Bus and Coach department, which was handed over to the National Bus Company, had no obligation to follow the same path. All my pictures of the ex LT LCBS fleet show the trims in place, and I worked at the Reigate HQ during that time. Indeed, this was the period when the Stokes (mis)led British Leyland found itself unable to supply new vehicles and spares to the bus industry nationwide. Spares for the ex LT designs became particularly scarce, and such items as did become available were immediately snapped up by the GLC controlled London Transport. LCBS suffered severely in consequence. NBC drafted such vehicles as it could muster into LCBS, and buses were hired in from Southend and Maidstone to help plug the gaps. Determined to reduce the size of the problem, LCBS sold as many RT/RMC/RML/RCL buses as possible to the GLC controlled London Transport Executive. I am pretty sure that the residual LCBS fleet of ex LT types retained their wheel trims to the end. There is one small point in Phil’s comprehensive comment that I would question. The engines in London Transport buses were de-rated, not governed down. Nevertheless, the Country Bus and Coach dept. fleet were fitted with higher geared differentials when 40 mph became the legal limit. I can assure him that a Country RT on a rural section such as that from Chelsham garage to Westerham on the 403 (later 483) certainly didn’t hang about when circumstances so demanded, and there were plenty of other similar route examples.

Roger Cox

09/10/16 – 08:35

Thanks Roger for picking me up on the point about the engines being governed. Somewhere in the recesses of my ageing brain I seem to remember reading that LT’s vehicles had governers but it may well be whoever wrote that used the term wrongly in lieu of derating.
As to the removal of the trims, I regularly visited London up until early 1970 for work and never saw an RT, RF ,RLH in service without the trims. My next visit was late in 1971 and I was taken aback by the number of vehicles sans trims.

Phil Blinkhorn

09/10/16 – 09:39

Absolutely, Roger: Hillman Imps with those beautiful but trouble prone aluminium engines had special anti freeze. They didn’t need power steering- you could twirl easily from lock to lock


09/10/16 – 10:58

I confess that I’ve never liked wheel trims of any kind, especially those awful wobbling cheapo chromed things used on 1960s lightweight (and even, shamefully) some heavyweight coaches. Apart from the thoroughly practical points of nut access, brake cooling and so on already mentioned, I like to see the hubs, which often reveal the make of chassis. Even when bought-in axles such as Kirkstall are found on more than one make of bus, they have an honest dignity that needs no concealment.

Ian Thompson

09/10/16 – 15:11

Your post on LCBS v GLC-controlled Central is very interesting and enlightening, Roger; thx. As for the NBC influence, this also extended to Northern General’s RMF’s, whose rear and front wheel trims disappeared with the advent of NBC.

Chriis Hebbron

11/10/16 – 06:32

In defence of NBC, I can remember very few instructions of the type mentioned above. Most decisions were made locally, probably under the stress of ever reducing income and the need to make economies in maintaining increasingly complicated machinery in increasingly difficult operating traffic conditions! This could be at Company, area or garage level!
The fitment of wheel trims to Bristol buses was an instruction from Tilling Group (I think it was before NBC) to BCV but it was more likely the whim of the local Chief Engineer or even garage engineers whether to maintain them. I liked the look of them but would never have inflicted the process of removal and replacement for every wheel nut check on hard pressed maintenance staff.
The only NBC dictates that I can remember were:
NBC corporate livery! (Some companies covered the cream with white in one go, others kept the two separate liveries intact until full repaint – How long did Ambleside depot manage to keep the last coach in Ribble livery away from National white?)
On the Leyland National, the circular Leyland sign was de-specified (why should NBC advertise Leyland? – Same reasoning as older vehicles having the makers name replaced by company plates. Most fleets removed them at the next appropriate occasion, perhaps at repaint. [As another aside, when I was about 11, I went to Blackpool and saw obvious Leylands sporting a Ribble radiator plate, so when I went home to Bristol, I assumed all the Bristols were Leylands as well!]
The white waist band was de-specified because Leyland were charging too much to add it to the one-colour spray-painted vehicle. Some fleets deleted it on the rest of the fleet (especially those who were spray-painting), I had it added to all Nationals at UCOC (because we were still hand-painting) before they hit the road and how much nicer they looked!

Geoff Pullin

11/10/16 – 15:39

As I said in my opening salvo Geoff, NBC accountants knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Your comments verify that.

Ronnie Hoye

12/10/16 – 06:33

I think that Geoff’s basic message was that, in the early days of NBC, a great deal of discretion was allowed to individual companies. When the politburo mentality and dead hand of the Freddie Wood era arrived then absolute, bland, suffocating conformity became the order of the day (after day, after day).

Roger Cox


Greater Manchester Buses

I have recently been looking at some pictures of old Greater Manchester buses from 1986 to 1988 and I came across a couple of pictures that showed buses with the prefix FK before the bus number. These were usually the depot the bus belonged to ie OM Oldham, PS Princess Road.
Can anyone please shed some light on the FK prefix and where it was etc etc.
Here is a link to one of the picture

Damian Paul

27/09/16 – 08:56

FK was the code for Frederick Road. This was formerly the HQ of Salford City Transport.

Andrew Gosling

27/09/16 – 08:57

FK was the depot code for Frederick Rd, Salford, the former HQ and works for Salford City Transport.

Phil Blinkhorn


Hull Buses/Coaches

Does anyone know of a bus or coach named after Jack Harrison, VC, MC in Hull.
Jack was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross in 1917 and I believe a bus or coach was named after him.
Thanks for any leads you can give.

Patrick Neal

21/09/16 – 05:53

There was a Kingston-upon-Hull coach, number 40 (B40UAG) that was named "John Harrison VC".
It was a Dennis Dorchester with Plaxton Paramount 3200 (C50Ft) body.
It was new in July or August 1984 with Kingstonian fleet names.
I photographed it on 18/09/1984 at the International Garden Festival in Liverpool, but it had no visible name.
An Ian Allan fleetbook correct to January 1985 gives it as carrying its name.
If you Google "B40UAG", the first result should give you a photo by the late Roy Marshall taken in Hull in 1986 and shows the name being carried between the windscreen wipers.

Dave Farrier


Hull Trolleybuses

How far down Holderness Road in Hull did the trolleybuses run? Is that a remaining green gantry pole opposite Kingston Vets on the same side as the Apollo pub near the roundabout?

Brenda Blissett

03/09/16 – 16:15

Hi Brenda. To the best of my knowledge, trolleybuses did not extend beyond Ings Road on the Holderness Road route after they directly replace the trams on this route in 1940. The green traction pole you refer to at Diadem Grove roundabout does indeed look like a former trolleybus pole. I suspect this was one of many to be re-planted at various locations for street lighting purposes following the withdrawal of trolleybuses in Hull in 1964. It begs the question as to why it is still there, apparently serving no purpose.

Paul Haywood

05/09/16 – 06:50

The Holderness Road trolleybuses terminated just short of Ings Road. Hull’s traction poles were of six different types so it would be useful to have a photograph to try to identify the pole.
Many poles were retained for lighting purposes but they were transferred to the City Engineer’s Department so it is possible that some were re-used.

Malcolm J Wells

05/09/16 – 14:52

Malcolm, here is a link to the street view showing the pole in question. Your identification of which type it is would be interesting.

Paul Haywood

06/09/16 – 05:48

That doesn’t look like a traction pole to me at all, but instead a sewer vent, the fluted top is an indicator of its function, instead of having a finial as was normal with traction poles. I must say I haven’t noticed a sewer vent anywhere for some time.

David Beilby

06/09/16 – 05:49

That photo looks more like a sewer vent pipe than a traction pole.

Phil Blinkhorn

06/09/16 – 08:35

Many thanks, David and Phil, for identifying it as a sewage vent. I never knew such things existed on a public road. It certainly looks to have dated from the trolleybus era, so Brenda was right to ask the question. Mystery solved, and something new learned.

Paul Haywood

09/09/16 – 16:22

Have just seen the photograph and I am certain that it is not a traction pole.

Malcolm J Wells

09/09/16 – 16:54

The other point that works against it being a trolleybus traction pole is that the vent pipe looks to be vertical, straight and true. Trolleybus poles were, I was always led to believe erected with an outward lean, so that once the overhead wires were installed and tensioned, the poles would assume an upright ‘true’ vertical. This was certainly borne out by the poles that remained along the Sutton Road in Maidstone, which were kept as lamp standards long after the trolleybuses finished. Without the wires, they all relaxed to a decidedly ‘outward-leaning’ stance.
Again, I was told by an old timer that this pre-tensioned design was very much more pronounced for trolleybus standards than tramway poles, because of the extra weight of copper wiring.



Plaxton Body Style on Bedford J2 Chassis


The first bodies built by Plaxton on the Bedford J2 chassis from 1961 were the ‘Consort’ style 7ft 6in wide with the wrap around 2 piece windscreen and 3 piece rear.


In 1965 this changed to the wider ‘Embassy’ style 8ft wide with one piece screens same front & rear.
But there were 2 coaches built in 1969 in the older style for Bradford Ambulance Service, These being LAK 118G and 119G.
My question is why did Plaxton revert to the earlier style for these two coaches?
I attach photos of LAK 118G and also ABC 330K of the later style for comparison

John Wakefield

02/09/16 – 16:20

John, I can’t imagine that a firm like Plaxton would have built two of the older style bodies for the sheer fun of doing so. My guess would be that the client specified the pattern. Perhaps, being for Bradford’s Ambulance Service, they wanted vehicles with the same ‘footprint’ as an ambulance.

Pete Davies

03/09/16 – 16:12

Pete, I am sure you are correct, presumably Bradford Ambulance Service required the narrower 7ft 6in so as to make them more accessible to narrow urban streets. The J2’s would have been used presumably as welfare buses to transport the elderly & disabled to outpatient appointments at local hospitals & clinics.
Bradford Ambulance also had two more in the batch LAK 120/121G, so four in total, which I suppose made it worthwhile to resurrect the earlier design.
Only LAK 118G & LAK 119G survive, 118 as a catering vehicle, and 119 as a motor home.

John Wakefield


Burlingham Sun Saloon

I am a bus/coach anorak and wonder whether any full fronted Burlingham Sun Saloon coaches still exist. My reason being is that I asked Oxford Diecast if they could produce a model in 1:76 as they already do in their smaller scale models but was told none exist in "real life " Thank you for your assistance.

Peter Bourne

22/08/16 – 14:03

Why should no 1:1 examples matter?
According to Wiki it is only 4 to 5 yrs since they made the 1:148, surely they still have the drawings and other reference materials they used then.

John Lomas

22/08/16 – 14:06

After typing my last comment I noticed that Paragon Kits advertise a 1:76 Sun Saloon body.

John Lomas

22/08/16 – 14:07

Peter Bourne and I seem to be getting different messages about Oxford Diecast products. They told me a couple of years ago that they research very carefully when planning a new model, including copious views of a vehicle in the suggested livery. I had suggested a model of MTD 235 in either Pennine or Leyland Demonstrator livery. How can they then tell Peter that they can’t produce a model in 1/76 when they produce it in 1/148 for British N scale? Perhaps they should have a word with the people at Bachmann, who model in one scale and enlarge or shrink to the other!
No, Peter, I’m not aware of any of that style of body still ‘alive’ in real terms.

Pete Davies

22/08/16 – 17:04

A few years ago somebody in Bus & Coach Preservation’s classifieds was offering a Guy Arab III for sale which had been fitted with a Sunsaloon body from another vehicle (donor not specified in the ad). I can’t find the ad without going through 100s of back copies, so more details may be a while in coming! I seem to remember that the vehicle was located on mainland Europe at the time it was advertised, and that the asking price was well over the odds.

Neville Mercer

23/08/16 – 06:45

Why should no 1:1 examples matter?
According to Wiki it is only 4 to 5 yrs since they made the 1:148, surely they still have the drawings and other reference materials they used then.

John Lomas

23/08/16 – 06:45

Perhaps I’m being thick. I thought I was riding on a Burlingham Sun Saloon last week – Steve Morris’s ex Bournemouth PS2. (One of three which I thought were all in preservation.)

David Oldfield

03/09/16 – 16:13

I’ve just seen David Oldfield’s comment of 23 August. The sun saloon as modelled in 1:148 which is wanted in 1:76 is shown as a Paragon kit in that link provided by John Lomas. That and the ‘Bournemouth’ are not the same

Pete Davies

03/09/16 – 16:14

For David Oldfield’s benefit, the Burlingham bodied PS2s of Bornemouth have an exposed radiator and are essentially a version of the half-canopy coach with a full width cab. The Sunsaloon was a style with concealed radiator and low-mounted stylised headlamp bezels, mainly supplied to Walter Alexander & Sons on Leyland PS1.
Here is a picture of one:   
Compare and contrast with the Bournemouth design.

Stephen Allcroft


Luxury Coaches

I’m writing in the hope that you can help with a query regarding luxury coaches from the 1930’s, in particular the Gilford.
Did these coaches originally have art-deco interior mirrors intended for use by passengers? If you have any information or images regarding these mirrors and the interiors in general that you are able to share I’d be very appreciative.

Rebecca Rowan

02/04/16 – 06:23

Gilford and all the other builders of coach chassis provided a self supporting driveable frame that was most often then fitted with a coach-built body by a separate company. The interior design in the 1930s was at the discretion of the customer specifying the body. Interior mirrors were often fitted and these were the product of suppliers to the coachbuilders, these same firms would provide similar items for contemporary luxury car bodies.

Stephen Allcroft


Barnabys of Hull

Can anyone tell me where there is or give me a short history of Banarbys Coachbuilders.

David Aston

13/08/16 – 09:53

"The ABC of British Bus Bodies" by James Taylor states that it was founded in 1870 as a blacksmith/wheelwright. It became B Barnaby & Sons in 1926 and, from 1937, Barnaby’s Bus Bodies (Hull) Ltd, with premises in Neptune and Ropery Street. The company was sold in 1960 and finally wound up in 1974, latterly building hearses. Most customers hailed from Yorkshire, Early bus bodies included charabancs and in the 1930’s it was building single-deck bodies on chassis such as Leyland Cheetahs and Tigers. In the late 1940’s, it built bodies on Dennis Lancets/Tigers and Bedford OB’s. It also re-bodied some chassis, too. It also built a few double-deck bodies.

Chris Hebbron

13/08/16 – 10:34

Barnabys built bodies for Everingham Brothers of Pocklington, some of which passed to East Yorkshire Motor Services.
The Carnegie Centre in Hull has a couple of photo albums of Barnaby’s products but I don’t know if they have any other information.

Malcolm J Wells

14/08/16 – 06:09

Barnaby was a most fascinating bodybuilder – in later years conservative in style, and in the early days up to the 1930s their products were unashamedly old fashioned in appearance and delightful for it. At all times, however, the construction was sound and with good materials. At Ledgard’s we had two "Light lions" and one Cheetah, all acquired with the business of G.F.Tate of Leeds when he sadly died in 1943.

Chris Youhill

14/08/16 – 11:01

Fascinating, Chris Y. Do you have photos of any of the three?

Chris Hebbron

14/08/16 – 16:41

Here is a link to some pics of Barnaby bodywork:-

Roger Cox

15/08/16 – 06:04

Booth & Fisher, Halfway, had three Bedford OBs bodied by Barnaby in 1948. They were registered LRB 749/50/1 and I assume this was the same Barnaby.

Les Dickinson

15/08/16 – 06:04

You’ve done us proud, Roger, finding that extensive number of photos. How sad the first bus, the TD3, looks in its final days as a contractor’s bus, with the upstairs front side window blanked out with boarding! If David Aston comes back to visit his post, he should be pleased at what we’ve belatedly come up with three years after his enquiry!

Chris Hebbron

15/08/16 – 06:05

Barnaby also constructed many van and ambulance commercial bodies. The ‘Needlers’ once famous chocolate/sweet company of Hull being one.

David Allen

15/08/16 – 06:06

Interesting comment re quality because my understanding their early 1950s quality was so poor that York Pullman asked for a replacement for a 3 year old or so vehicle-hence the late bodying of JVY 516

Roger Burdett

15/08/16 – 08:49

York Pullman’s JVY 516 was their last Barnaby bodied coach but, as far as I know, the body still fitted was the original. If the chassis was 3 years old when registered then it is more likely down to York Pullman’s conservative purchasing policy (unless I have missed something).
The Barnaby bodies on FVY 410/11 certainly did fail in the early 1960s, resulting in them receiving new Roe bodies.

David Hick


Information Please

Can any of you knowledgeable chaps come to my assistance?
As some of you will be aware from my postings on this site, between 1967 and 75, I was a driver at NGT’s Percy Main Depot, Tynemouth and Wakefields as it was then. Mainly to satisfy my own curiosity, I have been trying to compile a history of T&W up to them becoming part of NBC. I have sourced a great deal of information from North Tyneside Library Archives, about how the company started with trams and subsequently became part of the BET group. The first bus was a 1914 ‘B’ type Daimler, and came from Northern in 1921, ‘J 2551’ numbered D1 later T1 in T&W fleet, but here is where I have some glaring gaps in what I can dig up. I’m looking for general information about vehicles with the following fleet numbers 2/38 – 43/81 – 87/9 – 111/17. Some may well have been utilities, whilst other pre war vehicles were rebodied in the late 40’s, although those that were retained their original fleet numbers. Some information I have about vehicles between 118 & 156 is also incomplete, e.g. some would have carried the Wakefields name; obviously, several batches would come within those number groupings, and not all with the same chassis or body builder, but I would appreciate any assistance anyone can give me.

Ronnie Hoye

12/08/16 – 11:02

You should try to get hold of a copy of the PSV Circle/ Omnibus society fleet history of Tynemouth – it also covers Tyneside and Venture. It is about 40 years old so now rather dated, but nevertheless, for anyone interested in Tynemouth and Wakefields, it is invaluable. As your post is three years old, I don’t know if you are still after this information, but if you like I can summarise what it has to say.

John Gibson


Bus Image from 1930s Northumberland

I’m looking for a photograph of the type of bus that would have been in service between Blyth, Northumberland and Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1930s. The image is for use in a community art project to go along with the reminiscences of a lady, now aged 98, who was a bus conductress at that time. Can anyone help me to source such a photograph please?

Michele Rickitt

12/08/16 – 06:07

The most obvious operator on the Blyth to Newcastle service was United Automobile Services Limited.
United was one of the big territorial company operators whose bus service network stretched from Berwick-upon-Tweed down to Scarborough/Bridlington so the availability of some historical photographs of their buses is quite possible.
United opened a garage in Blyth circa 1919 and built up a network of services as well as acquiring smaller companies. United acquired the business of Thomas Allen of Blyth in 1933 who also operated a service from Blyth into Newcastle.
I have a magazine that includes a photograph of a circa 1929 Leyland TD1 double decker operated by United which has Newcastle and Newbiggin on the destination screen (‘Buses Extra 7’ published in 1977/1978). If it is double decker buses the lady recalls then this type is quite possibly a type she might recognise. (Copyright restrictions prevent the article being uploaded on this site but I am willing to email a copy to Michele if my email addressed is passed on to her).
This link leads to a photograph of a similar style bus operated by Wilts and Dorset, a big company similar to United:
This link leads to a photograph of a United single decker bus new in 1934 (United LH165 (HN 9765), a Bristol H with Eastern Counties bodywork):
Meanwhile I will see if anything turns up in what books I have.

David Slater


Hastings First Tram

Does anyone know which company supplied the Hastings Tramways Company with its first tram, in April 1906, please?

John Newport

10/08/16 – 10:41

John, according to the excellent LRTA handbook "The Tramways of the South Coast", Hastings’ first trams (1-30) were built by ER&TCW (The Electric Railway & Tramway Carriage Works Ltd) in 1905.
The tramway opened on 31 July 1905 and was replaced by trolleybuses on 15 May 1929.
The system was interesting in that, because of objections to the use of overhead wires along the Promenade, it used the Dolter surface contact power supply section from 1907. Because of safety and efficiency problems, in 1914 some trams were fitted with Tilling Stevens petrol-electric motors to cover this section until overhead wires were finally erected in 1920.

Paul Haywood

10/08/16 – 15:20

As an aside, I recall that Blackpool started with the conduit system (at least on the seafront) and suffered endless problems with sand and seawater clogging up and flooding ‘down below’ until it was abandoned!

Chris Hebbron

11/08/16 – 14:08

Going even further ‘aside’ than Chris Hebbron’s comment, Wolverhampton used a stud contact system which had among its features a common failure for the stud (raised by magnetism via a ‘skate’ under the tram) to return to the lower position. Thus, it remained live. The local horses found it quite shocking!

Pete Davies

12/08/16 – 06:02

Indeed, Pete, the surface contact system had problems wherever it was used. Indeed,it was reported that in one city (Lincoln?) young boys were paid to "test" the studs! I suspect that tales of near fatalities have become exaggerated over the years, but one major flaw was that trams would become stranded between two non-working studs and have to be pushed by passengers.
Blackpool’s conduit system referred to by Chris was obviously not suited to seaside operation, but of course numerous cities used it successfully for many years (eg. London and Washington).
Today we have a development of the stud system being built and operated as we speak, namely the French "ground-level power" system which collects power from a central third-rail activated by two collector shoes under each tram. This system is by no means infallible and only time will tell if the French develop it further.

Paul Haywood

12/08/16 – 06:03

Another early adopter of the ‘Dolter’ stud contact system was Mexborough & Swinton. It wasn’t just the horses that were energised by the faulty studs, the local miners with steel sets in their boots were also frequent bright sparks. Just to prove the adage what goes around comes around have you noticed the posh new trams at the Rio Olympics?, they have the Aps system which stands for something like Alimentation par sol, fed through the soil (?)

Andrew Charles

12/08/16 – 14:14


Mention of London Transport’s conduit pickup system reminds me of this colour photo I’ve had for some years of plough ejection/insertion taken by my uncle just before the trams were scrapped. It was taken between Tooting Broadway and Colliers Wood in South London. The trams never stopped either way, with the conductors raising/lowering the roof pole whilst walking along and the plough being manually inserted as seen here, being put into the inverted ‘U’ between the trucks of this E1. The plough automatically slid out by following the slot coming into the centre and joining into a common slot, ready for a plough to go out again – see bottom right for slot coming in. The change to overhead power here was necessitated by a railway bridge, whereby trains would have fouled any U/G feed equipment under the road. I admired these guys, who worked in the open in all extremes of weather, yet were always smartly uniformed! I never passed by on foot without watching this operation for 30 mins at least and sometimes rode in the trams, too!.

Chris Hebbron

13/08/16 – 07:03

Pedant’s Corner: the metal protectors you put on your pit booits were actually “Segs", Andrew: I had to say that because it’s such a lovely word and conjures up images of cobbler’s shops reeking of leather and glue with cards of these segs for sale: Blakey’s segs have a website I see!


17/08/16 – 14:06

With regard to the Rio trams (I know that there is usually a fair bit of movement from the original topic on this site, but change of mode and country is unusual – not that I have any objection). I only speak a few words of Portuguese (picked up on a wonderful Railway Holiday) but ‘Alimentation par sol’ looks like ‘Solar powered’. No doubt one of the readers has the necessary expertise to confirm or refute this.

Andy Hemming

18/08/16 – 06:42

Andy, the French system APS (Alimentation par le Sol) is translated as "feeding via the ground". It was first used in Bordeaux in 2003 but has since been used in Reims, Anger, Orlean, Tours and Dubai.
There have been operating problems and many in the industry are sceptical of its long-term potential. However, for use within historic or visually-sensitive city centres it offers a useful option.

Paul Haywood

18/08/16 – 06:44

I also spent many a fascinating half hour or so watching the shoes entering or leaving the trams near the Common end of Streatham High Road on the old A 23.

Chris Youhill


The Selnec Number 60

I’m going back to 1971. I got a place at De la Salle teacher training college in Middleton. Because said college only had campus accommodation for years 2, and 3, first years lived ‘out’. I was in Glen Avenue, Blackley. I used to get the number 60 to visit girlfriend students at Sedgley Park. (Now a police training college) What was the exact route of this service? I used to get on at the ‘tram office’ on Rochdale Road in the ‘dip’ just further towards Middleton from Glen Ave.

Mike Haworth

09/07/16 – 06:39

I have an undated SELNEC bus map which would have been published sometime just after the time of the formation of the PTE (November 1969 so perhaps published during 1970).
In the list on the map it refers to service 60 as ‘Cannon Street-Blackley Circular via Cheetham Hill or Rochdale Road’. There were clockwise and anti-clockwise circular services that both carried the same service number 60.
Following the map the anti-clockwise service ran via the following route: Cannon Street, High Street, Shudehill, Rochdale Road, (Blackley tram office), Rochdale Road, Victoria Avenue, Middleton Road, Cheetham Hill Road, Corporation Street, Cannon Street.
The clockwise service appears to leave from Cannon Street travelling via High Street, Shudehill, Withy Grove and Corporation Street. The route after that is clearer travelling via Cheetham Hill Road, Middleton Road, Victoria Avenue, Rochdale Road, (Blackley tram office), Rochdale Road, Shudehill, Withy Grove, Corporation Street then Cannon Street.
The ‘tram office’ Mike refers to stood in the ‘v’ of the junction of Middleton Old Road and Rochdale Road. The building can be made out on Google Streetview.
There is an older photo of the building at:

David Slater


Coach Companies Ending with ‘tonian’

I wonder if you could help, we are wondering why Coach Companies often have the ending ‘tonian’ e.g. Altonian/Bedfordian?

Martin Weston

01/07/16 – 16:55

Brutonian in Somerset spring to mind…
It is to show allegiance to a place, generally the operational centre;
Brutonian, means native to Bruton, just as Glaswegian means native to Glasgow.

Stephen Allcroft

01/07/16 – 16:57

That wonderful thing called wikipedia tells me that this word ending is a demonym. It is a term for residents of or associated with a particular place. There are several types, and include "Chinese" for the people of China, "English" for the people of England, etc. For the ending in question the site notes "Prestonian" for Preston, Lancs, and "Torontonian" for Toronto. I guess all those coach companies have taken their place name and added this suffix to indicate their place of origin. This just goes to show that coaches must have a personality, as the suffix is meant to apply to people!

Michael Hampton

02/07/16 – 13:34

Barfordian Coaches once of Great Barford near Bedford but now with a Bedford address.   
Truronian of Truro (according to Wikipedia: Truronian was formed in September 1987 by former Western National managers….in April 2008, Truroninan was purchased by FirstGroup….in March 2012, the trading name was sold to Newell’s Travel).

David Slater

02/07/16 – 18:52

Many of these only added the IAN as in the Alton-ian and Bedford-ian examples.
This idea was also used by Duple in developing their Hendon-ian body.

John Lomas

02/07/16 – 18:54

Windsorian is another.
You can’t do it with all names, though: I find the following imaginary ones unconvincing:
Yr Wyddgrugian—the English version of which would sound distinctly mildewy.
As "-ian" is from Latin, I suppose we shouldn’t expect our earthy Saxon, Danish and Celtic place names to fit into the pattern. Salopia Saloon Coaches has no final "-n" and sounds quite happy, but only because the Romans couldn’t pronounce words beginning with "Shr-".

Ian Thompson

04/07/16 – 15:56

Just remembered my Oxfordshire days . . . and Heyfordian – still going I believe.

Nigel Edwards

06/07/16 – 07:52

I think we can all understand why there are no Isle of Wight coach companies called Caulkhead-ian!

Chris Hebbron

06/07/16 – 09:48

There’s one not far from Bedford – Barfordian Coaches. I believe it was originally based in Great Barford, but is now in Bedford itself.

Roger Cox

06/07/16 – 11:23

Kingston upon Hull City Transport’s coaching section was named "Kingstonian".

Malcolm Wells


Bedford SB OKJ 210

Can anyone help me please with history of this coach a Bedford SB new to Watsons of Strood in 1-1952. with a Duple body C24F. a description describes it as a luxury coach. This coach was later in the fleet of Redby Coaches of Roker, Sunderland date unknown I would be grateful of any help in tracing any change of ownership after Watsons and again after Redby. Whilst with Redby it was regularly used by Sunderland football club, their ground being in Roker close by to Redby’s garage.

Alan Coulson

20/06/16 – 09:30

There’s a mention of OKJ 210 on the ‘Buses On Screen’ website.
Private Coach (1953, British Pathe News) OKJ210, Bedford SB/Duple of Watson, Strood – a luxury coach with hostess service, radio message service and toilet providing free travel to London, seen leaving Aylesbury. It’s the idea of car dealer Raymond Way to bring potential customers to his car showroom in Kilburn! (Thanks Martin Ingle)

David Call

06/02/17 – 07:20

After Watsons. 1952, this coach is known to have gone to Scott Greys of Darlington before going on to Redby Coaches of Sunderland.
I ask can anyone be able to help with change of ownership dates also after Redby’s would be of interest to me. The Scott Greys information just been forth coming to me 5/2/17.

Alan Coulson


Buses in Manchester Circa 1940 – 1945

This seems to be the best place to aid my search.
My grandfather, Daniel Francis Kelly, was a bus driver in early 1940’s in Manchester.
All I know for certain is that he moved back to Ireland in 1945, so that would be when his service ended.
I’m trying to find out what kind of bus he would have driven. Presumably it would have been Manchester Corporation? I’ve had a quick search and some names have come up like a Streamliner and Daimler Utility.
Ultimately I’d like to find out what route he also drove, however I feel this will be highly unlikely – still worth a shot!.

James Kelly

17/06/16 – 14:44

During the late thirties, Manchester Corporation had a standard design of bus body which was built on Crossley, Leyland and Daimler chassis, the bodies being built by Metro-Cammell, Crossley, Leyland and English Electric, so your grandfather might have driven any of these, they were probably the most common buses in Manchester during the war. The Daimler Utilities were only a small part of the fleet and were not built until late in the war. It is also possible that he could have worked for North Western, which had a depot in Manchester.

Don McKeown

18/06/16 – 06:16

When you say he drove buses in Manchester, he could of course have driven for any of the surrounding Municiple Undertakings, all of which worked in to Manchester.
These being Ashton under Lyne, SHMD, Stockport, Oldham, Salford, Bolton, and Rochdale.
North Western Road Car Company has already been mentioned, and there was also Lancashire United Transport, and of course Maynes, the only independent operator to run Stage services in Manchester.
I know it slightly blurrs the boundaries for you, but Manchester Corporation Transport Department ran more route miles outside the City limits than it did in it.
Good luck in your quest.

Stephen Howarth

18/06/16 – 06:17

"Streamliner" was the name of the standard design that Don described, and this link shows what it looked like:

Peter Williamson

21/06/16 – 05:58

The Greater Manchester Transport Society archive at the Museum of Transport, Boyle St in Manchester, is the custodian of payroll records for MCTD, including those from the wartime years. It might be a laborious search (and, realistically, you’d have to do it for yourself!), but the records are there and we’re a friendly bunch. A phone call to George Turnbull, the Museum’s archivist, on 0161-205-2122 (Wednesdays are the best days to catch him)would give you some idea of what might be discovered.

Neville Mercer

09/09/16 – 16:25

Well first of all thank you all for your replies – some very useful info there.
I’ve been able to get some more info too. My grandmother, who met my grandfather on the bus route lived in Salford, Broughton area.
In that area, the current bus routes and operators in the area are as follows.

Stage Coach Manchester
151, Hollinwood, Morrisons – Mandley Park
294, Langley – Trafford Park

First Greater Manchester
42, East Didsbury Parrs Wood – North Manchester General Hospital
52, Salford Shopping Centre – Failsworth
59, Rush croft – Manchester Piccadilly
135, Bury -Manchester Piccadilly

I have no doubt that the routes are different as are the numbers. But hopefully this narrows down which operators were in that area circa 1943.
I’ll make my way down to to the museum and speak to George Turnbul and see if I can have a look through the archives.
Thanks all for your help so far.

James Kelly

12/09/16 – 06:12

Living in Broughton, which was in the Salford City Transport area, the probability was that your Grandfather drove for that Corporation. The majority of the fleet at that time comprised Leyland Titan TD4 & 5s and AEC Regents 8.8 litre (Manchester Museum of Transport has a splendid preserved example of one these). There were other marques still in use during that period including a few Dennis’ acquired in 1932 and Crossley Mancunians dating from 1934 and 1938. Most of the bus fleet at the outbreak of war was less than 5 years old but by the end of the war it was in a deplorable state due to poor maintenance and management. One bus route in the area that does date back to that era is the 135, then the 35 Manchester to Bury route which was a joint service between Bury, Manchester and Salford Corporations.
If your Grandfather lived in Broughton it is also conceivable that he worked at Manchester’s Queens Rd garage in Cheetham Hill as it is not far from Broughton and, if so, experienced driving the Leyland and Crossley Streamliners. Buses from that garage served a wide area of North Manchester up to Rochdale, Oldham and beyond plus several cross city services.

Orla Nutting

12/09/16 – 06:13

James, your grandfather would not have been confined to a single route. He would have worked from a depot, and most likely would have worked in rotation on all the routes that that depot operated. If one of those routes went through Broughton then I think the operator would be Salford, as Manchester didn’t operate in that area until later, unless anyone else knows different.

Peter Williamson

12/09/16 – 16:52

Orla has given a very comprehensive and accurate answer. All I would add is that, in the 1930s, up until around 1938, both Manchester and Salford gave job priority to people living within their own boundaries wherever possible due to high levels of unemployment. Had your grandfather been employed before 1938, living in Broughton would have almost certainly precluded his employment by MCTD as the occupation of driver was not hard to fill from within the Manchester boundary. By 1940, with large numbers of eligible men having been recruited to the forces or priority industries, the restrictions were ignored if not lifted.

Phil Blinkhorn


Albion Victor CCB 300

Arthur Hustwitt (Memorial) Collection. Copyright NA3T

Does anyone know if Albion Victor FT39N Duple C31F which was new to Cronshaw of Hendon 1950 still survives in preservation?
According to PSVC Preserved Buses it has been listed with Leary, Pilsley for a number of years but does not appear on the rally scene, nor on the DVLA web site. Previous to Leary it was listed with Simpson, Killamarsh circa 1999. Photo above shows it at Wembley in 1952

John Wakefield

02/06/16 – 11:32

Below are two views of CCB 300 owned by Cadman of Thorne taken by me in their yard at Thorne. Date unknown.
Also a photo of another vehicle there which may be of interest 571 BWT.




Mike Davies

02/06/16 – 16:06

I’ve been hoping someone might have remarked on why it is registered in Blackburn.

Steve Owen

03/06/16 – 06:32

Cronshaw coaches were registered in Blackburn until 1959. At one time the company did apparently have an operation there, but it’s my recollection that registration of the coaches in Blackburn continued even when the bulk, at least, of the operation was in London. This was a time when I didn’t have the same interest in coaches as buses, and I’m sure others will be able to elaborate on this story.

David Call

03/06/16 – 06:34

In 1928, Lewis Cronshaw ran an hourly Blackburn to Manchester service.
He was established in Blackburn, then started a business in Hendon, but registered some coaches in Blackburn.
At some stage it was merged into Valliant-Cronshaw, which later merged with Silverline.

Dave Farrier

04/06/16 – 06:44

Cronshaw had a second Albion CCB 301.
CCB 301 An FT39 72869B Du 54035 C31F 1950 Cronshaw, NW4

John Wakefield

06/06/16 – 06:37

I came across CCB 300 less than ten years ago under a tarpaulin at a preservation storage site in Derbyshire. It wasn’t in a usable state, and didn’t appear to have any work being done on it. I haven’t heard anything about it since.

Peter Williamson

07/06/16 – 07:04

Peter, Pilsley the address of Leary the recorded owner is in Derbyshire so looks like its still owned by him. Amazing the people pay rent on storage year on year but never do any restoration. Hopefully it may find a new owner before it gets beyond restoration.

John Wakefield

07/06/16 – 07:05

Interesting submission from John W, there. I’d been aware of the listing of CCB 301 on BLOTW (but no sign of CCB 300) so I had assumed there was only the one vehicle, and BLOTW was in error. CCB 300 has now appeared on BLOTW, I’m inclined to suppose after intervention by John. Could I ask, does the additional information come from a PSVC chassis list? I notice that the vehicle is quoted in the caption as an FT39N, while BLOTW gives FT39. There was also an FT39AN model, I seem to recall. Could someone possibly remind me of the differences between the various models? I recollect that differing lengths/wheelbases was in it somewhere.
Also, I see that CCB 300 is consistently given as C31F, rather than FC31F. This is something else which I’m sure has been discussed before, IIRC some models of Albion were not regarded as full-front since they had never appeared as half-cab, despite being front vertical-engined. Here again, could someone remind?

David Call

07/06/16 – 18:57

Dear David, When I read your request for information on which Albion chassis were built with a full-front structure I was at home and had a copy of Albion of Scotstoun by Adams and Milligan to hand. So here is, as far as I can see, the information you are requesting. You are correct that some Albion PSV models with front vertical engines and axles mounted at the front of the chassis were designed to take full-fronted bodywork, having the same cab floor and dash structure as related lorries: these were the Viking CX41 and HD61/73, and the Victor FT and VT.
The Viking was a full-sized bus for unpaved road markets although one was given a 37-seat Thurgood body and registered (NJH150) in the UK. BLOTW has it as FC37F despite the above.
The Victor FT was a smaller model, part of the lightweight FT (under 2-tons unladen, 6 ½ ton Payload) series of goods chassis current from 1939-59; the last of the previous PH series Victors had been built in 1939 and the first of the new series was the petrol powered FT3AB announced in 1947. The engine was a six-cylinder unit initially EN277 of 4.25 litres but from 1949 EN282 of 4.6 litres. Like the Viking it was lorry-derived with a straight frame. By the end of 1948 the FT39 version was in production, this had the four-cylinder 4.88 litre EN286 engine as did the FT37 Chieftain lorry, as the earlier type had been the passenger version of the FT3, major differences being confined to longer springs and dampers all round. A five-speed gearbox with crawler first was fitted to the FT39 as opposed to the four-speed on petrol versions.
The A suffix from 1952 indicated a number of driveline and suspension revisions, a change to spring mountings causing a slight lengthening of offered wheelbases. Overall lengths remained constant being coded N for25ft nominal bodied length, L for 27ft 6in and LX for 30ft.
The K revisions producing the FT39KAN, KAL and KALX entailed a larger EN287 5.5 litre engine and heavier duty front springs. In all over two thousand FT series Victors were built until 1958 over forty are listed as preserved/surviving in 1999. The VT series was derived from the CH Chieftain and built from 1959 until 1966.
Further to what John Wakefield was saying, I am in close proximity to bus preservationists on a weekly basis and have been for a number of years. Often work gets done only when time money and inclination come together; for instance: a friend got his Derwent II bodied YRT ready for its MoT over a period of years on that basis. Sadly the first time he was to take it out for public display at the Riverside Museum just under a year ago he suffered a low speed traffic accident at Glasgow Green; this, though, has been the spur to get previous in-service damage to the lower body frame repaired and over the last year Scott, a GVVT member who is a time served coachbuilder and who has a real flair for composite bodies has renewed much of the frame below the waist-rail including re-instating a boot that fell out over twenty five years ago. Conversely there are other buses and coaches at Bridgeton that have either never been restored, such as a 1971 ex Glasgow J-Type Atlantean; some are currently half restored and have been for a decade (these include an ex-Guernsey Victor lacking seats, glazing and panels) or were once fully restored and then left out in the open to moulder away. The owner of one such here, a pre-war Alexander Bluebird Tiger, will do nothing to re-restore it but will only sell for a price that will recompense him for the work he once did. Thus, it exists critical (previous neglect in the open) but stable (under cover and dry for a few years) and unlikely to be a candidate for rehabilitation while the current owner lives.
P.S. Does anyone reading this have a set of BMAC rear lights of 1960s/1970s pattern suitable for a Plaxton Derwent II?

Stephen Allcroft

09/06/16 – 06:43

To Stephen’s comments about inactive preservation I would add that it isn’t always safe to assume that rent is being paid year after year. If an enthusiast is running a storage site and the rent on a vehicle stops coming in, what is he going to do? I remember the late Norman Myers, when he was running a site in Bolton, selling the same vehicle three times without ever buying it. On each occasion the owner agreed to give him the vehicle in lieu of unpaid rent!

Peter Williamson


Leeds City Transport Fleet List

Does anyone know of a Leeds City Transport fleet list? 1930’s until it’s demise.

John Waddicar

22/05/16 – 07:20

The PSV Circle published a fleet history of Leeds City Transport circa 1969. I don’t know of any update of this history.
Another source of information on Leeds buses is the series of books published by the Leeds Transport Historical Society under the title Leeds Transport. There are five volumes in the series and have comprehensive details of Leeds buses. The books are quite expensive averaging about £35 each.

Michael Elliott

22/05/16 – 16:34

There now appears to be an attempt to clear stocks of the ‘Leeds Transport’ series of books. Last year I invested in four of them from MDS Books priced at £25 each, and I noticed last week on a visit to Otley (the Yorkshire one) that a discount bookshop there had them in their window at the same price. This is still of course far too much to spend just for the fleet list aspect, but they are superb books and well worth it at this reduced price.

John Stringer


Sheffield to Doncaster

I was wondering if anyone might know what number bus in 1973 travelled from Sheffield to Doncaster (via the Steelworks district) and what bus station in Doncaster it arrived at. Also, how long would the journey have taken and was it a double decker bus.
Many thanks in advance for your help with this matter

Ian Williams

11/05/16 – 06:45

Service 77 ran from Pond Street Sheffield through the east end to Rotherham and then via Conisborough to Waterdale Doncaster or later the southern (or only?) bus station. It was operated by the three municipalities and took I think an hour. For many years it was single deck operated but changes of route or bridges in the ?50s made double deck working possible. In the mid sixties Doncaster used newish front entrance PD3s or CVG6s and Rotherham older CVG6s. Corrections and improvements please!


12/05/16 – 06:12

Further rootings (or routings): Single deck working of route 77 (the only Doncaster CT route number ever displayed) seems to have ceased in 1958, when Doncaster 22 23 & 24 ,1953 AEC Regal III 9.6 half cabs were stood down. 22 now belongs to DOLRS and is preserved at Sandtoft. The Sheffield third was not of course the “municipality” but SJOC, who at one time used PD2/30’s. … and there was once a Southern Bus Station, probably as daunting as the “Northern’- now no more.



Halifax "Camel-Roof" AEC Regent


This is an enlargement from a Valentine’s postcard in my collection taken in Commercial Street, Halifax in the mid-1930s. It shows a pair of Halifax Corporation AEC Regents with what I believe were Short Brothers open-staircase bodies with their distinctive "camel-roof".
Mention has been made of this style of bodywork on other Old Bus Photo threads before, but I think this is the first illustration of them on this site. Sadly, on enlargement, exact identification of them has not been possible.
The "camel-roof" bodies were designed to allow head-room for upper-deck passengers along the central gangway. I understand this was a failed attempt to compete with Leyland’s early "lowbridge" bodies. With the hump, they look to be normal height so the question is – what apparent advantage or benefit did they offer over normal highbridge bodies?

Paul Haywood

09/05/16 – 08:28

Thx, Paul, for posting this photo – views of these buses are certainly rare. You pose the question that many of us enthusiasts have asked over the years. To me, they would only be useful in a Beverley Bar situation, rarer even than photos of these buses!
If the Leyland system was patented, how was it that it became so common – did other bodybuilders pay a royalty to Leyland for building their product?

Chris Hebbron

09/05/16 – 16:56

Presumably camel back buses were more Beverley Bar than Leyland “L". Many old rail bridges were arched and the bus would just have to clear a more narrow central span. Like Beverley, it would have required a greater degree of precision! The arched rail overbridge at Woodlesford near Leeds has an “optional" single central lane marked on the highway and I’m sure there are others- perhaps in Elland, which may have something to do with these. Maybe our Halifax panel will know how this worked in practice… The Leyland patent was more desperation than comfort, trapped (not literally) between bridges of the railway boom and length restrictions for single decks. Access was difficult, capacity restricted by spreading passengers and the limited height did not help to ventilate the cig smoke. Then there was the lower saloon stoop.


09/05/16 – 16:57

Surely they would lessen the chances of a bridge strike at any arched bridge.
Perhaps Halifax had a preponderance of those and thought this design could be a cost cutter.

John Lomas

09/05/16 – 16:58

Halifax’s ‘Camel Roofed’ Regents came from three different bodybuilders – the first ones from Short Bros., the second ones from Hoyal and the later ones from English Electric. There were recognisable differences between all these and both the vehicles in the photo are from the later batches with English Electric bodies. The one in the foreground appears to be in the CP 94xx series (116-120, CP 9442-9446). The one in the background looks to have just two or three numbers in its registration number, which would make it one of 2-6 (JX 321-325), 103-105 (JX 46-48) or 133-136 (JX 331-334).

John Stringer

09/05/16 – 16:58

Chris, I believe I have read somewhere that Leyland’s patent for the lowbridge side-gangway layout only required a payment when used by others for a limited number of years – perhaps five? During that time, such alternatives as these hump back roofs, and double side gangway upstairs were used to avoid paying a royalty to Leyland. Once the patent royalty fee period had expired, the other designs seem to have been rapidly dropped in favour of Leyland’s design. I cannot recall where I read this, but someone else may be able to pinpoint the source or veracity of this.

Michael Hampton

09/05/16 – 16:58

The information following is from the late Alan Townsin’s book on AEC Regents published by TPC and correspondence in the PDF copies of Leyland Torque.
Leyland did have a patent on the Titan style body; it was purchased from General Motors, who had several us patents on double deck body design but had only extended the one by the Fifth Avenue coach Company to other territories. It expired prior to world war 2.
Notably the Yellow Coach/ Rackham US patent is different to the patent Leyland bought.
The purpose of the Camel-Roof body (an AEC registered design) was cosmetic, to make a highbridge bus look as low as a titan from the viewpoint of a pedestrian. This mattered in areas were double deck buses were novel and in areas where Titans were seen as safe and the previous generation of double decks such as the Leyland G7 and the AEC PS not.

Stephen Allcroft

10/05/16 – 06:51

Thanks, Gentlemen, for your thoughts and logical suggestions of the design being an early "Beverley Bar" idea to negotiate arched railway bridges. (Was it this design which led EYMS to take the next step?)
Many thanks also to John S, for your local knowledge.
Your reply opens up more questions and conundrums.
Why did these come from three body builders and over what period? Did Short Bros and Hoyal (who??) decline to make any more because of an AEC royalty demand?
Their fleet numbers and registrations also raise an eyebrow in their lack of sequence. Did they take the fleet numbers of withdrawn buses? Being from a city where fleet numbers and registrations followed a fairly logical and sequential pattern (Leeds) it seems strange that fleet numbers 2-6 should have higher registration numbers than 103-105 etc.
Similarly, for the Halifax prefix CP registrations to be well up into the 9000s in the early 1930s seems remarkable. Perversely, for the prefix JX to have only two or three numbers during this same period seems equally incredible.
John, please can you give us more fleet details of all three batches of these remarkable buses?

Paul Haywood

11/05/16 – 06:43

Thx, Michael H for some background info about the Leyland patent. As for the Hoyal Body Corporation, they were a shortlived bus body builder (single and double deck) working out from Weybridge between 1922 and 1931, when they went into voluntary liquidation.

Chris Hebbron

11/05/16 – 12:55

It is possible that in those early days these Regents may have been ordered from AEC as complete vehicles and then the bodywork subcontracted out by them to various bodybuilders in the south-east. Leyland offered a complete standard vehicle at the time and AEC’s Chief Designer John Rackham was keen to have a similar arrangement for the Regent.
Hoyal had its origins as Chalmer & Hoyer Ltd., registered at 41 Charing Cross Road, London. They were the first company to take out the patent rights to build the Weymann flexible framed car body design, and became prolific builders of car bodywork – particularly for Morris. They also were early builders of motor boats at premises near Poole in Dorset. By 1927 Chalmer had left and H.W. Allingham was sales manager. Taking the ‘Hoy’ of Hoyer and the ‘al’ of Allingham the company became The Hoyal Body Corporation, and around this time they began diversifying into bus and charabanc bodywork, but this only appears to have lasted for about four years or so.
I have tried to put together a list of the camel-roofed Regents but it doesn’t really help to explain things to be honest – not without having the entire fleet history before you. There seems to have been some initial indecision at first as to whether to have separate number series for the two fleets or not. Buses were allocated fleet numbers upon being ordered, but some were changed upon or just after delivery to fill gaps, and they weren’t necessarily delivered or put into service in the order they were ordered in. Also in between the Regents there were Regal single deckers too.
As for the numbering of the Halifax fleet – well, where do I start ?
The numbering system started straight forwardly enough with the three original Daimler CC types nos. 1-3 of 1912/13 and continued onwards up to ex-demonstrator Regent 57 in 1930, with just six Karriers 1-6 reusing vacated numbers. 53-56 were the first ‘Camel Roofed’ Regents.
Then in 1929 the Joint Committee came into being, though its effect numberwise took a year or so to take effect. A considerable number of former Corporation vehicles were transferred to the JOC fleet, but retained their original numbers. The fleet of George Garrard of West Vale was taken over by the JOC and their vehicles became 60-65. Four more ‘Camel Roofed’ Regents for the JOC became 66-69. Thirteen vehicles from the Hebble fleet became 70-82, and an unknown number of LMS Railway vehicles were briefly operated, the only known ones being 83/84 but is is believed that there were probably many more taking numbers maybe to around 100 or so.
The next new Corporation buses ‘jumped over’ the JOC numbers and started at 107, continuing to 124, whilst lots of new JOC vehicles flooded in to replace the older and second hand ones taking their vacated numbers and continuing up to 105, then ‘jumped over’ the Corporation numbers and continued from 125. The next Corporation deliveries then reverted back to a new series starting from 2 (the original Karrier no. 1 still being in service).
From here Corporation buses ran in a series from 2 up to 88 by 1940, and JOC buses continued from 125 and reached 208 by 1939.
After the war JOC buses continued the prewar series from 209, eventually reaching 293 by 1954. A new series for postwar Corporation buses began at 301 and reached 360 by 1951. By 1954 there were just 25 prewar Regents remaining (all from the Corporation fleet) so the entire Corporation fleet was put into registration number order and renumbered from 11 to 86, though a solitary batch of manual gearbox PD2’s were kept separate as 100-108. A further batch of new CVG6 followed on as 87-98. From 1958, new GM Richard Le Fevre commenced new series for both fleets, Corporation buses starting from 1, and JOC buses from 201. They were numbered in neat blocks with gaps between e.g. 1-9, 11-18, 21-28 etc, and equivalent buses for the two fleets had matching numbers e.g. Regent V’s 11-18 (Corp.) and 211-218 (JOC). Later many of the earlier JOC buses were renumbered into the 300’s to make way for future deliveries.
Then in 1963 Geoffrey Hilditch took over, and…..well….. The system went totally astray after that !

John Stringer

12/05/16 – 06:14

My word, John – many thanks for a fantastic reply.
I’m very grateful that you took the trouble to respond to my rather presumptuous request for further information.
What a complex and fascinating history Halifax Tramways/Corporation had. Until now, I’d only given attention to their wonderful tramway where, in the early days, no far-flung outpost was seemingly off limits, regardless of their potential traffic earnings. Sorry, John – another question:
Could these "camel-roof" Regents also have been the first to wear the "Glasgow" colour scheme?

Paul Haywood

12/05/16 – 15:57

Yes, the first ‘Camel Roofed’ Regents were also the first to carry the green, orange and cream livery. The first buses of 1912/13 had varnished wood bodies with the bonnets and other bits painted in the current tram style dark blue. With the arrival of manager Ben Hall, as the trams changed to a dark red and cream (not neccessarily the correct terms) so the buses became cream and the same dark red, with the later Karrier WL6’s and the one-off experimental Karrier Chaser, Dennis EV and Leyland Tiger painted in allover dark red.
The prototype AEC Regent(chassis no. 661001) with Short ‘Camel Roofed’ body was put into service by them as a demonstrator on 13th February 1929, registered MT 2114 and in the current AEC demonstration livery of off white with blue relief. It paid an early visit to Halifax in that year where it impressed sufficiently to result in an immediate order for some similar buses. By November 1929 it was repainted into Glasgow’s green, orange and cream livery for demonstration in that city, resulting also in an order from them. It has often been said that the inspiration for Halifax adopting a similar livery was due to its demonstration here in the Glasgow livery, but a reliable authority on the subject insists that he has photographic evidence that it was still in the original off-white and blue at the time. It is still fairly certain that at some point after its visit to Halifax, and after repaint into Glasgow livery, some local councillors saw it – probably at a show, or maybe it even stopped off locally on its way to Scotland – and they made their minds up then. The first three Halifax Regents (53-55, CP 8009-8011) were delivered in November 1929, The official AEC photograph of Halifax Regent 53 was apparently taken almost immediately after the one of MT 2114 after repaint into Glasgow livery so the whole process of seeing the Glasgow livery, deciding to adopt it, having Short’s paint them and getting them them into service seems to have happened impossibly quickly.
Alan Townsin in his TPC book ‘Best of British Buses – AEC Regents 1929-1942’ confirms that designer John Rackham wanted to offer a standard body to complement his Regent chassis, and was responsible for the ‘Camel Roofed’ design and, having no bodybuilding department of their own, he had Short Bros. build a number of bodies on the first few chassis. The demonstrator was the first one, and Halifax took nine, others going to the National Omnibus Co., Wallasey Corporation and two went to Cornish Buses Ltd.(later taken over by Western National).
The initial Halifax livery was very similar to the Glasgow one in layout, with orange lower panels, cream from a band below the lower deck windows to the cantrail (and including the bonnet top), green upper panels, a cream band below the upper deck windows, green around the upper deck windows, and a silver roof.
After a short time this was modified so that the lower deck window pillars and surrounds were also green (as was the bonnet top), with just cream bands above and below, giving a ‘three-banded’ layout.
From the mid-1930’s this was changed again such that the upper deck window pillars and surrounds became cream, and roofs became green instead of silver.
With all the above liveries there was extensive use of black lining separating the different colours. For the record, further minor changes were made after the war with a reduction in some of the black lining. GM Roderick McKenzie introduced a simplified non-banded livery with the arrival of the CVG6’s in 1954, and then applied this to many of the existing vehicles, but there was a quick reversion to the previous style inbetween his leaving and his successor arriving – thanks to some underhand dealings by the body shop ! Once again, under Geoffrey Hilditch’s tenure the livery variations were many and varied.

John Stringer

13/05/16 – 06:07

Many thanks again, John, for your comprehensive reply which gives me more insight into the origin of the Glasgow livery in Halifax. I never realised that there were so many variations of it. Fascinating.

Paul Haywood

13/05/16 – 06:08

A further point which comes to mind after reading Alan Townsin`s book is that the camel roof design was simply a device to avoid the Leyland lowbridge patent whilst making the bus look like the popular TD1, even though it was essentially a highbridge bus. Leyland introduced the Highbridge body for the TD1 about 1930, so did the patent then elapse, as the standard lowbridge\highbridge concept seems to have been adopted by most body builders by this time?
Not really anything to do with "Beverley Bar" type ideas!

John Whitaker

15/05/16 – 06:56

So the ‘camel roof’ double-decker was an AEC design to avoid making ‘lowbridge’ patent payments. I’ll bet that gave Leyland the hump…… (Well someone had to say it!)

Brendan Smith

15/05/16 – 08:39

John’s comprehensive historical knowledge of the Halifax transport scene never ceases to amaze me. OBP is privileged indeed to include him as a valued contributor. On the subject of the camel roof concept, this, as John Whitaker states, was devised entirely for cosmetic reasons, the appearance from ground level being similar to that of the low built patented Leyland lowbridge (single offside upper saloon gangway) design. The Leyland lowbridge concept originated in the United States, where, between 1922 and 1926, G.J. Rackham had worked for The Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company, later to become the bus manufacturing arm of General Motors. On being appointed as Chief Engineer to Leyland in the summer of 1926, Rackham brought back with him the idea of using the US lowbridge arrangement in his new double deck design, and negotiated the patent rights accordingly. With its lowered height, the new Titan looked supremely stable against much of the tall, ungainly double deck competition, and this undoubtedly contributed to the initial sales success. On moving to AEC to create the even more modern Regent, Rackham was prevented by patent rights from emulating the Leyland lowbridge concept, though, as I understand it, the lowbridge double gangway upper deck design was still available to use, albeit at a penalty in passenger accommodation. Instead, Rackham fell back on another American idea. In the USA at that time, some double deck bodies were constructed with the lowered headroom over the upper saloon seats, but the central gangway was open to the elements. Rackham adapted this to meet the vagaries of the British climate by humping the roof to give adequate gangway headroom, and the camel roof was born. As public acceptance quickly grew of the stability of the highbridge double decker – ‘normal’ height Leyland Titans and Regents began appearing from 1929 – the camel roof thankfully faded away into history. It would seem, also, that the Leyland lowbridge patent lapsed after about five years.
As John has described, in its brief existence between 1921 and 1931, Chalmer and Hoyer, who became, from 1928, The Hoyal Body Corporation of Weybridge, was preoccupied mainly with car bodywork manufacture on the patented lightweight Weymann principle. This employed a (very) lightweight wooden frame with metal inserts at all the joints to preclude timber to timber contact. The whole thing was held together with straining wires and then covered with a layer of muslin stretched over chicken wire, which in turn received a cosmetic layer of leathercloth as a final finish. Internally, seats and fittings were bolted directly to the chassis. The end result was extraordinarily light and reasonably rigid – even some upmarket cars like Rolls Royces had Weymann patent bodies – but one shudders to think how such a flimsy construction would stand up to accident impact. The designer was Charles Terres Weymann, who, despite the German sounding name, was born in Haiti of an American father and Haitian mother, and thus held dual American/ French nationality. He was a pioneer aviator from 1909 and flew during WW1, and his lightweight construction ideas were clearly based upon early aircraft manufacturing principles. He set up a factory in Paris and another in Indianapolis, and licensed his car bodywork design to a number of British manufacturers – Gurney Nutting, Harrington, Mann Egerton, Mulliner, Plaxton and Rover are names that will be familiar to OBP aficionados. Obviously gratified with the success of this venture, Weymann himself then set up a British manufacturing facility, initially in Putney in 1923 before moving to the old Bleriot aeroplane works in Addlestone in 1925, only a short distance from the Hoyal business in Weybridge. By the end of the 1920s the Weymann car body method was losing popularity in favour of metal panel construction and the fortunes of several of the licencees faded likewise, with several moving into other product areas such as bus and coach bodywork. Hoyal became bus builders, but the depression took its toll on many in the motor industries, and the firm folded in 1931, not helped, one imagines, by the more successful presence of the Weymann business just down the road. Indeed, the Weymann factories in Paris and Indianapolis themselves closed in 1930 and 1931 respectively, but the Addlestone business prospered right through its MCW phase from 1932 until closure, after a lengthy strike, in 1966. The Hoyal bus bodies would seem to have been quite soundly constructed, and the firm was well regarded by the local Brooklands motor racing circuit for its speedy, last minute repairs and modifications to the racing cars. Here is a link to a picture of the last Hoyal bus body to enter the Halifax Corporation fleet. AEC Regent No.115, CP 9078, was placed in service on 24 July 1931, but three more entered the Joint Committee fleet after that date, the last, CP 9439, not entering service until 13 January 1932, well past the final creditors meeting of the Hoyal business which was held on 28 August 1931 to wind up the business voluntarily. One wonders where CP 9439 had spent the last four months of 1931. Perhaps it became embroiled in the scramble for assets by the creditors.
Moving on to the subject of the Halifax fleet numbering ‘system’ under Geoffrey Hilditch, this was something that totally bemused me during my two years as a Traffic Clerk at Skircoat Road. As an example, the OBP entry for Halifax Corporation – AEC Regal – BCP 544 – 258 tells of the strange, idiosyncratic approach. This bus was originally JOC number 269 before briefly passing to the Corporation fleet as number 99. It then went back again as JOC number 269, but was then renumbered 268, a number borne by an identical Regal that was withdrawn in 1964. Finally, this bus became number 258, a number previously carried by Albion Nimbus RJX 258, which was the first of these unloved machines to be sold off (to Warrington) in 1965. 268 was then given to a new dual purpose Leopard, and 258 was later awarded to the rebodied ex Bourne and Balmer Reliance NRK 350. Were fleet numbers subject to a rationing scheme in Halifax? The whole merry dance seemed utterly pointless to my simple southern senses. Other buses moved into and out of the 300 series of numbers under a ‘system’ that would have surely baffled the boffins at Bletchley Park.
To add to John’s detailed descriptions of the various Halifax liveries, perhaps one should add the two experimental efforts. The first was applied to a Regent III in February 1955, which had unpainted aluminium panels below the lower saloon waistline instead of orange paint. Curiously, in his book ‘Halifax Passenger Transport 1887 to 1963’ GGH describes this episode in a caption to a picture of bus number 381/281, BCP 675, yet gives the identity of the vehicle as number 282, BCP 676; perhaps John might be able to clarify the matter. The other experiment involved Daimler CVG6 number 285, DCP 844 which had the areas of orange and green reversed, green at the bottom, orange at the top. This was entirely sensible, for, besides being subject to severe fading, orange is a peculiarly difficult colour to match. Green is far less troublesome. During my own time with HPTD it was quite common to witness buses with the lower repaired panels displaying an unsightly chequerboard appearance in varying hues of orange. Legend tells us that the reversed livery provoked a storm of outraged protest, though I cannot understand why this should have been the case, unless it emanated from an attitude in certain quarters of inbuilt intransigence towards intelligent progress that I myself noted during my (thankfully brief) sojourn at Skircoat Road. That livery would have resembled the old Chatham & District scheme which had green at the bottom and brown above. A Halifax version would have surely adopted black mudguards and bolder lining out to beneficial effect. Ah well, it’s all down to personal taste, I suppose.

Roger Cox

16/05/16 – 06:46

Thanks for your kind comment, Roger.
There were one or two errors in Hilditch’s book, and the caption to the photo of 381 is an example. I’m sure I have a photo of the Regent/Park Royal to which he refers which was in standard livery save for the lower panels being in an unpainted stucco form. I can’t lay my hands on it for some reason but I’m fairly sure it was 282 (BCP 676). The one depicted in the photo in the book is of 381 (formerly 281, BCP 675), which was repainted in the 1950’s/1960’s Glasgow style ‘half and half’ style with all orange below the upper deck floor level, all green above, with a single cream band separating the two. He had obviously got his wires crossed a liitle there. I don’t remember seeing 282 with the unpainted panels, but I do remember 381 and it looked absolutely dreadful. It is surprising how just rearranging the same colours into different proportions and layouts can actually make the shades themselves look different.
I also remember the CVG6/MCCW 285 (DCP 844) in its ‘reversed’ livery. It wasn’t an exact reversal of the standard orange and green livery. The green lower area extended unrelieved right up to the top of the lower deck windows, there was the a cream band above the windows, orange upper deck panels to just below the upper deck windows, cream just below and around those windows, then a green roof. I was only very young at the time but I do remember everyone who saw it saying how awful it looked. I do have two photographs showing it in this short-lived scheme and the green colour looks a very different shade altogether – much paler – but being taken from an old 1950’s slide one can’t always trust the colour rendition. I must say that I’m glad they didn’t adopt that style, practical though it may have been, but then as a died-in-the-wool Halifax man I am a bit of a traditionalist I suppose. Unfortunately I am prevented from reproducing either photo here, more’s the pity.

John Stringer

16/05/16 – 06:46

Thank you very much, Roger, for adding yet more fascinating information about these buses. I never thought that my old postcard would have generated so much detail and interest.
Your photo of the last Hoyel bus begs the question about its livery. I know black and white photos can be deceptive, but the lower panels seem to be very dark compared to my postcard. Assuming both photos show them with the Glasgow livery, were the shades changed at some stage or was it simply a trick of the light?

Paul Haywood

16/05/16 – 07:49

Roger Cox’s reference to the storm in Halifax at the possibility of reversed bus livery should not be a surprise. It is sometimes said that the reason Halifax preserves so much of its handsome Victorian (and earlier) town centre is that, unlike its neighbours, its good folk could never agree in the 60’s on a plan for redevelopment.


16/05/16 – 08:47

As with all subjects, reference to the published literature usually supplies an answer. Between us all, on this site, we probably have access to just about every bus book ever published, so most answers can be "dug out"! With regard to the published literature, I have always regarded Alan Townsin as THE "guru" , although there are, of course, other worthy contributors!
Looking at AT`s AEC books again, it seems that the first production run of Regents had some buses with Hall Lewis lowbridge bodies. Did these avoid the Leyland patent by having 2 gangways as the contemporary Salford Lances, and were the Devon General Titans and Oxford Regents like this too?
The open staircase camel roof body seems to have been first supplied to Southern National. Wallasey had a single bus, and there was, of course ST1139. Who else got them as well as Halifax?
The camel roof was also later available as an enclosed staircase body. Nottingham received 2 batches in 1930, one by Hall Lewis, where the "hump" was even more pronounced.
All very interesting "stuff" !

John Whitaker

16/05/16 – 10:00

Thanks for that clarification about those experimental liveries, John, and you have every reason to feel proud of being a dyed in the wool Halifax man. As for my comment about ‘resistance to intelligent progress in certain quarters’, you know exactly what I mean. It was certainly not a reflection of the entirely justifiable and commendable generic independence of the Halifax approach to events. As you describe it, the reversed version of the scheme does seem dreadful. My juvenile appreciation (I was seven years old when I last beheld it) of the Chatham & District colours were entirely favourable, and a straightforward swap of the Hilditch era layout of green and orange would have surely been OK. Turning to Paul’s comment about the relative shades of the Hoyal body in the picture, this suggests that the photograph was taken on orthochromatic rather than panchromatic film, which rendered reddish colours rather darkly, and blue green ones a bit light. Finally, in response to Joe, yes, Halifax can commend itself upon the retention of its splendid Victorian heritage, unlike my home town of Croydon with its 1960s onwards architectural excrescences, but Halifax did then disfigure the skyline with Burdock Way, so the locals needn’t get too smug.

Roger Cox

16/05/16 – 17:50

ST1139 had a Short Bros. highbridge body, John. However, there were five ST’s with double gangwayed Short bodied which were delivered in May 1930 (ST 136 and 140 were two from memory). Maybe the twin gangways were, indeed, different enough to get around the patent problem. Photos elsewhere on OBP are here:

Chris Hebbron

17/05/16 – 06:55

Thanks for correcting my senior moment re. ST1139 Chris. The Wallasey photo looks like a camel type but can anyone confirm this as it is difficult to tell from my photo. Short Bros were building both types at the same time!
I have found 5 more Camel types! Nottingham had 5 rear entrance enclosed 1929 Regents with English Electric bodies, of pure EE design.
Perhaps we should collectively compile a full list of the camels!

John Whitaker


Howards Coaches

Does anyone have any info about Howards Coaches operating in Surrey somewhere near Cobham Ridges, maybe 1930-1950? I have a photo at a Railway Station with a level crossing with a single deck Bedford coach with that name on the destination indicator.


06/05/16 – 08:31

BLOTW shows a new Bedford OB chassis 147359 with Duple C29F 48139 registered to Howards, West Byfleet 1/1951.

Les Dickinson

07/05/16 – 06:49

My Little Red Book for 1958/9 shows Howard’s Garage, 12 Station Approach, West Byfleet, Surrey as an operator. They had 3 Bedford/Duple vehicles and both Stage and Excursions and Tours licences. The livery was described as tan and buff.
They are not in my 1968 Passenger Transport Yearbook, but as neither book was a complete list of operators it doesn’t necessarily mean a lot, but it points to them ceasing trading some time between those dates.
Looking on the net there’s an interesting picture with more details at This vehicle still exists, see

David Beilby

07/05/16 – 06:50

A picture of a 1931 Bedford WLB operated by Howard may be found here:-

Roger Cox

11/05/16 – 12:56

I imagine that the ‘HOSPITAL destination, that the bus was going to, was the Rowley Bristow Hospital in nearby Pyrford, now long gone!

Chris Hebbron


5261 Engine Swap at Sutton Coldfield

I was an 18 year old fitter at Midland Red Sutton Coldfield garage when it was decided to swap the Gardner engine in D11 5261 for a 10.5 D9 unit. Although it took a bit of juggling it worked, it seemed somewhat harsher than the Gardner but if I remember all those years a go it seemed popular with the drivers. I transferred to Swadlincote depot shortly after wards to get married so I never found out what happened to it. If anyone has any information I’d be very interested to here what happened to it.

James Bell

26/04/16 – 14:53

There is some information here:
It says a Gardner engine was refitted in 1968 and the bus was transferred to West Midlands PTE in 1973.

Gary Thomas


Old Coventry Corporation Buses

As a child in the early 1960’s I remember travelling on the old Coventry Corporation buses, open at the back and half a cab at the front with a backward facing full width seat on the lower deck at the front. Who made these buses?

G J Edmunds

26/04/16 – 14:54

Hello Mr Edmunds,
You might like to look at this website which shows a good selection of Coventry buses operating in the 1960s.
Hope this helps to rekindle good childhood memories.

Paul Haywood


Tracing origin of Registration SOX 1

I am trying to trace the origin of Registration SOX 1. I am lead to believe that it was first used on a bus/coach in Birmingham, allocated in around 1955.
Any information would be greatly appreciated. I have owned this number since about 1975.

Roland Kaye

24/04/16 – 07:30

I’ve checked and they do not list that registration, by no means conclusive but nevertheless it probably means it was an uncommon type of coach with a small operator or even a works or welfare bus.

Mr Anon

25/04/16 – 06:44

Long shot—but could it have belonged to a hosiery manufacturer in, say, Leicester?

Ian Thompson

28/04/16 – 16:56

The SOX (series) was issued Birmingham CBC January 1956. A few cases are known of individual numbers (low numbers) being issued prior to the main series ie; ‘HOV’ for BCT buses – some two months before. For some strange reason my old addled brain seems to recall seeing SOX on a Commer Avenger SB (Worthington/Allenways perhaps) so don’t give up on the PSV connection.

Nigel Edwards

29/04/16 – 06:10

Nigel, according to Bus Lists On The Web, in 1956 Jackson’s of Castle Bromwich took delivery of SOX 700, a Bedford SBG/Duple C41F coach, and Worthington’s of Birmingham received SOX 858/859, which were Commer Avenger III/Duple C37F coaches, so your memory has stood you in good stead! The Commer Avenger IIIs (with Plaxton C41F bodies) delivered to Allenways are listed as being SOV 880-883. Although this information does not really progress Roland’s query as to the history of registration SOX 1, I had wondered if it could originally have been on a Mayoral car. However, the only ones that come close in Noel Woodall’s trusty book ‘Car Numbers’ are SOB 1, issued to the Lord Bishop of Birmingham, and SOL 1 which graced Solihull’s Mayoral car. Is it possible that SOX 1 may have been issued to a motorcycle when new, as at one time quite a few licencing authorities reserved two-digit registrations for 2-wheeled machines?

Brendan Smith

29/04/16 – 14:27

I thought that the reason for reserving two-digit numbers for two-wheeled vehicles started after the introduction of year suffix registrations.
There was no room on motor-cycles or scooters for 7-digit registrations, so purely a space-saving decision to limit plates to 6 digits.
My Lambretta was registered SKA 59G, the rear plate being square with SKA over 59G.

Dave Farrier

30/04/16 – 06:25

With respect, I don’t think that is quite right, Dave. In the 1960s I had a 1935 Scott Flying Squirrel with the registration WK 9322 (high mileage memory now a bit hazy – it may have been WV) and I also had a Pannonia 250 motorbike registered BLN 877B.

Roger Cox

30/04/16 – 08:44

In the 60’s I bought a car from one of those nice little dealers: I wanted a fairly distinctive registration (free!) so he rang the Council and said “Can I have a motorcycle number- love” (this was Sheffield)- they sold them as well. I got one- two numbers and a suffix.


02/05/16 – 13:57

WV was Wiltshire, Roger. and your bike might well have been WV. I had a 1937 Ariel Red Hunter motorbike, by which time the registration had become 3+3, in my case AWV 260.

Chris Hebbron

03/05/16 – 08:02

WK 9322 was issued early 1929, WV 9322 late 1935. So Roger’s motorbike was probably WV.

David Call

04/05/16 – 06:19

Many thanks to Chris and David for clarifying the number of my old Scott motor bike. WV is clearly correct. I just wish that I still had that machine now – a 1935 Flying Squirrel with a 1930 short stroke 600 cc engine. I wonder if it still exists. The square rear number plate employed quite small letters and figures to get 9322 on it. Motor cycles used to have a curved vertical registration plate along the top of the front mudguard, but this nowadays seems to have been abandoned, presumably on safety grounds.

Roger Cox

05/05/16 – 06:49

There seemed to be an interim period, Roger. My last motorbike, a 1957 BSA B34, had a front mudguard with flat side edges, deep enough to display the registration mark either side. In 1962, I bought my first car, a Renault Dauphine – 356 DLA!

Chris Hebbron

05/05/16 – 06:50

Yes the vertical mounted front registration plate ceased being fitted on safety grounds. Apparently they were very good at scything into the flesh if you went over the handle bars or that of pedestrians unlucky enough to get in the way.

David Rawsthorn


Trent X8 Nottingham to Gt Yarmouth Service

After reading the fascinating and enlightening article by Neville Mercer on Huntingdon Street Bus Station and additionally now having been proffered photographic evidence of LUT vehicles departing from Nottingham to Great Yarmouth, Please can anyone offer any further information or perhaps a timetable of this Trent Gt Yarmouth service.
Thanks in advance

Mike Norris

01/04/16 – 09:17

Are we sure this was X8 as my ABC for 1953 says X7? It shows a summer Saturday service of up to 6 services per day with 1 on Monday-Thursday + 2 on Friday and Sunday with one journey on a Saturday extended to/from Derby. Schedule on the core section was 6 hours 25 minutes outbound and 6 hours 40 minutes inbound

Roger Burdett

01/04/16 – 09:23

Responding to the Q&A from Mike Norris today, I’m attaching two scans of the Summer 1971 timetable for the service.
The timetable was subject to seasonal adjustments but this particular version gives a fair idea of the underlying service pattern.

Mike Grant






03/04/16 – 11:07

My thanks to Roger for the correction (Not X8, but X7) and to Mike for taking the trouble to download the service information.
Thanks Gents.

Mike Norris


Leyland Codes

Having read Nevilles latest posting about the City Coach Company Leyland TEP1 Gnu which was only one of three before being followed by the TEC2 chassis. This got me to thinking what exactly did the TEP and TEC stand for, in fact what did most of the Leyland codes stand for.
Is anyone interested in solving these codes? If we manage it I will compile a table and add them to the ‘Abreviations’ page.

I will start it off with the two easiest:-

Titan TD T – type engine D – Double-deck PD P – Post-war D – Double-deck Tiger TS T – type engine S – Single-deck PS P – Post-war S – Single-deck

So if anyone wants to have a go at some of the others ie Tiger Cub PSUC code, Lion LT or PLSC code or maybe the Cheetah LZ code.


31/03/16 – 15:33

I have a bell ringing that the S in code TS1 originally stood for Side (driver alongSide engine, i.e. forward control), differentiating the higher capacity TS1 Tiger from the bonneted TB1 Tigress…
When a double-deck version came along, the TD1 was created.
That said, I think that the follow-on PS1 derivative did indeed indicate Passenger ‘Single-decker’.
This one will run for some time, I think!

Tony Fox

31/03/16 – 15:56

I’m afraid that the "P" in PD and PS stands for "Post-war" rather than anything to do with an engine. The PD1 and PS1 had the E181 engine while the PD2, PD3, and PS2 had the more up-to-date O.600.

PSU1/2/3/4 as in Royal Tigers, early Worldmasters, 36ft Leopards and 32ft Leopards respectively stood for Post-war Single-deck, Underfloor engined and PSUC the same plus the word Cub to differentiate between a Royal Tiger and a Tiger Cub. In the PSUR designation of Panthers the "R" indicated rear-engined, with PSURC continuing the logic by being a Panther Cub.

However, many other post-war designs followed a completely different logic. The HR40/44 were the "Home Range" versions of the single-deck Olympic (the number indicating maximum seating capacity) while the light-weight version of the Olympic, the Olympian, used LW1 and LW2 for the bus and semi-coach versions. When the Worldmaster became available on the home market (for those who found the Tiger Cub too gutless!) somebody decided to allocate "RT" designations – presumably to indicate Royal Tiger as there was also a small number of models called Royal Tiger Cubs with RTC codes.
I could go on, but I’m supposed to be typing the text of my next book so I’ll let somebody else have a go!

Neville Mercer

31/03/16 – 15:58

Thanks for that Neville I have amended my copy above and made a note of the rest for the ‘Abreviations’ page.


01/04/16 – 07:07

There has been quite a bit of correspondence in the Leyland Torque magazine about the designation of the 1950’s integral, Tiger Cub-based Olympian single decker. Readers researching official Leyland and MCW company documents seem to have concluded that the LW designation was purely an MCW Group one, and that Leyland themselves do not seem to have allocated a code.
I would agree that when the Tiger TS was introduced the ‘S’ does seem to have indicated ‘Side Type’ i.e. forward control, this having been applied to other earlier models throughout the 1920’s. However, with the equivalent Titan TD clearly indicating ‘T-series, Double Deck’, it gradually became believed that ‘S’ indicated ‘Single Deck’.
As for the Gnu TEC2. This was based on a Steer twin-steer, six-wheel goods chassis, modified to have the engine and cab on a front overhang. The Steer was coded TEC (there were TEC1, 2, 3 & 4). In the same T-range of goods chassis there was the Hippo conventional 3-axle chassis, coded TSW (T-series, Six Wheeled), and the Octopus 4-axle chassis coded TEW (T-series, Eight Wheeled). However, faced with coming up with a code for the Steer they seem to have regarded the model as basically an Octopus with a rear axle removed, so modified TEW to TEC – so maybe, and rather irrationally, it stood for T-series, Eight, Chinese !
As often happens (look at London Transport type codes) someones starts off with a logical system, then as time passes and new models and complexities arise, the system all goes a bit astray and illogical.

John Stringer

03/04/16 – 07:27

An obvious continuation of Neville’s theme is PDR1 and 2 for Atlantean and its prototype predecessors – post-war double-deck rear-engined. One small correction: the Panther Cub was PSRC. Presumably PSURC was too long for somebody or something.

Peter Williamson

03/04/16 – 08:58

The P in PLSC (the Lion) stood for "pneumatic" at a time when tyres were changing from solid rubber to air inflated.

Roger Cox

03/04/16 – 09:20

I have received of a scan from a book that states that the P in PD, PS, PSU etc stood for Passenger.
It also states that the Panther Cub was PSURC – Passenger, Single deck, Underfloor Rear engine, Cub,


04/04/16 – 06:43

Originally Leyland’s early models were allocated a single letter code, going alphabetically from A and I think reaching O.
In the 1920’s they started a new system whereby a seemingly random single letter code was used to indicate the weight range of the model. 30cwt=Z; 2-ton=A; 3-ton=C; 4-ton=G; 5-ton=P; 6-ton=Q. This was followed by a number to indicate variations e.g. C7, G2.
When forward control variants were introduced Leyland referred to these as Side Types and inserted an ‘S’ in front of the code e.g. SG9. Some models were of higher build, so had an ‘H’ inserted e.g. GH2, SGH6.
Until then the same basic chassis had been used for both goods and passenger use, but to compete with other makers a new range of chassis was introduced specifically designed for passenger use. These had lower chassis profiles and were allocated the prefix ‘L’. They also introduced names for all new models at the same time. These were the small Leveret LA1, LA2 & LA3 (L-series, A=2 ton, with three variations); Lioness LC1 (L-series, C=3 tons, first version); Lion LSC1 (L-series, Side Type, C=3 tons, 1st variant); Leopard LSG2 (L-series, Side Type, G=4 tons, 2nd variant), which was very rare; Leviathan LSP1 double decker (L-series, Side Type, P=5 tons, 1st variant). As Roger mentions, when pneumatic tyres were fitted these models acquired a ‘P’ in front, giving PLA, PLC, PLSC, PLSP etc.
When these models were replaced by the Rackham-designed T-series, the six cylinder single decker was the Tiger TS (T-series, Side Type) which ran from versions TS1 to TS8, then TS11. A few TS7’s and TS8’s had a second rear axle added to allow them to be 30 feet long, and if this was non-driven (i.e. trailing) a ‘T’ was added to the end, or if double drive a final ‘D’ was added – e.g. TS7D, TS8T. The double decker was the Titan TD (Titan Double) which ran from TD1 to TD7. A six-wheel double decker specifically designed as such was the Titanic TT (T-series, Three axle?) running from TT1 to TT6. Goods models are outside the scope of this site, but the Badger TA4 (T-series, A=2 tons, 4th version) was occasionally bodied as a bus, and West Mon UDC certainly used the Bull TQ1 (T-series, Q=6 tons, 1st version) and Beaver TSC8 (T-series, Side Type, C=3 tons, 8th version) as buses for the Bargoed Hill service. (The C=3 tons had though by that time become inappropriate for the Beaver, as it was by then about a 6/7 tonner !).
A lower powered 4-cylinder single decker was the Lion LT (presumably Light, T-series – though they were not exactly light) which ran from LT1 to LT9, with LT5A and LT5B variants, though the LT9 was effectively a TS8 chassis with the Lion engine. A bonnetted version was the Lioness LTB1 (Light?, T-series, Bonnetted). A bonnetted LTB3 with Tiger units was confusingly named Tigress.
From 1932 a small, bonnetted lighter chassis was introduced to compete with Bedford etc. Built at the former Trojan works at Kingston, Surrey it was the Cub KP (Kingston, Passenger – the goods model was KG) going from KP1 to KP4. The introduction of an oil (i.e. diesel) engine caused an ‘O’ to be added, giving KPO2, KPO3 etc. Forward control models had an ‘S’ (=Side Type) prefix, giving SKP2, SKPO3 etc. Then a new Light Six engine (which could be petrol or diesel) came along, an ‘A’ indicating petrol, or ‘Z’ indicating diesel e.g. KPZ4, SKPZ5. The largest SKPZ5 version was named Lion Cub.
The Lion – especially when bodied as a coach – tended to be rather underpowered, so eventually a new full sized lighter weight single decker model was introduced using a new chassis, with some Lion parts and the Light Six engine from the Cub. This was the Cheetah LZ (Lightweight?, Z-type engine), which ran from LZ1 to LZ5 as a diesel, or with an ‘A’ suffix if petrol e.g. LZ2A. (An equivalent goods chassis was the Lynx DZ).
The Gnu has already been discussed, and the solitary experimental Panda without the set back axle, and with an underfloor engine does not appear to have been allocated a code.
A special for London Transport’s Green Line fleet, having half cab, but underfloor engine and preselector gearbox and coded TF by LT, was coded FEC by Leyland, though what this stood for is anyone’s guess ! Also for LT, a half cabbed, but rear engined Cub, coded CR by them, was coded REC (Rear Engined Cub) by Leyland.
Trolleybus chassis of the 1930’s were the 2-axle TB (Trolley Bus), 3-axle TTB (Three-axle, Trolley Bus), and a single experimental low floored, front entrance 3-axle example was the TTL (Three-axle, Trolleybus, Low).

John Stringer

04/04/16 – 06:44

According to the scan from the book FEC – Flat Engine Coach


04/04/16 – 06:44

Peter, the ‘P’ in PD and PS definitely stood for ‘Post War’, not ‘Passenger’. It is believed that Leyland considered that the TD /TS series numbering had become somewhat cumbersome (the next numbers would have been TD8 and TS12), and the PD1/PS1 models were decidedly different from their predecessors. The pre-war Cub was lettered KP or KPO (oil) or SKPZ (side driving position, not sure about the Z) and the K in these stood for ‘Kingston’, though the factory was actually the former Sopwith Aircraft premises at nearby Ham.

Roger Cox

04/04/16 – 06:44

Yet again from the scan Z = a new ‘Light Six’ engine.


04/04/16 – 11:03

The sizeable Leyland Kingston factory was situated near Richmond Road, Ham, and was built by the Ministry of Munitions in 1917. It was taken over by The Sopwith Aviation Company in April 1918 for the production of aircraft for the war effort. When the war ended just seven months later, aircraft orders collapsed, and Sopwith, like many other businesses of the time, was hit by the Excess Profits Tax of 80%. Despite diversifying into motorcycles and civil aircraft, Sopwith went into liquidation in 1920, and the Ham premises were sold to Leyland for £227,000. In 1922 Leyland contracted with Leslie Hayward Hounsfield to produce the Trojan lightweight car, and, up to 1928 when the agreement ended, some 11,000 cars and 6,700 vans emerged from the Ham factory. In 1948, the reincarnated Sopwith company, Hawker Aircraft, bought back the Ham factory from Leyland for the sum of £585,000.

Roger Cox

05/04/16 – 06:41

And after leaving the Ham factory, Trojan established themselves in a new factory on the Purley Way, Croydon, building cars, vans and, from 1962 Heinkel bubblecars under the Trojan name. Production ceased later in the 1960s and the Croydon factory was sold in 1970.
All of which is way off topic from Leyland codes, but that’s the joy of this far reaching site!

Peter Murnaghan

05/04/16 – 06:42

The website ‘Ian’s Bus Stop’ conjectures that the FEC code, used for LPTB’s TF, stood for "Floor Engine Compartment".

Christopher Hebbron

06/04/16 – 06:01

I had understood the FEC to be a Leyland designed chassis for London Transport to be ‘comparable’ to the AEC Q, and hence a forward entrance. I believe all of them had coach bodies, hence a Forward Entrance Coach.
The REC was also developed for London Transport, and is usually referred to as a Rear Engined Cub.
The two ‘LT specials’ had similar looking codes for chassis developed at around the same time – the FEC is clearly not a Cub – so maybe the C did not stand for that (especially as the ‘conventional’ Cub did not have a C in its code) – and was certainly not the same meaning as C in TEC (from a similar time period).
As FEC and REC do not fit the ‘standard’ pattern that John has detailed above, I just wonder if they might refer to Front Engined and Rear Engined ‘specials’ for LT – and as not all were coaches, might the C refer to chassis – or even Chiswick ?
No ‘evidence’ for the suggestion, just looking at what is, otherwise, a fairly logical system.

Peter Delaney

06/04/16 – 06:01

Two other Leyland trolleybus codes were TB4 (Hull nos 1-26) and TB7 (Hull nos 47-66). the original tender document for nos 1-26 from Leyland quoted TD4 but this was subsequently changed to TB4.

Malcolm Wells


Newcastle Fleet Numbers

Does anyone know what the fleet numbers were that was allocated to the prewar bus bodies that were given new chassis in 1945 or 1946? for Newcastle Corporation Transport.?

M Stewart

28/03/16 – 17:29

Newcastle fitted pre-war bodies to five Daimler new CWA6 chassis in 1945-7, giving them panel numbers 1-5, registered JVK 421-5. Oddly the batch came into service out of order over that three-year period.
Nov/Oct/Dec 1945: 1 and 2, with MCCW bodies from 153 and 155 (1932 AEC Regent I, reg. VK 7691/3) and 5, with Park Royal body from 142 (1931 Dr CH6, reg. VK 4086).
Mar 1946: 4, Park Royal body from 144 (1931 Daimler CH6, reg. VK 4088)
Mar 1947: 3, Park Royal body from 137 (1931 Daimler CH6, reg. VK 4081)
All five were then taken out of service by Oct 1949, the old bodies scrapped and new ones fitted by Mann Egerton during Oct-Dec 1950.
Some body shuffling also took place in 1945-7 either to keep some of the pre-war donor chassis in service for a little while longer or to sell them off as complete vehicles. Did you need that detail as well?
The information comes from PSV Circle Fleet History PA16 or official records where the latter differ.

Some spin-off questions, hopefully to be answered by somebody out there!

1. Why the protracted period for fitting the second-hand bodies?
2. Why were Mann Egerton chosen to supply the new bodies in 1950?
3. Why did other new vehicles delivered to Newcastle in 1945 take numbers from 13 onwards (13-8, JVK 613-8, more Dr CWA6s but with Massey bodies; 19-26 followed on in 1946), leaving a numbering gap of 6-12, only filled partially in 1949 by low-bridge Ld PD2s nos. 6-11, LVK 6-11?
4. Has anybody got a photo of no. 1 with its second-hand body?



Here are pics of no 3 with its original and new bodies. The latter comes from Ian Findlay’s collection.

Tony Fox


Lees ????

Bus Lists on the Web has some vehicles bought new by Lees, Worksop between 1947 – 1958; one bought new by Lees Motorways, Worksop in 1959; others bought new by Lees, Nottingham between 1961 – 1965. Can anyone please tell me if these three are incarnations of the same operator? Was Lees, at some stage, swallowed up by East Midland MS?

Les Dickinson

27/03/16 – 16:40

I am now informed that Lees passed not to EMMS but to Barton. As is often the case with our shared interest this partial answer leads to more questions. Ian Allan British Bus Fleets 5-East Midlands book of 1965 tells that Barton absorbed 43 smaller operators over the years. My new questions are;-
a) does anyone have a list of those take-overs and
b) what vehicles passed from Lees to Barton?
I am confident that the OBP ‘Eggheads’ will be able to supply answers.

Les Dickinson

28/03/16 – 11:16

Barton history Part 2 (1960-85) by PSVC gives:
F. L. Lees of Worksop, first vehicle c 1943.
To Lees Motorways (Worksop) Ltd by 1956 but probably much earlier. To Lees Motorways Ltd by 1960, moved to Beeston c1964.
Some 95 vehicles are recorded over 30 years of operation.
Barton acquired the business in February 1974 and following on from grant-style coaches 1205-1445 were five AEC Reliances taken over from the Lees fleet:
1446 (MYJ 764) new to Dickson (Dundee) via WA
1447 (589 EYU) new to Global (London)
1448 (KWB 520D) new to Littlewood (Sheffield)
1449 (MRO 138D) new to Frame’s (London)
1450 (KDU 239D) new to Supreme (Coventry)
The first two were withdrawn in 1974, the rest in 1975.
All were Plaxton bodied except 1447 which was Duple Northern.

Dave Farrier

28/03/16 – 13:35

Many thanks to Dave Farrier for that response. I have so far been unable to obtain a copy of the PSVC work referred to. What a shame that these works of reference are allowed to fade away when sold out.
Does the book itemise all the take-overs?

Les Dickinson


Princess Mary Coaches

I am attempting to find details and pictures of the fleet of coaches operated from the 50s to the early 80s Wiltshire’s Coaches, trading as ‘Princess Mary Coaches’ from Soundwell, Bristol. Despite my best efforts, I can find little detail on this fleet from my childhood. There are a couple of pictures out there of their well known and preserved VAM and their Duple Bella Vista VAS which survived well. However, the rest of the fleet over its history is a blank. No apparent fleet list and certainly little photographic reference.

Dave Wallington

24/02/16 – 16:53

‘Bus Lists On The Web’ lists a total of twenty vehicles delivered new to Wiltshire of Staple Hill, S G Wiltshire of Staple Hill, D W Wiltshire of Staple Hill, or Princess Mary of Bristol. The eight listed as new to Princess Mary are concentrated in the period 1954-65, so that may indicate a temporary change to limited company status. Soundwell is not mentioned, but I appreciate that it may be a more precise description to Staple Hill of the operator’s location.
Of the eight given as new to Princess Mary, the first six were registered in Bristol (all others up to LVLO days were registered in Gloucestershire, but Soundwell does appear to be just outside the Bristol City boundary).
As always, dates of entry into service should be treated with caution – one particular vehicle, given as new in 3/50, carried a registration which was ostensibly not issued until at least 7/52.
P.S. Are you the Dave Wallington who is active in bus modelling?

David Call

25/02/16 – 09:11

For such a well-respected operator, Princess Mary coaches do seem to have been a little camera-shy. HAD 915D and EDD 685C are well-represented on the web of course (in preservation and in service with subsequent operators) – the latter is an SB rather than a VAS. A few other ex-Princess Mary coaches can also be found in use with later owners, but here’s a shot of Regal III LAD 511 early in its Princess Mary days.

David Call

25/02/16 – 16:33

AD and AD were Gloucester registration marks.

Chris Hebbron

25/02/16 – 16:35

A great big thank you David Call. It is a great step forward for me. Like you, I find it surprising for such a well respected operator in (well almost in!) a major city to have such camera shy vehicles.
Yes, I am ‘that’ David Wallington and have decided that I will endeavour to model as much as possible of this fleet.
Thank you again.

David Wallington


Northern General Guy Arab 1133

I am a complete outsider, but entered the site and found it wonderful.
My comments and queries probably should find their way to Ronnie Hoye.
I was born and lived in Beamish. During the 1950s our local (NGT) services were the 4,5 and 15 which ran past our door every 15 minutes (can you believe it?) using fleet 1791-1824, AEC Reliance/Burlinghams, while nearby was the No 7 Grange Villa to Newcastle, Worswick St using 1953 Tiger Cubs.
But my question is this. During the early 60s my friend and I used to intentionally ‘miss’ our scholars bus so that on Fridays we could catch a duplicate service on which a Guy Arab NGT 1133 would be used.
We were thrilled riding on this bus: the narrow stair, the seating, the poles, the way the clippie rapped on the glass with a coin, but above all the sound from the engine. What was this?
Now half a century later I want to know. What made my pal and I yearn to board this ancient Guy Arab. What made that sweet, almost ‘sewing-machine’ like sound as the bus gathered speed. Will I, can I ever hear that sound again?
(Bus was registration GUP or something)
Hope someone can help

Dave Milburn

25/02/16 – 10:31

Sorry David, my area was north of the Tyne, Tynemouth & Wakefileds and Tyneside. Percy Main only had a hand full ‘all AEC’ and Tyneside didn’t have any, so single deckers were few and far between, so this will have to be a best guess on my part. However, your description seem to fit the B38F Brush bodied GUY Arab III powered by a Gardner 5LW. Northern had quite a number, I cant be specific, but as far as I’m aware, the GUP batch were from 1947, and the fleet numbers were at the cross over from 1000 to 1100. I know there were some with LPT registrations, and they were all in the 1400’s. During the summer months the odd one would be on loan to Percy Main, but apart from Newcastle Worswick Street, and Marlborough Crescent, they seldom ventured north of the Tyne.

Ronnie Hoye

25/02/16 – 16:28

Is this from the same batch?

Paul Robson

25/02/16 – 16:29

Sorry, Dave, assuming all other details are correct you must have remembered the fleet number wrongly. Northern’s GUP-registered Guy Arab saloons were 1068-1116 (GUP 68-116). 1117-52 were AEC Regals (not GUP-registered).

David Call

26/02/16 – 09:05

Thanks gents for the comments. I have since purchased ‘Northern General’ Glory Days and find that GUP 76, fleet 1076 shown on page 58 comes closest to what I remember, though the livery was all red by the early 60s. But can anyone of you mechanically minded chaps tell me why that 5L power unit sounded so distinct, and whining or was it just the steep hills of County Durham? The electrics perhaps?

David Milburn

26/02/16 – 14:28

David: whereas inline 6-cylinder engines can be made vibration-free using crankshaft counterweights, the only way to eliminate vibration from an inline 5 is to use balance shafts, as in the modern Scania engine. The Gardner 5LW has no such shafts and therefore, superbly designed and built though it was, it does vibrate.
This vibration, together with the fact that a 5-pot gives only five power strokes per two revolutions of the crankshaft rather than six, gives rise to that grunting, lumpy, no-nonsense sound so characteristic of the 5LW.
With the gearbox remotely mounted halfway down the chassis, the clutch is not enclosed by a bell housing and so is exposed to the air, which causes the whistling sound.
Guy Arab III gearboxes are more subdued than those of the later Arab IV models, so if 1133’s whined really loudly I wonder whether it could have had its g/b replaced by one from an Arab IV?
On the Old Bus Sounds page of this excellent site (drop down from More Pages on the green bar above) are some very musical Arab IV clips. (The Birmingham example is different, having an epicyclic gearbox.)
A longish YouTube clip of a preserved Exeter Arab IV show off the traditional gearbox to best advantage.

Ian Thompson

26/02/16 – 14:29

David, Gardner engines have a longer stroke than an AEC or Leyland, and are slow revving, usually flat out at around 17 to 1800 RPM, my car ticks over at 1,000, added to which they were usually a slow change giving them a very distinctive sound. Leylands can best be described as plodders, whereas an AEC has a whine when wound up, so although the basic principle is the same, they are all different.

Ronnie Hoye

26/02/16 – 16:55

I think that the most distinctive postwar engines were to be found in the Leyland PD/PS’s, which used to ‘hunt’ at tickover, running through all the cylinders quickly, then pausing. This is so obvious with the West Riding PS2/12A in Old Bus Sounds. I imagine that the flywheel kept the engine revs constant which did not affect manoeuvring at tickover/near tickover revs. I can’t recall any other contemporary engines doing this.

Chris Hebbron

03/03/16 – 06:03


And here’s one of the later batch mentioned by Ronnie Hoye. I went up to Harper of Heath Hayes in about 1967 with pal Stuart Wyss, who took the photos, to try out this ex NG-Guy Arab III, with a view (ostensibly) to getting it as an extra vehicle for student use at a college in Reading, but to be honest my real motive was to see and hear this unusual machine close up. Harpers were very trusting and said "Take her for a run" without even coming along to make sure we brought the bus back. I knew beforehand that with only a 4-speed gearbox and 5LW engine sparkling performance was not to be expected, but what came as a shock was the very cramped cab, which is how they squeezed in 38 seats! It was all a bit battered and tired, so I didn’t pursue it. Pity!

Ian Thompson


Nottingham’s re-bodied Fleetlines

As many of you will known Nottingham City Transport had four of their 1963 batch of Daimler Fleetlines re-bodied by NCME to the Nottingham Standard design in 1975/6. The four buses in question were 75/7, 82/3 (75/7, 82/3 RTO). I believe that 82 may have been involved in a bridge collision within a couple of weeks of entering service following re-bodying. Can anybody shed any light on this?

Andy Johnson

24/02/16 – 05:45

Andy – according to the Circle fleet history on NCT, the accident happened in October 1980, 82 had been rebodied in December 1975.It was repaired by using the roof and upper deck windows of 127 (MTO 127F). From memory, the low bridge involved was on Meadow Lane (probably the one which meant route 8 was always single deck operated!).

Bob Gell

25/02/16 – 05:42

Bob, thanks for the information. The Meadow Lane bridge claimed a few casualties in its time. Wasn’t AEC Renown 390 withdrawn following a collision with this bridge. If so it was somewhat ironic that a bus based on a low height chassis was de-roofed because it was fitted with a full height body

Andy Johnson


Sheffield Daimlers

In 1913 Sheffield bought their fist buses. They were Daimlers, but really were badge engineered AECs.
They bought some Daimlers in the late 40s. These had NCB bodywork. As they also had Regent IIIs at the same period, were they real or badge engineered?

Andy Fisher

21/02/16 – 09:40

Daimler did produce Gardner engined diesel buses before the second world war, but during the war started to produce a “wartime” bus- the CW, with AEC or 5 or 6 cylinder Gardner engines- CWA or CWG: I don’t think these had any connection with AEC apart from the engine.
Daimler produced its own diesel engine towards the end of the war and a few found their way into CW’s, the great example being the Northampton preserved CWD which even has a sound clip here with that beautiful, refined sound. These found their way to many municipalities not used to Daimlers- I’m not sure if Sheffield had any previously: much later it had many Fleetlines, but never, like its municipal neighbours, CVG’s? After the war, Daimler produced the CV (not vehicle- victory!) of which many were built: Daimler or Gardner engines, 5 or 6, were also available, but not, I think, AEC. When the lovely, smelly, hot Daimler diesel ceased, the CV designation continued until the end of half-cabs, with Gardner engines.
I think the AEC connection came from cross-hiring engineers or, like Bristol, sourcing wartime engines?
Who knows better?


21/02/16 – 09:58

There was no connection between AEC and Daimler after 1926 and until the BLMC link up. AEC used Daimler Pre-select transmission until they licensed it to make their own. The NCB Daimlers were CVD, the only post-war Daimlers until 951-953 in 1962 (followed by hoards in 1964 and 1965). The recent NCB book makes an interesting point which supports theories on distress purchase. AEC, in the post-war rush for new vehicles, were unable to supply the required number to STD/SJOC. The bodies were already available/built. ACV could supply ten Crossleys and Daimler ten CVD6. This with twenty Regent IIIs constituted the forty NCB bodies.

Mr Anon

21/02/16 – 15:51

The later story of AEC/Daimler links is covered by the contributors above. Going back to the beginning, the first motor buses in the Sheffield fleet were of the Daimler CC type. The confusion with AEC, though incorrect, is understandable. Frank Searle, the Chief Engineer of the LGOC, was responsible for the remarkable ‘B’ type which evolved from the pioneer ‘X’ type. In 1910, Daimler, then mainly a car producing company, was taken over by BSA who sought to establish a firmer foothold in the commercial vehicle manufacturing business. A plan, funded by the BSA group, to set up a competitor to the LGOC in London using Daimler KPL petrol electric buses was drafted, and Searle was invited to become the chairman of the proposed Premier Motorbus Company. When the LGOC board got to hear of this it demanded to know Searle’s intentions. Searle refused to commit himself and the LGOC association was immediately terminated in May 1911. In the meantime, Percy Frost-Smith, the Engineer of Thomas Tilling and a collaborator in the design of the Stevens petrol electric vehicle, declared that the KPL petrol electric violated his patents, whereupon BSA offered to buy the rights to the Stevens system. As is well known, Tilling took over the Maidstone company and the KPL manufacturing project and the planned Premier Motorbus Company were abandoned. Searle and BSA then brought out a new double deck motor bus called the CC, which, given the history of its designer, bore very close resemblances to the LGOC B type. It was not a badge engineered AEC. The CC was powered by the Daimler four cylinder sleeve valve engine of 5.7 litres developing up to 40 hp, though under the RAC rating it was known as the ’30 hp’. The CC, said to have been the most refined bus of its time, achieved respectable sales until it was withdrawn from production in 1914. Despite the inauspicious start to the relationship, connections with AEC grew and Daimler became the agent for the sale of surplus B type buses outside the Metropolitan area. Also, AEC built vehicles at Walthamstow using Daimler engines and the Daimler name on the radiator. This agreement finally ceased at the end of 1917. However, in June 1926, the two companies again collaborated in setting up a joint venture called the Associated Daimler Company. The original idea was that chassis built by AEC in its new Southall factory would be fitted with Daimler sleeve valve engines. Sadly, the new Laurence Pomeroy designed 3.57 litre sleeve valve engine proved to be inadequate and unreliable, and AEC continued to offer its own, though rather outdated, 5.1 litre as an option. New ADC models appeared over the next couple of years, but the association between Daimler and AEC had always been a bit rocky, and, in June 1928, the two companies went their separate ways again. Thereafter all AEC and Daimler models were developed entirely independently, though the first preselector gearboxes and fluid flywheels fitted to London’s buses were of Daimler manufacture, and subsequent production by AEC of these units was achieved under licence from Daimler. Between 1935 and 1939, 92 of Coventry’s new Daimler buses were fitted with the AEC 7.7 litre engine (originally of indirect injection, but later of the direct injection type) thus making them COA6 models. Again, when wartime Daimler bus production resumed after the devastating Coventry air raids, once the initial Gardner powered batch of 100 had been completed, the AEC 7.7 became the standard engine in the CW chassis to relieve the pressure on Gardner supplies. Some of the above information has been drawn from the writings of Alan Townsin.

Roger Cox

21/02/16 – 15:52

Thanks for that info. My Dad drove both types but I seem to remember the Daimler seemed to have a more refined, quieter engine.

Andy Fisher


Hull Bus Fares

I’m trying to find 1973 bus fare information for Hull, Anybody any idea where to start?

Michael Dees

08/12/15 – 05:57

I have a September 1973 timetable booklet which includes fares. Do you have a specific service in mind?
It also has a page describing the exact fare system.

Malcolm Wells


The Fleet Numbering of Enterprise & Silver Dawn

The fleet numbering of Enterprise & Silver Dawn of Scunthorpe seemed to be totally random and extremely erratic with buses from a batch and often with consecutive registration, body or chassis numbers receiving fleet numbers from anywhere in the spectrum. Does anyone know why they chose to employ this erratic method? I’m also interested to know more about the take-over (and reselling) of this company by East Midland. Is there any written work available about the Scunthorpe operator?

Les Dickinson

04/12/15 – 10:07

Les, I can’t comment on why this operator chose this method, but others had the same idea. Wigan and Fishwicks, for two. So far as Wigan was concerned, I have read that there was only a set range of numbers available and, if a bus was taken out of service prematurely – whether through accident or faulty vehicle doesn’t matter – its replacement took that number. Over the years, the spectrum broadened. Some operators, notably Lancaster, used the last three digits of the registration number as the fleet number, so that while the Titans bought from Maidstone came in a logical sequence, they entered service with Lancaster with fleet numbers in the 400 and 900 ranges.

Pete Davies


AEC AH505 Oil Capacity

I have a AEC Regal motorhome in Australia. The dip stick for the sump does not have any level marks on it. What I am trying to find out is the capacity of oil in the sump. If I know this I can make a new dip stick. Hoping someone out there has this info.

John Wyatt

04/12/15 – 05:258

You might find the answer to your question more readily on the AEC Society’s web forum: then click the link at the top to view the forum. I’ve found them a helpful lot.

Stephen Allcroft


Albion Valiant Badge

Does anyone have a Albion ‘Valiant’ badged vehicle, or a drawing/photo of the badge so that a replica might be made for a restored vehicle. If you can help please contact me through the Old Bus Photos website

Roy Dodsworth

20/11/15 – 07:54

According to the history produced in 1999 by the Albion Vehicle Preservation Trust the CX39N Valiant did not have a model name badge.

Stephen Allcroft


D J Jones, Crymych, AEC Regals

D J Jones of Crymmych (accepted spelling at that time) had a fleet of half-cab Regals based at Milford Haven when Esso were building their refinery there from 1957 – 1960. Does anyone have any information about these Regals? D.J.Js. main fleet was Fords and Bedfords but the Regals seem to have gone un-noticed and unreported.

Les Dickinson

08/06/15 – 06:32

I’m still drawing a blank on this but would like to put a different slant on the question. As there were ten, all-green, AEC half-cab single-deckers it is possible that these were ex London Country and withdrawn and sold as a batch. My new thinking is that perhaps they were sold, not to Jones, but to one of the refinery contractors and then operated, on their behalf, by D J Jones. Are there any LT experts out there who know of any such batch of ten going to a contractor around 1958-59 for use in West Wales please?

Les Dickinson

23/06/16 – 06:16

Since my previous posting on the subject of 10 green AEC half-cab Regals being operated by D J Jones (Crymych) in connection with the construction of oil-refineries at Milford Haven I have learned that no less than 199 10T10s were sold to W. North of Leeds between 1953 and April 1957. It is possible that ten of these were the ones for which I search. It is not clear whether Mr Jones owned them, leased them or perhaps merely operated them on behalf of one of the contractors involved. Does anyone know the details of the disposal of these vehicles by W North please.

Les Dickinson


Nottingham City Transport – Autofare

Does anybody have records of the dates that NCT introduced the Autofare system on to their services. Initial OMO conversions used manual Ultimate machines, and I believe that Autofare was first used on the 36, 37 & 41 group of services in November 1972. Thanks in anticipation.

Andy Johnson

18/08/15 – 06:14

The first use of Autofare by Nottingham City Transport was on service 58 for a trial period starting on 4 July 1972. On conclusion of the trial service 58 reverted to ‘Ultimate’ operation.
The first permanent conversion to Autofare was on 8 October 1972 on services 36/37/41.
Subsequent conversions to Autofare were:
1 April 1973 – Services 4/4A, 5/5A,19, 63.
22 April 1973 – Services 3,58,59.
20 May 1973 – Services 2,6,17,18,28,49,64.
24 June 1973 – Services 25,25A,25B,31,50.
29 July 1973 – Services 10,20,52,57,69,73.
23 September 1973 – Services 11,12,14,21,24.
14 October 1973 – Services 8,9,26,45,54,65.
The first conversion direct to Autofare from crew operation occurred from 4 March 1973 at Bilborough Depot on services 13,16,16A,30,32,53,56,60,62,74.

Michael Elliott


Medway Town Buses 1940/1950s

Can anyone please help me with the destination, numbers and/or letters of the old Chatham & District (Traction) and the old Maidstone & District buses during the 1940s and the 1950s? I used to live in the Medway Town and frequently used these buses but can’t for the life of me remember their details.

Ken Measures

08/07/15 – 05:45

Further to Ken Measures’ request for information on Chatham & District/Maidstone and District. You may like to look at this website.

Stephen Howarth


Skegness, Lawn Motor Park

Does anyone know where in Skegness Lawn Motor Park was located?
Trent used it as a terminus for their X3 service from Nottingham, who else used it and to whom did it belong?

Chris Barker

30/07/15 – 06:19

It’s been a long time, so may be wrong, but I think Sheffield United Tours dropped us there on our Skeggie hols and remember it being near the bottom of Lumley Road which ran inland from the Clock Tower.

Les Dickinson

30/07/15 – 06:20

Midland Red’s route K from Leicester to Skegness and Mablethorpe via Grantham and Boston used the Lawn Motor Park, and according to my timetable it was on Lumley Road.

Stephen Ford

30/07/15 – 06:21

Can’t help with the services but there is a car park called The Lawn, the 1966 OS map on shows it about double the current size.

John Lomas

31/07/15 – 06:35

Gents, thanks for the information. I think the site on Beresford Avenue, off Lumley Road was most likely the location. When Skegness Bus Station was moved from Drummond Road to form an interchange adjacent to the railway station, a coach park was included which probably superseded Lawn Motor Park, although much smaller. However, the number of coaches visiting Skegness in recent years has obviously declined dramatically.

Chris Barker


Boddys Dennis Lancets

Does anyone have any information (or even photos) on the Dennis Lancets operated by Boddys, they were HE 5984, HE 6177, WN 8307 & BPT 783. I always understood that the last two were rebodied with the 1948 Burlingham bodies from the Regals FWF 87/8 in 1/52. The Regals then returned to service with new Plaxton bodies in 4/52. This information is not supported by the recent PSVC publication on Burlinghams. Any comments would be interesting

Mike Pearson

25/07/15 – 06:12

According to an earlier PSVC publication, Yorkshire TA Coach Operators, of Jan 1971,
HE 5984 was Taylor bodied, ex Yorkshire Traction 440
HE 6177 was unknown B31C, ex Tracky 441
WN 8307 was Beadle bodied, ex United Welsh via War Dept
BPT 783 was Duple bodied ex Featonby & Taylor, Haswell.
There is no reference to any being rebodied.
FWF 87 is stated to be rebodied by Plaxton while FWF 88 may have been rebuilt as KBT 802.
There is no suggestion of FWF 87/8s bodies being reused but clearly Boddy was reusing bodies at the time.
Not sure this adds very much as an answer to the question, but it might trigger some other responses.

John Carr


London General – B-type.

I am surprised there is no page for AEC B-type buses of London General.
An open topped double decker with 18 seats over 16 with outside stairs, built as an improvement on the AEC K-type design, between 1910-1914 with a further 250 built in 1919. 26 were built for South Wales but how many were built in total and how many to the provinces? Were there any single deck versions? Is there a production list somewhere?

Ron Mesure

11/11/15 – 16:22


Ron, There is a very simple reason why no views of many types of bus and/or operator don’t appear, and it is that nobody out there has yet submitted any for publication. Yes, it surprised me that some types and/or operators don’t yet appear in that magical column on the left. I’m working through my own collection of slides and digital views, dredging up several rarities so far, and I have two views of the B type as supplied to London General. I have one of them in line for submission to our editor for his consideration in a little while – unless, of course, someone else gets in first! The other is attached: LN 4743 in the IWM at Lambeth.

Pete Davies

11/11/15 – 16:23

Hi Ron. I recommend a brilliant book which gives a wealth of detail of the LGOC fleets up to the 1929 era, together with details of the Independants and London "Pirate" fleets. It would answer all your questions I feel sure! Capital Transport,s "The Battles of The General" by Ken Glazier.
An excellent read!

John Whitaker

12/11/15 – 07:13

If memory serves, some 3500 B-Types were built, of which only about 30 were single-deckers. This was an early example of mass-production, along with the Model T Ford. Some 900 were commandeered by the War Office and used in France for transporting troops and some were used as pigeon lofts! The single-deckers were also commandeered and only about 3 ever came back! In 1920, LGOC built 849 of the S Class, of which 79 were single deckers.

Chris Hebbron


Bloomfield Bus Service

I wonder if anyone recalls a bus company, Bloomfield, who ran a service between Nottingham and Arnold, possibly in the 50s or 60s. My husband has a photo of one of their buses, but can’t seem to find out any information about them. Here’s hoping.

Lindley Hearson

16/10/15 – 05:55

Interesting. I don’t remember this operation at all. Any clues? What is the bus on the photo? Any idea what route it took – Nottingham to Arnold was well served by several Nottingham City Transport routes, and there was also the weird Trent 67 that reached Arnold via Colwick, Netherfield and Gedling, taking longer than NCT, and with various restrictions on carryings within the NCT protection zone.

Stephen Ford

18/10/15 – 09:44

I enjoy a bit of detective work when I read questions like this – even if I don’t know an answer it is interesting to have a ponder!
Unfortunately when we are unable to examine a photograph it doesn’t give many clues. I understand that photo copyright is an issue but is it possible that Lindley might be able to ‘privately’ email the photo to our Administrator so that he may vet it to see if there is a copyright problem and post the photo on the site if a copyright problem does not exist?
If the photo is a family snapshot then presumably the copyright issue would not be as complex.
I never like to think that we are beaten by a query and at least one of the regular contributors to this site might be able to add something of interest or resolve a puzzle.

David Slater

18/10/15 – 16:25

I’m not exactly an expert on the Nottingham area, but a brief Google search revealed that both Barton and J. Bloomfield ran similar services between Nottingham and Arnold by the late 1920’s. Nottingham C.T. then commenced a competing service in September 1929 and as a consequence Barton withdrew on 3 November 1929, and Bloomfield sold out to NCT. Reference to the fleet history in the book ‘Nottingham City Transport’ by F.P. Groves (TPC, 1978) shows three 1929 Minerva / B26F buses – RR 9981, VO 390 and VO 1218 – were taken over but not used, but the main text otherwise makes no mention of the takeover. So it seems we are talking about an earlier period than was originally mentioned. I hope this may be of some help.

John Stringer

23/10/15 – 06:31

Thank you to John Stringer, David Slater and Stephen Ford for their replies to my query. The photo is quite tiny, so may be difficult to scan, and, therefore, it’s difficult to put an age on it, but Stephen’s helpful comments may mean that it dates back to the 1920s or 1930s, not the era we thought it originated from. It’s quite likely that the firm was taken over by NCT. I’m grateful for your interest.

Lindley Hearson


Newton-on-Trent Coach Operator

There used to be until a few years ago a coach operator in the Lincolnshire village of Newton on Trent could anybody tell me the name of the operator.

Geoff Claton

03/10/15 – 03:53

I suspect that the Newton-on-Trent operator may have been "Clipson’s".
I have them on my photo database as a former owner of Bedford YRQ/Plaxton NFW 574P that ended up with Malta Bus Service as Y-0790, later FBY 790.

Dave Farrier

04/03/16 – 06:43

The operator was indeed Clipson’s Coaches, based just out of the village towards Dunham Bridge. They operated a once weekly market service to Newark until at least 1985, starting at Newton then serving small villages north of Collingham. The journey took an enormous length of time as each regular was carefully looked after. The coach was well turned out in two shades of green and cream. At one time, Lincolnshire Road Car also ran a similar market service through some of the villages (route 43). From Dunham, a mile away across the Trent, Brumptons ran a Market service to Newark with coaches in two shades of red and cream. This ultimately passed to Gash of Newark, and thence became the first route for Marshalls of Sutton on Trent, now a well established operator across the area. Much of Clipsons route is absorbed into a regular service by TravelWright of Newark, another long established and well respected independent.

Andy Buckland


Catterick Camp Coaches

By any chance would anyone know who was the coach company who used to run coaches from Catterick Camp around the North & Midlands at weekends in the mid Sixties?
Would you also know what type of coaches they ran.
[This is part of research for a family album/book]

Sandy Lloyd

16/09/15 – 06:29

The principle operators connected with leave specials were Sunters and Percivals of Reeth, who were related. Details of vehicles operated can be found here:

David Hick


1950s Cardiff Double Decker

I remember double deckers with a staircase front and back descending next to the driver cab. Everyone says they do not believe me, but we used to play avoid the conductor by running up one stair and down the other!
Can anyone confirm this? it was about 1955, when I was 7

Anne Litten

09/09/15 – 07:20

Anne’s memory is perfectly correct, at least with regard to the trolleybuses. The original idea was that the conductor remained seated by the rear entrance whilst everyone boarded, with passengers alighting from the front. It didn’t catch on – I think one of the reasons was that it relied on a flat fare and it was difficult to increase the flat fare without running the risk that everyone would want change!
There’s a photo inside one of these at:
The comments below the photo also include a link to an upper deck photograph.

David Beilby

10/09/15 – 07:18

Thanks David: I was intrigued by this question and found a history of Cardiff buses by Mike Street online.
The motor buses of this era seemed an ordinary post-war pick and mix of virtually everyone- and not big enough for two staircases, but the twin axle trolleys looked splendid, even if, he admits, rather neglected, body-wise. These had a front exit door as David describes but later sealed up, Mike Street says. The stairs do look like the sort you descend using mainly hands and rails- like an old attic- was this later removed or did you find yourself descending to the wrong end of the bus?!


11/09/15 – 05:31

Click on the link below. In the middle of the first video you can see one of the dual doorway trolleybuses in the cream livery. The second video shows the trolleybus system at about the same time, but no shots of the twin staircase vehicles, unfortunately.

Roger Cox

15/09/15 – 06:43

The Yellow trolleybus with a front exit referred to is a Bournemouth vehicle surely. Possibly working as a demonstrator for some reason.

Tony Gallimore


AEC 535

Many years ago I lived on the Hollythorpe Rise/Graves Park routes 35/34 and many times rode on an AEC Regent III bus. I remember one I think number 535 which sounded very different from the others. It did not have the very distinctive sound which others had , including NCB, Craven and Roberts bodied buses. Instead it sounded as if its exhaust had broken or as though it had been fitted with a straight through exhaust as many cars had. I have looked for a long time on your pages to see if anyone else mentioned it. Please can anyone put me out of my misery and satisfy my enduring curiosity.

Michael Barber

02/09/15 – 07:13

For the benefit of the uninitiated, Hollythorpe Rise and Graves Park are in Sheffield, and Regent III 535 was 0961/Weymann, new 1947.
From the description, it does seem likely that the vehicle was indeed fitted with a ‘straight-through’ exhaust.

David Call


Leeds Bus Route – Carr Manor Road to City Centre in 1968

Would anyone know which bus travelled from Carr Manor Road to City Centre in 1968

David Saffer

10/08/15 – 16:06

Hi David,
I’m sure the bus route you ask about was the 70 from Leeds Central Bus Station to Primley Park. It ran from Scott Hall Road, left onto Stainbeck Lane, right up Stainbeck Road then first left into Carr Manor Road and Avenue to King Lane. I used to use this route from King Lane in the early 1960s and remember when it was diverted this way round in 1962. Prior to that it followed the 69 all the way up Scott Hall Road to King Lane.

Paul Haywood


Yorkshire Traction Fleet List

Does anyone know of a BET YTC fleet list anywhere: must make fascinating reading. Don’t think Peter Gould ever ventured this far…


05/03/15 – 16:04

An interesting question, Joe. I don’t KNOW of one, but I’d have a guess at either PSVC for a complete listing or the old Ian Allan Books (for the fleet current in any particular year). Again, IA did some individual company ones – Crosville and Ribble for example – so it’s possible. Another thought: is there something that might be classed as the local equivalent of the Southdown Enthusiast Club, who might at least be able to point you in the right direction?

Pete Davies

05/03/15 – 16:04

The PSV Circle produced a two-part fleet history of Yorkshire Traction a number of years ago. They are numbered PB20 covering 1902 to 1960, and PB21 covering 1961 to 1984 and also County Motors and Mexborough & Swinton. I don’t know if they are still available though.

John Stringer

06/03/15 – 06:36

Jim Sykes was the author of a company history in the late 1970’s. Not only was this a good photographic record it also incorporated a comprehensive fleetlist that included vehicles absorbed from fleets taken over during the years.

Andrew Charles

12/03/15 – 07:20

Further to Andrew’s comment, there’s a used Jim Sykes book on YTC on Amazon which may be of interest.

John Darwent


George Ewer N16

In 1979 the Ewer group bought batches of vehicles with YYL-T and CYH-V registrations between 768-801, but I could never find details for 792, I think it could have been a shortened Ford vehicle. Does anyone have any details for this so I can finally fill in the gap.

Ron Mesure

01/03/15 – 16:25

There never was a YYL 792T/CYH 792V in the George Ewer fleets!
Due to late delivery the Bedford YMT/Duple that was originally intended to be YYL 792T was not taken into stock but instead sold by the dealer Burrells of Ipswich, a Ewer Group company.
The same thing had happened the year before when the vehicles intended to be XYK 744/750T were also sold by Burrells without entering the Ewer Group fleets although both those vehicles had actually been registered in advance.
XYK 744T was sold to Bracewell, Clayton-le-Moors following its registration in March 1979
XYK 750T was sold to Dawlish Coaches, Devon following its registration in March 1979.
I hope this clears up the mystery!

John Card

14/03/15 – 12:46

My thanks to John C for the information on Grey Green vehicles, much appreciated.

Ron Mesure

21/03/15 – 15:42

Could I suggest that ‘792’ may have become BAA 411V of Coombe Valley Coaches (Chalk), of Coombe Bissett, Wiltshire? The body number follows on from those of CYH/YYL 786-791T/V, and precedes those of YYL 776/7T. Here’s a shot. On the left is FNL 576L, YRQ/Plaxton, new 1973 to Moor-Dale of Newcastle. BAA 411V was sold when Coombe Valley Coaches closed down in 1989, and was later with Wilts & Dorset (6022).

David Call


Midland General. Ripley to Eastwood

Dear ‘Old Bus Photos’ people,
I hope you can help me.
I am taking part in a ‘Storyworks’ workshop for the W.I. – we are collecting memories of W.I. members and turning them into digital stories. As part of one of these stories I need to find out the approximate cost of a child’s single bus fare from Ripley, Derbyshire, to Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, in 1953-4. I know this isn’t really your thing, but your members seemed so knowledgeable and helpful when I looked at your site that I thought perhaps one of them may have some idea about this.
I know the bus was a Blue Midland General, route B1, that went from Ripley to Nottingham via Codnor, Langley Mill (past the bus garage), Eastwood, Kimberley, etc. to Nottingham Mount Street, and returned along the same route. I think Ripley to Eastwood was about 8 miles by bus.

Chris Webster

28/02/15 – 05:58

Difficult one! Let me venture a guess at a child fare of about 5d or 6d, and then explain my working. According to AA route planner, the distance by the normal route is 6.6 miles. The journey was 27 minutes on a B1. Until 1953 you could also go by an A1 trolleybus. In addition, once an hour, you could go by the A4 limited stop service which only observed 5 stops between Ripley and Eastwood (Codnor, Crosshill, Loscoe, Heanor and Langley Mill) and therefore covered the same ground in 19 minutes. The only fares reference I have for roughly that era is Western National (Cornwall area) for Summer 1957 – 3 or 4 years later, but fares didn’t go up as regularly or as much in those days. A similar journey was Penzance to Lelant on the St Ives route 17. This is 6.7 miles, took 29 minutes, and the fare was 1/3d. Now, my parents (from Nottingham) always regarded Western National as an expensive company, and my own recollection of Midland General fares is that they were fairly reasonable – a bit cheaper than Bartons for example, though not as cheap as South Notts. So, bearing in mind that we are only talking of pennies, and possibly a couple of fare increases from 1954 to 57, I would hazard a guess of a 10d or 11d adult fare in 1953-54. But maybe there’s an ex-MGO conductor out there who can tell us differently !

Stephen Ford

28/02/15 – 12:24

Stephen, Thank you so much, that sounds about right and is very helpful, thank you.

Chris Webster

28/02/15 – 13:12

Just a quick rider to that – don’t forget that in those days the Nottingham buses started from Beighton Street, not Ripley Market Place as per the present day Rainbow 1.

Stephen Ford

28/02/15 – 17:41

Interesting discussion. I have spoken to a friend who grew up in Langley Mill in the 50s/60s and has even now returned to live in the area. He is of the opinion that 6d would have been about right, but cannot be more specific than that.
At that time I lived in the South Notts area and their fares were terrific value, but don’t we all have fond memories of the other blue fleet in the Nottingham bus scene, MGO/NDT whose vehicles always had a certain dignity. Nice to see them getting some public attention again.

Rob Hancock


A ‘Greyhound’ Coach?

I have a photograph which I bought many years ago of a coach which bears an image of a greyhound on the side, the registration is BWB 202 which was issued in 1935/36 but the very smart bodywork is post war, full front and looks to be Strachans. The location could be Midland Road, St. Pancras and there appears to be an identical coach behind. The registration and Greyhound logo suggests T. D. Alexander of Sheffield but I’m not convinced, no name is visible and I would like to ask; did Alexanders maintain a smart coach fleet in addition to their contract vehicles?

Chris Barker

24/02/15 – 14:10

Chris, This Leyland TS7c was new to Sheffield in 1935 with a Cravens B32R body. It was sold to Millburn Motors who had it re-bodied by Strachan. Classic Bus 113 has a most interesting article about Greyhound / TD Alexander.

Les Dickinson


MCW Gear Change Problem

A friend of mine owns a MCW bus date of manufacture Mar 84,Chassis no MB7648. Body type MK1. The bus is used for tourism purposes. The problem is that the gears will not engage. It has a push button gear select. I suspect that the problem is in a safety circuit ie doors must be closed etc, but no wiring diagrams are avail. Can you please help in sourcing of technical literature and also maybe if you have met this problem before and you know the fix for it.

Chris Bugeja (Malta)

27/06/15 – 07:53

Chassis MB7648 makes it A712 THV, so it’s a former London Transport bus, meaning it would have the interlock fitted to stop the bus driving with the doors open. The door only needs to be slightly open for it to cut the gears out. Check the microswitches are ok and also the doors are free in operation, and closing to their full extent. Quite often with age the door pivots will become dry and stiff in operation.
If you are sure all is well with the doors, make sure there is oil in the gearbox. You need to check the oil via the dipstick (underneath the floor hatch, by the emergency door), with the engine running. Fill it up with it running, then put it in drive for a short while, then in reverse for a while, then re-check and top up as req. If you do find it is empty, check for a leak, the flexible gearbox oil cooler pipes are favourites to leak, especially with age.
Failing all of this, make sure you have an electrical supply to the gear selector button unit. Check that the connector plugs are ok, and there is no corrosion on the connections.
If still no luck, and highly unlikely,- you may have a broken half shaft Best of luck!

Mark Priest


Oldham Corporation Number 67

In 1932 Oldham Corporation Passenger Transport Department bought 5 Leyland TD4 saloons numbered 63 – 67, with registration numbers BU 7102 – 7106. 63 – 66 had B34F bodies by Chas H Roe of Leeds. But 67 (BU 7106) had a B31F body, built by local builder Shearing and Crabtree, who were based at Moorhey Works, Moorhey Street, Oldham, Lancs., and were active from around 1931 to 1936. I was wondering if any contributor on here has a picture of this vehicle. I have tried all the usual paths of investigation, but to no avail.
Here’s hoping.

Stephen Howarth

14/04/15 – 10:32

I can’t find a picture of the Oldham No.67, Stephen, but a bit of information about Shearing & Crabtree may be found here, about two thirds of the way down:-
Incidentally, was this really a TD4 saloon? Peter Gould has this batch down as TS4s, which is what one would expect, though his lists do contain errors, especially where early Tilling-Stevens vehicles are concerned (I am still ploughing on with research for an article on the Maidstone company, through a minefield of contradictions in historical evidence).

Roger Cox

15/04/15 – 06:02

Roger Cox says is Oldham Corporation 67 a TD4?
I have now checked the Oldham fleet list from a number of sources and it would appear that it is a TS4.
Thanks Roger, also for the link to the website but I had already found that.

Stephen Howarth

15/04/15 – 06:03

Bolton 67. BU7106.
Roger Cox appears to be correct, the batch of Leylands 63-67, BU 7102-7106 must have been Tiger TS4s as the Titan TD4 did not emerge until 1935, although it is interesting to note that the chassis numbers of 62-67 Tigers were 918-922, and the Leyland Titan TD2s also delivered to Bolton in 1932 had chassis numbers 910-917 in same sequence.

Ron Mesure


Barton’s route 3C

This question arose on another forum to which I subscribe. Is there anyone out there who knows when Barton’s route 3C (Nottingham – Castle Donington – Melbourne – Swadlincote) was cut back to Melbourne, and then eventually discontinued altogether. Any hints at the service pattern in the latter years would also be appreciated. I have the timetable for 1953 (sad eh!) but the query was specifically about more recent times. Many thanks in anticipation.

Stephen Ford

10/04/15 – 07:30

The February 1968 Barton timetable shows service 3C as Nottingham-Swadlincote. Broadly speaking it was every two hours. Mondays to Saturdays most trips ran end to end with a couple of Nottingham-Melbourne short runs. Certain first and last trips started/ended at Long Eaton. Sunday service lacked the early morning runs which were operated on weekdays.

David Slater

12/04/15 – 07:15

Thanks David – that is actually just about what it was 15 years earlier! I assume there must have come a falling off in patronage that made the Castle Donington – Swadlincote part unviable in later years. I cannot imagine why Nottingham to Swadlincote ever WAS viable. I guess it originally grew by linking a number of sections that served local rural needs, rather than by massive Nottinghamian demand to travel to Swadlincote or vice versa!

Stephen Ford


Sheffield bus crash in Manchester

I’m trying to find a photo of the Sheffield single deck bus which crashed and partly demolished the canopy outside Manchester’s Victoria railway station. Can’t remember the year. Can you advise where to find one please?
I’m a former conductor, then driver for STD, 1963 to ’74 when I transferred to Manchester (SELNEC ugh!) at the Hyde Road depot until 1977.
Thanking you in anticipation of any reply.


30/04/15 – 07:12

There is a photograph of this on page 218 of C. C. Hall’s book "Sheffield Transport". The date is given as May 1937 and the bus no. 183 is a 1935 Leyland TS7 from the C fleet (BWB 183).

Geoff Kerr


Bancroft & Powers

I’d like to post a request to see if anyone has any information about the Bancroft & Powers company that used to operate from the Scotland Estate in Coalville. I’m writing a book about local men who served in the Great War and have detail about Albert Powers but I’m trying to find out who Mr Bancroft was. There are a number of Bancroft families in the area but I’m struggling to identify which one.
Also I’d be interested in any pictures people may have of their coaches. Enclosed is one of the photo’s from the archives of the Historical Society, the link below takes you to the folder with the rest of the archive showing local transport through the years.

Ian Vickers

29/06/15 – 06:45

Bancroft & Powers were also Haulage contractors if I remember correctly they moved mainly bricks and pipes from the local Brick & Pipeworks. The coach side of the business was a result of a sort of merger/join of resources of Bishops coaches and Jaques coaches of Coalville I think in the late 1960,s or early 1970s
Try writing to the local paper Coalville Times or contact Leicester Transport Historic Trust

Steve Sanders

17/08/15 – 08:30

CUT 465

I can help with this. As the previous writer said Bancroft and powers were primarily brick haulers getting into the coach industry in the early 1960s They took over Jacques yard on the Scotlands. Albert Powers was one of the partners and Ron Bancroft was his brother in law. I believe these fine gentlemen to be deceased now. They both lived in Ibstock. I drove part time there when I was a student in the early 1970s. I loved the Bournemouth express runs. Dews coaches still operates a 1944 Bedford OB that was originally Jacques I don’t know if it every belonged to Bancroft and Powers. They were in operation well into the 1980s. Hope this helps.

Wayne Robinson


Junker Double Deck Bus

I often check up on this interesting website but today I’m on it via Google searching for junker buses. Today at Sydney Bus Museum, where I’m a volunteer I was asking about Junkers buses as I had recalled seeing a photo of a junker D/D in a pre WW2 book My father had.
I was a keen bus spotter around 1956 to 1960s in the EK, M&D area. The book and Dad are long gone but I’m sure the bus was a front entrance and was much the style of an AEC Q type.
Was I dreaming?

Garth Wyver

19/06/15 – 06:23

The German firm Junkers produced many opposed-piston two-stroke diesel engines during the inter-war years, some for aircraft and some for road transport, the latter being of horizontal configuration. If you type in "Front Wheel Drive Gilford" into this site’s search engine on the home page, there is some information on these buses. However, I’m not aware that these engines were used extensively in the UK, or of any actual Junkers buses which were used in the UK.

Chris Hebbron


Brown Bridgemaster

Last week I briefly saw a bus on Wedding Hire in Sheffield. It looked like a Bridgemaster, with a type of 1/2 Beverley Bar roof. It was painted in a horrible brown with a white roof, the brown was definitely the wrong colour! It had a Registration Plate of RH & 4 numbers so maybe a 1963-4 I guess. Can anyone shed light on such a vehicle please?

Andy Fisher

05/06/15 – 11:05

It could possibly be 3747 RH owned by The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company Although I can not find any reference to it being ‘Brown’ although it could have been specially painted. In any case even if it isn’t, their website is full of interesting vehicles.

Stephen Howarth

Try this one. The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company is run by the Blackman family.

David Call

06/06/15 – 06:24


This cries out "East Yorkshire" I think – presumably due to their relatively low height the need for the classic pointed "Beverley Bar" (picture, source unknown, roof of earlier days was diluted somewhat and a gentler inward taper of the top deck windows did the trick.

Chris Youhill

06/06/15 – 06:24

Thanks for the info.
Looking on the Yorkshire Heritage Bus site, there appears to be the "brown" bus in deep maroon & white roof.

Andy Fisher

07/06/15 – 06:36

The livery is actually black and ivory (as per the description on the Yorkshire Heritage buses website). It is the livery of Lockeys of St Helens Auckland, which the Blackman family seem to like. The description of one of their buses, that did actually operate for Lockeys, explains this:-
For the other vehicles, it is not an accurate historical representation, and whether you like it is, of course, a matter of taste. I think I would prefer the Bridgemaster in its East Yorkshire dark blue.

Nigel Frampton

07/06/15 – 06:37

I think 3747RH is essentially in the livery of Lockey’s, of St Helen Auckland – for whom it never operated – but the Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company do have Regent V PFN858 (new to East Kent) which ran for Lockey’s for several years. Even PFN858, however, carried OK Motor Services colours after Lockey’s – but Lockey’s were a popular operator, with a distinctive livery, so it’s not surprising that people want to perpetuate it.

David Call

19/06/15 – 06:21

I cannot assist with identifying the Bridgemaster, but mention of PFN 858 reminded me we used it as transport for our wedding guests in 2010, it ran superbly apparently. I ordered it as a special treat for one of the lads, who used to know it as his school bus when he lived near Bishop Auckland, and it was operating for Lockeys. He was most impressed and keeps mentioning it even to this day

Tim Jackson


Oldham Bus Route

Not really a bus person, more a train man.
But hopefully someone can help me with a Q about an Oldham bus route. The bus that went down Featherstall road in the 70’s I think was 21 but what was it before that? I remember my parents talking of the A B C and D buses.
Help an old Oldhamer living on the other side of the world.

Gerry Clough

15/05/15 – 06:39

The bus service that ran on Featherstall Road was latterly the 20, running from Hollinwood to Shaw. Before that (i.e. until 1st April 1968) it had been the 8, a number inherited from the tram service it replaced. This was Oldham’s penultimate tram route and abandoned early in World War II, despite general restrictions on such abandonments, because the track was in such bad condition and also the replacement buses had already arrived.
Oldham’s lettered routes were originally the bus routes, but as tramway abandonment progressed the replacement buses often took the tram service number, rather than letters.
The old 8 service doesn’t exist at all any more. It used to be busy in the peaks as it served a lot of major employment sites such as Ferranti, Platt Brothers and rather a lot of cotton mills. Such mass employment has disappeared as you are no doubt well aware.

David Beilby

15/05/15 – 06:39

On 1st April 1968 Oldham replaced all their route letters for numbers. The B service became the 21.

Stephen Howarth

If you click on the Oldham link on the left hand side of the home page the second thread down the page shows a bus with an "A" service showing where others have a number.

John Lomas


Salford City Green

Please can anyone tell me what shade of green Salford City buses were? (Circa 1960). I have a EFE model with a grey roof that I want to repaint green to match the rest of the bus.
Do you know of a near enough match with eg. Humbrol, Railmatch etc.

Phil Sandiford

21/05/15 – 16:52

Wish I could help with a colour code, but sadly not. However, you have reminded me that in 1968, I bought a Triumph Herald, reg 5257 N, from an SCT mechanic which he had crashed/repaired and had had it resprayed by his brother, who worked in the body shop, in the famous dark green colour. Can I claim to have had the smallest vehicle, ever, in SCT’s unique livery ?

Stuart C

23/05/15 – 15:19

I’m not sure that a Triumph Herald would qualify as the smallest vehicle in Salford Green. The colour was used on just about everything that the corporation owned that moved. Even ambulances were Salford Green though fire engines appear to have escaped the ignominy. Dustcarts, highway service vehicles et al were that colour including small vans.

Orla Nutting

25/06/15 – 06:42

As EFE buses are painted in gloss finish, I expect Humbrol No.3 Brunswick Green is the closest one they do. Whether it is an exact match for Salford Green I cant say, I’ve only ever seen colour photos of the livery. and you can download their colour chart in PDF form, and see all the colours.

Mark Priest

27/06/15 – 06:36

I’d agree that Humbrol Brunswick Green seems to be about the nearest "off the shelf" shade of green. I have commented before about the problems of matching the paint used on the real thing with that used on models, but I’ll repeat the story here for the benefit of anyone who has not seen my earlier thoughts.
Incidentally, very few buses seem to keep their freshly-painted look for long, with panels being repaired or replaced at fairly regular intervals. Multiple shades of what is supposed to be the same colour appear fairly soon, on the one vehicle. True, those dreadful NBC shades didn’t help. Was the paint from the "El Cheapo" factory?
When we try to compare the colour of the model against the real thing, I know of two people who took home tins of paint bought from the operators’ workshops for use on models they were building, in different scales. Both were told that it didn’t look right. "You’ve done a good job of trying to match, but it isn’t right," was typical of the comments. The crunch comes when the tin is paraded before the doubters along with the reply, "From the company workshop, old chap!"

Pete Davies

28/06/15 – 05:48

Apart from the problems of matching the exact shade from commercially available sources and that of fading on the real life vehicles, there is another problem – dirt. All road vehicles rapidly attract dust, grime, stains and other marks, especially in joints and indentations. None of the model manufacturers produce anything other than ex-works finishes and to add realism in the form of wear and tear to these in a way that both looks realistic and works with the paint already on the model is very difficult. Scratch builders may have an easier time but, again, the scratch built models I’ve seen are generally finished as ex-works examples. Interestingly in aircraft modelling it has become the norm to "weather" military aircraft, especially with larger scales but airliner models always seem to be built and finished as if they had just been painted yet any casual observation of an airliner that has flown for more than a few weeks will show grime, stains and other marks, long before any fading.

Phil Blinkhorn


First Female Bus Driver From Portsmouth

My mother worked for Southdowns buses, just wondering if anyone could help me find the news arrival about my mother Barbara Nicholson who was the first female bus driver from Portsmouth.

Selina Nicholson