Birmingham City – Leyland Tiger – JOJ 245 – 2245

Birmingham City - Leyland Tiger - JOJ 245 - 2245

Birmingham City Transport
Leyland Tiger PS2
Weymann B34F

This superb combination of Leyland Tiger and classic Weymann single-deck body is further enhanced by the application of Birmingham City livery. 2245 is well-maintained by the Transport Museum, Wythall. Chassis number is 495582, body number M4624 and seating is B34F.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


Southdown – Leyland Titan – 415 DCD – 415

Southdown - Leyland Titan - 415 DCD - 415

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
Leyland Titan PD3/4
Northern Counties FCO39/30F

This Titan PD3/4 in the Southdown fleet is seen in somewhat strange surroundings. She is adjacent to a public park outside Dock Gate 4 in Southampton on 23 August 1982 while on hire to Southampton City Transport on park and ride duty in connection with the Tall Ships Races. Portsmouth and Thamesdown loaned buses for the event – I saw some of the Portsmouths but none of the Thamesdowns. My apologies to those of our number who cannot abide the NBC green . . . She has Southdown’s normal Northern Counties body of (in this case) FCO69F layout. She dates from 1964.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

29/06/15 – 06:55

Like many, I prefer buses with half cabs, but I quite liked the Southdown ‘Queen Mary’ Titans in their original form and I think that this one may have curved windows at the front which really didn’t go with the overall design. I also hated National green.

David Wragg

29/06/15 – 10:24

Thank you, David. I, for one, have never quite understood how a full front could possibly help with cooling the engine (and/or the cab!) Now, it could be achieved quite easily with a half cab. Still, design is what matters, rather than fitness for purpose. There are schools in Southampton which won design awards, but the roofs leak like sieves!

Pete Davies

30/06/15 – 06:43

At least this NBC Green is fresh, with a gloss. Probably done specially for the occasion! Three weeks hence and it would be faded and matt finish!
Of course, I exaggerate, but only slightly!
Nice to see a three-quarter rear view of a Queen Mary.

Chris Hebbron

30/06/15 – 09:53

This is an interesting question Pete. Forward control "Queen Mary" lorries became almost universal in this country but I suppose the driver tended to be over rather than alongside the engine. Nevertheless smaller goods vehicles had the engine in the cab. Was it also a question of designing buses for looks- with poor insulation and airflows? On the other hand, half-cabs gave better access and better visibility, especially on the kerbside- allowing for some tin-fronts, but at the cost of looks and municipal pride. Then we got Wulfrunians, Ailsas and a whole lot of rear engines… problem solved?


30/06/15 – 09:55

Thank you, Chris. There were two of these in overall advertising livery, "Maritime Britain" which are too dreadful for publication, as well as some of the early ‘flat front’ VR members of the fleet. I have one in mind for a future offer.

Pete Davies

01/07/15 – 06:29

There are hundreds of photos of the iconic Southdown Northern Counties/Leyland Titan PD3/4 showing the front near quarter but not so many of the rear end. At first glance I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a Bristol VR top half or a Bristol FLF bottom half. I was never a fan of the NBC livery or the fact that so many interesting liveries were lost, if only we all had digital cameras in those days.

Ron Mesure

02/07/15 – 05:56

There’s an old saying -"An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance". By the early 1960s in the psv world, the ‘modern look’ was enshrined in the likes of the Atlantean, Fleetline and Wulfrunian, none of which remotely rivalled the traditional front engined chassis in terms of reliability or cost effectiveness. Southdown, amongst others, sought to achieve the best of both worlds by fitting full fronted bodywork to front engined machinery, progressively pursuing this policy to the bitter end with curved glass and panoramic windows. The public, it was thought, would be taken in by appearances. It was the adoption of one person operation for double deckers that finally knocked this philosophy on the head. I agree that the best of the Southdown PD3 "Queen Marys" (there is a school of thought that vociferously refutes this nickname, but it was widely used nonetheless) were the original flat screen versions. The desperate later efforts with curvy glass and panoramic side windows looked like creatures from the Heath Robinson Design Bureau to my eye, akin to fitting wide tyres, twin headlamps, bonnet airscoops and a rear spoiler to a Reliant Robin.

Roger Cox

02/07/15 – 08:35

Well said, Mr Cox!!!

Pete Davies


Midland Red – BMMO S15 – 5056 HA – 5056

Midland Red - BMMO S15 - 5056 HA - 5056

Midland Red (Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Co)

This was one of the second batch of S15s. Broadly similar to the S14 bus, these were designed as dual-purpose vehicles and featured bucket-seats and double rear wheels as well as, on this second batch, some chrome trim. Circa 1969 the batch was relegated to bus work after being repainted into the standard bus livery. While dual-purpose they had black roofs. In this shot 5056 is seen at the Black Country Living Museum in September 2014.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

25/06/15 – 06:46

I recall 5048 HA (allocated, I think, to Coalville depot) as a regular performer on the Birmingham – Nottingham route X99 in the 1960s. Those bucket seats were pretty comfortable.

Stephen Ford

25/06/15 – 13:34

There’s something in the ‘copy’ which intrigues me, Les, and thanks for posting. There is mention of double rear wheels as if this is something of an innovation. Given the company’s leadership in so many aspects of bus design and operation, were these really the first Midland Reds to have twin wheels at the rear?

Pete Davies

26/06/15 – 05:22

Peter, As I understand it, most of the S14 class were fitted with single rear wheels as part of a desire to produce a light-weight vehicle. Unladen weight was not much over five tons according to M.W. Greenwood’s excellent book – ‘Midland Red Buses’. The S15 was a further development of the class but with modifications, including twin rears, to produce a dual-purpose vehicle.

Les Dickinson

26/06/15 – 05:23

I am no expert on Midland Red, but I suspect that the S14 had single rear wheels as an experiment. Both AEC and Leyland tried this with their underfloor-engined buses, but found that road holding suffered.

David Wragg

26/06/15 – 05:24

I think what Les meant to convey was the fact that the previous S14, built to a lightweight design, had single rear wheels.

Nigel Edwards

27/06/15 – 06:42

Nigel is quite correct regarding single rear wheels on the S14. Although I drove S15s in service (5050, 5055 and 5073 (now preserved)), I never had chance to drive an S14 so I can’t comment on their road holding.

Larry B

27/06/15 – 06:43

Thank you for filling this gap in my knowledge of Midland Red.

Pete Davies

28/06/15 – 05:54

There are 2 S15 in preservation but this one is the only one with original DP seats. It has also been retro-fitted with the 10.5 litre engine. The driving position is not comfortable and requires some getting used to given a tight cab and upright pedals. I sold it after getting a left knee problem and so did the previous owner for the same reason. It is really fast on the road and my claim to fame is 2hrs 40mins from Gateshead to Digbeth some 4 years ago after a Bus Rally.

Roger Burdett


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 2nd July 2015