Ribble Motor Services
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Weymann "Orion" L39/33F
Ribble bought a hundred early Atlanteans with MCW "Orion" bodywork in 1959/60, seventy highbridge and thirty lowbridge. These were followed by a reversion to the Titan model, with ninety five PD3/5’s with Metro-Camell "Orion" fully fronted bodies in 1961/2. These were followed by fourteen lowbridge Atlanteans, including this one, which proved to be the last PDR1/1 to enter the fleet. Subsequently Titans and Lowlanders were bought, followed by fully lowheight PDR1/2 Atlanteans. It was generally thought that Ribble preferred the Titan but used Atlanteans for lowbridge/lowheight vehicles.
The original version of the Atlantean Chassis had a dropped-centre front axle, and a "normal" rear axle. This meant that the lowheight body could be built with "normal" seating at the front, but at the rear a side gangway arrangement was necessary. The last four rows of seats were thus on a raised platform, in four passenger benches, but with the gangway on the nearside – the opposite side from the conventional lowbridge double-decker. This photo was taken in the twilight years of the bus, which is wearing the NBC poppy red livery rather than the traditional cherry red livery used by Ribble for so many years. Despite it’s age it was being one-man-operated on an extremely long journey.
1807 is seen here passing through Troutbeck Bridge on the almost legendary service 555, heading from Keswick to Lancaster. This lengthy route still runs, still operated by double-deckers, passing through the Lake District – surely one of England’s most scenic bus routes.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown
05/03/15 – 07:13
Very nice, Don. Thanks for posting. This route used to be the 68 when I first took an interest in buses [in my secondary school days in Lancaster] – I’m not sure when it was renumbered to 555.
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/2
Nice body – pity about the chassis! Neepsend produced a striking looking body (ok, I know – it was an East Lancs design) for the 20 buses delivered in 1964/5 plus a further 20 in 1966. I rather preferred this first batch with the red upholstery and red wheel centres. They also combined sliding windows and rotovents in the top deck. They were regular performers on the cross city 82 service. 348 of this batch had ducted air saloon heating as a trial, later to become almost universal, as opposed to the underseat heaters of the remainder of the batch. The bus is in Fargate, Sheffield, nowadays pedestrianised but many of the buildings are still there.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild
02/03/15 – 07:32
Did Sheffield Corporation specify the PDR1/2 chassis in order to provide more headroom on both decks, in the same manner as the Nottingham Renowns? It’s difficult to tell from the photograph but this vehicle doesn’t look to be low height.
04/03/15 – 15:45
These were 14ft 3in if memory serves me right. They were designed to fit under a low bridge at Darfield on the 70 to Upton. There were special instructions in the Drivers Handbook about both batches.
04/03/15 – 15:45
Manchester Corporation had 132 of the PDR1/2 model. At the time it was thought that this was for reasons of standardisation, in that the gearbox was the same as on the many Fleetlines in the fleet. These vehicles had Metro-Cammell "Orion" bodies to an intermediate height of 14 feet and half an inch. They sounded very different from PDR1/1 Atlanteans, the gearbox whine being very prominent.
05/03/15 – 07:11
It seems a bit unlikely that Sheffield would have bought 40 A fleet buses to a special reduced height for a B service requiring perhaps two buses. I suspect that it was coincidental that they happened to fit under the bridge on route 70 but maybe a Sheffield expert can confirm this.
Potteries Motor Traction
AEC Reliance 2U3RA
Potteries C989 registration 4989 VT was an AEC Reliance 2U3RA with a Duple Commander I body delivered in early 1964. One of it’s early duties was an appearance at that years Brighton coach rally where it won the Coach of the Year trophy with favourable comments from the judges on both the interior and exterior designs which is understandable when viewing the simple but elegant lines with the attractive livery applied in a layout that follows the lines of the coachwork, a feature sadly missing on many of todays vehicles.
The photo was taken outside Southdown’s Royal Parade garage in the summer of 1964 when on an extended tour.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave
26/02/15 – 06:20
I remember them well! These six coaches C986-991 were the backbone of the extended tours fleet. They could be relied on to complete the tour without difficulty, rather more than can be said for the six Roadliner coaches. Their only vice was a tendency to overheat when driven for long periods in 6th gear. For one of these fine Reliances in a bit of trouble, see my posting in the Galleries headed A Potteries Motor Traction Coach in a spot of bother
26/02/15 – 15:16
By the winter of 1965/66 they were regulars on the X2 from the Potteries to Manchester – I used to get the afternoon departure after a round trip from Manchester to Leek (via NWRCC’s X1 – usually a "VDB" Y-type) and then visits to Berresfords at Cheddleton and Hanley town centre. I guess that PMT didn’t do much in the way of extended tours in the winter.
04/03/15 – 15:42
I have been driving buses for about 45years and have never driven a vehicle so superb as these AEC Duple Commander’s. The finest coach I have ever driven.