Charlton-on-Otmoor Services – Leyland TD – FKO 223 – 293

Charlton-on-Otmoor Services - Leyland TD - FKO 223 - 293

Charlton-on-Otmoor Services
1939
Leyland TD5
Weymann H28/26R

Not one of my best pictures, I fear, but the Comet S camera did not cope well with action shots. Seen on its way out of Oxford in 1960 is FKO 223, a Leyland TD5 with Weymann H28/26R bodywork. This bus was delivered in 1939 to Chatham & District where it operated as No. 293 until 1942 when it then passed to parent company Maidstone & District as DH365. It was bought by Charlton-on-Otmoor Services in November 1955. It is thought that this bus still remains in existence, but information about its present status is scanty.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/11/19 – 10:41

What a beauty! Had sadly left Charlton-on-Otmoor services by the time I came to Oxford in 1971. Intrigued to hear that it may have survived!

Ian Thompson

 

Aldershot & District – Dennis Lancet – LAA 228 – 193

LAA 228

Aldershot & District Traction Co
1953
Dennis Lancet III J10C
Strachan FC38R

In 1948, Aldershot & District took delivery of fifteen Dennis Lancet J3 coaches with Strachans C32R bodies. These replaced the externally very similar Lancet II/Strachans C32R vehicles of 1937-38, the main difference being the longer bonnet of the Lancet III which housed the 7.58 litre O6 in place of the 6.5 litre O4 in the pre war model. These post war machines were very fine coaches giving a high standard of refinement. The 24 valve, wet liner, O6 engine was probably the smoothest running diesel engine of all time, and, coupled with the Dennis ‘O’ type five speed gearbox, it was capable of excellent performance on the road. However, by the early 1950s, the traditional half cab, heavy duty, front engined coach was regarded as passé in major fleets, having been supplanted by the fashionably new underfloor engined machine. Even small independents had begun taking the superficially more modern Bedford SB. In 1950, Aldershot & District bought one of the only two Dennis Dominants ever completed (a third was constructed in chassis form only and subsequently dismantled), but had been obliged to look elsewhere for an underfloor engined chassis when Dennis decided not to produce that model in quantity. In 1953, wishing to upgrade its image, but still undecided about the underfloor configuration, Aldershot & District tried out a number of underfloor engined machines from a variety of manufacturers – Guy (Arab LUF), Atkinson (PM 744 & 745), Leyland (Tiger Cub) and Dennis (Lancet UF). Surprisingly, in view of later developments, AEC was not represented in these trials. The story of the Aldershot and District demonstrators may be found at this link.
Instead the company sought to update the coach fleet with 15 full fronted examples of the 30 feet long and 8 feet wide J10C Lancet, with Strachan FC38R bodywork, Nos.188-202, LAA 223-237. These were attractive coaches of traditional appearance, though the effect was spoiled slightly by the cheap looking wire mesh grille, the apparent frailty of which seemed to to be endorsed by the dents that it soon acquired in service. Like all Lancets, these coaches were excellent, smooth running, reliable machines, though the drivers’ cabs reputedly became unpleasantly hot, particularly so in the summer months. Aware that these coaches presented an outdated image in a world increasingly dominated by modern, underfloor engined vehicles, Aldershot & District succumbed in 1954 to the lure of the AEC Reliance, purchasing twenty-five examples of the MU3RV model with the 6.75 litre AH410 engine. Angular Strachans Everest C41C bodies were fitted with a high floor level and corresponding waistline. The arrival of the Reliances resulted in the relegation of the full fronted Lancets from regular express work to other duties, and they were all withdrawn in 1963 after a relatively short life of ten years. In the photograph, taken at Victoria in 1960, No.193, LAA 228, its windscreen significantly open wide, is laying over in the company of one of the Strachans bodied Reliances. Behind is LCD 857, one of Southdown’s Beadle rebuilds with FC35C bodywork, 30ft long and 8ft wide on 7ft 6ins chassis sections. This coach was constructed using the units of pre war Leyland Tiger TS8 EUF 96, and retained the 8.6 litre oil engine. Like the full fronted Aldershot & District Lancets, this vehicle (and its fellows) was sold in 1963.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


04/11/19 – 06:15

How surprising in 1953 for such buses/coaches to be delivered to a "substantial" company? Times had already moved on e.g. Ribble with its Leyland/Leyland coaches in 1951 and Tilling with the LS/ECW "beauties" in 1952. A nice story Roger, thank you.

Stuart Emmett


05/11/19 – 06:12

SOU 446

This picture, taken in 1961 in The Grove alongside Aldershot Bus Station – now long gone, the current bus station is a pitiful apology of a facility – shows the Winchester outstation based 1958 Dennis Loline I 338, SOU 446, with East Lancashire H37/31RD body, passing a pair of the fine 1948 Lancet III coaches with Strachans C32R bodies; these were displaced by the 1953 full fronted machines from express duties to private hire and excursion work. 984 GAA 620 and its fellow fourteen coaches were all withdrawn in the year of the photograph, 1961; the Loline survived in A&D service for a further ten years.

Roger Cox


08/11/19 – 10:27

Full-fronted Lancet J10C has thankfully been in preservation for some years. There remains work to be done before we see its welcome appearance at rallies. Thanks, Roger, for the mid-’50s demonstrators link: before reading Eric Nixon’s piece I had no idea how many types had been assessed. The Atkinson is my biggest surprise! But I still can’t help wishing that, like East Kent, they had gone for underfloor Lancets.

Ian Thompson


11/11/19 – 07:09

I think the half cab Lancet III in Roger’s second photo looks much better than this last fling from 1953. Obviously an additional window bay has been inserted to achieve the extra length but it causes the body to droop excessively towards the rear giving a strangely unbalanced look. The side flash doesn’t help either!

Chris Barker

 

West Yorkshire – Bristol LS5G – MWY 226 – EUG 15

West Yorkshire - Bristol LS5G - MWY 226 - EUG 15

West Yorkshire Road Car Co
1954
Bristol LS5G
ECW DP41F

Quite what this Harrogate based West Yorkshire LS5G was doing in Waterhouse Street, Halifax, in the summer of 1965 I am unsure, but it seems to be a curious choice of vehicle if it was on private hire duty. No doubt our Halifax experts will come up with a suggestion. MWY 226 was delivered to West Yorkshire’s Harrogate depot in July 1954 as a dual purpose vehicle and it then carried the fleet number EUG 15 (Express Underfloor Gardner). In March 1959 its role was downgraded to that of a bus with the new fleet number SUG 15 (Single deck Underfloor Gardner) in which guise, a trifle battered, it is seen here. It was still based at Harrogate when finally withdrawn in October 1968 thereafter passing into the hands of dealers.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/10/19 – 05:24

Although West Yorkshire’s LS5Gs were renumbered from EUG to SUG, and repainted in the livery shown, they retained their dual purpose seats until some time in the sixties, so would have been suitable for a private hire job, especially if it was a summer Saturday.
Many years ago Crosville charged a lower rate for private hires if a dual purpose vehicle was used rather than a coach. Perhaps West Yorkshire had a similar scheme?

Don McKeown


18/10/19 – 05:25

West Yorkshire never bought any new LS pure service buses, but they did eventually re-seat many of the dual-purpose vehicles with bus seats. Sixty-eight were received as LS5G’s with ECW DP41F bodies and they came in five batches from 1953 to 1958. All of them had no rear indicators and the front indicators were always of two side-by-side windows. Each of the five batches had slight body variations and this along with West Yorkshire’s "normal" policy of declassifying/ re-seating/ livery changes gave a visually mixed and varied picture.

Stuart Emmett


20/10/19 – 06:39

I think it made economic sense to buy saloons in DP form then as they became older to reseat and down grade them to buses. Although I would love to know where all the bus seats came from to facilitate this, presumably from older, withdrawn stock.
A common nick name for the "SUG"s was "SLUGS" presumably due to the limited power produced by their five pot Gardners.

Mr Anon


21/10/19 – 06:07

ECW did some of the bus seat conversions Mr. Anon = a long way to/back from Lowestoft.

Stuart Emmett


28/10/19 – 06:57

Some fascinating memories, and how good it is to see the stalwarts getting some recognition. They were put to work on anything going. I used to work as a junior traffic clerk, latterly at Low Harrogate in the mid-60s, which was where tours and private hires were dealt with. There was no discount for using DPs instead of coaches. All quotes for hires were charged at the same mileage rate and the whole fleet for the allocation to Harrogate was particularly smart because it was Head Office. You should have seen the things which were hired out when the film "Sound of Music" was showing in Leeds! We were desperately short of vehicles and reckoned we could have hired out a tow truck. Private hire and tours were based in Montpelier Parade, Harrogate, which, if I remember correctly, had been completely refurbished some time around 1964.

LWR 431

There was one LS which stood out from the rest and was a product of West Yorkshire’s involvement with Cave-Brown-Cave. It seemed to work OK, but I remember one journey from Bradford to Harrogate on a dreeky damp day when this SUG had for some reason been put on the 53 service (probably working its way back to the depot it always worked from). It dripped and dribbled merrily down the inside of the windscreen.

David Rhodes


29/10/19 – 05:34

LWR 431 entered service in 1953 as EUG1 with a DP41F body and was delivered in the normal "express" livery of red with cream relief and this included the windscreen.
Fitted with Cave Brown Cave heating in late 1954 or early 1955 or early 1957 (and also was reported as 1/1965!!!) but this was most likely to have been concurrent with being reseated in 1957 as SUG1. The CBC system was placed in the destination box compartment, so the destination box was moved to be below the windscreen. First was a very small box, then was, as seen, in the pix from David.
Reseated as SUG1 by ECW as B45F in early 1957 and with no cream on the front windscreen.
Renumbered SMG1 in April 1962 when fitted for OMO.
Garaged at Pateley Bridge depot from 1956 to 1968 for the routes into Harrogate, it also regularly operated in the early 1960’s one return journey on route 51 to/from Bradford that left Harrogate at 0820 hours.
Withdrawn in July 1969 and then to North dealers in November 1969.

Stuart Emmett

 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 21st November 2019