AEC Regent I
Quite a few of Sheffield’s Regent 1 intake of 1937/8 with both original and rebuilt bodies survived up to around 1960 with the majority being withdrawn in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. One such survivor was No. 27 registration DWB 27, a Weymann bodied H55R example. This machine was new in 1937 and survived until 1958 in original form. To achieve 21 years in normal service in Sheffield’s hilly terrain was no mean feat and unsurprisingly at the time of withdrawal, 27 was one of Sheffield’s oldest service buses albeit probably mainly used on peak time extras and school runs in later life.
More Regent 1 examples of a somewhat more modest lifespan were No. 357 registration EWB 657 and 353 registration EWB 653 both of 1938 vintage with Cravens H55R bodywork pictured here in 1953 at Sheffield Midland Station between duties. I am unsure whether 353 had been modernised in some way as there is a difference in appearance between the vehicles and I have another image of 353 showing sliding toplights on both decks of a later era than the drop down windows of other Cravens vehicles of the batch.
Photograph and Copy contributed by John Darwent
21/08/14 – 09:08
With the exception of the war-time Corporation (Queens Road) bodied Regents, these were the only pre-war Regents not bodied by Weymann. I was eight in 1960 but do not remember seeing any pre-war AECs in service – apart, possibly, from the Roe re-bodies. 657 is a Cravens in original condition, 653 at the very least has a modified front if not totally rebuilt.
This area in front of Midland Station was until the early 1950s used by C fleet routes (out of town) and possibly some B fleet as well. Buses awaiting service were parked, like 653 and 657, against the pavement which divided the area from the road.
21/08/14 – 10:57
Lovely photos of the Regent I which always make my heart beat a little faster! Why is there a space fillet between body and rad on 27? Was a slightly shorter body fitted later or what? I imagine it wasn’t re-engined with a Gardner 6LW engine!!!
Photo 2 shows the typical unmatching front wings, so prevalent at this time! I also notice that the matching height headlamps lf 353 do not apply to 657.
21/08/14 – 12:45
Sheffield continued to specify the 8.8 litre engines after the "7.7" had become standard. Maybe this explains the space fillet.
21/08/14 – 15:28
I think the radiator fillet was a general feature on all the Regent 1′s Chris, even the Roe rebuilds.
22/08/14 – 06:42
The extended bonnet as seen on these Sheffield Regents was standard for the 8.8 litre engine. This originally was the A165 indirect injection unit, but later, under pressure from the LPTB, became the A180 direct injection motor with Leyland style pot cavity pistons. The 6LW was even longer than the AEC 8.8, as may be seen on pictures of the London LT types and Huddersfield Regals so fitted. I suspect that the Sheffield examples were of the 8.8 indirect injection variety. Incidentally, I am intrigued by the picture of the two Regents parked side by side. How on earth did the driver of EWB 653 get out of the cab?