Eastern National – Bristol MW6G – OO 9548 – PL9360

Eastern National - Bristol MW6G - OO 9548 - PL9360

Eastern National Omnibus Co Ltd
1962
Bristol MW6G
ECW C34F

Whilst on holiday in mid Wales in 1971 this coach parked opposite us whilst its passengers enjoyed an ice cream from the conveniently sited van. The location is the Elan Valley from where the large reservoirs fed water to the Birmingham conurbation.
The Eastern National coach was  along way from home on an extended tour of Devon and the Wye Valley. The 34 seats would have given plenty of legroom.
BLOTW gives the original fleet number as 562 but it shows PL9360 here. Is PL a depot code?
At nine years old the coach looks in good fettle. This style of ECW coach body caused quite a stir when introduced – very different from previous ECW designs- but quite pleasing in retrospect.
And what about the registration number – would be worth a lot of money now!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


01/06/20 – 07:35

The code PL refers to Prittlewell Depot which was located in Southend and was an ex Westcliff-On-Sea garage, there was also another ex Westcliff-On-Sea garage in Southend which used the code SD.

Ian Mason


01/06/20 – 07:36

Contrary to appearances, this was actually Tillings Travel PL9360 when the photo was taken. It started life as Eastern National 562 in May 1962 becoming 360 in the August 1964 renumbering. It passed to Tillings Travel as 9360 in January 1971. PL indicates that it was allocated to the Prittlewell (near Southend) garage of Eastern National which maintained the Tillings coach fleet. 9360 passed to Silcox of Pembroke Dock in late 1973 where it served until 1982.
The saga of vehicle interchanges between Tillings Travel and Eastern National has already been covered on this website but I can’t work out how to link to the appropriate page.

Nigel Turner


01/06/20 – 07:37

Apparently this vehicle was renumbered 360 in Aug 1964 then transferred to Tillings as 9360 in Jan 1971. http://www.bristolsu.co.uk/mw/ However the picture clearly shows Eastern National as fleetname.
PL was the garage code for Prittlewell (a former Westcliffe depot) http://www.sct61.org.uk/ 

Stephen Clough


01/06/20 – 07:38

The original fleet number, 562, was changed to 360 in 1964, and the 9 was added when it became part of Tilling Travel (NBC) in 1971. PL will be Prittlewell – depot at Southend. Tillings Travel (THC) Ltd had had some similar MWs from new, also with 34 seats. I have an ECW drawing which shows that those had additional interior luggage shelving at the rear of the coach – in the equivalent space to the 5 person back seat as I recall.

Peter Delaney


01/06/20 – 07:39

PL is the garage code of Prittlewell, and the 9xxx denotes this was a Tilling allocated vehicle.
New 5/62 562 (ironic), became 360 in the 1964 fleet renumbering scheme, then transferred to Tillings Travel in January 1971. The two fleets were closely associated until National Travel (South East) Ltd took control of the coaching unit in 1974.

Ron Mesure


03/06/20 – 06:23

Here is a link to a photo whilst in service with Silcox:- https://www.flickr.com/

Keith Hanbury-Chatten

 

Manchester Corporation – Leyland PDR1/1 – HVM 914F – 1014

Manchester Corporation - Leyland PDR1/1 - HVM 914F - 1014

Manchester Corporation
1968
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Park Royal H45/28D

One of the famous Mancunians which revolutionised the double deck bus in the late 60s is seen turning into Portland Street in May 1968 when just a couple of months old. The stunning livery brightened up Manchester – sad that they soon succumbed to SELNEC orange and white.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


25/05/20 – 07:24

1014 was one of the vehicles delivered in the cream and red livery based on the scheme previously used on the Panther single deckers. It was displayed in Piccadilly along with 1001 which was in the white version of the livery and the public were asked to comment. The result was a majority in favour of white so 1014 and, I think, 1017 went back to the spray booth.

Phil Blinkhorn


26/05/20 – 06:54

Phil, you are too modest. Part Four of your expansive article, Manchester Buses – A Retrospective, gives the comprehensive story behind the Mancunian double deck design:- Manchester Buses a Retrospective – Article

HVM 903F

Here is another picture, showing the nearside, of one of the early Atlanteans, No. 1003 HVM 903F, taken in June 1970. In 1968 Ralph Bennet moved on to London Transport, later becoming first Deputy and then Chairman. There he came up against the exhibitionist and rabid Thatcherite leader of the GLC, Horace Cutler, who engineered his early removal from office in 1980 on the politically motivated, utterly preposterous grounds that he lacked the necessary managerial expertise. Cutler’s transport legacy of cost cutting, asset stripping and under investment is still felt in London to this day.

Roger Cox


26/05/20 – 06:55

I have a soft spot for these first Atlantean Mancunians. I travelled the 19 route regularly on my journeys from Work, when I was in digs at Debdale Park while working in Denton. Hyde Road also used these on the 169/170 services, to which there is a clue in the destination number box. The 1 has been left, the 6 or 7 wound to 9 and the last last digit the 9 or 0 wound off. Keen drivers would correctly have just used the second and third tracks only, far neater in my opinion. If I could not sit at the front upstairs my second choice was the rear offside seat over the engine to listen to it. The 19 was very convenient for me as the short walk from Victoria Station to Greengate would get me on a 12/31/38 to visit my parents at Little Hulton. To add to Phil’s comments about the colours, perhaps we can add that it was 1044 that later on, suffered a most catastrophic fire. Question to Phil, there was also the first demonstration of a Mancunian in Piccadilly, but that was to demonstrate it against two other operators new buses, neither came near to it.

Mike Norrios


26/05/20 – 06:55

Since my previous comment, I’ve found the record of the deliveries and repaints. There were 7 deliveries for entry into service in March 1968. 1001/03/04/05/10/14/24. Of these 1003/04/14 and 1024 were delivered in red and cream, the rest in red and white. On Saturday February 24 and Saturday March 2 two vehicles were displayed and free rides given in Piccadilly bus station. 1001 in white and 1024 in cream took part with 1014 substituting for 1024 the second Saturday. March deliveries for April entry into service included 1002 also in red and cream but as a result of both the public opinion surveys and previous comments about the cream yellowing on the Panthers – shades of problems to come with SELNEC’s sunglow orange – all five red and cream vehicles were resprayed within six weeks.

Phil Blinkhorn


26/05/20 – 10:53

A Sheffielder, I spent my student days in, and around, Manchester from 1971-1976 – and then stayed to work until December 1980. The Sheffield "standard" PRV body on the 163 Atlanteans and subsequent Fleetlines – and the later London Country/NBC version – is a favourite of mine. However, I always preferred the 33ft Mancunian by PRV/MCW/Roe, but I always felt it was better and more balanced in design as a 33footer rather than this original, shorter, version.

David Oldfield


26/05/20 – 10:55

Mike, the demonstration you refer to was after the 1968 Commercial Motor Show on October 26 when the show exhibit Mancunian, Fleetline 2048 which had been held back to be exhibited by Park Royal, was shown on Piccadilly alongside Sheffield Atlantean 293, also straight from the Park Royal stand at the show and Newcastle 601 an Alexander bodied Atlantean whose hitherto advanced styling was totally eclipsed by the other two with the Mancunian going on to be the template for future double deck design.
Roger, it’s interesting how a later London leader of the same political kidney and with no real experience in transport, wasted millions in removing vehicles found quite satisfactory in cities large and small around the globe and replacing them with a vanity project which could not be operated as designed, cooked the passengers in summer and were designed to look from the rear to fulfil all the meanings of "like the back end of a bus".

Phil Blinkhorn


27/05/20 – 07:04

Phil, My thanks to you.
My memory seems to recall the Newcastle one, have a reversed nearside staircase, or what the Sheffield one? There was something very peculiar about it, on one of them.

Mike Norris


27/05/20 – 07:05

Who on earth, and what bus, can Phil possibly be referring to?!

Stephen Ford


28/05/20 – 07:12

I guess that Phil Blinkhorn didn’t actually live along one of the routes that the London Bendys actually ran on. Their obstructive characteristics really became apparent where, as they tended to do far more than regular vehicles, they ended up running in tandem. I believe there was an instruction that they were not to overtake one another.
They also had a higher accident record than normal vehicles. I know it’s sometimes presented as no different, but these vehicles paid an additional rate and were only driven by experienced senior drivers who otherwise had a much lower than average accident rate.
Sir Peter Hendy stated there was no loss on the disposal of them because they were leased, and just handed back at a lease break point.
When it comes to "experience in transport", we can possibly start with a manufacturer who states the first one destroyed by fire was a "unique incident", the second one was a "extraordinary coincidence", and the third one was "er … we’re going to do a modification". I can still see where the classic trees on Park Lane were ruined by the 436 which caught fire there.

Bill


28/05/20 – 07:14

Mike, it was the Newcastle Atlantean that had the near side staircase – a bit of a Newcastle fad at the time.

Phil Blinkhorn


29/05/20 – 06:52

601 was a conversion by Newcastle Corporation of accident damaged 251(KBB 251D). One of the claimed advantages was that the layout gave the driver a better view of the exit door. I believe Newcastle took two batches of Alexander bodied Atlanteans to this layout. Tyneside PTE, and subsequently Tyne and Wear PTE, adopted this speciation. It appeared on Daimler Fleetline chassis, and Willowbrook built some bodies of this layout for the PTE on long Atlantean chassis.

Richard Slater


29/05/20 – 06:53

No Bill, I didn’t live on a bendy bus route but I have driven in cities on five continents where such vehicles operate and they are no more obstructive than any other long vehicle. Their removal was a toxic mixture of the old LT "not invented here" attitude, political reaction to an innovation by an opposing party and flag waving jingoism. Their very expensive replacements are unable to operate either safely or economically as designed. As for fires, 12 of the articulated vehicles were destroyed by fire and fire has also destroyed a number of the new Routemasters – as it has other hybrids and, going back in time, a good number of Atlanteans, Fleetlines, Panthers and other "conventional" buses.

Phil Blinkhorn


01/06/20 – 07:46

We had the very under powered Wright Ftrs in Leeds which were a bit of a disaster to put it mildly York also had some which the council pressurised First into moving to Leeds. York is also home to a number of Mercedes artics on park and ride service which have no problem in the narrow city centre streets.

Chris Hough

 

West Riding – AEC Reliance – THL 921 – 921

West Riding - AEC Reliance - THL 921 - 921

West Riding Automobile
1961
AEC Reliance 2MU3RV
Roe B41D

In 1956 West Riding turned to the AEC Reliance for its limited bus saloon requirements, taking twelve with Roe B44F bodies characterised by a ‘droopy’ lower line to the windscreen. www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/
The Reliance then became the choice for the coach fleet with Roe C41C bodies, and in 1961 twelve of the 2MU3RV chassis type arrived carrying Roe B41D bodywork of which THL 921, fleet number 921 is an example. No more Reliances were purchased before West Riding sold out to the National Bus Company in 1967. This picture was taken in April 1970 before the corporate dead hand of Freddie Wood fell in 1972, after which the poppy red livery was inflicted upon West Riding.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/05/20 – 06:38

A stylish yet functional design enhanced by a smart livery. More attractive than the standard (Alexander in the cases of PMT and Trent) BET version of the time.

Ian Wild

 

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