Leeds City Transport – Daimler Fleetline – UNW 174H – 174

UNW 174H

Leeds City Transport
1969
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LXB
Roe H45/33D

Representative of the concurrent Leeds double deck orders in 1969/70 are these two buses photographed in Leeds in April 1970. On the left is Roe H45/33D bodied Daimler Fleetline CRG6LXB UNW 174H, No.174 delivered in September 1969. Standing alongside is similarly bodied Leyland Atlantean PDR2/1 UNW 404H, No.404 which arrived in January 1970. Though seemingly identical to the man on the Leeds, rather than the Clapham omnibus, I wonder how these two types compared in terms of road performance and mechanical reliability.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


01/12/21 – 07:22

Sheffield had similarly contemporaneous batches of vehicles. Whatever the comparative merits, or otherwise, of the competing marques, the Sheffield PDR2/1 Atlanteans were mountain goats whereas the CRG6LXB Fleetlines struggled up the many steep hills. I saw it regularly with Atlanteans on the Outer Circle and Fleetlines on the Hemsworths going up Scarsdale Road.

David Oldfield

 

Southdown – Dennis Falcon – FUF 181 – 181

FUF 181

Southdown Motor Services
1939
Dennis Falcon P4
Harrington B30C

In 1938, Dennis replaced its multiplicity of of small buses for lightly trafficked routes – Dart, Pike, Arrow Minor, Ace and Mace – with one model, the Falcon. This was offered with normal or forward control, the engine options being Dennis 3.77 side valve petrol, or Gardner 4LK or Perkins P6 diesel. In 1938 Southdown took over the Worthing Tramocar business and began replacing the original Shelvoke and Drewry Freighters, at first with new Freighters. More about the Tramocar business may be found on OBP here:- http://www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=19218 
In April/May 1939 Southdown moved towards conventional buses for the Tramocar services, and purchased FUF 180/1, fleet nos. 80/1, two forward control Dennis Falcon P4s with Harrington B30C bodies offering easy access to the elderly clientele of Worthing. A third similar chassis, JUF 82, no. 82, but with Dennis B30R bodywork, arrived later that year in December after war had broken out, by which time only about 50 Falcons in total had been been produced by Dennis. In 1949 Southdown again turned to the lightweight Falcon P4, buying a further nine with Dennis B30R bodies, JUF 83-91 with matching fleet nos., for its service between Havant and Hayling Island which crossed a frail, elderly wooden bridge over the Langstone Channel built in 1824, on which a toll applied. Even then the bus went over tentatively and unladen, the passengers having to alight and walk across to rejoin it on the far side. The two ex Tramocar Falcons were transferred to the Hayling Island service to complement the ten later arrivals. The Langstone Bridge was replaced by a new structure in 1956, but the crossing toll remained until 1960. None of the Dennis bodied Falcons seems to have survived, but Harrington bodied FUF 181 of 1939 was once extant on the preservation scene. It is seen above at Brighton on the HCVC Rally in May 1970. Currently it is recorded as undergoing further restorative work. The prominent starting handles on all the Southdown Falcons suggests that they were powered by the robust 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine rather than the Gardner 4LK, but confirmation would be welcome.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/11/21 – 06:24

Hello Roger, I have just checked in Colin Druce’s excellent book ‘Southdown in Austerity’, and he confirms that these buses were indeed fitted with the Dennis 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine.

Roy Nicholson

 

Birkenhead Corporation – Guy Arab II – BG 8557 – 242

BG 8557

Birkenhead Corporation
1944
Guy Arab II
Massey H31/28R

From the mid 1920s up to the outbreak of WW2, Birkenhead Corporation had been a confirmed Leyland aficionado, specifying Massey bodywork for a significant proportion of the fleet since 1931. With the advent of WW2 and the utility bus era, Birkenhead was allocated the Guy Arab II, hitherto unknown in its fleet, the first two arriving in 1943 with Weymann H30/26R bodywork. Thereafter Birkenhead managed to have most of their Arabs fitted with Massey H30/26R bodies of that company’s severe utility outline. BG 8557 was one of Birkenhead’s second batch of Arabs totalling twenty two, that arrived in 1944, all of which had Massey bodywork. A further twelve Arab IIs arrived in 1946 with bodywork shared between Massey, Park Royal and Northern Counties. The robust and dependable Arab clearly impressed the Corporation, for Guys featured in its order book at times right up to 1956. BG 8557 was originally numbered 324, but, in 1953, it was one of fifteen selected for rebodying with new Massey H31/28R bodywork when it received the new number 242. This bus was withdrawn in 1969 before becoming part of the new Merseyside PTE, and went into private preservation. It is seen at Brighton on the occasion of the May 1970 HCVC Rally, and now resides with the Wirral Transport Museum.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/10/21 – 07:09

Fine, distinctive vehicle! Many thanks to those that saved it and brought it to this superb condition. Seeing the lower-deck seating capacity of 28 I assumed that the new body must have been over 26′ long, but even allowing for the angle of the photograph the rear overhang doesn’t look excessive. A google search then revealed that the original 5LW engine had been replaced by the longer 6LW, but of course Arab IIs were built with the snout whichever engine was installed. I still wonder whether the "new" length may be 26’6" or thereabouts. Would love to see and hear it in the flesh!

Ian Thompson


19/10/21 – 05:42

Ian, it is possible that the length may be as you surmise, because the body was built to a width of 7ft 9ins for weight constraint reasons. The wartime Arab, like other Utilities, had a relatively heavy chassis because lighter metals formerly employed for certain components were diverted to military needs.

Roger Cox


19/10/21 – 05:45

The seating capacity seems to be an error – see lettering on this photo
There is actually a way of getting 28 seats into the lower deck of a 26-footer. By reducing the longitudinal seats over the wheel arches to 2-seaters, it is possible to fit an extra pair of lateral seats, with the seat backs sitting directly on the front of the wheel arches. But that is not the case here.

Peter Williamson


20/10/21 – 06:27

Thanks for that picture, Peter, which corrects a widely misquoted error. Even Bus Lists On The Web gives the incorrect lower deck figure of 28 for all the Birkenhead 1953 rebodied Arabs.

Roger Cox


28/10/21 – 06:54

As a tall person, I was very conscious of how stingy Birkenhead was with legroom, notably the H36/30R layout on the final batches of PD2s. (6 rows of laterals plus 2×3 longitudinal). Although I have no memories of twin seats over the wheel arches on any vehicles, I wonder whether the quoted 28 was originally intended in the way Peter Williamson suggests, and either not implemented or changed at a relatively early point in their new life. The Venture volume on Massey Bros quotes the H31/28R figure, but of course this may still be derived from the same source as the BLOTW entries. Inexplicably I don’t have a copy of T B Maund’s (definitive) volume on the Birkenhead Bus, but it would be interesting to know if there is any comment there.

Alan Murray-Rust


28/10/21 – 07:07

But is that how it was back in 1953? Southend’s contemporary Massey-rebodied CWA6s had 28 down with 4s on the longitudinal seats. Weren’t they the same length and floorplan?
http://www.sct61.org.uk/gallery/gallery1/ss268a
https://www.na3t.org/road/photo/RS00836

Martin

 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 2nd December 2021