Old Bus Photos

King Alfred – Albion Victor – AAA 756 – Victor 6

King Alfred - Albion Victor - AAA 756 - Victor 6

King Alfred Motor Services
1935
Albion Victor PK114
Abbott C20C

AAA 756 is an Albion Victor PK114 and it dates from 1935, when it was delivered to the King Alfred fleet. It has an Abbott C20C body and is seen outside Winchester Guildhall on 25 April 1993, the running day having been moved to April to mark the anniversary of the operator’s sale to Hants & Dorset. Its fleet number was Victor 6, according to the book on KAMS, but such things don’t seem to have appeared on the vehicles themselves. I know I’m digressing and perhaps it’s just my warped mind – please, don’t all agree! – but Victor 6 seems reminiscent of "Z Cars", though there were only ever two of them, ZV1 and ZV2. I know that one of them was KTJ 578 and the other was (numbers unknown) VTB. I know, too, that KTJ was actually a Leyland Comet chassis which was bodied as the Lancashire Constabulary horse box. I saw it parked in Lancaster on a number of occasions. Any thoughts, please about what VTB was?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


23/03/17 – 07:55

ZV2 Registration number was 348 VTB, a Ford Consul saloon in the series. Information found on You Tube, hope this will be of use to the experts.

Ian Mason


23/03/17 – 07:56

No info on VTB, but IMCDb has JVX 959C and PHK 613D as well as KTJ 578 www.imcdb.org/movie_129723-Z-Cars.html

John Lomas


24/03/17 – 17:03

Thanks, John & Ian. I had stopped watching by the time the two Essex registrations came into the programme.

Pete Davies


24/03/17 – 17:03

Both this handsome Albion Victor and the little 1931 Dennis 30cwt, a fraction of which is just visible in the left of the picture, will be in service on King Alfred Running Day on the first of May.

Ian Thompson


28/03/17 – 07:25

AAA 756_2

Here is another picture of this Albion taken in Brighton during the May 1970 HCVC run, when it wore a less than accurate version of the King Alfred livery. I believe this vehicle still has its original 65 bhp 3.89 litre four cylinder petrol engine. The PK114 was the 17ft 2in wheelbase normal control version which appeared in 1934, four years after the introduction of the Victor model in 1930. Victor production ended in 1939 with the outbreak of war. The Abbott business emerged in 1929 from the failure of the car coach builder, Page & Hunt, at Wrecclesham, just south of Farnham on the Bordon/Petersfield Road. The firm concentrated mainly on car bodywork, but, during the lean 1930s, commercial vehicle coach building and sailplane construction was undertaken also, though these latter activities ended with the advent of WW2. Abbott continued car bodywork manufacture post war, but the diminishing market for this specialised business led to the firm’s closure in 1972.
AAA 756 has a curious history. It was bought by Robert Chisnell in 1935 as a coach for special outings, notably to race meetings at Epsom and Ascot, and it continued in service until war broke out, during which conflict it seemingly met with little use. Probably it was lucky to escape being requisitioned by the military. It saw some activity post war until withdrawal in 1949, after which it lurked in the basement of King Alfred’s Chesil Street garage until emerging from its hibernation after private purchase in 1959 by the Rolls brothers. It made several appearances thereafter before a programme of restoration was undertaken by Dave Hurley, by then its owner, in the 1980s. From 1993, now restored and in the correct livery, AAA 756 made many appearances from its base at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, until, in 2013, it became part of the FoKAB fleet. Incidentally, I think that the fleet name/number of AAA 756 is Victor 2 rather than Victor 6. Victor 1 was AAA 755, another PK114 of 1935, but fitted with a Duple C20R body. This was withdrawn in 1951. The third and last Victor to enter the King Alfred fleet in came in 1938, but this was a PK115 forward control example equipped with a Strachan C26F body. This one did get requisitioned during the war, and never came back.
The complete King Alfred fleet list may be found :- at this link

Roger Cox


29/03/17 – 06:25

You are correct, Roger. 756 is listed in the Freeman, Jowitt and Murphy history of the operator as "Victor 2". Now, how did I conjure up "Victor 6"? It can’t be a simple typing error!

Pete Davies


 

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Charlie’s Cars – Albion Valiant – LJ 9501 – 57

Charlie's Cars - Albion Valiant - LJ 9501 - 57

Charlie’s Cars (Bournemouth)
1934
Albion Valiant
Harrington C32F

In my early days of working in Southampton, I worked with a fellow whose Secondary School days had been spent in Christchurch, then in Hampshire. He commented several times about the firm ‘Charlie’s Cars’, saying that one of his teachers was something of a snob who refused to use the registered name. He always called it ‘Charles’s Cars’. LJ 9501 is an Albion Valiant PV70 (Jenkinson, 1978) or SpPV70 (PSVC 2012), new in 1934, but given this Harrington C32F body in 1947. She spent several years under restoration at Cobham, but we see her taking part in the Harrington Gathering at Amberley on 3 June 2012.

LJ 9501_2

This second view shows the bodymaker’s plate.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


12/07/16 – 07:40

I have fond memories of Charlie’s Cars from my youth, growing up in Bournemouth, although I expect this fine example was already withdrawn or close to it, by the time I was born!
Their garage was along the South side of Alma Road near Winton Banks. it had a large wooden sign across the entrance, at high level, with ‘Charlie’s Cars’ written on it in the house colours. The ‘sunshine’ radiator is a nice touch; was this a common feature of the period?

Grahame Arnold


12/07/16 – 12:00

I don’t know if it was a common feature on the radiator, but it was certainly on the badge. It’s the Albion logo ‘Sure as the sunrise’

Ronnie Hoye


12/07/16 – 18:00

Hebble had three Valiant coaches (two with English Electric bodies and one with Northern Counties). Whilst going through the Halifax Motor Taxation Records in about 1970 tracing local vehicles I found that one of the English Electric-bodied ones had passed just after the war to a private owner in Stainland, just outside Halifax, who was the last recorded owner, the licence having been surrended almost immediately.
Later in the 1970’s when I was involved with a bus preservation group, one of the group learned purely by chance from someone he’d met of an ‘old bus’ that a man from Halifax had kept on a farm near Allerston, on the Scarborough to Pickering road, for use as a holiday caravan. On further investigation it turned out to be this very same man from Stainland and the ‘bus’ was that Hebble Valiant – JX 507. How exciting – what a rare survivor, and when could we go and have a look with a view to acquiring it. Then it turned out that it had been dragged out of its spot only a couple of weeks beforehand and totally destroyed. It had survived all that time, and we’d missed it by two weeks. Isn’t that always the way ?

John Stringer


12/07/16 – 18:00

Thanks, Grahame and Ronnie. Whilst the feature is an element of the Albion badge, as Ronnie says, I’ve never seen it on another Albion radiator. Perhaps that’s because this is a preserved vehicle, and kept cleaner than many would be whilst ‘working’. Any offers on that?

Pete Davies


25/07/16 – 09:32

This Albion features in my Gallery compilation HCVS Charabanc trip 2011. Seen when visiting the owners private collection. It was also an entry on 2010 Trans Pennine Run.

Roy Dodsworth


 

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Berresfords – Albion Nimbus – NSG 869 – 25

Berresfords - Albion Nimbus - NSG 869 - 25

Berresfords Motors Limited
1955
Albion Nimbus MR9
Scottish Omnibuses B32F

NSG 869 is an Albion Nimbus, with MR9 designation. This vehicle has a Scottish Omnibuses B32F body, and in its early days was a demonstrator for the chassis builder Albion. It passed to that well-known Staffordshire independent, Berresfords Motors Limited of Cheddleton, in whose markings we see it at Duxford on 28 September 2003.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


05/05/16 – 06:58

The MR9 was the first version of the Nimbus, itself derived from the Claymore goods model, and it was available in two lengths as the MR9N (23ft 3ins by 8ft) and MR9L (24ft by 8ft). The chassis had Albion axles, the rear being driven by overhead worm, and the wheelbase was 11ft 10ins. The four cylinder 3.83 litre EN219 engine was basically two thirds of the Leyland O350, and it developed 60 bhp at 2200rpm. A four speed Albion gearbox was fitted. Certain features of the design were suspect, notably the poorly designed engine by-pass valve method of providing vacuum assistance for the braking system, and the type soon acquired a reputation for frailty, notably in the engine, engine mountings and gearbox departments. A total of 124 of the MR9 type was produced before Leyland in house cost cutting measures led to the appearance of the NS3 model, which had "bought in" standard BMC 5 ton truck range axles that limited the overall width of the vehicle to 7ft 6ins. The NS3 and later NS3AN proved to be just as unreliable as the MR9.

Roger Cox


05/05/16 – 10:57

Thank you, Roger. I have read somewhere that the amount of exhaust smoke these things produced meant they should have been named ‘Cumulo Nimbus’.

Pete Davies


06/05/16 – 06:50

…and this from the maker who used ‘Sure as the Sunrise’ as their slogan!

Stephen Allcroft


06/05/16 – 08:29

Delightful comment, Stephen!!!

Pete Davies


07/05/16 – 06:55

It’s strange how the heavyweight British bus manufacturers struggled to produce a successful small bus in the post-war era. The lightweight manufacturers seemed able to produce successful designs albeit mainly used for coach duties but the big boys never seemed to be able to scale down the likes of the Reliance and Tiger Cub to produce what we would now call a ‘midi-bus’ with any degrees of success. Probably Bristol were the most successful with the SU and then the LH. However I always find it difficult to judge the success or otherwise of Bristol products based on volume of sales as throughout the 1950’s and most of the 1960’s they had a captive market with the BTC/THC companies.

Philip Halstead


12/05/16 – 17:04

Philip.
Of course pre-war Leyland (Cub) Albion (Victor) and various marques from Dennis Guy and Thornycroft all competed against the Bedford and came off worst, even Ford stopped competing for a while (c1932-57). Just pre-war there were Kew Dodge and Opel Blitz competitors, but they were selling on keen prices and immediate delivery, like Commer and Austin post-war.
The Nimbus itself was inspired by Scottish Omnibuses building a Claymore-based 32 seat integral bus. Most of SBGs single decks were then 35-seat half cabs and all were crew operated. This was at the same time Bristol and ECW were making the SC.
As for the SU it was only introduced after Western and Southern National refused SC’s wanting something comparable to Devon General’s Nimbii.
Why was the SU better than the Nimbus? I think it might have had better engine mounting and it certainly benefitted from Bristol chassis well integrated with its ECW body. Secondly nobody in the THC command economy would dare put an SU on a full-size route without good reason. Finally they were confined to Western & Southern National with only a handful elsewhere and so never got a hard life.
What we now call a midi-bus (e.g. the ADL E200) is rather bigger than a pre-1962 Reliance or a Tiger Cub, although its seated passenger capacity may be less than an OB.
The SC sat 35 in what were pre-1950 maximum box dimensions of 27’6" by 7’6" and it was miraculously fuel efficient at the expense of levels of noise vibration and harshness that would be unacceptable today providing marginal power that would be a hazard in modern dense traffic. but again Crosville Lincolnshire and Eastern Counties mainly used them to move fresh air along empty roads.

Stephen Allcroft


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 23rd May 2017