Old Bus Photos

Tyneside – Leyland Titan – GTY 163 – 39

Tyneside - Leyland Titan - GTY 163 - 39

Tyneside Omnibus Company
Leyland Titan PD2/12
MCW H32/26R

GTY 169; 39, one that Chris Youhill will no doubt recognise, but not in this livery. It was one of nine H32/26R MCW Orion bodied Leyland PD2/12’s delivered to Tyneside in 1954, GTY 169/177 numbered 39/47. Shortly after they were delivered, the number plates were moved from the radiator to the front panel under the windscreen, so the photo must be 1954. They remained in service until 1966, and all of them had a second life.
39 – Samuel Ledgard
40 – Wells of Hatfield, Peverel
43/44 – Paton Brothers, Renfrew
41/2/5/6&7 remained with the NGT Group.

GTY 175

Four of them became Driver Training vehicles.

GTY 177

But 47 was turned over to the engineering department. It was cut down, and at first it became a mobile workshop/towing vehicle, it later became a ’tree lopper’ and was still around in 1980.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

23/06/14 – 11:17

Thx, Ronnie, for the interesting photos showing the story of their lives.
I’m intrigued about tree-lopping. This always seemed to be done by bus companies originally, witness the number of tree-loppers around in past times, but I don’t know who does it now, if anyone at all, by the looks of some deckers’ front domes! Was there originally any statutory requirement for bus companies to do this and what is the current situation?

Chris Hebbron

23/06/14 – 16:30

About twenty years ago Luton & District did it, under contract, for Buckinghamshire C C. I believe this is where tree lopping ended up but with cut backs (pun not intended) money dried up in local authorities and I suspect this is the reason for the dire condition of buses now – because no-one takes responsibility. I think it still lies with local authorities but an operator friend of mine said that anyone was entitled to cut back trees overhanging the public highway – even when they were growing on private property, often behind fence or boundary lines. He always carried a pair of strong cutters on his coach. [He operated new, expensive, coaches in a rural area.]

David Oldfield

24/06/14 – 07:42

David, I think you’re correct: where trees over-grow private or public land then the owner or any member of the public has the right to cut back over-hanging branches to the boundary . . . as long as they offer any severed wood back to land-owner on who’s land the tree stood.
According to James Freeman’s history of King Alfred Motor Services the company were, after a rather too enthusiastic/dramatic session, prohibited from lopping trees in Winchester by the local authority – after which the tree-lopping vehicle was lain up within the depot.
Within my locality of the old Aireborough UDC there is evidence of tree-lopping, but I’ve never seen anybody doing any . . . and I can’t believe First or Centrebus/Yorkshire Tiger would bother to keep the resources themselves.

Philip Rushworth

24/06/14 – 07:45

The current legislation concerning the obstruction of the public highway by trees may be found in the Highways Act 1980. The responsibilities lie with the Highway Authorities, but there may often be a delay in the carrying out of remedial action. Clearances should be 2.4m over a footpath and 5.3m over a roadway. Even trees covered by a preservation order are required to comply, but only the very minimum amount of pruning is acceptable in such cases. In the past, many, if not most of the larger operators kept their own tree cutting vehicles to minimise the expensive damage to roof domes, but, in the aggressively profit driven bus industry of modern times, this "avoidable cost" has long since been expunged from the P/L account. The big groups of today seem to have no pride in fleet presentation.

Roger Cox

24/06/14 – 13:49

And, Roger, there’s the ever-present "Safety Elf", who says it isn’t safe for company staff to do the work, even without the operator’s legal advisers who worry about being prosecuted by the trees’ owners!

Pete Davies

26/06/14 – 14:10

Most modern double deckers now have tree guards on the nearside (or on both sides) to protect the front windows and bodywork from damage by trees.
There are now vastly more trees near roads (and railways) and little attempt seems to be made to keep them cut back.

Geoff Kerr

27/06/14 – 07:05

Geoff. This was the problem which Network Rail had with the big storms last Winter. Trees on embankments were falling like mad and trains were having to move slowly to avoid accidents causing chaos. In steam days, trees were cleared to avoid sparks setting light to them.
And grass verges seem to be getting overgrown now. The other day, on a bypass, foliage was brushing the side of my car and I was 12" away from the kerb!

Chris Hebbron

27/06/14 – 13:32

There is another aspect of overhanging trees and bushes not being cut back by anyone (owners, local authorities, highway agency of bus companies). That is the fact that at road junctions, road signs and / or traffic lights are being hidden from view until the motorist is nearly on them. If driving on an unfamiliar road, and looking for directions, this can be particularly hazardous. Sometimes I wish I had access to a certain company’s Guy Arab tree-loppers, and take a crew along some of our main roads. (I refer to Southdown 460/461 – the only way this modern day comment can count as being relevant to this site!).

Michael Hampton

28/06/14 – 14:22

Yes, Michael, the Guy Arab tree loppers. I also recall they had a Queen Mary one and a Bristol VR the latter in yellow with blue trimmings (genuine Freudian slip, this!). Sad that Portsmouth Corporation never had need of one. Wonder what they would have converted if they had? I’d have wanted one of their TSM’s!

Chris Hebbron

28/06/14 – 14:59

Chris – Your dreams have come true. Portsmouth Corporation did have a TSM tree lopper. 80 RV 1143. The vehicle was stolen from Eastney depot, and driven through the Fareham Railway arch. I have vague recollections of it attending to the trees in Stubbington Avenue around 1950.

Pat Jennings

29/06/14 – 07:15

Now THAT really is news to me, Pat – wishful thinking come true! I wonder if any photos exist of it in that state. My post of one of CPPTD’s TSM’s, in the second photo, shows 80 in original condition.

Chris Hebbron

17/12/15 – 07:41

Reading the various comments about tree lopping brings to mind an incident I became involved in on the A591 alongside Thirlmere lake about 1975 a section of road very much in the news at present where 9 landslides occurred as a result of the very heavy rain. I was a haulage contractor at the time operating a Foden S80 cabbed 8 wheel bulk animal feed blower which had a high box body with catwalk down the middle. Early one morning travelling through the Lakes to a farm in the Ulverston area I was flagged down by a Ribble driver and an inspector parked hard against the tree covered mountainside. They asked if they could climb on top of my lorry and try and cut off a broken low hanging branch that had been striking double deckers on the 555 service. They had thought they could stand on the roof of the Marshall bodied Leopard they had and cut the branch off but found they could not scramble onto the smooth curved roof from the high roadside embankment. Elf n Safety at its best !! However I took the bushman saw they had and knowing where to tread on top of my load was soon able to reach the branch and quickly cut it off. Just another episode of driving lorries and buses through the lakes.

Gerald Walker


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Tyneside – Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 – ENL 355C – 55

Tyneside Omnibus Company Leyland Atlantean

Tyneside Omnibus Company
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Alexander H43/32F

Tyneside Omnibus Company were a subsidiary of Northern General, they may of run a more local service than the very large area that Northern General did. If you know, let me know, please leave a comment. Typical of most rear engined buses of this era it had the “bustle” look at the rear, it was a year or two later before the enclosed look at the rear appeared on the scene.

I remember these buses when I was a kid in the 60’s early 70’s. Tyneside ran the service from North Shields to Newcastle via Wallsend. Their depot was based in Wallsend and they never used service numbers – only the destination. People on North Tyneside simply called it "the green bus" service. They later adopted the service number 13 and ran it jointly from Wallsend with the Tyne Wear PTE. It later became service 313.

Bryan Scott

We used to get the 313 across from the Railway pub (now the Bogey Chain) outside Bridon ropeworks (Haggies) back in the early/mid 70’s.


The Tyneside bus service travelled from North Shields to Newcastle via Howden and Willington Quay, through Wallsend, Walker, Byker, it’s terminus in Newcastle was beside the BBC Broadcasting House premises.

Allan Long

I recall seeing Tyneside Leyland bodied PD 2/12s waiting at the North Shields terminus at the top of Borough Bank. They always looked purposeful and turned out immaculately.

Gerald Walker

The Tyneside Omnibus Company had originated as a tram operator and in the 70s and 80s the drivers were still members of the tram driver’s union and not the TGWU. They operated only one or two routes between North Shields and Newcastle, where the terminus was in Croft Street, in front of the BBC offices. I don’t know if Croft Street still exists; if not it was almost diagonally opposite to the Laing Art Gallery. It was a small but very profitable depot, and the buses were generally very well maintained, which was not always the case with its Northern General Transport stable-mate, Tynemouth and District Transport. There was a friendly rivalry between the Tyneside and Tynemouth drivers who shared a canteen just off Wallsend High Street.

Tom Graham

06/05/11 – 06:54

This was the bus I used to go back and forward to school on, St Aidans It would often struggle up Rose bank with a full load of school kids on it

Mark Nugent

15/05/11 – 06:45

Croft Street still exists.
The bus stop was by "Boydell’s" toy & Model Shop.
I spent many a journey from North Shields to Newcastle on this Companies Buses. If memory serves me well there was a "German Barbers" by the terminus on Borough Road. I also used them when I used to work at Willington Quay.

Stew Smith

17/05/11 – 11:15

Ah – that would be Herr Cutt!

Stephen Ford

07/06/11 – 09:32

Tyneside Buses always had brown leather seats unlike the Moquette used on Tynemouth Buses. There was a conductress who worked for years on the route who always wore a man’s uniform cap. Before moving to Hadrian Road the depot was on Neptune Bank in Wallsend.Repaints were usually carried out at Tynemouth’s Cullercoats Paint Depot in John Street.
I also remember that the Fleet-names were not of the usual gold and underlined style. Instead TYNESIDE was in white block capitals which together with there being no route number display gave quite an independent company look to the fleet.


20/07/11 – 05:50

I believe that the company were known as Tyneside Tramways and Tramroads and one of their services was to run trams from Wallsend to Gosforth Park Racecourse. They may have run from Tynemouth but this was all before my time.
The route ran what was then cross country, I think through Biggse’s Main, somewhere near Tyneview Park, through West Moor and into the east side of Gosforth Park. I understand that this route was taken to avoid crossing the then Newcastle City boundary where there was possibly a monopoly operated by the city council. Parts of the tramway can still be found today.
When I was young, in the 1940’s, they only had one route, that from Croft Street, Newcastle to Borough Road, North Shields, every ten minutes. This was run by buses but the original tramroads name was still printed on their tickets.
The service was well known for its exceptional punctuality. It was always said that you could set your watch by the green bus service.
The photograph above shows the bus waiting at Croft Street, Newcastle, outside the BBC studio (old maternity hospital). This building still exists although it is just out of this picture, to the right.


10/08/11 – 13:49

Used the ‘Green Bus’ regular from North Shields to Howden where my Auntie lived. No numbers, just the destination. Terminus at North Shields on Borough Road did have a barbers next to it and yes he was a German. We referred to it as ‘Herr Cut’ Also spent many hours at Tynemouth’s Percy Main Depot as my grandmother worked in the canteen there. Used to go out with the crews and went all over the area for free. Great days.

Ronnie Vincent

23/12/11 – 12:19

Northern’s Percy Main depot ‘Tynemouth and Wakefields’ had several routes that criss crossed Tyneside’s route, this didn’t cause any problems because our buses were in Northern’s maroon livery and displayed route numbers, and everyone only ever called Tyneside ‘The Green Bus’ however, during the summer months we often needed extra vehicles to run duplicates on the coastal routes. If they were Northern red or Sunderland District blue they could be used anywhere, but if ‘as often happened’ they were Tyneside buses, they had to be kept well away from Wallsend or Howdon ‘Howden is in Yorkshire’ otherwise all hell would break loose when regular ‘Green Bus’ passengers discovered they’d boarded the wrong bus.

Ronnie Hoye

24/12/11 – 06:49

P.S. to my previous comments about Tyneside’s buses. Most of the Northern group used ‘Setright’ ticket machines, but Tyneside had the multi coloured pre printed type used by Newcastle Transport. I don’t know the reason but it may go back to the trams, as I believe that from Wallsend boundary to Newcastle City Centre, Tyneside’s trams ran on Newcastle Corporations tracks. Does anyone know?

Ronnie Hoye

23/02/12 – 17:42

Further to Ronnie’s last query, Tyneside trams did run on Corporation tracks between Wallsend Boundary and Stanhope Street in Newcastle; Stanhope Street was just off Westgate Road and not far from Wingrove tram (and later trolleybus) depot. Tyneside motormen received additional pay when operating over Corporation metals but their cars carried Corporation conductors on this section and all revenue (except for a mileage allowance of 2d per mile operated!) went to the Corporation. When first constructed the track at Wallsend Boundary was continuous but the overhead wasn’t and this had to be connected when through running was eventually agreed.
With regard to Brian’s comments, Tyneside cars didn’t run to Tynemouth (and on to Whitley Bay with dreams of extending further) but through running was impossible as Tynemouth’s trams ran on a 3’6" gauge whereas Tyneside used standard gauge. There was, however, a very short section of interlaced track close to the North Shields termini which, I believe, was the only such example in the British Isles.
The Gosforth Park route ran via Bigges Main, across Benton Road, in between what is now the Ministry (DWP) at Longbenton and what is now the Freeman Hospital), South Gosforth and the Great North Road although Tyneside did have running powers over Corporation metals on the route Brian mentions but these powers were only exercised for a short time and were used only by excursion cars in one direction only.
I don’t think Tyneside buses ever operated to Gosforth Park: in my lifetime, certainly, their Gosforth route, which operated only at times convenient for shifts in the shipyards, terminated in Rothwell Road which is behind Gosforth High Street and on the former route of the tramway. Sometime after the opening of the (first) Tyne Tunnel a peak hours only service was introduced between Wallsend and Jarrow.
As Ronnie says most of the Northern Group companies used Setright Speed machines after 1956 when they replaced Bellgraphics (as we always knew them!) but Tyneside and Gateshead and District continued with Ultimates; Gateshead’s, however, were the more common 5 barrel type (as were the Corporation’s) but Tyneside’s were 6 barrel models. I’m not sure, but I would have thought that the most likely reason that those subsidiaries used Ultimates was the speed of ticket issue: Ultimates were much quicker to use (once the combinations for higher value fares had been memorised) and most of Gateshead’s routes were, like Tyneside’s Riverside route, very busy. The reason for Tyneside using 6 barrel machines may have been simply in order to reduce the necessity to issue combinations or double-issue tickets on a particularly busy service.
As an aside (and I apologise for digressing), technically another Northern subsidiary also used Ultimates. The C&E Bus Company (named after Messrs Colpitts and Ellwood) were taken over by the Venture company in 1951 (almost 20 years before Venture sold out to Northern) although the name was retained; after the takeover and for the remainder of their separate existence, Venture operated the former C&E services "on hire to the C&E Bus Company" and Northern also retained the name as a non-operating company after the acquisition of Venture. At one time C&E used Ultimates and I well remember that their surplus rolls were offered for sale at the Venture office in Marborough Crescent Bus Station during the early 1950s.

Alan Hall

11/03/12 – 07:41

So pleased I’ve seen this, beginning to think I’d imagined the green bus. My mother used to get this if she’d missed the Tynemouth or Whitley Bay bus from the Haymarket. We had to run down Northumberland St, and hurry past people, to try and catch it. I liked to look out for ‘Simpson’s Hotel’ the men’s hostel on Buddle St, Wallsend. There were always men leaning against the wall outside and I tried to see inside the bedrooms from the top deck of the bus. My mam used to tell me not to stare and I felt sorry for the men not having a home. I can vaguely remember walking from Borough Road, it seemed a long way as we had to catch the bus to Marden from Saville St, opposite the old library. There was a toy shop there and I would look in the window until the bus came.
Happy memories.


11/03/12 – 15:45

I’d be curious to know who posted the "Herr Kutt" comment, as this was always a mildly derogatory term used by a very good old friend, who has as yet not owned up. "Krim" is the German for the Crimea, where they’d be speaking Russian, Ukranian, or Crimean-Tartar, none of which belong to my repertoire, but "Krimsekt" (i.e. Crimean sparkly, is much drunk in the German-speaking world, and I’ve always been partial to a glass of bubbly, so we’ll let it pass. I no longer have need of hair cream.

Tom Graham

25/10/12 – 11:58

Yes, what memories of waiting for the NEW Green buses coming along Howdon Road to pick us up at the end of Bridge Road South to take us to the Pedestrian Tunnel to walk through to Jarrow and Hebburn. Sadly the tunnel is now a shadow of it’s former self, tiles missing and escalators all dirty but those great days are now gone !!!

James Lawson

01/02/13 – 08:40

Re the comment from Stew Smith (15/05/11 – 06:45) above – Rudy Schiber was the barber.

John Slater

17/04/13 – 10:13

Northern General ran the 1st RED Atlanteans from their depot in South Shields and because of the overhang they continually demolished roundabouts until the drivers got the hang of them & stopped turning to early. Also the 1st ones were prone to losing their gearbox fluid all over the road.
Incidentally is there a thread on South Shields Corporation Bus’s? which included both diesel and trolley.


Not yet Jon but if you have a photo and some copy you could start one.

07/07/13 – 14:02

My understanding is that some of the apparent eccentricities of the Tyneside company derived from it not being quite fully owned by Northern until the 1960s.
Northern had an interest in the Tyneside Tramways and Tramroads Co from 1913, and a controlling interest from 1936, but it only became a limited company when Northern gained full control and could now change the name to Tyneside Omnibus in the early 1960s.
This happened after the construction of the new depot in Hadrian Road, and I can remember the odd sounding local newspaper reports "New depot for Tyneside Tramways" – which hadn’t run a tram since 1930!
I think had Northern had full control earlier Tyneside would have been amalgamated with the wholly-controlled Tynemouth company.

Percy Trimmer

19/10/13 – 08:10

John – the German barber was Rudi Sieber. He was a friend of my dad’s (no idea how they met but I know they used to go out shooting together at one time) and I remember being taken to the shop as a small boy to get my hair cut. I was told that he had served in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War and he reckoned to have been in Russia – which may or may not have been true, as he was a ‘larger than life’ character!

Patrick Ray

08/06/14 – 07:33

Willington Quay was well served by the green buses. The first I remember (about 1949) were Petrol Engined, with registrations JR8618 to JR8626. Bus numbers 18 to 26. From the timetable Tyneside needed 8 buses on the road. I think they always had 9, with one off the road for maintenance. This fleet of JRs was replaced by Leyland Diesels about 1950. BTY 167 to BTY 170 and CTY 331 to CTY 333; bus numbers 27 to 33. (Some years later 31 to 33 were operated by "Tynemouth" and all painted in Tynemouth Red, operating the Number 9 Route from the Tyne Tunnel to Culercoats). Next for Tyneside there were 4 buses with posh interiors again Leyland diesels with numbers from 34 to 38, but can’t remember the registrations. (Maybe ENL). After that Tyneside had a complete new set of Leylands; 39 to 47; again the registrations escape me. This was around the mid-fifties. One of this fleet embedded itself in Sammy Hendersons Sweet Shop in Borough Road Willington Quay one Sunday night. My mum got me out of bed to go and see it. I don’t think anyone was hurt, but the bus (42) was off the road for about 6 months. I then left Willington Quay and lost touch with their fleet. I think the next two buses they had were Leyland Backloading 30 footers; 49 and 50.

Rob from Willington Quay

ENL 355C_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

11/08/14 – 09:36

Patrick Ray – Rudi Sieber was my Sister’s Father, her name is Helga. I know very little about him, my Mother Grace Victoria Baker was married to him before she married my Father John Frizzell. She worked on the Northern Buses for years. If you wouldn’t mind any insight into what he was like would be wonderful.



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