Old Bus Photos

London Transport – AEC Regent Bluebird ST – APC 168 – ST1037

APC 168

Photo: Copyright unknown

AEC Regent
LGOC H26/22R

The Bluebird six-wheel LT was an impressive and attractive variant of the LT class, but the Bluebird ST was rare. ST1037 was one of the first 8 of a total of just 23 Bluebird STs which London General built for their expanding green Country Services. Initially allocated to Windsor Garage by LGOC, under London Transport, it quickly moved to North London , serving at Tring until mid 1948, when it was transferred to Reigate for storage, then quickly re-allocated to Watford High Street Garage as a trainer.
Never having had an overhaul, looking very careworn, with deformed lower panels and body sag extending from bottom to the underside of upstairs windows, she is shown at Epsom Downs on route 406F on the shuttle service from Epsom Station to Epsom Downs during one of the Epsom Racecourse events, most likely around Derby Day, when any bus capable of moving was dragged out of dusty corners over to Morden and other places to operate shuttle services., Post-war, this attraction was often the death knell for some of these loyal, decrepit, worn-out servants, the stigma of imminent doom appearing as a crudely-chalked cross on the nearside wing! In December 1949, the axe fell and she was sold to Daniels of Rainham for scrapping and an undeserved end after over 17 neglected years of service. Not bad for a vehicle with a design life of about 10 years!

A couple of asides:
Note the Morris 8 maintenance van on the right 
Route 406F used the highest suffix letter ever by London Transport.
Some history of this vehicle taken from the excellent Ian’s Bus Stop website.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

18/04/20 – 05:48

Route 406F still operates on major race days, using the same route number and must be the last survivor of the Bassom route numbering scheme.

David Todd

19/04/20 – 06:05

Thx for that, David. Amazing the way some things survive in the most obscure and unique ways. It would not be surprising if the suffixes A to E disappeared years ago!

Chris Hebbron

20/01/21 – 06:53

Your text is slightly incorrect, Chris. These buses were delivered in the red livery of London General Country Services. Apparently the green country bus livery was first introduced in May 1933 prior to LT becoming operational. I presume the green livery as introduced in May 1933 was all over mid green with black relief and plain General fleetnames, that being the initial LT Country Bus livery. Apple green relief around windows was added later and in 1935 a new version with less black and possibly a different shade of the darker green along with London Transport fleetnames became standard. You can find pictures with LT fleetnames on the earlier green livery as well, the fleetname having been introduced in 1934.

PS: Surely the text should read "Never having had a post-War overhaul"?

Andrew Colebourne


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L. P. T. B. – AEC Regent – DLU 92 – STL 2093

DLU 92

London Passenger Transport Board
AEC Regent O661
London Transport Chiswick H30/26

The STL – the letters stand, rather confusingly, for ‘Short T Long’ – was introduced into London area service firstly by Thomas Tilling in October 1932 and then by the London General Omnibus Company in January 1933. The STL Regent then became the standard double decker for the new London Passenger Transport Board which came into being on 1 July 1933. The chassis was the latest version of the AEC Regent which took advantage of new regulations that allowed for the extension of the overall length from 25ft to 26ft on a wheelbase of 16ft 3ins, and an increase in the rear axle loading from 9½ to 10 tons. The LPTB STL class then reached a total of 2647 by the commencement of war in 1939, and a further 34 unfrozen chassis were added from the end of 1941. Twenty more buses complemented the STL class in 1946, but these were very different beasts from the LPTB specification, being standard post war AEC Regent II machines with provincial style Weymann bodywork. An example of which can be seen here
The STL class underwent several specification changes over its production run and subsequently in service – engine changes (petrol/indirect injection diesel/direct injection diesel) and many bodywork swaps, some arising from the attrition of wartime. STL 2093, DLU 92, seen above during the HCVC Brighton rally of May 1971, was a 1937 chassis powered by the AEC A171 indirect injection 7.58 litre diesel driving through the AEC D132 four speed spring operated preselector gearbox. It was initially bodied by Park Royal, but, being damaged in an air raid, it was sent to Birmingham City Transport for repair in 1944. By 1949 the body was deemed past further use and it was scrapped in February of that year. STL 2093 then received the Chiswick built body from 1939 vintage STL 2570, the chassis of which was then selected to join the expensive and ultimately fruitless SRT conversion programme, under which newer STL chassis were ‘upgraded’ to carry the heavier RT bodywork. Sadly, not only were the SRTs under powered but, more seriously, they couldn’t stop, and the whole wasteful exercise was abandoned ignominiously. This OBP entry contains comments on the SRT debacle. www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/
Meanwhile, now carrying its Chiswick body, STL 2093 soldiered on, even seeing a short spell during 1949 as a Green Line coach on route 703 at Swanley, until its withdrawal from passenger service in 1954 along with the rest of the pre-war/wartime STL class. It was then sold in 1955 to Reliance Services of Newbury who in turn passed it on to a private owner for preservation in May 1958. This was Dennis John Cowing, a chemistry master (and transport enthusiast) at Selhurst Grammar School in Croydon, a master contemporary with my own attendance in a less elevated capacity at that establishment. Mr Cowing rallied the bus for many years and he is driving it in the 1971 picture, but, by 1976, the structure of the vehicle had degenerated alarmingly and it passed into the ownership of Prince Marshall for full restoration. That has since proved to be a mammoth undertaking, currently in the hands of the former Cobham, now Brooklands Museum, where it has more recently been displayed as a bus victim of the blitz.

I have gleaned information from various sources for this note, but, as ever, Ian’s Bus Stop has been invaluable.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

26/03/20 – 06:43

One of my favourite buses, in roof-box form, along with the Bluebird LT’s. A shot which brings out the best of its design and in a condition which suggests it’s only been on the road for a few weeks after delivery to LT. Only the parked Ford 105E gives the game away! Yours, Roger? My last glimpse of a working STL was in June 1955. When waiting at traffic lights, one passed across me. It must have been a garage hack on one of its last journeys.

Chris Hebbron

29/04/20 – 06:19

This bit of Pathe newsreel, taken in 1946, includes shots of many LT types including STLs. I was surprised that so many horse drawn vehicles were still extant and also by the number of private vehicles on the road in addition to London taxis in a time of petrol rationing. Some of the pedestrian behaviour is decidedly death dicing. www.youtube.com/watch? 

Roger Cox

30/04/20 – 06:03

A wonderful piece of film there Roger with a fascinating array of buses but strangely, given the date of 1946, I spotted only one utility, GYE 51. Were utilities kept off central London routes to any extent?

Chris Barker

02/05/20 – 06:36

A real cornucopia of LTs (one open staircase, with half its windows still boarded up), STs, pre-war STDs, STLs all still with their white discs on the back, and, surprise, surprise, the lone surviving TF9, on a ‘SEEING LONDON TOUR’ and still in its pre-war livery.T wo ex-army lorries, one a 3 ton Bedford OY model, which I recall as being ubiquitous post-war.
Very pleasurable to watch – thanks Roger.

Chris Hebbron

03/05/20 – 06:21

Well spotted, Chris B. As Chris H can confirm, GYE 51 was Brush highbridge H30/26R bodied Daimler CWA6 D62, allocated to Merton garage. Pretty certainly it is seen here on route 88, Acton Green – Clapham Common – Mitcham which did run through central London via Marble Arch and Parliament Square. That route is reputed to have given rise in Victorian times to the term, "The Man on the Clapham Omnibus". The Daimlers were based at Merton and Sutton garages, apart from a brief period when a few were painted green and allocated to Romford for the reintroduced Green Line routes from Aldgate. The wartime London Bristol K types, the K5Gs were later converted with AEC engines to conform with the later K6A batch, were all allocated to Hanwell. The Guy Arabs operated mainly in eastern and northern sides of London, but Victoria garage had an allocation along with its Leyland TD7 unfrozen utilty bodied buses. The heavy 5LW powered Guys, with their ‘back to front’ crash gearboxes and rather ponderous clutches were not popular with London drivers, but the TD7s were truly detested at Victoria owing to their high gearing and the heavy engine flywheel designed to damp out rock from the flexible engine mountings. This resulted in a requirement to wait excessively for the revs to die for upward gear changes, and keeping time with the type was nigh impossible. In practice, those TD7 mountings were unreliably weak, and many other operators bolted them up solid. The whole exercise was a bit pointless anyway since the rigid mountings of the TD5 were entirely adequate for the smooth running 8.6 litre Leyland engine. Those TD7s were the first wartime buses to be sold off by London Transport, when they all went for scrap. The appearance of private hire TF9 in the film is remarkable as, by 1946, it was unique, its fellows having been destroyed in October 1940 by enemy action. The prototype TF1 did survive the war but was sold off early in 1946. The Green Line TF fleet was withdrawn and sold by 1953.

Roger Cox

03/05/20 – 06:22

Chris Barker – During my working time in London from 1951 to 1956, I worked in Shaftesbury Avenue and would often walk around the whole West End, especially Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square and although I never saw any Utility G’s (Guys), there were their cousins, the utility D’s (Daimlers) who went up these roads. They worked the 88 route, which went from Clapham Common (Old Town) to Shepherds Bush. These D’s worked out of Merton Garage. Other routes they operated on were the 77/77A, all going through Westminster, terminating at Kings Cross, plus the 137 going through Knightsbridge and Oxford Circus. I seem to recall that most of the G’s were garaged in East London, but I never recall seeing any around Holborn or the City. Others will probably help on that score. The following link maybe of interest London Transport – Daimler CWA6 – GXV 785 – D 54

Chris Hebbron

04/05/20 – 05:49

One wonders why the unfrozen STD TD7s were ever allocated to Central London. They’d have been more suited to Country Area, or at least to less challenging Central Area routes.

Chris Hebbron

31/07/20 – 09:36

GYE 51 would pass to Belfast Corporation in December 1953 becoming No.467. It would be rebodied with a new Harkness metal framed body in 1955 and would serve until 1970.

Bill Headley

01/08/20 – 06:27

The earliest of the Highbridge Daimlers were delivered to LPTB in August 1944, the era of V1 and V2 bombings, but not one of them suffered from this German onslaught. Ironically, a few of these went to Belfast, and a couple of them were destroyed in the early days of the ‘Troubles’. Fortunately, this was from the mid-1960s, near the end of their service lives.

Chris Hebbron


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London Transport – AEC 664T – CUL 260 – 260

London Transport - AEC 664T - CUL 260 - 260

London Transport
AEC 664T
Metro-Cammell H40/30R

This representative of London’s once extensive trolleybus system is a London Transport class C2 AEC 664T (chassis number 168) with a Metro-Cammell H40/30R body. The 664T chassis design was a close relative of the six wheeled LT class Renown that the LPTB also operated in large numbers.
CUL 260, fleet no. 260, arrived new on 2 July 1936, reputedly costing the sum of £2,286.3s.8d., and operated for its entire life out of Stonebridge Park depot (previously a tram ‘shed’) until its withdrawal on 27 August 1959. It was originally selected for preservation by London Transport, but then rejected in favour of ‘All Leyland’ K2 type 1253, EXV 253, H40/30R, of 1938. Consequently, on 18 July 1962 CUL 260 was sold for scrap to the George Cohen 600 Group, but two enthusiasts, Tony Belton and Fred Ivey, stepped in literally at the last minute as the trolley was being hitched to the Cohen’s tow wagon at Clapham. They bought it, and arranged for its safe transport to secure premises elsewhere.
This picture shows it being towed away from Clapham on 1 August 1962 over the John Rennie London Bridge of 1831, now ‘recreated’ in Arizona on a concrete substructure. www.flickr.com/photos/ 
Alfred Smith of Smith’s Coaches, Reading, kindly allowed the storage of 260 at his Basingstoke Road depot for several years, and Tony Belton acquired Smith’s Duple bodied Dennis Lancet III KJH 900 for use as a tow vehicle to take the trolleybus about. Sadly, it seems that this Lancet no longer survives. In the heading photograph trolleybus 260 is seen at Madeira Drive, Brighton on 1 May 1966, when it won the award for the best restoration of the past year. Today 260 is resident at The East Anglia Transport Museum, Carlton Colville, Lowestoft.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

19/12/19 – 05:43

If any of the so called Experts of the period are still alive, I wonder if they now regret telling Trollybus operators to get rid of them?

Ronnie Hoye

20/12/19 – 06:33

I recall you and I (and others) covering this subject, Ronnie, in another post, in 2012 no less!
Link is: http://www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=14275

Chris Hebbron

28/12/19 – 06:14

I remember the London trolleybus being towed to Brighton in respect of the 1966 HCVC (now HCVS) London to Brighton Run.I recall the following year, two preserved trolleybuses were towed to Brighton for the run namely a Brighton one & a then newly restored Derby Corporation utility (both four wheelers). Sadly I do not think since 1967 a trolleybus has taken part in the annual Brighton run, I would love to be proved wrong with my statement!

Andrew Spriggs

11/02/20 – 07:01

My friend’s Dad was in the City of London Police, and he was told that the reason trolleybuses had to go from London was if there was a nuclear attack, diesel buses could disperse people much further because they weren’t restricted to the overhead wires.
I bid the last trolleybus a tearful goodbye at Isleworth depot when London’s final trolley routes were closed.

Steve Bacon

11/02/20 – 13:34

I have never been a Londoner, and therefore don’t have a good grasp of the route system (present and ever-changing, or historical) but even to me, Hammersmith via Acton & Cricklewood (in that order) sounds geographically strange. Shouldn’t it be Hammersmith via Cricklewood (first) and Acton (second)? I could understand it with separate destination and routing blinds, but this is all on one display. Or is this another bit of esoteric London Transport lore to confuse us provincial types?!

Stephen Ford

15/02/20 – 06:28

Trolleybus route 660 ran from North Finchley via Finchley, Golders Green, Childs Hill, Cricklewood, Willesden Green, Craven Park Junction, Harlesden, Acton Vale and Ravenscourt Park to Hammersmith (and back again!) My high mileage memory, though not yet an MOT failure, has been rewardingly refreshed by the following site:- www.angelfire.com/

Roger Cox


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 8th March 2021