Old Bus Photos

Bolton Corporation – Crossley SD 42/7 – DBN 978 – 8

Bolton Corporation - Crossley SD 42/7 - DBN 978 - 8
Copyright Ken Jones

Bolton Corporation
Crossley SD42/7
Crossley B32R

DBN 978 is listed as one of only eighteen Crossley single deck half cabs that survive. It is a SD42/7 with Crossley B32R body dating from 1949 and preserved in original condition as Bolton Transport number 8. It was transferred to Bolton Corporation Welfare Department, and is now privately preserved c/o The Tameside Transport Collection 2005. A picture of it prior to preservation taken in 1966 can be found at this link. The above picture was taken in September 2010 when it was present at the Rigby Road depot Open Day in Blackpool.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

28/12/12 – 06:47

I wonder why Crossley bothered with the step up in the window line on this model. The strengthening Manchester wanted for the suspended platform on its post war standard required the step up in the upper deck window line only, the lower deck step up was purely cosmetic – so why follow the idea through on a single decker?
This is a lovely example which I well remember seeing in service.

Phil Blinkhorn

28/12/12 – 06:48

An excellent view of a lovely machine! I’ve seen her on several occasions, including on her native territory in my "black and white print" days of the early 1960’s. The odd thing is that, apart from rally appearances, views I’ve seen of her in Bolton are all round the depot area behind the office at 147 Bradshawgate. Did she not move much?
A bought slide, from the Omnicolour collection suggests – incorrectly, I think – that she was a SELNEC vehicle when that photo was taken and comments she would have looked rather odd in orange. Of course, if she was with the Welfare Department, she wouldn’t have passed to SELNEC – or would she???

Pete Davies

28/12/12 – 09:52

Bolton withdrew the bus in 1962 and it passed to the Welfare Department. As with other Councils, the Transport Department looked after the vehicle mechanically and provided garaging (some even provided drivers) but the asset was owned by the Council’s Welfare Department and was not included in the stock passed to SELNEC though they may well have looked after and housed the vehicle under contract.

Phil Blinkhorn

28/12/12 – 11:03

Thanks, Phil. Another incorrect caption to join the list!

Pete Davies

28/12/12 – 11:52

DBN 978 was bought by the Crossley Omnibus Society in the summer of 1969. We had a frantic two weeks repainting it and then took it for its first trip out to the Grand Transport Extravaganza that year. Whilst in preservation it was kept at first in Carlton Street, alongside the Bolton (and later SELNEC) garage in Shiffnal Street, in almost exactly the same place it had been parked as a welfare bus.
I think this is where some of the confusion has come from. It was no longer owned by Bolton or SELNEC, just parked there. It moved up to the society accommodation in Greenfield on 19th September 1971 under tow due to an engine problem which after removing the engine turned out to require a replacement core plug at a cost of about 2p!
It was bought by the current owner in 1974 and restored to rear-entrance the following year (from memory). It is unusual in having air brakes.

David Beilby

28/12/12 – 13:43

Thank you, David, for giving the assorted dates. The slide I have is dated May 1970, so it is well into the preservation era. I’ll let the operator of Omnicolour know for future reference.

Pete Davies

29/12/12 – 07:01

Thanks for the fascinating information, gentlemen.
When was it converted to front entrance? Was it for its Welfare Department service or was it an early o-m-o conversion? Good to see it back in original condition.
Frankly, considering the comparatively small number of single-deck Crossleys put into service, I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that no fewer than eighteen still survive.
I’ve always had a soft spot for them, and I’d love to see an all-Crossley Rally somewhere someday (or have I already missed them?)!

Paul Haywood

29/12/12 – 09:08

Peter Gould’s fleet lists show that 6 and 7 of the same batch were converted in 1954 and 1955 respectively yet omit a date for 5 and 8. Can’t confirm if this is an oversight or if the conversion was done after withdrawal in 1962 but the conversion looks identical to 6 and 7 rather than one done specifically for the needs of the Welfare Department.

Phil Blinkhorn

29/12/12 – 14:05

I used to see these buses around 1961 as Pete Davies says always parked behind the Bradshawgate offices and I am pretty sure they were front entrance omo by then. Bolton’s need for single deckers was quite small and the few routes they operated were infrequent services to the north of the town so I suppose these buses spent long periods on layover. I don’t ever recall seeing one on the move.

Philip Halstead

30/12/12 – 07:17

I used to think that all had been converted to front-entrance but this was not so. 5 remained rear-entrance and I have a photograph of it in Cowley’s yard in Salford, still with rear entrance.
6 and 7 were full one-man conversions and featured an angled cab side window for the driver to collect fares.
8 was converted later and no doubt used a lot of the principles adopted for 6 and 7. However, there was no fare collection on a Welfare Bus so the angled window wasn’t needed. In fact it would have caused a problem on this bus as it was fitted with a heater in this role (I don’t believe they had them before) and the pipes went up in a box enclosure in the corner where the angled window would have been. The heater was above the bulkhead window – pre-dating the Leyland National physics-defying arrangement by some years!
Another difference was the blind display. Instead of a destination plus three-track number blind, there was just a single destination. This had a blind which if I recall correctly had just a single display "Welfare". Inside of course the bus was completely different, with longitudinal seating and a tail lift at the rear.

David Beilby

30/12/12 – 08:51

Thanks for that info David. Interesting that they didn’t need a ramp or chair lift as many Welfare Departments specified when converting buses from the Transport Department

Phil Blinkhorn

30/12/12 – 09:45

The tail lift was a chair lift – sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

David Beilby

30/12/12 – 17:27

Ah, my error in interpretation.

Phil Blinkhorn

23/01/2013 06:54:16

I travelled on this bus on what was billed as its first day of service boarding it at the top of Halliwell Road and travelling up to Smithills Dean CE School It was my favourite ‘though No 6 was reputed to be faster!

James Wood

29/01/13 – 15:28

I have owned DBN 978 partly from 1971 as a Crossley Omnibus Society member and wholly in August 1974 onwards. The bus is presently taxed and insured. Just waiting to refit the overhauled starter motor.
The bus has been operated more or less trouble free since 1997 when the engine was rebuilt. The only major event was a broken offside leafspring in 1997. Due to personal circumstances it has been laid up for the past 2 years until now. The starter was found to have become coated with rust in this period hence the overhaul. Next rally will be in April to Dukinfield.

Ralph Oakes-Garnett

Almost forgot! The bus can be viewed at Tameside Transport Collection at Roaches, Mossley where it is kept. Just off the A635 if you come from Manchester a road off to the right just before the Saddleworth/Yorkshire border. If you pass the sign you missed it! The bus has been a regular rally attender for years including European destinations of Noordwijk aan Zee and Amsterdam.

11/08/13 – 19:53

Here it is in its latest guise. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps Ralph will explain in due course. //sct61.org.uk/bn8c

Peter Williamson

12/08/13 – 07:23

That’s most odd. Why paint a post war vehicle in a wartime livery of an operator it never ran for and, assuming the scheme is meant to represent Manchester, use the wrong shade for the relief colour which was far nearer the white used for the 1960s Mancunians than the near cream used. Sorry if anyone gets upset but, unless this has been painted for TV or a film – and we all know just how accurate producers insist vehicles must be (!) – this is a waste of paint.

Phil Blinkhorn

12/08/13 – 19:21

I think, Phil, that for somebody who has run the vehicle for everyone’s benefit in Bolton livery for forty years, rebuilt it from front-entrance at his own expense and even taken it abroad, it’s really only for Ralph (the owner) to decide whether it’s a waste of paint.
What other vehicle could represent the wartime Manchester single-deck streamlined livery? I’ve never seen a vehicle in that livery!
(Incidentally I always understood that the streamlined livery used a shade more like white than cream.)

David Beilby

13/08/13 – 06:26

David, of course the owner can do as he wishes – but: the body design is nothing like anything Manchester ever operated; the chassis and engine are totally different to the pre-war Mancunian and we agree the relief colour is wrong so, therefore, I’m at a loss to understand the point.
I know from my interest in aviation just how misleading incorrect representations can be. Years down the line arguments ensue over the validity of markings and the actual provenance of a a type painted as something else. Just how long will it be before a photo appears in the press where it will be stated that the bus IS what it isn’t? In years to come how many times will those trying to research, from a standpoint of little knowledge be misled? At least the registration is a dead giveaway.
Heritage schemes are one thing but, in my book, this is "passing off" to what purpose?

Phil Blinkhorn

13/08/13 – 06:28

It sounds like a dramatic role for this bus to me. I can see the turbans on the Ladies’ heads, the pinnies, the caps and the suits and trilbies….


13/08/13 – 17:55

DBN 978_2

This is the ex Bolton Crossley which was repainted for a wartime event in Saddleworth recently. Photograph taken at Carriage House Inn Marsden Yorks. 10.08.13.

I painted this bus for the wartime event and also to give those who have never seen the Streamline Livery which was last seen 63 years ago including me to experience it. For those that remember it they must be around 70 and over. If I wait for the owner of the one existing bus which carried the Streamline Livery then they will be mostly dead! I do not see this other bus which incidentally is also a Crossley being finished in the next 10 years. I like the livery and obviously it was modified to depict the wartime version. In respect of the shade of the relief colour it was white BUT when varnish was applied became creamy. I would also point out that as a one parent family of a 9 year old it was a marathon task getting the bus finished in time for the event and therefore large parts are in primer. As for the body this is basically the post war version of the Streamline design and Manchester were contemplating ordering some Crossley single deckers post war but as the requirement changed was not proceeded with and then of course Mr Neale took over.
I new it would be controversial but it would be nice to see the positive side to this. As my old friend David points out I have done and spent a lot of time and money on this bus and having been through great personal trauma in the past three years I felt it was time for something different. To me it shows just how vibrant the Manchester colours were compared to some of the drab municipal schemes around at the time.
I also need to point out that post war buses were painted in the Streamline scheme i.e. 2890 to around 2850. Finally I do intend to repaint back to Bolton colours in a couple of years before that I intend to give the bus the non wartime version. Owning preserved buses should be fun and sometimes give a glimpse of the might have beens!

DBN 978_3

Here is another shot of the ex Bolton Crossley in its original livery taken by myself at Remise Lekstraat Amsterdam on 4th May 2004.

Ralph Oakes-Garnett

14/08/13 – 10:21

Well said. Owners must be allowed to determine how they want to present their vehicle. I too strongly favour historical accuracy thus I inwardly squirm when, for instance, I see what ‘Wheels’ have done to the ex-Stockport Corporation PD2 fleet #40 but it’s their bus, it’s their right and the good thing is that it remains preserved. It can be returned to it’s true colours another time if someone has the inclination, time and money.

Orla Nutting

14/08/13 – 10:23

Ralph, thank you for all the background on this great bus, especially concerning its present livery. It looks good; obviously you’ve put in lots of hard work and TLC over the years.
I am only sorry that you do not see the point, Phil.

Peter Stobart

14/08/13 – 11:13

Peter, as I said previously, owners can do as they wish. I fully get the point that a vehicle still in existence is better than none at all. I can understand – to a point – painting a vehicle from one fleet in the colours of another for which it never operated if the vehicle it represents was as near as possible identical, especially if there is some solid historical reason and its is made plain that it is not the original.
I’ve read Ralph’s explanation but still can’t get my head round how something a good way removed from reality has obviously had such care and effort put into it by an obviously dedicated owner. The "what if" idea presupposes either an extension of WW2 with Crossley able to lavish materials on a far from utility vehicle or that Crossley had fully designed and had for sale the SD42 and body pre-war.
I remember the furore some years ago when one of the model bus companies put a 30ft Tiger Cub with standard BET bodywork on the market in Midland red black and red colours. It never happened so why bother?

Phil Blinkhorn

14/08/13 – 13:19

One of the basic rules about the preservation of old buildings, especially "listed" ones is that any alterations for modern use should be capable of being reversed- for example an old Georgian chapel may have a building within a building constructed to provide offices, housing etc and ensure the building is used, but be capable of reverting to the original- and be seen as such. Seems to me that this could apply to historic vehicles, too.


14/08/13 – 18:49

This is really a tale of 2 Crossleys Bolton 8 and Manchester 129. I have painted the bus in a wartime version for the Saddleworth event and later the 1938 version of Streamline livery.
If you want to see the Streamline livery for real the choice is a) do as I have done. b) Wait until Manchester 129 is fully restored in around 10 years.
I was not prepared to wait that long and in another 10 years most people that remembered the livery sadly will not be around to see it. I have a copy in my possession of a Manchester Corporation official engineering drawing of the proposed post war single deck Crossley dated October 1946. I am not sure how well it will copy onto this site but I will try. Richard Finch the owner of 129 the Streamline Crossley Mancunian has the original and it was he and my son that helped in the painting of number 8.
Also out of interest over the years I have modified my bus to make it run better i.e. the intake and air filter(s) as it now has 3 not original but I am only doing what other Crossley owners did to try and get the optimum performance out of the engine. I must say that correct timing of these buses is paramount as a little fraction out is the difference between running very smoothly and loss of power with smoke! Interesting to relate over the years this bus has acquired a number of parts from pre-war Mancunians particularly the fan assembly. It is often said that every Crossley is different which is largely true I can say. So we presently have a lively bus that runs cool if anything and delivers 14 mpg and even 20mpg on long relatively flat runs as per trip to the Potteries Rally in May. A bus that climbs the 1 in 5 out of my village in 2nd gear and does not boil.
If I had stuck to the original specification then there were a number of inherent problems with running hot not least the air intake being treated to a diet of hot air from the sump. So what you have is not exactly original but a good bus, a heavy bus!
I intend to run the bus in Manchester colours for around 2 years. Not a waste of paint it looks stunning and I often think it is the Manchester bus it always wanted to be! There are many Manchester parts that I incorporated into the rebuild between 1974 and 1976 when the bulkhead was restored and the door put back to the rear. Also at this time the the back doors were removed and built across and the remains of the rear chairlift removed. Manchester PD1 post war Streamliner at Bingly Autospares provided 3 window pans as they were the same pattern.
Out of interest my father was originally an upholsterer before the war but after became a guard and then driver at Hyde Road Depot at a time when apart from 70 the Leyland Tiger every other bus was a Crossley some 300 on site. The trips around the depot in the fifties left a lasting impression. Both sides of my family at some time or other worked ay Crossley Motors at Gorton or Crossley Brothers. I was born in Ancoats in Crossley House owned by Crossley’s. So yes I like Crossley buses but Manchester’s the most. I never wanted more than one bus but if 2150 is ever for sale I would snap it up straight away. I was a few years ago part owner of 2558 a Streamline double decker but sadly it was too far gone to restore. For those visiting our depot at Mossley the bulkhead survives as does the engine at GMTS Museum.

Ralph Oakes-Garnett

15/08/13 – 07:09

Ralph has taken the trouble to explain at length, more than once, his thinking as regards the livery in which he is currently presenting his bus and his future plans for it. I fail to see, Phil, why you seem unable to accept this.
Many organisations – I’m thinking, for example, of the North Yorks Moors Railway in this part of the world – organise an annual ‘Wartime Weekend’. At these events people are encouraged to dress up in wartime garb, uniforms etc. The people who do so are often too young to remember the Vietnam War, never mind World War II, but they enter into the spirit of the occasion. Try to think of what Ralph’s done in a similar light. There are photos on this site, and elsewhere on the internet, of his bus in Bolton livery, and very fine it looks, so I think everyone can be confident that Ralph will continue to lavish every care upon it in the future. It seems to me that, if he was prepared to spend time and money painting it in a livery which, although not perhaps historically accurate for that bus, ‘looked the part’ for a special event, then he deserves nothing but praise rather than opprobrium.
With luck, any youngsters visiting the Saddleworth event will have acquired an interest, not only in the war and the sacrifices made by our parents’ generation, but also in Ralph’s bus and any others which may have been present. They are unlikely to have been bothered about historical accuracy but might just have been inspired to take an interest in bus preservation when we’re all long gone.

Alan Hall

15/08/13 – 12:03

Alan, I’ve also explained my position. There’s a massive difference between people dressing up for a day in WW2 uniforms and painting a vehicle in a non-accurate way.
The Crossley may well inspire someone to take an interest in PSVs but it’s the lack of interest in historical accuracy that bothers me.
In 1963, at the start of our A level course, an inspirational history teacher made a statement which, with the amount of disinformation on the internet, is truer than ever 50 years later, it went something like this:
"Lads, you’ll find this course will throw up contradictions and different views of what actually happened. The victors write history, the others have a different view. Your job when it comes to the A level paper is to put down what you have learnt. If you don’t know, don’t make it up. There are no marks for you writing your own version of history".
Get the point?
Decades of trying to research airline and bus operator histories, of working in aviation archives and in helping establish a major UK aviation museum, have opened many contradictions some which remain unresolved after decades.
Ralph’s beautiful but inaccurate representation can only help muddy waters in the future. I know it’s considered anal to insist on detailed accuracy and we all make errors from poor knowledge or bad memory but this colour scheme on this vehicle makes no sense to me. I’ve said my piece and I’ll leave it there.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/08/13 – 14:58

I have not been reading the OBP pages so much recently because of other interests so I have been catching up on recent threads and this one concerns me. I’m not able to quote historical accuracy in the finest detail but I do like old buses and coaches. I also like those who are enthusiasts and I respect their knowledge. Everyone has different ideas on how to do things but one simple goal of most owners of old vehicles is to look after them.
As I see it, Mr. Oakes-Garnett has owned and cared for this bus for forty years or so…a significant proportion of most of our lifetimes. Clearly he has a great affinity to it and that means for it to be still here, he must have lavished care, skill, time and vast sums of money to keep it on the road. Above he has set out clearly and in very generous detail why he wanted to change the colour scheme, his reasons and his personal thoughts about why he did it. He also indicates that he intends to put it back to just how it was before..in the way that HE did many decades ago. Then it will be back in splendid originality and "historical accuracy" will be maintained.
Meanwhile, just as if he had once sold it to "XYZ TOURS of SPUDBURY on SEA", it has been repainted. He could have chosen to do it like "XYZ" and painted it pink with yellow spots but he decided to do something that embraces history and adds to the story of DBN 978. He has done it well, with care and respect..and because his son likes it….and that brings me to why I post this contribution, always remember that preserving something involves the item whether it is a bus or a 1958 washing machine but most of all includes the ideas, thoughts, skills and feelings of those doing it. Historical accuracy has an important place..but kindness, friendship and understanding are even more important so Ralph..I say Good Work! DBN could not and never will be in better hands!

Richard Leaman

15/08/13 – 17:35

Richard I congratulate you on your posting and would give you 12 out of 10.
Ralph is to be commended in all he has done!

Peter Stobart

16/08/13 – 06:24

Thanks for that Richard. I just wonder how many critics on theses sites actually own or support a preserved bus? As I have said before the hobby should be fun and the latest incarnation of the bus has attracted a lot of interest locally about the second world war and also the different colours of buses in the Manchester area. My son has also learned a lot during this exercise including helping to make a headlamp mask and all the reasons why wartime markings were applied and the difficulties involved in moving around in the blackout. Most of his schoolmates in Diggle were at the wartime weekend and were frantically waving at us as we passed by.
Finally I have said it twice and I will say it again.
You would have to be around 70 years old to remember the Streamline livery as it finished in 1950. There is only one genuine prewar Manchester bus still around that wore the livery. That bus is DNF 204 Manchester 129 a Crossley Mancunian. This bus is kept at Roaches Mossley along with my bus. The owner Richard Finch is doing an excellent job in restoring it but is very much a perfectionist and progress is happening but not at a fast rate. Richard is often distracted by work on other buses including mine. I also have to say 129 was in a disgusting state when it was found around 1965 abandoned in a hedge. Today it has been reframed throughout and the cab totally rebuilt. There is still a long way to go with the limited means available. I can not see it restored fully for many years yet and Richard agrees. So if I had not taken the time to put a bus in this livery who else would? And is it fair to make everybody wait when already 63 years have passed since 1950. Richard thinks not because he helped me paint it. Now on the shade of white. The bus is still largely in primer due to limited time but I can tell you that it will be right. I was recently part owner of a doubledeck Streamline Crossley Mancunian CVR 760 Manchester 2558 and it was quite clear under the peeling paintwork what the shade of white was. The white becomes creamy when varnish is applied. Sadly by 1989 the bus was too far gone to restore at that time. Maybe these days we could have managed to restore it but unfortunately it had to be moved and disintegrated. The remains of said bus were sent to a number of locations we still have the bulkhead. This was another reason why I wished to paint my bus in Streamline livery.
I may at some time in the future have another paint scheme but for most part it will be in Bolton livery.
Finally I remember in 1977 at Brighton my dad and I had slogged away for months to get the bus ready to go on the London Brighton Commercial Run. There were many trials and tribulations at this time and both of us were very green and ignorant but as they say ignorance is bliss. On leaving Brighton a pedantist came up to us and said this bus is in the wrong shade of maroon. I said well if you are offering to paint it you are welcome!

Ralph Oakes-Garnett

16/08/13 – 09:36

Well said, Ralph! Did that nitpicker at Brighton 36 years ago ever take up your offer to allow him the honour of painting it in the maroon of his choice? I bet not.
All this livery business aside, I find these postwar all-Crossleys the handsomest of all single-deckers of their era. Everything looks no-nonsense and purposeful. From your comments on DBN 978’s performance it must be in pretty good mechanical shape too. What is the UW? Would it be about six-and-half tons? Do any 5-speed Crossley coaches survive? I’ve read that the very high overdrive ratio (I seem to remember 0.656:1) was chosen to achieve the best possible improvement in fuel consumption.

Ian Thompson

17/08/13 – 06:27

Thanks for that Ian.
As far as I am aware non survive but I have in my possession a five speed Crossley box. They were crash boxes and unfortunately for myself they were fixed amidships attached to a banjo piece. I had looked at fitting it but not practical. It is a large gearbox same size as my synchro box. I do however have the benefit of my bus having a coach diff from new. It is 5.2:1 whereas the standard was 6.6. Presumably this was fitted because the bus worked Pennine area routes to Darwen, Blackburn and Affeteside for most of it’s life.


21/08/13 – 06:59

Well over 40 years ago a Manchester ‘Streamliner’ single deck Crossley was parked up at in the yard at Plumtree railway station near Nottingham. At that time Plumtree station was home to several preserved buses and trolleybuses. The bus in question was in a parlous state; it was devoid of windows and internal fittings, the radiator top tank was full of concrete and the steering wheel had lost its rim with just the hub and spokes remaining. The identity of the bus wasn’t known and after a while it was towed away for preservation in the Manchester area, we were told. I wonder if this bus was Manchester 129, which you have mentioned in your recent posting?

Michael Elliott

01/09/13 – 13:59

Yes the said bus is 129 and has had a lot of work done on it. However it is rarely seen by the public at large. It is kept at our depot Tameside Transport Collection in Mossley. We are there most weekends including this one but Saturday only as we are taking 3 buses to Heaton Park on the Sunday.

Ralph Oakes-Garnett

19/08/14 – 14:09

I am not a contributor to this site, just a casual visitor, so a bit ignorant. Hence my question. How were they able to use a half cab vehicle for one man operation?

Martin Robinson

20/08/14 – 18:11

Just to clarify the above question. Using a half cab for one man operation must have meant that the driver was constantly twisting around to tend the customers, surely? Did he end up with serious back problems or did he have a special swivelling seat? Wasn’t there money constantly being dropped? It appears an impossible process. Can someone explain?

Martin Robinson

21/08/14 – 06:20

The adaptation of half cab buses for OMO (no PC complications back then) was adopted in several fleets, Brighton Corporation being the first to try it with double deckers. I don’t know if swivelling seats were ever fitted, but bearing in mind that the driver would sit with his legs on each side of the steering column, and then considering the space constraints in a half cab, especially with a conventional gear lever to the left of the seat, any rotational movement would have been so limited as to be almost useless. The Brighton PD2s had the nearside bulkhead window angled forward to give passenger access to the driver over rear part of the the engine bonnet, and this form of modification seems to have been pretty much the standard elsewhere. According to a correspondent on the following site, half cab OMO conversions were also tried in Darwen, Southport, Southend, Aberdeen, East Kent, City of Oxford and Eastern National. I don’t know how accurate this list is, no doubt our OBP experts will clarify (and some of our OBP regulars have posted comments on this SCT page so, hopefully, more information may be forthcoming), but he omits Bolton, and also Doncaster. www.sct61.org.uk/bg26
The reference to East Kent also puzzles me. In 1956/7 this operator rebuilt 26 of its 1947 Dennis Lancet III rear entrance saloons with new full fronts, revised cab layouts and forward entrances for OMO work, and they ran successfully in this form for another ten years, being twenty years old when finally withdrawn. However, these were very different from simple half cab conversions. I am not aware of any other East Kent examples.

Roger Cox

21/08/14 – 06:21

With most of these OMO conversions the front nearside bulkhead (that is the bit to the left as you enter the bus that faces onto the bonnet), and the rear half of the driver’s nearside cab window were usually cut back and a new angled window put in to create a bigger ‘hole’ for the driver and passengers to communicate through, and to provide room for a ledge to which the ticket and change machines could be awkwardly mounted.
I believe some did have a swivelling seat, but most didn’t, and yes it must have been ergonomically diabolical – especially if the driver was already suffering from middle aged aches and pains.
My local operator Halifax Joint Omnibus Committee had a number of AEC Regal III single deckers converted in this way back in the early 1950’s. To add insult to injury the doors were manually operated by means of a substantial pivoting metal rod that was attached to the top edge of its leading section, and then passed across the top of the entrance and into the space in the canopy above the bonnet and under the roof space. The end of it then emerged in the cab high up above the driver’s head. At every stop the poor driver, already aching from the constantly twisting around, then had to raise his left arm right up above his head and nearly pull his shoulder out as he heaved away to operate the doors. The arrangement was not popular, and wouldn’t be allowed today.
Yet it wasn’t just confined to single deckers back in the 1950’s. A small number of operators experimented with a similar arrangement on halfcab double deckers when DD.OMO was first permitted in the late 1960’s. Brighton Corporation comes to mind for one.

John Stringer

21/08/14 – 10:54

Roger, the list of 8 fleets which I provided related specifically to double deck OPO. I did quite a bit of research, but never came across Bolton or Doncaster, so I would be interested to know more about this myself. I also believe that Accrington and Stockport gave serious consideration to adapting their newest Titans to the appropriate configuration, but took the idea no further. Stockport’s few front entrance vehicles represented just a tiny percentage of the fleet. As regards East Kent, there was an article in ‘Classic Bus’ some time ago which showed a Regent V operating on, I think, service 10, and being used as a single-manned vehicle. Overall, my understanding is that it was only Brighton who pursued the idea of double deck half cab OPO for any substantial length of time. The situation with single deckers would have, I’m sure, been quite different. John Stringer mentions Halifax’s Regals; my home town fleet in Lancaster also converted some Regals and I would imagine that overall numerous companies would have used half cab single deckers one-manned. Crosville actually rebuilt a good number of its Bristol Ls with front entrances for this purpose. Just consider also the Bristol SC, often used for more lightly trafficked routes. Whilst not a half cab, the door was positioned behind the driver, who would therefore be subjected to similar ergonomics!

Dave Towers

21/08/14 – 12:41

I seem to remember that Burnley, Colne, and Nelson had OMO single deck half cabs.

Stephen Howarth

21/08/14 – 17:47

Stockport had intended to run its front entrance PD3s as OMO vehicles on certain routes and they were delivered with both angled bulkhead windows and stair gates so that they could operate as single deckers, well after double deck OMO was allowed – another facet of Stockport being traditional! Union opposition and then the advent of SELNEC ended all thoughts of front engined OMO.

Phil Blinkhorn

22/08/14 – 06:39

Stockport had intended to run its front entrance PD3s as OMO vehicles on certain routes and they were delivered with both angled bulkhead windows and stair gates so that they could operate as single deckers, well after double deck OMO was allowed – another facet of Stockport being traditional! Union opposition and then the advent of SELNEC ended all thoughts of front engined OMO.

Phil Blinkhorn

22/08/14 – 18:08

Blackburn Transport were still operating Darwen PD2s OMO on Darwen depot local services as late as 1979-1980 – whilst crew-operating early Atlanteans from Blackburn depot! Some of the Darwen local services used narrow back streets, which may have been unsuitable for Atlanteans,although the Bristol REs managed to get round them. As I have mentioned before, after something of a moratorium on OMO conversions from about 1976 to 1979 by many public sector operators, there was some sort of national agreement in 1979 and OMO conversions started again in earnest, resulting in several operators having to return older types of vehicle to OMO, which had earlier been consigned back to crew work.

Michael Keeley

23/08/14 – 06:22

Just another thought about Bolton being a possible addition to the list of operators using half cab double deckers as OPO buses. This would seem less likely given that by the time double deck OPO was permitted by law in 1966, Bolton had some 70 Atlanteans in their fleet.

Dave Towers

23/08/14 – 16:25

Dave, I’m pretty sure Bolton never used half-cab DDs OMO. Most of their later front-engined buses were full fronted PD3s anyway but I don’t think these were either. (On that note though, I suppose in theory a full front, front engined bus would be marginally more easy to operate OMO than a half cab).

Michael Keeley

24/08/14 – 06:48

Northern General converted a Leyland Titan PD3 for use on ‘One Man Operated’ duties by moving the cab back behind the front axle – in effect making the PD3 normal control. With the cab then directly opposite the front entrance/exit doors, it was suitable for ‘pay as you enter’ operation. If memory serves correctly, Northern also updated the braking system, and a Routemaster fluid flywheel and semi-automatic gearbox replaced the Titan’s manual transmission. Other Routemaster parts used included the radiator, adapted front wings and a widened version of the Routemaster bonnet. Although this experimental vehicle (known as The Tynesider) may have looked a little odd, to me it had a certain charm. No doubt it would have been more reliable, simpler to maintain and cheaper to operate than the rear-engined ‘deckers on offer at the time, which was presumably the purpose of the exercise. I personally felt it a shame such an ingeniously simple design could not have been approved for ‘new bus grant’. If it had, maybe we would have seen the Leyland Titan PD4 as a viable option to the Atlantean. Presumably pleased with The Tynesider, Northern followed it up by converting one of its Routemasters to similar layout (The Wearsider), and full marks must surely be given to the Company for their bold attempt at designing such a practical, straightforward ‘PAYE’ double-decker.

Brendan Smith

24/08/14 – 18:41

Brendan, I don’t know if you saw it, but I had a posting of ‘Tynesider’ featured on the Ugly bus page on this site. As far as I’m aware, its still around somewhere in the Liverpool area.

Ronnie Hoye

25/08/14 – 07:28

Thanks for the link to the photo Ronnie. I had looked under the Northern General and Tyneside headings to see if The Tynesider was included, but never thought to look under the ugly bus page – probably because I didn’t think it looked too bad for a prototype! I’m pleased to hear that this unique vehicle is still around after all this time, and I’m sure we all wish it well.

Brendan Smith

26/08/14 – 06:51

Brendan, more news about Tynesider. I’ve just come back from the Seaburn vintage and historic vehicle rally, apparently, about four years ago the person in Liverpool who owned Tynesider became short of funds, so it was sold to a dealer for scrap. However, as luck would have it, he realised what he had bought and he contacted a group of enthusiasts here in the North East. He offered them the vehicle for the price he paid for it, and agreed to keep it until the money was found and arrangements could be made to bring it back home. It is now back in this part of the world and restoration work is well under way, and it is hoped to have it on the rally cercuit some time next year. As for Wearsider, it looks as if it has been scrapped.

Ronnie Hoye

27/08/14 – 05:48

Thanks for the info Ronnie. While it is sad to hear that The Wearsider Routemaster may well have bitten the dust, it’s lovely to know that at least The Tynesider is now in preservation. I’m sure many people would not see this vehicle as the prettiest or most handsome thing on wheels, but at least it has a distinctive character, a trait that is sadly lacking in most of today’s sterile "me too" designs. I’m no fan of Boris Johnson’s NTFL (New Toy For London), but at least you know what it is from a distance!

Brendan Smith

27/08/14 – 07:13

I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence there Brendan, and dare I venture the further comment that the same can be said of the NTFL perpetrator ??

Chris Youhill

29/08/14 – 14:00

The vexed question of accurate liveries continues to divide the enthusiast fraternity.
I don’t own a vehicle but respect and admire those who do.
If a slightly non standard hue is used there may be many reasons for this and it should not detract from the joy of having the vehicle survive. Three examples spring to mind one is the ex London RLH beautifully painted in Ledgard livery now they did run this type of bus but not this particular example, but it serves as a powerful reminder of a very popular company. Again Yorkshire Heritage services who use vintage buses as wedding transport paint many of their buses in a black and cream livery since this is what the punters want and they are a commercial enterprise. Again I would rather see them in this guise than in a scrap yard. Finally the Wensleydale Bus Company run a service in the Dale which was West Yorkshire and United territory with a Lincs Road Car MW in green again not accurate but I would sooner have a ride in it than pass up the opportunity due to the "wrong" colour scheme.

Chris Hough

DBN 978_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

15/07/19 – 07:01

DBN 978_4

Ralph Oakes-Garnett has today posted a picture of his Bolton bus, on a Facebook group, and it shows it in partial undercoat in preparation to return it to full Bolton livery.
It is 2 years since he was struck down by illness, and he says it is slow progress.
I am sure he won’t mind me sharing the image with you.

Stephen Howarth


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Bolton Corporation – AEC Regent V – SBN 766 – 166

Bolton Corporation - AEC Regent V - SBN 766 - 166

Bolton Corporation
AEC Regent V 2D3RA
Metro Cammell H40/32F

Taken in Bolton bus station this Regent V is working route 81 Four Lane Ends I’ll come back to the destination later. This was one of a batch of six Regent Vs they were the first and only AECs that Bolton took delivery of since the solitary AEC Q of 1933. Their post war double decker fleet apart from the odd batch of Daimlers CVGs and quite a few Crossley DD42/3s have been Leyland Titans and Atlanteans. All Bolton vehicles passed over to SELNEC on the 1st of November 1969. One of the Regent Vs registration SBN 767 fleet number 167 as been preserved and there is a very good shot of it here and guess what the route number and destination is.

Linking this post with the Bradford post and Chris Youhill’s most recent comments.
Nothing beats a Roe decker for me but, as I have said previously, I fully agree with Chris that the Orion is much maligned. Apart from the first "lightweight" models, the Sheffield examples were always well turned out and finished. I too, have a soft spot for them.
These Bolton examples look to be in the same mould, but are strangely out of place in this fleet. I never remember them in my time in Greater Manchester from 1971 to 1980.

David Oldfield

Sister vehicle SBN 767 is currently in the care of the Bolton Bus Preservation Group but is off the road awaiting restoration. BBPG’s active fleet includes former Bolton Transport East Lancs bodied Atlanteans 185 and 232 and similar (but longer and delivered in SELNEC orange) 6809.

Neville Mercer

11/05/11 – 07:13

Yes the sister vehicle is still barely in existence however it is in a very poor state after being abandoned on a farm for a number of years. I’m led to believe that the farm owner is due to cut up and scrap the remains due to the fact that the owner/s haven’t paid any rent for the vehicle.

A. N. On

12/05/11 – 07:10

I believe the route the bus is working on is a short-working of the old SLT trolleybus route from Bolton to Leigh from Howell Croft bus station. I think the full route to this day is still numbered 582.

Dave Towers

14/09/12 – 06:52

Just to get things correct the location is Howell Croft South. Howell Croft was split in two when the Town Hall, seen in the background, was doubled in size. The 81 was in-fact a short-working on the 82.

Malcolm Gibson

03/11/14 – 06:31

A short lived colour scheme … seemed odd at the time … but when a few of the older Leylands were painted in this scheme … definitely odd!!

Iain H

03/11/14 – 16:27

The colour scheme was Ralph Bennett’s first as Manager, based on the Plymouth scheme from whence he came.

Phil Blinkhorn

04/11/14 – 06:44

This colour scheme on this chassis/body combination gives them quite a Hebble look.

John Stringer

05/11/14 – 06:32

It always puzzled me why Bolton bought these, as they were completely non-standard. The pre-Atlantean fleet was quite a mixed one really, as though they couldn’t make their minds up quite what they wanted – although basically Daimlers and Leylands with MCW or East Lancs bodies, hardly any two batches were the same – 30′ Daimlers with rear entrance MCW or front entrance East Lancs, PD2s with full-front MCWs, PD3s with rear or front entrance East Lancs, or full fronts, etc.

Michael Keeley

05/11/14 – 11:33

I think that often when an operator – particularly a municipal one – purchased an odd batch of vehicles that seemed ‘non-standard’ to mystified enthusiasts it was usually to do with the tendering process resulting in an offer they couldn’t refuse (in the interest of saving ratepayers’ money) or the manufacturer being able to offer more attractive delivery dates than the preferred supplier.

John Stringer

05/11/14 – 15:37

John makes an excellent point. Many a manager who, for excellent engineering or operational reasons, wanted a particular vehicle type, found himself over ruled by his committee for political or "economic" reasons. One of the most crass decisions was that of the Manchester Committee which denied Albert Neal his desired Tiger Cubs and forced the Seddon bodied Albion Aberdonians on him, breaking their own Leyland/Daimler only purchase rules and then, as Leyland owned Albion, having them listed as Leylands and having the Albion badges which Seddon had affixed, removed.
Of course the vehicles had a long, distinguished career – long in being kept as often as possible in the depot, distinguished in being of poor finish, ride and serviceability.

Phil Blinkhorn

06/11/14 – 06:10

Manufacturers sometimes did bid low in an attempt to penetrate a "glass wall" of long standing custom and practice in purchasing followed by some municipalities. Municipal General Managers did succeed in getting their own way much of the time, as could be seen from the often dramatic change in favoured manufacturer following the appointment of a new GM, but Transport Committees were the ultimate power, and a low quotation would have been mightily tempting to the custodians of ratepayers’ money. (One can imagine the heated reaction in camera from a GM who had suffered the imposition of an unwanted vehicle type in the fleet.)

Roger Cox

20/07/15 – 05:38

Yes, I always thought the same as Michael about Boltons fleet. They seemed to have a lot of small batches which were all different, some 27 feet long, some 30, some with tin fronts, some St Helens moulded fronts, and some exposed radiators and also the same with Daimlers. When they changed to Atlanteans they seemed to become more standardised, some of the earlier ones had Metro Cammell bodies, then they seemed to standardise on East Lancs.

David Pomfret


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Bolton Corporation – Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 – ABN 213C – 213

Bolton Corporation - Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 - ABN 213C - 213
Photo by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Bolton Corporation
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
East Lancs H45/33F

Here we have two Bolton Corporation Leyland Atlanteans separated by only eleven registration and fleet number but they are both bodied by a different body builder. The one on the left was by East Lancs built in Blackburn Lancashire which is not many miles away from Bolton, the one on the right by MCW (Metro Cammell & Weymann) a Birmingham based body builder. All Atlanteans delivered to Bolton after this batch of 8 MCWs were all bodied by the local builder East Lancs,

Bus tickets issued by this operator can be viewed here.

The interesting thing about these Bolton vehicles is that the modern styling and colour scheme was the creation of the General Manager Ralph Bennett.
He subsequently went to Manchester as GM, where he created the Mancunian, the first bus to be specifically built with OPO in mind, which revolutionised both Manchester’s buses and, arguably set the trend for the whole country.
He then moved on to London Transport where he created the "Londoner" DM and DMS buses, though sadly LTE were far more timid than either Bolton or Manchester’s Transport Committees, and the result was pretty mediocre in comparison with his earlier work.

David Jones

Ralph Bennett was certainly responsible for the new Bolton livery, and as it first appeared on this style of Atlantean, he is generally credited with that as well. But in fact the design of the East Lancs body was a straight copy of the Metro-Cammell one apart from having slightly bigger windows, and the Metro-Cammell one had already appeared at Liverpool several months earlier, presenting a very different appearance in their livery.
I have often wondered who was really responsible for that Liverpool design. The managements of municipal fleets always had good relations with each other, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised at some sort of collaboration. I very much doubt that it was MCW.

Peter Williamson

28/08/11 – 12:19

I am wondering if Bolton Corporation Atlantean fleet number 192 is still around it was the first Atlantean bus to come on the road in 1963 and i drove it on the first day it came into service on the Bolton – Bury 52 Route we went from Thynne St in those days it had a automatic gearbox but could be driven manually through the gears number 4 slot on the selector box being the auto but was disconnected later and reverted to manual early problems were the fuel lift pump and in fact broke down on our last trip which was to Stopes Little Lever

Frank Ryle

28/08/11 – 15:50

Most interesting Frank – we had a batch of twenty new Atlanteans (406 – 425) at Leeds City Transport in 1970, and they had very smooth automatic gearboxes for that era – many systems at that time were diabolical and, in cases, downright dangerous but I really liked these twenty. Were yours the same in that if you selected 4th position at a standstill the bus would move away in second gear and then change up very smoothly. You had to select first gear when required in the normal "1" position on the "H".

Chris Youhill

29/08/11 – 07:56

Central Area and Green Country Area Routemaster buses (as opposed to Green Line coaches) were the same. They were fully automatic when 4 was selected and started in second from rest. They had full control of gears in semi-automatic mode using all the gates – including 1st.
Anyone who remembers original London operation might remember hill starts in 1st – but then shifting straight to 4 for automatic operation thereafter.
When I was driving RMs for Reading Mainline in the ’90s, we were told to drive in semi-auto mode rather than in fully automatic. [At that age some could cope with auto but others couldn’t.] The preserved RML that I drive still has fully auto capability but I prefer to drive it semi-auto to ensure a smooth drive – for which I am well known.
Interesting enough, the Alder Valley Bristol VRTs of the late 70s had a slightly different control – which I seem to recollect went over to some subsequent Leyland Olympians. They were fully automatic but always started in 1st – but the take up was harsh and brisk, meaning even the best of drivers could end up catapulting old ladies on to the back seat. They also had a very strange three gate control – Reverse, Forward and change down (after which you went back to Forward, ie auto).

David Oldfield

30/08/11 – 08:12

yes Chris it was the same as you say in auto mode pull away in second but the change wasn’t as smooth and a bit jerky as I said it was decided to disconnect the auto and just have manual on the subject of gearboxes in early sixties BOLTON still had some Crossleys and Leyland PD ones which had a crash box double de clutch and hope you matched up the revs otherwise you had no chance of changing up or down although they were fitted with a clutch stop which put a brake in the gearbox as they were at the end of their life it was hit and miss if they worked or not also a small number of front loading Daimlers with preselect boxes in first you could move the selector to second but it wouldn’t change until you pressed the clutch pedal which wasn’t a clutch pedal as such but a decompression pedal if you stabbed it quick the change was reasonable provided you match up the revs and road speed otherwise it would snatch fiercely

Frank Ryle

30/08/11 – 15:25

Interesting information again Frank and perhaps by 1970 that particular automatic system had been improved, because the twenty buses that I mentioned were impeccably behaved in auto or manual mode and admittedly they were new when I drove them. When with the famous independent operator Samuel Ledgard I drove many Leyland PD1s and PD2s. I passed my PSV test on a wonderful PD1, JUM 378 of 1946, and although I use the term "favourite" with care I think I must say that they are one of the most appealing and totally predictable models for me – the Ledgard fitters certainly kept the clutch stops in fine order even on buses twenty years old. The spring operated gear change on the Daimlers had to be treated with great respect if you wanted to avoid a trip to A & E with an ankle injury. Any wear on the selector linkages or failure to depress the gear change pedal positively and fully would result in the pedal flying out to twice the normal length with tremendous force – usually it could be restored by applying both feet to the pedal and pressing the shoulders against the cab rear window – Lord knows what the passengers must have thought !! Happy days, and the present generation of "fast men" think they have it hard with their super fully automatic buses and incredibly powerful engines – but no character or challenge – I wouldn’t have missed my early days for anything and I can still happily remember dozens, or many more, of individual vehicles and their peculiarities.

Chris Youhill

30/08/11 – 19:24

Chris, how I empathise with your sentiments on some of the present day crop of bus drivers. Power steering, auto gearboxes, powerful brakes, vehicle power to weight ratios that were undreamed of in our time…..! How would they cope with, say, a manual PD3 with synchro on the top two gears only. Mind you, driving a bus on the roads of today, having to cope with the stupid, suicidal, selfish lunacies of the cretinous Clarkson clone brigade that now infests our highways, is a far cry from those happier times of yore. I gave up bus driving finally five and a half years ago and wouldn’t want to go back to it except for classic vehicle jaunts. Also, as you say, these present day monsters of the bus fleets have about as much individual character as the wallpaper pattern in a Chinese restaurant. And as for some of these "modern" liveries, words fail me (and many will testify that this is an extreme rarity!).
I. too, remember (painfully) those Daimler preselectors. At Halifax, it was accepted practice not to warn the novice drivers about the endearing characteristics of the Daimler box. When it happened to me, the pedal came out half a mile (or so it seemed) giving me a hefty smack on the knee against the steering wheel in the process. I thought that I had broken the thing. The pedal was solid, and the bus remained obstinately in neutral. In sheer desperation, I swung round in the seat, and hoofed the pedal hard with both feet, finding, to my relief, that it went back to its proper place and behaved itself again. One could always pick out other sufferers with "Daimler knee" – they could be seen limping about the depot in a fair imitation of Laurence Olivier in Richard III.

Roger Cox

22/01/12 – 06:54

Frank 185 was the first Atlantean on the road for Bolton as I recall. And do you further remember an Atlantean was one of the stars of the film The Family Way starring Hayley Mills and Hywell Bennett


20/03/12 – 07:16

How I agree with Chris and Roger regarding modern vehicles and drivers, I always think with todays buses it is a case of point and steer and then hit the brakes almost as hard this combined with built in retarders and fully automatic gearboxes that nearly always change into low gear just as the bus stops make for an unpleasant ride. I know traffic conditions today demand some easing of the drivers lot but the semi-automatic systems of not so long ago were very easy to use and left the driver in control and able to give a smooth ride, however the easy use also meant easy abuse if a driver couldn’t be bothered but at least you had a choice. I too learnt to drive on a PD1 JK 9113 of Eastbourne Corporation in 1962 and I am glad that I was able to drive the characterful and interesting buses around at that time and not the mainly ugly soulless modern types at least I could give my passengers a comfortable ride at any time.

Diesel Dave

20/03/12 – 11:20

The seventies film Spring and Port Wine starring James Mason was also filmed in the Bolton area. Scenes on a bus were shot using the Leyland/Park Royal demonstrator KTD 551C. This bus later ran for Woods of Mirfield

Chris Hough

20/03/12 – 16:04

Right, Dave. You can often barely move in a "smooth modern bus" between stops because of the G-forces and sloping floors. You can only stand up and hang on! There is no need for stop/go driving like this: we can all do it, but not with passengers!
In the good old days you had long smooth braking- because that’s all they would do- with sound effects: although engine-braking using a Daimler preselector could explore the rev range a bit….
PS Anyone found a recording of a CVD6?


21/03/12 – 07:20

I’m waiting for someone to come up with that CVD6 recording as well. If there are no takers, is anyone planning a visit to the next Lincoln event? Could be a possibility to capture the sounds of the ex-Colchester Roberts vehicle – preferably with some hill starts!

Stephen Ford

21/03/12 – 07:22

There is of course another factor to take into account, buses now don’t have conductors, and at one time it was a easier to just drive the bus properly rather than suffer a constant ear bashing from a conductor who found it hard to walk around the bus unless it was stationary.

Ronnie Hoye

23/03/12 – 06:35

Ronnie has a very valid point regarding smooth driving and conductors as I started my career on the buses as a conductor and you very quickly learnt to pick out the best drivers to work with and those you hated your weeks of bumps and bruises with. When I started driving I tried not to do the things I hated as a conductor this I think kept me honest and I hope comfortable for the next 41 years. I find this site the most enjoyable on the internet as it lets me ramble on to my hearts content about the good old days to like minded soul, long may you prosper.

Diesel Dave

10/04/12 – 06:28

Totally agree with the comments on modern buses. They just don’t register with me at all and I have no interest in them, whereas proper buses have a character and individuality of their own. I never worked on the buses but travelled on them thousands of times as a child in the 60s and a teenager in the 70s when I used them for school. I lived in Radcliffe, and my favourites were Bury Corporations PD3s with Weymann bodies.
I remember them struggling up the very steep hill at the bottom of Stand Lane in Radcliffe on the way to Whitefield on the 65 with a full load and used to admire the way the drivers coped with these huge heavy looking buses.
The PD2s always seemed a bit lighter and easier to handle, don’t know if this was true. My interest started to go in the 80s after the ex municipal buses had gone. I liked the Selnec/GMT Standard Atlanteans/Fleetlines as well, but after those I sort of lost interest and after deregulation I completely gave up

David Pomfret

10/04/12 – 11:33

Re Smooth driving. As with David above, I have never had any involvement with buses except as a passenger when young so reading that a lot of favourite vehicles were misery to drive is very fascinating. From my first driving lesson I was always told to imagine that I had an egg in a dish stuck to the bonnet and that I had to keep it from rolling out. Does anyone remember that Jackie Stewart the racing driver ran a promotion with Ford Motor Co, in 1973/4 whereby drivers were challenged to drive a Ford Cortina Mark III with a tennis ball in a dish held to the bonnet only by a woollen blanket?
As regards bus driving, an old family friend, Lionel Coles who drove for Bristol Omnibus Company (often on the 88 to Radstock) was always very smooth but I also remember the gearbox crunches that so many K/KSW’s suffered in my school journey home on the number 1 to Cribbs Causeway when climbing the hill to Eagle Road, Brislington, Bristol. The fitters must have drained many ounces of iron filings!!

Richard Leaman

17/04/12 – 14:22

Southampton’s Atlanteans were of the East Lancs "Bolton" style, but without the fairing over the bustle. They used the Bolton style of livery, with the Manchester shade of red – Bill Lewis came to Southampton from Manchester. Strangely, he didn’t apply this lighter shade to the Arabs, Titans and Regents. When Blackpool started to buy Atlanteans, the Committee visited the East Lancs factory, where some were being built for Southampton, and adapted Southampton’s livery to have the extra stripe.

Pete Davies

ABN 213C_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

04/01/16 – 06:21

Any owner can do what they like with a vehicle. And having owned a North Western Bristol L5G I know many of the problems. Initially I was anxious to have it in original cream roof livery and did so but red roof spray paint colours would be just as legitimate. It spent 5 of its 13 years in service like that. The important thing us to have records that show changes.
CDB 206 is now in better condition then when I had it. Proper full length grab rails at entrance now. But the roof is all cream and no grey rectangle in the middle. Often forgotten.
Does it natter? Not now, but we should comment for the records. The generations that come after us will have no memory at all. We owe it to them to keep accurate records.

Bob Bracegirdle


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