Old Bus Photos

Oldham Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – NBU 508 – 408

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - NBU 508 - 408

Oldham Corporation
1957
Leyland Titan PD2/20
Crossley H33/28R

This picture shows Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation Transport XTC 855 and Oldham Corporation Passenger Transport NBU 508 in Oldham’s Wallshaw Street Depot.

NBU 508_2

The photograph shows the cast fleet number plate that was a feature of the Oldham fleet at that time.
In this view 408s Coat of Arms is on the lower deck panel, until, like Ashton, they were moved to the front upper deck panels. This was to save the costs of replacement when damage occurred due to accidents.
The Service 3 was Middleton to Rushcroft.
408 was renumbered as 5308 in the SELNEC fleet in November 1969.
The picture shows the vast expanse of the roof of Wallshaw Street depot. The Garage roof having only 3 stanchions, supporting girders with spans of over 200ft.
Ashton XTC 855 was one of the Guy Arab IVs with Bond H32/28R bodywork delivered as No. 40 in 1956. Here it has Fleet No. 68 which it received in 1964. It was renumbered 5468 at the formation of SELNEC in November 1969.
It can be seen that the Corporation crest and lettering is in the normal position before being moved to the upper deck front panel (as shown in the photograph of No. 19 in Part One – Ashton under Lyne article by Phil Blinkhorn and Roger Cox).
It is in Oldham Garage, showing Service 8 which was the joint Oldham, Ashton, & SHMD service between Oldham and Stalybridge via Hurst Cross.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth


12/09/13 – 16:30

Oldham 408 was numerically the first of five Leyland PD2/20 with Crossley bodies built to Park Royal design, after the takeover by the ACV group. Similar bodies were supplied to Ashton-Under-Lyne and Stockport Corporations at this time Crossley ceased body building soon after, although not before they had built the prototype Bridgemaster, which had many similarities to this body design. The Manchester independent A. Mayne and Son had three AEC Regent V with Park Royal bodywork to the same basic design (although in 30ft length.)
These bodies proved inferior to their contemporaries of other makes, and after takeover by Selnec PTE, 409 was overhauled and lasted in service until 1973, the rest of the batch were withdrawn in 1970.
Ashton-Under-Lyne Corporation was a Leyland User, and had only the one batch of Guy Arab IV’s. These were unusual in having exposed radiators and 5LW engines, as well as the relatively rare body make. I enjoyed several rides on these interesting buses from Ashton to Mossley, this route being their usual home.
I wonder why an Ashton bus was inside Oldham’s depot? At first I wondered if it was one of the many buses hired from other operators as a result of the disastrous visit by Ministry of transport inspectors in October 1965. However David Wayman’s book on Oldham buses states that there were no Ashton buses involved. Perhaps it had broken down in Oldham.

Don McKeown


13/09/13 – 06:30

An interesting photo of a neighbouring municipality’s vehicle interloping into the home fleet’s garage. I would venture this was a relatively rare occurrence in its day unless someone can enlighten us. The photo has made me realise what an attractive design the Bond bodies were in a fairly understated way. The Guy radiator looks a bit old fashioned and puts about 10 years on the body design though. The Birmingham tin front would have made them into really stunning buses. Bolton of course had similar bodies on exposed radiator Leyland PD2’s but somehow the Leyland radiator seemed to age much better and still looked good right up to the end of Titan production.

Philip Halstead


13/09/13 – 08:30

A number of points regarding Don’s comment. The Stockport PD2s with Crossley bodies to the same design didn’t have the same problems as the Oldham batch and some were sent to Oldham after SELNEC took over. As I’m away from home at present I can’t confirm actual vehicles used and the dates but the Stockport vehicles outlasted the Oldham and Ashton batches.
The Ashton Guys were specifically bought for the Mossley route – see my article on SELNEC Part One. They appeared on the 7 and 8 from time to time, both being regular Guy turns, more frequently operated with rebodied austerity Guys sporting 7 foot 6 in versions of the Crossley body shown in the picture.
What the bus is doing in the depot is a matter of conjecture. It certainly wasn’t a 1965 swap vehicle. A breakdown is possible but as there was always one of the batch spare and it may have been filling in for a broken down Oldham vehicle which came to grief in Ashton’s territory and would have been taken to Mossley Rd. Most of the joint services in the Manchester conurbation had vehicle swap arrangements should a vehicle come to grief in the territory of another operator.

Phil Blinkhorn


13/09/13 – 08:30

I know exactly what the Ashton Guy was doing in the Oldham garage and I even have the negative of this photo (although I didn’t take it). I’ve had to look very carefully as it is quite likely that very similar photographs were also taken.
Ashton 68 was on a tour organised by the Buckley Wells Bus Enthusiasts Society. It operated on 9th July 1967 and visited several locations in north Lancashire. Thanks to Stan Fitton, who organised the tour, I have photographs of the Ashton Guy next to Todmorden PD2s, a BCN Guy and an Accrington Wulfrunian. I hope in time to put these in a gallery recounting the history of the Society as I think many will find it an interesting story.
Although both these vehicles were allocated SELNEC fleet numbers neither carried them and in fact the Oldham PD2 had been withdrawn some time before SELNEC was formed.

David Beilby


13/09/13 – 16:30

I wonder why the blind was set for route number 8? Has David thwarted a ruse set 46 years ago to confuse future enthusiasts and historians? The date was my 20th birthday and I spent the day riding buses – far away from Oldham however.
They were two shades of green, exclusively single deck and carried a coat of arms containing the letters SPQR and a crown. I have in mind an article covering my wanderings on the city and country buses I used around Rome but am having problems finding relevant photos and accurate references to exact types.

Phil Blinkhorn


14/09/13 – 06:24

XTC 854

To quote Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder". I consider the elegant and timeless Guy radiator on the Ashton Arab IVs to be much superior in appearance to the bulbous Birmingham style tin front. The best version of the Birmingham front was that fitted to the Dennis Lance K4 which had vertical chrome strips instead of the crude sausage shaped slots. Did these Ashton Arabs really have the 5LW engine? Hitherto, I understood the power plant to be the 6LW. Gardners were always cool runners, an effective oil cooler being an important feature of the engine design. The handsome Bond bodywork exhibits several similarities with contemporary five bay East Lancashire products. Perhaps Bond used the East Lancs frame. Then again, the Harkness bodies of the period had much the same appearance, and these used MetSec frames.

Roger Cox


14/09/13 – 16:19

Roger, as you are aware, I’m away at present but my memory and the references I can find on the Net all point to the 5LW engine. Bond used various frames inc Burlingham but I’ve no knowledge of any use of East Lancs frames and I’d doubt that the Blackburn concern would have supplied frames given just about every batch built by them in the 1950s and 1960s was unique, though I take your point about resemblance, especially the frontal appearance.
The Park Bridge service was an oddity. It followed the Oldham Rd to almost the boundary with Hathershaw then turned right down a winding road to Park Bridge, a hamlet established in the 18th century around an iron works. Its timings on weekdays were based around rush hours and a late evening service. Saturday saw an enhanced daytime service for shoppers but, until the closure of the Oldham to Guide Bridge and Stockport rail services in the Beeching era, the halt at Park Bridge provided a more frequent service though Oldham Rd station at Ashton was a good ten minutes walk from the market and shops, the final 200 yards back to the station being up a quite sharp gradient. The hamlet is now a heritage site with beautifully restored houses in a rural setting.

Phil Blinkhorn


15/09/13 – 07:25

Phil, your knowledge of the operators in the Manchester locality is rewardingly comprehensive, and, as you indicated in the Ashton article, these Guys must have been purchased for a specific reason. Nonetheless, it does seem extraordinary that Ashton should specify the 7 litre, 94 bhp 5LW engine to meet a situation that distressed a 9.8 litre, 125 bhp Leyland. The Gardner would assuredly climb a proverbial brick wall without overheating, but progress must have been decidedly sedate. On the subject of the body frames used by Bond, a contributor to the following website, named T W Moore (surely the well known bus photographer) suggests that Bond was an associated company of East Lancs (see the last post on the page):- http://cwk205.freeforums.org/  
Do you think that this was the case?

Roger Cox


15/09/13 – 09:36

XTC 855

The attached photo shows the Ashton Guy at the start of this tour (and all the other Buckley Wells Bus Enthusiasts tours), Manchester Victoria station. 68 has as a backdrop the long-demolished buildings on Hunt’s Bank. The coach behind is unusual as it is a Setra from the Somme Département in France, as shown by the registration which ends with the number 80. Continental coaches were a rare sight in those days.
The blinds were set to all sorts of displays during the tour (it was an opportunity to practice this much-desired but usually not permitted activity). At Ashton it showed 159, certainly not an Ashton route, and a lot of time it showed the perennial favourite but incorrect Ashton display, "10 Downing Street", which unfortunately came out as Downing St 10. Downing Street was a short working on the 5 to Droylsden via Littlemoss.

David Beilby


15/09/13 – 14:02

On the face of it the use of the 5LW looks odd but there may have been a very logical reason – at least in the minds of the members of the Transport Committee and the General Manager. The order was placed in the period in the 1950s when diesel prices and wages had escalated rapidly putting up costs against a background of increased availability of cars, an increase in home entertainment with a widening of TV output and a resistance against increased fares all of which produced a marked decline in passenger numbers.
Small and reduced output engines were not a rare phenomenon in the area and whilst the route to Mossley may have seemed to demand a large engine, a slow plodder which completed the journey, on what was a fairly relaxed schedule, was preferable to an enforced cooling stop or even a breakdown, which had become a regular and expensive enough occurrence. No other route in the system had such demands and the 5LW would have had a more racehorse like performance on the other routes to which Ashton’s Guys were allocated and to which the vehicles would eventually be tasked. I rode on both the Leylands and the Guys and whilst I was under ten at the time the Guys took over, I have memories of their stately progress compared to the rather raucous progress of the Leylands, which included much gear changing and stuttering starts from some of the bus stops on the steeper parts of the route, not to mention the overheating.
With regard to Bond, the posting linking the company to East Lancs contains a major nonsense in so far as it places the latter in Bridlington, not once but twice – hardly a typo. Apart from its own bodies Bond did finish bodies for other manufacturers and may well have taken the strain for East Lancs with the Coventry job but, as far as I have understood the rather obscure history of the company, it was totally independent of any other bus body builder, its demise in Wythenshawe coming about after protracted labour disputes between craft unions.

Phil Blinkhorn


15/09/13 – 16:50

Roger’s information with respect to the suggestion that the S.H. Bond concern was an associate of East Lancs. would go a long way towards explaining why the remainder of a batch of nine pre-war Bristol saloons of Rotherham Corporation, of which I think four had been rebodied by East Lancs. at Bridlington when the decision was taken to wind up the seaside operation in 1952, ended up being taken to Bond at Wythenshawe for the work to be done.

Dave Careless


15/09/13 – 16:51

Ashton’s Guy Arab IVs had 6LW engines. I get this information from a very detailed fleet list published by Ashton themselves about 1968 when the buses were part of the current fleet. As (I believe) the only Ashton buses ever fitted with a 6LW it is most unlikely they would have got that wrong. The fleet list shows withdrawn vehicles and the utility Guys are shown correctly with a 5LW engine.
Bond bodies were built on Metal Sections frames and were as good as anybody else’s. The closest connection they had to any other coach builder was Brush as the head of their bus operation had come from Brush when they moved out of the business.
One of these Guys was earmarked for preservation in early SELNEC days but a significant chassis defect meant that project was stillborn. It’s a shame as one of these would have been a fine testimony to a local coachbuilder, the sole representative being a contemporary Ashton trolleybus.

David Beilby


15/09/13 – 18:05

Phil, East Lancs did have a subsidiary business at Bridlington as the following web page confirms:- www.ebay.com/itm/  
I do, however, agree with your assessment of the situation in that any connection between Bond and East Lancs occurred purely in the course of business; there was no inter company control. I am grateful to David for endorsing my belief that these Ashton Guys had 6LW engines. The revelation that the Bond bodies were built on Metal Section frames also ties in with the visual and quality similarities to the fine Harkness products of that time.

Roger Cox


15/09/13 – 19:19

Dave, I’m a little surprised that either Coventry or Rotherham accepted tenders from the Bridlington operation of East Lancs as I always understood this arm of the operation was to be wound down from the end of 1951, thus my thought that the reference to Bridlington in the link posted by Roger was in error. If the operation was still functioning in 1952, as seems to be the case, then it’s demise must have been delayed then brought on in very short order for vehicles to be moved to Bond, implying a hasty decision and that the Blackburn operation was operating at capacity.
Again, the movement to Bond doesn’t imply any legal connection or association. As mentioned before, Bond completed orders for a number of body builders, including three of the 1953 Royal Tiger half decker airport coaches for Manchester for which Burlingham supplied the frames, the Blackpool concern completing the other three itself.
David, as I mentioned previously, I’m away from home at the moment so can’t access my own records. If 6LW engines were fitted, they would certainly have been the only ones in the fleet and from a power point of view the bigger engine, as Roger points out, would be more logical though the references I can find say 5LW. The fleet list to which you refer has long been on my "must have" list but seems to be as rare as hens’ teeth.

As a rider to the above, the Commercial Motors’ archive which often can clear up seemingly contentious issues with contemporary news items is silent on both the demise of the Bridlington operation and the Ashton order for the Arab IVs.

Phil Blinkhorn


16/09/13 – 06:28

Bond were initially active in rebuilding before they turned their hand to building new bodies. Ribble was a big customer and most memorable were the early SLT trolleybuses that were given a new lease of life at Wythenshawe.
Significantly it appears from the fleet list elsewhere on this site that the Rotherham Bristols that went to Bond were also lengthened to (almost) the recent 30-foot limit, whereas the others were rebodied and remained the original length.

David Beilby


NBU 508 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


17/09/13 – 05:06

Phil, the story of East Lancashire Coachbuilders (Bridlington) Ltd., and sister company, Yorkshire Equipment Company, is a most interesting one. Apparently the latter built school furniture, desks and cupboards etc., and even constructed a furniture van body on an old Rotherham Bristol JO5G chassis with which to deliver the items to schools around the country.
Unfortunately, as orders for bus bodies and school desks inevitably dwindled, and commitment from owners wavered, the search for a buyer was unsuccessful, and both companies went into voluntary liquidation in mid-1952.

Dave Careless


19/11/13 – 18:04

In the comment above you make reference to Yorkshire Equipment being a subsidiary of East Lancs and being a school furniture maker. I had my own website back in Gocities days and had a page for makers. In doing research for Mann Egerton of Norwich, I found a US site that had school desks made by them. At one time they also made radios! Varied markets for many!

John Turnbull


 

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Oldham Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – NBU 502 – 402

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - NBU 502 - 402
Copyright unknown.

Oldham Corporation
1957
Leyland Titan PD2/20
Roe H33/27R

A couple of weeks ago I commented on the Pommard and Devon Cream livery introduced in 1966, after the very short lived ‘Blue’ livery experiment with NBU 502 (Fleet No 402).
Well here it is, seen in a rather grubby state, in Union Street, operating on the Service ‘A’ Greenacres/Bar Gap Road – Limeside (Laburnum Road) via Chapel Road. The service was renumbered ‘18’ in the April (1st) 1968 renumbering exercise.
The bus was transferred to SELNEC and became 5302 in their numbering scheme.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth


10/04/12 – 19:45

I may be wrong but I seem to recall that this bus had a yellow band between the two shades of blue instead of the white band shown in the photograph at some time during the experiment. Can anybody confirm? I used to see it on the 9 in Rochdale fairly frequently.

Philip Halstead


11/04/12 – 06:08

This blue livery reminds me of the equally abysmal colour scheme of Cambus of Cambridge, which blended in astonishingly well with the Fenland fogs.

Roger Cox


11/04/12 – 06:09

The original scheme was more like you describe, but the yellow was the "Roe" waistrail and all above was light blue. It looked quite different! It seems to have been changed quite quickly.

David Beilby


11/04/12 – 16:00

Would that, Roger, be the livery of white with a variety of horizontal stripes of various blue hue? It put me off visiting that area again for some twenty years!!

Chris Hebbron


12/04/12 – 05:54

Chris, the original Cambus attempt at a livery was overall pale "Cambridge Blue" with cream trim, and the insipid effect made buses virtually invisible at dusk and in fog, as well as showing up the road dirt rather prominently. A variant for dual purpose vehicles had stripes of darker blue across the vehicle front and in a reverse slope along the sides. As you say, the visual effect was awful. Later, Cambus revised the bus livery to show a darker blue on the lower half of the vehicle, with the pale blue above, very similar in appearance to the Oldham experiment. When one remembers the inspired company liveries of the past – City of Oxford, Aldershot and District, Southdown, East Kent to name but a few – and the neat simple paint schemes of the ex Tilling group, plus the multiplicity of interesting municipal colours, the present day rash of garish garbs seem to be the end results of opium induced nightmares.

Roger Cox


13/04/12 – 06:15

Your so right, Roger. Even today, the most dignified liveries are the traditional ones. Thankfully, a few operators still respect that principle.

Chris Hebbron


13/04/12 – 17:23

I particularly enjoyed the description in the caption of Rotherham’s depot as being a ‘gloomy’ looking place. Sandwiched between the River Don on one side and the canal on the other, the Rawmarsh Road garage was prone to flooding in heavy rains, such that the inspection pits would sometimes fill with water, making it very gloomy indeed if you were trying to work in there. In PTE days, some of the fitters actually ‘acquired’ a rowing boat left behind by some contractors working on the river bank, and used it, painted in PTE coffee and cream (!), to row across to the fish and chip shop at lunch times!
There was a set of steps leading down to the canal bank from the roadway, which rose up to pass over the railway alongside the garage, which were ideally placed from which to stand, with notebook and pencil, and watch the comings and goings of the Crossleys and Bristols in the yard, while the single-deck trolleys of Rotherham and Mexboro and Swinton swept by every few minutes on the road; from this schoolboy spotter’s point of view, it didn’t get much better.

Dave Careless


13/04/12 – 17:33

OCPTD First Blue Livery_lr
Copyright unknown.

I have found a photo of OCPTD NBU 502 in the ‘First’ blue livery with the yellow band, as mentioned by David Beilby.
I’ll let you and your contributors decide which is the better livery of the 2 in the picture. I know which is my favourite.
Note the Salford DD in the back ground hired in after the fleet check by the ‘Ministry Man’ in 1965, which dates the picture to late that year.
Not my copyright, but I have had it in my collection for many years. No mention of the original photographer.

Stephen Howarth


14/04/12 – 07:08

That’s not a Salford Daimler, the photograph predates that affair. It’s one of two Liverpool Crossleys bought for spares by Oldham. The engine of one of them ended up in preserved Oldham Crossley 368.

David Beilby


16/04/12 – 07:34

The blue bus (402) took to the road in September 1963, but within a few weeks the livery was changed to the two shades of blue separated by a white band. I preferred the first version. The interior was unchanged – dark red trim and upholstery: a neighbour of mine said that she found this a disappointment!! Presumably a blue bus should have a blue interior, as (at the time) Rochdale Corporation’s buses had. This was also the case with Lytham St.Anne’s Corporation buses.
402 was one of three buses to receive the Pommard and cream livery in July 1966. The others were Met. Cam. 419 (PBU 919) and Northern Counties 457 (PBU 957). The whole fleet then received this livery up to 1970 with the exception of Roe PD1 246 (DBU 246, preserved); Roe Titan PD2 360 (FBU 647); and Roe Titan 450 (PBU 950); withdrawn in 1971.

D. Butterworth


19/02/15 – 10:38

I might be a bit late putting this comment in but as far as I remember Oldham 246 (DBU246) did receive the Pommard and cream livery. I was a passenger on her when she was the first bus of the morning on the number 8 (later 20) route from the top of Featherstall Road to Hollinwood back in 1966/1967.

Eric Langley


19/02/15 – 15:52

I can bring to mind only two examples where two shades of blue have looked good on buses because it is a feat that is difficult to pull off.
West Brom’s post war double deck fleet, bar the rear engined buses, look absolutely superb with two shades of blue. The trick there was to keep them well apart.
Manchester’s airport coaches, both single and double deck, carried the two shades well mainly because each complimented the other. There was a time in the mid 70’s when dissatisfaction by the public with the orange and white SELNEC livery led to a campaign to have the fleet in two tones of blue. It came to nought. Perhaps someone remembered the Oldham examples.

Orla Nutting


19/02/15 – 17:25

I wonder if the Manchester airport buses inspired the second Oldham scheme.

Phil Blinkhorn


20/02/15 – 07:39

Orla Nutting mentions that there was a proposal to have the SELNEC PTE fleet painted in to a two tone blue livery but nothing came of it, perhaps because of the ill fated Oldham scheme.
It is worth mentioning here that Harry Taylor, ex Oldham Corporation General Manager was the Fleet Development Engineer of SELNEC.
Enough said.

Stephen Howarth


20/02/15 – 07:41

Orla, I would agree with you about the West Bromwich livery, but I can think of a few more superb liveries using two shades of blue separated by cream. First, in my opinion one of the finest liveries ever – that of W. Alexander. Then there was South Yorkshire of Pontefract, and still with us – Delaine of Bourne.

John Stringer


20/02/15 – 07:42

Another two blues, Orla- South Yorkshire. Boat race colours. Chris Y will tell you they always looked good.

Joe


20/02/15 – 09:33

The South Yorkshire livery did work until someone was let loose with too much white paint, a spray gun and oversized lettering.

Phil Blinkhorn


20/02/15 – 11:32

Quite right, Phil. I was only thinking of the classic original South Yorkshire livery, the later soap powder box style was awful to my mind.

John Stringer


20/02/15 – 16:26

The Delaine, I’ll concede, impossible not to particularly when they’ve produced so many winning combinations of the two shades of blue over the years albeit the navy is almost black at times. Again, the application of white (or cream on some coaches) has enhanced the blues.
South Yorkshire, I’m afraid not for me; undistinguished.
I haven’t a problem with the colour blue it’s simply that the application of pale blues is a bit hit and miss (a bit like City is suppose) but more often miss. Rotherham, Rochdale (until nondescript cream ruled) Eastbourne & Swindon were about right with their blue and white/cream applications, Leigh and Middlesborough less so with their shade of blue and I was indifferent to Ashton’s so called peacock blue. Same for Bradford and Preston. Accrington’s was stunning with red and Birkenhead carried it off with pale blue with just the right amount of white/cream relief.
There’s more but I won’t bore more and don’t get me going on two shades of green.
BTW, I totally fail to understand why Oldham wanted a change in the first place. First it changed the rather nice plum colour to Pommard, a ghastly washed out colour, then this blue two tone (maybe the Gen Mgr had a Hillman Minx of this period).

Orla Nutting


20/02/15 – 16:27

DBU 246

D. Butterworth mentions that the whole Oldham Corporation fleet received the Pommard and Devon Cream livery, "with the exception of PD1, DBU 246………."
Attached is a picture of 246 in the ‘Grave Yard’ behind Oldham Depot displaying the afore mentioned livery.
I hope that this clarifies the situation.

Stephen Howarth


21/02/15 – 07:04

When I was at Oldham Harry Taylor the General Manager, had a Ford Corsair – Registration GBU 1. The Departmental staff car, was, however a Hillman Minx. It was painted black, which the Chauffeur kept immaculate, with red upholstery, with the Municipal crest on the doors.

Stephen Howarth


21/02/15 – 12:30

The Ashton Peacock Blue was reasonable but not a patch on the patriotic blue white and red that covered the fleet until late 1954. Oldham’s Pommard and Cream was just *~!**@& The Pommard looked like undercoat.

Phil Blinkhorn

Its either means a naughty word or Phil’s predictive typing has gone wonky again.


21/02/15 – 12:32

There were still quite a few vehicles in the older crimson and white livery when Oldham was subsumed into SELNEC. These fell into three categories:
1. Vehicles withdrawn when still in the crimson and white livery. Quite a lot of the older stock came into this category but one of the last "tin-fronts" 453 (PBU 953) was an early withdrawal and 425/6/50 followed later. There was also stock withdrawn before the formation of SELNEC that was still around, such as accident-damaged PD3 108 and four of the five Crossley-bodied PD2s.
2. Vehicles repainted into pommard and cream in the first few months before the new orange and white livery was implemented. Several "tin-front" PD2s came into this category but so, much to our surprise at the time, did one ex-Bolton, two ex-Sheffield PD2s and even more unexpected the last PD1/3 246 (DBU 246) referred to above.
3. Vehicles repainted directly into orange and white. Only one "tin-front" PD2 came into this category which was Metro-Cammell bodied 421 (PBU 921). The remainder were PD3s 101/2/4/5/7 and Tiger Cubs 111/2/6, the last of which was the final vehicle in service in crimson.

David Beilby


22/02/15 – 07:50

Absolutely nothing to do with buses but I rather liked the later BR DMU blue with white window surrounds colour scheme (the earlier overall blue looked dreadful)

Ian Wild


22/02/15 – 07:51

Why do operators see a need to change their image so radically? – especially when the change isn’t for the best. Whatever, as I’ve posted on another thread, last month I happened to see First’s Wright Eclipse(?) that is decked-out in heritage Pommard/cream . . . and I thought it looked superb (although that was against a back-drop of the current First livery).

Philip Rushworth


08/04/15 – 06:18

I agree with Philip Rushworth about the single deck Wright Eclipse bus looking good; a pity that a double deck version could not have been chosen -in the crimson lined livery – found on many of Oldham’s buses up until the mid 1960s.

David Butterworth


03/12/15 – 10:42

Citibus, one of those cheap and nasty firms which sprung up after deregulation had some Atlanteans in a similar 2 tone blue to the Oldham PD2

David Pomfret


 

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Oldham Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – PBU 947 – 447

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan - PBU 947 - 447
Copyright Roger Cox

Oldham Corporation
1958
Leyland Titan PD2/30
Roe H37/28R

We don’t seem to have any colour pictures of Oldham buses on the site, so I am submitting these two shots, taken early in PTE days. By the time these pictures were taken, the Oldham livery had been further simplified by the elimination of the red stripe above the lower deck windows. Oldham used a distinctive shade of red that was usually described as "pommard" after the wine of that name. PBU 947, No. 447, was a PD2/30 of the 1958 batch of 24 with Roe bodies, though my understanding is that the seating was H37/28R. Perhaps these buses were reseated at some stage.

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan - NBU 500 - 400
Copyright Roger Cox

NBU 500, No 400, was a member of a batch of 20 PD2/20 delivered in 1957 with Roe H33/27R bodies. The year 1965 was a significant one to Oldham. In that year a Ministry of Transport inspection led to the discovery of major mechanical faults on 97 buses, and the Corporation had to hire in around 45 buses from sympathetic neighbouring municipalities.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

———

04/03/12 – 17:08

Good to see Oldham represented again and with typical vehicles – Roe-bodied Leylands. If these pictures are taken in SELNEC days it must be early 1970 as the fleet very rapidly lost the coat-of-arms and fleetname upstairs, all had lost these by July 1970. 447 got repainted orange and white in January 1971 and was the last Roe-bodied PD2 to be so treated. Unlike the earlier examples it didn’t receive a full overhaul and only lasted until July 1973. 400 was renumbered 5300 in October 1970 but despite running in increasingly shabby pommard and cream it outlasted 447, being withdrawn in March 1974.
Your photos allow the two batches to be contrasted. I could usually identify with some confidence which batch an oncoming vehicle was from but even now I struggle to be able to explain why. One difference visible here which worked as a general rule was the painted ventilators but like all good rules it had exceptions. Other differences were the staircase window which was never fitted to the PBUs but quite a few NBUs lost this feature.
When new the NBUs had pull-down half-drop ventilators which were a disaster. These were replaced by sliders which had a much thinner bottom rail than on the PBUs, making them less conspicuous. You can just about make out the vestigial framework for the half-drops on 400, which remained in situ.
The 59 was a joint Manchester and Oldham service from Manchester via Middleton to Oldham and Shaw. Taking 74 minutes from one end to the other it was certainly Oldham’s longest (in running time) route and I think Manchester’s as well.

David Beilby

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04/03/12 – 17:26

I rather liked the company name/coat of arms positioned where it is on these buses. I have to say, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a ‘tin-front’ like these. Was it unique to these vehicles or Roe?

Chris Hebbron

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05/03/12 – 07:42

The 59 was an incredibly circuitous route which left Manchester in almost the exact opposite direction to Oldham and Shaw which are north east of the city. It headed north west towards Bury along Cheetham Hill Road then turned towards Middleton via Heaton Park and Rhodes. It had almost ‘boxed the compass’ before it got to Middleton. The no. 2 from Stevenson Square to Newhey, which passed Shaw (Wrens Nest) the eventual terminus of the 59 would do the journey in around 40 minutes I would guess.
In fairness to the 59 it was not intended to attract end to end passengers but provided very useful inter-urban links across areas to the north of Manchester.
To answer Chris the unusual ‘tin front’ on these PD2’s was a retro-fit by Oldham after a few years in service. They were delivered with the standard Leyland BMMO front but sometime in the early 1960’s (from memory and I would bow to confirmation on this) the centre grill sections were replaced with the design shown in the photographs. In my view it was a great improvement. I think the replacement section was a glass-fibre moulding but again would welcome a second opinion on this.
The failure by the MOT Inspectors of such a large slice of Oldham’s fleet caused quite a stir at the time and was widely covered in the ordinary (non-transport)press and media. In today’s blame culture I am sure heads would have been called for. I don’t ever recall the press reporting anybody at Oldham ‘falling on his sword’. Does anyone know if there any such actions taken?

Philip Halstead

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05/03/12 – 07:44

This was Oldham’s own GRP (fibreglass being a trade name) front which they developed. The original one was flat like the standard BMMO grille but I suspect this was not stiff enough so the slight protrusion was added. Oldham were quite active in GRP moulding and also did the side pieces, the design of that varying over the years.
The revised front grille became quite universal. From recollection the last bus with a BMMO grille was 453, withdrawn in 1970. They had been in the minority for some years before then.

David Beilby

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05/03/12 – 07:45

The "kidney" window in the staircase panel on Roe bodies, which I believe was part of the safety staircase designed by Leeds City Transport general manager Mr. W. Vane Morland in 1935, was a common feature on many Roe bodies up to about 1954 but seemed to fall out of favour after then, so it is a bit of a surprise to see Oldham Corporation still taking them as late as 1957. Does anybody know if these where the last ones built or did other operators have any delivered later?

Eric

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05/03/12 – 07:46

The tin fronts were Oldham-built replacements for damaged originals, and for my money a great improvement on them. Combined with the Roe body they even make the pommard livery look respectable, which is quite an achievement as it was not generally well-liked.

Peter Williamson

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05/03/12 – 07:48

Beautiful Roe bodies and a distinctive livery, but I think I preferred their neighbours in blue at Ashton. I think you are correct, Chris – but I think it was an Oldham rather than Roe front.
PS …..see previous black and white post of 451 with standard Leyland tin front!

David Oldfield

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05/03/12 – 12:33

Eric, I think you’re correct. Sheffield’s 1955 Regent IIIs had the window but the 1957 and 1958 PD2s didn’t and neither didn’t any subsequent Roe bodies.

David Oldfield

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05/03/12 – 17:53

Leeds first AEC Regent Vs of 1956-57 had the staircase window and were the last Leeds buses delivered with this feature. In the mid fifties all Leeds MCW bodies also had a staircase window this was a narrow slit like vertical affair.

Chris Hough

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06/03/12 – 08:22

Strange to say, the staircase window reappeared in Sheffield with the front entrance Regent Vs, "Sheffield" Park Royals and then the "Sheffield/PRV standard" 33′ Atlanteans and Fleetlines – but all with tinted glass.

David Oldfield

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06/03/12 – 12:27

Ah, the tinted glass would be the then modern equivalent of ‘decency boards’ protecting the modesty of Victorian/Edwardian ladies.
The offside straight staircase’d London General/Transport ST’s and later LT’s had glazed windows down the whole length of the offside when built, but, over the years, the rearmost pane was replaced by a painted pane. One imagines voyeurs waiting opposite bus stops for the sight of a trim ankle, or more titillating, a calf! It all seems so amusing nowadays.

Chris Hebbron

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06/03/12 – 15:22

Am I right in saying in connection with the staircase window was the Roe safety staircase. This had a flat landing halfway up the staircase which in theory would prevent someone rolling in to the road. Did anybody get saved by this?

Philip Carlton

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07/03/12 – 08:40

The PBU batch of Leyland Titan buses (419-462) were distinctive in that they carried the Leyland winged badge until repainted in 1964/5. The number plates were located higher up the original tin fronts (above air vents) than on earlier batches also. The Leyland/Roe vehicles (429-452) featured decorative beading, painted white, aside the two upper red stripes which resulted in slightly narrower ones than on, for example, the 388-407 (NBU batch)
To the critical eye, another distinctive features were angled front saloon windows, rather than horizontal as on 388-407. The side window vents were polishes aluminium which also made them stand out as mentioned earlier by David Beilby.

D. Butterworth

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07/03/12 – 15:17

There is always so much to learn on this site. Until Chris Hebbron mentioned the image of a voyeur trying to catch the sight of a calf mounting the stairs of an ST/LT, I had never appreciated that London Transport permitted young farm animals to use the upper saloon.

John Stringer

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07/03/12 – 16:12

Well, John, if they wanted to smoke they would have to, wouldn’t they?!

Stephen Ford

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07/03/12 – 16:53

The correct name for the livery is Pommard and Devon Cream, and was introduced in 1966, after the very short lived ‘Blue’ livery experiment with NBU 502 (Fleet No 402).
Mention is made of the positioning of the Fleet Name and Crest. This was done as a cost saving measure to save replacements (of the crest) when accidents occurred to the lower side panels and replacements had to be re-fixed.
I also remember that in the Paint Shop (always an interesting place, supervised by the Foreman Sam Bardsley), that there were replacement lower deck panels painted and varnish ready for quick replacement by the body men. Again this was so vehicles spent less time off the road after lower panel accident damage.
Mention is made of the Ministry of Transport fleet check in 1965.
I started at OCPTD in 1968, as Junior Works Clerk and the ‘Fleet Check’ was still being talked about even then.
Many of the systems which I worked on had been brought about after that, and procedures in the workshops and the Depot had been tightened up.
Philip says ‘did heads roll’ well YES they did, but it was never made public, I will not name names even though it is now 47 years ago, they could still be around.

Stephen Howarth

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07/03/12 – 16:57

The Roe bodied PBU’s also had a more upright front profile when viewed side on than the NBU’s. Obviously this was necessary to get the extra row of four seats in to give 37 seats on the upper deck against the 33 on the NBU’s.

Philip Halstead

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08/03/12 – 07:09

Nice ones, John & Stephen F. My comment was even more amusing than I thought!
And, Stephen H, thx for the reason behind the fleet name/crest not being on the lower panels – a sensible variance.

Chris Hebbron

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09/03/12 – 17:25

Interestingly, around 1970 the Leyland PD2’s reappeared on certain trunk/express routes in all day service having earlier been relegated to other duties in preference to Leyland Atlantean operation.
There are photographs available of 402 – NBU 502 (the blue bus) and 430, PBU 930 on service 9 (Ashton to Rochdale) and Leylands 402 and 437 on the OTS route- Hollinwood Lees/Grotton. The previous years (from 1965 had seen Atlantean operation only on the O/T (27/28) routes, I seem to remember. I have photographs of 461 and forward entranced Leyland PD3 101 on the 98 (Manchester to Waterhead) service around 1970, after a long period dominated by the Atlanteans. Indeed when 131-135 were obtained in February 1966 they were put to work immediately on this route, quickly followed by 136-147 later that year. In April 1970 our local route (21) was converted to OPO with the arrival of dual door Atlanteans 183 to 187. Twelve months later Selnec liveried 188 to 199 arrived and many of these buses could be noted on the route besides the earlier Atlanteans 178 to 182. This marked the end of the PD2’s on the route. For some reason 191 and 192 ended up in Ashton bus depot! Obviously transferred on delivery, but they later appeared in Oldham.

D. Butterworth

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15/03/12 – 09:30

Further to my previous comments regarding the Leyland Atlanteans which replaced the PD2s on many routes, the numbers allocated were 5183 – 5199 in the SELNEC, (Southern) Fleet allocation, which would have been OLDHAM’S 183 – 199.

D. Butterworth

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PBU 947_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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23/09/12 – 19:53

I was a driver on Oldham Buses from 1961 & through the 60’s, was quite surprised by photo’s and comments, particularly the 1965 shot after the ministry man came into do his worse. Interestingly, we then drove many buses far worse than our own. The Blue Livery was sponsored by the Egg Marketing Board. Which I believe were given that "Go to work on an Egg" advert printed on the 2 buses with the fleet numbers 401 & 402. The then manager Harry Taylor flirted with idea of the livery but it was unsuccessful. Then the Atlanteans, Selnec etc etc. I moved on to other things and some time later was a HGV & PSV examiner based at Heywood HGV Centre. A local firm had bought 3 PD1 fleet numbers 264 & I think 266 & 268. Not the easiest to teach on. Happy days!

Terry Bailey


 

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