Old Bus Photos

Leeds City Transport – AEC Regent V – XUM 888 – 888

Leeds City Transport - AEC Regent V - XUM 888 - 888

Leeds City Transport
1957
AEC Regent V MD2RA
Roe H33/27R

Leeds was one of several operators initially not persuaded by the AEC “new look” front end (a preference with which I entirely concur), and its first Regent V deliveries retained the classic radiator design and hence the outward general appearance of the Regent III. These buses were of the MD2RA air braked specification of which Leeds became the largest customer, being powered by the AV470 7.7 litre engine driving into the four speed Monocontrol transmission. They were delivered in two batches, all with handsome, traditional Roe H33/27R bodywork. WUA 760 to 839 (with corresponding fleet numbers) came into service from January to November 1956, and XUM 840 to 894 arrived between March and October 1957. In the photo above, XUM 888 is seen in April 1970, four years before Barbara Castle created the heavy and inefficient hand of the West Yorkshire PTE that was to fall upon the municipalities of Bradford, Calderdale, Huddersfield and Leeds. I understand that these buses did not long survive in PTE ownership. Geoffrey Hilditch paints a revealing picture of the dire financial performance of the PTE in his “Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres, Volume 3”. Later still, of course, another dogma driven politician of the opposite persuasion, a certain N. Ridley was to wreak even greater devastation upon the entire bus operating industry outside London, a saga that has previously been discussed at length on this forum.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


21/05/18 – 06:39

These buses were all withdrawn before PTE days.
The last of the WUA batch had gone by April 1973.
The XUM batch had perished earlier, all bar one (accident damaged) in 1971.

Dave Towers


23/05/18 – 06:44

These small AECs flattered to deceive they had an attractive body but were of light weight construction and when idling in later years the rattles were almost syncopated In addition because Leeds were frugal with fuel a fully laden example could really struggle on the most gentle of inclines For some reason they always seemed to really lean into corners perhaps due to their lightweight construction I well remember one occasion when one really heeled over at the bottom of New York Street in the city centre so far over did it go that the platform was causing sparks to fly from the road surface and was leaving gouges in the roadway!

Chris Hough


24/05/18 – 07:34

Chris, I recall that our highly respected and informed contributor, Chris Youhill, once commented on this forum about the distressing propensity of Leeds City Transport to cut down the engine fuel pump settings on this fleet of Regent Vs. These buses, with their modest AV 470 power units, must have been truly pathetic performers after the fuel pumps had been reset to "economy" levels. Yes, for years, a great many Bristol double deckers got along (albeit steadily) with the 94 bhp 5LW, but, in my experience, AEC motors were never remotely in the same low speed torque league as the Gardner.

Roger Cox


24/05/18 – 07:36

A feature of Leeds buses of yesteryear which always mystified me on visits to the city as a young lad was the unpainted bonnet cover on PDs & Regents of LCT. Nobody has ever given me a proper explanation as to the reason for this, somebody said it was so the fitters did not scuff the paintwork if the bonnet had been painted when working on the engine, but I do not know how true this is.

Andrew Spriggs


28/05/18 – 06:42

This was always given as the reason It survived three managers so was certainly a proper policy rather than a managerial whim and was in use in prewar days. Even the last batches of enclosed radiator AEC Regents with enclosed radiators had the feature The nineteen fifties and afterwards Daimler’s and the PD3As had green bonnets oddly the Crossleys also had painted bonnets.

Chris Hough


 

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WYPTE – AEC Reliance – Pennine – ECP 950D – 250

WYPTE - AEC Reliance - Pennine - ECP 950D - 250

WYPTE (Calderdale)
1966
AEC Reliance 6MU3RA
Pennine B39F

Having suffered a number of Albion Nimbuses whilst in his previous post at Great Yarmouth, Geoffrey Hilditch arrived as GM at Halifax only to find that his predecessor there had bequeathed him a batch of ten more, only recently delivered. Bought originally with the intention of operating out-of-town feeder services to and from the hilltop villages linking with double deckers on the main valley roads, the plan never really came to fruition and the Nimbuses found themselves operating through services from town to these places, as well as substituting for heavier duty single deckers on more local services. In these circumstances rather too much was perhaps expected of them and they soon began to give problems, and were generally unpopular with drivers (except Roger Cox !).
Hilditch was not impressed and within two years he began to sell them off, but there was still considered to be a need for some shorter and narrower than standard single deckers to negotiate the narrow lanes and tight reversing points. He chose to repeat what he had done at Great Yarmouth and ordered some AEC Reliances with Pennine bodywork of reduced dimensions. Seven arrived for the JOC fleet in 1966 – 249-255 (ECP 949-955D) – based on the 505-engined 6MU3RA chassis. Bodies by the Seddon subsidiary Pennine Coachcraft seated 39, 252 having seats with headrests (removed from the two Nimbuses that had been fitted with them previously). 249 was even exhibited at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Earls Court in that year.
They proved to be very useful on the more rural routes and were regular performers on the Heptonstall, Midgley, Booth and Mill Bank services. All passed to WYPTE Calderdale District in 1974 and were withdrawn in 1979/80. 250 was withdrawn on 31 July 1979 and sold at Central Motor Auctions the following month to Askin’s, the Carlton breaker. 251 escaped the breaker to operate for Everton Coaches of Droitwich for a while and was the subject of a sadly failed preservation attempt. 252 was exported to Malta, where it operated in a non-PSV capacity for a number of years.
Here 250 is pictured in WYPTE days (1975) still in Halifax livery as it rests in Rawson Street, Halifax whilst its driver has his mealbreak in the Powell Street canteen, which was down a passageway behind Harvey’s department store on the left.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


10/11/17 – 06:53

Nice interesting buses-always seemed in a hurry and went fast!

Stuart Emmett


10/11/17 – 06:54

I recently paid a return visit to the Halifax area to see relatives who live high above Mytholmroyd on the way up to Pecket Well. After living in the flat lands around Peterborough for over 12 years I found those moorland roads, hills and twists quite challenging even in my humble Vauxhall Zafira. I have nothing but admiration for the men and machines who piloted those orange and green buses into that hinterland. Even these short and narrow Reliances must have been a tight squeeze but unlike the Nimbuses they ousted they would at least have had some power.

Philip Halstead


12/11/17 – 07:17

I remember in the 70’s when I looked after the police radio stations. I was going to one near Blackshaw Head on a quite snowy day when one of these could not make it up a steep climb and had to assist in guiding the driver reversing for almost a 1/2 mile before he could turn round. I then had to walk back to where I had left my Land Rover.

Brian Lunn


12/11/17 – 07:18

That’s an interesting point, Philip. Some may know better than me, but the Halifax/ Heptonstall bus has to use a turning circle to approach the steep hill up to the village. At the top the road narrows through the village and is cobbled, becoming for a bus a single width. Every sort of bus seems to have been used, though, and the whole thing certainly requires skill.

Joe


12/11/17 – 07:19

Philip, I now live some 10 miles down the A1 where the Black Fens abut the rolling hills of West Hunts, and I agree that there could be no greater contrast with the dramatic Calderdale skyline than the the billiard table top topography of South Holland lying to the north of Peterborough. These Pennine bodied Reliances began to appear during my last months with HPTD in the latter part of 1966, but, being earmarked for (what was then called) OMO, they were not driven by we humble office employees who covered only crew duties. On the subject of the Nimbuses (yes, John, I loved ‘em) my acquaintance with them was always on the 46 route to Heptonstall, which, because of the unbelievably constricted terminal reversing point, colloquially known as ‘The Rathole’ – even the mirrors had to be flattened against the bus sides – these little machines carried a conductor. Before the coming of the Nimbuses, I believe that the route was previously operated with Regals, and I commend those drivers struggling over the years to turn round these bigger vehicles at the Rathole. However, I can vouch that the Nimbus did not lack performance when in good order, and could scamper up the steep Heptonstall Road from Hebden Bridge every bit as effectively as the Leopards that initially superseded them when the 46 was mercifully extended onwards beyond the Rathole to follow a circular terminal working round Heptonstall – why this route could not have been adopted long before I cannot imagine, unless there was some Road Service Licence difficulty. Having resolved the terminal problem, it was logical that the 46 would become a driver only operation, but, in my day, the Booth and Midgely services, which ran common with the 46 as far as Luddenden Foot, were PD2 crew runs. It would seem that they, too, soon became OMO workings with the then new Reliances. The Nimbus certainly had mechanical weaknesses, but so did the AH505 engine in the Reliance, so troubles were certainly not over. I have long thought that the fine Reliance chassis (much superior to the Leopard) should have been fitted with the superb Dennis O6 engine – we are all allowed to dream.

Roger Cox


12/11/17 – 09:40

An example of Heptonstall village bus "squeeze" as Joe mentioned. http://www.sct61.org.uk/hx266

John Lomas


21/11/17 – 07:18

Ah, the short Pennine Reliances. What do I remember? Clutch problems, snatching brakes, skidding in wet weather, the inevitable cold heaters and demisters, head gaskets (yes even on the AH505 engine). I have to bow to Roger and John who were there before me that the Nimbus was actually worse!!!!

Ian Wild


24/11/17 – 07:27

Provided all was working well I always much preferred the 505 Reliance to the heavy, clunky L1/L2 Leopards, though of course I wasn’t involved with having to maintain them. Cold heaters and demisters were a feature of most of the buses that I remember driving throughout my career (except during the summer months when some suddenly seemed to blow hot !). The dimensions of these reduced Reliances rendered them just right for the roads they were intended for.
However, I would completely agree with Ian that Reliance brakes could be unpredictably and frighteningly snatchy, and that these short ones were the worst of all. Many of the routes they were used on were tightly timed and yet involved negotiating miles of narrow, steeply graded and winding country lanes with blind bends and shiny worn surfaces, along which numerous farm tractors with muddy tyres and leaking muck spreaders would have passed, and to which herds of cows would have added their messy contribution. All it needed then was for it to rain and you had a recipe for disaster. You had to be extremely careful, yet the running times often didn’t exactly encourage this.
It always seemed to me that when a standard chassis had bits lopped off it to make it shorter and narrower it always upset the balance of things. Even worse than these Reliances were some Bristol LHS6L’s that WYPTE graced us with for a while. The LH was designed primarily as a 32ft x 8ft vehicle and may well have been okay in that form (can’t say – I never drove one). The LHS was a shorter version, maybe around 27ft 6in and sometimes 7ft 6in wide, but ours were as short and narrow as it was possible to make them, with seemingly just enough wheelbase to allow for the engine and transmission to fit, the front and rear overhangs cut down as far as they could go, and with small wheels. This resulted in a 24ft x 7ft 6in, 27-seater roller skate of a bus yet which had the same powerful 0400 engine, gearbox and braking system of the full sized version – seemingly unmodified – and all its weight distribution completely messed up. Those things really were the most fearsome buses I’ve ever driven – too much power for their own good, rear wheelspin, bouncing up and down on the back end and the brakes locking up, skidding and sliding. Terrible things.

John Stringer


 

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Huddersfield Corporation – AEC Regent V – PVH 992 – 192

Huddersfield Corporation - AEC Regent V - PVH 992 - 192

Huddersfield Corporation
1960
AEC Regent V 2D2RA
East Lancs. H37/28R

192 (PVH 992) was an AEC Regent V 2D2RA with East Lancs. H37/28R bodywork, one of a pair (192/3) added to the Huddersfield Joint Omnibus Committee fleet on 1st February 1960. They had the AV590 engine and Monocontrol semi-automatic gearboxes. The traditional exposed radiator arrangement had remained an option for the Mk. V and the JOC had taken eight Roe-bodied examples (182-189) a couple of years previously, but this pair must have been amongst the last examples before the option was withdrawn. With their sturdy and well finished East Lancs bodies they were in my opinion the most handsome of buses, so typical of the Huddersfield fleet in that period – oozing real quality.
The Corporation/JOC system at Huddersfield had worked in a different way to the one at neighbouring Halifax, not being based on whether the services operated outside the borough or not, but on what type of vehicles were used. Tram and then trolleybus routes had all been run by the Corporation whilst all motorbuses were the responsibility of the JOC. However when trolleybus abandonment in favour of motorbuses began in the early 1960’s the old arrangement would have eventually meant the JOC would have operated all the routes so a new agreement was reached such that former trolleybus routes would remain in Corporation hands and a separate fleet of buses was gradually built up carrying a more streamlined trolleybus-like livery and numbered from 101 upwards.
From the 1st October 1969 the Corporation took over the former railway company’s share of the JOC (by then owned by the NBC) as well as the local stage service of Hanson’s Buses, and from then until the formation of the West Yorkshire PTE in April 1974 all services were Corporation operated. 192 and 193 passed into the PTE fleet as 4192/4193 and were withdrawn shortly afterwards and scrapped.
193 is seen here in Huddersfield’s Manchester Street Bus Station in the latter all-Corporation days having just been treated to a magnificent repaint.

Photograph Peter Berry – Copy John Stringer


20/09/17 – 06:08

The exposed radiator AEC Regent V seemed to be very much a Yorkshire thing. In addition to the Huddersfield examples, Leeds, Doncaster and East Yorkshire also had them. The only non-Yorkshire examples I can recall were some for City of Oxford and Rhonda. As we’re talking Yorkshire here where the natives have a reputation for thrift, could it have been that the exposed radiator version was cheaper!

Philip Halstead


20/09/17 – 08:22

But in Sheffield we had 86 Regent III with Regent V fronts!

David Oldfield


20/09/17 – 08:24

Thrift, nowt wrong wi that lad, after all, it is easy for anyone to identify a Yorkshire man abroad; he is the one at the till saying loudly "How Much"?
However, the real reason for the exposed radiators is some Yorkshireman appreciate beauty more than tin fronts (the manager in Bradford who bought hundreds of tin fronted Regents, was not, after all, a native thee knows).

Stuart Emmet


20/09/17 – 14:34

I suspect that it was more an accessibility issue. I can remember in my far off preservation days what an awkward and painful experience it was just trying to remove and refit the lift-pump on my AEC Renown, standing precariously on a step ladder slumped over the wing with the bonnet edge trying to crush my ribcage as I reached down into its innards. With the exposed radiator you just lifted the bonnet and there it all was, and if the job was a bit bigger you just unbolted the wing, lifted it off and you could get right in there and reach everything with ease.

John Stringer


20/09/17 – 14:36

Nottingham City Transport had a little matter of 65 exposed radiator Regent Vs – nos. 209-273 (UTV 209-238 and XTO 239-273). Park Royal 62 seat bodies. Delivered 1955-56.

Stephen Ford


20/09/17 – 14:37

Huddersfield also had two Guy Arab IV with exposed radiators, and nearby County Motors had four.

Don McKeown


20/09/17 – 14:42

A small correction to the caption – motorbus deliveries to the Corporation fleet were numbered 401 up, 101 being reserved (at that time) for JOC double-deckers.

David Call


22/09/17 – 07:20

Don’t forget the elegant Guy Arabs of Exeter Corporation which took delivery of 20, all with exposed radiator, between 1956 and 1960.Five had Park Royal bodies, five had MCW, but the best looking were the Massey-bodied ones – the first five and the last five. Fotunately number 50, TFJ 808, the first of the Masseys, survives in superb condition. It was chosen for preservation by Colin Shears as it was ‘the most musical’!

David Chapman


23/09/17 – 07:07

An exposed-radiator Mk.5 that is easy to overlook is the most individual one of all, Longwell Green bodied PWO783, number 9 in the fleet of Bedwas & Machen UDC.
Of the fleets that have been mentioned, only Doncaster and Nottingham failed to go on to buy concealed-radiator equivalents.

David Call


25/09/17 – 13:36

True, David: Doncaster returned to Daimler in the 60’s and had to buy concealed radiator CVG6’s but amongst its last half-cabs were some exposed radiator PD3s around 1963. I used to wonder if exposed radiators were seen as more macho in the Council Chamber- like Atkinson coal lorries or even Peterbilts. There was not a lot else Macho about a PD3 and Doncaster transport seemed to be about eking out, so cost was probably the answer: although making an exposed radiator look respectable cannot have been so cheap compared to a glass fibre moulding.

Joe


27/09/17 – 06:19

As John Stringer says the exposed radiator arrangement made it much easier to access the engine and its ancillaries than with a tin (fibreglass or aluminium) front. Also the view of the nearside kerb from the driver’s seat was better.
The big snag was, I suspect, the exposed radiator was deemed old fashioned in the eyes of the fashion police of the time. Plus the fact accident damage was probably easier to repair on a "tin" front with the use of plastic filler.

John Anderson


02/10/17 – 07:29

In Manchester the issues were certainly engine accessibility and driver sightlines, to the extent that, when Daimler refused to supply chassis with exposed radiators, Manchester worked with them to redesign the alternative.

Peter Williamson


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 22nd June 2018