Old Bus Photos

Wakefields Motors – AEC Regent II – FT 6156 – 156

Wakefields Motors - AEC Regent II - FT 6156 - 156

Wakefields Motors
AEC Regent II
Weymann H30/26R

Having completed its journey, 156 is seen here turning round at Whitley Bay Bandstand before returning to North Shields Ferry Landing. The service 8 was known to crews as ‘the track’ because it followed the exact route of the Tynemouth and District trams. The AEC Regent II chassis was well built, rugged and reliable, and was available in two options, take it or leave it. The engine was a 7.7 litre diesel, and the transmission was a 4-speed sliding mesh gearbox with friction clutch. It was an entirely different matter when it came to choice of body. NGT Percy Main depot opted for the H30/26R Weymann. This is one of twenty nine of the type delivered to them between 1947 & 48; the 1947 intake were FT 5698 to 5712, 128/142, and 1948 were FT 6143 to 6156; 143/156; they were all ‘Tynemouth’ apart from 141 – 142 & 156 which carried the Wakefields name. The first vehicles to carry this style of livery layout were the 1958 Orion bodied PD3/4’s, so the photo is after that date, but just look at the collection of coaches in the background.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

10/11/14 – 06:58

Good to see a Regent II. I used to take them for granted in Reading, where they were the mainstay of the motorbus fleet from 1947 to 64, but they seem rare today. Was the choice of 5 bays a matter of date, of chassis design or of operator’s choice?

Ian T

10/11/14 – 08:23

According to "Weymann Part 2", these were delivered (due to shortages) without destination blinds and with metal panelling covering the "empty holes".

David Oldfield

10/11/14 – 11:47

I think that the matter of 4- or 5-bay bodywork is a matter of date. The 5-bay was standard in the immediate post-war years, on AEC and other makes. I am fairly sure I read somewhere that Weymann re-designed the body as four-bay for the AEC Regent III chassis, but did not build it on other makes/types, at least initially. Perhaps those with access to the "Weymann Part 2" book will find some detail, as my memory may be in "error mode" on this one.

Michael Hampton

10/11/14 – 13:31

Michael, I don’t know when the change came about, but Percy Main’s 1952 Guy Arab III’s ‘FT 7381/90 – 181/90 were four bay type. They were also P/M’s first 8ft wide D/D’s, and the first with sliding cab doors.

Ronnie Hoye

10/11/14 – 13:32

I think, originally, that AEC and the body-builders colluded to make a four bay body – but it relied on body fixing points. Guy and then Leyland eventually caught up by building chassis with compatible points and then Daimler. [Bristol was obviously a different case.] What was more interesting was the reversion to five short bays with the appalling early Orions.

David Oldfield

14/11/14 – 14:56

What was the difference between a Regent II & III’s. We had Regent III’s in Sheffield around the same year. They had pre selector gearboxes though.

Andy Fisher

15/11/14 – 05:41

AEC Regent. Mark I, II and III.
AEC Regent 661 petrol engine was built from 1929-1942, powered by an AEC A145 7.4 litre engine, many of the early examples had the open staircase later enclosed and the typical 30 seats over 26 seat layout became the standard design on a 27 foot long by 7 feet 6 inch wide chassis with over 7000 built.
AEC Regent Mk II 661/O661 was developed in the late 1930’s at 27 feet 6 inches by 7 feet 6 inches with the A173, 7.7 litre 6 cylinder diesel oil engine, resulting in the London Transport RT 1-151, the Regent II was curtailed during the second world war but recommenced after the war with only 700 built.
After the war AEC with London Passenger Transport Board had developed the AEC Regent III O961 with the more powerful AEC 9.6 litre engine. 8261 were built over the next 10 years, most of these were the iconic RT for London Transport.

Ron Mesure

15/11/14 – 05:42

The Regent II had a 7.7 litre engine, sliding mesh gearbox and vacuum brakes. The Regent III was its successor, and could be supplied with the same spec, in which case there was very little difference between the two. Most Regent IIIs however had the 9.6 litre engine, and many of these had air brakes and air-operated preselector gearboxes (especially in Yorkshire!). In this form the Regent III was a development of the London RT type which had its origins just before the war.

Peter Williamson


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Rochdale Corporation Welfare Dept – AEC Regal III – BCP 543 – 900

Rochdale Corporation Welfare Dept. - AEC Regal III - BCP 543 - 900

Rochdale Corporation Welfare Dept. - AEC Regal III - BCP 543 - 900

Rochdale Corporation Welfare Dept.
AEC Regal III 9621E
Roe B33F

BCP 543 was originally one of twenty-two AEC Regal III 9621E’s with Roe B32R bodies delivered to the Halifax Corporation and JOC fleets in 1949, and was numbered 268. Fourteen of them, including 268, were rebuilt at Skircoat Road workshops during 1953/54 to B33F layout and with modifications made to the front bulkhead to allow for one-man-operation.  These were also for a time repainted into a livery of cream with a single orange band to draw attention to the fact that they were OMO and in connection with them being used for the local Countryside Tours during the summertime and bank holidays, though they were returned to standard bus livery later. Withdrawn in 1964, 268 was sold to the Rochdale Corporation Welfare Department who rebuilt it with a rear tail-lift for the transport of disabled people and numbered it 500. They renumbered it 900 in 1970, and it was withdrawn and sold for scrap in 1972.
Though Roe’s teak body framing always had an enviable reputation for strength and longevity, when Halifax Corporation had carried out its modifications, the cutting of an aperture in the nearside for the forward entrance directly opposite another on the offside for the emergency exit, along with the bulkhead alterations caused a significant weak spot across the bodywork at that point, and the resultant sag in frame stands out quite clearly – particularly in the offside view above. The nine Regals that retained their rear entrances remained sound until the end – which unfortunately came rather early, some going as early as 1958 and the last one in 1962. Lovely little buses.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

21/10/14 – 06:19

Although allocated to the Rochdale Welfare Department this bus received what was then the current Rochdale Corporation bus fleet livery with the exception that the blue band was a lighter shade. This is interesting as when the new predominantly cream Rochdale bus livery was being introduced in the early 1960’s, two vehicles wore this lighter blue band for a very short period before the darker Oxford Blue trim as pioneered on AEC Regent V no.277 was adopted as the new standard. These were Daimler CVG6 no.238 and AEC Regal IV no.12. I seem to recall the light blue only lasted a matter of weeks on these vehicles before the Oxford Blue replaced it.
At the time as a schoolboy spotter I was quite excited about this new livery but once it began to replace the streamlined blue and cream across the whole fleet I came to hate it. It was bland and totally impractical for a northern industrial town where the atmosphere in those days was mucky to say the least.

Philip Halstead

22/10/14 – 07:17

The lighter blue was worn by 12 and 238, and also on delivery by new Weymann bodied Reliances 16 – 20 (3116 – 3120 DK). It didn’t last on these, of course. The blue adopted as standard was the same shade of blue as used on the much lamented "streamlined" livery.

Don McKeown

22/10/14 – 17:59

Daimler CVG6 number 238 was always easily identifiable because the rubbers holding the destination blind glasses were painted cream whereas it was usual to mask them over during repaint so they remained black. By the way 16-20 were 2116-2120 DK.

David Slater


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Greenslades Tours – AEC Reliance – FFJ 13D

Greenslades - AEC Reliance - FFJ 13D

Greenslades Tours 
AEC Reliance 2MU4RA
Harrington C40F

Sadly the very last Harrington body to be built, No 3218, was this Grenadier C40F example on an AEC Reliance 2MU4RA chassis for Greenslades Tours of Exeter registration No FFJ 13D. This photo was taken on the 24th April 1966 at the British Coach Rally on Madeira Drive Brighton whilst the Concours judges were making their inspection. The elegant lines of the body and the restrained but attractive livery are even 48 years later a lesson todays designers and colour stylists might well learn lessons from, but being a cynical 75 year old I doubt it will happen.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

15/09/14 – 07:02

Can’t better Dave’s comments – and nearby were the Devon General 2U3RAs as well. I’m all for Van Hool/DAFs, Setras and Scanias but oh for a world where there were up to date, quality AECs, Bristols, Leylands and Guys with Burlingham, Harrington, (real) Plaxton, Weymann and Roe bodies sitting on them. There is no excuse for selling the family silver – having things built on the continent or in the far east because wage rates are cheaper. What about a bit of pride in our own abilities. [The Germans and the French would not let it happen!]

David Oldfield

15/09/14 – 07:03

This was indeed a very attractive livery, featuring an unusual shade of green. The designation 2MU4RA denotes a "crash" gearbox, which seemed a backward step after most Reliances had synchromesh gearboxes.
The boot lid is interesting. I remember that Yelloway always specified two piece boot doors hinged from the sides to avoid people bumping their heads on the top hinged flaps more commonly used in the fifties and sixties. This design could be an attempt to avoid the problem.
The Grenadier body was a development of the better known "Cavalier" and to me was even more attractive. I agree, Dave, it is so sad that Harrington ceased production of coach bodies, at a time when their products seemed to be more popular than ever.

Don McKeown

15/09/14 – 12:00

The parallel lift boot door was a Harrington patent device, more usually used for side lockers because of often restricted space in coach stations.
It was obviously optional, as witness the side lockers on this example, and presumably cost more.
I wonder why Plaxtons didn’t take over this patent?

Andrew Goodwin

15/09/14 – 12:00

The last sentence of Diesel Dave’s caption mirrors my thoughts precisely, and I am three years even further down "Cynical Avenue" and proud of it !!

Chris Youhill

16/09/14 – 07:57

Sadly, Chris, I am but a babe in arms – but a cynical nearly 62 year old!

David Oldfield

16/09/14 – 07:58

The Harrington Grenadier was the last coach body with a curved window line, a peculiarly British trend which began in the 1930s. There were plans for it to be replaced by a development of the Legionnaire if Harrington had stayed in business.

Peter Williamson

16/09/14 – 07:58

As Andrew says the parallel lift mechanism was indeed a Harrington patent and some coaches I drove had a plate stating that fact. Regarding the side locker doors in a larger photo they are of the parallel lift type, I think they look as if they are hinged is because they were in the locked position which was achieved by lifting as normal and then pulling the top of the panel outward presumably to prevent accidents to fitters working underneath. Similar mechanisms can be seen on modern, but foreign, coaches although electrically powered.

Diesel Dave


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 29th January 2015