Old Bus Photos

Sheffield Corporation – AEC Regal I – KWJ 184 – 1184

Sheffield Corporation - AEC Regal - KWJ 184 - 1184

Sheffield Corporation
AEC Regal I
Weymann B34R

A few early post war Sheffield single deckers found their way to Contractors on withdrawal and this example is with H Camm. It is seen on the car park near Pond Street Bus Station in 1963. The bus would have been a regular performer on Peak District services during its Sheffield career, particularly on the 37 to Bakewell and the 84 to Buxton as it was a C fleet bus.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

09/03/16 – 15:23

I’m surprised not to have seen a comment yet on this fine vehicle, so here goes! This AEC demonstrates that the designers of a really good-looking vehicle put function in very first place, but also let a good eye dictate the details, all of which they’ve achieved to perfection. Interesting that this posting comes so soon after Roger Cox’s unearthing of that poor Austin K3 with its April Fool Nightmare "coachwork"—which I hope one day turns out not to be by Bush and Twiddy. I’ve always found buses far more interesting than coaches simply because there’s so much less scope for "stylists" to let their imagination run riot on a vehicle that has to meet as many demanding criteria as a service bus must.

Ian Thompson

15/03/16 – 06:22

Yes Ian and Ian, splendid buses that stir childhood memories for me on the Bakewell 40 via Calver Sough and 84 Buxton. Living at Ecclesall, as a small child I was occasionally treated to a trip to Bakewell with my mother and of course the favoured seat would be at the front behind the engine and the heater.


As far as I can remember, this batch buses had the whopping Clayton Heaters affixed to the bulkhead but I may be wrong as I don’t remember any other post-war buses carrying these heaters.

John Darwent

17/03/16 – 05:08

I think most if not all early post war single deckers for Sheffield JOC (B&C fleets) had the Clayton bulkhead heater fitted. I too travelled on these to Buxton and Bakewell and on similar PS1/PS2 on the Manchester services. Do you remember this type of bus being fitted with rear wheel chains to cope with snowy weather? They made one hell of a noise on Ecclesall Road.

Ian Wild

26/03/16 – 05:05

As a teenager in the mid 60’s I made the trip from Denton (east of Manchester) to Sheffield on the 39. A leisurely ride including a break at the Snake Inn. I was always fascinated by the blind which showed "Sheffield via Ashopton" but I could never work out where was Ashopton. It was only some time later that I discovered that Ashopton together with Derwent were drowned villages and lay at the bottom of the Ladybower reservoirs but nobody had bothered to update the destination blinds. I note Ian Wild’s comment that PS1/PS2 were used on the Manchester services: I am sure that the bus I rode on that day was an AEC because the radiator caught my attention. There were no AECs in the part of Manchester where I lived at that time. Could it have been a one-off allocation I wonder?

David Revis

27/03/16 – 16:35

David, I suspect that your memory serves you well. In some personal memories of Dennis E Vickers, a former Sheffield bus operator and enthusiast, he well remembers one of his first journeys over The Snake (Route 39) on an ageing Sheffield 1947 AEC Regal 1, sitting behind the large circular heater on the front bulkhead of the rear entrance half-cab saloon as it whined and rattled over the moors.

John Darwent

29/03/16 – 07:01

Hello John, thank you for your confirmation that AEC’s did work the 39. The photo at the head of this thread is definitely the type I rode in. It would be good if someone could provide a photo of this type in Sheffield colours…..please.
I did make an error in my original post: it was the mid 50’s and not the mid 60’s when I made that trip. Sheffield still had trams running then Are the personal memories by Dennis Vickers in book form or can they be accessed on the internet?

David Revis

02/04/16 – 07:05

KWE 797
Copyright Unknown

Here’s a picture of a couple of Sheffield’s Regals David. As far as the memories are concerned, they are neither in book form nor on the net unfortunately. They were a short article in an amateur periodical of a local enthusiasts society many years ago. If you will let me have an email address, I will happily send you a scan of the rather faded ‘remains’ of the article.

John Darwent

03/04/16 – 07:32


A very interesting Sheffield 54 ex demo AEC.

Ken Wragg

04/04/16 – 06:39

John, Many thanks for digging out the photo: it is much appreciated. It also confirms my boyhood opinion that even in 1957 (I think) they looked so old fashioned.

Ken, an interesting photo indeed. It looks as if it’s a half-canopy front; would that have been unique to Sheffield I wonder?

David Revis

05/04/16 – 06:45

I have no idea whether this bus is a half canopy or not it is a photo from my great uncle Frank Brindley a freelance press photographer who took a lot of bad weather photos all I know is this bus was a AEC demo bus.

Ken Wragg

08/04/16 – 06:21

Photo Courtesy of the Tom Robinson Collection

Quite right David, Sheffield’s Weymann/Regal 1 No. 54 was indeed a half-canopy front and as such was unique in the Sheffield fleet. The late Charles Hall FCIT in his Sheffield Transport ‘bible’ stated that this was a demonstrator ‘on loan’ from January 1940 until brought into the fleet in December of that year as number 54. It was believed to have been at the last Pre-War Commercial Motor Show. 54 was apparently a well-liked and reliable vehicle, lasting until 1955 in service before being converted into a canteen bus with withdrawal coming in January 1961.

John Darwent

08/04/16 – 16:54

I bet they were glad to grab it while they could.

Chris Hebbron


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Grey Cars – AEC Regal III – LTA 629 – TCR 629

Grey Cars - AEC Regal III - LTA 629 - TCR 629

Devon General Omnibus & Touring Co Ltd – Grey Cars
AEC Regal III 9621A
Duple C32F

Pictured on the A23 during an HCVC London – Brighton run in the 1970s is LTA 629, an AEC Regal III 9621A (sliding mesh gearbox) with a Duple C32F body that was delivered to the Devon General Grey Cars fleet in 1950. Though the livery it has here is not the maroon and grey it wore as fleet no. TCR 629 of Grey Cars. The rear underside of the bodywork is raised to avoid it fouling the ramps of ferries. This coach has since been repainted into its original guise:- It can be seen here.  In the above picture it is seen overtaking M 7287, the 1915 Foden steam wagon no.5218 that rejoices in the name “Gwennie Willan”.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

17/01/16 – 10:53

This coach was withdrawn by Grey Cars (Devon General’s coaching fleet) in 1958, along with its sister vehicles in the batch LTA 623-634. The whole batch was sold to Greenslades Tours of Exeter, a previously independent company that had become a BET associated company in 1953.
The livery it is carrying in this photograph is that of Greenslades.


17/01/16 – 10:54

The modified rear end was to clear ferry ramps at both Torpoint and Dartmouth. The Greenslades livery shown here is quite authentic, as many Grey Cars coaches were transferred to that company, like Devon General a BET concern, towards the ends of their lives. The batch of 12 coaches of which this is one were all withdrawn after only eight years with Grey Cars and all went to Greenslades.

David Chapman

17/01/16 – 12:57

LTA 629 appeared on the Brighton Rally in 1968 whilst owned by Colin Shears, then was there again in 1973 having just recently been bought by Dave Sayer of the Mersey & Calder Bus Preservation Group, accompanied by two other vehicles from the group – I know because I was there with them !
The combination of 9.6 engine and crash gearbox produced possibly the best ever variation of the AEC Sound in my opinion, and though it later looked mighty fine restored to the Grey Cars livery I always thought that it looked superb in Greenslades livery too. The AEC crash gearbox took a bit of getting used to initially if you had only experienced the slower Leyland PD1. Bristol or Guy as it was a surprisingly quick change, but once mastered it was a joy to drive.

John Stringer

18/01/16 – 10:42

In the 70s did it have the lower ratio diff ie lower top speed? I think when it as in the ownership of Colin Cowdrey in recent years I seem to recall him saying 37/38 was top speed which is less than my 2 Regals where 42/43 is a comfortable cruising speed.

Roger Burdett

20/01/16 – 14:24

I certainly seem to recall that this Regal was capable of more then 37/38 mph on the few occasions I drove it. I will ask Dave Sayer next time I see him.

John Stringer

22/01/16 – 06:12

LTA 629 along with Leyland GDM 494 have now both passed to Nick Szkiler t/a The Classic & Sports Car Centre, West Knapton, formally Grundy Mack.

John Wakefield


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Highland Omnibuses – AEC Reliance – EWS 115D – BA26

EWS 115D

Highland Omnibuses
AEC Reliance 590 2U3RA
Alexander DP49F

Highland Omnibuses BA26 (EWS 115D) was a AEC Reliance with an Alexander Y-type body. It was new to Eastern Scottish, being transferred to Highland in mid-life. I have always thought that there is a fine line between coach and dual-purpose versions of the Y-type. This example was classed as a coach by Eastern Scottish, but was definitely dual-purpose by the time this photo was taken. It is seen approaching Upper Achintore (with Loch Linnhe in the background) on a Fort William local service.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown

29/11/15 – 09:59

Don, I’ve always understood that the way to tell the difference between a Y bus and a Y coach was the number of side widows. The bus had more, smaller, windows while the coach, as illustrated here, had fewer and bigger ones.    . . . and as for the DP designation. I’ve always understood it was a bus body with coach seats, or fewer seats so as to make the longer journey more comfortable. Of course, going the other way, and downgrading a coach, you might cut down the seat backs, and put another row of seats in!

Pete Davies

29/11/15 – 14:45

I thought it was ‘coach’ seats but with ticket equipment fittings and power doors. Allowing the vehicle to be used on bus or coach services as required.

Ian Comley

30/11/15 – 06:47

Northern Scottish reseated some 53 bus seated Leopards to 49 dual purpose seats. The body had small windows!

Stephen Bloomfield

30/11/15 – 12:25

I was amused to see the three comments on the ‘DP question’ raised above because, on another forum site I visit, there has been a debate on this same subject in the past year that reached what must be a record number of postings! www.sct61.org.uk/zzvmp10ga

David Slater

01/12/15 – 06:07

The SCT61 site does indeed have a good number of comments, as David says, and almost as many points of view. The PSV used to be classed as HACKNEY on the tax disc, then it was BUS – I’m sure Mr & Mrs Smith would have been horrified to read that on their extended tour coach they were actually going by bus!
Some years ago, Southampton Citybus had a pair of what in a single decker might be regarded as DPs, but these were double deck buses, available for private hire. (Nigel Frampton may remember the E…HRV vehicles) On one occasion, I overheard comments about what a pity it was that, going along the M1, we couldn’t match the speed of "all these other coaches". Of course not, we were on a bus, then limited to 50mph while a coach was allowed 60. One morning, one of my travelling companions commented "Oh, good! A comfy bus this morning!" as one of these approached.

Pete Davies

01/12/15 – 09:58

Pete, there are no speed limit distinctions between ‘buses’ and ‘coaches’. Both were passenger service vehicles, now called passenger carrying vehicles. Buses intended for normal stop/start duties would have been geared accordingly, and this would have been reflected in the top speed. Some manufacturers, notably Dennis and Bristol, were early users of five speed gearboxes which gave their products a livelier performance on the road.

Roger Cox

01/12/15 – 11:41

Thank you for that nugget, Roger. I thought I had read somewhere that there WAS (even if there isn’t now) a distinction on speed limits. Perhaps it’s another example of the fugiting Mr Tempus!

Pete Davies

03/12/15 – 10:59

Speaking, buses and coaches were classified as PSV – public service vehicles, not passenger service vehicles. I know – I used to handle the PSV licensing in London. It was a strange description, more suited to dustbin lorries.

David Wragg

03/12/15 – 10:59

I understand that a bus or coach under 12 metres long, capable of travelling at more than 60 mph and built before 1988 does not require to be fitted with a speed limiter and thus, if capable, can travel at more than 60 mph on a motorway.

Stephen Bloomfield

03/12/15 – 11:00

Pete – I certainly do remember the Southampton Olympian DPs. I think the E-HRVs stayed at Southampton for a full working life, and I believe that one (at least) still exists. There were a couple of earlier ones as well, but they were sold to Bullock of Cheadle after only a few years, along with 4 Dominator buses (the C-BBP registered vehicles).
Although I contributed to that discussion on SCT’61 about the DP classification, I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone as light reading! I think the point to remember is that the DP classification is a convenience for the benefit of enthusiasts, and dates from an era when documentation was virtually all on printed paper and photos were much less widely available. It was intended to distinguish vehicles which had physical features of both buses and coaches, rather than those which were purely buses or purely coaches. For example, bus shell bodies with coach seats, or coaches with bus seats. It has nothing to do with the actual use to which the vehicle is put; it needs to be capable of being determined based on simple observation; and it needs to be consistent for all vehicles regardless of operator. Operators tend to have their own codes, which suit their purposes, but differ, such that largely identical vehicles are classified differently by different operators.
Of course, once you have a reasonably clear photograph of the vehicle (or you can see it in the metal), then the code becomes academic – you can see what shape of bodywork it has, and generally get a good idea of the type of seats. Given the almost infinite variety of combinations that have been built over the years, it is inevitable that there will be one or two anomalies when using a simple coding system of that nature, but that does not invalidate the code itself.

Nigel Frampton

03/12/15 – 11:01

Enthusiasts generally use the PSV Circle definition of DP, which is a bus shell with coach seats, or, very occasionally, a coach shell with bus seats. Operators often had their own definitions, which sometimes had more to do with what they wanted to do with the vehicle than its physical properties. It isn’t unusual to find a vehicle where the PSV Circle code is different from the operator’s.
I’m surprised that Don says Eastern Scottish classed this vehicle as a coach, because it was new as ZB115, and in the SCT61 discussion it was stated that Z meant dual-purpose.

Peter Williamson

04/12/15 – 06:06

In Eastern Scottish fleet numbers shown on single deck vehicles were prefixed by a letter or letters. A vehicle with only one letter before the fleet number denoted the vehicle type and also that is classified it as a bus. However the additional letters were as follows:
C Citylink coach
X Toilet fitted coach.Used on vehicles that operated on the services between Edinburgh and London.
Y non toilet fitted coach, often without any bulkhead behind the driver. Also not capable of being OPO operated. In many instances had the same type of seat fitted as those vehicles classed as a coach.
Z Dual purpose vehicle.
In other SBG companies a 49 seat Y type with high backed seats would be classed as a coach.

Stephen Bloomfield

04/12/15 – 06:07

Yes, David, you’re right. Public Service Vehicles. A slip of the mind and fingers. I acted as advocate for LCBS in the Traffic Courts for more than ten years, so senility is clearly upon me.

Roger Cox

04/12/15 – 06:08

Thank you, gents, for your further thoughts on what is or is not a DP . . .

Pete Davies

11/12/15 – 06:57

Highland tended to put all the OPO-capable coaches it got second-hand (like this one) into the Poppy Red and Peacock Blue bus livery; even toilet-fitted Bristol RELHs.

Stephen Allcroft


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 2nd May 2016