Old Bus Photos

Rotherham Corporation – AEC Reliance – RET 162 – 162

Rotherham Corporation  - AEC Reliance – RET 162  -  162

Rotherham Corporation
AEC Reliance MU3RA
Weymann B45F

It looks like it could well be market day in this busy scene in Upper Millgate, Rotherham, looking into All Saint’s Square, in July, 1962. It’s quite likely that 162 is performing as a duplicate on the 37 service to Richmond Park, as this route was normally double-deck operated, in fact a rebodied Bristol L6B on the 37 is already waiting behind the Reliance, ready to pull on to the stand and load. Behind that is a 1954 Weymann bodied Daimler CVG6 on the Whiston service, and behind him yet again is another Daimler, a Roe bodied lowbridge example dating from 1957, on the Canklow route.
A 1949 East Lancs (Bridlington) bodied Bristol K is on the left of the picture, having discharged its passengers at the ‘Final Alighting Point’ and about to turn left into Bridgegate to make yet another journey to Chapeltown or Holmes, and further across the Square is one of its sisters on the East Herringthorpe stand, while peeping out from the offside of the Reliance is an earlier example soon to depart for Sunnyside on the 21 service.
The trolley wires emerging from Bridgegate were only used in an emergency, and joined the straight through wires from the Square, which was the layover point for trolleybuses on the short working 5 service to the Pumping Station. Just slightly over three years from when this picture was taken, the trolleybuses would be abandoned, the wires cut down and the green painted traction poles dug up and taken away. Nowadays this is all a pedestrian precinct, and with many of the shops relocated to suburban shopping centres and retail worlds, the town centre is rarely ever this busy any more.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Dave Careless

01/05/16 – 17:22

You may very well be right about market day, Dave, but town centres were always much busier fifty odd years ago, before out of town shopping centres, high parking charges for those who had cars, and so on. Oh, yes, and most folk would have used the bus. Great view – is the driver aiming to hit the lady crossing in front of him, or to avoid her? One would hope it’s the latter!

Pete Davies

03/05/16 – 07:12

Thanks Pete. My father took the picture with his then new Taron Eye 35mm camera of which he was very proud. Those six Reliances, of which 162 was one, were the first underfloor engined single-deckers in the Rotherham fleet, 160-165, with matching RET registrations, so I was quite keen for him to get a photo of one for me!
There was no central bus station in Rotherham in those days, and the buses left from stands dotted around the various streets in the town centre, and with all the shops, the steady stream of buses and trolleybuses, and the shoppers and the bus queues, it was a vibrant place. I just read the other day in the local paper online from Canada that WH Smith’s are closing their Rotherham branch next month, so although it wasn’t a large outlet, there will no longer be a book shop in the town centre. That would have been hard to imagine back in 1962.

Dave Careless


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Hampson (Oswestry) – AEC Regal IV – LUC 213

Hampson (Oswestry) - AEC Regal IV - LUC 213

Hampson of Oswestry
AEC Regal IV
Metro-Cammell B35F

"Yes, Jim, she is an RF, but not as we know them," as ‘Startrek’s’ Mr Spock might say. This AEC Regal IV of the normal RF specification has a Metropolitan Cammell B35F body and is seen in the livery of a later owner, Hampson’s of Oswestry, at Dunsfold on 10 April 2011, another of the rare occasions when ‘Wisley’ wasn’t at Wisley, before moving to Brooklands.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

17/04/16 – 06:52

Pete, I wouldn’t regard this as being a "normal" RF. This was one of 25 "Private Hire" RFs, the major differences between this and the standard RF being a length of 27’6" to the 30’0" length of the Standard RF and glazing in the roof.

David Revis

18/04/16 – 06:08

I always thought these stubby creatures looked somewhat unbalanced, compared with their grown-up cousins!

Chris Hebbron

18/04/16 – 07:12

LUC 208

LUC 225

Here are two in service with London Transport LUC 208 RF8 and LUC 225 RF25.


18/04/16 – 17:59

OOPS! Sorry, folks, but I hadn’t realised that, apart from the roof glazing, the dimensions of these vehicles were any different. I had always thought they were of normal length but with more legroom for the sightseeing public. There is a view of an RFW somewhere in the queue, another factoer in my description of ‘normal’ specification!

Pete Davies

18/04/16 – 17:59

At 27’6" long and 7′ 6" wide with only 35 seats and an unladen weight around eight tons (about the same as a 53-seat Leopard) these were not in high demand when withdrawn in the early 1960s, however two other firms who took to them Garelochhead Coach Service and Premier Travel, both of whom had narrow roads to serve. Both Mr Lainson and Mr Foy were also known to drive hard bargains.

Stephen Allcroft

18/04/16 – 17:59

LUC 213 survives in preservation with Wealdsman Preservation Group, Headcorn they are also listed as having LUC 212 & 216. Other survivors of the ‘Lucys’ as they were nicknamed are LUC 204, 210, & 219. 220 is also listed as a spares donor with Penfold of Meldreth, Cambs but may have been broken up by now since he sold LUC 204 to Dawes of Headcorn circa 2013.
Premier Travel of Cambridge bought& operated 8 of the LUC’s from LT in 1964 they were LUC 202/3/4, 206/7/8/9 & 211.

John Wakefield

20/04/16 – 11:17

The Garelochhead ones (courtesy Andrew Shirley’s GCS Bromley Garage website) were LUC214,215 and 224 numbered 39-41.

Stephen Allcroft

23/04/16 – 06:33

These private hire RFs were ordered before the legal maximum length was increased in 1950 to 30 feet. When the new limit became effective, it was too late to change the dimensions of the first twenty-five machines then under construction, and these, together with the Park Royal prototype UMP 227, became the only short wheelbase 27ft 6ins long Regal IVs ever produced. LTE quickly amended the specification for the subsequent six hundred and seventy-five RF deliveries. The short RFs were all withdrawn by LT during 1963, whereas the thirty footers ran on reliably for upwards of ten more years. The registration letters ‘LUC’ were carried by many members of the RFW, RT and RTL classes as well as the short RFs, and the name ‘Lucy’ was never applied in London service.

Roger Cox

23/04/16 – 13:27

Roger, I am quite relieved by your confirmation that "Lucy" was never used by LT staff. As a member of LT’s Bus schedules office at 55 Broadway in the late 1960’s and early 70’s I was surrounded by any number of feral bus enthusiasts and I’m sure that if that expression had been used I would have heard of it.

David Revis

23/04/16 – 17:47

The reason for their withdrawal in 1963 was a dire shortage of drivers at that time and the consequent need to concentrate manpower/overtime on keeping normal services going, causing LTE to abandon private hire work.

Chris Hebbron

24/04/16 – 07:05

David, I was a schedules compiler at Reigate at about the same time. We can preen ourselves on our skills in producing efficient duty schedules within the very tight constraints of the T&GWU agreements then prevailing. As an expatriate Croydonian in East Anglia, I don’t know about the current situation in London, but the present day schedules of the provincial big groups, unfettered by such agreements, are kids’ play to compile, and often inefficient into the bargain.

Roger Cox


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Provincial – AEC Regent V – 972 CWL – 60

Provincial - AEC Regent V - 972 CWL - 60

Provincial (Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Co)
AEC Regent V LD3RA
Park Royal H37/28R

Taken at Hoeford depot on 30/03/69 having been recently transferred from City of Oxford where it had been No H972 this photo shows newly painted Provincial No 60 an LD3RA AEC Regent V with a Park Royal H37/28R body registration number 972 CWL delivered to COMS in December 1957. As a fan of the AEC concealed radiator and the AEC marque in general I find this and the elegant 30ft long Park Royal body an irresistible combination, the only way the effect could be improved would be for it to be in the original superb Oxford livery. This was taken on the same occasion as my posting of the Guy Wulfrunian.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

14/04/16 – 06:05

Very nice shot Diesel Dave. I too am a fan of the Regent V in all its forms and this is a most handsome version. It would indeed have looked the bees knees in City of Oxford livery, but at least in your photo it’s paintwork looks fresh – probably just repainted out of Provincial’s distinctive ‘jade’ green livery. (Don’t ask me the shade as I haven’t a clue as to what is was officially called!). The NBC leaf green and white also seems to emphasise the length of the AEC nicely, which brings me to the date of the photo Dave, as NBC corporate livery didn’t make its debut until late 1972 I’m afraid. The Regent is wearing the original white ‘Double N’ arrowhead alongside the fleetname. This was replaced some years later by the red and blue arrowhead within a white square. Sadly I did not get to know the Provincial fleet until the early ‘eighties, by which time the fleet was standardising on the Leyland National. Mind you I was fortunate in seeing Provincial’s Bristol-ECW RELL in the wonderful ‘Anniversary livery’ in Gosport a few times while staying with friends, which gave a tantalising glimpse of life before leaf green.

Brendan Smith

14/04/16 – 06:06

Very nice view, Dave. Thanks for posting.

Pete Davies

14/04/16 – 06:06

As the NBC corporate image was introduced in the summer of 1972, I don’t think the stated date in 1969 is correct.

Nigel Frampton

14/04/16 – 08:11

The "jade green" originally used by Provincial was… "Provincial Green"! When Provincial 35 (’36 Regent BOR 767) first came into preservation in 1969 and needed a repaint, Dulux were able to call up the code and make the correct shade of Dulux Coach Paint – for the first time in many years. Provincial later turned to a ‘stock’ colour (I don’t know the details of this) which was very similar, but different enough for some enthusiasts to say that the colour on 35 was ‘wrong’!

David Chapman

14/04/16 – 10:28

Very low seating capacity for a thirty foot double-decker, you would normally expect a bus of this size to be H41/32R. Must have had excellent legroom, unlike some modern buses!

Don McKeown

15/04/16 – 07:15

Yes, Don. That very discussion was included in members’ comments in respect of my contribution on the Hants & Dorset (ex Oxford Via Provincial) 975CWL.

Pete Davies

15/04/16 – 07:16

I suspect that the date is closer to 1973/4 as I seem to recall that 975CWL was in use by Hants and Dorset around then and may have been transferred around the same time.

Steve Barnett

15/04/16 – 07:17

All the Aldershot & District Dennis Lolines had 68 seat bodies by East Lancs, Alexander and Weymann, and were superb vehicles to ride in (and to drive). As Don suggests, modern buses with their closely spaced hard plastics "shaped" (but not to my contours) seating are excruciatingly uncomfortable.

Roger Cox

15/04/16 – 07:17

These buses were known as ‘Queens’ by their Oxford crews due to their sheer size. I seem to recall that the relatively low seating capacity had something to do with local union agreements, but I stand to be corrected. Sister bus H975 is preserved awaiting restoration.

Philip Lamb


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