Old Bus Photos

West Riding – AEC Reliance – JHL 717 – 817

West Riding - AEC Reliance - JHL 717 - 817
Copyright Chris Hough

West Riding Automobile
1956
AEC Reliance
Roe B44F

In the nineteen fifties West Riding bought very few batches of saloons They were used on a selection of routes. Seen in Leeds bus station is a Roe bodied AEC Reliance fleet number 817 registration JHL 717 which dates from 1956. It is on the "back roads route" from Leeds to Castleford via Swillington and Fryston. West Riding did not always bother with route numbers as is evident from this shot The bus certainly shows the effect of road grime on paintwork as it stands in Leeds bus station in 1967.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hough


01/08/12 – 07:19

Odd design- front not very Roe? It may well have picked that spray up that day on that back roads route- could be off the fields or clay slurry from mining. Note the single mini-wiper and the gloop around its perimeter, the state of the wheels/tyres and (possibly) the wet muck behind the rear wheels. It got better when the windows were covered too- that’s where the idea for the all-over adverts came from.
Nearly on thread: West Riding’s successors, Arriva, have just managed to provide a new batch of deckers with facing fore and aft seats over the rear wheels. Now where do the local yobbery put their muddy feet/boots? Arriva are now providing notices to try to stop people dirtying their clothes on muddy seats. Come back practical designers… conductors… inspectors!!

Joe


01/08/12 – 08:53

Actually, very Roe, Joe. For a time in the early fifties, this droopy windscreen was a feature of Roe saloons – and distinguished them from their Park Royal cousins built on the same frames. I like your theory about the origins of contra-vision adverts, though!

David Oldfield


01/08/12 – 11:59

As we Geordies would say "wor bairns hacky mucky" rough translation "the baby is in need of a wash"

Ronnie Hoye


01/08/12 – 12:01

What a dismal scene! Obviously a grotty day, when some photographers would leave the camera at home because of a) the weather and b) the resulting dirty appearance of the vehicle. There are some photographers of buses who capture only "pristine" views but there is a real world out there and it often happens that the cleaners can’t keep pace with the weather. It may just happen that the photographer is on holiday and wants to record the local transport. I know that doesn’t apply in this case, but what’s the photographer supposed to do, come back next year and hope the same bus is still in service?
Very atmospheric, and the black and white print enhances that. Thanks for sharing.
Interesting comment from Joe regarding back to back seating over the rear wheels. I first noticed this with Bolton Corporation, but the idea still persists. The original idea was to have greater seating capacity. The inward facing arrangement seems to me to be far better. Clearly, a candidate for the "nice idea, but . . ." file!

Pete Davies


01/08/12 – 15:38

While "facing seats" are not by any means ideal the abuse of them on both buses and trains is absolutely abominable. Its almost certain that, as you walk past any stationary bus, if you look inside you will see passengers with their filthy footwear planted on the opposite seat – and not just placed there either – there will be plenty of "scrubbing" in every direction just to plant more filth and to cause as much wear to the material as possible. It might be thought that those responsible would just be the yobs of Society, but not a bit of it – the culprits are just as likely to be smartly dressed businessmen or secretarial young ladies. It is a despicable and costly habit, of which the perpetrators are fully aware and, apart from the burden placed on transport operators, the ruination of decent peoples hard earned nice clothing is scandalous. In summary the phrase "Blow you Jack I’m alright" springs to mind, and in reality there can be no cure for it – its sadly just another sign of "Today."

Chris Youhill


01/08/12 – 17:37

You’re dead right, Joe and Chris. However, it seems to be a universal problem. I remember once risking my life by photographing a couple of youths on a German train with their feet on the seat directly under a large and unambiguous"Halten Sie Füße weg von den Sitzen"(or similar) sign and graphic image. Needless to say, they just laughed at me, but (who knows) maybe the memory of the occasion may just hit home to one of them in years to come? Staff, particularly on railways, rarely bother to challenge the offenders as they prefer a quiet life, and who can blame them? However, one can sometimes come unstuck by making big assumptions – like the time I worked myself into a Victor Meldrew Harumph on seeing a lady with outstretched legs onto the opposite seat in a first class carriage. I was on the brink of saying something when I thankfully noticed that she had removed her shoes and placed a newspaper on the seat to rest her stockinged feet! Phew! Nearly an "I’ll get my coat……." moment!

Paul Haywood


02/08/12 – 07:12

Would, the would be perpetrators on arriving home put their muddy /dirty shoes on their own furniture thus defiling their property, I think not.

David Henighan


02/08/12 – 07:13

Sometimes a bit of sarcasm works wonders, when I was at Armstrong Galley one of our drivers had a notice in his coach ‘if the floor is full please don’t hesitate to use the litter bin’ strangely enough it seemed to work

Ronnie Hoye


02/08/12 – 07:13

I acknowledge your knowledge, David. I was thinking of exclusive Roe users like Doncaster, but at that time they were still on half cabs! Underfloor came much later.

Joe


02/08/12 – 07:14

I thoroughly agree with Joe regarding back to back seating over rear wheel arches, they seem to be obligatory with modern day low floor buses. I witnessed one of Stagecoach leather coach seated Scania/ALX 400’s when only days old being so treated despite various notices asking that it not be done.
When I was a driver I would wherever possible make a point of loudly asking for all feet to be taken off all seats it seemed popular with most passengers except the thoughtless culprits, as Chris says another sign of "today" I’m glad that I retired 9 years ago.

Diesel Dave


02/08/12 – 07:15

I wholeheartedly agree about the comments made about yobs (and non yobs) putting their feet on the back to back seats, who knows what they could have stood in? A few years ago I went for a lengthy trip on the Yorkshire Coastliner service between Leeds and Scarborough and felt the need to contact the company about some matter or other, I honestly can’t remember what it was now. Anyway, I took the opportunity to mention that this seating arrangement was not ideal for such a long journey and that people sat on the back seat tended to use the facing seat as a footrest. Coastliner’s suggestion was that I should have had a word with the perpetrators!

Dave Towers


02/08/12 – 11:18

Dave Towers received a somewhat pathetic and "resigned" reply from Coastliner – did they also include a list of A & E departments along the route where Dave could receive attention to his injuries after the quite likely "smack in t’ mouth" which could result from "having a word."
I share Diesel Dave’s sentiments and I am glad that I retired eleven years ago – the level of appalling conduct by too many passengers is now beyond a joke – and I loved the career to a passion – so I can well understand how most drivers who are doing the job "just for a living" must feel.

Chris Youhill


02/08/12 – 11:20

Joe. This comes down to personal experience – if you had never come across the droopy screens then you would assume they did not exist, or were an aberration. I happen to be a Roe fan/"expert" – but presumably, with Doncaster connections, so are you. I’ve been caught out in the past myself.

David Oldfield


02/08/12 – 17:12

Tough attitude of passengers both young and old can be yobbish but to a degree the companies are also at fault. In Leeds the interior of vehicles are often filthy with old newspapers, tickets etc on buses just out of the depot. Minor vandalism such as graffiti is left in situ so Joe Public see an unloved uncared for bus that they think hmm the company don’t care why should I. I am old enough to remember buses smelling of disinfectant on leaving the depot not last nights takeaway!

Chris Hough


02/08/12 – 17:13

I seem to remember being told that the reason for the demise of inward facing seats over wheelarches, in favour of back to back ones, was an ‘elfen safety’ issue. It was reckoned that passengers could fall off these seats too easily when the bus cornered (yes, they did actually sometimes!).
I agree entirely with all the above sentiments regarding inconsiderate, yobbish behaviour on buses these days, and as someone who still has to drive buses for a living (albeit part-time now, after nearly 40 years full-time) for a major operator, it is heartening to know that at least a few of you sympathise with the hopeless situation we find ourselves in.
All too often, present day bus drivers are criticised for being uncaring and disinterested, and held totally to blame for the state of the industry today. Physically we may have it easier with our automatic gearboxes, power-steering and computerised ticket machines – no more grappling with crash boxes, heavy steering or snipping away at piles of Willebrew tickets etc. – but the job is much more stressful, frustrating and demoralising in a host of different ways that the PSV drivers and conductors of yesteryear could never envisage.
Passengers often complain that the "bus driver should have done something" when there has been yobbish, unsocial behaviour taking place but, as Chris rightly implies, one is certainly putting oneself at risk of abuse – at the very least of the foul verbal kind, and quite possibly of the violent physical kind – if one intervenes. It’s just not worth it.
The companies pay lip service to their official intolerance of this kind of behaviour, but otherwise just ignore the issue – probably for fear of appearing too authoritarian. Even yobs are fare-paying passengers so we must not upset them too much.

John Stringer


03/08/12 – 07:55

I remember these buses coming through Dewsbury on the joint West Riding/Yorkshire Woollen service 3 to Cullingworth. I believe one is being prepared at the Dewsbury Bus Museum.

Philip Carlton


09/08/12 – 09:30

If I may climb back over the seats to the subject of Roe Underfloor Designs of the 50’s…. checking with Peter Gould’s list, I see that Doncaster actually bought a single centre entrance Regal IV in 1951…it must have been a sort of Festival of Britain experimental fling, because they also bought the two 8ft double deckers- Regent III and CVD6- which they sold on as two wide (for the streets or the washer- the jury is out) and then the two all-Leyland PD2’s which were the last non-Roe deckers ever bought and, trolley-bodied, lasted nearly 20 years: the next year, I see they bought nothing! Anyway… the party was clearly over and they reverted to half cab Regal IIIs in 1953, which were more typical of this traditional fleet. But… my point is that I have found a pic of 21 and it doesn’t have droopy windscreens… angled two piece, it seems…… so the droopy screens came later…

Joe


11/08/12 – 07:27

Pontypridd U.D.C. had three 1957 Guy Arab LUF’s with Roe rear-entrance bodies and ‘droopy’ windscreens – try this link:- www.sct61.org.uk/  Lancashire United Transport had some Atkinson PM746H’s with Roe bodies with similar fronts also, see:- www.flickr.com/photos/

John Stringer


11/08/12 – 09:20

I’ll throw another one at you Joe. You mentioned square screens on Regal IVs – just like Sheffield’s 12 – 14. The droopies were only on Reliances (and contemporary underfloors) which would make them 1953 onwards – but still from "the early fifties".

David Oldfield


12/08/12 – 07:21

As Manuel said… I learn… I learn. Curious that the "square" underfloor body designs look better or more modern…like that Pennine Royal Tiger.

Joe


16/11/12 – 09:04

John mentions (02/08/12) the yobbish attitude of passengers sadly this attitude to other peoples property is prevalent in all walks of life. I work in the NHS and we have a constant problem with mindless vandalism to furniture in particular. I once asked a culprit if he would do the same to his own property and was met with a torrent of four letter words and told I pay your effin wages so shut it.

Chris Hough


Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


04/07/14 – 07:41

You get a fine from Merseyrail Electrics if you put your feet on their seats. There are signs up warning about it and they seem to work. Not that I use their trains very often.

Geoff Kerr


 

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Hanson – AEC/Hanson Regent – TVH 497 – 361

Hanson - AEC/Hanson Regent - TVH 497 - 361                     Copyright Eric Bawden

Hanson
1950
AEC/Hanson Regent
Roe H37/28F

Here we have a picture I took at Sandtoft around 1972/3.
This bus started life in 1950 with Hanson of Huddersfield as an AEC Regal III 9621E with a Duple C33F body, registration EVH 805 fleet number 295. To ‘modernise it’ in 1954 Hanson had Plaxton remove the front bulkhead and build a Venturer style full front on it. It was then renumbered 326.

Hanson - AEC/Hanson Regent - TVH 497 - 361

In 1961 Hansons’ rebuilt the chassis and had a new Roe H37/28F body fitted, re-registered it as TVH 497 and gave it fleet number of 361. Numerically it was the seventh rebuild in the series, the fourth double decker and the first front entrance decker. It passed to Huddersfield Corporation with the stage carriage operations of Hansons’ on 1st October 1969.
Thornes of Bubwith acquired it in October 1970 as their no. 57. Although listed as being withdrawn and scrapped in Thornes own lists in May 1972, it was eventually acquired for preservation.
It is seen in the above colour shot in as acquired condition and what appears to be ex Aachen 22, a 1956 Henschell trolleybus with Ludewig body along side it. As this trolleybus is kept at the Sandtoft Transport Centre one must assume 361’s destination blind is telling the truth! I’m afraid I didn’t keep records of the pictures I took in those days so have to rely on detective work to place and date them.
Sadly 361’s career as a preserved bus didn’t last very long, I believe it suffered a catastrophic engine failure and was sold for scrap.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Eric Bawden


13/07/12 – 09:08

Thanks for posting. I have in my "bought" collection a view of VVH 348 which, by that time, had migrated to the Porthcawl Omnibus Company.

Pete Davies


13/07/12 – 17:12

Pete, That would be 368 when with Hanson, rebuilt in 1962 from 1949 Roe H31/25R bodied Regent III 285, ECX 414.

Eric Bawden


14/07/12 – 07:39

Unfortunately I don’t believe 361 suffered any catastrophic failure at all, but was just sold. It was kept here where I live in Greenfield, less than five minutes walk from where I now live, along with various other vehicles including my own. It just disappeared one day and I was annoyed about it at the time and even more so now, as it is a genuine Saddleworth bus which would have appeared frequently on the Oldham service which ran past Greenfield station.
The shame is that, had it survived at Thorne’s, even out of use, a bit longer it might have joined their fleet of splendidly-restored vehicles.

David Beilby


14/07/12 – 11:23

I was always under the impression that a conrod came through the engine block and that is why it was scrapped. It did get repainted in an approximation of Hanson livery but the shade of red was far too dark, almost maroon. There are some photos about of it in these colours. The correct shade was a Dulux colour called Wexham Red.
I did know the owner at one time but it is many, many years since I lost contact with him.

Eric Bawden


18/06/17 – 07:02

I bought 361 from Thornes and moved it initially to Sandtoft. It was then subsequently moved to Huddersfield goods yard where it was repainted into Wexham Red. The bus subsequently moved to a mill yard in Greenfield where it received the engine from Morecambe 57.
361 attended some rallies in the mid seventies and visited Shildon for the anniversary in 1975 (?).
The bus was sold in serviceable condition when I got married in 1976.

Bill Roberts


 

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Sheffield Corporation – AEC Reliance – 9000 WB – 900

9000 WB_lr
Copyright Ian Wild

Sheffield Corporation
1958
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Roe Dalesman C37C

This was a one off purchase by Sheffield initially used for visits, inspections etc by the Transport Committee but later used in normal service. My mother travelled on it on a number of occasions on service 48 to Manchester via Woodhead when visiting relations ‘over there’. Having a centre entrance made it unsuitable for one man operation but it still lasted until 1970. Since much of the Peak District single deck work had by this time been converted to OMO, I wonder what use was made of it in the final two or three years.
The bus was renumbered 90 in the 1967 scheme and I recall it being in a pretty dreadful external condition towards the end of its life.
This was Sheffield’s only AEC Reliance (perhaps experience suggested the Leyland 0.600 engine in the early Leopards was a better bet than the head gasket failure prone AEC AH470) and their only coach body built by Roe. I think it is quite an elegant design from what was generally a bus body builder. I assume it would be teak framed like their standard double deck design . Note the non standard size Sheffield Transport fleet name transfer above the City coat of arms.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

A full list of Reliance codes can be seen here.

———

19/06/12 – 18:07

Oh the blessed 900/90. What Ian says from both a professional and enthusiast perspective is quite right, but the Leopards came later. The story I heard was about Civic Spite – between Sheffield and Leeds. Leeds bought one and Sheffield had to have one as well. [Bit like Salford and Manchester.] I assume the 1955 Moncoaches were AH470 rather than AH410, but I agree dry-liner 0.600s were probably a better bet than wet-liner AH470s for charging across the Pennines and into the Peak District. As Charles H Roe’s biggest fan, I’m a little sorry that the Dalesman didn’t quite take off into great popularity – but that wasn’t really the point. Just as Plaxton’s built buses in the summer to cover their dead period, Roe built batches of Dalesmans for sale from stock when they had fallow periods of bus construction. [On that basis, I suppose it’s surprising they built so many Dalesmans!] The construction was of Roe’s original and best.

David Oldfield

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20/06/12 – 08:17

David. you’re probably aware of this already, but Economic of Whitburn had one of these splendid vehicles on an AEC chassis ‘YPT 796’ and I’m pleased to say that its still alive and well and now forms part of the N.E.B.P.T. Ltd collection

Ronnie Hoye

———

20/06/12 – 08:18

Leeds first coach came in 1965 and was an AEC Reliance with a different style of Roe bodywork. It was always used as a private hire vehicle and never as a committee toy! Indeed the only saloons in the Leeds fleet at that time were some centre entrance standee types on Leyland AEC and Guy chassis seating 34 and some newer Reliances with dual door bodywork. All carried Roe bodies and had mountainous steps. They were certainly not coaches!
Locally West Riding had a batch of AEC Reliance coaches with Dalesman bodywork

Chris Hough

———

20/06/12 – 11:38

These stories which go the rounds….. I actually drove the Leeds coach when in the ownership of David Crowther’s Classic Coaches of High Wycombe. [In lousy weather from Reading to Lord’s Cricket ground – and back.] The Dalesman was dropped after the slightly odd final version in 1959, of which Black & White had, I believe, six. After that, the Roe coach was far closer to a DP on the standard bus shell. Leeds and York Pullman showed how to "coachify" the body to make it more than acceptable for Private Hires – as did Booth and Fisher.
Ronnie, I was aware of the Economic coach, but not its continued existence. Thanks for the good news. Regrettably this Sheffield exile in Surrey may never get to see it in your beautiful part of the world.

David Oldfield

———

20/06/12 – 11:39

There are shots of both the Economic and also a West Riding example at www.sct61.org.uk

Chris Hough

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21/06/12 – 06:43

There are some interesting comments above and on other pages of this site regarding civic jealousy, rather than civic pride, when it came to having a coach in the fleet. In Southampton, there was a period when the then Transport Manager wanted at least dual purpose vehicles if not full coaches, to support his growing private hire business. The idea was rejected by the Committee, largely because one of the members was of the family owning a local coach operator. Shouldn’t there have been a declaration of interest?
I imagine from the photo that this coach was in overall cream livery. I feel it would have looked better with the lower panels – where the crest is – in blue.

Pete Davies

———

21/06/12 – 06:44

The story goes that on one of its first outings with the Transport Committee on board, 9000 WB ground to a halt in the centre of the city, needing rescue. Apparently before leaving Townhead Street garage, the driver had topped it up with water, but had poured it into the the fuel tank instead of the radiator. Can’t begin to imagine what the Committee chairman had to say about that!

Dave Careless

———

21/06/12 – 06:44

It was known amongst Sheffield Transport staff as the "blunderbus"!

P White

———

21/06/12 – 06:45

Felix of Hadfield also had a "coachified" AEC Reliance- Roe DP vehicle which is happily still around it lives at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum

Chris Hough

———

21/06/12 – 06:46

David O, I don’t understand your passing reference to Salford and Manchester. Salford had a committee coach – a self-indulgent 26-seat Weymann Fanfare-bodied Reliance that rarely turned a wheel – but I don’t believe Manchester did.

Peter Williamson

———

21/06/12 – 11:22

Peter. Sometimes the brain is faster than the finger. Manchester always had some sort of coach for Ringway services, Salford had to have one and, like Sheffield, the only true use was for the Committee. Yes, the Fanfare got more use in SELNEC days on airport work. [I believe its predecessor was a full fronted Daimler CVD6/Burlingham.

David Oldfield

———

21/06/12 – 11:25

Did Roe have any liaison with Duple over the Dalesman as it bears more than a passing resemblance to the Duple Elizabethan body. Similarly the last version of the Dalesman has a look of the contemporary Willowbrook Viscount One of these ex Felix of Hadfield is also preserved at Sandtoft.

Chris Hough

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21/06/12 – 19:06

Just for the record, Sheffield used its other coaches (23 I believe) on the longer routes, for example the Peak District routes / railway routes.

Les Dickinson

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21/06/12 – 19:12

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think that Roe were probably just inspired by the Elizabethan and copied the general outline of the front entrance version, with its slightly more upright front, yet making it sufficiently different in detail so as not to cause any bother. The Dalesman’s window line was a fraction higher and slightly straighter, and the forward sloping pillar that divided these from the front section was slightly squarer. I rather prefer the Dalesman myself, but Duple soon replaced the Elizabethan with the neater Brittania with its uninterrupted window line, whereas Roe continued with the stepped outline.

John Stringer

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07/08/12 – 07:19

I suspect this was as much to do with civic pride as anything else. If Leeds has got one, we must too and vice versa. LCT certainly had a Reliance coach, C reg I think. Then there was SCTs 500 City Clipper service, cos Leeds had one, using Merc minibuses. It continues today with the nonsense over trams.

Roger Davies


 

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