Old Bus Photos

Sheffield Corporation – AEC Regent III – UWE 765 – 1265

Sheffield Corporation - AEC Regent III - UWE 765 - 1265

Sheffield Corporation
1955
AEC Regent III 9613S
Roe H33/25R

Sheffield bought 86 AEC Regent III in 1955/6 incorporating the new look front more usually associated with the Regent V model.
The first to arrive were a batch of 32 for the B fleet numbered 1251 – 1282 with handsome Roe bodies. 1265 is shown outside the Roe premises at Crossgates, Leeds prior to delivery. I wonder if this was the first of the batch to be completed hence the official photograph? I always felt that these were a bit heavy looking with the blue radiator surround, I believe they were referred to as ‘bluebottles’.
The total batch for the B fleet numbered 41 buses but what were to have been Roe bodied 1283 – 1291 were delivered to the A fleet as 736 – 744 and an equivalent number of the original A fleet order (bodied by Weymann) were fitted with lowbridge bodywork and took the numbers 1283 – 1291 in the B fleet. These were used to double deck the Dinnington services 6 and 19 which operated under a restricted height bridge at South Anston. Roe were quite capable of building lowbridge bodies (see other Roe product photos on this site) and I wonder why Roe didn’t simply supply the last nine as lowbridge vehicles? No doubt there was a reason for it at the time.
Although this particular bus was withdrawn in 1969, 1251 and 1254 lasted until 1973 – at 18 years old, a fair age for what was by then a low capacity obsolete (open rear platform) design. All ended up with various Barnsley area scrapmen.
A few points to note in the photograph: the difference in shading between the 12 and 65 of the front and side fleet numbers and the legal ownership by the British Transport Commission, also the missing fog lamp and the semaphore trafficator arm in front of the nearside front window.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

A full list of Regent III codes can be seen here.

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30/04/11 – 06:59

I would like to help with the Sheffield J.O.C query regarding the 1955 intake of AEC Regent III buses.
At the time of the order, SJOC required 41 chassis with 9.6 litre engines and synchromesh gearboxes. An important requirement was for the "New Look" bonnet structure. At the time, the Mark V model featured a revised bonnet design, but only with the 7.75 litre engine. To meet the Sheffield request, AEC agreed to supply 41 Regent III chassis, to incorporate the "New Look" structure. C.H.Roe were to supply 41 bodies to H33/25R layout, to a height of 14ft 2 1/2ins. The modified design featured a lower deck framed in teak and upper deck in light alloy.
A problem arose when SJOC wished to increase fares on the category B services.The Yorkshire Transport Authority refused the application and the reason was that there were too many single deck services, some needing duplicate buses. The YTA suggested that more efficiency was needed, suggesting that some low height double deckers should be acquired. To this end Sheffield asked C.H Roe to modify nine of the outstanding contract to be built to low height 55 seaters. Although nine of the 41 chassis had not been delivered ALL the bodies had been built, some placed on trestles to await the chassis delivery. The result was that Weymann were asked to change an order for 45 similar Regent chassis, from H32/26R layout to L27/28R on 9 of the chassis. In consequence, Roe lettered the 9 completed buses to category A finish and the Weymann 9 lettered for the B fleet.

Keith Beeden

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30/04/11 – 15:25

Thank you for the explanation Keith. Clear and concise as always.

John Darwent

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30/04/11 – 20:50

Thank you Keith for that really interesting explanation about the highbridge/lowbridge body supply swap.

Ian Wild

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02/05/11 – 12:59

Why haven’t you heard me pontificating about this picture? I’ve been away! Keith certainly answers the question of why they weren’t Regent Vs. Subsequent D3RV Regent Vs were almost identical to these Regent IIIs. It’s a shame that Roe didn’t build the low heights. The Weymann Regent IIIs and Vs were the nadir of the coach-builders art (stripped back and single skinned) and 1283 – 1291 were by far the ugliest non Utility buses ever operated by STD. Roe would have made a far better – or at least far more attractive – job of it.

David Oldfield

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03/05/11 – 08:17

Wonderful looking vehicles these, especially in this Roe version of the Sheffield livery, and even after first repaint, when they acquired a grey roof. Perhaps the nicest sounding buses ever in the fleet, as well.
Although not visible in this view, I feel pretty certain it was this batch at least that had a white stick with a small red ball on top, attached to the top of the nearside wing, to aid drivers when pulling into the kerb, considering these ‘new look’ fronts did not afford the same view from the cab that the traditional narrower bonnet and ‘stand alone’ mudguard arrangement did. Could these have been fitted at Queens Road after suggestions from driving staff, perhaps?

Dave Careless

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03/05/11 – 16:42

Dave, you are absolutely correct about the markers. I suspect it was a Queens Road affair because I seem to recall a few, but not all, of the Weymann Regent IIIs with markers. You can’t beat AEC/Roe for me, but these combined the musical (pre-war style) manual gearbox with the throaty exhaust. The latter disappeared with the Regent V but there were odd members of both the Regent III and V Weymanns (such as 751 and 792) which had a different gearbox which was "even more musical" – almost like the crash boxes in Guy Arab IV/V and Daimler CCG6.

David Oldfield

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04/05/11 – 06:35

Interesting comment David, re-AEC music. I visited Paignton in 1960 when most of the Devon General services were operated by Regent/Weymanns of, I guess, about 1950 vintage. The sound was neither the melodious pre-war type crash gearbox, nor the "wail" of the manual Regent V (I know I’m liable to get lynched for calling it that), though it is some resemblance to both. It was certainly not the classic pre-selector sound either. I never came across it anywhere else, though I guess it must have been a standard transmission option.

Stephen Ford

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04/05/11 – 06:37

I don’t remember Roe lowbridge bodies of this particular style being very numerous on AEC Regents, of course West Riding had them aplenty on Guy and Leyland. But if the Sheffield ones had been supplied by Roe, we can have a good impression of how they would have looked from the view of UWT 876 in the United Services posting, perhaps without the platform doors, but very handsome!

Chris Barker

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04/05/11 – 06:42

I share your appreciation of the fine standard of Roe elegance coupled to the inspirational sounds of the Regent 111 9613S vehicles.751 and 792 (a D3RV type) may have been fitted with hardened gear wheels, which resulted from the earlier synchromesh problems. This modification did endow a similar whine to the Guy Arab 1V.Incidentally, at least one of the three Regal 1V/Roe single deckers, OWE 12-14 received this modification to emit Guy type sounds.
There is one more significant fact to report which relates to the 45 Regent 9613S chassis with Weymann Orion bodies, which were altered to nine to low height buses. Originally, 45 Leyland PD2/20 chassis were ordered with Orion bodies to the new "Tin Front" style. They were for the Walkley-Intake tramway conversion, due in 1956. Previously, the Leyland synchromesh gearbox featured constant mesh for 1st gear and Synchromesh on 2nd,3rd and 4th. After the contract had been signed and sealed, the Contracts engineer C.C.Hall discovered that second gear had constant mesh engagement, only 3rd and 4th having synchromesh. This was disastrous, as the Walkley and Intake routes featured some very steep hills and many of the drivers would be ex tram men. An easy change from 1st to 2nd or 3rd to 2nd was essential. Sheffield offered to pay extra to include an easy change 2nd ratio. Unfortunately, Leyland refused to provide this facility.
The outcome was that the PD2/20 order was cancelled and AEC were asked to supply 45 more 9613S chassis, in addition to the 41 already on order.
This situation was resolved by good old competition, where an alternative supplier was available!

Keith Beeden

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05/05/11 – 06:48

As an AEC man from a boy (!) riding to aforementioned Weymann Regent IIIs and Vs on both the 95 and the 51, it shocked me to read in C C Halls excellent book that Sheffield were in fact Leyland operators who dual sourced from AEC rather than either an AEC operator or a 50/50 operator.
As I’ve said before, old age and maturity have also made me a Leyland man, but definitely second to AEC. This Leyland lack of syncro on second was very evident on the PD3s (recently posted) when setting off from rest at the bottom of Meadowhead – especially with a full load.
Interesting, though, that 43 self-same PD2/20 were delivered (with Roe bodywork) in 1957 and then 40 PD2/30 in 1957/8 divided equally between Roe and Weymann – the latter being of the type you mentioned in the cancelled order.

David Oldfield

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05/05/11 – 06:50

It is interesting to consider different operators views on the ‘new look’ front from within the same county. Sheffield specified Regent III’s with the Regent V type front to give the vehicles a modern appearance at a time when Britain was emerging out of post-WW2 austerity. In contrast Doncaster, Leeds and Huddersfield bought Regent V’s but specified the Regent III style exposed radiator. It seems the view of these three operators was the very reverse of Sheffield’s. These three Yorkshire operators were sticking to tradition and apparently having nowt to do with modernity!
On the other hand this being Yorkshire – was the Regent III type radiator cheaper? (Provocative comment from a Lancastrian – couldn’t resist!)

Philip Halstead

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05/05/11 – 12:16

Aye, but we’re a rum lot in Sheffield – being on the edge of outer darkness with Derbyshire. Canny wi’ brass but appreciating the finer things in life!?

David Oldfield

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06/05/11 – 06:44

Nottingham also went for the old look exposed radiators on its 65 Regent V/Park Royals (209-273) delivered 1955/56.

Stephen Ford

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06/05/11 – 07:04

In reply to the two David’s comments on the AEC Regent 111/Mark V with bonnet markers, I can confirm that they were fitted at Queens Road works. Some drivers complained of poor visibility to the nearside when approaching stops or close passing. During the early and mid thirties, AEC fitted this type of marker on Regent and Regal vehicles. This knowledge would be known by the engineering staff, to be produced in house.

Keith Beeden

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06/05/11 – 07:07

Leeds took both AEC and Leyland chassis with exposed radiators for ease of maintenance. It took a change of GM to bring in enclosed radiators on both chassis and only 20 Leylands were delivered with this layout. To the very end Leeds AECs had a polished bonnet an anachronism maybe but a sight to set the juices flowing for this (then) teenager. Absolute poetry in motion!

Chris Hough

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11/12/11 – 07:01

what about MANSFIELD DISTRICT TRACTION? Nobody hardly ever mentions these buses,also very few coloured photos about.They shared the same depot on Sutton Road Mansfield Notts.

gren


 

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South Wales – AEC Bridgemaster – WCY 890 – 1210

South Wales - AEC Bridgemaster - WCY 890 - 1210
Copyright Bob Gell

South Wales Transport
1960
AEC Bridgemaster 2B3RA
Park Royal H43/29F

Now here is a shot of a bus somewhat out of its area, the photo of this South Wales Bridgemaster was taken in July 1969, in Dewsbury Bus Station. At the time it was working on Yorkshire Woolen district routes you can see the top blind displaying ‘Yorkshire’. I am not sure why YWD would need to hire/buy something so non-standard as the above for their fleet – shortage of vehicles for some reason perhaps or late delivery of new ones?
I would be interested to know the answer – no doubt someone will know and let me know.
Also in view is a 1967 West Riding Marshall B51F bodied Leyland Panther PSUR1/1 registration LHL 171F fleet number 171.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Bob Gell


04/04/11 – 07:04

At the time Yorkshire Woollen had a severe vehicle crisis. In addition to the Bridgemasters from South Wale some vintage Bristol Ks from West Yorkshire were also acquired. In addition a number of former Sheffield C fleet buses also entered service these were PD2s with Roe and ECW bodywork and some early Atlanteans all tended to be used on local area routes in Dewsbury

Chris Hough


04/04/11 – 07:07

The reason why Yorkshire Woollen had these Bridgemasters was due to a severe shortage of buses.Later Bristol K double deckers were acquired from West Yorkshire and United Auto.

Philip Carlton


05/04/11 – 05:30

Thanks, Chris and Philip, for confirming that YWD needed to buy additional vehicles because of a shortage of buses. I think most enthusiasts know they had those problems, but how and why did they occur? Every operator’s fleet needs eventually to be replaced, and YWD would, (or certainly should), have had a well-established renewal programme, as did all BET companies. That was standard policy throughout the group. So what caused the ‘severe crisis’?

Roy Burke


08/04/11 – 05:00

Chris and Philip Thanks for the answer to my query – as you probably guessed, this was taken at the same time as the West Yorkshire K5G already posted.

Bob Gell


24/11/15 – 06:08

With regard to Roy Burke’s comment, the reason these things occur is generally twofold firstly manufacturers delivering buses late; secondly and particularly when the old CoF system was in operation a larger number of buses than that planned for could need replacing.
Of course the third reason is rarer but most to be feared: prohibitions on running vehicles by the Traffic Commissioner.
Some fleets seem more prone to vehicle shortage than others. at SMT/SOL/Eastern Scottish it seemed to be endemic.
Here we are talking about Yorkshire Woollen and I have a captcha ending in HD.

Stephen Allcroft


 

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Sheffield Corporation – AEC Regal IV – OWB 14 – 214

OWB 14_lr
Copyright ‘unknown’ if you know please get in touch

Sheffield Corporation
1952
AEC Regal IV 9821S 
Roe B44F

Sheffield quickly tried out underfloor engined single deckers when they became available with three Leyland Olympics in 1951 and three of these Roe bodied AEC Regal IV in 1952. Notably, all were for the A fleet although I recall the Olympics in particular being regular performers on the C service 48 to Manchester despite their bus seats. The Regal IVs always seemed to be out of the limelight certainly later in life being used on workmens services to the east end of the City. Of particular note is that these three were owned initially by ACV Sales being purchased by Sheffield in 1954. This photograph shows the legal owner as the Secretary of ACV Sales at 49 Berkeley Square in London. The Sheffield coat of arms is displayed but without a fleet name. Notable is the City of Oxford like vee shape on the front panel which was retained throughout their lives except for 213 which later had an all cream front panel probably as a result of accident damage repairs. There is a substantial semaphore trafficator arm behind the entrance doors. It is hard to imagine what an impact these vehicles must have made being so different from the then standard half cab single decker and with ten more seats. The photo is taken outside the Roe factory in Leeds.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

A full list of Regal IV codes can be seen here.

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16/03/11 – 10:05

AEC? Roe? Perfection? …..and yet these beasts eluded me in my Sheffield childhood. I was a regular passenger on the back-loader Leylands, though. Fascinating about the early ACV ownership – presumably as demonstrators.
I love the Regal IV, especially the RF, but these were a minority with synchromesh gearboxes. Contemporary SUT RegalIV/Windover coaches had a of majority pre-select gearboxes – but even these had a minority of synchros.
As a "heavyweight" man, I never bought into the "over-engineered" tag given to the Regal IV (and Royal Tigers). The heavy Reliance and Leopard righted this wrong but we had to go through a period when I thought vehicles were under-engineered – especially when Tiger Cubs had 0.350 engines.

David Oldfield

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17/03/11 – 06:58

I used to go to the Sheffield Depot of Independent TD Alexander (Greyhound) on a Saturday afternoon. There was a fitter there who worked for Sheffield Transport at Greenland Road Depot (apparently Sheffield knew of this arrangement) where the three Regal IV were based at that time. He told me one day that they had sent all three out as Peak District extras on the preceding Bank Holiday Monday – and all three had to be towed back with clutch faults! I seem to recall a fair bit of trouble with the hydraulic clutch operation on the PMT Reliances, probably 214 et all had the same equipment.

Ian Wild

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17/03/11 – 18:22

Notwithstanding their frailties, the longevity of these three buses amounting to 16/17 years service was no mean feat in Sheffield terms and compares favourably with the Leyland Olympics of the time. Perhaps their mechanical shortcomings were outweighed by the fact that they were bodied by Roe who had impressed the Department with the quality of the nine PD2’s of late 1951 for the Fulwood – Malin Bridge via Hunters Bar tram replacement.

John Darwent

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17/03/11 – 19:22

I can empathise with John’s comments about the Roe bodywork, but would the clutch problems possibly be connected to the gearbox problems experienced by AEC and, subsequently Sheffield, with the early synchros?
I believe it was Classic Bus which carried an article about a catalogue of problems with the early AEC synchro boxes which Sheffield helped ACV to sort out. The OWE Roe/RegentIIIs, and possibly the 1953 RWBs, had crash boxes and all their synchromesh gearboxes were retrofitted.
The pre-select had been designed for the 9.6 engine in the RT; the crash was a pre-war box for the 7.7 engine. Mixing manual box and bigger engine took longer to sort out than expected. Even the giants with a reputation for quality could get it wrong; but they survived by eventually sorting things out.

David Oldfield

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19/03/11 – 07:49

The OWE batches of Regent III delivered with Roe bodies in 1952 had 9613A chassis numbers ie constant mesh gearboxes as built. The PSV Circle notes that synchromesh gearboxes were fitted to these buses in 1953. The 1953 batch of RWA registered buses had 9613S chassis numbers ie synchromesh gearboxes as built.
The three Regal IV were withdrawn in 1968, ie 16 years service. The Olympics were withdrawn 1966/67/68 (2) ie 15,16,17 yrs of service. My recollection is that the Regals did relatively light duties (58 to Thorpe Hesley and 106 to Brookhouse Colliery – both Colliery/Works services – being typical). The Olympics were used latterly on the well loaded and hilly service 31 to Lower Walkley. probably due to CoF expiry dates Olympics 11 and 26 outlasted the rear entrance ‘crush loader’ Royal Tigers on this service. My notes at the beginning of 1968 show that at this time 26 was the oldest bus in the fleet and its last repaint was in December 1960 – ‘it looked rather shabby’. By comparison 11 (the ex Demonstrator) had been repainted in June 1966 and ‘had a full set of retrimmed seat cushions’.

Ian Wild

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19/03/11 – 17:16

Thanks for clarification, Ian. I lived on the 31 until I was 5, when I moved to Greenhill. I do remember the Regal IVs being 58/Thorpe Hesley regulars.

David Oldfield

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04/10/11 – 21:01

That AEC OWB 14 was a regular performer on route 40, Sheffield – Bakewell and was also used on the Bakewell school run via the Hope Valley, been on it many a time when I was at Lady Manners School 1953-56. I also recall another single decker RPA 221 which was a Surrey registration, but I can’t recall if it was a Leyland or AEC. Other AECs I remember on that route started with TWJ — reg at that time.

Chris Webb

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05/10/11 – 06:38

Chris RPA 221 was an ex demonstrator Leyland Olympic, the registration a Surrey one, local to Weymann at Addlestone. The AECs you mention were the C fleet integral AEC/Park Royal Monocoaches

David Oldfield


 

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