Old Bus Photos

T Severn & Sons – AEC Reliance – PYG 605

T Severn & Sons – AEC Reliance – PYG 605
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

T Severn & Sons Ltd.
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Park Royal B41F

Not the best of shots, depot shots very rarely are especially if shooting towards a window. But I think it is worth it as these vehicles were owned by another of the many independents operating in the Doncaster area mainly serving the mining industry. At one particular time T Severn & Sons were one of five operators based in the small village of Stainforth, just shows how big the mining industry was in that area. But I will not dwell on the history as apart from the usual Peter Gould website there are two other sites I have found dealing with the Doncaster independents I have put links to them below.
T Severn purchased two of these Reliances PYG 605 and 606 new in 1956, one interesting thing I found out from their fleet list was that 606 was withdrawn in 1963 but 605 stayed on until being withdrawn in 1970. I somehow cannot see the early withdrawal due to vehicle deteriorating so I presume it was because of the increase in passenger numbers and vehicles with an higher capacity were required. The reason I came to that conclusion is that in the 1963/4 period Severns acquired two new and three second hand double deckers, one of them ex London Transport RT331 as well as two coaches. One of the new vehicles is in the above shot, new in 1964 BWW 654B a Leyland Titan PD3/4 with a Roe front entrance body, this vehicle passed onto SYPTE in March 1979 and was numbered 1156 in their fleet.
Here are the two links for the history of the Doncaster independents as the links are rather long I have made things easy so there is one here and another one here.

A full list of Reliance codes can be seen here and Titan codes here.


I think these two vehicles were always ‘dual purpose’, having seats with headrests, but were delivered in plain green/cream livery with straight mouldings. This was altered some time later to the style shown, possibly because neighbour Felix had a Reliance later on with V moulding on the front and Severn had to keep up! As to why one vehicle lasted 7 years longer than the other, we can only guess but Severn’s did odd things sometimes such as going to the trouble of having a PD1 re-bodied, then selling it only three years later, also buying a Bristol K5G into a fleet which had by then virtually standardised on the Leyland O600 in it’s double deckers.

Chris Barker


18/01/12 – 06:47

I believe PYG 606 came to Mowbrays, South Moor, part of the Diamond syndicate, I have photographs of this one in service on the Stanley/Durham service, I drove part time in 1961/63? but never drove this one.

Jim Taylor


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Rochdale Corporation – AEC Reliance – GDK 324D – 24

Rochdale Corporation - AEC Reliance - GDK 324D

Rochdale Corporation
AEC Reliance 6MU2RA
Willowbrook B45F

Rochdale were always a good customer for AEC vehicles especially single deckers all from 1940 were AEC. Front engined Regals to start with to rear engined Swifts with the very dependable underfloor Reliance in between, the above does look quite smart with its Willowbrook body. I do like the roof windows I should imagine that they made the bus feel quite bright and airy. This vehicle passed over to SELNEC on the 1st of November 1969 and probably did many years service with them. The Reliance coding is bit tricky to understand a MU2RA had a synchromesh gearbox and vacuum brakes, what the 6 stood for I do not know, engine size perhaps, if anyone knows all the Reliance coding and what they all stood for please let me know and I will put them on the abbreviations page.

Photograph contributed by Ian Beswick


Thanks to David Oldfield for putting together the codes for the AEC Reliance which can be seen here.


The 6MU2RA had Monocontrol gearboxes and air brakes as had all Rochdale’s Reliances. In the AEC code no 3 stands for Synchromesh and ‘V’ for vacuum brakes. Also Rochdale’s Regals were not front engined but underfloor engined Regal IV’s. They were 1-7 with East Lancs bodies (1951) and 8-15 with Burlingham bodies (1953). All were delivered as B42D but were converted in the late 1950’s to B44F.
Four (11/13-15) were sold to Lancaster City Transport around 1957 as the Healey route 2 was converted to double-deck operation and Rochdale had less need for saloons.

Philip Halstead


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Halifax Corporation – AEC Reliance MU3RV – NRK 350 – 261

Halifax Corporation - AEC Reliance MU3RV - NRK 350 - 261
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Park Royal C41C

Here is a rather nice looking coach which Halifax Corporation acquired in 1966. According to one source of information Halifax acquired it from Timpson of London but according to another source it was originally delivered to Bourne & Balmer of Croydon. Was this coach 2nd or 3rd hand at Halifax if you know please leave a comment. I did actually go on this coach to somewhere but I can’t remember where, but I seem to think that the two front roof windows were tinted a very dark orange.

09/09/11 – 07:08

A little detective work reveals that Bourne & Balmer ceased trading independently on 1st Jan 1960, and either then or later became part of the Timpson operation. So it seems that both sources are correct.
In 1967 261 was renumbered 257 and then almost immediately 258. It was rebodied by Plaxton in 1968, and in that form passed to Calderdale JOC in 1971 and to West Yorkshire PTE in 1974.

Peter Williamson

11/09/11 – 07:40

Timpsons acquired Bourne & Balmer in 1960, which probably explains the confusion.
NRK 350 was new to Bourne & Balmer in April 1955, passed to Timpsons, and was sold to Halifax JOC in February 1966. Fitted with a new Plaxton body in 1968, passed to West Yorkshire PTE, sold May 1975.

Michael Wadman

03/10/11 – 07:22

Timpson’s acquired the business of Bourne and Balmer (Croydon) Ltd on 17 November 1953, but retained it as a subsidiary until April 1960, when it was closed down and the fleet absorbed into the main Timpson’s fleet. During those years, new coaches were added to the Bourne and Balmer fleet from time to time, NRK 350 being one such vehicle. Even after 1960, Timpson’s continued to paint some of their coaches in Bourne and Balmer livery, with Bourne and Balmer fleetnames, until around 1970. Thus, NRK 350 was new to Bourne and Balmer when it was a Timpson’s subsidiary, and passed into Timpson’s ownership upon the closure of Bourne and Balmer in 1960. It retained Bourne and Balmer livery until the end of 1964.

Dave Williamson

03/10/11 – 11:47

Along with other similar Reliances this bus was given a new Plaxton Panorama body, in his book Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres Geof Hilditch says that MBY 347 an AEC Reliance bought as an accident victim for £275 Halifax rebuilt it and it was rebodied for £3000 truly a bargain.

Chris Hough

03/01/14 – 08:10

NRK 350 languished after withdrawal in the quarry scrapyard of Bingley Autospares for around nine years from withdrawal in 1975 to 1984 when it was finally broken up. It was surrounded in the yard by other Halifax Titans and Leopard saloons plus Leeds Regent Vs and PD3s.



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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 17th December 2014