Old Bus Photos

South Wales – AEC Bridgemaster – WCY 890 – 1210

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

South Wales Transport
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
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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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PMT – AEC Reliance – 882 REH – SN882

PMT - AEC Reliance - 882 REH - SN882
Copyright Michael Crofts

Potteries Motor Traction 
AEC Reliance
Alexander B45F

The Reliance in the snow above was being driven by myself on route 64 Newcastle under Lyme to Market Drayton on the A53 road just south of Loggerheads, traffic in front was getting stuck on a hill ahead of us called Hennel Brooke. The AEC’s were delivered in 1961 there was 25 of them all 45 seaters with Alexander bodywork built to BET federation specification, they were all withdrawn in 1976. They were the first OMO buses to operate with PMT, and yes we did eventually reach our destination.
They were a very pleasant bus to drive having a top speed of about 52 mph with a 5 speed gearbox powered by the AEC 470 engine. Bus number SN886 of this batch was "Tuned" to operate a service along the M6 motorway to Stafford from Newcastle under Lyme. It was not that much faster than the rest but it did have a good exhaust sound, just like the older Reliances with a crackling exhaust and a whistle when going downhill with your foot off the gas.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Michael Crofts


21/02/11 – 06:28

Newcastle was the first depot to have OMO single deckers and SN882 was one of the original conversions for the highly rural Newcastle Area services. It looks to have a smaller PMT logo on the front panel dating the photo post 1968 but has not yet had the destination display altered to a final destination with triple route number below. SN882 was one of a batch of 25 which were the first Alexander bodies for PMT leading to further orders for the second and third batch of Fleetlines followed by batches of Y type dual purpose bodies on both 8U2R (coil spring) and 6U2R (leaf spring) Reliance 691s. The Reliance 470s like SN882 had continual cylinder head gasket problems which led to instant cold heaters and demisters due to air locking and also had reliability issues with the hydraulically operated clutch mechanisms. The Alexander bodied 470s always seemed a bit flimsy to me compared with the earlier Weymann bodied examples.

Ian Wild


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