Old Bus Photos

Manchester Corporation – Leyland Atlantean – UNB 629 – 3629

Manchester Corporation - Leyland Atlantean - UNB 629 - 3629

Manchester Corporation
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Metro-Cammell H44/33F

I feel prompted to make a first contribution to your fascinating forum after stumbling across it whilst looking for information concerning the jointly operated Stockport/Manchester Corporations’ Service 16 Chorlton – Stepping Hill.
I was born in Chorlton, attended the grammar school there and recall the day my mother took me for a trip to Stockport on the newly introduced Service 16 on what, to me, was an unusual and interesting single decker with a central exit/entrance. Manchester had no such curiosities (the Royal Tiger ‘Crush Loaders’ with their central doors were still years away and the single deck Leyland (TS5?) used on Service 22 Levenshulme – Eccles was a back loader of sorts.
Little did I know then that I should have the thrill of driving a Royal Tiger on Service 22 myself some 12 or 13 years hence!
All this underlines my love of anything relating to Manchester buses from the period 1958 to 1989 when I finally put my pen away and began drawing my pension. Having worked alongside John Hodkinson in Devonshire Street’s Traffic Office, I was delighted to see his contribution on the piece about jointly operated Service 95/96. In fact it was this that prompted to make contact.
Above is the shiny new Atlantean 3629 at Parker Street on it’s maiden outing, it had spent many weeks in Birchfields Road Garage with the rest of the delivery whilst Union issues were resolved. I remember seeing them there, looking so forlorn, becoming increasingly covered in dust as the weeks dragged by. They had to be put through the wash before going on the road!

Photograph and Copy contributed by David Cooper

10/07/14 – 07:12

David, your piece has brought back many memories of the period when the Evening News had regular articles on the dispute (allegedly sought by management by detailing the vehicles for Northenden depot routes where strong union opposition was expected) and the paper dubbed the vehicles Red Dragons -heaven knows why.
Whilst the majority may have been gathering dust in Birchfields Rd, there were forays driven by management and inspectors. A number of runs were done down Wilmslow Rd during rush hour mornings for some reason, to the bemusement of many a prospective passenger, and one particular day three of the buses were parked at the side of Northenden depot on the public road.
Once the unions and management found agreement the buses entered service on the Wythenshawe routes, then the 50 to Brooklands before moving to Parrs Wood where lower mid panels were often grazed at the tight left turn at the bottom of the ramp!
If I can help with info about the 16 please ask.

Phil Blinkhorn

10/07/14 – 09:55

David I worked with John 1973 – 1975 at Princess Road Depot. Princess Road Depot like so many of the old Manchester Corporation/City Transport depots now gone.

Stephen Howarth

10/07/14 – 11:31

It’s a small world. I too worked with John Hodkinson briefly whilst a Schedules Clerk at Frederick Road, Salford in 1972/73. There were five of us in the Schedules Office – David Broadbent in charge, John, Peter Caunt, George Boswell and myself. I was the lowly junior, the only ‘foreigner’, who commuted every day across from ‘the dark side’ of the moors in Halifax. Incredibly all five of us were enthusiasts, with yet another – the late Keith Healey – working downstairs, it was a wonderful atmosphere to work in – sometimes it seemed more like a hobby than a job. I then took up the position of Traffic Clerk with the Corporation in my home town. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but it was the complete opposite of what I had experienced at SELNEC and boy did I quickly come to regret it!

John Stringer

10/07/14 – 14:05

I’ve done that more than once, John, with both musical and teaching posts. When I’ve arrived at the new job, it’s been a poison chalice. "Beware of what you wish for ….."

David Oldfield

11/07/14 – 06:55

John and I have exchanged notes of our experiences in the Halifax Traffic Office. In 1964 I travelled 200 miles to take up that job, but the atmosphere was such that I quit within two years. That was 10 years or so before John gave it a go, so it shows how deep seated was the malaise in the place. The Halifax GM might have been a ‘character’, but the tunnel vision at senior subordinate levels was utterly dispiriting.

Roger Cox

11/07/14 – 06:55

There were also a couple of times when I went out of the frying pan etc………………..also!

Chris Hebbron

11/07/14 – 06:56

Phil, such intimate knowledge of the entrance to Parrs Wood Depot via the ramp suggests to me that you might have had personal experience. You have certainly roused my curiosity, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
The early Fleetlines and Atlanteans were, in my view, nowhere near as enjoyable to drive as a back loader.
Most disturbing factor was the relative absence of sound from the engine. It all seemed and of course was, so remote from the ‘sharp end’. And then there was that awful ‘yaw’ (for want of a better word) that resulted from traversing a series of gullies with the nearside wheels. So much easier to control it when driving a conventional bus.
I never got to drive a GM ‘Standard’. Perhaps they had had all the initial quirks ironed out?
Those names from the Frederick Road Schedules Office certainly took me back, John. I worked with almost all those guys at some stage or other, though left Devonshire Street in 1972, returning in 1974 after a sojourn in the Hotel business. John H. could always be relied upon to provide the answers whenever we Mancunians needed to know something with a Salford bias. And I seem to remember he had an affinity with a certain Devon-based coaching operation!!
I could reminisce all night but I can almost hear the yawns.

TWA 520

To close, here is a shot taken at the back of Hyde Road Works of 3520 awaiting disposal. She never looked right to me in Selnec livery but was a fascinating bus to drive – usually on Service 1 – Gatley.

David Cooper

11/07/14 – 11:31

David, my knowledge of the ramp at Parrs Wood comes from regular observation over the period from 1958 to 1965 when I would disembark from what was originally the #1 outside the depot to walk across Kingsway to take the #9,#16 or #80 to home on the way back from school. I also had irregular access to the depot through an friend’s neighbour who was an inspector.

3520 looks forlorn in your photo. It looked at its best when on the #1 in original livery, immaculate as Parrs Wood always turned out its star performers, and sounding more like an RT than a PD2.
A few more observations about this batch of Atlanteans. They were delivered with thin, low back seats which were non standard. The rear wheel discs, standard on new deliveries at the time, were absent – probably to the relief of the fitters. Was Albert Neal compensating for the extra weight of the longer bus and higher passenger capacity in his continual fight to keep costs down? Whatever the reason, the next foray into rear engined buses, Fleetlines delivered in 1962, had standard seats and rear wheel discs. The Atlanteans were re-seated with standard seats from withdrawn Burlingham trolleybuses around 1966.
Some drivers complained about the intrusion of both conductors and passengers into their workspace. Another driver complaint was lack of nearside visibility. There were signs instructing passengers not to stand on the platform area, something many did on back loaders after leaving their seat on approach to their stop, but the habit died hard. A more permanent annoyance for the drivers was the door construction with two part windows in each folding leaf, giving a restricted view to the left – and the doors would not open when in gear. The Fleetlines had full length glass in each leaf.
Schoolboys quickly learned where the emergency engine stop was. Located above the bustle on the nearside, it was in reach and many a stop near schools became prolonged until authority in the shape of inspectors and head teachers jointly overcame the problem.
Manchester took a long time to be convinced about the rear engine layout. Combined with the City of Manchester Police’s antipathy to 30ft buses in the city centre, it was nothing short of a revolution when the Mancunian appeared, just ten short years after 3629 and its sisters.

Phil Blinkhorn

13/07/14 – 06:54

Wow, may I join the reunion party please? I also worked at Devonshire Street, with David Cooper, David Broadbent and George Boswell among others. However, I was at the other end of the office, beyond Fred Thomas’s goldfish bowl, wherein he sat smoking his pipe and giggling to himself about the latest traffic absurdity. After three years on the lowest grade I was told that there was no prospect of promotion in the foreseeable future (which I can’t understand now, because we all knew that SELNEC was coming, and that changed everything). Basically it was dead men’s shoes and no-one was thinking of dying, so if you wanted to get on you had to move around. So I moved to Newport, which proved to be my poisoned chalice, and after five months I left the transport industry for good.
The photo of a brand new Atlantean on the 101 stand reinforces a memory I’ll never forget. The 13-year-old me was so gobsmacked by these things that I just stood there while the entire 101 allocation came and went and the first one came back again. I suppose I could have got on one, but I had no idea where Greenbrow Road was.

David, you may like to look at www.sct61.org.uk/index/operator/mn

Peter Williamson

13/07/14 – 09:26

Hi All! Maybe this page should be titled "Old Boys Club"!
Comments have referred to the ramp into Parrs Wood. When the guard-walking-in-front-of-the-bus type smog used to come down, the garage staff used to keep one bay clear inside the depot so the cars that had faithfully followed the bus to find their way home, found themselves inside the depot instead and needed to get out!

John Hodkinson

13/07/14 – 18:22

Peter, that SCT.61 site was new to me (I don’t get out much these days!) and I found it totally absorbing – rather like ‘The Manchester Bus’ but with the superfluous bits left out. Many thanks.

David Cooper

14/07/14 – 07:46

Here’s a link to how 3520 looks nowadays – much happier but evidently suffering from delusions of Hyde Roadness. www.flickr.com/photos/

Peter Williamson

14/07/14 – 09:53

Apart from the blinds, that could be 3520 on any day of its first couple of years in service.

Phil Blinkhorn

14/07/14 – 17:25

Like John I had a "couldn’t believe my eyes" moment when I first saw an Atlantean. It was an exciting day in 1960. I had just passed my "eleven plus" and as a reward my mum bought me my first "Combined volume" loco spotting book. We made the purchase in the city centre when changing buses en route to visit relatives. We just missed the #101, which was one of the usual 44xx Daimlers so we stood waiting for the next one, which turned out to be my first sighting of an Atlantean. On seeing the flat front, my first thought was "How did a trolleybus get away from the wires?" but then I noticed the number – 3627 – so it was obviously a Leyland. And we were going to ride on it, two bits of excitement in one day! I couldn’t wait for our return journey that evening, but to my great disappointment it was just another CVG6. A few weeks later we made another visit, riding on 3630 and 3628, but after that they disappeared from the #101.
In the autumn of 1963 I noticed an occasional Atlantean running through Middleton, my home town, with "special" on the blinds. These were driver training runs before the batch was transferred to Queens Road Garage, at first on the #163 but soon moving to the #121. I became a regular traveller on the #121 in the school holidays, just for the pleasure of riding on these buses. I always went for the inward facing front seat, which offered not only good forward vision but also a chance to watch the driver.
In later life, some of the batch had minor differences. 3621 had "LEYLAND" spelt across the rear bonnet in separate letters (I believe this one also had an O.680 engine at one point), 3626 had a much newer steering wheel with a slightly different design, and our friend 3629 was only a 77 seater while all the others seated 78, the difference being the inward facing front seat which was a treble on most of the batch, but a double on 3629. Finally, 3624 was the only example to receive Selnec livery.
Eighteen months later Queens Road Depot got the first of the PDR1/2 Atlanteans (3721-35) for the #163, but these were very different sounding, thanks to their Daimler gearboxes.

Don McKeown


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Manchester Corporation – Leyland Titan – TNA 494 – 3494

Manchester Corporation - Leyland Titan - TNA 494 - 3494

Manchester Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/40
Burlingham H37/28R – Leyland H32/28R

Mention has been made elsewhere on this site of Manchester 3494 getting beheaded at the Bridgewater Canal and gaining the body from 3363, the chassis of which had been damaged in an accident.
The above photo is a photo of 3494 with its original Burlingham body shown at the top of Kenyon Lane, Moston at the Ben Brierley in 1966.

Manchester Corporation - Leyland Titan - TNA 494 - 3494

This next photo was taken when Keith Walker, Peter Thompson and I were visiting Parrs Wood depot in March 1969 and shows 3494 with its Leyland Farringdon body from 3363.
It was good to see the name of Malcolm Crowe on the Old Bus Photos site. Malcolm was one of the people who introduced me to buses outside Britain and although his photos of Portugal were a revelation, I have unfortunately never been able to get there. I’ve been to a lot of other places but still want to get to Portugal.
Peter Dorricott mentioned that when he was driving at Birchfields Rd depot he was told that bus restoration took place in one of the disused entrances. My former English Teacher at Plant Hill Comprehensive, Miss Bates had a boyfriend who was involved in the restoration of Manchester tram 765 and through her, Geoff Guinn and I were invited to Birchfields Rd one evening to see work on 765. It was a fantastic piece of restoration work. Later of course 765 ran at Heaton Park and Crich.
Mention of old coach operators and going on tours from newsagents brought to mind some of the usual operators used to get from New Moston to Scarborough, Blackpool, Morecambe and Southport. Wilsons Coaches of Failsworth had a Maudslay half-cab which I remember well but of course by the time I was old enough to understand how rare and beautiful it was, it had gone, although I was later told it was lying in a corner of the their garage. The other local operator was Threlfall’s, evidently related to the beer concern.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Lynas

15/03/13 – 08:40

Ian, I presume you are in possession of a higher-resolution photo of the bus passing the Ben Brierley and therefore in a position to state with confidence that it is actually 3494 which is depicted. Looking at the above pic I would have guessed at other than 3494, but one of my ‘alternatives’ wouldn’t have been a TNA so that would obviously be out.
‘Farringdon’ should of course be ‘Farington’ – and yes, I am not going to let myself be roped in to the perennial debate regarding which Leyland bodies were genuine ‘Faringtons’!
Talking of Leyland bodies, does anyone know (I suspect that I should really know the answer to this one myself) if a Leyland body was ever fitted to other than a Leyland chassis? I’m pretty sure that Leyland never put one of their bodies on anyone else’s chassis, but did any operators do any transferring?

David Call

15/03/13 – 08:41

The photograph of 3494 was taken on the occasion of a visit to Parr’s Wood garage on 15th March 1969 by a PSV Circle tour to commemorate the last Manchester PD1/3s. There were plenty of people travelling as there were two PD1/3s and also Daimler CVG6 4127 (now preserved)! I have a similar photograph, but not very good as it was taken with an Instamatic camera.
After the closure of Parr’s Wood garage 3494 moved to Hyde Road and I find I noted it working on the express services to Saddleworth on occasions. I wish I’d made the effort to photograph it!
To the right of the bus is the former Midland Railway route to London from Manchester which closed about that time. It has since been converted to a Metrolink route, but has not yet opened (that’s a few months away). Parr’s Wood garage itself closed in 1970 and is now a Tesco supermarket – all that’s left of the original is the clock tower.

David Beilby

15/03/13 – 11:13

Ian, thanks for posting those shots. Have you a date, at least to the month, of the shot of the Burlingham body? The reason I ask is that 3494 was, as far as I remember, a Parrs Wood vehicle for a good deal of its life in both guises.
The accident took place in October 1966 on route 22, a Parrs Wood route, so what is 3494 doing very much in Rochdale Rd depot territory, sans offside nut guard ring anathema at Parrs Wood at the time)?
Another point of interest is the position of the registration plate. As far back as March 1958 MCTD wrote to Burlingham pointing out that, as radiator shells were sometimes exchanged, plates should be placed on the body and this was done from the July 1958 onwards deliveries (3495 – delayed from February – and 3503 onwards). There’s a picture in The Manchester Bus of Orion bodied PD2 3611 carrying its correct plate UNB 611) on the front cab panel at the same time as it has TNA 480 on a plate on an obviously swapped radiator shell from Burlingham bodied PD2 3480. Given all of that it’s odd that 3494 still has its plate on the radiator after eight years and a visit for major overhaul and total respray. Indeed preserved 3496 which is preserved as it was after respray into the all red scheme still has its plate on the radiator as it was after withdrawal.

In the light of David Call’s comment and my suspicions, I’ve played around with the photo and used a magnifying glass and the shot with the Burlingham body looks like 3484, which would make sense as it was allocated to either Rochdale Rd or Queens Rd – I think it was the former.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/03/13 – 12:15

I’ve long had the idea – without any substantiation – that the Burlingham bodies supplied to Manchester were rather more upright (Orion fashion) than those they supplied to Ribble. How far adrift from reality am I this time

Pete Davies

15/03/13 – 14:50

Interesting question from David Call. I wonder what the response from Leyland would have been if someone had asked them to body a chassis other than one of their own!
But yes, the wonderful Green Bus Company of Rugeley, Staffs created one when they rebodied a Foden which had been a coach with a Leyland d/d body, both of which were pre-war. So there you are, a Leyland bodied Foden, if only a picture existed!

Chris Barker

15/03/13 – 14:51

Pete, you are absolutely correct. The front profile was to Manchester’s own upright design, the window radii were slightly reduced and the rear profile was also more upright.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/03/13 – 16:35

Referring to David Call’s question about non-Leyland chassis carrying Leyland bodies, Bamber Bridge Motor Service created such a vehicle. In 1950, they acquired BRD 755, a 1943 Guy Arab I 5LW/Strachans L27/28R ex Reading Corporation. In 1953, they rebodied it with the Leyland L27/26R body from Leyland TD4 ATD 596, which they had bought new in 1935. That Leyland chassis and the discarded Strachans body were scrapped. The Guy gave a couple of years more service to BBMS before passing to Leak, Preston in 1955, and going for scrap in 1956.

David Williamson

15/03/13 – 17:55

To the best of my knowledge no new Leyland body went on other makes of chassis. CIE built their own version of the standard Leyland body with three screens upstairs at the front – including on PD3s. I seem to remember reading somewhere that there were also examples of this body built new on to AEC and Daimler chassis.

David Oldfield

16/03/13 – 07:31

CIE had a great mixture of their own versions of Leyland’s Colin Bailey designed body, all most all of which retained the original 1930s single pane upper deck rear emergency exit window see: www.busesinireland.com/1 and www.busesinireland.com/2  
There were a number of two and three pane front upper deck window variants as well as five, six and SEVEN bay body construction. Some were totally anachronistic such as the SEVEN bay, three pane OPD3s see: www.busesinireland.com/3
Some AR class Regents did not have Leyland style bodies see: www.busesinireland.com/4 These were delivered ckd for GNR(I) but I can’t definitively confirm the bodybuilder though I suspect Park Royal. Half of these were subsumed into the CIE fleet when GNR(I) was split between CIE and Ulsterbus.
Those imported in 1946/7 for CIE did have a Leyland style body see: www.nationaltransportmuseum.org  
I haven’t found a picture of any of the six DR class Daimler CWD6s but as the chassis and bodies were supposedly delivered ckd from the UK I very much doubt they would have had anything resembling a Leyland body though I’d love to see a photo if they did!.

Phil Blinkhorn

16/03/13 – 08:49

CIE’s three AA-class Regent Vs had Leyland-style bodies, and they were seven-bay (like the RA-class PD3s). Here’s a pic www.busweb.co.uk/

David Call

16/03/13 – 14:50

Nice find David. I assume the lack of lower deck windows towards the rear was because the space on the lower deck offside was used for luggage – not to mention the assorted livestock and parcel deliveries CIE used to handle, even in the cities.

Phil Blinkhorn

16/03/13 – 18:47

In the early postwar period, Alexander built some bodies of Leyland design under licence and Cardiff had a batch of Crossley DD42′s delivered new with this style of bodywork. Although not strictly Leyland bodies they were Leyland in appearance and gave a good impression of what a Leyland body looks like on a non-Leyland chassis.

Philip Halstead

17/03/13 – 05:54

One thing I didn’t think to mention about the CIE AAs was that their initial use was to replace passenger trains between Waterford and Tramore, and they were known to have increased luggage capacity. The extra panelling is unusual, though.
The Cardiff Crossleys are more often than not quoted as having Scottish Commercial, rather than Alexander bodies, although several versions of the story seem to exist, e.g. the bodywork was subcontracted from Alexander, or that Scottish Commercial panelled the Alexander frames. One of the batch, 46 (EBO 900), was preserved and is apparently still in storage, but hasn’t been used for many years. There are several photos of it on the net (both before and during preservation), and this is about the best www.flickr.com/

David Call

17/03/13 – 05:56

Interesting Philip since Alexander made such bodies on Titans for Leyland – under licence and with official sanction.

David Oldfield

17/03/13 – 09:54

A better photo from the point of view of seeing just how Leyland the body is can be found on here: www.mikestreet.webplus.net/ The side view is totally Leyland, as is the rear upper deck emergency exit but the driver’s dash panel, the Crossley headlamps and mudguards change the look of the vehicle even more than the Crossley radiator.

Phil Blinkhorn

17/03/13 – 11:38

The attached photograph should materially assist the confusion regarding the bodywork on Cardiff 46!


In fact I believe it is the cause the confusion, as the Scottish Commercial plate is of them acting in the capacity of dealers rather than coachbuilders. They were Crossley agents and had apparently sub-contracted the coachwork to Alexander.
The confusion is probably also helped by the fact Cardiff already had some Crossleys with Scottish Commercial bodies. These, like the lowbridge examples were bought through Almondsbury Engineering and two even had Gloucestershire registrations. They had the more traditional Scottish Commercial appearance, which was a squared-off Manchester style.
Western SMT created an unusual hybrid when they rebodied wartime Guy Y191 (ASD 253) with the Leyland body off TD5 D138 (CS 7037). There is a picture of it in Buses Annual 1970, but the effect was lost as the front was flattened and looked more like a rebuilt utility body. You had to look further back to see the Leyland lineage.

David Beilby

17/03/13 – 15:39

Neither Leyland nor Alexander had 4-bay bodies during this period. (re Cardiff buses) I seem to remember seeing some exposed radiator Regents with Park Royal built Leyland lookalike bodies, but I can`t remember where.

Jim Hepburn

17/03/13 – 15:40

I’m sure I picked it up on the net once that Almondsbury Engineering were a company which ordered the three highbridge Crossleys for their own staff transport, but very quickly decided they weren’t required, or perhaps Almondsbury went out of business, I’m not certain now. This does seem basically consistent with the wording on the Mike Street site, linked to above. I haven’t previously encountered the notion that Almondsbury were agents for the manufacturer(s). My apologies, of course, David, if they were.
Perhaps some Cardiff-area contributors could settle this one?

David Call

17/03/13 – 15:41

In 1936 and 37 East Midland received 16 Leyland TS7′s with Leyland B35R bodies. These were re-bodied in 1939 with new ECW DP35R bodies. The Leyland bodies were then fitted to some 1930-1 AEC Regals whose bodies were scrapped.
Then in 1947-8 a batch of new AEC Regal I’s were delivered for which bodies were not immediately available, so 14 of the Leyland bodies were transferred from the pre-war Regals onto these new chassis, the remaining 2 being sold on.
The new Regals were then re-bodied by Willowbrook (B35R) in 1951.

John Bunting

17/03/13 – 17:18

David, my reference to Almondbury’s involvement in the lowbridge Crossleys came from the Crossley book and was something I was unfamiliar with until I looked it up for my reply. Your interpretation of the history of the three highbridge examples is pretty much the story as I understand it as well.

David Beilby

18/03/13 – 12:20

Alexander bodied some AEC Regents for Scottish Omnibuses after the war which were based on the pre-war Leyland design There is a shot of one on www.sct61.org.uk

Chris Hough

18/03/13 – 15:42

I remember these buses Chris. They were Regent 3s with preselect gears. They came into service in 1948. They looked very much like a Leyland at the front but had more of a utility look at the rear. Alexanders later refined this body to look more like a Leyland lowbridge body and used it for their own PD1s.

Jim Hepburn

06/09/13 – 16:30

Coras Iompair Eireann (CIE) owned 150 Leyland bodied buses delivered to them in the years 1948/9. One hundred complete Leyland double deckers of the standard Titan chassis and body design then in production for British operators Numbered, R291-390 were delivered between 1948 and 1949. These buses soon became known a ‘Boltons’ due to there similarity to those buses also being operated by Bolton Corporation. A further 50 complete Leyland buses, R391-440 were bought to complete the tram conversion programme in 1949. This batch were known as the ‘Capetown’ class. They differed from the earlier ‘Bolton’ type in having a number of CIE design features and so resembled pre-war Leyland bodies. Twenty nine of this class, R411-440 were PD2/1 chassis of 7ft6in width.

David J. White

TNA 494 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

18/02/14 – 11:38

Sorry to be away from the site for so long, but the intervening period since 15th March 2013 has been taken up with visiting Japan, organising and getting married, visiting the U.S.A., a myriad of jobs at a new house and further work on Australian buses histories.
So my apologies to David Call, Phil Blinkhorn and David Beilby. To David Call, unfortunately I don’t have the negative of 3484 (that I thought was 3494 – although I must admit to not remembering that 3494 was a Southern bus, not a Rochdale Rd bus). Before leaving U.K. I "gave" away a lot of negatives, not understanding the value of them.
In Australia I have sorted all my prints and finally sorted which ones still had negatives and which didn’t. I’ve then scanned those prints without negs (of which 3484 was one because I gave most of my Manchester negs away – bright boy – not). The negs from my Bencini camera are actually reasonably good and its surprising how many rolls sent to a company in Brighton for printing all those years ago, which came back "unable to be printed – too dark" now print up beautifully and I include in those a "Metalcraft" bodied Foden taken on a PSV Circle Tour and a rare Daimler with one of the Doncaster operators on another PSV Circle Tour (sorry I cant be any more precise because I’m at work and don’t have access to my photo folders).
Just looking at a photo of Ashton 67 and Oldham 408 in Wallshaw St – I was on that tour also and have a similar photo to the one posted. I don’t have a neg of that photo either.
Regards to all the fans in the Manchester area and I’m still working on the history of the Panthers and Panthers Cubs that came to Australia. One or two have survived as motor homes.

Ian Lynas


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Manchester Corporation – Daimler CVG6 – NNB 231 – 4421

Manchester Corporation - Daimler CVG6 - NNB 231 - 4421
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Manchester Corporation
Daimler CVG6
Metro Cammell H32/28R

In 1965 Manchester had 398 Daimler CVs all rear entrance. Out of the 398 158 of them had the 7·0 litre 5 cylinder Gardner 5LW diesel engine the rest having the more powerful 8·4 litres, six cylinder Gardner 6LW. They also had one CLG5 registration PND 490 fleet number 4490 which was delivered in 1955 it must of been one of the last of the CL models as production ceased in 1955. The CL was a lightweight version of the CV it was in fact 10cwt lighter but most of its weight saving features were either available or incorporated into the CV so in 1955 it was the end of the CL. The last five in the last batch of front engined Daimlers delivered to Manchester were CCG6s the middle C stood for the Constant mesh gearbox that was fitted, this made a total of 404 it would of been 405 but for some reason GVR 336 – 4034 had been withdrawn, any one know the reason why? Along with the Daimler CVs Manchester also had 160 Crossley DD42s and 570 Leyland Titans all of which were rear entrance vehicles, But at the same time rear engined front entrance Atlanteans and Fleetlines were being bought in large quantities, so the switch to front entrance vehicles did not involve a front engined vehicle. I thought that was a little strange. So I checked out Liverpool corporation they also switched the same way, though they did have one front entrance Regent V which was classed as experimental. On checking Leeds City Transport I think they also only had five front entrance front engined vehicles Daimler CVG6LX-30s which it would appear were bought for one specific route anyway. So the switch from front engined rear entrance to rear engined front entrance double deckers does not appear to be that strange after all, it may have something to do with the size of the fleet!!!

In 1971 I went up to music college and CVG6s, like the one in the picture, were still very much around. They trundled around the flat-lands of South Manchester and the Cheshire plain with no problem, despite their age – particularly on the 44 to Ringway Airport (Manchester International now) and 46 to Styall (just short of Wilmslow).
They were not as sprightly as the PD2s, nor especially the North Western Renowns, which charged down the Wilmslow Road and Palatine Road. I read recently somewhere that, despite their manual boxes, many drivers preferred the PD2s.
The CCG6s were "foisted" on both Manchester and Salford Corporations in equal small numbers. They had the Guy "crash" box (at a time when Daimler and Guy had been brought together under Jaguar ownership) and were hated as much as the Leylands were revered. They were, however, offered at a knock-down price to sweeten the pill. [Pity, because they had the musical quality beloved of enthusiasts on contemporary Guy Arabs.]
I cannot remember whether it was here on this site, or elsewhere, that I recently read that putting a forward entrance on a front engined chassis caused an unforeseen weakness in body structure not evident with the entrance behind the rear axle. The Liverpool bus mentioned about was part of their experimental fleet and Sheffield had only around 30 forward entrance vehicles. I seem to think the Leeds buses were for the 72 and one of them survives in preservation.
Engineers actually knew what they were talking about and they would talk to each other. Often gricers only find out with the benefit of historical hindsight. [It took nearly fifteen years for Leyland to get the Atlantean right with the AN68! That was probably another, better reason, to stick with the "old".]

David Oldfield

The five Leeds forward entrance Daimlers were originally intended for and were employed on the 72 service to Bradford, jointly operated with the latter Corporation, where they were of a similar layout to the blue vehicles on the route. When Bradford went "rear engined" the Leeds buses were firstly used on the services to Garforth, Kippax and Ledston Luck which had been taken over from Kippax and District (Wallace Arnold). Later the Leeds five saw more general use, although predominantly on the services from Moortown and Meanwood via City to Morley. Immediately after the formation of the WYPTE all five were transferred to Huddersfield (Kirklees) where they "fitted in better" and I took a picture of one in Longroyd Bridge Depot boasting the idyllic destination "Salendine Nook." One of the five is indeed in preservation but I believe not yet fully restored.

Chris Youhill

The 5 Leeds front entrance Daimlers were CVG6LX-30 models and were bought for the joint 72 Leeds Bradford service, Bradford were using AEC Regent Vs with MCW bodywork at that time. The Leeds buses were later used on the Garforth services. Following the advent of the PTE they moved to Huddersfield

Chris Hough

Chris Youhill is normally reliable in everything he says, so maybe there are two! The Leeds Daimler I refer to was, until recently, running – resplendent in Huddesfield livery – in Steve Morris’s preserved fleet at Quantock Motor Service. [I drove for last year's Minehead event where it performed all day.] I think it is one of those which was up for sale because of his downsizing.

David Oldfield

Although Manchester 4490 was often described as a CLG5, later wisdom has it that this was a model that never actually went into production. Either one or two prototypes were completed (in Alan Townsin’s book on post-war Daimlers, ‘The Best of British Buses No 11′, the text appears to conflict with the photograph captions on this point), but operators were not happy to accept all of the features. As a result, a number of experimental lightweight CVs were built with some but not all of the features of the CL prototypes, and it appears than 4490 was one of these.

Peter Williamson

Thank you indeed to David Oldfield for that most welcome piece of news, as I’m almost certain that the "Steve Morris" one of which I was unaware is not the one I mean. The one that I mentioned has fairly recently been acquired by a Leeds preservationist (a friend of mine who I see very little lately) but I’m pretty certain it had been a playbus fairly near here. I shall ring him at a civilised hour in the morning and find out for sure. So all being well this will be a rise from 20% to 40% in the members of this interesting batch still around. It is to my lasting regret that I was done out of a drive in one of these by a "photo finish." I was spare one day at the LCT central Leeds Sovereign Street Depot (5 minutes walk from town) and the Inspector told me to go quickly to the Corn Exchange where a bus for Morley was waiting with a full load as the relief driver had not turned up. It was "one of the famous five" and I was thrilled, but I was beaten to the cab door by a short head when the absentee turned up. I was just formulating a plan to offer him £10 to disappear for a few minutes when he set off leaving me in the middle of the road like a lemon. So I never did have a drive in a front entrance CVG6LX. Oh, I did once move one around the City centre, empty, when it was out of service for a staff shortage, but that’s not quite the same thing as a live service journey is it ??

Chris Youhill

A follow on from Chris

Excellent news this morning – two of the famous five are still with us !! The one my friend owned – 574 – was sold by him some time ago to a work colleague who was eventually unable to complete it. It is now safe in the hands of the excellent Aire Valley Group at Keighley, who will no doubt fully restore it to a very high standard. The one in Huddersfiled livery – 572 – has indeed been offered for sale and we don’t know yet where it is but presumably it will remain pristine and active in a new owner’s care.
This batch statistic must surely give a whole new meaning to the term "proportional representation.

Chris Youhill

Glad to bring the tidings and that there are now two!

David Oldfield

I read with interest the comments about 5 cyl Daimlers on Princess Pkwy from Northenden (Sharston) Depot and the fact that 5 cyls were not used on the road for all day services due to their lack of power.
This is strange as the post war batch of Damilers (4000-99) many of which were included in the Northenden allocation and 4510-4549 (many of which were included in Northenden) were used in all day service for many years.
Indeed the 45xx were mainly used on the Limited Stop services such as the 101 and 103 and I remember how drivers would throw them round the roundabout at Wythenshawe Road, the buses leaning over at quite an angle.
That these 5 cyl buses were short on power is not in doubt. The performance of the early post war batch was very poor but then the Leyland PD1 was also not a very good performer with its 7.4 litre engine.
However fuel consumption on such buses was rather better than that of modern buses!

Malcolm Crowe

While puzzling over the reluctance of certain operators to adopt front entrance bodywork on halfcabs, what about the strange reluctance in Manchester to adopt 30ft halfcabs? Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax all adopted them very quickly, London had its ugly "cut & shut" RML Routemasters, but Manchester, along with Ashton, SHMD and Stockport stuck with the 27ft length to the end (apart from Stockport’s very last batch) even though others in the conurbation experimented with bigger buses. Hasn’t it always seemed odd that Manchester went so quickly from being a city of small buses to one infested with the vast Mancunians?

David Jones

The change from ancient to modern isn’t quite that surprising since it coincided with the arrival of Ralph Bennett from Bolton and a new boss will always make his/her mark on an organisation.
As for PD2/PD3. I have never been an operator, but I once read that the PD3 was never considered to be quite up to PD2 standard. [Could have been power to weight ratio or the strain of extending drive gear a further 3'.] PD2s were always regarded as a quality product and in theory the only difference with the PD3 was the length. PD2s in Manchester were highly regarded by everyone and were more than man enough for the job in hilly North Manchester. In mountainous Sheffield, PD3s could make heavy work of the job!

David Oldfield

Halifax may have adopted the thirty-foot PD3 very quickly, but notably they reverted to the shorter PD2 for many later deliveries. Having seen some of the termini it is not entirely surprising, but the number of PD2s bought later is more than would be warranted for this reason. I suspect performance on gradients also had something to do with it, there are certainly plenty of those in Halifax!
Although it’s hard now to think of them that way, 30 foot long buses were once bigger than normal and the extra length of such buses would have caused problems in busy termini such as Manchester Piccadilly if there had been large numbers in the fleet. Obviously that issue was eventually addressed but looking at the current congestion in Piccadilly Gardens is it easy to see how critical this issue can be.

David Beilby

Unlike many operators, Manchester specified maximum capacity (65) for its 27-footers, and could only have got another 8 in a 30-footer. You then have to consider industrial relations, which weren’t easy in Manchester and were negotiated on a garage-by-garage basis. Conductors would have either objected to the extra work or wanted more money, so it probably wasn’t worth the hassle.
Eventually 10 Atlanteans were purchased, with 12 extra seats and the advantage of the driver looking after the platform. Even these sat around for ages while the management and the Northenden union did battle (Northenden had the most difficult union and was chosen deliberately, on the basis that once that nut was cracked, the rest would follow more easily).
I would also make the point that by the time Ralph Bennett arrived in 1965, Manchester had already abandoned half cabs and been buying Fleetlines steadily for 3 years. All subsequent deckers were 30 feet long (including the first Mancunians) until the very end of 1968 when the first 33-footers arrived.

Peter Williamson

I was a driver in the mid-late 60′s (Birchfields road) and remember seeing a photograph of a double decker standing on eggs. Does anybody have a copy of this? At that time, there was an ‘old bus restoration’ shop in one of the disused entrances.

Peter Dorricott

04/10/11 – 17:17

It’s not strictly true that only Stockport’s last batch were PD3′s. In fact all new double deck vehicles after 1967 were PD3′s which gave a total of 27 in all. There’s a school of thought that the Transport Dept only ordered these because PD2′s were no longer available. The PD3′s did not handle as well as the PD2′s, the steering was exceptionally heavy whilst the performance was no great shakes on Stockport’s hills.

Chris Flynn

04/10/11 – 21:11

Re the debate about front entrance half cabs. I always think that it was peculiar that Grimsby- Cleethorpes specified hinged cab doors on their Daimler CVG/Roe and on the AEC Regent Vs/Roe when the general norm was for sliding doors. Surely with the latter buses could be parked up closer together.

Philip Carlton

06/10/11 – 07:25

It cannot be true that Stockport only ordered PD3s because the PD2 was no longer available – unless Leyland planned to withdraw the PD2 and then changed its mind. According to http://www.buslistsontheweb.co.uk/  the last PD2s were delivered to Darwen in April 1969, two months after Stockport received its final PD3s.

Peter Williamson

01/11/11 – 06:40

Manchester Corporation Daimler CVG5 No 4034 referred to above in original text was irreparably damaged following a collision with a lorry in 1951.
Lorry emerged from Raby Street and knocked the bus over.
(Info extracted from "The Manchester Bus" by Michael Eyre & Chris Heaps)

Andrew Scholes

12/04/12 – 06:13

I was a conductor, then driver from 1959 to 1978 at Birchfields Rd. Depot. I well remember some of the ‘workings out’ we got on Circular (53 Cheetham Hill to Brooks’s Bar/Old Trafford) especially if we had a Princess Rd. Daimler in front! I remember too the ‘crash box’ Daimlers, which were ok to drive on the quiet routes, 85, Chorlton/Albert Sq., or the 20, Chorlton St./Woodford. But they were no match for other Daimlers, and particularly Leylands in the fleet. 3550, although well worn, was a favourite! I particularly enjoyed driving the few 3400′s we had at Birch.
I read with interest, Peter Dorricot’s question re the Double Decker standing on eggs. Sorry I can’t offer any info on that, but I do remember the name.
Unfortunately, so many years on, I cannot put a face to the name.
Those were good days behind the wheel with a conductor, not so great as one man operation took over. But that was progress – I suppose!

Bill Parkinson

28/09/12 – 07:56

The 4400 batch of CVG6s were unique to Manchester. The body was a stopgap between the MCW Phoenix, of which both Manchester and Salford had large batches and were very long lived, and the Orion.
The close co-operation between MCTD and MCW led to yet another long lived batch. Delivered from Nov 1953 to July 1954 they survived well into SELNEC days, at least one receiving SELNEC livery, most attaining 19-20 years and many being in all day service all their lives.
At least one example inherited a complete rear axle from one of the previous Phoenix bodied Daimlers and the batch had the "distinction" of having one of its number selected as the trial bus for the spray booth scheme which eliminated the cream surrounds of the upper deck windows.

Phil Blinkhorn

29/09/12 – 07:34

To pick up David Beilby’s comment on the Halifax PD2 versus PD3 question, it is true that the later Halifax Titans were all PD2s. The restricted terminal working arrangements at some of the outer destinations was only part of the story. As a Traffic Clerk in Halifax in the mid 1960s, I regularly covered the second half of late turns on the road, and my preference was for the 48/49 Brighouse – Hebden Bridge routes, which were the regular haunt of the 30 footers, PD3 and Regent V. The PD3 was certainly less lively than its shorter stablemate, though the very low first gear would eventually get it up even the stiffest Halifax gradient. I can state from personal experience that the serious shortcoming of the PD3 was its distressing reluctance to stop – it would seem that the braking system was identical to that of the lighter PD2. The synchromesh Regent V (in my view, a pretty unsophisticated piece of machinery – sorry David O), whilst less than ideal in the braking department, was decidedly more reassuring when it came to stopping the thing. The first double deck bus in my experience that had really decent brakes was the Dennis Loline.

Roger Cox

29/09/12 – 12:39

So? The syncro Regent was an unsophisticated machine – especially by today’s standards – but it didn’t make it a bad bus, and AEC brakes were always better than Leylands.

David Oldfield

29/09/12 – 12:39

I was interested to read Roger Cox’s comments about the Halifax’s PD3′s brakes versus the PD2′s. I too worked as a Traffic Clerk at Halifax – though in the early 1970′s – and like him I regularly worked the second half of late turns driving in the evenings, and nearly all day on Saturdays. The 48/49 had been split up into separate routes and converted to OMO just before I started, and since I only did Crew Driving at the time I rarely covered those sections, but worked fairly randomly on all the crew routes. Later I transferred to Driver and have done that until the present time – although now only part-time in semi-retirement. So I drove them on a regular basis until the last one was withdrawn.
I must say that although the PD3′s naturally felt a bit heavier to drive than the PD2′s and were a bit harder work to get going, I never really found their brakes to be any less adequate. However, when WYPTE took over we soon afterwards received quite a number of ex-Huddersfield PD3A/2′s with Roe bodies, and these certainly could exhibit a ‘distressing reluctance to stop’, and I had quite a few heart-stopping experiences with some of them. They also used to squeal really loudly.
A number of the original Halifax Regent V’s had already been withdrawn by then, and the remaining ones were rather tired and hard work to drive, giving the impression of being not as durable as the Leylands. There were however three ex-Hebble examples and rather unexpectedly these were considerably better and were really nice to drive. In my experience (I also later drove several ex-Bradford ones in service, and others in preservation) Regent V’s could vary tremendously from one operator to another according to their specification.
Back to the original topic – Manchester CVG6′s. Before I was at Halifax I was a Schedules Clerk at SELNEC Central, based at the former Salford depot at Frederick Road. Some of these 44xx series Daimlers had been allocated there and I rode on them on a number of occasions. Though like most CVG6′s they were steady plodders (I hate to think what the CVG5 was like), they were highly regarded for their total reliability, and to me seemed to be really solid buses for their age.

John Stringer

NNB 231_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

21/02/14 – 06:50

I came across the 2012 correspondence re Manchester’s old Daimler CVG5 and -6 buses and I can remember their presence in the south of the city. The 4000-99 batch were always on the 101 service in the early ’60s and also seemed to do the rush-hour extras and school contract work. It seems that the body-weight/engine size combination meant that they could only work ‘flat’ routes such as those around Wythenshawe, but it was a surprise to come across a colour image of one of them running on one of the city’s sink estates-built at the end of a long climb from the city-centre-against a background of houses that were built ca. 1968. The bus had good-looking paintwork and was carrying blinds for a local service (the ’211′ [now the 201]) but was ‘off-route’ and the number-blinds had the non-standard ’2-11′ mix instead of the Hyde Road ’21-1′ (based on the former trolley-bus route-number sequence ’210′ to ’219′), so it seems to have been pulled from the scrap-line for a special photo-session. It’s hard to believe that the Hyde Road management would condone the release of even a scrap bus for anything as frivolous as this, and the CVG5, given its alleged poor performance would never have worked the area (which only saw the odd, end-of-life, Crossley (2078 was one example) being given an optimistic morning duty that would give it a mostly-downhill trip carrying a full load of passengers. These Daimlers had/have been special to local bus anoraks because of their peculiar exhaust sound-effects, and it’s possible that the picture had some connection with a last-minute attempt to preserve one of them. Does anyone know any more?

John Hardman


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