Old Bus Photos

Manchester Corporation – Albion Aberdonian – UXJ 244 – 44

Manchester Corporation - Albion Aberdonian - UXJ 244 - 44

Manchester Corporation
Albion Aberdonian MR 11L
Seddon B42F

Single-deckers were always very much in the minority in Manchester Corporation’s fleet. In 1958 a batch of six Albion Aberdonian MR 11L entered service. These had Seddon B42F bodywork. Manchester City Council’s Transport committee had decreed that the bus fleet should be composed of Leylands and Daimlers, so the order for Albions fell outside this policy. Since Albion was a part of the Leyland group, the batch were registered as "Leyland Aberdonians" and the word Leyland appeared on their tax discs. When new they carried "Albion" badges on the front, but these were soon removed. Due to their unsatisfactory durability, they were withdrawn in the late sixties, after only ten years of service.
The photograph shows 44 (UXJ 244) passing under a footbridge on Princess Parkway, around 1968, not long before withdrawal. These were the only postwar Manchester buses to carry the -XJ registration mark. They were unusual in having an offside cab door; the driver could not enter/leave the cab through the passenger door as was usual on underfloor engined buses.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown

10/08/14 – 10:42

Don, All Manchester’s underfloor single deckers and the Airport half deckers, until Albert Neal eventually got his Tiger Cubs, had offside cab doors. As for the Albion’s durability the body was poor and the chassis not good but their demise in the fleet was due to the fact that Neal didn’t want them and they were used as little as possible when the Tiger Cubs arrived in 1961. They were sold by Ralph Bennett as soon as they were written down in the Department’s accounts. They were also unique as the only post war buses sold by Manchester for further PSV use, albeit across the Irish Sea, one staying in the area for use by a band. Given their reputation they all survived for some time – though, of course , they had hardly any wear and tear.

Phil Blinkhorn

10/08/14 – 13:36

Just to correct my previous comment regarding the offside doors on the Airport half deckers, only the batch on Royal Tiger chassis had offside driver doors. The Tiger Cub batch did not. Regarding the removal of the Albion badges, "soon" is a bit misleading. Some survived until repainting circa 1962.

Phil Blinkhorn

11/08/14 – 07:18

It hadn’t occurred to me before that these were the only XJ post war MCTD buses. I don’t think there were many VU either, the only one that springs to mind is the curious 3696, 889VU – I seem to recall there’s a reason for that registration but can’t remember what it was. Manchester, having been one of those operators who early post-war had whole batches of buses which annoyingly missed having matching fleet and registration numbers by one or two digits (e.g. 3100-3199: JNA 401-500) went on to then wholeheartedly embrace matching fleet/reg. numbers. (Interestingly though, there were latterly three double deckers in Manchester with XJ regs – Mayne’s last Regents!)

Michael Keeley

11/08/14 – 09:42

Michael, there were two post war MCTD motor buses registered in the VU series, both due to administrative error, plus fifty four trolleybuses being the Crossley Empire and Dominion series.
In July 1948 2108, the last of a batch of Crossley DD42s was registered in the GVR series as GVR 111, some five years after the series had been allocated to the Department and some two years after the decision on registrations for over 300 vehicles the Department received as the first post war deliveries arrived. A private motorist had applied for GVR 111 for his Vauxhall and the department agreed to release the number and 2108 became HVM 621, the next number available in Manchester in 1948. In 1949 the last batch of DD42s arrived (2160-2219) and these were to have been KNA 601 to KNA 660. Prior to registration, someone in the Department determined that GVR 111 had not been allocated to a bus and the registration belonged to the Department. In July 1949 2160 was delivered and took to the streets as GVR 111, the rest of the batch becoming KNA 601 to KNA 659. In the pre computer, ANPR and local registration authority days the duplication with the car passed unnoticed. The car had moved to another area so when it was re-taxed the duplication was not noticed and it was 1954 before the error came to light and NVU 137 was hastily applied to 2160.
Ten years later in 1964 the last batch of PD2s to be delivered was registered 3696-3720 VM (3696-3720. An error in the Motor Tax Department reissued 3696 VM to another vehicle. When the error was discovered, as Manchester had 889 VU available in its Ambulance Department, this was issued to 3696. So the only two post war VU registered motor buses MCTD ran were each the first of the last batch of two significant types which played a major role in the Department’s history.

Phil Blinkhorn

11/08/14 – 17:38

Phil, I’d forgotten about the Crossley trolleys, by the time I became a "spotter" there were only the BUTs (and those only just) so the Crossleys were a bit off my radar though I think there’s one at Boyle St. Thanks for clarifying the 3696 story – the first of the batch which along with the previous 3671-95 surely had the deepest induction roar of any PD2s.

Michael Keeley

12/08/14 – 05:51

Michael, I think Stockport’s Crossley bodied PD2s were even louder and deeper.

Phil Blinkhorn

13/08/14 – 13:04

Considering that Manchester had so few single deckers what work did they actually do?

David Slater

13/08/14 – 14:48

There were a number of routes, mainly feeders from estates within the city boundaries and overspill areas outside the city boundaries, to main roads served by trunk routes, to nearby towns such as Middleton or Oldham or to local shopping centres in Wythenshawe, but two all day trunk routes existed, the #22 between Levenshulme and Eccles – with low bridges at both ends, and the #31 from the City to Bramhall with a low bridge at Cheadle Hulme where single deckers were the only option until the 1960s. Manchester had a private hire licence which allowed it to operate well beyond its boundaries and single deckers were often used. Two single deck City Circle routes ran for a time in the city centre linking the stations and shopping areas. In addition single deckers were used to supplement double deckers at rush hour and Ralph Bennett converted a number of double deck all day routes to single operation.

Phil Blinkhorn

14/08/14 – 06:46

As an addendum to Phil Blinkhorn’s comment it shouldn’t be forgotten that the single deckers in Manchester also tended to be the guinea pigs for any omo fare collection systems dreamt up in the bowels of Piccadilly or Devonshire Street. The original stabs at this took place as early as the 1920’s in normal control vehicles and but weren’t embedded for any length on a route until 1949 when the 110 feeder service was introduced and this which remained single decked (albeit with forward control from 1953) until incorporated in a longer double decked route in the late’60’s. In between those times the six single deckers that are the subject of this article were, in addition to their feeder service duties, employed on the rush hour Express Service 130 following the withdrawal of Crossley DD42’s on the route, much to the chagrin of the passengers of which I was one. Noisy, rattley and decidedly utilitarian they were very unpopular and the introduction of omo with slow loading and exit times on a traditionally fast route did little to endear them further. In an experiment to speed up loading the department introduced ‘carnets’ of tickets, 10 for the price of 9. The tickets had a small magnetic oblong on their reverse which when fed into a slot reader mounted on the entrance bulkhead head was supposed to issue a beep. Within a fortnight most of the readers had failed and until the ‘carnet’ facility was withdrawn the torn off tickets were just handed to the driver. Fortunately the Albions were fairly soon replaced on the route by new Panther Cubs which had, at least, wider entrances than the Albions but the electronic ticket cancellers were no more reliable than the gated access on the Panthers than followed them. However, the latter did restore Journey times.

Orla Nutting

18/08/14 – 12:15

Another route using single deckers was the 56 Halfway House, Cheetham Hill to Hollinwood Station. These replaced double deckers when they became One Man Operated. It meant the service could go under the low bridge and stop opposite the railway Station. Double deckers were still used for extras and on a few occasions the drivers forgot about their height and got stuck under the bridge, much to other drivers mirth. Another single decker service I remember, was on the 7 Manley Park Brookdale Park. It operated a 6d minimax fare system. The passengers had to put a sixpence coin in to go through a turnstile for any length journey. The half fares had to use the right hand turnstile. It was not a great success.

Peter Furnival

18/08/14 – 17:28

NBU 515

Peter Furnival makes mention of Double Deckers going under Hollinwood Station Bridge. Well here is a picture of Oldham Corporation Passenger Transport Department NBU 515 having carried out just such a manoeuvre. The gentlemen ‘wrapping up’ the top deck for transportation back to Wallshaw Street Depot, are from left to right:-
Don Harris (Garage Foreman), Eric Watts (Assistant Chief Engineer), and Bill Connelly (Assistant Depot Foreman).
History does not say who the Driver was or his ultimate fate.

Stephen Howarth

01/02/17 – 17:08

Phil, do you know what became of all six of the Aberdonians? I understand the whole batch was bought by the dealer Dodds of Dromara in Co. Down but where did they pass on to. I believe UXJ 244 may have been with the Fermanagh County Education Committee?

Bill Headley


Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page



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


Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page



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


Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page



All rights to the design and layout of this website are reserved     Old Bus Photos does not set or use Cookies but Google Analytics will set four see this

Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 6th August 2020