Old Bus Photos

Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Titan – ORV 989 – 112

ORV 989

Portsmouth Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/40
MCCW H30/26R

ORV 989 is another in the long line of Portsmouth buses with the registration numbers in the ‘high 900’ series. It dates from 1958 and is a Leyland Titan PD2/40 with Metropolitan Cammell H56R body. It is seen in the St Catherine’s park and ride car park during the King Alfred running day on 1 January 2009.

ORV 989_2

This second view shows the Municipal Crest.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

25/12/16 – 10:22

What a nice Christmas Day sight! This bus is a superb example of restoration as not only does it look smart but it looks "real", in other words like a Portsmouth bus would have done at the time. I think the adverts play no small part in this and of course they are not appropriate for every restoration.

David Beilby

26/12/16 – 06:54

Thank you, David. I must say, having seen other versions of Portsmouth’s livery, the others were nowhere near in the "elegance" department.

Pete Davies

26/12/16 – 06:55

Drop windows on an Orion, was this a design feature unique to Portsmouth?

Ronnie Hoye

28/12/16 – 06:39.

All our PD2s with Orion bodies had half drops.

Dave French

28/12/16 – 16:29

More details are given on www.cpptd.co.uk/ourvehicles.htm

Andy Hemming


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Portsmouth Corporation – Thornycroft J – BK 2986 – 10

Portsmouth Corporation - Thornycroft J - BK 2986 - 10

Portsmouth Corporation
Thornycroft J
Dodson O16/18RO

BK 2986 is a Thornycroft J, built in 1919 for Portsmouth Corporation. It originally had a Wadham O16/18RO seater body but was rebodied in 1926 with an ex London General AEC B 1920 Dodson O16/18RO body. Having been built in Basingstoke, it is fitting that she is seen in the Milestones museum there, one of three Portsmouth buses. Note the tram tracks – there’s a Portsmouth tram there as well. The photograph was take on 12th November 2013.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

07/07/14 – 15:54

Thanks for posting this elderly bus in it’s current position. We are fortunate that Portsmouth Corporation had what we would now call an enlightened view of bus preservation. Both this bus, from it’s first ever batch of buses, and a tram (No 84) were retained by the Corporation from the 1930’s onwards. They also saved the very first trolleybus (201) in 1958, which then went to Beaulieu in 1960. It has had a more chequered history since, but has also resided at Basingstoke for a few years. It is now safe with the CPPTD (the preservation group, not the Corporation!) in Hampshire. The Thornycroft in the picture was quite often brought out and driven around on special occasions for some years. At that time it was in the then-current red/white livery. I remember seeing it at the Brighton Coach Rally c.1962, with a bikini-clad young lady hanging on at the back, trying to smile, wave, and keep her balance! In 1976 (I think), it was used by representatives of the Portsmouth Council to open the new M275 motorway into Portsmouth. Fortunately there was no park and ride service then, otherwise there might have been some suggestions for use? – no, probably not. Both this Thornycroft and the tram seem to be well cared for now, and located in a sympathetic setting at Basingstoke.

Michael Hampton

07/07/14 – 16:39

Am I not right in thinking that this bus was originally No. 10, but renumbered 1 for most of its preserved life, more recently getting back its correct number? I used to see it a lot (with 201) at the late lamented Dave Chalker’s annual Southsea Spectacular on Southsea Common.
Does anyone have a photo of one of these vehicles with original Wadham body. I had one but can’t find it now – typical! Another survivor is what’s left of the 1931 diesel-engined Crossley Condor (RV720), after being cut down as a service vehicle. After being abandoned on the council tip, it was rescued and is a runner.

Chris Hebbron

08/07/14 – 07:18

When you see vehicles like this, you realise the great strides made in chassis and body design in the 13 years between 1919 and 1932.

Chris Hebbron

08/07/14 – 07:20

Yes, Chris, this bus was originally No. 10 in the fleet, out of the series 1-10 for the batch. I read somewhere in a fleet history that it had also been used as a petrol tanker by the Corporation for a while after withdrawal from passenger service. As the Karrier 6-wheel double-deckers bought in 1927/28 to replace these Thornycroft J’s were very thirsty buses , this probably explains the conversion. Another fleet history does state that the Karriers had to be refuelled during the day to keep them in service. Presumably, after the Karriers were withdrawn in 1935, No 10 was redundant as a tanker, and a Dodson body was re-united with it for preservation. It became No.1 in c.1942 – an odd year for such a decision to be made and carried out (don’t you know there’s a war on?). It remained as No.1 until virtually the end of CPPTD, and it’s correct original No.10 restored, I think in the early 1990’s, but I’m open to correction on that.

Michael Hampton

03/10/14 – 08:39

No 10
Copyright Unknown

I finally found the picture of No. 10 with its original body, on The Hard – I’ve only ever seen one other photo of these with Wadham bodies.

Chris Hebbron

05/10/14 – 07:26

There is another photograph of this bus with the original body in the PSV Fleet History PH14 Portsmouth Citybus Ltd.(and its predecessors) Pathfinder UK Ltd. Published February 1997

Andy Hemming


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Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland TD1 – RV 715/6 – 7/8

Portsmouth Corporation - Leyland TD1 - RV 715/6 - 7/8

Portsmouth Corporation
Leyland Titan TD1
Park Royal H26/24R

After purchasing its double-deck Karrier WL6/2’s in 1927/28, Portsmouths next double-deck purchase was seven petrol-engined Leyland TD1’s numbered 4-10. Numbers 4-6 and 9-10 had Short Bros. bodies like that of the diesel AEC Regent posted elsewhere on this site. A diesel Crossley Condor also had a Short Bros. body. Numbers 7 and 8, however, had rather attractive 5-bay Park Royal bodies, never purchased before or afterwards. They had long lives, RV 716 being withdrawn in 1950 aged 19 years and RV 715 in 1952, aged 21 years.

Photograph copyright Park Royal and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

09/01/14 – 12:26

Yes Chris, this pair of Park Royal bodied TD1’s looked smart, even in later life, when the whole bonnet area was painted red, and the depth of the white waist rail reduced. However, I’m too young to remember seeing them, and can only rely on photos like these! Thank you. These were Portsmouth’s first Leylands (also a single-deck Lion, No 3). Portsmouth bought 8 bodies from Hall Lewis in 1929 (4 each Dennis EV and Thornycroft BC), and 5 bodies from Park Royal (the Lion mentioned here, the two TD1s as the subject of this posting, and 2 TSM B10A2s. Park Royal never again featured in CPPTD orders, and the main suppliers became English Electric then Cravens in the 1930’s, and Metro-Cammell and Weymann post-war. This official looking portrait also shows a neatly lined out lower deck panel, but no lining out on the ‘tween deck panels. The reason for this was queried on the earlier posting of the Portsmouth AEC Regent with Short Bros body, No. 35. This was also a pre-entry to service official picture. I believe that the reason for this was to allow advertisements to be placed on the bus before entry to service. Why paint ornate lines which were going to be covered over? The extent of the adverts can be seen on the posting for the Portsmouth Corporation TSM E60A6. The side adverts cover virtually the full length of the vehicle. Post-war, this changed, and buses had lining out on the sides in front of and behind the adverts, which only covered the centre bays, not full length.

Michael Hampton

10/01/14 – 09:47

I thought that Park Royal was formed out of Hall Lewis, so the batches of 8 buses and 5 were really from the same stable.


10/01/14 – 10:56

Yes, Petras409, Hall Lewis did become Park Royal. In a summary, Alan Townsin states that Hall, Lewis & Co Ltd was formed in 1924, and was based at Abbey Road, Park Royal, London. AAT states that the origins of this are complex and go back to 1889. Hall, Lewis was involved in other transport interests, not just a successful bus body building programme. In spite of some sizeable and successful contracts, the firm became bankrupt in early 1930. One of the creditors, a Mr Harry Yager, bought the business, and it was renamed Park Royal Coachworks, as from April 1930. Before the 1930 change, there was a link to Northern Counties of Wigan through the Lewis family, but the Lewis family retained their interests in NCME when Hall Lewis was bought by Yager and became Park Royal. This is a mere summary of Alan Townsin’s summary in Vol 2 of his book Park Royal Vehicles 1942-1980. Portsmouth Corporation, however, did not avail themselves of their products after this initial foray, leaving Provincial on the other side of Portsmouth Harbour to build up a fleet of Park Royal-bodied AEC Regents, and Southdown to run into Portsmouth using Leyland TD4 and TD5, some with Park Royal bodies.

Michael Hampton

Thank you, Petras409 and Michael H for respectively asking and answering a queaion that I was going to ask!

Chris Hebbron

11/01/14 – 15:20

A lovely photo Chris , from a super period in bus history!
It does show how dated the TD1 was in its chassis geometry though. The space between the front bulkhead and the wheel centre was greater than most of its contemporary competitors such as the more recent Regent, and Daimler designs, and it was not until the TD3 that this feature was brought into line with "fashion". There was the whole TD2 model to go through first!
By 1931, Rackham inspired bow fronted bodies were coming into fashion, as typically exemplified by Weymann, Brush etc, and this was a most fascinating chapter in the evolution of bus design.

John Whitaker

11/01/14 – 17:55

In other TD1 photos I’ve seen, John, the rear of nearside wings all curve rearwards to avoid a total gap, even slightly earlier Hall, Lewis ones. The original photo of this vehicle is not clear enough to work out the actual situation, but it is strange that the safety rail projects forward of the front bulkhead, so maybe the wing just follows the tyre shape and leaves a gap. I think the bodywork style gives the bus the impression of being slightly later than 1931, partly because the stubby radiator in not obvious.

Chris Hebbron

12/01/14 – 07:44

It’s all subjective, I know, but I find this double-decker about as good-looking as a bus can get. That nice forward-set front axle was part of the appeal of the Reading TD1s, along with the subdued engine note and howling gearbox. They had Leyland bodies but–as John W points out–it was the chassis that dictated the overall look. Lucky old Portsmouth always got handsome buses especially with that wonderful livery.

Ian Thompson

14/01/14 – 14:49

I agree, Ian, that it has that certain elegant simplicity about it. Of course, it looks very tidy around the windows, presumably because it has one-piece three-quarter wind-down opening ones, so beloved at this time, but not for much longer. This aids the impression of a light, airy appearance inside.

Chris Hebbron

05/02/14 – 06:08

This picture appears in the October 1964 issue of buses illustrated as part of the Portsmouth edition and is part of a contributor’s personal favourites.
According to the article, this is number 8- RV 716.

Dave French

05/02/14 – 09:25

Thx, Dave F, for clarifying which of the two it was. I agree that, for its time, it’s quite handsome.

Chris Hebbron


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 29th March 2017