Old Bus Photos

Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Atlantean – 224 BTP – 224

Portsmouth Corporation - Leyland Atlantean - 224 BTP - 224

Portsmouth Corporation
1963
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Metro Cammell H43/33F

The production Atlantean appeared in 1958, but the early examples proved troublesome and expensive to maintain. Nevertheless, the concept appealed to several operators, and, by 1963, Portsmouth Corporation, long time devotees of the Leyland marque, must have thought the risk to be worthwhile, for it bought a batch of 35 PDR1/1 buses in that year, followed by a further 10 in 1964 and 9 more in 1966. All members of the Portsmouth PDR1/1 fleet carried the very plain Metro-Cammell H43/33F body design. The Corporation subsequently switched to the PDR1/2 version and finally to the AN68. Seen on 13 August 1967 at Portsmouth Harbour, known locally as “The Hard”, is No.224, 224 BTP, one of the 1963 deliveries, displaying the superb Portsmouth livery to good effect. I doubt if trips round the harbour are now offered for 15p (3/-) but, unlike the late 1940s/early 1950s when I lived in Alverstoke, the current Royal Navy could almost be accommodated on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, so there isn’t much to see these days.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


17/04/17 – 07:49

Mixed feelings about this photo.
The Atlantians were the mainstay of my trips to school on the 143 but their arrival marked the end for the much loved trolleys.

Dave French


18/04/17 – 07:44

So typical of CPPTD’s pride, four years old and yet still looking brand new! Even if they were troublesome in their early days, the department was well up to coping with whatever was thrown at it. IF I recall The Hard for anything, it was the Mudlarks rummaging on the muddy foreshore which passed as a beach there, with them searching out coins thrown at them by passers by! Not forgetting the three lines of trolleybuses parked there at the terminus, awaiting the dockers coming out, at least those that weren’t on a bike. It was always like the beginning of a bike race here at coming out time! This was a time of transport change in the area. Not long after, the electric ‘Nelson Stock’ trains acquired their half yellow fronts, then later went from dignified green to plain blue, not even with any grey to relieve the monotony, as other trains . My other abiding memory, when coming into Havant rail station during my 1957-59 National Service days, was hearing the announcer, in broad Hampshire ‘burr’ saying, ‘avant, this is ‘avant. Change ‘ere for the Broighton Loin, change ‘ere for ‘ayling Oiland!". Now, they all talk like Londoners. (I am a Londoner!). Reminiscing? Not I!

Chris Hebbron


18/04/17 – 10:44

Wonderful memories Chris, but they were dockIES, not dockERS – they didn’t load and unload ships they built and repaired them.

Pat Jennings


18/04/17 – 17:04

They were commonly known, the ones on the bikes at least, as Dockyard Mateys!

Philip Lamb


18/04/17 – 17:06

Yes, a great picture of a Portsmouth bus still proudly presented. The Corporation seemed to be forward thinking in these days, with the trolleybus conversions using some one-person operated saloons (noteworthy for urban use at the time), and then the use of Atlanteans for the final conversion. Other south coast municipalities were generally slower to move to rear-engined buses, I recall. However Portsmouth waited for other pioneers to iron out initial difficulties – Reading had used O-P-O saloons a year or two before them, and Hastings’ trolleybus conversion with Atlanteans was back in 1959 (although a BET operation, it was somewhat municipal-like in its scope). The result was that Portsmouth’s Atlanteans were of the "Mark II" variety, introduced that year. In fact I think the first few were delivered in original format, and were returned to the maker for modification to the new format. Also, the bodywork contained the "Manchester staircase" as opposed to the original Met-Cam design.
Dave mentions their use on route 143 – this was previously route C/D, which used to change the screens on route because of its length. When it became 143, the whole route detail was squeezed on to the via screen, with the final destination in the smaller screen below. The result looked extremely squashed, and rather spoilt the overall appearance in my view.
The terminus has also changed it’s name in recent years. Just plain "Dockyard" sufficed when the picture was taken. Much later it became "The Hard Interchange", and nowadays it’s "Gunwharf Quays". I always felt that "The Hard Interchange" was a little unfortunate, bearing in mind that one could change from a bus or coach to the Gosport Ferry or London/Southampton/Brighton line trains – was it really that hard? We all hoped not!

Michael Hampton


19/04/17 – 08:13

One minor correction to the text is that Portsmouth did not have any PDR1/2 Atlanteans – this was the version with a drop centre rear axle, intended for low height bodies, although some operators used it to permit additional headroom in the lower saloon.
After the PDR1/1s, Portsmouth’s next Atlanteans were the PDR2/1 single deckers – the PDR2 being the longer wheelbase version of the chassis. The next double deckers were Alexander-bodied AN68s.

Nigel Frampton


19/04/17 – 08:14

This is a great view of a Municipal bus in traditional livery, even to the lining out. The light upper paintwork, white or cream or whatever depending on which fleet is in question, has often been regarded as difficult to photograph. With a blue sky, it stands out. Thank you, Roger, for posting.
Like, Mr Hebbron, I am a Londoner, but by default, since my parents were living there when I was born, but I am of Lancashire origins. Between "The Hard Interchange" and "Gunwharf Quays", Michael, was it not simply "The Hard"?

Pete Davies


20/04/17 – 06:16

Pete, it may well have been just plain "The Hard" at some point. I do remember "The Hard Interchange" being used on the AN68 Alexander bodied Atlanteans. But when de-regulation came in and there were so many changes, it may well have become "The Hard", perhaps depending on the operator, and/or size of destination screen. I don’t have ant specific memories of those more recent times!

Michael Hampton


20/04/17 – 06:18

There is an sameness about these earlyish Atlanteans and Fleetlines- or am I not observant enough? They were all boxy, with separate windscreens right and left and no sign of any overall design or even "styling" features that may be found on an older half-cab. They all seem to be built from the same standardised components and carrying over the half-cab liveries. Only later, or even much later, came shrouded bustles, one piece screens and larger window bays. Was Liverpool the first to introduce a complete "new look"..? that’s a provocative question.

Joe


22/04/17 – 07:03

It used to be ‘DOCKYARD’ in the 1950s and early 1960s. ‘Hard’ was the Hampshire term for the first bit of dry land one came to from the sea. Across the harbour, Gosport Hard was known to Provincial as ‘GOSPORT FERRY’ and the Hants & Dorset as simply ‘GOSPORT’, and the same applied to the solitary Southdown rout, that from London Victoria Coach Station via the Meon Valley.

David Wrag


22/04/17 – 07:05

The bus is either operating route 148A or 148B. At that time, routes crossing the City boundary had Southdown rather than Corporation numbers.

Andy Hemming


22/04/17 – 09:50

The route is 148A.

Roger Cox


27/04/17 – 06:00

In answer to Joe, I think that in the beginning the overall appearance of the Atlantean, however bodied, was so revolutionary that no-one noticed that the detailed styling was derived from the MCW Orion (which itself wasn’t very old at the time). The Park Royal/Roe version was clearly a copy, and even the Alexander used similar window dimensions, while Northern Counties used their own halfcab styling in the same way that MCW used the Orion’s.
So yes, the Liverpool Atlantean was the first example not to be based on either halfcab styling from the same builder or someone else’s Atlantean/Fleetline. Strangely, only Liverpool, Bolton and Bury took it, all other MCW customers staying with the Orion-based design, with or without a prettified front end.
It was quickly eclipsed by the copy that East Lancs did for Bolton, enhanced by a stunning new livery, and I would also like to raise a flag for the restrained elegance of the first Warrington Fleetlines, which slipped on to the scene completely unsung in late 1963: https://flic.kr/p/DQQWky

Peter Williamson


27/04/17 – 10:50

Bury, after its flirtation with MCW Liverpool style bodies, continued to look for something more attractive and went to East Lancs which produced almost identical bodies to those of Warrington. The Warrington bodies were built by the East Lancs sister company, the Sheffield based Neepsend, who built the same design for Sheffield on Atlantean chassis and shared an order for Coventry with East Lancs on Fleetline chassis, 13 bodies being built by Neepsend, 9 by East Lancs.

Phil Blinkhorn


28/04/17 – 07:11

In between the Liverpool style Atlanteans and the East Lancs Fleetlines Bury took 15 Fleetlines with Glasgow style Alexander bodies but with the Midland Red style vee windscreens. These were very attractive buses and to my eyes were the best looking of the three manufacturer’s products for Bury.

Philip Halstead


28/04/17 – 16:55

Not sure what happened with my post on this topic yesterday. My original post overnight Wednesday/Thursday included a mention of the Alexander bodied Fleetlines prior to those from East Lancs and was listed when I checked the site at around 08.00 on Thursday. Clicking the link to the comment revealed that it had not been added to the thread. I sent an email regarding this and a truncated version of my original then appeared.

Phil Blinkhorn


 

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Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Titan – ORV 989 – 112

ORV 989

Portsmouth Corporation
1958
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
1919
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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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 20th September 2017