East Midland Motor Services
At first glance, this pair are identical, but not so. See the differing sizes, and positioning, of the headlamps, and also the deeper edge of the canopy on D37 (far Vehicle).
These were delivered in 1945, then rebodied by Roe in 1954. I cannot be certain, but think that the seating capacity was L27/28R, both before and after. See also the paper stickers inside the lower saloon, perhaps telling of timetable changes, or advertising EMMS’ other services, sometimes advertising for drivers/conductors.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson
14/04/13 – 08:23
Incredible, Les. Never seen these in original guise but have seen the rebodies. As usual, the new bodies were beautiful and beautifully made – but interestingly, they were quoted as being 26′ 9" long. [Was this done simply by building the body longer, or was the chassis extended?] Roe rebuilt literally hundreds of war-time Guys and Daimlers but the sad thing is that few, if any, lasted more than ten years with their new bodies. East Midland, Tracky, County and Woolen spring readily to mind as do the, penny numbers of AECs and Daimlers for Sheffield A fleet.
14/04/13 – 18:39
and of course, Sheffield Guy 45 David, rebuilt by Roe for the B fleet.
14/04/13 – 18:39
During the war official dispensation was given for the current 26ft. length limit for two-axle double deckers to be increased to 26ft. 9in. in the case of Guy Arabs, in order for the optional long Gardner 6LW engine to be fitted, by allowing it to project forwards in a ‘snout’ rather than have to move the front bulkhead back.
As it happened, the majority of Arab II’s continued to be fitted with the shorter 5LW, but the elongated bonnet was used irrespective of which engine was fitted. All East Midland’s Arabs had the 5LW, so there would probably have been a lot of spare space behind those radiators.
14/04/13 – 18:41
They would be Arab I’s, but were they 5LW’s or 6LW’s? And Roe’s part in building austerity bus bodies was something I’d only recently discovered. Few of them ever seem to have made their way south of the Midlands. I certainly never saw one and it’s very much a recent discovery that they built any. Duple, Brush and Massey seemed the dominant builders and their quality was in that order, too, I’d hazard.
15/04/13 – 07:44
East Midland took only twelve utilities during the war. The first, in 1941, was a Bristol K5G which went to North Western in 1946 in exchange for an Arab I/Roe. Next came two Arab I’s with Brush bodies, the remainder were all Arab II’s with Roe bodies. Interestingly, East Midland managed to obtain consecutive last numbers for the registrations throughout the war. Five of the Arab II’s received new Roe lowbridge bodies in 1954. There was a further Arab II which was taken over from Baker Brothers of Warsop in 1953 and also rebodied by Roe. All of them went in 1960 and six years does seem a sadly short life for a vehicle with a new body but of course the Atlantean was no doubt responsible for that.
The question of the wartime length dispensation for the Guy Arab is an interesting one, production continued after the war with the Arab II, then the Arab III, all built to the extended length before the maximum dimension was increased to 27ft. So if it was an emergency wartime measure, how come the dispensation was never rescinded after the war, was it quietly forgotten about? It’s surprising someone didn’t ask, if Bristol and Daimler can accommodate the Gardner 6LW, why can’t Guy!
15/04/13 – 07:44
Chris H: Jasper Pettie’s "Guy Buses in Camera" states the following:
"[the first] 500 were known as the Arab MkI. Thereafter the Arab MkII was introduced, and all had the longer bonnet and outswept front mudguards which had featured only on the 6LW-engined MkI examples".
On that basis, if they are definitely MkI chassis, they must have had 6LW engines. If as John Stringer states all the East Midland Arabs had 5LW, then these are MkIIs.
Caerphilly had at least one Roe utility ArabII, which survived as training bus until at least 1966. It has curved valances to the canopy and platform rather than the straight ones on the EM view, but this could have been a subsequent modification. BBF records it as rebuilt 1957, but the only obvious difference is that the front top deck windows are rubber-mounted, and there are two sliding windows per side on the lower and three on the upper deck.
15/04/13 – 07:45
Chris… If you check Peter Gould’s lists, it was Doncaster’s wartime Roe bodied Regents that seemed to survive longest- Does anyone know why?
16/04/13 – 07:29
Joe At least three of the Doncaster Regents were to full peacetime standards being delivered in 1941 all of the Roe bus output for that year were to the same pre war spec. It is possible that the 1942 Doncaster Regent was also built to this standard using sored parts. Certainly Roe produced a full utility body by January 1942 albeit on so called unfrozen chassis for Yorkshire Woollen and Yorkshire Traction.
As well as building utility bodies on Guy and Daimler chassis they also built a number of trolleybuses building 63 of the 438 buses produced.
16/04/13 – 10:50
Thanks Chris. I recall that the survivors mostly had proper domes and smelt rather funny. The lists suggest that Doncaster took very few buses during the war and got rid of the Guys fairly quickly: anything with an AEC engine (Bristol, Daimler, AEC) hung on, and were usually Roe bodied. The trolley story is even thinner: a very few utilities, rebodied by Roe after the war (presumably the same bodies that found their way on to the post war Titans.)