Old Bus Photos

East Midland – Leyland Tiger Cub – R 324 – ORR 324

East Midland - Leyland Tiger Cub - R 324 - ORR 324

East Midland Motor Services
Leyland Tiger Cub
Saunders-Roe B44F

This batch was a favourite of mine. The Saro body looked so much better than many contemporary offerings. These were sometimes to be found on East Midland route 99 Chesterfield to Sheffield via Ford and Ridgeway. This picture is in the maroon livery but they looked even better in the chocolate, biscuit, and cream livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

11/01/13 – 05:46

I couldn’t agree more, Les. We didn’t have any at Percy Main, but the Northern General group had quite a number of these. I always thought they looked particularly good in Sunderland District’s dark blue and white livery, they always had the look that they were built up to a standard rather than down to a price

Ronnie Hoye

11/01/13 – 05:46

Seeing the caption to this one has prompted me to look at the East Midland entries in the column on the left. Yes, the chocolate and cream style was distinctive. My only experience of Tiger Cub/Saro buses was with Ribble.
I note some comments about migrating managers who took their old operator’s livery with them. Readers will know that Southampton’s traditional dark red – cherry might be the simplest way of describing it – was supplanted on the Atlanteans with much more cream, and a lighter red. Bill Lewis brought that arrangement with him from Manchester.

Pete Davies

11/01/13 – 08:09

The Saro bodywork was a much more good looking version of the BET specification which spawned thousands of MCW Hermes bodies that took a number of iterations to look only half as attractive.

Phil Blinkhorn

11/01/13 – 15:58

Interesting to note that probably the three largest fleets of these Saro/Tiger Cubs, Ribble, East Midland and NGT all ended up in unrelieved dark red/maroon livery. Even so they still looked smart.

Eric Bawden

12/01/13 – 06:23

Interesting too that, to the best of my knowledge, this type of body was never built on a Reliance.

Chris Barker

12/01/13 – 13:55

Good point, Chris, I cant say that I’ve ever seen these on anything other than a Tiger Cub. According to the bus chassis lists, the NGT group had 31 in total, DCN 843/857 ‘Northern’ and OUP 655/670 ‘Sunderland District’ all delivered in 1954

Ronnie Hoye

12/01/13 – 16:28

One type that did share the body was the SARO Integral which was Gardner powered which appeared around 1953.
If I remember correctly this was unique and the sole example went to Maidstone and District as SO68 registered as RKE 540 see www.flickr.com/
It ended up with Berresford Cheddleton who ran it in a livery that looked very similar to PMT between 1966 and 1968 with the fleet number 28.

Phil Blinkhorn

ps I’ve found a photo in Berresford’s colours www.flicker.com/

13/01/13 – 07:30

…and preserved Guy LUF SARO demonstrator LJW 336!

Ian Thompson

A Guy UF demonstrator was also similarly equipped: www.sct61.org.uk/
Very similar bodies were fitted to BUT trolleybuses for Dunedin and Auckland New Zealand (the nearest we get to a Reliance?) and less similar, less attractive, 33 ft long Daimler Freelines also went to Auckland, the first as a complete build, the rest – 89 in number – ckd. Though looking different due to the panelling I gather the framing was the same.
Chris’s assertion about the lack of the body on the Reliance chassis seems to be correct

Phil Blinkhorn

13/01/13 – 07:58

LJW 336

Here is a shot of LJW 336, the Guy Arab UF demonstrator which was subsequently purchased by Blue Line of Armthorpe. This view shows it in 1969 at which point it had been just a store for a number of years. It seems surprising that it was on the heavier UF rather than the lightweight LUF chassis.

Alan Murray-Rust

13/01/13 – 14:11

Since posting my shot, I have found a number of views of LJW 336 in preservation, which refer to it as an LUF. I took my information from the PSVC fleet history PB4, which lists it as a UF. This is what also appears on the SCT61 site that Phil refers to. However, I have been back to my copy of PB4; this includes the PB4A appendix, which I had overlooked first time round. This corrects the original info and lists it specifically as an LUF.

Alan Murray-Rust

13/01/13 – 17:27

Alan, that makes a lot more sense though the Freeline as hardly a lightweight.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/01/13 – 06:20

LJW 336 was a special Guy Arab UF which was developed as a test bed for lighter construction. The result of this development was the Arab LUF, for which LJW acted as a demonstrator. The only objection to calling it an LUF is that the LUF hadn’t actually been invented when it was built!
I’m not sure about Manchester being the inspiration for Southampton’s new livery. Bill Lewis may well have taken the lighter red with him, but I think I’m right in saying he left Manchester before the Mancunians arrived (I was working under him at the time), and in any case the Southampton scheme doesn’t bear much resemblance to the Mancunian livery. However, I remember Ralph Bennett exhibiting a Bolton Atlantean to the Manchester public before then, and to my eyes the Southampton livery looks like the Bolton scheme with Manchester colours.

Peter Williamson

16/01/13 – 05:08

Peter, you may well be correct about the origins of the Bill Lewis style of Southampton livery. I suspect from what you say it is something of a hybrid: Bolton style so far as ‘what colour is where’ is concerned, but using the brighter Manchester red. It wasn’t just the Transport Department managers who had this idea of taking their old liveries with them: the then City Engineer in Southampton had come from Swindon, and brought that Council’s shade of blue with him.

Pete Davies

15/11/13 – 15:26

ORR 324

During the late 60s/very early 70s I was working in the Birmingham area but visited my folks in Nottingham most weekends. On fine Sunday mornings, I liked to borrow my Dad`s camera and trundle around the likely photo-spots in the city and here is one from that era.
This is parked up in the Ice Stadium car park and has all the clues to suggest it is one of the same batch as R324:

ORR 324_cu

Obviously by then operated by East Midlands Housing Association, it occurred to me that its previous "East Midland" fleet name had been neatly over painted in black with the extra "S" on the end. One letter overlaps into the bay in front, but two into the bay behind.
By now looking a little tired and work-stained, it nevertheless attracted my attention as a handsome machine worthy of recording, sadly not enough to note the date and reg number.

Rob Hancock

31/12/13 – 07:04

Trent had 10 of these Saro Tiger Cubs. painted red below the waist rail white above and looked superb probably the best colour scheme of all. A couple ran in wales for a long time. I saw a photo of some Reliances with a similar body that were exported to the Caribbean.

Ron Stringer

03/07/17 – 16:16

Reading this column on Saunders Roe bodied Tiger Cubs, I was employed by Ribble at Carlisle depot 1963 to late 64 where there were at least 5 such buses including the two allocated to the 603 Bowness on Solway outstation. I occasionally got to drive one on other rural routes plus I was allocated one to operate an evening excursion to Appleby Horse Fair. I liked these buss with their light steering and gearboxes that needed skill to make a clean change, they were rather underpowered for hilly rural routes ie Carlisle to Hesket New Market climbing Warnell Fell, once down itno 2nd gear just above Goose Green pub there was no chance of ever getting back into 3rd before cresting the long drag due to the long delay in waiting for the revs to drop.

auk tig

Attached is an official Saro photograph of an Auckland Transport Board Royal Tiger with Rivaloy body given to me by Saro after a request for information about the company back in the 1950s when I was a teenage bus enthusiast.

Gerald Walker

05/03/18 – 09:01

I recall Ribble operating Saro bodied Tiger Cubs on services from Colne to Barnoldswick, and occasionally Gisburn, via Foulridge and Whitemoor Reservoir in the early 60s. I used to have holidays at my aunt’s house in the "hamlet" of Hilltop outside Foulridge and I recall them struggling on the narrow twisty climb out of Foulridge to the reservoir


ORR 324 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

31/01/19 – 06:00

I note a recent announcement by Oxford Diecast Models that they have produced a Saro bodied model of a prototype in London Transport Country Bus livery. Did LT ever take delivery of such a vehicle because it is the first I have heard of this? Possibly it might have been a demonstrator?

David Revis

01/02/19 – 05:48

David Revis asks if any Saro bodies were made for London Transport. The production summary at the back of the book ‘Saunder-Roe, Builders of the world’s lightest buses’ shows that NO single-deckers were built for London. From 1946-1956 there were 272 for the home market and 1246 for export. Of 376 double deckers built 300 were for LT. I assume that the model is presented as LT just to maximise sales with little regard for reality?

Les Dickinson

01/02/19 – 05:50

In 1953, following the completion of the RF delivery programme, London Transport was looking at future options regarding lightweight single deckers.
‘Buses of London’ by Colin H Curtis published by London Transport tells that three experimental models were obtained which were an Eastern Coachworks bodied Bristol LS5G (PHW 918), a chassisless AEC Monocoach with Park Royal bodywork (NLP 635) and a Saunders-Roe bodied Leyland Tiger Cub (PTE 592).
The text reads: ‘All were allocated to Reigate garage for extensive tests on route 447 and 711. At the end of the test no decision was made and the vehicles were returned to their owners’.

David Slater

01/02/19 – 05:51

Demonstrators indeed. See the following from the Oxford Diecast website: www.modelbuszone.co.uk/

Chris Hebbron

02/02/19 – 06:17

Chris H, David S, Les D: Thank you all for your responses. The thought did go through my mind that Oxford might have produced the model by way of artistic licence as Les inferred. It was a relief to learn that Oxford was completely ethical and had obviously done their homework.

David Revis

02/02/19 – 06:33

PTE 592

Here is a photo of PTE 592 whilst in service with London Transport on the 447 route.



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East Midland – Leyland Tiger Cub – XRR 540 – R40

East Midland Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

East Midland Motor Services 
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2
Willowbrook DP41F

Not an operator I know very much about but on researching this particular vehicle it would appear that it started its life with a fleet number of C40. I have come across a photo of XRR 535 C35 which was in a livery of all Cream with a single coloured band below the window did this vehicle start life as cream coach? I am not sure what their prefix fleet letters stood for ‘C’ For coach ‘D’ for double decker I can guess at but ‘R’ ‘O’ ‘L’ which were for single deckers do not mean much to me. If you know please leave a comment. It would appear that East Midland at one time had a livery of Chrome Yellow for the body, Cream for the lower saloon windows and Chocolate for the upper saloon windows and roof I bet that looked good, has anyone seen a colour shot. The livery at the time that the shot above was taken was Dark Red and Cream but that changed to Dark Green in the early seventies.

I recall the original livery which was very distinctive! It was almost art deco- very thirties- and then went into a sort of drab utility maroon. The green was presumably NBC….?


I vaguely remember these vehicles from my Sheffield childhood (on the Derbyshire border, towards Chesterfield).
I quite liked the maroon and cream – because I was not then aware of the original livery, which had disappeared by the time I was old enough to be aware of these things. It is possible that this livery was derived from that of Underwoods – the firm which became East Midland under BET control. The original livery adorned a RM in the short time that they plied the roads of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Over a period of time – in BET times – East Midland became joint owner, along with Yorkshire Traction and North Western, of one of the greatest coach tour operators – nearby Sheffield United Tours.
East Midland became one of my favourite operators – which I used regularly – and I was sad when NBC leaf green replaced the drab maroon. This was especially so when my favourite (J – M) registered RE coaches lost their cream and maroon for NBC corporate livery.

David Oldfield

In 1977, long before the RM already mentioned, East Midland repainted an Alexander bodied Fleetline in the old brown/cream/yellow livery to commemorate their 50th anniversary. One of the 1965 batch, but can’t recall which one. It should also be mentioned that the famous bus photographer Roy Marshall (who once worked in Nottingham and was thus familiar with EMMS’s original livery) later became the General Manager of Burnley & Pendle and adopted the same colour scheme for several of that Lancashire undertaking’s vehicles including some Y-type bodied Leopards and at least one VRT3/ECW double-decker.
Going off at a slight tangent, Roy Marshall also did a stint as the boss of Gelligaer UDC’s fleet and when he moved to East Staffordshire (Burton-on-Trent Corporation as it used to be) he repainted this Midland fleet in Gelligaer’s old livery of green, red, and white – a vast improvement over the gloomy maroon and cream previously used by Burton.
Does anybody know of any further examples where migrating General Managers have ‘taken the livery with them’?

Neville Mercer

Can’t remember which way round it was but Halifax and Glasgow shared a livery due to a demonstrator in one fleet being borrowed by the operator who liked the livery and adopted it themselves.
There is also the apocryphal story of legal action when someone saw the old Bostock’s livery, liked it, adopted it and upset Bostock’s.

I also vaguely remember the Fleetline, now that Neville mentions it.

Trivia: Can anyone explain why, with a head office in Chesterfield, all East Midland buses had Nottinghamshire registrations?

David Oldfield

The 1965 edition of BBF5 says that the R prefix was for 30-foot long dual purpose vehicles, but that can’t be right because it shows all the bus-seated 30-footers with R prefixes as well. L meant long – i.e. 36 feet.
Joining Neville on his tangent for a moment, did Geoffrey Hilditch once set up a coach fleet at Aberdare using Halifax livery? Or did I dream that? The memory does feel very much like a dream . . .

Peter Williamson

According to the Prestige Series book on East Midland (excellent B&W photographs by G H F Atkins; text by John Banks) the old livery was derived from United, who abandoned it in 1930 in favour of red and cream. The company was originally W T Underwood of Clowne, but with strong backing from United (virtually a subsidiary).

As for the alpha-numeric number series, the type-series letter seems to have been allocated in a rather haphazard fashion. Note that only the single-deckers were distinguished in this way. All of the double-deckers were just series D, irrespective of chassis or body manufacturer.

However, unravelling the tangle it seems this is how it went for the single deckers (Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin…) :

G – 50 x ADC 416A (Short Bros.) 1927 – series allocated to EM by United
M – 10 x AEC Reliance (Lowestoft – later ECW) 1929 – series allocated to EM by United
N – 10 x AEC Regal (Short Bros) 1930 (some rebodied 1939 with Leyland bodies taken from 1935 TS7s, i.e. type B)
L – 20 x AEC Regal (Brush) 1931 (of which 3 were coaches, designated LC)
L – ? x AEC Regal 4 (Brush) 1933-34
C – 5 x Leyland KP2 Cub 1934
B – 20 x Leyland TS7 (10 Brush; 10 Leyland) 1935 (4 Brush rebodied 1949 by Willowbrook re-designated type N)
B – 14 x Leyland TS7 (5 Brush; 1 Burlingham coach; 8 Leyland) 1936
E – 30 x Leyland TS7 (ECW dual purpose) 1937 (6 rebodied 1948 by Willowbrook re-designated type N)
F – 11 x Leyland TS7 (ECW bus) 1938
A – 10 x AEC Regal (Weymann) 1946
A – 14 x AEC Regal III (Third-hand ! Leyland bodies)  1947-48 (rebodied 1952 by Willowbrook and re-designated type K)
AC – 2 x AEC Regal III (Windover coach) 1948
H – ? x AEC Regal III (Weymann) 1949
J – ? x AEC Regal III (Willowbrook) 1950
R – All underfloor engine buses from 1952-62 (all Leyland chassis)
C (Second time round) – All underfloor engine coaches and dual-purpose from 1954 onwards.
L – ? x Leyland Leopard buses from 1963 (Willowbrook)
O – ? x Bristol buses from 1969 (ECW)

N (Second time round!) – various re-bodies (see above) also 10 second hand Leyland TS7s purchased from YWD 1949 and subsequently re-bodied by Willowbrook.

Please note that this is not comprehensive, and takes no account of vehicles absorbed through takeover. There were certainly 5 x Bristol L5G (ECW) in 1938 and 2 x Bedford WTB (Duple) in 1939, for which no type letter is quoted.

Stephen Ford

Someone mentioned East Midland having a Fleetline in the old brown livery. This was in fact an Atlantean PD1/2 fleet no D177 registration BNN 177C.
Chesterfield corporation also had Nottingham registrations as well.

Alan Ridge

Chesterfield Corporation had NU and RA registrations – Derbyshire CC.

David Oldfield

R – All underfloor engine buses from 1952-62 (all Leyland chassis)
Some of these were in fact AEC chassis and the last 3 R496 R497 & R498 were AEC chassis and the same bodies as the L400 (400 RRR) series Leylands.
The O series were one batch of AEC Swifts O501 to O510. (NAL 501F to 505F then OAL 506F to 510F) Marshall Bodies,
Bristol RE’s with single doors. O511 to O522. ECW.
Bristol RE’s with single doors. O523 to O532. I think these had Marshall Bodies, I know that they had a strange 3 X 2 arrangement for the rear two rows of seats.
Bristol RE’s with single doors. O533 to O541. Leyland engines and Marshall bodies. I have not heard any news of it, but CRR 537J O537 was preserved, somewhere around Derby.
Bristol RE’s with Dual doors. O542 to O556. ECW bodies. I think O545 was the last red and cream East Midland bus, around 1975/6

Ian Couzens

10/07/12 – 06:44

The question raised about registration numbers being issued in Nottinghamshire. It was from the days of the head office being in Worksop. Why on moving to Chesterfield it was not changed I don’t know. Hope this helps/ Don’t forget Clowne was also head office prior to Worksop.

Ian Bennett

10/07/12 – 09:17

In response to Nevilles question above re migrating General Managers. When Vane-Morland moved from Walsall to Leeds he brought their blue livery with him prior to this the trams and buses were yellow and white or a deep Prusian blue rather than the flatter slate blue that became standard in the thirties.

Chris Hough

26/07/12 – 07:44

The vehicle in the above photograph was taken over the pit at Worksop bus garage on Allen Street Worksop.

Mr Anon

26/10/12 – 07:06

For those youngsters, who were deprived of the EMMS chocolate etc livery, I have appended some links to modern day efforts to replicate the livery.

John Darwent

12/07/16 – 07:29

Can anyone remember how many routes East Midland had that ran into Pond Street Sheffield in the 70s, there was number 3 from Mansfield, number 46 from Clowne via Killamarsh, number 18 from Eckington, and there was also an EM bus from Gainsbrough.

Big Jim

04/04/17 – 07:15

You’re right about the 3 and 46. There was also the long-established 99 to Chesterfield via Ford and Staveley. Also in the 60s and until 1971 there was the 62/64 to Chesterfield via Eckington. These were joint with Chesterfield and Sheffield JOC.
By 1971 there was also the X53, which was an extended express version of the 3. This ran to Nottingham via Mansfield and was joint with Trent.
The Gainsborough route was the 85 – originally a Sheffield ‘C’ fleet (railways-owned) route but which became a joint Sheffield/East Midland/Lincolnshire route when the British Railways interest in the Sheffield B and C fleets ended.

John May

XRR 540_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

19/07/17 – 11:00

Just been told that the old EMMS bus garage at Retford was demolished in 1992,in the 70s it held a fleet of 25 buses and coaches, Worksop is now the last remaining original depot.

Big Jim


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