Old Bus Photos

Birmingham City – Daimler CL – LOG 302 – 3002

Birmingham City - Daimler CL - LOG 302 - 3002

Birmingham City - Daimler CL - LOG 302 - 3002

Birmingham City Transport
Daimler CLG5LW
MCCW H30/25R

Although looking like a Birmingham ‘Standard’, this is one of a pair of unique vehicles ordered in 1952 – the other, 3001 – being a Guy Arab with Saunders Roe body.
Both built to a ‘lightweight’ design, the chassis of 3002 was manufactured as a chromium plated exhibit for the 1952 Commercial Motor Show. During the following two years it received its Metro-Cammell body which became a ‘model’ for the ‘Orion’ and with unique manufacturing differences. Notably, the use of ‘pop-rivets’ in place of screws, anodised aluminium replaced the usual interior wooden mouldings, a rather ugly upright rear dome, a sliding cab door (a first for BCT) and rubber window surrounds. Spending its entire life at Acocks Green garage it was not liked much by drivers being noticeably underpowered with the 5LW.
Thankfully this is now in preservation.
My photos were taken at the Aston Manor Museum in 2010.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Nigel Edwards

13/03/16 – 09:33

Interesting views, Nigel, and thank you for posting. I note that the vehicles was not liked because of its lack of power. One might have expected the balance to be similar, given that the chassis – and I suppose the body as well – had ‘lightweight’ technology. Clearly, not ‘light’ enough!

Pete Davies

13/03/16 – 10:31

Pete, Though the overall weight saving was 15 cwt, compared to the ‘standards’, I think little of this was attributed to the chassis. Added to the narrative should have been that, after bodying in the intervening 2 years, the complete vehicle was again exhibited at the Commercial Motor show of 1954.

Nigel Edwards

14/03/16 – 06:54

The CLG5 appeared in 1952 and had a 16ft 4ins wheelbase chassis with the Lockheed power hydraulic braking system and hydraulic gear change of the CD650. Some light weight components and the 5LW engine were employed to save weight. Only a 7ft 6ins width was offered and the electrical system was 12 volts. Despite all the cheeseparing, the chassis weight of 4 tons 6 cwt was identical with that of the ‘heavy’ wartime CWG5. The first CLG5 chassis was 18334 which was fitted with a prototype MetCam Orion body, and went to Potteries Motor Traction. "Thanks(!)" to the appallingly tinny body, the unladen weight was a mere 6tons 2cwts. The bus shown above was chassis no. 18335. Another of the very few CLG machines actually made was chassis 18337 which Daimler played around with for a few years before selling on as a vacuum braked CVG6 to Burwell & District in 1956 (see Burwell & District – Daimler CVG6 – PHP 220). I presume that chassis 18336 was another CLG5, but I cannot find a record of it. The Lockheed braking system was the Achilles Heel of the CD650, and operators stayed well clear of it. Did Birmingham 3002 have its hydraulics replaced by the standard vacuum system? The ever reliable Alan Townsin is the source of these details.

Roger Cox

14/03/16 – 06:54

Thank you, Nigel

Pete Davies

16/03/16 – 14:35

Roger Cox refers to (Burwell & District – Daimler CV – PHP 220)
I commented on 19/10/2013 that this bus was equipped with air brakes and gear change while with B&D, yet he still refers to vacuum brakes in his latest post!

Jim Neale

18/03/16 – 05:34

Yes, I did refer to vacuum brakes because that is how the bus left the Daimler factory. This is a posting about the Birmingham CLG5, and the comments concern this vehicle type, which is the form in which chassis no.18337 started life. It was converted by Daimler to CVG specification in order to find a buyer after the CLG type met with underwhelming indifference from the bus operating market. That conversion included the abandonment of pressure hydraulic braking in favour of vacuum. What Burwell & District later did with 18337, PHP 220, is outside the scope of this particular discussion, especially when its Burwell existence is already covered by a dedicated entry (which, incidentally, I initiated myself).

Roger Cox

09/08/17 – 17:03

Aside from these two unique vehicles, did the ubiquitous Guy, Daimler and Crossley tin-front buses that abounded Birmingham in the 1950’s have their own makers’ gearboxes, or did they all have preselective ones, as the Daimler ones had?

Chris Hebbron

10/08/17 – 05:54

The Daimlers and Guys had preselective gearboxes, built I understand by Daimler and Guy respectively, though they were interchangeable. The Crossleys had manual Crossley gearboxes.

Peter Williamson

03/08/18 – 05:57

Nigel Edwards says LOG 302 was at the 1954 Show. The chassis was without doubt at the 1952 Show but I can see no report of the complete vehicle being on either the Daimler or the MCCW stand at the 1954 one. Could Nigel have been mistaken? Maybe it made a brief appearance in the demo park but as PHP 220 was parading about there that would seem unlikely. It was certainly absent from public view for a lengthy period as the chassis went to MCCW in April 1953!

Martin Ingle

04/08/18 – 07:14

Martin, I think if you re-read my narrative I did refer to the chassis being exhibited (chromium plated), and the body being added later!

Nigel Edwards

11/08/18 – 08:01

My query about Show appearances referred to the comment in your second post. There doesn’t seem to be any trade press mention of it at the 1954 Show and I had not seen it mentioned anywhere else. That was all.

Martin Ingle

Peter Williamson

Referring to the mention of the Orion body type in the caption, I must point out that the PMT prototype Orion-bodied CLG5, which Roger referred to in his post, also appeared at the 1952 Commercial Motor Show. Therefore I would suggest that LOG302’s body, which was constructed later, benefitted from the development of the Orion rather than being a model for it.

Peter Williamson


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Birmingham City – Leyland Titan PD2 – HOV 685 – 1685

Birmingham City - Leyland Titan PD2 - HOV 685 - 1685

Birmingham City Transport
Leyland Titan PD2/1
Brush H30/24R

Here is a Leyland Titan PD2/1 with Brush H54R body, to Birmingham’s then standard design. She dates from 1948 and we see her in the Weymouth rally on 1 July 1979. She began her service at Yardley Wood depot and, Malcolm Keeley reports in his book in the Glory Days series, most of the batch so allocated from new remained there throughout their working lives. The others were at Perry Bar. The saga of the Brush bodies is not so happy, however. There had been some earlier disagreements between the builder and the operator, the former managing to convince itself that the product was entirely the opposite of what the operator wanted. This batch appears to have been the last of the Brush bodies for Birmingham.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

22/02/16 – 13:28

Interestingly, at the same time, Brush was building bodies for Manchester on Daimler chassis to Manchester’s post war standard design and there were a number of letters exchanged due to Brush’s "interpretations" which were not acceptable.

Phil Blinkhorn

22/02/16 – 16:14

Well, Phil, this makes me wonder if – by upsetting two of the country’s biggest operators – this saga is the reason Brush got out of building bus bodies not long afterwards.

Pete Davies

22/02/16 – 16:15

In 1949, coachbuilding at Brush employed around 1500 people and contributed £3 million towards the company’s £15 million productive total in that year. Then came the Korean War (1950-53), which brought a flood of armament related orders to Brush, who closed the coachbuilding activity in 1951 to concentrate resources on the more lucrative parts of the business.

Roger Cox

23/02/16 – 05:37

Yes, Roger, that diversion of resources for "War Work" would explain a lot!

Pete Davies

23/02/16 – 05:38

A most elegant vehicle indeed, unashamedly with very traditional appearance and further greatly enhanced by the very pleasing Birmingham livery.

Chris Youhill

23/02/16 – 10:48

And, of course, Chris Y, unblemished by adverts, a Brummie trademark, until the latter days. I confess to getting confused about the chrome/painted and aluminium rads on PD’s. I always thought the former to be PD1’s; the latter PD2’s. It doesn’t seem to work that way, unless the rad surrounds got changed about over the years!

Chris Hebbron

23/02/16 – 13:11

How right you are Chris H about the lack of disfiguring adverts – sadly of course we have to acknowledge that they are a valuable source of revenue but even accepting that some are totally "cheap" and abominable. Regarding PD1/PD2 radiator shells, just off the top of my head I’ve always thought that painted or chrome ones were frequently interchanged on PD1s – I just can’t think of any PD2 fitted with either of those.

Chris Youhill

23/02/16 – 16:46

Oh heck – I was so anxious to answer Chris H’s query that I overlooked the PD2 in the picture having a chrome shell. I wonder if batches of PD2s were therefore so equipped or has this one being "treated" during preservation – any informed answer would be appreciated please.

Chris Youhill

24/02/16 – 05:48

I think the chrome radiator shell was always an option but I can’t think of anybody except Manchester who took it. Even there they then went and painted them red!

David Beilby

24/02/16 – 05:49

All Manchester’s PD2s had chrome radiators but aluminium was the Leyland standard offering.

Phil Blinkhorn

24/02/16 – 05:52

I understand the choice of chrome pressed metal or cast aluminium radiator shells was down to the purchaser’s specification or at least it was for large scale orders. Most of Manchester’s PD2’s for example had the pressed metal shell which was chrome plated as delivered but always painted red at the first re-paint. This I understand was down to the frugal views of GM Albert Neil as the pressed metal version was cheaper.

Philip Halstead

24/02/16 – 05:53

Exeter took delivery of 17 PD2/1 in November and December 1947. They had consecutive registrations but the Leyland bodies of the first ten were in the 472 xxx series whilst the last 7 were in the 480 xxx series. I think the first lot had painted radiator shells and the later ones chrome. Certainly HFJ 144 (No. 17), which is preserved, has and has always had a chrome one. Some of these magnificent buses lasted 23 years in service with Exeter – and looked as smart at the end as when they were new!

David Chapman

24/02/16 – 08:16

Thanks for these informative replies folks, and I’m getting redder by the minute having just recalled that the two Kippax and District PD2s (GWX 823/4) had chrome shells – and I’ve even driven one of them when owned by Wallace Arnold !!

Chris Youhill

24/02/16 – 08:51

Regarding chrome painted radiators on Birmingham PD2’s, and 1685 in particular, more info here. www.wythall.org.uk/vehicles/vhov685.asp

Nigel Edwards

24/02/16 – 09:55

Philip H, Manchester’s PD2’s chrome radiators certainly were not all painted at first vehicle repaint. There was a massive variation across the fleet. There are plenty of photos showing older PD2s, from the early 1950s, in the all red scheme in the mid 1960s, with unpainted radiators and a good number of later vehicles in SELNEC colours still with the brightwork intact.
Radiators were painted if pitted but serviceable. The bulk of those painted was, I was once told, due to time pressure on the spray booth when repaints into the all red scheme were under way. Certainly many vehicles were repainted earlier than would have been the case had the scheme not been changed and one fewer masking job would have saved a little time. Another view was that those so painted were handled by a particular shift which never masked the radiator shell.
Almost all Parrs Wood’s and most of Queens Rd’s PD2s survived until SELNEC with the chrome untouched. Hyde Rd’s vehicles seemed to be mainly painted. A well known story is that a Burlingham bodied PD2 returned to Parrs Wood after being treated to the red scheme including a painted radiator. The batch were Parrs Wood’s pride and joy and the bus was sent back with tart instruction to remove the paint and never paint a Parrs Wood radiator again unless instructed. This certainly seemed to hold good throughout the 1960s.

Phil Blinkhorn

24/02/16 – 16:52

I particularly enjoy little tales like that one, Phil, it puts a human touch to it all, and makes our hobby that much more fascinating. It’s not just about the buses, it’s about the people who operated them and cared for them as well.
Thanks for sharing it.

Dave Careless

25/02/16 – 05:44

I found a photo on Facebook of Tynemouth and District no. 31, an all Leyland PD2/1, new to Tyneside Tramways and Tramroads Company, complete with chromed radiator shell. I’m unsure of the photo’s copyright so I’m reluctant to reproduce it here.

Richard Slater

25/02/16 – 16:25

PD1’s and PD2’s were all fitted with pressed steel radiator shells until around 1949. Due to material shortages just after the war only a few were able to be chrome plated at first, the majority being painted. Then Leyland introduced the cast aluminium shell which became standard, with the pressed steel version available as an option.
Halifax Corporation had nine PD2/1’s in 1947/48. All had chromed pressed steel shells apart from one which was painted orange. Throughout most of my childhood this was 101 (ACP 385) and it stood out from the others, but an official Leyland Motors photo shows a different one with the painted shell, and latterly in the mid-1960’s it had migrated on to a different bus again, so some swapping must have taken place at overhaul. Todmorden’s earlier PD2/1’s had painted steel shells, then came some chromed ones, then the later ones and the PD2/12’s had aluminium ones. Some later PD1’s – notably those supplied up to about 1952 to Central SMT – had the later aluminium version.
I actually preferred the painted radiator shells on many PD1’s and PD2’s. I often thought that the chromed version tended to look a bit too gaudy, especially on some of those in an otherwise sombre municipal livery, and they also emphasised the slightest dints and imperfections which they tended to pick up quite easily. What I hated was when some operators – notably Leigh Corporation – chose to paint the later aluminium radiator shells, which looked absolutely terrible. By contrast, the chromed AEC radiator always looked superb to my mind, and always looked dreadful if painted over – Leigh Corporation and Liverpool spring to mind as offenders.
I’ve wondered though, when Manchester CT painted their previously chromed shells, how did they get the paint to adhere and not just come off at the slightest scratch. Surely stripping the chrome plating would have been too much of a bother?

John Stringer

25/02/16 – 17:03

Some wonderfully interesting comments here, folks. Thank you!

Pete Davies

26/02/16 – 16:53

Thx, folks, especially John S, for helping to answer my question on "which PD rads when"! Another mystery solved!

Chris Hebbron

27/02/16 – 05:54

Richard, the photo of T&D 31 that you refer to is already on this site. Its in part two of my article about Northern General Transport Percy Main Depot.  If memory serves, I bought my copy from a dealer at the Seaburn Historic Vehicle show.

Ronnie Hoye

28/02/16 – 06:05

Thanks Ronnie. I found it on another site, dedicated to matters Northumbrian. It was unattributed.

Richard Slater

02/03/16 – 06:24

Just catching up on the above after a few days out (due to computer death and replacement), and I can’t see that Phil’s statement about all Manchester PD2s having chromed radiator shells has been challenged. In fact the first 100 (3200-99) had cast aluminium shells, but since they were at Queens Road, I don’t suppose Phil saw much of them! See www.sct61.org.uk/

Peter Williamson

02/03/16 – 10:21

Peter,trying not to rely on memory I have been totally misled by a number of photos of both the Metro Cammell and Leyland bodied examples with shiny radiators when new.
As for not seeing much of them, the 53 provided some sightings and visits to the city centre others, and North Manchester wasn’t a foreign ground to me, the radiator shells just didn’t register!

Phil Blinkhorn

16/03/16 – 05:05

According to Eyre & Heaps Manchester specified the pressed radiator shell because it was cheaper to repair when the dozier brethren ran into the back of something. Personally I would have thought the tin shell would be less resistant to casual knocks than the heavy casting, but the decision was presumably based upon feedback from accident repair statistics. It’s worth noting that Salford specified shorter rads on their CVGs for similar reasons, while Birkenhead and Rochdale just bolted a big lump of angle iron across the grille to protect it!

David Jones

16/03/16 – 08:17

Perhaps, David, if the ‘dozier brethren’ had been required to pay for the repairs out of their wages, they might have been more alert to their surroundings . .

Pete Davies


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Birmingham City – Leyland Tiger – JOJ 245 – 2245

Birmingham City - Leyland Tiger - JOJ 245 - 2245

Birmingham City Transport
Leyland Tiger PS2
Weymann B34F

This superb combination of Leyland Tiger and classic Weymann single-deck body is further enhanced by the application of Birmingham City livery. 2245 is well-maintained by the Transport Museum, Wythall. Chassis number is 495582, body number M4624 and seating is B34F.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

05/07/15 – 07:32

Don’t you just mourn the demise of municipal transport when you see vehicles like this, with their distinctive livery and civic coats of arms. And in the case of many of them, including Birmingham, never letting an advert blemish the bodywork!

Chris Hebbron

05/07/15 – 11:54

I agree wholeheartedly Chris H, and the beautiful vehicle in the picture is a exceptional example of "how things should be." I readily admit, in my dotage, to be horrified at many of today’s presentations of meaningless mobile artwork which totally destroy what could have been acceptable shapes of modern buses. For example, the latest craze from FirstBus in this area, as if the insipid white, lilac and purple wasn’t bad enough, is to plaster the top decks around the destination displays with gaudy purple offerings for "The Pulse" – services of better than ten minutes frequency. The effect of this gripping marketing wheeze is to render the electronic destinations and route numbers virtually unreadable, especially in bright sunlight. The cost ?? – I imagine that no-one dare publicise that figure and,far from increasing patronage, is simply a further annoyance to already disinterested passengers.

Chris Youhill

05/07/15 – 11:55

To be fair, Chris, even Birmingham had succumbed to the exterior adverts when I was there in my student days of the mid sixties, although I never saw a single decker in service with the ‘feature’, only the doubles.

Pete Davies

06/07/15 – 06:38

I agree entirely about the advertising. Bournemouth was another municipal operator that did not carry advertising. Worst of all today are those advertisements and so-called route branding that are actually carried over the windows – and I do like to be able to look out of the bus!

David Wragg

06/07/15 – 06:39

Birmingham’s civic pride would not countenance the idea of advertising on its buses for many years – although most of the trams carried them throughout their lives, resulting in a fair bit of extra revenue for the Transport Department.
However, once the trams were gone by 1953 this source of revenue was lost and the Transport Committee were reluctantly forced to accept advertising on the buses. After all, the next time the Department applied for a fares increase they might well have been refused on the grounds that while the buses had no adverts there was now an untapped source of income that the Transport Department should use first!

Larry B

06/07/15 – 06:40

Very fair comment Pete, and I suppose that "we outsiders" can’t condemn operators for making some revenue from commercial advertisements, those in the traditional tidy formations on double deckers particularly. My strong objection nowadays is to ludicrous extremes of expensive "in house" blurb plastered all over windows inside and out on already ghastly "liveries", and of no interest whatsoever to the travelling public who, to use those apt but well worn words, "only want a comfortable bus on time at a reasonable fare."

Chris Youhill

06/07/15 – 08:35

When the first of these ‘dot matrix’ adverts appeared on a Southampton Citybus vehicle, it was allegedly possible to see out, but not in – rather like the net curtains of old. Even outward vision is impaired, however. As for route branding, well, it works in some places, but not in many. The attitude seems to be one of ‘if it’s marked for the 3 and it appears on the 27, then its an advert for the folk along the 27 about the highlights of the 3’. Balderdash!

Pete Davies

06/07/15 – 11:07

It is possible from a passenger’s point of view to see through those Contravision adverts when they are looking out at 90 degrees to the glass, though there is a significant darkening effect.
However they can be a real problem and a safety hazard from the driver’s point of view. When emerging from a junction of the 90 degree variety the driver will look through the door windows to check for oncoming traffic, but there are very many others – especially on the routes that I drive – which are at an acute angle where the driver has to lean forward, twist round and look back through the first nearside window. This can already be difficult enough if there are standing passengers (because they always congregate at the front), the nearside luggage rack is stacked with pushchairs, or if the company has thoughtfully decided on siting a side route number/destination box right in your line of view, but looking through Contravision at 45 degrees you can see nothing at all. Those responsible for specifying it will not have even considered this aspect.
I also can not fathom the mentality of bus company managers who specify ‘stylish’ new vehicles with extremely large, heavy and expensive windows, then mask half their area with promotional vinyls.

John Stringer

07/07/15 – 06:54

Very valid comments John, and I’m very surprised that the folk from VOSA haven’t banned Contravision (Controversial vision?) on safety grounds for the reasons you cite. One wonders what the union view is on this too. I read recently that many women boarding buses in the evenings or at night do not like Contravision at all, as they cannot see if any potential nuisance passengers are on board before they get on. Also, many older people out at night are wary for the same reason. So much for certain operators’ duty of care to their passengers and staff.

Brendan Smith

07/07/15 – 06:55

This bus was one of nine hired by PMT at various times during 1969 and 1970 to cover vehicle shortages. Lovely buses, exceptional condition, well powered …… but pretty useless on services normally operated by 72 seat Atlanteans!! Although any bus was better than no bus at all.

Ian Wild

15/07/15 – 05:55

Having been brought up with BCT buses, although these Leylands, nor the AEC ever came my way, I do remember the furore that arose when it was announced that adverts were going to be carried. Even the bus crews themselves were against the idea and of course worst was to come, when the rear platform numbers already diminished from large shaded gold into a smaller gold style were lifted up to just under the registration number ‘to make room for further advertising. But whichever local bus company you favoured, all of them Birmingham, West Bromwich, Walsall (what an interesting fleet) and Wolverhampton all produced buses and crews that compared well with any in England..and then of course there was the ‘daddy’ and in their minds the leader in the field Midland Red. How uninteresting now when apart from the body shape, the only way of knowing what chassis/power unit is involved is by looking at the steering wheel badge. Why is at that the modern bus fleets don’t want anyone to know the make of bus or body?

R. G. Davis

15/07/15 – 15:27

You’re so right with your last point, RG, in that such coyness is in stark contrast to past chassis/body builders!

Chris Hebbron

16/07/15 – 05:35

To me, the (non) distinguishing feature about modern buses is the fact that they all look, sound and perform the same, with a total absence of individuality. Thus anonymity is entirely apt.

Roger Cox

17/07/15 – 12:35

RG Davis asks why we don’t know the make of bus or body these days….?
I wonder if it was always a bit like this…?
Until Fleetlines (when they went to the other extreme) you usually only knew a Daimler CVD by its fluted radiator or later, possibly a discreet radiator badge, or a Leyland by perhaps its hubs, especially if the fleet had plonked its own name on the radiator instead of theirs. This hardly improved with Atlanteans with just the badge on the back. Older Bristols had tiny little badges, although Guys had an easy name to promote. Did any bodybuilders have anything more than a little plate or transfer- except perhaps CH Roe with those lovely transmission covers?
Am I wrong? I suspect that proud municipalities didn’t want makers promoting themselves.
You do now see Alexander-Dennis or Wright on buses- but who makes what, especially which screaming engine- they all sound like old diesel buzz-boxes anyway, desperately hunting for a gear!


18/07/15 – 08:18

While I agree with all the previous comments re Advertising and Identification badges, oh and Joe’s observation about the "screamers", we lost touch with this beautiful machine that started the post! So, having followed the restoration of 2245 (and many others) at Wythall here are some additional views from frequent visits.

Nigel Edwards

JOJ 245_2

JOJ 245_3

JOJ 245_4

JOJ 245_5


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