Leyland Titan PD2/12
This Titan had a Leyland Metal frame Highbridge body which I think was the ultimate in half cab double deckers especially on a PD 2/12. The first shot shows the vehicle when I had repainted it back to its original Rawtenstall Corporation livery whilst the second shows the bus ready to attend the 1976 Trans Pennine Rally in Rossendale livery basically the result of a good wash and polish a few months after I acquired it.
Here is a brief history of Rawtenstall No 18.
First registered new to Rawtenstall Corporation on 23rd October 1953 and transferred to the Rossendale undertaking in 1974 on government reorganisation when Rawtenstall merged with Haslingden Corporation.
Withdrawn in October 1974 after covering 585,860 miles in service and sold to Bingorama of Bellshill, Lanarkshire in 1974 and run on services around Motherwell and Hamilton etc taking people to a bingo hall in Bellshill.
Purchased by Gerald Walker, Wigton, Cumbria in April 1976 and restored to former Rawtenstall livery.
The bus was sold back to Rossendale Borough on the last day of Half Cab operation in November 1982.
After a few years it was sold to Brian Crowther of Black Prince, Morley, Leeds. No restoration was carried out and consequently the bus was sold to Carl Ireland, Hull who sold the bus on to a preservationist in Norfolk. Here again the bus did not have any work carried out on it in the six or so years it was at this location. In October 2009 Steve Morris the well known preservationist accompanied by a coach operator friend went to collect the bus with a recovery vehicle with the intention of towing it back to Taunton having recently purchased the bus. However when they got to Norfolk the bus had been started and was running, after checking all systems over apart from a minor easily rectified electrical fault it was decided to drive back. After an hour at the wheel Steve changed over to my AEC fanatic friend and once he got hold of this superb Leyland was reluctant to changeover later on driving almost all the way back. (He has now changed his opinions of Leylands a fact I have been trying to persuade him for some years). This journey is no mean feat for an elderly bus fully restored but No 18 had not turned a wheel for about 6 years and was 57 years old. Work is now progressing on a full restoration and I understand from Steve that a considerable amount of welding work has to be carried out on the rear chassis frame. but generally the body is in fairly good condition. I am looking forward to the day when the bus takes to the road again which will not be too far into the future I hope.
A full list of Leyland Titan codes can be seen here.
Photographs and Copy contributed by Gerald Walker
What a brilliant set of pictures of such a classic vehicle.
Some of today’s body builders could learn a few lessons on how to style a bus and build it in such a way that body panels stay on the bus without pop rivets every other week.
Indeed Terry, and it is exactly the same inside and out as Samuel Ledgard’s 1952 trio – PNW 91/2/3, the last vehicles the grand old man bought before his death in April of that year.
Rode on this back in its Rawtenstall days and hope to see it somewhere in the north-west soon alongside the two superb Rawtenstall single-deckers which are already doing the rally circuit. Where would we be without hard-working preservationists? Nice one Gerald!
Thanks for the compliment Neville, No 18 was a lovely bus both to drive, ride on and as Terry says above todays designers could learn a lot from this lovely workmanlike but pleasing to the eye double decker.
Chris seem to recall that Sammy refused to pay Leyland the price requested to paint these buses (PNW 91/92/93) and had them delivered unpainted so he could save a few quid and paint them at Armley.
That’s quite right Terry and I really can’t understand why he did that – excellent though his own craftsmen were at repaints I have to say that they didn’t do justice to these three fine brand new vehicles. Sadly they also had pretty unsatisfactory "home made" destination blinds at first.
As an AEC man I have always also been a big Leyland fan. Among my all time favourites were Sheffield Transport’s 656 – 667, 1952 equivalents to this superb example. I fully concur with the opinion that Leyland made one of the best and, simply, stylish bodies on the market and that this, final, version was the finest.
656 et al were delivered in an experimental green livery but soon repainted when there was uproar from the good burgers of Sheffield. [Other existing buses and trams received repaints in green and were, similarly, swiftly returned to cream and blue.]
Early metal framed Leylands were a structural disaster. Leyland then enticed Colin Bailey away from MCCW – who arguably had the best metal frame designs. Leyland never had problems from that time onwards.
Quite moved to see the Titan destination to the village of my birth ‘Water‘- and more so because I began my apprenticeship at Rawtenstall Corp Motors in 1955. I was in the paint shop. I don’t recognise the interior photos, nor remember working on it – so I guess it didn’t come in for a repaint until after I left in 1960.
In the 1950′s it was all brush painted, and the foreman got to do all the fancy bits like lining, much else was by transfers such as the coat of arms. I’m totally tickled to come across these pics by accident, and it has made the day for a 71 year old verging on 17.
I can imagine the shock and pleasure of seeing a photo of a vehicle with twin connexions with your past, Barrie!
As an aside, looking at the supplementary photos reminded me of the square dashboard dials which Leylands of this period possessed. I’d quite forgotten.
I was also interested in the heaters the bus had been given, something which should have been de rigour in buses working in the challenging weather up North, but probably wasn’t! I digress here, but my coldest (unheated) journey ever was in the RAF (1958) when, on Winter Mondays, I’d get something like the 5.30am trolleybus from Eastney Depot (Southsea) to Hilsea (N. Portsmouth), change onto a Southdown (PD2?) to Fareham, get onto a Hants & Dorset Bristol left out in the yard all night and with frosted-up windows, then, at Warsash, walk to the pier which jutted out into the River Hamble, then board an RAF air-sea rescue launch, staying on deck, across Southampton Water, to Calshot. At the office, it was stone cold and needed a coke fire laying and set going. We would not be warm until noon!
The upper saloon seating capacity is most unusual for this type of body in being for 31 passengers – the norm being 30. Presumably Rawtenstall specified a seat for three on the nearside by the emergency window ??
16/02/11 – 07:00
Great to see this bus I rode on these as a youngster, when I was brought up living at Helmshore, I always remember the Haslingden buses were recognisable by the blue seating which remained after the merger. Proper buses! All the best with your restoration look forward to seeing it again.
17/02/11 – 07:00
What a beautifully presented traditional Leyland PD2!
Presumably the top picture is the original livery style and the lower one is a later application, I cant decide which I like most, I think I’m tempted towards the latter!
04/08/11 – 07:21
Yes Rawtenstall had an extra seat added on the top deck according to the log book also an acquaintance from Rawtenstall remembered the extra seat being added.
04/08/11 – 21:48
What a fabulous set of photographs. I have always loved Leyland bodywork particularly the emergency rear exit. Looking forwards to seeing this bus on the rally field.
10/01/12 – 17:38
This is one of the most handsome and elegant bodies ever built, the beautiful colour scheme immaculately applied only does it more credit. I was born and lived in Southdown territory and they had 54 of this particular type. The Leyland bodywork was always my favourite, the superb Apple green and cream paintwork looked absolutely gorgeous. In my personal opinion Southdown’s insistence on having half drop windows fitted improved the side view by looking less heavy.
——— Top of this posting ———