Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Beadle – Leyland – MUF 488 – 649

Southdown - Beadle- Leyland - MUF 488 - 649

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1953
Beadle – Leyland
Beadle FB31F

MUF 488 is one of those curious vehicles built by Beadles using Bedford or Leyland parts. The Leyland ones came from Tigers or Titans. In this case, the combination was delivered to Southdown in 1953, and has a FB31F body on TD5 running units. We see it outside the Southdown garage at Amberley on 13 September 2009.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


05/03/17 – 16:03

I suppose these days this would be called ‘recycling’. It is quite a nice looking coach although the front end lets it down a bit. Rather plain around the grille area and the joint between the upper windscreen sections and the destination display sits a bit uncomfortably.

Philip Halstead


06/03/17 – 07:08

If my information is correct, the NGT group had 18 of the type. They were all built on refurbished pre war AEC Regal chassis, and although mechanically an AEC down to the last nut and bolt., none of them carried AEC badges or logos. Northern had 10 FC35F versions DCN 83/92 – 1483/92; all similar to the example above, 1483 is currently undergoing restoration in the very capable hands of the NEBPT Ltd, who set themselves very high standards, I look forward to seeing the end result.
The other eight were for Wakefields Motors at Percy Main depot. Six were delivered in 1952, FT 7275/80 – 175/180, and were FC35F, the fronts differed to these, in that they had more bright trim, and an altogether softer look about them. A photo of 178 is posted elsewhere on this site. The other two FT 7791/2, 191/2 arrived in 1953, they were FC39F, as well as a larger seating capacity, they had a similar front to these which had a different destination layout incorporating a number section, to allow them to be used as D/P’s. All the P/M intake were different to those of NGT, in that they had twin cab doors and a full bulkhead separating the cab from the passenger saloon.
191/2 were sold to Garner Bridge of Weir, and 175/80 were exported to Yugoslavia of all places.

Ronnie Hoye


06/03/17 – 07:08

The running units for this coach came from pre-war Leyland Tiger TS8 FCD 368, which was delivered to Southdown in January 1939. The original Harrington B34R body, which had been temporarily converted to B30R perimeter seating (plus up to 30 standing) during the war, was rebuilt (not rebodied) by Portsmouth Aviation in August 1947. This body was removed and sold for scrap in February 1953, and the chassis was then cut to form front and rear running units for attachment to the integral Beadle body structure. The same construction principle was adopted some years later for the London Transport Routemaster. The Beadle body was offered in 30ft or 26ft lengths, and Southdown had examples of both. (Southdown also employed Beadle to fit full fronts of similar appearance to its Duple bodied PS1 coaches of 1947 to 1949 vintage.) Beadle Rebuilds (as the integral conversions became generally known) were introduced also at around the same time (early 1950s) by Maidstone and District and East Kent, again using Leyland running units.

Roger Cox


06/03/17 – 07:09

This vehicle has SOUTHDOWN in capital letters, which would make it a bus rather than a coach.

Chris Hebbron


06/03/17 – 17:12

Thanks for your thoughts, folks. The PSVC listing for this vehicle does not show whether it is TD or TS, but it does say B31F (not FB31F). Jenkinson says TD5 with FC35F. I note that his 1978 descriptions have been out of synch with other sources before! Chris H, yes, the general view is that it is a bus, but study the script on the front. I can understand why some consider it to be a coach. Now, where did we leave the discussion about bus, coach or dual-purpose?

Pete Davies


08/03/17 – 16:35

MUF 488 used the running gear from TS8 1468 (FCD368). It was delivered as a coach (888) but downgraded to bus work and renumbered 649 in 1958. Block lettering was usually, but not exclusively used on Buses. For example, the 15xx East Lancs Royal Tigers were delivered as DP’s with block lettering, but received ‘Mackenzie script’ when converted to OMO buses. The utility Guy open topers and Northern Counties DP Leopards also had ‘Mackenzie script’ and I have seen pictures of Beadle PD2/12’s similarly adorned. The front plaque with ‘Mackenzie script’ was a device used on many vehicles in place of the usual ornate Leyland marque badges. They were also used on ‘Queen Mary’s’. Hope this helps to clear up a few points noted previously.

Roy Nicholson


09/03/17 – 06:52

Thanks, Roy

Pete Davies


 

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Southdown – Leyland Tiger – HCD 449 – 1249

HCD 449

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1947
Leyland Tiger PS1/1
ECW C31R

HCD 449 is a Leyland Tiger PS1/1 with an ECW C31R bodywork (with door!) and dates from 1947, when it joined Southdown. We see it at an open day at the Brijan Tours depot in Curdridge – just outside Botley – on 22 April 2012. These open days were always well-attended, collecting money for local charities, normally the Hampshire & Isle Of Wight Air Ambulance. Sadly, Brijan closed down in 2015.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


29/04/16 – 06:15

Superb in every way.

Ian Thompson


29/04/16 – 07:56

Is this another post which will spark off the old debate about DP v Coach specification? Southdown classed them as coaches but the body shell is unmistakeably bus with just a little additional brightwork embellishment. That apart it is a superb looking vehicle especially with the chromed radiator surround nicely polished.

Philip Halstead


29/04/16 – 14:29

Thanks for your comment, Ian!

Pete Davies


29/04/16 – 14:29

This particular combination of already handsome ECW body with Leyland PS1 chassis has always been particularly pleasing to me as an ardent admirer of both components.
If ever there was a vehicle where everything looks "just right" this is one. Many operators had examples of these but as far as I know only the Southdown ones had half drop windows (and very tidy louvres??)

Chris Youhill


30/04/16 – 06:28

A very interesting thought, Chris Y. I’ve just had a trawl through the contributions in respect of ECW bodies. Among them, there are plenty of single deckers, but none have the half-drop windows. Is one of the Southdown aficionados able to tell us if that operator was indeed the only one to have this combination?

Pete Davies


30/04/16 – 12:16

I am sure that I have travelled on an ECW-bodied Hants & Dorset Bristol LS B35R with half-drops in the late 1950s.

David Wragg


01/05/16 – 05:55

My favourite Southdown vehicles. As a small child in the late 50’s, I used to travel into Storrington on the service 71 which was usually operated by the 15xx East Lancs bodied Royal Tigers. Occasionally, one of these magnificent machines would turn up much to my delight. (They were downgraded from express duties to bus work after 1955).
Some were fitted with bus seats and full size destination boxes front and rear. Others remained as built. Regarding the half drop windows, there is a story that they were delivered with sliders, but altered at Portslade works before entering service. Not sure if this is truth or folklore, but Southdown had a thing about half drop windows, and all pre 1956 vehicles had them.

Roy Nicholson


01/05/16 – 17:20

Roy, according to MG Doggett & AA Townsin’s lovely book ‘ECW 1946-1965’, it would appear that Southdown had accepted most features of ECW’s ‘express’ design on its batch of Tigers, including the trim along the waistline. Interestingly though the authors go on to state: "However, there seems to have been some unease about the opening windows from early on. Some, at least, entered service with the then new ECW standard sliding vents (there being photographic evidence of body 1644 at Victoria thus), but body 1638 had much deeper sliding vents while 1640 (Southdown 1246) had full-depth sliding windows as built". An accompanying three-quarter rear view of 1246(GUF746) clearly shows the full-depth sliders, which gave the vehicle something of an ‘export model’ look. The text continues: "All of these options were considered unsatisfactory, and special half-drop windows conforming to ECW outline were fitted within a few months". The view of 1246 with full-depth sliders shows it without the louvres above the windows, so were these fitted as vehicles received their half-drop windows? Whatever the case, there is no doubt that they were handsome machines, enhanced by the application of Southdown’s distinctive livery. Beautiful.

Brendan Smith


02/05/16 – 06:44

Brendan, thanks for the information confirming the story about the half drop windows. I will keep my eyes open for a copy of said book.

Roy Nicholson


02/05/16 – 06:44

Many thanks for your further comments, folks.

Pete Davies


03/05/16 – 07:09

A real favourite of mine, especially since I once travelled on one, with my mum, back from Southsea to Kingston, in 1953. I never thought of it other than a coach, especially so as it bore the ‘coach’ script on the side. The odd ones were always the utility open-topped Guy Arab II’s who also bore ‘coach’ script, not really deserving it, although I was fond of them!

Chris Hebbron


04/05/16 – 06:21

Chris, your comment confirms my recollection that these ECW bodied PS1s were the ones used on the London – Gosport coach service that I travelled on several times as a kid between 1949 and 1952. I recall the first time I saw one before getting on it in Gosport, and marvelling at its smart appearance. Having been a great fan of the Maidstone and District pre-war Tigers when previously living in Kent, I looked forward to being treated to the glorious musical sounds that the word ‘Leyland’ had come to mean to me. Oh, how the PS1 disappointed – like hearing Stockhausen after Sibelius. The E181 engine had a very harsh rattle, even if it propelled the coach along adequately. Back in the early days of Buses Illustrated, there used to be a regular column called ‘From The Driver’s Seat’ by a certain T.A. Dalton, who, I think, worked for United Automobile. He was consistently disparaging about the E181 engine, but our own OBP expert, Chris Youhill, takes a completely opposite view, and none of us, I’m sure, would challenge Chris’s unparalleled practical knowledge on the subject. Like the Crossley and Daimler engines of the early post war period, the E181 was probably best suited to single deck applications, and the PS1 continued to be the standard Leyland saloon bus offering after the PS2 had appeared.

Roger Cox


05/05/16 – 06:53

Many thanks Roger, and I must say though that my impression of the E181 engines was as unfavourable as anyone else’s when they first appeared in 1945/6. I think initially the stark contrast with the lusty but silky smooth prewar 8.6 litre unit hit us all very forcibly, and secondly, although I have no technical knowledge on the matter, I do think that fitter unfamiliarity and poor quality fuel contributed to that harsh "knock" which they displayed. In my experience they became much more mellow and delightful in later years for whatever reason and had remarkable power when properly "tuned and fed" and driven for their 7.4 litres. No use expecting them to pull with trolleybus like power at ridiculously low road speeds in the higher ratios – that’s where proper use of the very precise gearboxes was essential – oh there now, I’m drooling again. I often think of the occasion when I was just at the start of a very busy late Saturday duty when the AEC Regent V suffered a flat rear tyre and was changed over with JUM 376, one of the original half dozen bought new in 1946. The apologetic but understanding fitter promised to return the Regent within the hour with a new tyre – I said that I’d rather keep 376 for the rest of the duty and he agreed – I had a lovely evening but we were both lucky to get away with it as, if the eagle eyed manager had spotted on Monday morning that we’d un-necessarily sacrificed 65 seats for 58 we’d have been for the high jump. In the event of course we never left anybody all evening – did somebody mutter something about "eight standing" ?? – never heard them !!

Chris Youhill


 

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Southdown – Leyland Titan – BUF 279C – 279

Southdown - Leyland Titan - BUF 279C - 279

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1965
Leyland Titan PD3/4
Northern Counties FH39/30F

BUF 279C fleet number 279 is nearest the camera in this view taken at Dunsfold on 10 April 2011. Her close cousin, 972 CUF fleet number 972, is alongside. Both are Leyland titan PD3/4 vehicles with Northern Counties FH69F bodies. 972 was new in 1964 and 279 is from 1965. The third member of the group is UUF 116J fleet number 516, a Bristol VR/ECW combination. The vehicle is obviously too new for these pages, but it does show what a timeless livery the Southdown one was – dignified on any outline and far better than certain random applications of paint seen on too many buses these days.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


13/04/16 – 06:04

The "dignified colour scheme" seems to have had quite an evolution. When venturing darn sarth many years ago, the scheme that impressed and still does is that olivey green which can be seen on the ill-starred 1952 PD2 "coach" on this site. We seem to have moved on here, even allowing for colour process and it’s now a bit vivid – but at least not the miserable NBC green which has also featured here.

Joe


13/04/16 – 06:05

BUF 279C_2

BUF 279C_3

Attached are 2 pictures of 279 with OK Motor Services of Bishop Auckland.
This bus was my regular vehicle when I worked there, on the Bishop Auckland to Wolsingham School AM journey.

Stephen Howarth


13/04/16 – 13:42

Joe, I ventured ‘darn sarth’ many years ago, but I stayed! I only remember this style and the NBC green. Perhaps the livery on that PD2 was a failed experiment! My trouble is that, when I return to the north west, folk up there think I’m a Southerner. Nice views, Stephen! Another dignified livery.

Pete Davies


13/04/16 – 13:43

The Southdown livery is one of my favourites, along with Royal Blue and Brighton Corporation/BH&D, before the Corporation changed to an insipid blue and white, while BH&D was absorbed by Southdown and the livery became the much detested National Green.

David Wragg


14/04/16 – 06:02

I am Sussex born and bred, and feel I can make some comments on Southdown livery. The green used on most preserved vehicles tends to be a little too bright. From memory, and looking at some of the other Southdown colour pics on this site and in various books, Southdown green was slightly more ‘yellowy’ and closer to a true apple green. However, we should not let this detract from the splendid job that the preservationists have done.

Roy Nicholson


14/04/16 – 08:14

Interesting, Roy. The Southdown which made such an impression on me was yes, apple green (introduced, it says somewhere, in 1932) which was less vivid and yes a bit yellowy or even olivey. If you look around the net, there seem many shades of Southdown green, but occasionally I see the one I remember. It went with holidays!

Joe


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 30th April 2017