Old Bus Photos

Blue Bus Services – Daimler Freeline – 120 JRB – Dr 18

Blue Bus Services - Daimler Freeline - 120 JRB - Dr 18

Blue Bus Services
1959
Daimler Freeline CD650H
Burlingham Seagull C37F

The above photograph was given to me by the ex Blue Bus Inspector the late Ken Baker, when I worked for Derby Borough Transport, and was in charge of the Blue Bus operation at Willington, before the fire.
He had no idea where it was taken, but he thought it was in the Derbyshire Peak District somewhere, where as I thought it was in Yorkshire. Perhaps somebody will be able to identify the location?
120 JRB was unusual for a 30ft – long coach in that it was only fitted with 37 seats, the usual maximum being 41. Contemporary reports state that it was fitted with translucent panelling which could be lifted for ventilation. It was also fitted with an air operated pre-selector gearbox, and it was reported that it could travel at 55mph.

Blue Bus Service Fleetname Wings

This coach was the first vehicle to carry the “Wings” emblem in place of the “Blue Bus Services” fleet name. If anybody is interested I have a Blue Bus Services page on my website, which can be found at this link.

I hope someone comes up with the location of 120 JRB.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth

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19/12/11 – 11:06

Good picture, possibly taken in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

Roger Broughton

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19/12/11 – 14:21

You have set us a teaser as to where this is! The pale grey stone suggests that it is in the southern part of the Peak District- but where is/was there a Natwest Bank? Wirksworth doesn’t look right on Google Earth- goldish stone & brick- & has a big Natwest: this is/was a part time branch. I wondered about Youlgreave…..

Joe

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19/12/11 – 17:19

Joe, Youlgeave (Pommy) hasn’t had a Natwest Bank, the stone is similar to both in fact all of the Peak District.

Roger Broughton

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20/12/11 – 06:50

Well the few bits that I can add having worked for National Provincial and later National Westminster Bank are that the picture was taken after February 1971 and the size of the Branch would suggest that it was an "Agency" open one/two days per week. These were attached to and run by much larger Branches so that would seem to indicate that it is not too far from a large town or city. Oh that I had my old Sorting Code book because with a bit of work you could eliminate possibilities using Google Earth! Sadly, we always had to destroy them.
I’ve just researched Pateley Bridge because the road layout at the top of the hill is similar but the Bank is Barclays and too far around the bend. So not much help but any old Yorkshire/Derbyshire Bankers out there might get closer.

Richard Leaman

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20/12/11 – 06:51

A flash of inspiration suggested Bonsall. Have a look at Google maps. I think the picture was taken from an upstairs window of the Kings Head, looking down Yeoman Street. The end of the cottage in the distance is fairly distinctive.

Stephen Ford

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20/12/11 – 09:29

Well done Stephen- it is indeed: Yeoman St Bonsall. The shops have been prettified into houses and the bank is no more but looks much the same. The pub car park, probably once some cottages, has been improved: in fact the whole place looks smarter. It is possible that the pic was taken from the memorial plinth, but it was probably higher.
I’ll stick to my guns, though, Roger, on the stone: it was always noticeable that the stone changed going south from squarish often goldish stones to this pale grey rubbley stuff, often found around those tiny sheep fields/pens. Compare say Baslow with here.

Joe

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20/12/11 – 10:21

I wonder were the coach is heading as the road out of Bonsal towards Brightgate is very narrow.

Roger Broughton

———

20/12/11 – 10:58

There is another little teaser regarding Blue Bus Service coming up today at 18:00 approx on the Old Bus Tickets website.

Peter

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20/12/11 – 11:24

My guess would be that it was either a trip to view the well-dressings (July) or a pub visit at the end of an organised sightseeing tour. Roger is right, Bonsall was the end of the line for buses (and still is). At the time it was North Western territory with a fairly regular service from Matlock, nowadays G & J Holmes and an hourly service during the day on weekdays.

Stephen Ford

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20/12/11 – 12:27

An amazing flash of inspiration, Stephen; I can’t fault it. Think of the chances that, from such a small group as us, someone would triumph! You shall have a gold star!

Chris Hebbron

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20/12/11 – 14:24

O come on, Chris. There’s some shared brain power among us – and we’re probably all getting on a little bit now!
Coming from the Peak District end of Sheffield, the whole PD is my (favoured) stomping ground. Now exiled in the south, Bonsall was a regular part of run out in the car I did when visiting aged (now dead) parents. I only ever went UP hill from Cromford and never had the perspective of this photo – looking down.

David Oldfield

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21/12/11 – 07:21

While it’s true that there are some widely-travelled folk amongst us, it still surprises me how many questions thrown at the website are answered. I’ll compromise by awarding Stephen only a silver star, then – okay?

Chris Hebbron

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21/12/11 – 07:22

I’ve played around on Streetview, and if you paste this link into your browser, you can see the scene as it is today when map loades drag and drop the little orange man to the Kings head at this Google maps link.

KC

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21/12/11 – 08:56

Hy Hulley, now there’s a name from the Peak District, nearly had the variety of vehicles of Barton, some out of COF vehicles would be parked on open land opposite the garage in Baslow, now luxury flats are parked there ! The business is still operating as Hulley under the Woolicrofts ownership ex Silver Service of Darley Dale. In the 1978 Busus annual there is a good article on Peak District operators from the 30’s.

Roger Broughton

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21/12/11 – 08:57

Scrooge! I didn’t mean that Stephen didn’t deserve the Gold Star – I’ll reinstate it and take this opportunity to say Happy Christmas to ALL friends on this wonderful site.

David Oldfield

———

21/12/11 – 11:41

………and I’ll second that, a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.

Chris Hebbron

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21/12/11 – 12:03

That must have been one of the last Freelines built – also one of the last Daimler 10.6 litre engines. Wonder if Blue Bus managed to acquire a stock chassis at a knock down price for being a loyal Daimler customer? The steering wheel position in the Freeline always looks too high although presumably the drivers seat was similarly raised to achieve the required min 6"/max 10" clearance between the top of the seat cushion and the underside of the steering wheel rim required by the Conditions of Fitness Regulations.

Ian Wild

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21/12/11 – 13:50

When I said inspiration, I didn’t mean the miraculous sort (or sticking a pin in a map at random either)! I was just thinking of places I have visited that might fit, then checking them in Google. Roger mentioned Brightgate just to the north of Bonsall, and we have in fact camped in a very old static caravan at Brightgate farm a few times. Even in the prettified state that Joe referred to, Bonsall is a grey village and can look a bit dreary in anything less than brilliant sunshine. I think my inspiration was along the lines of "it looks grey enough to be Bonsall!"

Stephen Ford

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21/12/11 – 14:55

Stephen, The Barley Mow on the Slaley Rd out of Bonsall is a very good watering hole which has recently changed hands, good beer and food.

Roger Broughton

Now your not the landlord Roger, and just sneeked in a free advert.

Peter

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22/12/11 – 06:32

It certainly wasn’t one of the last Freelines, I’m not sure when production officially ceased but Great Yarmouth took some in 1964 with ‘B’ registrations. It would have been, however, one of the very last Burlingham Seagull’s to the original design. By no means a unique combination and yes, all of them appeared to have very high steering wheel positions, what is not immediately apparent is that this one had three long panoramic windows on each side and one piece windscreens, not the horizontally divided opening type. I think Yelloway had some to this diagram also. Delivered in June 1959 only just in time for that years summer, I think that was the last season of this particular shape. If Blue Bus had waited till the following year, they could have had the Seagull 70 body, now that would have been a unique combination!

Chris Barker

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22/12/11 – 06:33

With Streetview you can actually get a link for the exact view you want rather than the map. Here it is: http://g.co/maps/gysy4
Hulleys are indeed still operating, but I’ll have to look up their history. I think the link with Wooliscroft/Silver Service was short-lived and they had to be rescued by someone else.

Peter Williamson

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22/12/11 – 07:46

If what Chris says is true, then that would indeed make it the Seagull VII and 1959 was about as late as you could get.
I know Hulley’s became independent of Wooliscroft but have no idea of the eventual (current) ownership. Some hazy reflection puts them back into the Hulley family but I could never swear to this.

David Oldfield

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23/12/11 – 06:52

There is a history of Hulleys on their website http://www.hulleys-of-baslow.co.uk/  which explains everything. The fleet now looks very smart in a dignified blue and cream livery which was originally inspired by second hand purchases from South Notts.

Peter Williamson

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23/12/11 – 06:53

I am pretty sure the Great Yarmouth Freelines were the last, certainly for the home market. They were bought while Geoffrey Hilditch was the General Manager, a man who had very firm ideas on bus purchasing and as an engineer tended to go for high specification designs on the grounds they gave better pay-back in the long term. He took these principles to Halifax and then Leicester where he subsequently held the GM posts.
It always seemed strange to me that while Daimler were very successful with their double deck designs, eg the CVG and the Fleetline, they were never as successful with single deckers. The Freeline was a well engineered chassis but on the heavy and expensive side at a time when the industry was moving to lighter weight and lower cost. The subsequent Roadliner seemed to be a disaster from the start.

Philip Halstead

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23/12/11 – 06:55

Premier Travel and Valliant of Ealing were also customers for the Seagull Mk VII, amongst others. The first Mk VII, on Leyland Tiger Cub chassis, appeared at the 1958 Commercial Motor Show in Seagull Coaches of Blackpool livery, just like the original Seagull at the 1950 show. Several of the Valliant examples plus all four Yelloway examples ended up with Premier Travel, joining the one they bought new, which made Premier Travel the largest operator of the type. Burlingham’s offering for underfloor engined coaches in 1960 remained the Seagull Mk VII, the Seagull 70 only appearing for the 1961 season, ie a year later than the similarly styled Seagull 60 for forward engined chassis appeared.

Dave Williamson

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23/12/11 – 12:15

I made several journeys in the Gt. Yarmouth Freelines in the early seventies when they were on hire to Eastern Counties and they were very pleasant vehicles to ride in – a sort of up market Bristol MW. I believe Yarmouth had a good line in hiring them to coach operators whose vehicles had broken down in the area.

Nigel Turner

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24/12/11 – 06:46

The only time I ever saw the Great Yarmouth Freelines was at Huntingdon St Bus Station, Nottingham in the mid sixties. One would sometimes appear as a summer Saturday extra on Trent’s Great Yarmouth service. At this time, Trent often hired in Norfolk Motor Services coaches as required – presumably the Freeline was part of this arrangement?

Bob Gell

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11/08/12 – 07:32

Belated update on 120 JRB (have only just discovered your site) – am most impressed by how quickly the location of this shot was nailed down, incidentally! Lovely image of what was – arguably – the final Daimler-engined Freeline (Burwell & District had the other such chassis that could make the same claim to fame). The lack of window-pillars made quite a visual difference, certainly in the flesh.
Stephen asks if anyone knows the whereabouts of Dr 18: am guessing we know of her early years in preservation and subsequent re-emergence in a Barnsley scrapyard (what DID happen, though?) – since then, Dr 18 has covered quite a few miles, changing hands along the way several times, until (last I heard) she was in a barn near Uttoxeter with several other vehicles (so, not far from her Willington home) awaiting her turn for restoration. Somewhere, I have two or three colour shots of her in this location. If and when I find them, I’ll scan and submit.
Would LOVE to meet up with Dr 18 again though, so if anyone has more recent info (I’m going back at least half-a-dozen years, via a contact)…

Clarence


 

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Southern National – Bristol Lodekka – AUO 523B – 2053

Southern National - Bristol Lodekka - AUD 523D - 2053
Copyright Roger Cox

Southern National
1964
Bristol Lodekka FLF6B
ECW H38/32F

Stephen Ford asked, "Was Westward Ho! (Southern National) the only one that included an exclamation mark?"

I don’t know the answer to that, but here is a picture of a Bristol Lodekka displaying that very destination.

Westward Ho

The bus is an FLF6B with ECW H38/32F body delivered to Southern National as their number 2053 in December 1964. It is seen here in the summer of 1970 carrying the Western National identity following the NBC decision to phase out the Southern National company name.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

A full list of Bristol codes can be seen here.


11/12/11 – 11:14

Would a D registration make it 1966? … and when did the NBC come into being….?

Joe

Thanks for that Joe pressed the wrong key there I think


11/12/11 – 20:05

Joe, the National Bus Company was formed in November 1968, but did not actually come into being until 1st January 1969, when the assets of the state-owned Transport Holding Company (THC) were transferred to it. On 1st March 1968, the British Electric Traction (BET) group’s British bus subsidiaries became wholly owned by the THC, thus becoming fully state-controlled at this point. It’s interesting to note that the THC’s forerunner, the British Transport Commission (BTC) also took over the railway shareholdings of BET’s bus operating subsidiaries in 1948, following nationalisation of the railways. Although BET remained in overall control and in the private sector, some of the BET shares held later by the BTC/THC were quite large. For example it held 50% ordinary share capital in Midland Red, City of Oxford , East Midlands, Hebble, Western Welsh and Yorkshire Woollen District, and nearly as much in East Yorkshire, North Western and Yorkshire Traction. All fascinating stuff as to who owns what, and doubtless no less complex today!
Regarding the age of the FLF Joe, if it had been a ‘D-Reg’ model, it would most likely have had only one cream band to its livery, as ECW omitted the upper deck one from 1966. What a handsome beast it is though, and that Westward Ho! destination surely demands to be shouted out loud!

Brendan Smith


12/12/11 – 06:40

And for the first two or three years, it was, to a large extent, pretty much ‘business as usual’ but then the corporate image brigade were brought in and, well you know the rest! However, enough of that, this post reminds me of a journey I once made on a similar vehicle of my local operator Midland General, but with a Gardner engine. I was bound for Nottingham but the FLF failed at Kimberley (a VERY unusual occurrence for MGO!) Because the frequency was good at this point, we only had to wait five minutes or so for the next bus to come along which was another FLF but with a Bristol engine. I could recognise the sound but I knew nothing about the performance or merits of the different engines and I always remember how much faster the Bristol engined one was. A driver told me later that the Bristol was a faster revving engine and although I’d always been a Gardner fan, I had to concede that the Bristol was the livelier performer!

Chris Barker


12/12/11 – 06:41

Prior to the Lodekka/FLF era, the services in the North Devon area were operated by fairly elderly K’s. Many of these had one-piece blinds combining the three digit route number and the "via" display. Towards the end of their lives, the route numbers were changed from the 100 to the 300 series. Rather than buying new (non-standard) blinds, SN simply pasted a permanent 3 inside the glass where it would obscure the 1.

Stephen Ford


13/12/11 – 08:52

The resort of Westward Ho! was named after the book of the same name by Charles Kingsley who also wrote the Water Babies
The action of the book took place in the same area of Devon and a group of speculators decided to cash in on the name

Chris Hough


13/12/11 – 08:53

After having some of the clearest and most informative destination displays in the early 1950’s, the BTC/THC companies generally fell from grace in later years and the above photo is a good example. The taped over aperture with minute lettering for ‘Westward Ho!’ is typical of where things ended up. It made the destination very difficult to read at any distance. Crosville was particularly bad with not only a very small ‘slot’ for the destination but they used a very light font as well. The ‘T’ shaped format which some of the group companies used seemed to give a clearer display.

Philip Halstead


13/12/11 – 08:54

Many of us thought it a shame that the various BET and THC liveries vanished in the early seventies. As Chris says, it appeared to be ‘business as usual’ for a while – new owners of businesses generally seem to leave things outwardly unchanged for about two years, before making what is now termed ‘a bold statement’. Some of the simplified liveries and fleet names applied to NBC coaches in the formative years were quite attractive – those adopted by Northern, Ribble and Greenslades spring to mind. When I heard that West Yorkshire Road Car had placed an order for Plaxton-bodied Bristol RELH coaches in the early 1970’s, I visualised them arriving in rich cream, with a deep waistband of maroon and large fleet names a la Ribble. Alas, this was not to be. They were delivered in the new corporate all over white livery with large NATIONAL red and blue lettering, and a very discreet (ie: tiny) West Yorkshire fleet name over each front wheel arch. To many of us this signalled that the era of quality and refinement had been replaced by the age of circus wagon-style ‘impact’. Relating to the FLF photo, Western and Southern National lost more than most with the whitewashing of it’s fine Royal Blue fleet.

Brendan Smith


13/12/11 – 11:19

But it wasn’t just the liveries that were third class, it was the quality of the paint itself. The rich, shiny finish of Tilling Green or Red would have been far superior to NBC Leaf Green and Poppy Red (which rapidly faded). [Typed Poopy Red. I think that was a Freudian slip!] The less said about National White the better!!!

David Oldfield


13/12/11 – 12:54

One of the worst companies for poor blind information was Eastern Counties who often showed a route number and the word service which did nothing to help the intending passenger Thec SBG companies were notorious for the extensive use of paper stickers a practice that still exists in the First Edinburgh fleet

Chris Hough


13/12/11 – 12:55

The green wasn’t too bad, but Poppy Red was a pathetic colour, even before it faded! Fortunately, in Gloucester, anyway, it only appeared on the few Cymru Genedlaethol/National Welsh buses from the Forest of Dean/Monmouthshire direction. And they couldn’t even get the Welsh right, either, since the above means National Wales! Being quirky, I quite liked having buses with Welsh on one side, but, my, it caused a stir among the local populace! Never, mind, the two colours didn’t last long and the ill-fated company not that much longer, into bankruptcy.

Chris Hebbron


17/12/11 – 07:41

I agree the NBC corporate colours were a terrible choice. The colours all looked ‘washed out’ and insipid when newly applied and none of them wore well, fading to a matt hue, particularly the poppy red. I thought the light grey wheels looked tacky and the grey/silver fleet numbers were virtually illegible.
The National white was passable on the modern coaches of the time such as the Plaxton Panorama or Duple Dominant but looked awful on the more shapely older designs. Not one of the best periods for the industry.

Philip Halstead


17/12/11 – 08:29

Thinking about those NBC colours, it is odd how such a dreadful set was chosen so was the choice down to one individual or group because I remember everybody hating them from the day they appeared? Surely the marketing men must have had some comments from the public which might have had some impact? Why did they stay in use so long?
Similarly, the current First Bus white, pink and purple is something that only looks passable on brand new vehicles but soon gets to look shabby and on the remaining old Dennis Darts, now rather battered and careworn, it looks dreadful.
Where and why have all of the interesting, vibrant and carefully chosen liveries gone…it cannot be cost just a lack of corporate interest or understanding that image is a very important part of building a successful Company.

Richard Leaman


17/12/11 – 16:24

Well I’ve heard it said that when you are a public company which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange, then the market expects a ‘corporate image’ to be applied, although the Go Ahead group seems to disprove this. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of cost reduction and expediency with good measures of misguidance and indifference also!
Regarding the NBC colours, I remember that when the first white coaches appeared, the ones which had glass panels at the rear incorporating the registration and fleet name had these altered to display N A T I O N A L in alternate red and blue letters. Apparently, this had to be quickly altered because it raised objections from the Police as only they are allowed to display illuminated blue signage on the rear of vehicles in darkness.

Chris Barker


17/12/11 – 16:25

When it was first set up, NBC tended to allow companies to follow their traditional paths. Then, in 1972, Freddie Wood was appointed Chairman, and from that point began the fixation with grandiose self importance as befitted "The Biggest Bus Company In The World". Thereafter, uniformity, standardisation and direction from the centre became the established order. Not only did the liveries descend to a nadir of mediocrity, but the standard font adopted for the group was unparalleled in its clumsy ugliness.
Now, with the dominant groups of today, we are back to much the same thing, with over tight constraints on budgets (particularly in the matter of maintenance) and minimal delegation of initiative to the local management. And as for some of the liveries……….

Roger Cox


18/12/11 – 07:59

…..and it’s all the swooping lines up, down and across the bodywork which look so out of place on what is essentially an oblong box with straight lines. Full marks to those few independents who have liveries which, although of varied hue, still have the dignity of style of the above vehicle and eschew purples and pinks!

Chris Hebbron


19/12/11 – 06:15

…..Epsom Coaches, the other Richmond, the Delaine – to name but three.

David Oldfield


27/01/12 – 06:25

I wholehearted agree with the adverse comments regarding the NBC liveries which replaced so many attractive colour schemes developed over many years which were instantly recognised by passengers and enthusiasts alike, it seemed to me to be corporate vandalism. I once asked a junior NBC manager why they chose to paint the coaches white he replied that it was a colour no one else was using at the time, when I asked had it not occurred to anyone that there was a good reason for that, maybe it was because other people realised that it showed dirt very badly and faded to a dull grey all to quickly, to which I didn’t get a proper answer.

Diesel Dave


25/02/12 – 07:18

Enjoying the various posts on the subject of NBC liveries. Perhaps the most ignominious change was in the North East, where the glorious rich ruby red of Northern General was repainted in awful pale, fading poppy pink! What was the name of the NGT red paint, anyone able to tell me? It really seemed redder to me when I was a kid!
Even worse, now – I’m surrounded by FirstBarbie!

Pwhisto


25/03/12 – 09:03

I heartily agree with the adverse comments about the poppy red and the peculiar green colour but my understanding is that they were a response to a Ministry circular of 10/71 which basically said that there were too many accidents at night caused by people running into buses painted in dark colours so buses should be painted in lighter colours. I recall that this was based on research in Scandinavia which showed that lighter coloured vehicles had less accidents and the Ministry also encouraged UK car owners to buy lighter coloured vehicles at much the same time.

Peter Cook


23/02/13 – 13:30

Whilst I agree with the posts that the NBC corporate colours could have been better it is noticeable that at bus rallies there is a growing number of vehicles appearing in NBC livery – including some that pre-date the formation of the NBC and could carry earlier company liveries. I cant help thinking that this shows that NBC corporate livery is actually liked by many – it was certainly better by far than the disgusting liveries of some of todays group, particularly First and Stagecoach. In answer to the writer who asked about the old Northern colour – this was officially know as BET Dark Red and was one of several colours specified by the BET Group for use within the BET companies – although of course many BET group companies used their own livery that did not incorporate a group standard colour. BET Dark Red was common to Northern General, East Midland, South Wales, City of Oxford and several smaller companies. It should be noted that although being a standard colour within BET the shade did vary slightly between companies due to different paint manufacturers.
In the early 1970’s I was involved in collecting many samples from all around the country and its very interesting to see just what a colour looked like even where a supposed ‘standard’ existed – I have in my possession several different shades of Tilling Green for example.
For a real mystery how about the so called ‘Ribble Red’ used for a few months by the new Alder Valley company prior to NBC Poppy Red – the colour is NOTHING like true Ribble Motor Services red !!. I’ve recently resprayed an EFE Bristol FLF in this colour which was matched from the original sample in my possession – it does look good.

DorsetBus


23/02/13 – 18:04

Can we see a photo of it, then, please, Dorsetbus?

Chris Hebbron


26/02/13 – 12:32

I wonder if the preservation of buses in non-authentic NBC liveries indicates the age of the preservationists concerned? I suspect that nostalgia grips us all in connection with a particular period of our lives. For me, the bus scene was from about age 3 (1952) to 15 (1964) and from there on it was downhill all the way! (Now I am a grumpy old man who can remember how much better it was then). But in 40-50 years those who are now in the 3-15 age range may well remember purple and pink Barbie Lockheads, or blue red and orange Souter Stagecoaches [or even, perish the thought, washed-out green and white Arriva Departures] with an equally warm and wistful glow.

Stephen Ford


26/02/13 – 13:32

Just as an aside to the colour scheme debate, does anyone agree that the Stagecoach hybrid double decker green scheme is probably the strongest and most appealing of the corporate identities around at the moment?

Phil Blinkhorn


26/02/13 – 13:33

As a grumpy old man born in 1952, I agree with you Stephen. My golden age is 1947 (Regent III/PD2) to 1969 (end of RegentV/PD3/FLF). There have been bright spots (both Leyland – the AN68 version of the Atlantean and the Olympian are worthy classics) in later times, but not many. As a coach man, the heavy Reliances, REs and later Leopards, as well as modern Tigers as well. The old liveries were aesthetically far better than modern and I prefer original to later. Even Sheffield had two alternative liveries and the Roes moved from to another with repaints under different General Managers. Authentic liveries to the vehicle are therefore correct – if not acceptable. [I think RTs and RMs in National Leaf Green are HORRIBLE!

David Oldfield


26/02/13 – 15:27

I know that there are still many on this forum who buy into the bad press of Stagecoach – most of which was press fabrication or exaggeration. [If you don’t believe me, consult OFFICIAL history, and I don’t mean just Stagecoach archives.] Their new corporate livery is fairly restrained but things like Gold and the "Green" liveries are lessons in restraint. Mind you, I think I would still put Go-Ahead ahead!

David Oldfield


26/02/13 – 17:25

I want to respond to two points in this thread. Firstly not everyone born in 1952 is grumpy, I’m actually quite nice [at times]. Secondly choice and memories of colour depends where you grew up. In Taunton it was green WN/SN buses and green/two tone greens of various WR diesel hydraulic locomotives plus green DMUs and a reminder "to eat your greens" which ultimately leads to that famous bus photographer’s quote – the other side is always greener.

Ken Jones


27/02/13 – 05:48

Well Ken. Somebody has to be nice, so it might as well be you. Congratulations. You have the job!

David Oldfield


27/02/13 – 05:49

Colour Schemes, Stephen: the other day I saw an Arriva repaint in cream, with the dark blue skirt but a turquoise (instead of cream) curl behind the door. Are we returning to normality?

Joe


04/04/13 – 06:19

Thank you to the person who asked about seeing a picture of my respray in Alder Valley Dark Red on an EFE FLF. Yes I’ll be only too happy to put a picture up once its finished – I’m now also doing a Bristol RE in the same livery having got the required info together so I’ll add a photo of this as well. Please give me a while though as I’m re-organising my workshop and with two upcoming model railway shows to attend with my layouts it may be later in the summer before I can finish the buses. Then its on to several other repaints such as a City of Gloucester (blue) VRT / Leyland National and RE in NBC style and then the first of the next steps – scratch built West Riding Guy Wulfrunians – more on that project later if anyone is interested.

DorsetBus


AUD 523D_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


17/07/13 – 07:09

Just picked up on this thread with regards to NBC livery. When I first took an interest in buses in the 70s our school buses were Cumberland FLFs which were gradually being turned out in poppy red. At the time they seemed fresh and modern and the old livery seemed dark and past its sell by date. Not sure I would still agree though! Towards the end of the decade I went on a tour of the Leyland National factory. Apart from a pair of buses for McGill at Barrhead it seemed to be a sea of poppy red and leaf green. However, the shades of these so-called standard colours varied significantly from operator to operator. When I asked about this I was advised that each operator specified a different mix. The other NBC shade that I was very familiar with at that time was the yellow used by Northern on vehicles in the Tyne and Wear area. This was a shade of cadmium yellow as used by TWPTE (the British Standard was called Goldcup) and it worked much better than poppy red in an urban environment. What I don’t understand is why EFE keep churning out models in this livery but of a shade that is considerably paler and therefore very insipid. It is too light to even be excused as colour scaling!

Mike Morton


17/07/13 – 09:09

In response to Phil Blinkhorn’s ‘aside’ on this subject I agree the Stagecoach hybrid green livery is by far the best I have seen on a double decker for many years and is closely matched by the current Newport Buses livery on their single deck Scanias now operating the Park and Ride service in Cardiff (no doubt much to the ire of that City’s transport dept).
As a further aside, even the temptation of free Wi-Fi on Stagecoach hybrid operated route 50 in Manchester wasn’t sufficient to prevent me from route testing the new Metroline trams from East Didsbury to the Media City.

Orla Nutting


18/07/13 – 07:26

By coincidence, for the first time in around 10 years i was in the Newport and Cardiff areas 3 weeks ago and totally agree with Orla’s comments.

Phil Blinkhorn


 

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Spiers Tours Birmingham – Daimler COA6 – FOF 251

Spiers Tours Birmingham - Daimler COG5 - FOF 251
Copyright Victor Brumby

Spiers Tours Birmingham
1939
Daimler COG5 – re engined COA6
BRCW H30/24R – MCCW H30/24R – Burlingham FC37F

Yet another great shot from Victor of another ex Birmingham Daimler CO5G with the following note.

“FOF 251 – Ex Birmingham Corporation no 1251 rebodied and operated by Spiers Tours Birmingham. Daimler.”

Victor is defiantly correct with his rebodied comment but with the aid of my BBF 14 and Peter Goulds excellent website it would appear the body in the shot above on FOF 251 is its third.

1251 – FOF 251 received a MCCW H30/24R body from 939 – COH 939 in 1948/9. A comment in BBF says against the 919-963 batch ‘Many bodies interchangeable 1948-49’. This comment appears time and time again with different dates against batches of COG5s one has to ask the question did Birmingham have the same system as London Transport had with interchanging RT bodies when the vehicle were being overhauled?

After a little more research it gets more interesting and starts to dismiss the interchanging at overhaul theory because 939 was withdrawn in 1949 but what is even more interesting so was 1251, so why interchange the bodies then withdraw them both?

Photograph and Part Copy contributed by Victor Brumby

———

08/12/11 – 06:27

…..and that’s a Burlingham coach body.

David Oldfield

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08/12/11 – 06:28

The new body is by Burlingham. Yelloway of Rochdale had a pair of identical ones on Leyland PS2/7 chassis with FC37F layout. They were HDK 801/2 of 1951.
This was probably Burlingham’s last attempt at modernising the body design for front engined chassis before the onslaught of the underfloor engine and the introduction of the Seagull.
There is a photo of HDK 802 in the book ‘The Yellow Road’ which covers the history of Yelloway from its rise, heyday to the sad decline in the post-deregulation era. But that’s another story.

Philip Halstead

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09/12/11 – 10:36

Please see Harper Bros AEC Regal III posting – including comments today (9.12.11) – for the half-cab version of this body. To make life easy here is a quick link.

David Oldfield

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10/12/11 – 07:23

Yet another fascinating subject! If it was withdrawn as a double decker in 1949 (didn’t Birmingham vehicles usually have longer lives?) It’s fair to assume that this body was fitted in that year or 1950. It’s always a source of wonderment to me, not living in those times, that operators did such things, presumably it would have provided a slow and loud ride, but then there were no motorways or by-passes in those days! One thing occurred to me, I know that the COG5 was a fairly common choice for coaching before WW2 but I don’t remember hearing of any examples of CVG5’s as coaches post 1945. Weren’t all Daimler coaches post war of the CVD6 variety?

Chris Barker

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10/12/11 – 08:47

As far as I know, you are correct about CVD6 coaches.

David Oldfield

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10/12/11 – 12:25

Was it the case then that TVD (Daimler) would only supply CV chassis with their own engines when they produced these post war? Gardner only seemed to return later with the various "tin front" CVG6’s, which then seemed to eclipse the Daimler engine & fluid flywheel. Anyone know more?

Joe

———

10/12/11 – 15:05

Salford certainly had a fair sized batch of post-war CVG6s (as opposed to CVDs)with exposed radiator and the quadrant-style pre-selector change.

Stephen Ford

———

10/12/11 – 15:07

With Gardner under pressure to supply several other bus and lorry manufacturers, Daimler sought to relieve this constraint on its output, and increase in house value by offering its own oil engine. The Daimler 8.6 litre engine was developed immediately prior to the outbreak of WW2, prototypes having being constructed in 1936. The destruction of the Radford works in the heavy air raids of 1940 and 1941 put back the production process until 1945. The design emulated the feature used successfully by Dennis (and later by Meadows also) of employing timing gears at the rear of the engine rather than a front mounted timing chain as used by Gardner and others. This resulted in a compact unit, but meant that the engine had to be removed from the chassis to allow access to the timing gears. Had the engine been as outstandingly reliable as the Dennis designs, then this would not have been a problem. Sadly, the CD6 unit soon became noted for its fuel thirst, and a marked variability in quality between individual engines, the best being good, but the worst examples being considered as bad a the Crossley HOE7. London Transport, having had experience of a batch of thirteen(!) CWD6 buses taken in 1945, refused to take any more Daimler engines, and replaced the thirteen it had with AEC 7.7s in 1950. Like the Crossley, the smooth running CD6 engine seemed best suited to coach work rather than the heavier demands of double deck or stop start stage carriage duties, and most CVD6 chassis were bodied as coaches. There were exceptions, such as the large batch of CVD6 double decks operated by Birmingham. By the mid 1950s, with bus and coach travel beginning to suffer from private car competition, the Daimler engine largely vanished as an option, one of the last examples probably being the turbocharged unit fitted experimentally in a Halifax CV ‘decker in 1964, by which time it was a rarity. Interestingly, the prototype Fleetline had a Daimler engine, and one wonders if the firm ever seriously considered this for production. The Freeline single decker also had a Daimler engine option. Gardner engines continued to be offered in CV chassis throughout the brief reign of the CD6, and, of course, beyond, where they became standard in the Fleetline.

Roger Cox

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11/12/11 – 06:52

Not a lot to say after Roger’s comprehensive and knowledgeable post. The AEC was the standard war-time engine on the CW version and was popular and reliable enough to survive into CV time (as indeed did the Bristol K6A). Most CVD6 deckers were, like the Crossley DD42s, delivered because operators were desperate and they were available. [The Salford CVD6s were diverted from Chester.]
Sheffield were never a Daimler operator until the Fleetline effectively replaced the AEC Regent but their only post war Daimlers were CVD6/NCB. There were no further orders for half cab Daimlers.

David Oldfield

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11/12/11 – 06:53

According to Peter Gould’s site it was 1252 and not 1251 which received the body from 939. 1252 then survived until 1954.
My (admittedly limited) experience of COG5s suggests that FOF 251 would have been far from noisy. I only had one ride on a Manchester one, but it was every bit as sweet and refined as the CVG5s built more than 15 years later, and in fact with eyes closed the riding experience was identical. Slow it might have been, though, especially as with 37 seats it must presumably have been extended beyond its original length. Prewar COG5-40 coaches had five-speed gearboxes and probably lighter bodywork.

Peter Williamson

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20/12/11 – 10:24

FOF 251 was fitted with an AEC 7.7 engine some time after it received its Burlingham coach body as this would have been a much smoother unit for coaching duties. This was before it joined Spiers tours so in the photo it is, in effect, a COA6!
It was scrapped in 1964.

Steve Calder


 

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