Old Bus Photos

Eastern Belle (London) – AEC Regal III – NXL 847

Eastern Belle (London) - AEC Regal MkIII - NXL 847

Eastern Belle (London) - AEC Regal MkIII - NXL 847
Copyright Ken Jones

Eastern Belle Motor Coaches (London)
1953
AEC Regal III 6821A
Duple C39F

I am a contributor to Focus Transport main site, their blogsite and other sites, I hired a 1950’s AEC half canopy as part of my 60th birthday celebrations to take invited guests for lunch in a 1928 Pullman Carriage at the Spotgate Inn in Staffordshire (www.spotgateinn.co.uk)
With no heating the guests survived low temperatures in the morning and the snow on the way home, but everyone had a great time. Very atmospheric.
The vehicle is part of the Roger Burdett collection, and stopped in two suburbs in Birmingham as well as Lichfield to collect guests on the way to the restaurant and followed the same route back.
The pictures were taken on arrival at the Spotgate Inn and just before departure back to the West Midlands. Most guests took pictures of the vehicle – the first time for nearly all of them that they had travelled on such a vehicle.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones


11/03/12 – 09:17

My word, what a truly magnificent vehicle – that well worn word "classic" must surely apply here – and in a livery uncannily like that of Samuel Ledgard. They say that "you learn something new every day" and I believe its the first time I’ve ever seen a thirty foot long Regal or even been aware of such a variant. It must surely be one of the most handsome vehicles of the "good old days."

Chris Youhill


11/03/12 – 19:35

Very impressive. It might be the camera angle, but it looks a very long vehicle!

Chris Hebbron


11/03/12 – 19:51

As Chris says a true classic and what a fine vehicle. It is however surprising that a half cab design was selected for such a quality heavyweight coach as late as 1953 as underfloor models had been readily available for a couple of years by then. I agree 30ft long half cab coaches were pretty rare. Other examples I can immediately recall were a batch of Guy Arab half cabs with Roe coach bodies bought by Lancashire United for the Tyne-Tees-Mersey service about the same time.

Philip Halstead


12/03/12 – 06:44

Now you DO surprise me, Chris Y. What about the 1953 Doncaster 30′ Roe bodied Regal IIIs? (…..and I thought one of those had been preserved). The bodies are almost identical to the West Riding 30′ Roe bodied PS2s. PS2s and 9.6 Regal IIIs were rarer than PS1s and "7.7" as were 30′ rarer that 27’6" – but there were still appreciable numbers.

David Oldfield


David Beilby

Crossley produced 54 30-foot long chassis. However, nearly all of the received full-front bodies, with only eight being of the traditional half-cab layout. Coach design was in an experimental phase at this time, as ten for the USAF had raised rear saloons and a further three were half-deckers.

David Beilby


12/03/12 – 16:04

Yes, David – I’d also thought of the Doncaster 30ft Regals. However, in defence of Chris Y, they had a straight-sided profile with deep windows which didn’t emphasise the length. However, this beautiful Eastern Belle example looks like a 27’6 version stretched to 30′. Indeed, I now see that EFE made a model of this coach, but using their 27’6" mould with six side windows instead of the Eastern Belle’s seven. I wonder if, in 1953, the Duple staff had to delve into the back of the stores to find the patterns and templates for this late example from a different era. A rash question to our knowledgeable readers, but was this the last curved-sided half-cab ever made?

Paul Haywood


12/03/12 – 16:05

Here an example of a Lancashire United Guy Philip alluded to. The Roe body is not dramatically different from the Duple style. They were built in 1950.
https://secure.flickr.com/ For some reason the page does not display correctly in IE you will have to scroll down to find the picture all other browsers work fine.

Chris Hebbron


12/03/12 – 17:17

What Ken did not mention but makes it rarer is that it is 7ft 6ins not 8ft. The West Riding PS2s from 1953 (I have one of those as well) are much bigger vehicles and 8ft

Roger (rbctc)


12/03/12 – 19:08

There’s a picture of the West Riding Leyland half cab mentioned above at http://www.focustransport.org.uk she’s commonly referred to as Ethel because of her registration plate

Ken Jones


13/03/12 – 06:37

Barton Transport had a Duple A coach body which they lengthened themselves to a 30ft 39 seater as part of their BTS1 re-building programme, I think it was the only only one which retained a half cab body. No doubt they had lots of spare body parts from all their alterations but perhaps it wasn’t as easy as may be thought, I imagine it would have involved altering the body pillars to correspond with the increased wheelbase but the side window pattern on the finished product was exactly the same as on the one above.

Chris Barker


13/03/12 – 06:38

Don’t forget the possibly largest batch (?) of 30 foot half cab coaches, Royal Blue’s 1951 Bristol LL6B/Duple C37F, 24 in number.

Dave Williamson


14/03/12 – 06:54

In my last post, I forgot about the further 14 Bristol LL6B/Duple C37F which Southern/Western National acquired in 1951 for their own fleets.

Dave Williamson


15/03/12 – 09:30

Again though the Royal Blue Ls were 8ft.

Roger (rbctc)


15/03/12 – 12:07

……..and nothing as late as 1953. Unless someone knows different?

Paul Haywood


16/03/12 – 07:23

David O. mentions the three Roe-bodied 30′ Regal III’s for Doncaster. According to the PSV Circle’s chassis list for the type, the previous three chassis numbers to these were three seemingly identical Roe-bodied buses supplied to the Belfast Steamship Co. of Liverpool. I have never otherwise heard anything else about these buses, or ever seen photographs of them. Does anyone have any information about these totally overlooked machines?
The list shows around 50 Regals with seating capacities of 37 or over, so which were probably of the longer length – surprisingly AEC did not give them a different chassis code.
There were 108 Leyland PS2 30-footers:
12 Roe-bodied buses for West Riding.
6 Roe-bodied coaches for West Riding (with the similar bodies to the LUT Arabs).
71 buses for C.I.E. (with their own bodies)
14 East Lancs-bodied buses for Burnley, Colne and Nelson.
1 Burlingham-bodied coach for Wilkinson’s, Sedgefield.
1 Burlingham-bodied coach for Harding’s, Birkenhead.
1 Heaver-bodied coach for City Coach Co.
2 Observation Coaches for U.T.A. bodied by themselves.
The City Coach and U.T.A. examples were six-wheelers with a temporary additional lightweight front axle, to legitimise their 30′ length prior to the relaxation in the length limit. They were designed to be removed when this came into force.

John Stringer


16/03/12 – 08:36

C H Roe (Geoff Lumb) p82 shows a Belfast Battle, sorry, Steamship bus – of 1954. These are quoted as being the same as the 1953 Doncaster examples. I believe that there were earlier 27’6" examples before and also Regal IVs.

David Oldfield


17/03/12 – 16:31

This Eastern Belle coach (NXL 847) was the company’s second similar vehicle. In 1951, they had taken MLC 343, a photo of which is included in Eric Ogden’s ‘Duple’ book.
Were the Royal Blues 8 feet wide? The LL chassis was the 7ft 6in version, the 8ft option being the LWL. Southern/Western National introduced white steering wheels to denote 8 feet wide vehicles; the photos I’ve seen of the Royal Blue LL6B coaches have the traditional black steering wheels.
There were more than the 108 30 foot PS2 Tigers listed by John Stringer. In the PSV Circle Leyland PS2 chassis list, as well as those 108, 44 of the PS2/3 are quoted as 30 feet long, with the note that ‘there may be others’. It seems that early production 30 footers were conversions from the shorter models (Doug Jack’s ‘The Leyland Bus’).

Dave Williamson


18/03/12 – 07:55

My Duple L LTA 898 has a white steering wheel and whilst I would not stake my life savings on it I think is 8ft.
On the PS2 8ft vehicles most were buses and I think only the West Riding were 1953

Roger (rbctc)


18/03/12 – 09:00

I rather think white steering wheels to remind drivers that the vehicle was 8ft wide was standard Bristol practice.

Roy Burke


19/03/12 – 09:10

West Riding’s last PS2s came in 1953 some of these had Roe coach bodies Burnley continued to buy PS2s until 1955 and these (fitted for OMO) lasted until the early seventies

Chris Hough


19/03/12 – 17:28

Two of the contributors to this thread mentioned the Regal IIIs supplied to Doncaster Corporation.

Doncaster Corporation - AEC Regal III - MDT 222 -22

Doncaster Corporation - AEC Regal III - MDT 222 -22
I’m happy to attach a photo of number 22, taken at it’s home at Sandtoft Transport centre.

Andrew Charles


20/03/12 – 16:01

What great pictures, Andrew, of a superb and beautifully preserved vehicle. 22 is just fabulous, and shows how well Doncaster’s livery could look when clean and fresh, which, at the risk of offending anyone, I have to say it often wasn’t. The use of front-engined vehicles for one-man operation was, I think, quite rare. It must have required some twisting and turning for the driver.

Roy Burke


21/03/12 – 07:28

As Roy rightly says, the use of front engined vehicles for one person operation was comparatively rare, but certainly not rare enough. The degree of contortion necessary for the driver at every stop was totally unacceptable and must have been the cause of spinal and inner organ damage. Much scoffing is aimed these days at "Health & Safety" which can admittedly sometimes be over the top, but in this particular instance it should have been applied with full force to prevent this ludicrous practice.
I should juts clarify that I’m referring to front engined vehicles of the traditional layout – a modern exception of course being the wonderful, in my humble view and from experience, Ailsa Volvo double decker – a vehicle whose incredibly skilful design allowed a front engine, adequate passenger flow on the platform, comfortable room for the driver, and 79 seated passengers conveyed reasonably speedily by a 6.7 litre engine. I’ve always had the feeling that the sales figures of the Ailsa were mortally wounded by the unreasonable fear of the layout which the ill fated Guy Wulfrunian left as its legacy.

Chris Youhill


21/03/12 – 07:29

Am I correct in thinking that an operator called Homeland Tours bought a number of 30ft Leyland Comets? I’m sure I’ve seen a picture somewhere, I would imagine they really were unique!

Chris Barker


22/03/12 – 08:07

Re Chris’s comments about the Ailsa, I don’t think anyone would make comparisons with the Wulfrunian because it was well documented that the problems there were caused by Guy overreaching itself with advanced braking and suspension systems.
What operators probably were fearful of was the small turbocharged engine, an idea which was virtually unknown in Britain then. In other words, a bus ahead of its time.

Peter Williamson


22/03/12 – 13:35

There were some outstanding bus liveries around and one nomination I would give is to West Bromwich Corporation, witness the preserved Daimler CVG6-30 seen HERE: https://secure.flickr.com Pity that, whenever I caught glimpses of them lurking around in Brum, they were always as tatty as Hell! It didn’t help that B’ham Corp’n generally kept their vehicles impeccable.

Chris Hebbron


22/03/12 – 13:36

Homeland Tours was an operator based in Croydon during the post war years who had a number of Leyland Comets with Strachans C37F bodies. As a schoolboy in the Croydon area in the 1950s, I used to see these coaches about frequently. I believe that these vehicles were actually owned and operated by Wallace Arnold to whom Homeland had "passed" the licences and goodwill. Homeland Tours still exists as a travel agent in Croydon.

Roger Cox


23/03/12 – 06:40

Regarding the Ailsa Peter, the engine theory is an interesting one which I hadn’t thought of. In the event though, any concerns about the performance and longevity of those tiny Volvo engines have proved to be unfounded, and the performance of their immediate successors leaves me full of admiration. For example, the speed at which the Volvo B7TLs ascend Royal Park Road (very steep) on the 56 service in Leeds with around ninety passengers, while confidently changing gear upwards, is nothing short of amazing – those long in the tooth like me recall the 7.7 litre Mark V AEC Regents whistling, wheezing and protesting at little more than walking pace when heavily loaded.

Chris Youhill


23/03/12 – 09:33

Thanks, Chris H for the link to the West Bromwich Daimler. A very smart vehicle indeed. It made me think about other liveries, and I wondered what other correspondents’ favourites might be. East Yorkshire’s indigo and primrose has its fans, and from my own neck of the woods, York Pullman was always both smart and attractive, (and it still exists). Any nominations?

Roy Burke


23/03/12 – 16:43

Sheffields smart cream and blue always smartly turned out was a favourite The many variations in the late lamented Black Prince livery again always smart Pennine Motors unusual orange and black The LCT one man livery was always smart though often dirty Others will no doubt have their own choices. One other to mention is the Leeds blue and cream pre-war livery on both buses and trams examples of which happily survive.

Chris Hough


24/03/12 – 09:16

Just one more from me then, City of Oxford. This photo of an AEC Regent III with Weymann lowbridge body (a pseudo LT RLH) shows of its livery superbly. See HERE: http://www.fotolibra.com/

Chris Hebbron


24/03/12 – 12:17

Indeed many of us have our favourite "traditional" liveries, and with good cause, when we have to live with some of today’s ghastly and inappropriate offering, most of which make me despair as to where the Industry is going. I just wish the "marketing" fraternity would stick to promoting baked beans etc. and that operators would cease wasting so much money on garish and incomprehensible horrors which the travelling public are probably unaware of and totally disinterested in. Rant over, but not for long, as I feel so strongly about this issue that I can rarely get it out of my mind.
Now then, another favourite livery or two of mine – Southend Corporation’s beautiful light blue and rich cream, especially when they spent their money wisely against the 1960s trend by increasing the number of places on the intermediate destination blinds from three to six – the expression "getting your priorities right" springs to mind. How about the most dignified Accrington Corporation dark navy and red – different and sombre, yes, but most impressive.

Chris Youhill


24/03/12 – 18:12

Yes Chris, Accrington’s was indeed a most dignified and distinctive livery. I once read in a book somewhere that it was first applied after World War I, as a mark of respect to the many Accrington Pals killed in action. Their regimental colours were red and blue with gold lining. It is also said that the mudguards of the buses were painted black at the same time, as a sign of mourning. However, other operators also had buses with black mudguards over the years, so I’m not quite so sure about the latter. A very touching tribute nonetheless though, to such brave men.

Brendan Smith


25/03/12 – 09:11

I agree with Chris Youhill’s hatred of modern corporate colour schemes (I hesitate to grace them with the title "liveries"). My particular dislike is having windows plastered with stupid advertising tosh. WINDOWS ARE FOR LOOKING OUT OF! If they want to cover them over they may as well save on glass and just panel the sides in altogether (as they have the rear of many vehicles).

Stephen Ford


25/03/12 – 09:12

I’m waiting for Chris Y to vote for South Yorkshire Motors, (from West Yorkshire) whose Oxford/Cambridge blue was very handsome & well maintained despite the age of some of the vehicles. As someone said, Doncaster’s Crimson Lake was potentially good, but attacked by filthy roads around collieries until it went a sort of dark maroon. Doncaster’s old livery never had any names- just the coat of arms. The old umbery East Midlands had a mention here- but it was dropped for the ultimate in boring. Perhaps the most horrific "new" livery was South Yorkshire Transport’s (not to be confused) Yuk yellow & red, with some dreadful graphics. What a far cry….

Joe


25/03/12 – 09:13

The Accrington livery up to the late sixties also included black window surrounds on the lower saloon, which I always think set it off. This may be the black that was referred to rather than the wings.

David Beilby


25/03/12 – 12:07

As many will know Joe, I spent my last fourteen years with South Yorkshire Road Transport (and several successors) at Pontefract Depot. The vehicles were indeed well maintained and smart, inside and out, and I can’t imagine many private firms employing a team of four daytime lady cleaners Monday to Friday to keep the interiors of around twenty vehicles in pristine order. These splendid ladies left no stone unturned and could often be seen on their knees washing with difficulty the seat support rails and other areas usually unknown to the average cleaner elsewhere. There honestly were amusing occasions when a vehicle had to be rapidly collected from the depot for an unexpected changeover – I have personally experienced leaping into a cab and setting off promptly for the bus station to hear an anguished cry from up aloft – "Just a minute luv", and two of the worthy ladies would come downstairs with buckets and mops and alight just in time to avoid being whisked away to Doncaster or Barnsley !! The original South Yorkshire Motors livery of two blues and rich cream with traditional fleetname was indeed a classic one. When the Company was reconstituted (still under family ownership) as South Yorkshire Road Transport Limited the livery gave way to the familiar modern one of two blues and stark white ir-rational (to me) rectangular shapes, and bold white large fleetnames. Rumour has it that the white shape of the lower forward panel was to emphasise the presence of the front wheels which I suppose had some merit – but I have to say that I found the new livery to be a retrograde step and I didn’t particularly like its layout and the stark white.

Chris Youhill


26/03/12 – 07:44

Here Here Chris re. modern liveries! Absolutely awful.
You mention the superb Southend pale blue and cream, laid out in traditional fashion. It was enough to inspire Bradford to change in 1942 when they borrowed some Southend trolleys.
I think the best traditional liveries were those employed by the Tilling Group, but perhaps my own personal all-time favourite was the deep green with cream stripes of that wonderful AEC fleet, Morecambe and Heysham Corporation, which showed off the lines of classic Park Royal and Weymann bodywork with real flair.
Them wer t`days all right

John Whitaker


26/03/12 – 10:34

I recall the attractive M & H livery on one visit there, with typical ‘tramway’ lettering and fleet numbers. The buses had no route numbers/letters.

Chris Hebbron


01/04/12 – 08:43

DSC_3259_lr

I had the chance to ride on this excellent coach again today and got a picture of the engine. I do hope it is of interest to you.

Ken Jones


29/04/12 – 16:56

I was at the Irish Transport Heritage Bus & Coach rally at Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down on 28th April and saw it tucked away. A lovely example and a welcome visitor. I didn’t get the best shot but here is a link to my photo on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/

Robin Parkes


03/05/12 – 08:48

600 mile round trip to take Eastern Belle to Belfast with 20 passengers-must be one of the longest trips for a half-cab in 2012 and it ran perfectly.

Roger rbc


NXL 847_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

05/01/13 – 15:40

NXL 847_02_lr

Whilst (laboriously) digitising my slide collection I came across this view of NXL 847 – then in a two-tone green livery – as it prepared to depart from the HCVC Brighton Rally in 1973.

John Stringer


06/01/13 – 11:19

1973 was the year I graduated from University and NXL 847 "Eastern Belle" belonged to Waltham Forest Council Welfare Services at the time.
- Thanks to Roger Burdett – current owner for this information

Ken Jones


16/11/13 – 11:06

Having been born in Bow, East London I remember Eastern Belle Coaches very well. In the fifties our street would book a coach with eastern belle to take us to see the Southend Lights. I also remember their garage being a very crampt premises on the Bow Road. I took my first car there for an MOT in the early sixties and remember seeing two redundant dust covered AECs wallowing in the corner.
I am now 70 years old but never forget these lovely well kept vehicles.

B Greaves


 

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Oldham Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – PBU 947 – 447

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan - PBU 947 - 447
Copyright Roger Cox

Oldham Corporation
1958
Leyland Titan PD2/30
Roe H37/28R

We don’t seem to have any colour pictures of Oldham buses on the site, so I am submitting these two shots, taken early in PTE days. By the time these pictures were taken, the Oldham livery had been further simplified by the elimination of the red stripe above the lower deck windows. Oldham used a distinctive shade of red that was usually described as "pommard" after the wine of that name. PBU 947, No. 447, was a PD2/30 of the 1958 batch of 24 with Roe bodies, though my understanding is that the seating was H37/28R. Perhaps these buses were reseated at some stage.

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan - NBU 500 - 400
Copyright Roger Cox

NBU 500, No 400, was a member of a batch of 20 PD2/20 delivered in 1957 with Roe H33/27R bodies. The year 1965 was a significant one to Oldham. In that year a Ministry of Transport inspection led to the discovery of major mechanical faults on 97 buses, and the Corporation had to hire in around 45 buses from sympathetic neighbouring municipalities.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

———

04/03/12 – 17:08

Good to see Oldham represented again and with typical vehicles – Roe-bodied Leylands. If these pictures are taken in SELNEC days it must be early 1970 as the fleet very rapidly lost the coat-of-arms and fleetname upstairs, all had lost these by July 1970. 447 got repainted orange and white in January 1971 and was the last Roe-bodied PD2 to be so treated. Unlike the earlier examples it didn’t receive a full overhaul and only lasted until July 1973. 400 was renumbered 5300 in October 1970 but despite running in increasingly shabby pommard and cream it outlasted 447, being withdrawn in March 1974.
Your photos allow the two batches to be contrasted. I could usually identify with some confidence which batch an oncoming vehicle was from but even now I struggle to be able to explain why. One difference visible here which worked as a general rule was the painted ventilators but like all good rules it had exceptions. Other differences were the staircase window which was never fitted to the PBUs but quite a few NBUs lost this feature.
When new the NBUs had pull-down half-drop ventilators which were a disaster. These were replaced by sliders which had a much thinner bottom rail than on the PBUs, making them less conspicuous. You can just about make out the vestigial framework for the half-drops on 400, which remained in situ.
The 59 was a joint Manchester and Oldham service from Manchester via Middleton to Oldham and Shaw. Taking 74 minutes from one end to the other it was certainly Oldham’s longest (in running time) route and I think Manchester’s as well.

David Beilby

———

04/03/12 – 17:26

I rather liked the company name/coat of arms positioned where it is on these buses. I have to say, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a ‘tin-front’ like these. Was it unique to these vehicles or Roe?

Chris Hebbron

———

05/03/12 – 07:42

The 59 was an incredibly circuitous route which left Manchester in almost the exact opposite direction to Oldham and Shaw which are north east of the city. It headed north west towards Bury along Cheetham Hill Road then turned towards Middleton via Heaton Park and Rhodes. It had almost ‘boxed the compass’ before it got to Middleton. The no. 2 from Stevenson Square to Newhey, which passed Shaw (Wrens Nest) the eventual terminus of the 59 would do the journey in around 40 minutes I would guess.
In fairness to the 59 it was not intended to attract end to end passengers but provided very useful inter-urban links across areas to the north of Manchester.
To answer Chris the unusual ‘tin front’ on these PD2’s was a retro-fit by Oldham after a few years in service. They were delivered with the standard Leyland BMMO front but sometime in the early 1960’s (from memory and I would bow to confirmation on this) the centre grill sections were replaced with the design shown in the photographs. In my view it was a great improvement. I think the replacement section was a glass-fibre moulding but again would welcome a second opinion on this.
The failure by the MOT Inspectors of such a large slice of Oldham’s fleet caused quite a stir at the time and was widely covered in the ordinary (non-transport)press and media. In today’s blame culture I am sure heads would have been called for. I don’t ever recall the press reporting anybody at Oldham ‘falling on his sword’. Does anyone know if there any such actions taken?

Philip Halstead

———

05/03/12 – 07:44

This was Oldham’s own GRP (fibreglass being a trade name) front which they developed. The original one was flat like the standard BMMO grille but I suspect this was not stiff enough so the slight protrusion was added. Oldham were quite active in GRP moulding and also did the side pieces, the design of that varying over the years.
The revised front grille became quite universal. From recollection the last bus with a BMMO grille was 453, withdrawn in 1970. They had been in the minority for some years before then.

David Beilby

———

05/03/12 – 07:45

The "kidney" window in the staircase panel on Roe bodies, which I believe was part of the safety staircase designed by Leeds City Transport general manager Mr. W. Vane Morland in 1935, was a common feature on many Roe bodies up to about 1954 but seemed to fall out of favour after then, so it is a bit of a surprise to see Oldham Corporation still taking them as late as 1957. Does anybody know if these where the last ones built or did other operators have any delivered later?

Eric

———

05/03/12 – 07:46

The tin fronts were Oldham-built replacements for damaged originals, and for my money a great improvement on them. Combined with the Roe body they even make the pommard livery look respectable, which is quite an achievement as it was not generally well-liked.

Peter Williamson

———

05/03/12 – 07:48

Beautiful Roe bodies and a distinctive livery, but I think I preferred their neighbours in blue at Ashton. I think you are correct, Chris – but I think it was an Oldham rather than Roe front.
PS …..see previous black and white post of 451 with standard Leyland tin front!

David Oldfield

———

05/03/12 – 12:33

Eric, I think you’re correct. Sheffield’s 1955 Regent IIIs had the window but the 1957 and 1958 PD2s didn’t and neither didn’t any subsequent Roe bodies.

David Oldfield

———

05/03/12 – 17:53

Leeds first AEC Regent Vs of 1956-57 had the staircase window and were the last Leeds buses delivered with this feature. In the mid fifties all Leeds MCW bodies also had a staircase window this was a narrow slit like vertical affair.

Chris Hough

———

06/03/12 – 08:22

Strange to say, the staircase window reappeared in Sheffield with the front entrance Regent Vs, "Sheffield" Park Royals and then the "Sheffield/PRV standard" 33′ Atlanteans and Fleetlines – but all with tinted glass.

David Oldfield

———

06/03/12 – 12:27

Ah, the tinted glass would be the then modern equivalent of ‘decency boards’ protecting the modesty of Victorian/Edwardian ladies.
The offside straight staircase’d London General/Transport ST’s and later LT’s had glazed windows down the whole length of the offside when built, but, over the years, the rearmost pane was replaced by a painted pane. One imagines voyeurs waiting opposite bus stops for the sight of a trim ankle, or more titillating, a calf! It all seems so amusing nowadays.

Chris Hebbron

———

06/03/12 – 15:22

Am I right in saying in connection with the staircase window was the Roe safety staircase. This had a flat landing halfway up the staircase which in theory would prevent someone rolling in to the road. Did anybody get saved by this?

Philip Carlton

———

07/03/12 – 08:40

The PBU batch of Leyland Titan buses (419-462) were distinctive in that they carried the Leyland winged badge until repainted in 1964/5. The number plates were located higher up the original tin fronts (above air vents) than on earlier batches also. The Leyland/Roe vehicles (429-452) featured decorative beading, painted white, aside the two upper red stripes which resulted in slightly narrower ones than on, for example, the 388-407 (NBU batch)
To the critical eye, another distinctive features were angled front saloon windows, rather than horizontal as on 388-407. The side window vents were polishes aluminium which also made them stand out as mentioned earlier by David Beilby.

D. Butterworth

———

07/03/12 – 15:17

There is always so much to learn on this site. Until Chris Hebbron mentioned the image of a voyeur trying to catch the sight of a calf mounting the stairs of an ST/LT, I had never appreciated that London Transport permitted young farm animals to use the upper saloon.

John Stringer

———

07/03/12 – 16:12

Well, John, if they wanted to smoke they would have to, wouldn’t they?!

Stephen Ford

———

07/03/12 – 16:53

The correct name for the livery is Pommard and Devon Cream, and was introduced in 1966, after the very short lived ‘Blue’ livery experiment with NBU 502 (Fleet No 402).
Mention is made of the positioning of the Fleet Name and Crest. This was done as a cost saving measure to save replacements (of the crest) when accidents occurred to the lower side panels and replacements had to be re-fixed.
I also remember that in the Paint Shop (always an interesting place, supervised by the Foreman Sam Bardsley), that there were replacement lower deck panels painted and varnish ready for quick replacement by the body men. Again this was so vehicles spent less time off the road after lower panel accident damage.
Mention is made of the Ministry of Transport fleet check in 1965.
I started at OCPTD in 1968, as Junior Works Clerk and the ‘Fleet Check’ was still being talked about even then.
Many of the systems which I worked on had been brought about after that, and procedures in the workshops and the Depot had been tightened up.
Philip says ‘did heads roll’ well YES they did, but it was never made public, I will not name names even though it is now 47 years ago, they could still be around.

Stephen Howarth

———

07/03/12 – 16:57

The Roe bodied PBU’s also had a more upright front profile when viewed side on than the NBU’s. Obviously this was necessary to get the extra row of four seats in to give 37 seats on the upper deck against the 33 on the NBU’s.

Philip Halstead

———

08/03/12 – 07:09

Nice ones, John & Stephen F. My comment was even more amusing than I thought!
And, Stephen H, thx for the reason behind the fleet name/crest not being on the lower panels – a sensible variance.

Chris Hebbron

———

09/03/12 – 17:25

Interestingly, around 1970 the Leyland PD2’s reappeared on certain trunk/express routes in all day service having earlier been relegated to other duties in preference to Leyland Atlantean operation.
There are photographs available of 402 – NBU 502 (the blue bus) and 430, PBU 930 on service 9 (Ashton to Rochdale) and Leylands 402 and 437 on the OTS route- Hollinwood Lees/Grotton. The previous years (from 1965 had seen Atlantean operation only on the O/T (27/28) routes, I seem to remember. I have photographs of 461 and forward entranced Leyland PD3 101 on the 98 (Manchester to Waterhead) service around 1970, after a long period dominated by the Atlanteans. Indeed when 131-135 were obtained in February 1966 they were put to work immediately on this route, quickly followed by 136-147 later that year. In April 1970 our local route (21) was converted to OPO with the arrival of dual door Atlanteans 183 to 187. Twelve months later Selnec liveried 188 to 199 arrived and many of these buses could be noted on the route besides the earlier Atlanteans 178 to 182. This marked the end of the PD2’s on the route. For some reason 191 and 192 ended up in Ashton bus depot! Obviously transferred on delivery, but they later appeared in Oldham.

D. Butterworth

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15/03/12 – 09:30

Further to my previous comments regarding the Leyland Atlanteans which replaced the PD2s on many routes, the numbers allocated were 5183 – 5199 in the SELNEC, (Southern) Fleet allocation, which would have been OLDHAM’S 183 – 199.

D. Butterworth

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PBU 947_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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23/09/12 – 19:53

I was a driver on Oldham Buses from 1961 & through the 60’s, was quite surprised by photo’s and comments, particularly the 1965 shot after the ministry man came into do his worse. Interestingly, we then drove many buses far worse than our own. The Blue Livery was sponsored by the Egg Marketing Board. Which I believe were given that "Go to work on an Egg" advert printed on the 2 buses with the fleet numbers 401 & 402. The then manager Harry Taylor flirted with idea of the livery but it was unsuccessful. Then the Atlanteans, Selnec etc etc. I moved on to other things and some time later was a HGV & PSV examiner based at Heywood HGV Centre. A local firm had bought 3 PD1 fleet numbers 264 & I think 266 & 268. Not the easiest to teach on. Happy days!

Terry Bailey


 

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J Amos & Son – Bedford OB – JAF 832

J Amos & Son - Bedford OB - JAF 832
Copyright Nigel Turner

J Amos & Son (Belchamp St. Paul)
19??
Bedford OB
Strachan C27F – C26F (1953)

Photos on this site have four main characteristics to be discussed – the location, the operator, the chassis and the body. With this one, I have no problem with three of them but the last is more tricky.
Firstly the location, it is the Suffolk town of Sudbury where, during the last war, the Borough Council erected a sign showing the allocation of the fifteen operators to the fourteen stands dotted around the Market Hill. The “Black Boy Hotel” in the background is little changed today but the grocery shop of E. W. King closed in November 2006 after 89 years. Their coffee was advertised on the tickets issued by Corona Coaches as shown over on “Old Bus Tickets”.
Next the operator, it is William George Amos trading as J.Amos & Son, indeed I think it may be Billy himself in the driving seat. Amos was one of those rural operators who gave their full address on legal documents as simply the name of their village, in this case Belchamp St. Paul, just over the border in Essex. After all, if your depot was one side of the village green and your residence was the other side, you could be fairly certain that the postman would find you, especially if your family had been there since the 1700s.
Thirdly, the chassis and if you are not totally familiar with the Bedford OB then this may not be the right web site for you.   
Finally we come to the body builder and this is where it gets more difficult. It is in fact Strachans and I think you can award yourself a bonus point if you knew that. The only reference where I can find to a similar combination is Roselyn Coaches (Ede) of Cornwall who had JCV 645 and KAF 992 which were fitted with a canvas sunshine roof. As Amos’ example was, I think, new to the Newquay Motor Co, I wonder if it was so fitted as well.
JAF 832 lasted with Amos from 1952 to 1964, but like the operator is no more. Billy Amos made his last run to Sudbury at the age of 80 on December 31st 2002, crew operation and punch tickets remaining a feature to the end. He then got a job as a part time driver with another operator but passed away in October 2009.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Nigel Turner

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01/03/12 – 07:59

Nice photo of a very rare combination, Nigel. It was summer, by the look of the girl lurking under the Boots awning. Nice, also, to see the Ford 100E parked behind the coach. I suppose that Strachan made a reasonable fist of bodying the OB, but it doesn’t have the flow of the Duple version, and I’m trying hard to be objective here. What a wonderfully long career Bill Amos had.

Chris Hebbron

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01/03/12 – 07:59

The feature of "paired" windows, with each pair having radiused corners, was very much a Strachans coach (though not bus) styling characteristic up to the early 1950s.

Roger Cox

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01/03/12 – 08:00

I’m very pleased to see this posted and no, I couldn’t have awarded myself a bonus point for knowing the bodywork! Some time ago, I bought a copy of the book ‘Aspects of Buses’ by D D Gladwin, Oakwood Press and it contains a picture of this very vehicle but no details are given. When the picture of the Vic’s Tours Bedford was posted on here last year, I thought there were one or two similarities in the bodywork and I’ve wondered about the Amos one ever since. Not the same bodywork apparently but a mystery solved!

Chris Barker

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02/03/12 – 15:21

The body on KAF 992 is referred in the John Woodhams book The Bedford OB & OWB as being by Mashford.

John Wakefield


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 1st March 2015