Old Bus Photos

Hants and Sussex – Leyland Titan PD1 – FCG 526 – LO55

Hants and Sussex - Leyland Titan PD1 - FCG 526 - LO55
Copyright John Turner

Hants and Sussex
Leyland Titan PD1
Northern Coachbuilders L55R

The above shot of the Silentnight (Barnoldswick) works bus appeared for identification on this websites DYK page from John Turner. Pat Jennings did correctly identify it as FCG 526, it was one of nine Leyland PD1s bought new by Basil Williams in 1947 for his Hants and Sussex fleet. FCG 523/4/5 had Northern Coachbuilders H56R bodies, FCG 526/7 and FOR 837 had Northern Coachbuilders L55R bodies, and GAA 179/180/181 had Leyland H56R bodies. Interestingly, the fleet numbers LO52/3/4/5/6/8/9/60/1 were applied to these vehicles in sequence, which raises the question – what happened to number LO57? I remember seeing examples of the NCB highbridge PD1s in Fareham as a child in 1949 (though possibly it was always the same bus – a picture of FCG 523 on the Fareham service may be found in Alan Lambert’s definitive book on this operator, which is the source of much of my note here), when I assumed, as Basil Williams always intended the public to believe, that Hants and Sussex were another of the large territorial companies. I do not know what financial arrangement Mr. Williams entered into when purchasing these buses, but they all arrived new in 1947 and were all gone by 1949, several having been on loan to other operators within those two years. It seems very likely that the outturn finances of the Hants and Sussex group did not meet its proprietor’s optimistic expectations by 1949, and, indeed, the greater part of the business collapsed at the end of 1954.

Copy contributed by Roger Cox

A full list of Titan codes can be seen here.

There are three good sources of information available on Hants and Sussex, Alan Lambert’s book, PSV Circle PK14, and Alan’s article in the 2009 issue of the Leyland Journal on the company’s post war Leyland double deckers.
FCG 528 [LO57] was registered to Basil Williams personally, and thereby remained with him after the demise of the various limited companies in 1954/55. It was originally bought for the Midhurst group of routes, but after the "crash" it was used on the Thorney Island route. It was also used on the Sunday afternoon run to the Alton hospitals. It was sold for scrap in 1960 when the Tiger Cub, and Bedford SB1 were bought.

Pat Jennings

27/11/11 – 15:29

Of the ten PDIs delivered new in 1947, seven with NCB and three with Leyland H56R bodies, this is the only one that remained in the personal ownership of Basil Williams. The other nine were sold elsewhere in 1949 after only two years with Hants and Sussex, well before the 1954 collapse of the group.

Roger Cox

19/12/11 – 06:19

On the following website devoted to Bere Regis & District may be seen a photo of this very bus in 1953, which, with its fellow PD1/NCB L55R FCG 527, remained in the service of Bere Regis until 1960. It is the third picture down from the top. http://www.countrybus.co.uk/

Roger Cox

19/12/11 – 11:01

It looks very proud, garlanded up for the 1953 Coronation. This is an old tradition which has sadly died out, too!

Chris Hebbron

24/10/12 – 12:40

You mean, having Coronations?

David Call

24/10/12 – 17:45

You’re as bad a pendant as me, David. But even we pedants can slip up sometimes, as I did here! I should OF known better!

Chris Hebbron

01/07/13 – 10:55

I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I’m immune from making ‘dopey’ comments myself – check out my one about tram wires in Hebden Bridge on the Todmorden Titan dated 18/09/12 – 07:31

David Call

02/07/13 – 07:29

Er, quite!

Chris Hebbron

03/07/13 – 06:48

I appreciate that this question has probably been adequately answered by one or more of the above sources of information, but these, unfortunately, I do not possess. I wonder if anyone has subsequent ownership details for FCG523/4? I can come up with at least one subsequent owner, in some instances two, for all the other Hants & Sussex PD1s (except FCG528, of course).

David Call


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Huddersfield Corporation – Karrier E6 – AVH 521 – 521

Huddersfield Corporation - Karrier E6 - AVH 521 - 521
Copyright C Carter

Huddersfield Corporation
Karrier E6
Weymann H34/30R

One of the large group of Karrier E6 trolleybuses built to a similar style to the larger group of Park Royal trolleybuses to the unique design specified by Huddersfield. These ten Weymann built bodies were longer than the Park Royal ones and 521 also had English Electric motors and control equipment whereas the majority of the Karrier E6s had Metro-Vickers motors and equipment.
521 is seen in John William Street in Huddersfield on a cross-town route 60 from Birkby to Crosland Hill. This route had a steep hill section of Blackmoorfoot Road requiring the use of the coasting and run-back brake system, a statutory system laid down by the Ministry of Transport.
All Huddersfield trolleybuses from 431 to 640 were fitted with these special brakes, as there were several other routes with steep hills where Ministry Rules applied. The earlier trolleybuses 401 to 430 (1933/34) were not equipped with these coasting and run-back brakes and restricted to the flatter routes, which was possibly an understatement for Huddersfield as nearly every main road appears to have a slope. Huddersfield was the perfect town for trolleybuses but sadly all had gone by the 13 July 1968.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Richard Fieldhouse


21/11/11 – 09:27

I only ever rode on a Huddersfield trolleybus once and I had the impression it was geared. This was in the mid fifties. Could this be possible?

Jim Hepburn


21/11/11 – 11:29

I was always fascinated by this batch of Huddersfield E6s due to their longer front overhang and more "bulbous" fronts, due, I believe, to a mistake when the first dimensional measurements were taken.
Also, when Weymann were building to a design other than their own, a rare event in itself, there was usually some Weymann give away. Derby, for example, had an earlier batch of Guy BTXs with Weymann bodies to the usual Brush style, but they still had the standard Weymann shape of upper rear emergency window.
As Richard says, this batch had EEC equipment, this being replaced after the rebuilding and rebodying process by standard MV units (as far as rebuilding of this batch was concerned).
Absolutely superb trolleybuses, full of character, and a wonderfully nostalgic photograph.
As a Bradfordian, there was something truly atmospheric about the Huddersfield fleet, as it was so different to our own, but that is the magic of our interest is it not….the wide variations in "flavour" given off by different fleets: so different to the drab uniformity of the post 1970 period!

John Whitaker


21/11/11 – 13:15

…..too true, John.

David Oldfield


22/11/11 – 07:30

Huddersfield’s Trolleybuses, and I would imagine all other trolleybuses weren’t geared. Assuming, from what you say you only rode on a Huddersfield Trolley once, that you weren’t familiar with trolleybuses in general I think what you would have experienced would have been the superb acceleration qualities of electrically propelled vehicle working up through the ‘notches’ under full power up one of the many steep hills on the Huddersfield system. Bradford was also endowed with similar hilly trolleybus routes. Indeed, when most of the hillier routes in Huddersfield were converted to diesel operation the timetable had to be adjusted to allow for the slower hill climbing abilities of the diesels.
The only other thing I can think of is that you experienced engagement of the coasting brake when descending a steep hill. This was a Ministry of Transport requirement whereby on certain sections of trolleybus route involving decent of steep hills the driver was required to engage the coasting brake by means of a lever in the cab between certain points on said decent and the speed of the trolley was held to around 15mph



22/11/11 – 07:31

When I was a youngster trying to make sense of the bus world all by myself (thinking I was the only bus nut in the universe), upper deck rear emergency windows were something I always noted the shape of. This grounding later proved invaluable in identifying body makes when the overall design was unfamiliar or deceptive, and became a godsend when visiting Nottingham, where Atlanteans and Fleetlines were built to a standard design by several builders. Now, when preserved buses are lined up at a rally, I still like to go round the back of the line and look up fondly at those telltale windows.

Peter Williamson


22/11/11 – 12:19

Coasting Brake Regulations were applied in Huddersfield on the following routes : –
Newsome South – Newsome Hill section.
Riddings – Woodhouse Hill section.
Crosland Hill – Blackmoorfoot Road section.
Longwood – Paddock Head and Quarmby Clough sections (relaxed 1949).
West Vale & Elland – The Ainleys section.
The steepest section on the Huddersfield system was Woodhouse Hill with a gradient of 1 in 8.9 and these regulations lasted in the Town until the closure of the Newsome and Riddings routes in July 1966.
I hope this might stir some memories for some who may have ridden on these routes and experienced the "groaning" descent of one of the hills on these routes. West Vale however was closed in 1961 and Crosland Hill in 1964 to be replaced by motor buses which were much slower.

Richard Fieldhouse


22/11/11 – 16:03

I wonder why the Quarmby Clough and Paddock Head sections of the Longwood route were included in Coasting Brake regulations. I would have thought the descent from Longwood terminus (the famous turntable) through the village would have been steeper, it was certainly narrow, and has often been quoted as the reason all Huddersfield’s trolley’s were 7’6" wide.

Whilst on the subject of motor buses being slower Halifax JOC are supposed to have had some AEC Regents specially fitted with petrol engines to try and compete with Huddersfield’s trolleybuses on the climb up The Ainleys from Elland towards Huddersfield. As far as I know they still couldn’t keep up with the trolley’s and just about doubled fuel consumption into the bargain!



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London Transport – AEC Regent 1 – GJ 2098 – ST 922

London Transport - AEC Regent 1 - GJ 2098 - ST 922  Copyright Chris Hebbron

London Transport
AEC Regent 1
Tilling or Dodson (H27/25RO)

"John Whitaker was interested in Christopher Dodson bus bodies built for operators outside London and I mentioned that Tilling had purchased 30 Dodson-bodied AEC Regents for their Brighton operation. I’ve now found out that they were identical to the 191 AEC Regents they operated in South London, some with Tilling and some with Dodson bodies. In London, they were in the range ST837-1027. I attach a photo of the sole remaining example (ST 922 – GJ 2098), albeit it a London example, although Tilling’s livery was not that different from this example. To me, It looks odd because I only recall them with terrible body sag and this one doesn’t have it, having being completely restored! Once in London Transport’s hands, they were greatly unloved, but that’s another story!"

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

13/11/11 – 10:31

Many thanks Chris for the marvellous photo of GJ 2098.
The 30 Tilling STs bodied by Dodson were built to Tilling design. Dodson design bodies were common in the "Pirate" fleets, and some Provincial municipal fleets too, notably Wolverhampton. The latter had many 6 wheel interpretations on Guy chassis and are worthy of an article in themselves!
Many of these Tilling STs were transferred to other Tilling fleets during the war, and many were rebodied and/or re-engined. Of particular interest to me are the 3 vehicles lent to BCPT (Bradford) to enable the Stanningley tram route to be abandoned in 1942. These were GJ 2027, 2055, and GK 6242. These were accompanied by some Leeds "Regents" and 3 "General" STs. Pity I cannot remember them, but I was only 2!
The body sag you refer to seems apparent on every photo I have seen, but they did "soldier on" in trying conditions. 3 more vehicles of this species are also close to my heart in the form of York-West Yorkshire ADG 1-3, which started life in the form depicted in your superb photograph.
Incidentally, Wolverhampton 6 wheelers can be seen in the You Tube reference you gave on the recent post concerning the "White Heather" coach!
Great Stuff!

John Whitaker

13/11/11 – 17:11

I’m sure that I’ve read somewhere that, of the later STL-type Tilling Regents which went to London Transport, still with three bay upstairs front windows, but inside staircases, a batch also also went to Brighton. Both deliveries had Tilling bodies, though.
The above ST sub-class were due for withdrawal on the cusp of the war. They were all withdrawn by LT, along with all other petrol-engined vehicles, when war broke out.
Several suffered from war damage and their chassis went to the Home Guard, either as armoured personnel carriers, others as complete vehicles, to become (Home) guard posts. Then they were spread around England/Wales to fill shortages. For example, ST844 spent time in Coventry, Walsall & Rhondda. ST851 went to Sunderland, then Bradford & Aberdare. The longest one away was ST1005, which left for Venture, Basingstoke in December 1941, not returning until January 1947. On return, it went into store for a few months, then was scrapped, a typical end for returnees.
I’ve always had a soft spot for them, loyal, uncomplaining servants, past their sell-by date in 1939 and kept away from the limelight thereafter! Amazingly, some lasted until late 1949, nevertheless. They were strangers to Morden, Surrey, where I lived, but I can recall travelling on a couple of stalwarts seeing out their final, challenging, stint on the Epsom Races specials. I was a mere stripling aged 11, bunking off from school!

Chris Hebbron

25/11/11 – 13:28

I only ever saw one ST, and it was 922, mouldering in Rush Green Motors’ scrapyard somewhere out in the bundu between Hertford and Ware in 1952. Its roof gave it away over the dense scrub which rimmed the yard, for it could be just glimpsed from the top deck of a London Country RT.
I made entry to the secure yard, somehow having persuaded the ruffians in their Nissen hut that I meant them no harm, (though I was quite tall for a nine-year old, and could have bruised their shins if it turned nasty). As I recall, the breakers had used ST 922 as a canteen. Its L.H. dumb-iron brass plate identified it as the very bus which Prince Marshall was to restore years later and put in to limited service in London. I kept a light bulb from its upper saloon for many years as a memento of that rare bus, the bulb, alas, now lost due to postwar parental determination to periodically cleanse bedrooms.
There was a pre-war Leyland ‘decker there, too, ex-Chesterfield Corporation, from which I took a fine iron enamelled plate mounted forward of the driver, which admonished him to ‘Pull into the Curb at Stops’. I was even then taken by the cacography. In his obedience, our luckless chauffeur might have ‘Curbed his enthusiasm at stops’, or even ‘Stopped up on to the Kerb’….. I wonder if his traffic manager was reduced to the ranks for a fine Solecism or merely scolded for Malapropism? But I digress.
The info relating to the pilfering has been concealed until today, lest it had led to a period of infant incarceration, still then common, but I surmise that the Statute of Limitations now applies – and for that matter, all the other characters of the piece must now rejoice at The Great Terminus, their days of pointless litigation at an end.

Victor Brumby

28/05/12 – 08:11

In my post of 13/11/2011, I mentioned that I thought a batch of the later Tilling (LT STL type) also went to BH&D. I’ve since found that Thos. Tilling in Brighton had quite a few early vehicles, identical to those in the above photo. In the later 1930’s, a few of the STL type were also delivered, originally with the same three–window front upstairs configuration. See HERE:
Post-war, BH&D modernised them, which included changing the three-window arrangement to the conventional two-window type.

Chris Hebbron

04/07/12 – 07:12

GN 6201_lr

In my original comment, I mentioned that 30 of this type, with Dodson bodies, served in Brighton. Here is a photo of one. It is unusual in showing the upstairs air vent, normally unseen in photos.

Chris Hebbron

01/01/14 – 10:09

Several of these Brighton STs were later rebodied and eventually converted to open toppers. At least half a dozen later migrated to Westcliff (for the Southend seafront services) and Eastern National (for the Clacton services). I understand one eventually finished up as a tree lopper for Eastern National.

Brian Pask

17/09/14 – 15:24

Hi Chris.. Compliments on your photograph of 6201 and also your knowledge.


18/09/14 – 07:47

Thx, Sid, glad you enjoyed the posting.

Chris Hebbron


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 30th October 2014