Old Bus Photos

PMT – AEC Reliance – WJO 744 – S5626

PMT - AEC Reliance - WJO 744 - S5626

Potteries Motor Traction
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Willowbrook B45F

Nine of these AEC Reliance MU3RV’s with Willowbrook B45F bodies had been ordered by City of Oxford Motor Services for delivery in 1955. Registered in Oxford as WJO 736-744, the last three were instead diverted to PMT which numbered them S5624-5626 and placed them in their Wells Motor Services Ltd. subsidiary fleet, painted in Wells’ green and cream livery. The Biddulph-based 20 vehicle Wells business had been acquired in 1953, and was absorbed into the main fleet in 1959, whereupon the trio of Reliances received standard PMT red and cream fleet livery. It is pictured here outside Biddulph depot on a dismal day in late 1971, probably not long before withdrawal.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

19/11/13 – 05:45

Ah, memories, memories. ‘PMT – NorWestern, Biddulph Depot’. Foreman Tommy Chell complaining regularly about the rubbish that Paddy Grimes, his opposite number at NWRCC Macclesfield Depot sent him! (Not that it prevented Tommy from having a drink with Paddy most Friday nights!) For NWRCC, Biddulph was an outstation of Macclesfield, PMT carried out the necessary maintenance on the North Western contingent. As for S5626, well very much a Biddulph machine. The trio had a sad appearance, rather high front waist with consequent shallow windscreens. One thing is certain, it wouldn’t be long before it suffered a head gasket failure!!!5626 was the last of the three to be withdrawn, in 1972 passing to Martin, (Weaverham), Dealer in December that year.

WJO 744_2

Here is a photo of S5626 in service in Biddulph on 8th March 1971, looking rather neglected. Note that the standard PMT blind display is too deep for the aperture.

Ian Wild

19/11/13 – 15:22

It seems to me to be unusual for vehicles intended for one operator to be diverted to another before entering service, and then keep their allotted registrations. My experience – admittedly limited – is generally that the booked registrations become void and are superseded by ones relevant to the new "home" territory.
It is of course an entirely different story if a vehicle is passed from one operator to another after service, such as a Ribble PS2 going to Southport for further service.
How wrong am I???

Pete Davies

22/11/13 – 08:01

In 1965 Bristol Omnibus received four MWs originally built for Eastern National. These were delivered to Bristol in ENOC livery with Essex registrations in the JHK-C series, before being reregistered in Bristol with BHW-C marks.

Geoff Kerr

22/11/13 – 10:02

Thanks, Geoff

Pete Davies

22/11/13 – 10:03

The vast geographical area covered by the United Automobile Services Empire contained literally dozens of registration options, but they had a policy that vehicles new to them were all registered in Darlington, and so had an HN index. On the other hand, Northern General vehicles usually had the mark of the area to which the vehicle was first allocated, so they could be either a County or local authority registration.

Ronnie Hoye

09/03/16 – 06:55

North Western’s Biddulph depot was a depot in its own right and was so from July 1936 until March 1972 when the Biddulph depot work, together with Macclesfield and Northwich depots passed to Crosville.
North Western outstations were at Castleton (Derbyshire) and Warrington plus for a very short time Congleton.

John Dixon

10/03/16 – 05:02

With reference to the comments above regarding new vehicles diverted to different operators, I think it depends when the vehicle is first registered/taxed. In 1977, Trent exchanged VRs for Nationals with Northern General – the VRs had already been registered by Trent (UTO 830-7S) but had not entered service when they went to Northern General; the Nationals had not been registered by Northern General, so they were registered by Trent as VCH 473-80S. Another example is the G regd Willowbrook Atlanteans intended for Devon General – some at least were photographed at Willowbrook with Devon General fleet names,fleet numbers and Devon registration numbers in the OTT-G series; at the last minute they were diverted to Yorkshire Traction, who put them into service in Devon General livery, but with local Barnsley registrations in the RHE-G series.

Bob Gell

30/05/17 – 06:47

I remember these vehicles arriving at Well’s and that they had the name of a leasing company in Oxford painted in small letters on the lower body just behind the door.



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Glasgow Corporation – Leyland Atlantean – FYS 998 – LA1

Glasgow Corporation - Leyland Atlantean - FYS 998 - LA1

Glasgow Corporation
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Alexander H44/34F

The picture, which appears to be a pre delivery shot, shows Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1, LA1 delivered to Glasgow Corporation Transport in 1958. It was registered FYS 998 and had an Alexander H44/34F body.
The Alexander body was described at the time as ‘boxy’ and remained the only body of this style with Glasgow. Alexander and GCT worked together after this, to design a more rounded and pleasing body to a new “Glasgow Style” a design which won favour from other Bus operators, around the UK.
LA1 was allocated to Ibrox Garage where it spent the majority of its time in service.
The legal lettering shows the General Manager to be Mr. E.R.L. Fitzpayne. He became Manager in 1943 after being Assistant Manager, and remained in post until 1969 when he retired.
LA1 is now in preservation.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth

14/11/13 – 06:00

Newcastle Corporation had quite a number of very similar vehicles, although the front panel was different and theirs had twin headlights. The first 14 came in 1961 the fleet numbers were the same as the registration, and they were 187 – 189/201 JVK (188 had a Metro Cammell body) then 11 more in 1961, 214/224 JVK. 221 is alive and well and part of the N.E.B.P.T. Ltd collection and can be seen on their site. However, they weren’t the first Alexander bodied Atlanteans in the area, the NGT group took delivery of 15 in 1960, KCN 181/9 were for Gateshead and 601/7 EUP went to Sunderland District. Again the body had a different front panel, and the top two thirds of the drivers windscreen was swept back.

Ronnie Hoye

14/11/13 – 06:00

Sheffield 369 was a one off identical Atlantean, shoved onto the end of Sheffield’s small initial batch of 1959 Met Camm Atlanteans and before a further short batch of Met Camms. 20 Alexander Regent Vs followed a year later in 1960. It would be 1972 until the next Alexander deckers arrived – on Fleetline chassis – although some Y type Leopards snuck in in 1968. This would be the beginning of a long love affair between STD and then SYPTE and Alexanders – ending only when First Group took over control of Mainline. [Continuing their historic practise of dual sourcing, during the Alexander years this would be East Lancs – including Dennis Dominators to SYPTE style which even closer to R types than the usual run of Alexander East Lancs clones.

David Oldfield

14/11/13 – 06:00

1369 W

It would appear that Sheffield Corporation was somewhat unimpressed by the Glasgow Style as No. 369 was the only Alexander Atlantean bought in this design in 1960. It was to be some twelve years before Sheffield called upon Alexander for bodies on rear engined Daimler and Atlantean chassis.

John Darwent

14/11/13 – 09:44

When the new Riverside Museum Opened at Glasgow there was no room for this bus or the BUT/Burlingham Trolleybus. I do not think the new museum is a patch on the previous Kelvin Hall Collection. There is not as much room as there was but at least some of the trams are shown.

Philip Carlton

14/11/13 – 13:40

I rode on Sheffield 369 on the Outer Circle and wondered why there was odd Alexander-bodied one. I seem to recall it had an odd destination layout at the back.
Glasgow LA1 competes with Wallasey 1 and James of Ammanford 227 for the distinction of being the first production Atlantean – all are shown as entering service in 12/58. No doubt it depends on definitions. We can safely say that LA1 was the first in Scotland!

Geoff Kerr

14/11/13 – 16:50

1369 W_2

Your memory serves you well Geoff. 369 had a full Sheffield set on the rear albeit downside up so to speak.

John Darwent

14/11/13 – 17:42

Funny how we remember these details for 45 years. Lucky you photographed the rear, John, as not many did!

Geoff Kerr

14/11/13 – 17:42

The strange thing is that it looks like no other Alexander body before or since. Godfrey Abbott also had a couple – but I cannot remember whether they were bought new or second hand.

David Oldfield

14/11/13 – 17:58

According to The Leyland Bus The first four production chassis were as follows:
The Wallasey chassis was the first numerically, followed by one for Maidstone and District, then the Glasgow vehicle and finally the one for James of Ammanford. However the Glasgow chassis left the works for the body builders a day before the others and was eventually the first into service after appearing at the 1958 Commercial Show.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/11/13 – 06:28

Re Sheffield 369 – I don’t recall short workings on the 53 to Scarsdale Road, I suppose it would be the bus replacement equivalent of the Woodbank Crescent short workings of the trams. How did the buses turn at Scarsdale Road?

Ian Wild

15/11/13 – 06:29

FYS 998_2

Glasgow LA1 in the Glasgow Transport Museum

Stephen Howarth

15/11/13 – 08:31

The original colour scheme on the Glasgow Atlantean was much more balanced than its final scheme. Regarding the Sheffield indicator layout, referring again to The Leyland Bus, there is a rear view of Sheffield 922, one of the second batch with MCW bodies, which shows a two panel rectangular destination and via display, one above the other, set to the nearside and a small rectangular service number panel set to the offside and placed on a level so the centre of that panel was level with the gap between the two larger panels – a much neater and, I seem to recall, standard layout.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/11/13 – 08:31

Easy, Ian. Turn right at lights, left at Dale/Woodseats Road and left again at top of Woodseats Road – where 75/76 already emerged to turn right to go to Meadowhead, Norton or Bradway. I have never seen a short to Scarsdale either, but it was a timing point – and an annoying one. As a student, I would often arrive in Sheffield at 2020 off the X48 18:30 ex Manchester LMS – in the days when the 42/53 was OMO to Lowedges Road with 33’0″ PDR2/1 Park Royals. One-manning was time expensive during the day but at night with few, if any passengers, these magnificent machines could shift and easily get ahead of themselves. A ten minute stop, when I wanted to get home, was not an uncommon occurrence. [Of course, intelligent scheduling could have overcome this.]

David Oldfield

16/11/13 – 08:47

Phil, Sheffield 916-932 of 1960 were the only Atlanteans with this rear destination arrangement. The following batch 933-944 of 1962 reverted to a rear triple route number only but with main and via blinds side by side above the forward lower saloon windows. The displays at the rear of 916 etc quickly fell into disuse (as did those on 369) and the destination glasses were soon panelled over. Thanks David for Scarsdale Road shorts turning – I was confusing Scarsdale Road and Derbyshire Lane.

Ian Wild

16/11/13 – 11:30

If memory serves, a foolish thing to do at my age, the early Newcastle Atlanteans had a rear destination blind, and the bonnet had a drop down step to gain access to the handle to change it, as you can imagine this was highly popular, and more often than not the blind remained blank. I seem to think that the rear number plate was moved to that spot, which tended to make it look disproportionately large.

Ronnie Hoye

17/11/13 – 06:54

Ronnie, thank you for your fascinating commentary about the early Newcastle Atlanteans. I believe that 187 and 188 were delivered in 1960 and these were followed in 1961 by a batch of 25 with bodywork split between Alexander (13) and Weymann (12). I had long been puzzled by the abnormally large rear registration plates on Atlanteans 189-238 and your memory has solved something that had me puzzled for the best part of 48 years. Well, I never!
I would add that Belfast Corporation took an early Atlantean with this style of Alexander bodywork, number 551 registered 5540 XI.

Kevin Hey

17/11/13 – 09:44

1369 W_3

Ronnie, the drop down step was a standard feature on early Atlanteans. It was a metal plate and can be clearly seen in the picture of Sheffield 369 above interrupting the topmost of the three mouldings at the bottom of the engine compartment, just below the Atlantean badge.

Phil Blinkhorn

17/11/13 – 14:09

I remember these “footplates” they were often left down. Was it customary then to ride on them thus leading to their demise?


18/11/13 – 16:43

At first sighting, I thought the batch of Sheffield Atlanteans 915-932 were quite something, with that full set of destination blinds at the rear they really stood out. When new they were put on the 17 between Dobcroft Road at Millhouses and Sheffield Lane Top, which route passed the end of my grandmother’s road, and that high pitched sound they made, rather reminiscent of a giant vacuum cleaner I always thought, was unmistakeable as I listened for them making their way along Owler Lane until late at night. They had that distinctive pitching and yawing motion down pat too, as they pulled into the stops, which was ironically not unlike the trams that had run along the same stretch of roadway just a year or so before.

Dave Careless

19/11/13 – 05:45

Re my comments on the 16th, Sheffield 916-932 were not the only Atlanteans with rear destinations and route numbers. I’d forgotten the 1962 JOC deliveries had this arrangement as well, 1350-1358 (B fleet) and 1163-1165 (C fleet). It was the 1962 A fleet 933-944 which eliminated the rear destinations leaving route numbers only.

Ian Wild

19/11/13 – 08:22

Thanks Ian, I thought there had been more with that indicator layout than in your original post as they stuck in my mind from my visits across the Pennines in the 1960s.

Phil Blinkhorn

19/11/13 – 12:06

I’m fairly sure the 1959 batches of Atlanteans, 363 – 8 and 881 – 899 (xxx WJ) just had a route number box at the rear. Funny how we’ve ended up in Sheffield again, after starting in Glasgow!

Geoff Kerr

19/11/13 – 13:58

Geoff, you are quite correct – as is Ian that the last full blind rears were on the 1962 B and C fleet Atlanteans. The A fleets (as well as the first Fleetlines 951-953) reverted to number only displays.

David Oldfield

20/11/13 – 05:40

193J VK

Whilst looking through some old slides a couple of days ago, I came across this shot of the rear of ex Newcastle Atlantean 193JVK which illustrates Ronnie’s comment about the oversized space occupied by the registration number. Not sure who added the reflective number plate though! No drop down step though. The photograph was taken in the summer of 1975, on the premises of Fowlers of Holbeach Drove the bus was in the livery of Parks of Hamilton, presumably newly acquired by Fowler.
The REO also in the picture, AG 6470, has I think, since been restored.

Bob Gell

20/11/13 – 06:47

…..but remember, Bob, that early Atlantean engine cowls were notoriously fragile. They were a complete unit and very prone to damage – needing replacement. 193 JVK possibly had just such a replacement. [On later Atlanteans only the middle section raised – and the ends swung out.]

David Oldfield

20/11/13 – 09:27

Have to say, in retrospect, apart from the unfortunate sad look at the front, it’s not a bad looking bus. Bit of a pity they didn’t follow through and improve on this rather than what they did. I quite liked the look of the AL with peaks (STD) and the R type, though quality was a little suspect on the latter. [Never came across an R type that wasn’t swimming in water on the floor during and after a rainfall.]

David Oldfield

20/11/13 – 11:19

David, I have to agree with your comments re LA1. I well remember seeing my first Atlantean in Stoke on Trent a week or so after the first deliveries. Apart from the shock of the new, in the context of the time, both the MCW and Alexander offerings were reasonably good looking. Where I disagree is about what followed. Whilst the Alexander balloon roof did not suit all the body styles (front engined vehicles looking the worst), the Glasgow examples were OK but the lowbridge version looked very stylish and avant garde, especially compared to everything else that was around at the time. In my area, North Western’s examples put everything else in the shade from the moment they appeared, and that included the Renowns which were delivered at the same time.
On another topic, didn’t Leyland change the engine shroud after the introduction of the Fleetline which had a hinged bonnet section as opposed to the cowl having to be removed as a whole, Daimler having learned from the problems the original Atlantean shroud was causing.
Regarding Geoff Kerr’s comment about Sheffield I think that Mr Oldfield is here under an alias. His real name is Forcefield. His love of all things Sheffield reminds me of a great friend of mine, one time Tourism and Conference Officer for Sheffield, Keith Cheetham, who would and could turn any conversation to Sheffield “The City in the Golden Frame”. David has a similar influence which he manages to project through the electronic media and this site is all the better for it!

Phil Blinkhorn

20/11/13 – 12:04

How kind (I think) Mr Blinkhorn.

David Oldfield

20/11/13 – 13:51

Comment was made with the best of intentions David.

Phil Blinkhorn

20/11/13 – 13:52

Again, from memory, I seem to think that by the time they were withdrawn from service, none of Newcastles Atlanteans still had a one piece bonnet, and they had all been replaced by the type mentioned by David.

Ronnie Hoye

20/11/13 – 15:49

I know it was, Phil…..

David Oldfield

20/11/13 – 16:37

David, your comments relating to the Atlantean one-piece engine cowl are interesting, as Bristol also opted for a one-piece job when it introduced the VRT. Just as on the early Atlanteans, the original VRT cowls were somewhat flimsy affairs, and were similarly prone to damage. The cowl was hinged under the rear lower deck window and was fastened at the sides by Triumph Herald-type bonnet catches. Unfortunately the catches didn’t always fasten as they should, sometimes leading to sides ‘flapping’ and cracking. A more sensible three-piece design soon replaced the original thank goodness, but considering how long the Atlantean had been in production before the VRT came along, it’s somewhat surprising that Bristol hadn’t learned from the problems encountered earlier by Leyland.

Brendan Smith

21/11/13 – 05:45

The mention of ‘being able to turn all things to Sheffield’ made me wonder if I had put the wrong picture on here?

Stephen Howarth

21/11/13 – 05:45

A bit of the classic “not invented here” syndrome !

Stephen Ford

FYS 998 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

28/09/16 – 07:00

First saw LA1 at a motor show in Kelvin Hall in the 1950s. Became bus driver in 1965 at 21 and worked at Parkhead garage where I drove LA1 often. It was the only LA with the split screen as all others had full screen at least up to 1969 when I left.

James Dearie


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Berresford Motors – Leyland Royal Tiger – HWV 793

Berresford Motors - Leyland Royal Tiger - HWV 793

Berresford Motors Ltd (Cheddleton)
Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/15
Harrington Contender C41C (1956)

Berresford’s ex Wilts and Dorset (originally Silver Star, Porton Down) Royal Tiger rounds the perimeter road of Longton Bus Station on 20th June 1971. This coach was new to Silver Star in July 1952 with a Leyland C41C body as built in large numbers for Ribble. It was fitted with the Harrington Contender Mk IV body in July 1956 after a serious accident earlier that year. It passed to Wilts and Dorset in June 1963 when that Company took over Silver Star’s operations. This information is taken from a series of articles on Silver Star in Buses Illustrated from February to April 1965.
Jim Berresford operated a mixed collection of second hand vehicles from his premises at Cheddleton. HWV is showing ‘Private’ on the blind but it could just as well have been operating on Berresford’s Longton – Leek service.
A collection of contemporary PMT buses are in the background. One of the final (1962) batch of Atlanteans of Stoke Depot on a Longton – Newcastle Estates working pursues HWV into the bus station whilst farebox fitted Roadliner 1063 of Longton Depot awaits its next trip to Blurton. Just in view is short Leopard 1124, another Longton allocated bus.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

10/11/13 – 08:02

If I remember rightly, Berresford’s was a bit of a rough and ready operation famous for it’s bus grave yard – old buses were simply dumped, withdrawn, in adjacent fields. They were big Leyland fans and had a number of ex Stockport all Leyland PD2s.

David Oldfield

10/11/13 – 17:33

This Harrington body was a variant of the type seen here on this site:
Maidstone & District – AEC Reliance – TKM 329 – C329 .
The Silver Star version seen above is rendered even uglier than the M&D style, in my opinion, by the grotesque front grilles that seemed to anticipate some of the later aberrations from the Duple stable. Thankfully, Harrington went on to redeem itself with the stylish Cavalier.

Roger Cox

11/11/13 – 08:31

The whole frontal appearance makes the body a potential Ugly Bus Page contender.

Phil Blinkhorn

11/11/13 – 15:32

I’ve seen this vehicle described as a Contender before, but surely it is a Wayfarer III? As far as I know the Contender model was for semi-chassisless vehicles such as the Commer-Harrington TS3s. However, for many years the LDB registered Harrington coaches delivered to North Western in 1958 were described in enthusiast publications as "Contenders" rather than Wayfarer IVs which is what they actually were! In that case the error went unchallenged until the vehicles had already been sold by NWRCC. Do we have any Harrington experts on board who can clarify this?

Neville Mercer

11/11/13 – 15:32

And the coach wears a sad face to express its own thoughts on its appearance, Phil.

Chris Hebbron

11/11/13 – 15:33

The body is a Harrington Wayfarer Mk 3, rather than a Contender, which was Harrington’s integral model fitted normally with a Rootes TS3 two stroke engine, apart from some for BOAC which had Rolls Royce petrol engines. The Wayfarer Mk 3 is described here:- www.thcoachwork.co.uk/way3.htm .

David Williamson

12/11/13 – 16:33

Maidstone & District had a large fleet of centre entrance Wayfarer/Reliances but also 3 similar looking but front entranced Commers, all of which were "TKM" registered.

Malcolm Boyland

13/11/13 – 12:54

You could say that Berresfords was a rough and ready operation but what a fascinating one! I always loved a trip from Leek to Hanley on the 16, or to Longton on the 106 because you really didn’t know what delight from the fleet would turn up next. I remember an ex-St Helens AEC Swift being on the stand in Longton bus station once and the driver couldn’t get reverse gear, all the passengers, some of whom were quite old, dutifully got off and helped to push the bus off the stand! It must be said though that everything Berresfords operated was smartly painted in fleet livery of red and ivory with the fleetname quite professionally applied. They were nearly always fitted with a destination blind of some sort. Such a shame that Jim Berresford’s untimely death brought it all to an end, it was one of those truly characterful operators which are sadly missed.

Chris Barker

10/12/13 – 06:38

Recent contributors may be interested to know that my book, Berresfords Motors of Cheddleton, is due to be published this week by MDS Books/Venture Publishing.

Eric Wain

11/12/13 – 06:30

Yes indeed Eric, I enquired about it at last Saturday’s Transport fair at the Manchester Museum. This is one volume I’m really looking forward to!

Chris Barker

23/12/13 – 08:34

I’ve just finished reading Eric’s book and can heartily recommend it. A decent history of Berresfords has been needed for donkey’s years and Eric has finally come up with the goods – and I would still be saying that even if we didn’t share a publisher!

Neville Mercer

03/03/14 – 07:26

Eric, I have just purchased and read your superb book on Berresfords, an operator that has long fascinated me (and no doubt many other enthusiasts) even though I only visited the depot a couple of times. A couple of points – you don’t mention in the book the large number of vehicles which must have been purchased for spares only, on both my visits a lot of the derelict buses seemed to fall into that category but I doubt there is any record. Amongst others the "West’s" RTL, and on my second visit a Western SMT Fleetline, GMT ex North Western RE and several ex NBC single deckers. My second query is how did Jim decide on withdrawal whether to keep a vehicle round the back for spares, or sell it on either for service or scrap. And whilst many obviously stayed in the yard for years, other derelicts must have been disposed of long before the PMT takeover.

Michael Keeley

20/05/14 – 08:30

Thank you, gentlemen, for your kind comments regarding my book. With regard to the withdrawn vehicles and those purchased for spares, there were two reasons why this aspect could not be covered. Given the large number of vehicles which fell into these categories over the years, it became obvious that other text or photos within the book would have to be forfeited in view of space limitations. Secondly, although there was much information available about many vehicles acquired for spares etc., it was known that the list would certainly be far from complete and it was decided not to produce an incomplete list.
From the early 1950s some vehicles withdrawn from the fleet were cannibalised and the bodies cut up rather than sold on. Some vehicles acquired for spares were treated similarly, whereas others donated useful major units and other parts and then were used for parts storage. One double-decker bought in 1949 actually donated its staircase which was incorporated into the rear of the extension of the office and workshop block! Unfortunately, I did not become aware of this until the book had been published.

Eric Wain


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