Old Bus Photos

Royal Household – Bedford J2 – PYY 28D

Royal Household - Bedford J2 - PYY 28D

Royal Household
Bedford J2SZ2
Duple C10F

Here is a view of PYY 28D. She is a Bedford J2SZ2, built for use as a Staff Bus for the Royal Household. The bodywork is a Duple Midland C10F. She started life with registration KLP 1D with the Royal Household and is seen at the National Tramway Museum, Crich, on 30 August 2004. The livery appears to be black. but it is really an incredibly dark and highly-polished green.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

05/12/13 – 06:57

Incredible, Pete. I’d forgotten all about this beast – but cannot remember where I saw it last.

David Oldfield

05/12/13 – 08:41

A fine vehicle indeed, and one that I’ve never heard of before. Presumably the impeccable dark green livery means it was supplied by Harrods "by appointment to H. M. The Queen, suppliers of motor omnibuses" – sorry, just another of my infantile mischievous thoughts !!

Chris Youhill

05/12/13 – 08:58

Nice one Chris – but don’t mock. You never know.

David Oldfield

05/12/13 – 11:39

I believe that ‘purveyors’ is the word, rather than ‘suppliers’, Chris! Much more classy!
What is the current situation of the vehicle? Many ‘royal’ vehicles/trains/yachts have very cossetted and long lives – is this one of them?
It’s a very stylish vehicle which hasn’t really dated.

Chris Hebbron

05/12/13 – 11:40

This is a very nice looking coach – reminds me of the Maidstone & District Knightrider in it’s livery style (although the M&D one was really black, I think). But is it cheeky to ponder why the Royal Household chose a Bedford coach? Why not go to their supplier of limousines, Daimler? A few years earlier, and they could have had that rarity, a Daimler Freeline. But in 1966, I suppose they would have had a Roadliner supplied to them – perhaps they had already heard of it’s reputation!

Michael Hampton

05/12/13 – 11:43

There was also a Bedford VAS3 with a Willowbrook DP20F body new in 1972. This vehicle had an outward opening door. It was often seen at Aberdeen railway station taken staff and luggage to and from Balmoral. This vehicle is now preserved as RBY 764 K.

Stephen Bloomfield

05/12/13 – 15:06

…..but before…..
The Monarch’s current ride is a Bentley.
The prior ride was a Rolls Royce.
Before that, they used Daimler cars – but pre-war it was Crossley cars…..

David Oldfield

05/12/13 – 15:07

Chris H,
She appears in the PSVC listing for 2012. That’s where I obtained the detail of her previous registration. Has anyone heard any rumblings about when the next issue may be out?
Think yourselves lucky, folks, as you nearly got a jet fighter after I hit the wrong button. Peter spotted the mistake before I did!

Pete Davies

05/12/13 – 17:51

By chance, Chris Youhill is nearly right because the Queen does use Harrods for her transport requirements.
In this instance, it is D & H Harrod Coaches of Downham Market, Norfolk who are "By appointment to her Majesty the Queen, Suppliers of Coach Hire"

Nigel Turner

06/12/13 – 06:36

I’m sure this is the one that was at the Kirkby Stephen Easter rally this year. I’ve seen it a couple of times at recent rallies.
I believe it has recently been advertised for sale in Bus and Coach Preservation magazine.

Eric Bawden

06/12/13 – 08:22


Very good, Nigel. For the benefit of those including me who have always thought it was HARROLD, here’s a view of the Warrant. It is indeed HARROD.

Pete Davies

17/12/13 – 06:48

I can’t let the comment about Maidstone & District’s Knightrider coach go uncorrected. It was indeed a dark refined colour, quite different from the fleet colours. Although it might look black in black & white photographs – and some colour renditions, too – it was in fact dark blue.


17/12/13 – 14:26

Thank you Petras for your correction re the livery of M&D’s Knightrider coach. It makes the comparison with the Royal Household coach more pertinent, as both could appear black to a casual observer, but are actually very refined liveries in their respective colours.

Michael Hampton

17/12/13 – 15:07

Petras409 makes reference to the Maidstone and District Knightrider livery of dark blue. I have recently acquired a M&D cap badge which is dark blue and not the usual Green. I was informed that it was for staff working on the Knightrider, can anybody confirm this?
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all

Stephen Howarth

19/12/13 – 06:50

Coaches belonging to Charles Rickards of London (later Frames Rickards) carried the Royal Warrant for many years. I imagine that there will be other operators, in addition to Harrod’s, with a Royal Warrant. Downham Market seems nicely placed for Sandringham.

David Call

30/05/15 – 06:54

PYY 28D has now reverted to KLP 1D and was seen at The Llandudno Transport Festival in May with these plates, and a check on DVLA web site confirms this.

John Wakefield

31/05/15 – 06:43

It would seem that the Knightrider was named after M&D’s head office, based in Knightrider House, Knightrider Street.
Was this coach designed for special work or what?

Chris Hebbron

06/06/15 – 08:10

NKN 650

Yes the Knightrider coach was designated into a series of its own LC1 (Luxury Coach), but was never operated in public service. It was effectively a directors’ limousine, used for high profile visits to outposts of the Maidstone & District empire. Its 16 leather seats were sumptuously laid out in a version of the Harrington Wayfarer body, mounted on a petrol engined Commer Avenger chassis
It was kept in a state of permanent readiness at Sittingbourne depot, in fine fettle, but clocked up a very low mileage.
The picture from the web (Commons copyright free) shows its midnight blue livery well. NKN 650 survives in restoration and must have involved very little restorative work by its current owners, after its undemanding life with M&D.
I was privileged to have a ride in it, on the occasion of a colleague’s retirement bash, while still with M&D. It provided such a quiet, refined ride. Possibly the most luxurious coach ride of my life – the only thing that was missing was the gin & tonic from the cocktail cabinet. This last comment is a lifestyle point, not a definitive statement about the presence (or absence) of such a fitment.


07/06/15 – 06:19

Thx, Petras409 for the fulsome explanation and additional photo. In those days, a petrol engine still had the cache of seeming luxurious over a diesel. Did it have a Bedford engine, Petras?

Chris Hebbron

07/06/15 – 06:21

Interesting comment from Petras about "Knightrider" in respect of the drinks cabinet. Grossly off topic, I know, but readers might find this amusing.
I was using my ‘old dodders’ bus pass’ a few months ago, and was in Southsea, returning to Southampton. A lady in a wheelchair boarded, and commented on how old the bus was (S prefix, 1998). "Where’s the wide screen television?" she asked. "And the drinks machine?" The driver replied that he’d been naughty, and had been given this one by way of punishment (I suppose it’s better than a school run!) A few minutes later the lady had managed to fit the wheelchair into the space, and apologised thus: "Sorry about the delay in settling, folks, but my wheelchair’s put on a few extra inches since Christmas!"

Pete Davies

07/06/15 – 06:23

Why did M&D feel the need to have a dedicated Directors coach (Salford’s Committee coach comes to mind here)? I suppose at Salford there wouldn’t have been any other "suitable" [sic] vehicle for the Transport Committee to travel in, but surely M&D had enough front-line coaches to put one at the disposal of the Directors – neighbours Southdown and East Kent (companies with a similar commitment to coaching, and others such as BMMO and Ribble) didn’t feel the need for this extravagance . . . or was that the point, keeping ahead of the Jones’s?

Philip Rushworth

20/11/15 – 06:48

For Chris Hebbron’s information the Commer Avenger petrol engine was a six cylinder OHV Humber unit as also used in the Imperial Limousine and in the Commer QX lorry. For the Avenger and the QX it was mounted at an angle of 60 degrees to reduce intrusion into the cab.

Stephen Allcroft

17/10/16 – 09:08


Just to revert back to this post, I am trying to trace a subsequent Bedford that also carried the KLP 1D mark.
This was a 1985 Bedford PJK chassis No FT103932 with a cut down Duple Dominant 2 body C16F No 8507/0600 new to Kensington Palace in 6/85. This appeared on eBay in July 2014 with seats removed after an aborted attempt to turn it into a caravan. It was sold to a number plate dealer who sold off the KLP 1D mark to the owner of the J2 (PYY 28D) which is now re united with its original mark.
The PJK was reported to have been sold on with another (unknown) registration number to a school or charity organisation possibly for a greenhouse! I am trying to trace this vehicle so if anyone spots it or knows where it is I would like to know through this website.
The pic shows it in 2014 when it appeared on eBay.

John Wakefield

PYY 28D Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

08/11/17 – 07:15


On 5th Nov, I was at the Lincoln Vintage Vehicle Society running event, and noticed this little charmer parked up among the other smaller exhibits. I thought, I have seen this somewhere before, and yes, it is there in the OBP site in some earlier guise. It carried various window displays about its illustrious history and the front window card stated "Lincoln via Aidensfield" which suggests where it had been in the recent past.

Rob Hancock

09/11/17 – 07:09

The Duple Dominant Royal coach has been found at Sutton House & Breakers Yard a National Trust property at 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London. Its been made into a greenhouse with the chassis and floor cut away to give ground level access.
Here is a link to pics of KLP 1D https://www.flickr.com/ and a link to the Sutton House web site. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

John Wakefield

10/11/17 – 06:46

If you are on a site which doesn’t readily accept right click Copy & Paste. You can usually use Ctrl C for copy and Ctrl V for paste.

John Lomas


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Western SMT – AEC Regent III – BSD 454 – 549

Western SMT – AEC Regent III – BSD 454 – 549

Western SMT
AEC Regent III 9612E
Northern Counties L27/26R

Western SMT took fifty-eight of these handsome preselector Regent III’s with Northern Counties lowbridge bodies between 1947 and 1950, being registered BSD 401 to 458, Strangely, BSD 441 of 1949 never entered service with them and was immediately sold to the independent York Bros. of Northampton. The rest of them continued with WSMT until withdrawal between 1962 and 1965. BSD 454 had survived a further seven years or so with an unidentified owner until being sold to North’s, the dealer, of Sherburn-in-Elmet – in whose yard it is seen here awaiting its final fate in the Summer of 1970. It would be interesting to know why BSD 441 was sold without being used – does anybody know?

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

02/12/13 – 16:13

"an unidentified owner" could be some sort of contractor, using the vehicle for staff transport, if the markings on the offside are any guide. Is that a Weymann coach body behind her?

Pete Davies

02/12/13 – 16:51

Looks like a Fanfare to me, Hawkeye…..

David Oldfield

03/12/13 – 06:21

At a rough guess it is probably a Yorkshire Woollen Fanfare.

Philip Carlton

03/12/13 – 06:22

I don’t know why BSD 441 was sold unused. But I do know that 6 further buses were diverted to Hants & Dorset on the south coast. They were very non-standard for this company, but lived out a reasonably full service life. They were numbered 1213-1218, and registered JEL 752-757 in Bournemouth, as would be expected for H&D stock at that time. I believe that this transfer was at the instruction of the BTC, as both H&D’s parent, the Tilling Group, and Western SMT’s parent SBG had recently been nationalised. Presumably a Whitehall boffin felt that such a transfer made sense…?? They were fitted with Tilling-style destination screens, although not so deep as the normal standard.

Michael Hampton

03/12/13 – 07:51

‘Bus Lists On The Web’ gives Western 548 as having had the registration BCS 453 rather than BSD 453. Conversely, Western 394, the last of a batch of 22 Northern Counties bodied Daimler CVA6s, is given as BSD 453, whereas the previous 21 are shown BCS 429/31-3/5-41/3-52.
There is a pic on the net of 548 displaying the registration BCS 453, when with subsequent operator Laycock of Barnoldswick.
Almost as strange as the ‘BSD 441’ enigma.

David Call

03/12/13 – 07:51

The single decker on the right of the picture looks to be a Lancashire United Guy UF with Weymann Hermes body, one of six delivered in 1954. The front of these bodies was different to the standard Hermes body having a curve to lower windscreen line to match previous Atkinson Alphas with bodies by Northern Counties, Roe and Willowbrook but being different in detail around the cab windows.

Phil Blinkhorn

04/12/13 – 07:16

Concur with you on the LUT UF, it was my thought straight away on seeing first sight.

Mike Norris

04/12/13 – 12:11

I didn’t record the details of the other vehicles in the photo, but can confirm that the one on the right is an ex-LUT WTB-reg Arab LUF. There were others of the batch at North’s on that day, I have another photo which includes WTB 71. The bus to the left is one of several ex-WYRCC LS’s, and in the background an ex-YWD Fanfare, of which there were others.

John Stringer


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Southdown – Leyland Leopard – 179 DCD – 1179

Southdown - Leyland Leopard - 179 DCD - 1179

Southdown - Leyland Leopard - 179 DCD - 1179

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
Leyland Leopard PSU3/3RT
Plaxton C49F

These photos taken opposite their Royal Parade garage show one of Southdown’s first ever batch of Plaxton bodies five of which numbered 1175-79 registered 175-79 DCD were delivered in January 1964 on Leopard PSU3/3RT chassis. The bodies were to C49F layout with low backed leather covered seats, a sixth numbered 1180 and registered 480 DUF arrived in March 1964 but was of C35F layout with high backed moquette seats for use on a contract with a Swedish company Linje-Tours, a role it took over from one of the front entrance Tiger Cub/Beadles either 1128 or 1129, when the contract ran out it was reseated to C49F.
I always thought that this style of Panorama body with a straight waist line was a great improvement on the previous model with it’s curved waistline although I have no aversion to curved waistlines as I still consider the Harrington Cavalier/Grenadier one of the all time classics of British coach building design.
Southdown of course went on to buy many more Plaxton bodies over the next 20 years the peak of which I think were the 1820-44 touring coaches to C32F layout delivered in 1971 registered UUF 320-44J on Leopard PSU3B/4RT chassis an absolute dream to drive.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

28/11/13 – 05:58

Absolute beauty; Plaxtons at their best. [1963-1982 to be more precise.] The Leopard, however, was at its best from the PSU3E to the PSU3G.

David Oldfield

28/11/13 – 09:57

SUT had twenty of these (ten each for 1963/1964) on 2U3RA chassis. They too had low backed "touring" seats with generous leg-room. [44 seaters as well as 48 in a 36’0" long coach.] I have seen other examples with other operators as well. [SUT continued with low back seats for the 45 seaters on the next style of Panorama but had head-rolls on the 49s.] Was this an on delivery photograph? I see no Southdown transfers on the side. Was 1180 and example of Southdown’s famous 2 + 1 layout super luxury touring coaches?

David Oldfield

29/11/13 – 17:20

The low back coach seats must have been a mid 60s fad.
At PMT, the 1964 Duples had high backs followed in 1965 and 1967 Plaxton bodies on Reliance and Roadliner respectively with low backs then reverting to high backs with the 1968 Duple Roadliners and subsequent Duple Reliances. Or were low backed coach seats a Plaxton speciality?

Ian Wild

29/11/13 – 17:46

Only remember them on Plaxtons, Ian. […..but maybe someone out there knows better…..]

David Oldfield

02/02/14 – 16:01

1180, the Linjebuss Leopard had ‘normal’ 2+2 seating with extra legroom. It is by the way preserved but with 49 seats. The Tiger Cub which 1180 replaced was 1129 which had 32 seats, 1128 had 30 seats and was used on a tour to Moscow operated by Morlands Tours. That contract was so important to Southdown that 1124, also Tiger Cub/Beadle was kept in Brighton to the same configuration as a spare coach.

Mr Anon

13/06/14 – 15:32

Low back seats were also fitted to the Weyman Castillion bodies (1155 to 1174 and to some of the 1700 class Harrington Cavaliers when reseated from C28F to C41F. As Ian Wild says it must have been a 60’s fad.

Richard Clark


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 18th June 2018