Old Bus Photos

J Fishwick & Sons – Leyland-MCW Olympian – 524 CTF – 28

J Fishwick & Sons – Leyland Olympian – 524 CTF – 28
Copyright Peter Williamson

J Fishwick & Sons
1957
Leyland-MCW Olympian
Weymann DP40F

This should go nicely with the Fishwick Olympic already posted.  The Olympian was to the Tiger Cub what the Olympic was to to the Royal Tiger – in other words it was a lightweight integral with Tiger Cub running units and an MCW Hermes body built by Weymann.
According to Bus Lists on the Web, only 60 of these were built: most were supplied to Western Welsh, while Fishwicks had six and a few went 524 CTF_badge_lrabroad.
This one was finished to dual-purpose standard, and by the time it was photographed at Newtown on a PSV Circle tour of Shropshire and mid-Wales in June 1968, it had been refurbished (by Burlingham or their successor Duple Northern) to include a flashy mock grille proudly incorporating the Olympian badge.  It was painted in Fishwicks coach livery of the day, which I think was something like lilac and grey – I’m sure someone will be able to confirm or correct that.
Sister vehicle 521 CTF is preserved – see details in the discussion under the Olympic posting at this link.

 

Photograph and Copy contributed by Peter Williamson


22/04/12 – 07:28

The coach colours were described as Guildford Blue and Arundel Grey. It was in this livery from 1964 to 1969, when it reverted to standard bus colours.

Dave Williamson


 

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Wallace Arnold Tours – Leyland Leopard – Plaxton – BNW 603C

Wallace Arnold - Leyland Leopard - Plaxton - BNW 603C

Wallace Arnold Tours Leeds
1965
Leyland Leopard PSU3/3R
Plaxton Panorama C49C

BNW 603C was one of the 1965 batch of Leyland Leopards with WA’s specified centre-entrance Plaxton Panorama bodies. This is an official publicity photograph taken at Roundhay Park, Leeds immediately after delivery. Judging by the trees, it must have been taken in early April (it’s documented delivery month), and I suspect that the roof lights would soon have been closed after the photographs were taken. Perhaps this coach was to be entered in the 1965 Blackpool and Brighton Coach Rallies, so the non-standard chrome wheel trimswacu would be retained until after the events, and then removed in favour of the standard red paint trim.
As a final observation, why has this "Panorama" got the "Embassy" badge attached to the front off-side panel?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Paul Haywood

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19/02/12 – 07:44

…..because it IS an Embassy and not a Panorama! The Panorama has fixed windows and forced air ventilation, The Embassy has (multiple) slider vents and no forced air ventilation. This, along with centre entrances, was a WA special specification for years.
There was a gradual move towards standard Plaxton specification during the sixties. This vehicle certainly has Panorama moldings and ribbed metal detail but it was only with the 1968 F registered vehicles that WA received standard Panoramas. [From 1967, Plaxton renamed and labelled the Panorama as Panorama I and the Embassy as Panorama II. To muddy the water even more, the Embassy on a Bedford VAL was originally called a Val and on a Bedford VAM a Vam!]
This was Plaxton emerging into it’s high point in history. Regrettably, wooden frames – common on all coach bodies – means that few coaches have survived into preservation compared with service buses.

David Oldfield

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19/02/12 – 09:00

A most interesting feature Paul from our days at WA – I was unaware of all these finer details about Plaxton/WA specifications and trim. I’ve just hurried to my records and find that I never encountered this coach, but I did drive three others of the batch. I can well see the wisdom of removing the fancy wheel trims promptly, as the heavy Leopards were short on braking stamina as is well known, and any extra optional heat build up was not to be recommended.

Chris Youhill

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19/02/12 – 14:06

BNW 603C was indeed WA’s entry in the 1965 Blackpool Coach Rally, driven by Eric Patrickson. They also entered BNW 633C, a Ford 676E/Duple C51F from the Feather fleet. But WA did not enter any coaches in the Brighton Rally.

Dave Williamson

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19/02/12 – 16:44

One of this batch the number which is lost in the shadow of time was rebodied and reregistered by Stanley Gath Coaches of Dewsbury. Perhaps someone remembers its new identity.

Philip Carlton

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19/02/12 – 16:47

Whoops!
You’re right, David, muddy waters indeed, and I’m sure you are technically correct in what you say. However, to me – if they have panoramic windows, they are Panoramas.
The last of the "official" WA Embassys in 1962, albeit stretched to 36ft, had small windows and a bulbous front and rear – totally unlike a Panorama. I now discover that WA’s 1963 and 64 intake of coaches with Panorama-like bodies were also badged as Embassys.
What is even more strange is that, according to Plaxton history, the Embassy style was designed for lightweight chassis, even though the lightweight VAMs and VALs of the same period had "official" Panorama bodies!
Thankfully, common sense seemed to prevail and the name Panorama-1 became universal for this style of bodywork, albeit with a front-entrance.

Beam me up, Scottie!

Paul Haywood

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…..and talking of special WA specifications…..
Woodgrain veneer/formica was the normal finish on both Duples and Plaxtons in the ’60s – which got darker and darker as the decade progressed. The exceptions were these self same WA centre entrance specials which had a very light non standard finish. I never rode on any but "observed" many on holidays in Devon and Cornwall. My hazy memory recalls a light greeny/grey hue with sunshine motifs – but whatever it was, it was unique to WA.

David Oldfield

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20/02/12 – 09:05

The point is that from the 1963 season onwards, ALL 36-foot Plaxton bodies had long windows, but not all 36-foot Plaxton bodies were Panoramas. All the evidence says that until the introduction of the Panorama II, the Panorama was fiercely protected as a premium product by the application of three rules: it must have fixed windows, it must have a front entrance and it must be on a heavyweight chassis.

Peter Williamson

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20/02/12 – 09:06

It’s strange how the space where the air scoop would have been doesn’t have a glazed quarterlight. Obviously it’s a coach which could be more than adequately ventilated, the trouble was, even on the coldest of days, there was always someone who wanted a window open! With regard to the name, don’t forget the Venturer appeared in several different forms but was it still the Venturer? The Embassys which Paul mentions with the bulbous front had a wonderful stately air about them (when fitted to underfloor engined chassis) the aristocrats of the road!

Chris Barker

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21/02/12 – 07:20

Many Plaxton coaches of the 50s and early 60s appeared in three different forms at the same time, quite apart from variations year on year. These were:
1. underfloor engined with centre entrance (bulbous front)
2. underfloor engined with front entrance (flat front)
3. front engined with entrance behind front wheel.
There were cases where these different versions had different windscreens and/or grilles, and once the Panorama got added to the mix, it took dedicated study to work out what was what.

Peter Williamson

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26/02/12 – 07:24

Having just seen a couple of photos of 1965 Bedford SBs with Panorama bodies (of the type later badged as Panorama I), I must modify slightly something I said above: it seems that the embargo on "lightweight" Panoramas was lifted with the Ogle restyling for the 1965 coaching season.

Peter Williamson


 

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West Midlands PTE – Leyland Tiger – JOJ 252 – 2252

West Midlands PTE - Leyland Tiger - JOJ 252 - 2252
Copyright Ian Wild

West Midlands PTE
1950
Leyland Tiger PS2/1
Weymann B34F

PMT went through various vehicle shortages in 1969/70 mainly as a result of the unreliability of the Roadliner fleet which was sucking maintenance resources from the rest of the fleet. East Midland and Trent loaned Tiger Cubs but a real surprise was the hiring of up to nine of these quite antiquated looking buses from West Midlands PTE. They were absolutely immaculate inside and out and with plenty of power from the 0.600 engines in such a small vehicle. This particular bus had three periods on hire of which this was the third, earlier it had the Birmingham coat of arms rather than the WMPTE logo on the side. They were unsuitable for OMO so ended up in many cases on heavily loaded urban services normally operated by 72 seat Atlanteans or Fleetlines – not ideal. The bus is pictured outside Stoke Depot on 19th April 1970.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

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16/02/12 – 07:07

JOJ 245_lr

Fortunately a number of these splendid and reliable vehicles have been preserved. This example looking resplendent at the Wythall Museum in 2010.

Nigel Edwards

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16/02/12 – 07:08

Strange how these vehicles had chromium plated radiators as late as 1950. I believe Manchester Corporation specified them also.

Chris Barker

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18/02/12 – 07:14

Manchester Corporation had chromium plated radiators on their PD2 Titans right up to the final batch delivered in the mid-sixties. These were invariably painted red at the earliest opportunity completely ruining the appearance of the elegant Leyland exposed radiator and giving a very tatty appearance to the vehicles.
I believe the pressed metal chromium plated radiator cost less than the cast aluminium unit which by this time was the norm. Previous posts on this site have referred to the then GM, Albert Neal having a frugal approach to vehicle purchasing.

Philip Halstead

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27/09/12 – 07:19

I have to disagree about Manchester painting the chromium plated radiators red "at the earliest opportunity"
Certainly there were many examples of over use of the spray gun but the majority of the PD2s were not so abused. Parrs Wood depot in particular, which had a majority complement of PD2s, was known for "spit and polish" and it wasn’t until very late in the 1960s that the standard dropped, with the exception of a couple of the Northern Counties bodied PD2s of the 1953 batch which received their 1958 spray booth scheme second repaint in the mid 1960s when loaned out to another depot (Sharston if I remember) and were left looking less than happy compared to their stable mates.

Phil Blinkhorn

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28/09/12 – 08:01

I always used to think that chromium plated radiators were painted into fleet livery at some later date but surely this cannot be. It would be virtually impossible to apply paint on top of chromium plating and it would very quickly come off anyway. The necessary treatment, I imagine, would be to immerse the thing into a sort of acid bath to remove the plating prior to applying paint. Does anyone know if this was the case, or if the radiators were simply replaced as complete units?

Chris Barker

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28/09/12 – 14:36

The radiators weren’t replaced. Albert Neal, under whose regime the so called overall red scheme came in and during which period most of the Leyland radiators were painted, was far too frugal and beset with the problem of balancing the books for that.
The Leylands that were so treated were generally allocated to primarily Daimler garages, or received their treatment whilst on loan to them. From 1953 all Daimlers had tin or fibreglass fronts and were all red and were just put through the bus wash. The Leylands were supposed to have had their chrome work wiped off after passing through the wash, so presumably the Daimler garages wanted to skip this step.
The method used to spray MCTD vehicles from 1957 onwards was a hot spray method which baked the paint on as it was applied. This may have helped the paint to stick to chrome, I don’t know, but I do know that, in general, the paint was extremely shiny when new and even the all red scheme looked good – for a couple of weeks – but the paint rapidly dulled and that on the radiators certainly chipped.
Over the last few days I’ve looked at dozens of pictures of MCTD PD1s and PD2s, in books and on the Net as well as using my memory. The vast majority of photos show chrome radiators unpainted, even after the second all red repaint in the mid 1960s.
Exceptions are 3000-3049, 3050-3099, 3100-3199 where many of the batches received painted radiator cowls as they had aluminium cowls which pitted and were dull.
A couple of the 3300-3329 batch had their chrome overpainted red, as previously mentioned. 3318 at one time had a black cowl which was horrible. One or two of the 3471-3520 Burlingham batch were overpainted later in life – and were then overpainted orange in SELNEC days, so the paint must have stuck OK.
The greatest number of examples of chrome overpainting on PD2s happened to vehicles in the batches numbered from 3521- 720, but even these were in the minority.

Phil Blinkhorn


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 10th February 2016