Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Leyland Titan PD1 – GUF 669 – 269

Southdown - Leyland Titan PD1 - GUF 669 - 269

Southdown Motor Services
1946
Leyland Titan PD1
Park Royal H26/26R

Taken with my rather primitive Comet S camera in Brighton in 1960, this picture is not one of my best. There were twenty five of these PD1s delivered between June and September 1946, and 269, GUF 669, arrived with Southdown in July. 269 was withdrawn in 1963 and sold to Mexborough and Swinton who upseated it to H32/26R, but withdrew it for scrap just three years later. The PD1, with its 100 bhp 7.4 litre E181 engine and slow gearchange, was never a lively performer, and would have found some of the hills around Brighton to have been a bit of of a challenge, but several were based at Worthing depot, and in the picture 269 is operating along the relatively easy coastal route 9 from Arundel to Brighton.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


01/05/22 – 07:37

Poor photo you might feel, Roger, but photos of immediate post-war buses are often fascinating. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Park Royal bodied one before, still five-bay. Weymann ones are seemingly more common. I agree with the painfully slow gearchanges on these vehicles; you could drink a cup of tea between gears, at least you could with London Transport’s austerity TD4 STDs, which sometimes would appear at Raynes Park, on the 77A route! Why they were given challenging routes in Central London and not allocated to Country services, I don’t know. But that’s London Transport for you!

Chris Hebbron


22/05/22 – 06:47

I went on a family holiday to Worthing in 1959, our first Southern holiday. I remember these PD1s from that holiday and this particular bus from its days with Mexborough and Swinton as I worked as an apprentice at Parkgate at that time just along the road from the M&S depot. I don’t recall ever travelling on it or its sibling. They have a certain rugged attraction to the bodywork and certainly dissimilar to any other buses that I came across. Thanks for the memories!!

Ian Wild


24/05/22 – 05:46

Chris, the utility London Transport STD class of 1941/2 comprised eleven ‘unfrozen’ buses of the Leyland TD7 variety, a type that was introduced in succession to the TD5 in 1939. The TD6 was a special Birmingham only gearless version of the TD7, the model number being changed by Leyland for the wider market. In addition to being higher geared than the TD5, a significant change was the adoption of flexible engine mountings, and, to reduce rock, the engine was equipped with a heavier flywheel than before. This, however, resulted in the engine revs taking a long time to die between upward gear changes, which, added to the high gearing, made the TD7 painfully slow on intensive town services. Perversely, the London TD7s were all allocated to Victoria garage where they were regarded with an attitude bordering on hatred, and STD 101-111 were the very first utility buses to be withdrawn from front line service by London Transport. They all went unlamented for scrap. In practice, several provincial operators found that the flexible engine mountings of the TD7 weakened the chassis frame at the back of the engine and restored their examples to the solid mountings of the TD5, so was it all worth it, one wonders. The wartime bus industry is reported to have been utterly dismayed when the Leyland TD8 utility bus option was cancelled by the Ministry of War Transport, leaving only the suspiciously unknown quantity called the Guy Arab available to operators. Perhaps the heavy flywheel TD8 might not have proved popular in practice, whereas the Arab went on to earn a reputation as a truly dependable workhorse. Despite having a rigidly mounted engine the PD1 also precluded remotely speedy gear changes, and Geoffrey Hilditch declared that this model had the slowest gear change he ever encountered, though it seems that he didn’t come across the equally ponderous TD7. Strangely, the single deck PS1 of identical mechanical specification did not seem to earn a similar reputation. No doubt the lighter vehicle weight permitted better forward progress through the gears.

Roger Cox


 

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East Kent – Dennis Lancet – HJG 6

East Kent - Dennis Lancet - HJG 6

East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd.
1954 – 1957
Dennis Lancet UF – Guy Arab IV
Duple C41C – Park Royal H33/28RD

East Kent’s first foray into underfloor engined vehicles occurred in 1951 when six Leyland Royal Tigers with ornate but rather uncertainly styled Park Royal coach bodies arrived in 1951. In 1953 came two more Royal Tigers, this time with well proportioned Duple C32C Ambassador bodies. Thirty more similar Duple coach bodies, the first six being C32C, the rest C41C, arrived in the following year, but this time mounted on Dennis Lancet UF LU2 chassis, East Kent having been an enthusiastic customer for the front engined Lancet in pre and early post war years. These coaches were registered HJG3 to 32 – East Kent did not use fleet numbers, but duplication of the number element of the registrations was always avoided. This Lancet UF order was the largest Dennis ever received, and the total production figure for the model was a mere 71. Factors influencing this outcome were the low driving position, the high pressure hydraulic braking system and the idiosyncratic Dennis ‘O’ type gearbox, a four speed crash unit with a preselective overdrive fifth. That gearbox had been a feature of the vertical engined Lancet and East Kent drivers were fully familiar with it, but, in the UF model, its remote location together with the engine halfway long the chassis made clean changes by ear difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, these Lancet UF coaches were very refined, fast and reliable, achieving a service life of up to 17 years.
East Kent’s pre war standard double decker was the Leyland Titan TD4 and then the TD5. During the war East Kent was effectively in the front line, and the fleet suffered extensive damage through enemy action in the air and from artillery firing across the Channel from the French coast. Utility Guy Arabs were allocated to East Kent to meet vehicle losses and the rugged dependability of the marque so impressed the company that the Arab became the standard post war double deck chassis up to 1957. The BET preferred supplier system then oversaw the transfer of subsequent orders to the AEC Regent V, though three Bridgemasters were also bought, all with Park Royal bodywork. Thenceforward the melodious murmur of Gardner engine and Guy gearbox was supplemented by the atonal scream of the AEC transmission. MFN 896 was an example of the last batch of Guys, one of 20 Arab IVs of 1957 with Park Royal H33/28RD bodywork of outstandingly classic proportions. The first AEC Regent Vs that followed in 1959 were the PFN registered ‘Puffins’ which wore a full fronted version of the traditional Park Royal design, but thereafter the Regent body deliveries witnessed a decline from the sublime to the ridiculous by carrying the hideous Bridgemaster derived highbridge design that so offended Southampton Corporation that it quickly transferred its long standing patronage from Park Royal to East Lancashire. The ugliness of the design was accentuated later when these Regents were turned out in NBC poppy red.
The picture was taken in Canterbury in 1967 when East Kent was still a BET company, and shows 1954 Lancet UF HJG 6, by then reseated to C41C, alongside 1957 Arab IV MFN 896, with another Arab of the same type to its right. These Arabs originally presented a full destination blind display, but by 1967 the aperture had been reduced to a single line. On the right hand edge of the photo are two of the ugly duckling Park Royal Regent Vs of 1961 onwards that eventually totalled 121 in the fleet.

More details of the Dennis Lancet UF and the earlier Dominant may be found here:- https://www.dennissociety.org.uk/nl/dandl.html.

A detailed article covering EKRCC operations, principally in the Dover area, is here:- https://doverhistorian.com/2016/12/16/east-kent-road-car

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


21/01/21 – 06:24

I’m so pleased to see someone saying what I’ve long thought about the the later Regent Vs. I was a schoolboy in Folkestone in the early ‘60s, and whereas the MFN Guys were my favourites and I quite liked the PFN Regents, I thought the later Regents were freaky and designed by somebody who would probably have done well in some other occupation. On the other hand I was pleased to see the back of the lowbridge PD1As; travelling upstairs on one of those could be a depressing experience.

Don


22/01/21 – 07:38

If it wasn’t for the Duple single decker I was all ready to say "Edinburgh Corporation". What a similarity of livery colours, livery application, double decker bodywork, etc.

Bill


01/02/21 – 06:34

Just to say that this photo is taken at ‘The Garth’ in St Stephens Rd Canterbury.

Clive Bowley


 

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Sheffield Corporation – AEC Swift – TWE 123F – 1023

Sheffield Corporation - AEC Swift - TWE 123F - 1023

Sheffield Corporation
1968
AEC Swift 2P2R
Park Royal B53F

Sheffield took delivery of two batches of AEC Swifts in 1968. The 2P2R type was fitted with the AH691 engine, ideal for the Sheffield hills. The first 11 buses were single doorway for the Joint Committee B fleet as shown here. These buses were initially put to work on the Inner Circle services 8 and 9 despite these being category A services. 1023 is seen here so employed when just a few weeks old at Hunters Bar. The Inner Circle routes took one hour for a round trip serving the older and inner parts of the City. The small window beneath the nearside windscreen had a roller blind behind which could be set to either blank (as here) or Please Pay as you Enter as appropriate.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


29/06/20 – 06:21

Who knows? I could have been lurking within 1023. I was a pupil of King Edward VII School on Newbold Lane from 1964-1971 and these were my regular mode of transport to and from school from 1968. Fast and smooth but, in retrospect, not the equal of the RE. Ironic that, shortly afterwards, an order for the superb RE was changed for the flawed VRT.

David Oldfield


15/07/20 – 06:45

I think you and I spent many a happy hour waitiog for these Swifts and before that – whatever could be mustered from East Bank Road depot at that time in the morning, be it a 30ft long AEC Regent V with Weymann, Alexander or Roe bodywork, a PD3, Atlantean, Fleetline or even somethingg older. What a splendid mix was the Sheffield fleet right up to the 1970s.
The Swifts had a hard life climbing up and down the ferocious hills of the Steel City to Lodge Moor, Gleadless, Upperthorpe, Walkley and, as here, on the Inner Circle. Of course they never looked as good as this once taken over by the South Yorkshire PTE.

Philip Hanwell


17/07/20 – 07:33

Yes, it was a bit of a hotch potch just prior to the Swifts. Not sure about the B fleet Regents Vs or Fleetlines, but we certainly had the rest – and older. [Not to mention the fleet of almost retired Regent IIIs and PD2s used to ferry us to games at Trapp Lane and Castle Dyke.]

David Oldfield


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 1st July 2022