Leicester City Transport
Leyland Titan PD3A/1
I became a bus driver in 1965 and was driving for PMT Stoke driving Regents, Guy, Daimler, Reliance and of course Leyland PD/3s. So as time went by I ended up working for Midland Red North. I was promoted to Driving Instructor in 1989 and to my delight was given a Leyland PD3 ex Leicester to do my training with. I would drive great distances with this vehicle for example Crewe to Oswestry to pick up trainee’s of course this was the best part of the day when I was driving. Happy days, Does anyone know if this vehicle was saved from the scrapman?
Photograph and Copy contributed by Michael Crofts
A full list of Titan codes can be seen here.
06/11/12 – 17:11
1966 would make it an early example of a genuine MCW – as opposed to Met Cam or Weymann. Not bad looking but it would be even better in its genuine Leicester guise.
07/11/12 – 06:59
The registration looks to me like GRY50D – and checking it out has confirmed that is indeed the correct registration.
I’m a bit intrigued as to what David defines as a ‘genuine’ MCW product. MCW as a joint venture existed for decades (I presume similarly to ‘BUT’ of AEC & Leyland) – for many years the place of build being established by reference to the maker’s plate, Weymann bodied vehicles showing ‘Metropolitan-Cammell-Weymann’, and Metro-Cammell bodied ones showing ‘Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage and Wagon’. This changed sometime in the mid-1960s, when Metro-Cammell bodied buses started appearing with MCW builders plates, as the Weymanns. I can’t now remember exactly when this happened, but I do recall it as being well before there was any question mark over the future of the Weymann factory. At some point I think Weymann and the bus-building side of Metro-Cammell merged as MCW, but, here again, I can’t remember exactly when this was, but I do recall it as being before the losing of the separate identities, as you might say.
After a protracted strike the ex-Weymann works were closed and production concentrated at the former Metro-Cammell factory in Birmingham. I believe some bodies which were commenced at Addlestone (Weymanns) were completed in Birmingham.
Having lost significant capacity MCW then found itself unable to complete orders within the required timescales, the result being that some were cancelled (I presume by mutual agreement) and the intended customers were required to take their custom elsewhere. I remember one affected batch being Bradford 301-15 (which finished up with Alexander bodies) but I believe there were others. So at what point did ‘genuine’ MCW bodies appear?
In the example above, I notice that the lower deck seating capacity is given as 33 rather than the usual maximum of 32. Was there a rearward-facing seat for five behind the bulkhead?
07/11/12 – 06:59
Michael, nice views but she isn’t mentioned in the 2012 PSV Circle listing of preserved buses. Unless there’s a gap, I suspect the answer to your question has to be ‘no’.
I have corrected the registration.
07/11/12 – 08:48
David. MCW was a joint marketing company. Weymann and Met-Camm had entirely different owners until 1966 when Weymann went under and Met-Camm (Cammell-Laird) bought what was left. MCW plates were put under the stairs of both manufacturers products certainly from the ’50s – leading to the ongoing confusion. MCW as a manufacturer is post 1966 – despite industrial relations problems leading to many Weymann orders post 1963 going to Met-Camm (either before or even during the production run).
08/11/12 – 11:09
These MCW bodies always looked much better than the ones which tapered to the bonnet assembly which remained at 7ft 6ins wide, this gave the buses a severe look. The problem was overcome by adding around 6 inches to the front width of the bus on the offside as seen here.
08/11/12 – 15:00
Chris, wasn’t it 3 inches either side? As far as MCW and its constituents are concerned MCW was formed in 1932 to produce bus bodies from the Elmdon works of Metro-Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company and the Addlestone works of Weymann.
Both companies produced bodies to their own designs which they marketed separately and to joint designs where they saw markets which neither factory alone could supply in quantity, for instance BAT (later BET) which became a major customer.
The Weymann name and the Metro Cammell names were dropped after the 1966 closure of Addlestone, MCW becoming the new name.
Enthusiasts, (myself included), publications and the internet are sometimes guilty of calling pure Metro Cammell designs MCW as it became a short hand. I’ve done it on this site, referring to various Manchester bodies, supplied by Elmdon pre the arrival of the Orion bodies, as MCW when they (such as the post war Standard, the Phoenix and the unique 44xx batch of CRG6Ks) were pure Metro Cammell.
Interestingly few pure Weymann bodies are wrongly referred to as MCW.
For my own part, I’ve put myself on the naughty step for 15 minutes and have promised to be more careful in future!
08/11/12 – 15:01
The prolonged strike at Weymann was responsible for Halifax ordering Roe bodies for the 1965 PD2s. The chassis were driven from Weymann to Halifax and then despatched to Cross Gates. Leeds ordered 10 Weymann bodied Atlanteans for 1965 Nine duly appeared while the last one 340 CUB 340C was finished by MCW and eventually arrived in 1966. It had dual headlights and wrap around windscreens on both decks neither feature was on the original 9. It also had green window pans for the interior instead of the more usual aluminium finish. It was in many ways a one off and remained unique in the Leeds fleet Later MCW bodied Atlanteans had wrap round windscreens but single headlamps and standard interiors.
09/11/12 – 07:49
Whilst GRY 50D doesn’t seem to have survived to the present day, two of its sisters have.
Identical twin GRY 48D has been restored by the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust.
And Park Royal bodied GRY 60D is likewise saved for posterity at the Transport Museum, Wythall.
23/11/12 – 15:18
I’m Vice Chairman of Taybus Vintage Vehicle Society in Dundee and we had a request from a lady in France a couple of years ago for a clutch for an ex-Leicester PD3 which still carried its original registration. I actually e-mailed the Leicester preservation Group and told them about it. From memory, I think the bus was GRY 55D, so it still survives. We were also able to point her in the right direction for a clutch so I’m hoping the bus is still running.