Old Bus Photos

Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Atlantean – 224 BTP – 224

Portsmouth Corporation - Leyland Atlantean - 224 BTP - 224

Portsmouth Corporation
1963
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Metro Cammell H43/33F

The production Atlantean appeared in 1958, but the early examples proved troublesome and expensive to maintain. Nevertheless, the concept appealed to several operators, and, by 1963, Portsmouth Corporation, long time devotees of the Leyland marque, must have thought the risk to be worthwhile, for it bought a batch of 35 PDR1/1 buses in that year, followed by a further 10 in 1964 and 9 more in 1966. All members of the Portsmouth PDR1/1 fleet carried the very plain Metro-Cammell H43/33F body design. The Corporation subsequently switched to the PDR1/2 version and finally to the AN68. Seen on 13 August 1967 at Portsmouth Harbour, known locally as “The Hard”, is No.224, 224 BTP, one of the 1963 deliveries, displaying the superb Portsmouth livery to good effect. I doubt if trips round the harbour are now offered for 15p (3/-) but, unlike the late 1940s/early 1950s when I lived in Alverstoke, the current Royal Navy could almost be accommodated on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, so there isn’t much to see these days.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


17/04/17 – 07:49

Mixed feelings about this photo.
The Atlantians were the mainstay of my trips to school on the 143 but their arrival marked the end for the much loved trolleys.

Dave French


18/04/17 – 07:44

So typical of CPPTD’s pride, four years old and yet still looking brand new! Even if they were troublesome in their early days, the department was well up to coping with whatever was thrown at it. IF I recall The Hard for anything, it was the Mudlarks rummaging on the muddy foreshore which passed as a beach there, with them searching out coins thrown at them by passers by! Not forgetting the three lines of trolleybuses parked there at the terminus, awaiting the dockers coming out, at least those that weren’t on a bike. It was always like the beginning of a bike race here at coming out time! This was a time of transport change in the area. Not long after, the electric ‘Nelson Stock’ trains acquired their half yellow fronts, then later went from dignified green to plain blue, not even with any grey to relieve the monotony, as other trains . My other abiding memory, when coming into Havant rail station during my 1957-59 National Service days, was hearing the announcer, in broad Hampshire ‘burr’ saying, ‘avant, this is ‘avant. Change ‘ere for the Broighton Loin, change ‘ere for ‘ayling Oiland!". Now, they all talk like Londoners. (I am a Londoner!). Reminiscing? Not I!

Chris Hebbron


18/04/17 – 10:44

Wonderful memories Chris, but they were dockIES, not dockERS – they didn’t load and unload ships they built and repaired them.

Pat Jennings


18/04/17 – 17:04

They were commonly known, the ones on the bikes at least, as Dockyard Mateys!

Philip Lamb


18/04/17 – 17:06

Yes, a great picture of a Portsmouth bus still proudly presented. The Corporation seemed to be forward thinking in these days, with the trolleybus conversions using some one-person operated saloons (noteworthy for urban use at the time), and then the use of Atlanteans for the final conversion. Other south coast municipalities were generally slower to move to rear-engined buses, I recall. However Portsmouth waited for other pioneers to iron out initial difficulties – Reading had used O-P-O saloons a year or two before them, and Hastings’ trolleybus conversion with Atlanteans was back in 1959 (although a BET operation, it was somewhat municipal-like in its scope). The result was that Portsmouth’s Atlanteans were of the "Mark II" variety, introduced that year. In fact I think the first few were delivered in original format, and were returned to the maker for modification to the new format. Also, the bodywork contained the "Manchester staircase" as opposed to the original Met-Cam design.
Dave mentions their use on route 143 – this was previously route C/D, which used to change the screens on route because of its length. When it became 143, the whole route detail was squeezed on to the via screen, with the final destination in the smaller screen below. The result looked extremely squashed, and rather spoilt the overall appearance in my view.
The terminus has also changed it’s name in recent years. Just plain "Dockyard" sufficed when the picture was taken. Much later it became "The Hard Interchange", and nowadays it’s "Gunwharf Quays". I always felt that "The Hard Interchange" was a little unfortunate, bearing in mind that one could change from a bus or coach to the Gosport Ferry or London/Southampton/Brighton line trains – was it really that hard? We all hoped not!

Michael Hampton


19/04/17 – 08:13

One minor correction to the text is that Portsmouth did not have any PDR1/2 Atlanteans – this was the version with a drop centre rear axle, intended for low height bodies, although some operators used it to permit additional headroom in the lower saloon.
After the PDR1/1s, Portsmouth’s next Atlanteans were the PDR2/1 single deckers – the PDR2 being the longer wheelbase version of the chassis. The next double deckers were Alexander-bodied AN68s.

Nigel Frampton


19/04/17 – 08:14

This is a great view of a Municipal bus in traditional livery, even to the lining out. The light upper paintwork, white or cream or whatever depending on which fleet is in question, has often been regarded as difficult to photograph. With a blue sky, it stands out. Thank you, Roger, for posting.
Like, Mr Hebbron, I am a Londoner, but by default, since my parents were living there when I was born, but I am of Lancashire origins. Between "The Hard Interchange" and "Gunwharf Quays", Michael, was it not simply "The Hard"?

Pete Davies


20/04/17 – 06:16

Pete, it may well have been just plain "The Hard" at some point. I do remember "The Hard Interchange" being used on the AN68 Alexander bodied Atlanteans. But when de-regulation came in and there were so many changes, it may well have become "The Hard", perhaps depending on the operator, and/or size of destination screen. I don’t have ant specific memories of those more recent times!

Michael Hampton


20/04/17 – 06:18

There is an sameness about these earlyish Atlanteans and Fleetlines- or am I not observant enough? They were all boxy, with separate windscreens right and left and no sign of any overall design or even "styling" features that may be found on an older half-cab. They all seem to be built from the same standardised components and carrying over the half-cab liveries. Only later, or even much later, came shrouded bustles, one piece screens and larger window bays. Was Liverpool the first to introduce a complete "new look"..? that’s a provocative question.

Joe


22/04/17 – 07:03

It used to be ‘DOCKYARD’ in the 1950s and early 1960s. ‘Hard’ was the Hampshire term for the first bit of dry land one came to from the sea. Across the harbour, Gosport Hard was known to Provincial as ‘GOSPORT FERRY’ and the Hants & Dorset as simply ‘GOSPORT’, and the same applied to the solitary Southdown rout, that from London Victoria Coach Station via the Meon Valley.

David Wrag


22/04/17 – 07:05

The bus is either operating route 148A or 148B. At that time, routes crossing the City boundary had Southdown rather than Corporation numbers.

Andy Hemming


22/04/17 – 09:50

The route is 148A.

Roger Cox


 

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Aldershot & District – AEC Reliance – MOR 581 – 543

MOR 581

Aldershot & District Traction Co
1954
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Metro-Cammell B40F

MOR 581 is an AEC Reliance MU3RV. The chassis of this Aldershot & District vehicle dates from 1954, but the body we see ("MCW" in the PSVC listings) was fitted in 1967. The seating is of the B40F layout, and we see it in the Alton Rally on 18 July 2010. One unfortunate feature of the Alton Rally and Fleetwood Tram Sunday is that they often clash and, even with what some of my former colleagues used to call an ‘optimistic’ style of driving, even I can’t manage both in the day!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


05/12/16 – 09:36

Beautiful! I used to travel on these, and their cousins with the older style of bodywork with an opening window for the driver. One A&D feature on OPO buses was to have just a single seat on the front nearside to allow more room for passengers paying the driver, but at the time I was a regular traveller, these buses were crew-operated. My memories are of the No.19 which turned up on time every weekday morning to take me to Haslemere Station and then onto a train to Waterloo. The railway part of my journey was much less reliable until the elderly pre-war 4-CORs were replaced by 4-CIGs.

David Wragg


06/12/16 – 14:03

Does anyone know if others of the batch were given new bodies, or why this one was treated? Crash damage springs to mind . . .

Pete Davies


06/12/16 – 15:43

Pete,
I seem to recall that there were quite a number of them and one bus magazine, it may have been ‘Passenger Transport’ commented that it was surprising that such a dated style was being adopted. I take their point, but I actually liked this style.

David Wragg


07/12/16 – 06:32

Thank you for that, David.

Pete Davies


07/12/16 – 06:34

According to this 15 of them were re-bodied in ’67 http://www.sct61.org.uk/ad267a  
Here is another re-bodied one http://www.sct61.org.uk/ad273

John Lomas


07/12/16 – 06:36

MOR 594

In its search for a suitable vehicle of the then new underfloor engined format, Aldershot & District initially bought a Dennis Dominant in 1951. Only three Dominant chassis were ever made, of which two were bodied, the third chassis being dis-assembled after exhibition at the 1950 Earls Court Show. Although Dennis abandoned plans for volume production of the model, there was very little wrong with the Dominant apart from its excessive weight (a characteristic shared by the the contemporary Regal IV and Royal Tiger), and Aldershot & District kept HOU 900 in front line service for fourteen years. In 1953 the company bought a solitary example of the Guy Arab LUF, which it retained in service until 1965, but purchased no more. Then, after sampling a number of different underfloor types, Aldershot & District finally took the plunge in 1954 with the AEC Reliance, twenty five being delivered with rather gawky, high floor and waistline, Strachans Everest C41C bodywork. These were registered MOR 581 to 605, numbered 250 to 274, and were used on the Farnham – London express route, and on excursions and private hire until displaced by the 1963 Park Royal bodied Reliances. These Strachans MU3RV coaches were powered by the small AH 410 engine of 6.754 litres, a direct (though updated) descendant of the A172 “bootlace” wet liner engine of the 1935 Regal II. The "bootlace" engine design became the basis for all the AEC wet liner engines from the 1950s, and therein lay the root of subsequent trouble, for the original “bootlace” became notorious for cylinder liner seal and gasket failures. No. 263, MOR 594 is shown in 1968 on route 3D (Aldershot – Cove, Minley Estate) passing the RAE in Farnborough Road. The inadequate destination blind display seen here was most unusual on A&D in those days, and indicates a degree of crew laziness in the early NBC era that would not have been tolerated in BET times. These machines were quite pleasant to drive, though given to a somewhat wallowy standard of ride, but the performance with the small AH410 engine was less than sparkling. In 1965, fifteen of these coaches were selected for rebodying with the then A&D standard Weymann saloon design, but the Weymann factory was closing down, and the order was undertaken by Metro-Cammell. The engineering standards on Aldershot & District were extremely high, and no doubt all of the initial 25 Reliances could have been so rebodied if required. Indeed, the remaining Strachans vehicles, of which No. 263 shown was one, continued in service for several more years.

390 AOU

After experience with the initial Strachans bodied coaches, from 1957 Aldershot & District adopted the AH 470 engined Reliance as its standard saloon type with Weymann B41F (OMO) or B43F bodies. The initial buses had opening windscreens for the driver, but the 1960 and subsequent batches incorporated fixed windscreens which had just become legal. No.390, 390 AOU was a 2MU3RV vehicle of 1961, and representative of the final style of the Weymann A&D saloon. It is seen in Queens Avenue, the technically military road that links Farnborough North Camp with Aldershot, and is wearing the revised saloon livery of 1967 with the darker green on the lower panels. It is also carrying the retrograde ‘simplified’ fleetname style that appeared in that same year. The Metro-Cammell bodies on MOR 581 above and some new 1966/67 Reliances differed from the Weymann version in several respects – the offside emergency exit was placed at the rear instead of the centre, the front screens lacked the metal surround, and the lower front panel incorporated a small grille.

Roger Cox


07/12/16 – 06:37

This was from a batch of twenty-five 250-274, MOR 581-605 new in 1954/5 with Strachans C41C bodies.
In 1965 250/2/4-7/9-62/4/9/70/2/3 were delicensed and the bodies removed. The chassis were rebuilt and were rebodied with MCW B40F bodies, renumbered 543-557 respectively, and entered service in 1967. They were to the same design as 283-312, RCG 601-630, which had been new in 1957.
Prior to 1966 bodies were built by Weymann at Addlestone and by Metro-Cammell in Birmingham but after the Weymann works closed at the end of 1965 all subsequent bodies were built by Metro-Cammell-Weymann.

John Kaye


07/12/16 – 13:33

Many thanks for your further thoughts on the history of this vehicle and her sisters.

Pete Davies


07/12/16 – 16:34

I can remember seeing the AEC Reliance chassis parked in the Guildford garage all painted in bright silver paint, I assume they were waiting to be sent for rebodying. I was a passenger on an A & D Loline 111 service 20 travelling from Aldershot to Woodbridge road Guildford to attend technical college.

John Shrubb


10/12/16 – 17:28

I’ve been thinking (I do occasionally!) and I suspect that the fifteen Strachans Reliances selected for rebodying might well have been chosen on the basis of body condition, the better ones being retained as they were. Certainly those that kept their Strachans C41C bodies continued in service for several years after 1965.

Roger Cox


 

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Wallasey Corporation – Leyland Atlantean – FHF 451 – 1

FHF 451

Wallasey Corporation Transport
1958
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Metro-Cammell H44/33F

Cheshire’s seaside resort is New Brighton, part of Wallasey. Wallasey is credited in some sources as having the first Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 in public service, and here is: FHF 451. It dates from 1958 and has a Metropolitan Cammell H77F body. A legend surrounds the peculiar colour. Many of us would regard it as a yellow, and I understand that, to distinguish them from those of the neighbouring Birkenhead blue buses, Wallasey’s were known as the yellow buses. It is – officially – sea green. According to legend, one of the first trams was about to be painted, and the unfortunate operative asked the foreman what colour of paint he should use. The foreman had no idea, but he knew that the manager, a Mr Green, would know what he wanted, and told the painter to "See Green", which he promptly applied.

FHF 451_2

The second view shows the fleet name and Crest. Both photographs were taken in North Albert Street, Fleetwood, on the Tram Sunday of 19 July 1998.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


09/10/16 – 09:39

At Kentish Bus I worked with an accountant who came from the Wirral. His view was that the bus livery reflected the quality of the water at New Brighton (I won’t repeat his exact words). So yes, Sea Green indeed.

Roger Cox


09/10/16 – 15:14

Thank you, Roger. I think the imagination can cope!

Pete Davies


09/10/16 – 15:14

To add a little more amusement to the proceedings, Wallasey Corporation Motor’s General Manager’s full name was Colonel Richard Roughley Greene and his two last names aptly describe the conflict about what colour Sea Green actually is!

Chris Hebbron


10/10/16 – 07:18

My version of the story was that it was the first buses, and the Leyland representative asked the question, but whatever! It is slightly reminiscent of the story of the umber colour of London Brighton and South Coast Railway locos, officially (?) described as "Stroudley’s improved engine green".

Stephen Ford


11/10/16 – 06:36

A Journalist enquired of an employee: ‘How would you would you describe the colour?’ The poor fellow had no idea, so he suggested that the question be directed towards the general manager. ‘See Greene’, he replied, so sea green it became!

Philip Lamb


11/10/16 – 11:20

Such is the stuff of legend!!! When Southampton Citybus, as it had become by then, fitted tanks on the roof to G prefix Dennis Darts, and First Group provided some N prefix ones, locals asked drivers why these tanks were appearing. One driver said they were air tanks, ready for use on the submarine service to Cowes, in competition with Red Funnel. The story soon spread!

A colleague had worked for St Albans Council. He and some others were doing a survey of the high street, in preparation for paving renewal. Some one asked what and why. The reply was that it was ready for the extension of the runway at Luton Airport. You can imagine the letters to the local rag that followed . . .

Pete Davies


13/10/16 – 07:08

And thanks to her owners the 201 Group she is a regular in passenger service at Rallys, possibly the oldest Atlantean still in passenger use next to the PMT preserved example?

C Aston


14/10/16 – 13:47

Wallasey 1 is without any doubt the earliest Atlantean still carrying passengers. Glasgow LA1 is the only other surviving of the four shown at the Earl’s Court show in 1958 and Glasgow Museums do not allow passengers.

Stephen Allcroft


 

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