Old Bus Photos

Aldershot & District – AEC Reliance – MOR 581 – 543

MOR 581

Aldershot & District Traction Co
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

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
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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Hampson (Oswestry) – AEC Regal IV – LUC 213

Hampson (Oswestry) - AEC Regal IV - LUC 213

Hampson of Oswestry
AEC Regal IV
Metro-Cammell B35F

"Yes, Jim, she is an RF, but not as we know them," as ‘Startrek’s’ Mr Spock might say. This AEC Regal IV of the normal RF specification has a Metropolitan Cammell B35F body and is seen in the livery of a later owner, Hampson’s of Oswestry, at Dunsfold on 10 April 2011, another of the rare occasions when ‘Wisley’ wasn’t at Wisley, before moving to Brooklands.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

17/04/16 – 06:52

Pete, I wouldn’t regard this as being a "normal" RF. This was one of 25 "Private Hire" RFs, the major differences between this and the standard RF being a length of 27’6" to the 30’0" length of the Standard RF and glazing in the roof.

David Revis

18/04/16 – 06:08

I always thought these stubby creatures looked somewhat unbalanced, compared with their grown-up cousins!

Chris Hebbron

18/04/16 – 07:12

LUC 208

LUC 225

Here are two in service with London Transport LUC 208 RF8 and LUC 225 RF25.


18/04/16 – 17:59

OOPS! Sorry, folks, but I hadn’t realised that, apart from the roof glazing, the dimensions of these vehicles were any different. I had always thought they were of normal length but with more legroom for the sightseeing public. There is a view of an RFW somewhere in the queue, another factoer in my description of ‘normal’ specification!

Pete Davies

18/04/16 – 17:59

At 27’6" long and 7′ 6" wide with only 35 seats and an unladen weight around eight tons (about the same as a 53-seat Leopard) these were not in high demand when withdrawn in the early 1960s, however two other firms who took to them Garelochhead Coach Service and Premier Travel, both of whom had narrow roads to serve. Both Mr Lainson and Mr Foy were also known to drive hard bargains.

Stephen Allcroft

18/04/16 – 17:59

LUC 213 survives in preservation with Wealdsman Preservation Group, Headcorn they are also listed as having LUC 212 & 216. Other survivors of the ‘Lucys’ as they were nicknamed are LUC 204, 210, & 219. 220 is also listed as a spares donor with Penfold of Meldreth, Cambs but may have been broken up by now since he sold LUC 204 to Dawes of Headcorn circa 2013.
Premier Travel of Cambridge bought& operated 8 of the LUC’s from LT in 1964 they were LUC 202/3/4, 206/7/8/9 & 211.

John Wakefield

20/04/16 – 11:17

The Garelochhead ones (courtesy Andrew Shirley’s GCS Bromley Garage website) were LUC214,215 and 224 numbered 39-41.

Stephen Allcroft

23/04/16 – 06:33

These private hire RFs were ordered before the legal maximum length was increased in 1950 to 30 feet. When the new limit became effective, it was too late to change the dimensions of the first twenty-five machines then under construction, and these, together with the Park Royal prototype UMP 227, became the only short wheelbase 27ft 6ins long Regal IVs ever produced. LTE quickly amended the specification for the subsequent six hundred and seventy-five RF deliveries. The short RFs were all withdrawn by LT during 1963, whereas the thirty footers ran on reliably for upwards of ten more years. The registration letters ‘LUC’ were carried by many members of the RFW, RT and RTL classes as well as the short RFs, and the name ‘Lucy’ was never applied in London service.

Roger Cox

23/04/16 – 13:27

Roger, I am quite relieved by your confirmation that "Lucy" was never used by LT staff. As a member of LT’s Bus schedules office at 55 Broadway in the late 1960’s and early 70’s I was surrounded by any number of feral bus enthusiasts and I’m sure that if that expression had been used I would have heard of it.

David Revis

23/04/16 – 17:47

The reason for their withdrawal in 1963 was a dire shortage of drivers at that time and the consequent need to concentrate manpower/overtime on keeping normal services going, causing LTE to abandon private hire work.

Chris Hebbron

24/04/16 – 07:05

David, I was a schedules compiler at Reigate at about the same time. We can preen ourselves on our skills in producing efficient duty schedules within the very tight constraints of the T&GWU agreements then prevailing. As an expatriate Croydonian in East Anglia, I don’t know about the current situation in London, but the present day schedules of the provincial big groups, unfettered by such agreements, are kids’ play to compile, and often inefficient into the bargain.

Roger Cox


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 26th March 2017