Old Bus Photos

Hull Corporation – Leyland TB7CN – FRH 564 – 64

Hull Corporation - Leyland TB7CN - FRH 564 - 64

Kingston upon Hull Corporation Transport
Leyland TB7CN
East Lancs H28/26R

The Holderness Road trolleybus route conversion was about to get underway, but the outbreak of World War 2, intervened. Much of the overhead equipment was already on hand or on order at this point, added to which the tramway was getting in need of replacement. Hull Corporation therefore applied for Parliamentary permission to convert the route to trolleybus operation. Permission was forthcoming and the route was duly converted. To operate the service, which was given the route numbers 64 and 64A. The latter was a short working to East Park, used mainly to turn duplicates off the main route which terminated at the Ings Road junction. To operate the service twenty Leyland TB7CN chassis were purchased and these were bodied by East Lancashire Coachbuilders, a company new to Hull Corporation. Initially the seating was H28/26R, but was later up-seated to H31/29R. Bus number 64 (FRH 564) is shown operating along Holderness Road. The photograph may have been taken in Coronation year, 1953, if the flags and bunting on the buildings are anything to go by.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Keith Easton

Just curious about this TB7CN – TB for Trolleybus, 7 for the 7th model possible the numbers were linked to the Titan TD numbers, but what did the CN stand for?


You have me on this one, all I can say is that this type was on a fleet list obtained from Geoff O’Connell, whose knowledge of KHCT was second to none. He was the Assistant GM at the time I knew him.
I believe that the TB series numbers were linked to the Titan series, with regard to chassis improvements, but I’ve not seen any confirmation of this.

Keith Easton

The batch was just designated TB7 – I have copies of the specification and tender forms from Leyland. All twenty were built in 1939 being delivered in the late Summer of 1939. Nos 47/8/51/2 entered service on 31 August 1939.
The TB designation was linked with the TD series – the tender for nos 1-26 actually quoted TD4 chassis – later changed to TB4
The Corporation already had permission to convert the route but, owing to the War, no Ministry of Transport inspection would be made it being up to the General Manager to authorise it. The Transport Committee being uncertain about the war situation at first declined to convert the route (originally scheduled for September 1939) and not until February 1940 did it agree.
Geoff O’Connell was never the Assistant GM but was in the Traffic Office.
For more details see my book "Kingston upon Hull Trolleybuses" published by Trolleybooks in 1996.

Malcolm Wells

16/02/20 – 06:14

Just for the record, I was told that Arthur (staff and later Chief) Handley was the only driver that could take North Bridge at speed and keep his trolleys on.
Arthur, a gentle giant died from skin cancer in the early 1980’s just after being made up.



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Samuel Ledgard – AEC Regent III – GDK 401

Samuel Ledgard AEC Regent III GDK 401

Samuel Ledgard
AEC Regent III
East Lancs H33/26R 

Here is a happy picture of yours truly enjoying my work immensely with Samuel Ledgard at Otley Depot. I am returning from the Estate on one of the local town services and have just crossed the River Wharfe bridge. Before I am reprimanded for "incorrect destination" I must explain that the display was officially shown in both directions as "Weston Estate" to avoid passenger confusion with the other town service which shared the river crossing – a little local quirk which suited everyone.
GDK 401 was one of a batch of five (GDK 401 – 5) which came from Rochdale in February 1962 and had most handsome and functional East Lancashire bodywork. Notable features were the superior quality blue leather seats and the spacious very safe platform and "easy" staircase. The entire batch retained gold Rochdale fleet numbers (201 – 205) in both saloons – a nice little touch I thought.
The vehicles were also the first that we had with air operated brakes and gearboxes.
A nice little anecdote, and a true one, goes with 401. When the batch was acquired this vehicle alone was sent to Otley depot for complete and prompt overhaul for early entry into service with the others at Armley Head depot. However its appeal and charms were instantly apparent to all, and in a very uncharacteristic "Luddite" operation the normally highly efficient overhaul process was delayed by a myriad of "difficulties" for a very considerable time. When the bus was eventually ready for certification the powers that be at mighty Armley, normally unbending in any way, for some reason capitulated and lovely 401 remained with us at Otley till the end of the Company. The initial very basic plans for the West Yorkshire Road Car Co takeover contained the allocation of WYRCC numbers for the whole Ledgard fleet – this scheme as we know was completely revised before the day, and so our Rochdale friend never became "DAW 1" (Double, AEC engine, Wide) after all.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Youhill

Bus tickets issued by this operator can be viewed here.

Such a shame that Samuel Ledgard sold out.
It would be interesting to see what vehicles they would be running today.

Terry Malloy

Yes, it is a shame, Terry – the buses look fantastic in full livery – but fifty years down the line, is it not possible that we would be looking at them in Barbie colours? Lots of mistakes made in the industry, but death and other things have always enforced change!

David Oldfield

Quote: (Double, AEC engine, Wide)

I assume that the Wide means that it had an 8′ wide body. It certainly appears to have one, in a surprisingly obvious way, just like LT’s RTW class.

Nice to see a Ledgard vehicle in colour; it’s my first time of seeing one of them in all its glory!

By the way what is an ‘easy’ staircase?

Chris Hebbron

I’m sure Chris Youhill will fill us in about the easy staircase. Is it like the Roe safety staircase and the Birmingham staircase – straight, or with 90% bends, with no "dangerous" curves during its length?

David Oldfield

Yes Chris, the "W" in the West Yorkshire fleet numbering system did indeed mean 8 feet wide – just as an interesting point, they had some vehicles with 8 feet wide bodies on 7’6" chassis – as did a good few Bristol/ECW customers.

Chris and David, the word "easy" was just my own way of describing these vehicles – the stairs were of the 90 degree pattern and were wider than usual and were situated safely well away from the edge of a generous sized platform – somewhat difficult to explain, but splendidly designed.

Chris Youhill

A query for Chris: my hazy recollection of "Exors of Samuel Ledgard" buses- as it legally proclaimed- was that the were a dark navy blue- not this jaunty colour: 1. am I wrong? 2. does the camera lie? 3. is it anything to do with its former existence in Rochdale?


Well this is indeed an interesting point, and memory does play tricks as we all know. However I have to say that the answer lies somewhere between the shades of blue in the picture of GDK 401 and that in the link for RT MXX 148.  The only fair comment I can make is that, as Peter says, the colour in the picture of GDK 401 is a bit light and bright due to the sun etc. Certainly though the shade shown in the view of the RT is far darker than the actual, and I can confidently say that the Otley picture is much nearer to being spot on than the Bradford one. The Rochdale livery is not relevant at all, as every acquired bus was thoroughly rubbed down, primed and undercoated to remove any trace whatsoever of previous ownership.
The attached view of newly acquired BCK 427 from Ribble in the paintshop at Armley Head Depot is as good a sample as we could wish for – despite the different light aspects the lower saloon panels are exactly as the livery was. Hope this helps clear the mists of time for those interested.

Chris Youhill

Ex Ribble BCK 427 in the Samuel Ledgard paint shop

…..and there is also the splendid RLH (forget which number) which was rallying last year in full Ledgard colours. Quite a bright blue – neither royal nor navy.

David Oldfield

The purpose of the photo may well have been to clarify SL’s livery, but this is a nice photo in itself and shows off this attractive vehicle’s bodylines very well, aided by the total lack of adverts. Good to see a rear’ish view for a change.
It may be a trick of the light, but has the rear lower body panel been well punched by a very cross 10 year old?

Chris Hebbron

BCK 427 hole

I see what you mean – the panel seems well and truly "waffled", but I think it is in fact just a mirror image of activity nearby in the garage what lloks like the floor can be seen, and possibly a mechanic’s overall legs.  It is a strange optical effect, but please do rest assured that the panel will have been perfect before painting.

Chris Youhill

Hi David – the magnificent vehicle to which you refer is RLH 32 – MXX 232.  It is part of the heritage fleet of Time Bus Travel of St. Albans and the proprietors, the Pring Family, did the Samuel Ledgard Society an immeasurable and generous kindness by having the bus professionally and immaculately painted in Samuel Ledgard colours for our 40th Anniversary Re-enactment running day on Sunday 14th October 2007.  I was humbled and highly honoured to conduct it almost all the time it ran on Samuel Ledgard routes giving free rides to delighted and nostalgic passengers – I wore my original Samuel Ledgard uniform and used my Otley Depot Setright ticket machine – SL 40.


Chris Youhill

Re Chris Youhill’s latest comment about RLH 32 under the heading of AEC Regent III GDK 401, here’s a photo of the bus in question on the day in question.

Samuel Ledgard AEC Regent MXX 232

Peter Williamson

Thank you Peter W for that lovely view, which captures the atmosphere of that wonderful day perfectly. Judging by the load, the RLH is about to leave for Guiseley and the driver is Mr. Ewan Pring who handles the vehicle magnificently and sympathetically, as you would expect from the owner of such a cherished gem. While you took the photo I will have been on the platform, about to issue the authentic souvenir tickets to the passengers. I can’t begin to explain my feelings on that day which was fifty years exactly since I eagerly started work for the Company – a day on which the RLH will still, of course, have been hard at work in London !!

Chris Youhill

I’ve always been fascinated by the myriad variations on the theme of how to get passengers upstairs, so Chris Youhill’s reference to the East Lancs "easy staircase" tickled my curiosity. I imagine that, as on post-war ECW highbridge bodies until about 1957, the top step will have caused a 9"x9" protrusion into the lower saloon, above the offside transverse seat. The loss of headroom would be no more than that entailed by a lowbridge side gangway: a very small price to pay for the virtue of having the bottom step 9" farther in from the platform edge. Until the mid-1920s it seems that body designers tried to get the bottom step as NEAR as possible to the platform edge, presumably so that passengers could leap straight up top from the street, leaving the platform free for those timid souls who preferred to travel inside. I’ve never understood why this hazardous arrangement persisted so long with some makers. Lowbridge bodies needed only 7 steps (6 treads), yet Leyland and MCW, for example, never took advantage of that, preferring their top step to stop about 9" back from the bulkhead or (Leyland) to give the top two steps 13.5" treads instead of 9".
Was standardisation of parts between lowbridge and highbridge a factor?
I love the Roe Safety Staircase: by intruding into the lower saloon you can bring the bottom step well inboard and therefore have a seat for three right at the back upstairs with no risk of bumping your head on the underside of that seat. Perfectly logical: you lose a seat downstairs and gain one on top. Much rarer was the pattern found on Burnley, Colne and Nelson deckers: the 9"x9" box was moved 4" forward and the step below it protruded downstairs just enough to fill the space above your shoulder but not enough to compromise headroom. With a bit of angling of the bottom few steps the stairs still touched ground far enough from the platform edge to allow a 3-seater at the back upstairs. Do any of these survive? I fancy I came across a similar arrangement on a bus in Yorkshire (Rotherham) but my wires may be crossed. Then there was the West Bridgford arrangement, and Alan Townsin’s mention of "semi-straight"and "side" staircases in his book on Park Royal, but I’d better not get carried away…

Ian Thompson

Why not get carried away, Ian. It’s fascinating. It’s what real enthusiasm is – not just "bus spotting"! I can bore for Britain over Roe – my favourite builder – but it is interesting to discover that they weren’t the only builder doing a variation on safety staircases.

David Oldfield

wow… talk about nostalgia. 
When going to Leeds I would often take "Sammy’s" route through Pudsey rather than the Leeds/Bradford joint route (72) through Stanningley Bottoms. I used the route the day after the closure. It just wasn’t the same with green municipal buses and a route number (78).
Do you have any images of my favourite Ledgard Regents, 1949/50 U before they assumed their West Yorkshire identities, DGW 11-12?

Hello Charles – fear not, there are literally dozens of pictures around showing your two favourite vehicles at all ages – by the way with respect they became DAW 5/6. DGW 11/12 were the two Daimlers XUG 141 and SDU 711.

Chris Youhill

Thanks for putting me right on the WY fleet numbers for 1949/50-U. I lost interest in these vehicles once they donned Tilling red but I still think Roe/AEC combos were vehicles made in heaven.
I marked my 57th year as a bus enthusiast when I hit the big 67 recently. Over the last 40 years I have observed the British scene from Australia so I am pleased that a young(er) member of the fraternity can take time out to refresh the ageing grey cells


Ian,  I can only echo David’s wise words and there is no harm at all in being "carried away" by mature detailed discussion on any public transport topic. I have to admit that you have completely "baffled me with science" about the upper reaches of many staircases and, in all honesty I cannot remember what happened "up aloft" on GDK 401 – 405. However I am pretty certain that the top flight ended exactly at the bulkhead and that you then made use of the space behind the rear offside seat to proceed into the upper saloon – this was definitely the norm with Leyland bodies and also with the Park Royal relaxed utilities on the ex London D class Daimlers. I think the particular success of the East Lancashire formula arose from the fact that each tread seemed very generous and safe in depth and in lateral dimensions, hence my term "easy."

Chris Youhill

I am trying to match the blue and cream colours of the Ledgard busses for somebody. Does anybody know the exact colour code? I’ve crossed checked RAl and British standard colours of the day but unfortunately cannot get it exactly right.

Kevin Harvey

Rochdale withdrew AEC Regent III’s 201-205 out of sequence as the older Weymann bodied 7ft 6in Regent III’s 31-48 were kept for several more years. It was reported that the East Lancs 4 bay body design had inherent weakness and this could have been the reason. I remember riding on one of the batch shortly before they disappeared to Yorkshire and there was evidence of severe corrosion of the window pans inside the vehicle.
East Lancs standardised on 5 bay designs afterwards and this reputedly solved any problems. Rochdale’s final five Regent III’s had 5 bay bodies by East Lancs and these had full service lives. One is preserved.

Philip Halstead

You are absolutely right about the window pans Philip and in fact Samuel Ledgard had them all replaced with newly manufactured ones – my picture at the top of this feature shows GDK 401 so fitted.

Chris Youhill

25/04/11 – 17:57

Blue colour paints – you have to bear in mind that until the advent of purely chemical paints, blue was particularly prone to change of colour in its life, becoming darker and acquiring a purple sheen – this may explain the different views of the colour tone. I’m sure an expert in paint could explain this far more accurately.


26/04/11 – 07:10

Further thoughts and hazy remembrance of silk screen printing… blue is a "translucent" colour and therefore the final colour may also depend on what is underneath. The darker the primer….


27/04/11 – 07:20

It’s not only dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts that wax lyrical over Samuel Ledgard. On Easter Day I met a Leeds man who was down here visiting his family, and when I was introduced as a bus fanatic he immediately began to reminisce about his prewar schoolboy trips on Ledgard buses. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to go into detail, but then there never is…

Ian Thompson

04/10/11 – 14:18

Just had to thank Chris Youhill for his comments regarding the book, Beer and Blue Buses, of which I have managed to track down a signed copy. Thanks again Chris, I look forward to reading it.

Roger Broughton

12/10/17 – 07:01

Wasn’t sure where to put this comment, but the pic here is a classic (and that’s just Chris) The Yorkshire Evening Post (Leeds) has a little feature to tell us that its 50 years since Ledgards closed. It is thin on detail but does mention that Saml was a publican from a family of publicans whose business developed from a pub in Armley and the practice of charabancing your lorries at weekends. The rest, I suppose is history.


20/10/17 – 06:55

Lot of coverage in local papers about Ledgard’s 50th- closure that is- anniversary. Try this link which includes a photo gallery, and guess who is in the first picture?
I also saw a First bus this week in a sort of Ledgard’s livery.


24/10/17 – 06:40

Joe – The first photo, with Chris Y in it, is not what it one might surmise. HLW 159 was never an SL bus, but was sold to Bradford and seems to be in their livery, although we’ve argued about photo colours before. Other clues are that the front blind display seems to be original (SL reduced them to one smaller one) and that Bradford were the only successor who, bizarrely, went to the trouble of removing the plate on the bonnet side which originally surrounded the RT fleet number, which, in this case, was RT172. This range of buses were a bargain, for most of them were overhauled only around 12 months before disposal by LT. More silly money-wasting nonsense from the London giant!

Chris Hebbron

25/10/17 – 07:26

HLW 159 is ex Bradford and was the only one of 25 to retain its roof box throughout its time at Bradford. The other roof box-bodied buses and most of the non-roof box-bodied buses had eventually, the normal Bradford indicators fitted.
A picture of 410 is on //www.sct61.org.uk/bf410c

Stuart Emmett

25/10/17 – 07:30

Chris H- quite right. How the bus and Chris Y came to be cosied together, only he can tell us. I am caught posting Fake News or Noos as the man himself says. The slip in the window doesn’t say Saml Ledgard but On Hire to…
Blue can be of its nature a variable colour as we have discussed, but this is indeed Bradford- the sign written number plate? Does it live in the transport museum?


28/10/17 – 16:54

I have read the very interesting contribution that Stuart Emmett has made in ‘Buses Yearbook 2018’ telling the story of the Bradford RT buses. Credit due to him.
I was unaware that some were painted in a ‘quick fix’ Bradford livery featuring less cream relief.

David Slater

27/07/19 – 09:45

GDK 405

Here is a 1965 shot of fellow ex Rochdale Regent GDK 405 leaving in the company of a Hebble Reliance amid the wanton destruction of historic Bradford to facilitate the encroachment of soulless architectural excrescences.

Roger Cox

29/07/19 – 06:37

Regarding this latest shot added I think you will find that the "Hebble Reliance" is actually a Ribble Leopard on service J1.

John Kaye

29/07/19 – 06:38

I may be wrong but the "Hebble Reliance" looks to be Ribble Leopard.

John Blackburn

29/07/19 – 06:39

A great action shot of two most handsome vehicles Roger, as they no doubt vie for pole position on their way to Chester Street Bus Station. I totally agree with you regarding the wanton destruction of historic Bradford. Many wonderful gems have been lost over the years and even the lovely view of Forster Square with its Victorian Post Office and Cathedral backdrop can no longer be seen from the bottom of Cheapside, as the new all-encompassing Broadway shopping complex completely blocks it. Now sorry to nitpick slightly Roger, but that Hebble Reliance looks suspiciously like a dual-purpose Ribble Leopard to me…

Brendan Smith

30/07/19 – 07:36

Thank you for the corrections, gentlemen. I should have looked more carefully at the Hebble vehicle. You can’t get away with sloppy work on OBP.

Roger Cox

Further to my previous abject apology, a very close study of the original slide reveals that the vehicle behind the Ledgard Regent is, indeed, Ribble Leyland Leopard PSU3/4R, Marshall DP49F No.831, CRN 831D.

Roger Cox


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Halifax Corporation – Daimler CD650 – CCP 603 – 83

Halifax Corporation - Daimler CD650 - CCP 603 - 83

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
Daimler CD650
East Lancs H30/26R

Not the best photo in my collection but it is the only shot I have of one of the 6 big Daimler CD650s that Halifax owned. Halifax were one of the few or should I say very few operators who took delivery of the CD650 easily recognisable by its wider than normal fluted radiator. I think there was less than 20 double deck chassis built for U.K. operators although the single deck version sold in larger numbers but mainly for the overseas market. The CD650 had the Daimler 10.6 litre six cylinder diesel engine and the Daimler preselect gearbox. I should think the large engine was one of the main selling points with Halifax it would make those hills around it a little easier to climb. The East Lancs body was was a bit different for Halifax, during the late 40s early 50s they were more into Roe and Park Royals, they must not of been over impressed as I don’t think they took delivery of any more East Lancs bodied vehicles.

Very impressive vehicles, the 10,6 Daimler was indestructible but with a tendency to have ‘crankcase explosions’ for no known reason. The East Lancs bodies were good and favoured by the body supt Leslie Bolton who had worked for East Lancs but at this time there was a huge choice, the East Lancs was a bit pricey and new Manager Le Fevre liked the MetCam/Weyman Leyland combinations of buses bought after this date.
The early demise was due to the erratic hydraulic braking/steering system which did it’s own thing without warning making them an uncomfortable driving experience, had they had air brakes they may have been the best of all 1950’s buses for sheer toughness.
No one bothered to consider this option to convert. There was only ever one Daimler/10.6 CVG, CD650 and that was new to Glasgow, it still exists somewhere.


If I may just correct Christophers comment re CD650’s.
There were actually two CVD650/30 chassis. The first one was shown at the 1956 commercial motor show but wasn’t bodied until 1961 when it received a front entrance 73 seat Roe body and entered service with Leon of Finningly as their number 57 with registration 432 KAL. The bus spent all its’ working life with Leon.
With a Manchester style bonnet the bus could easily be mistaken at first glance as a more common CVG6/30.


08/07/11 – 06:24

I went to work for HPTD at Skircoat Road as a Traffic Clerk in 1964, by which time the CD650s were history, but still spoken of with awe and long lingering trepidation. As Christopher says above, the high pressure hydraulic braking, steering, gear change and handbrake system operated in a truly wayward and erratic manner, and Geoff Hilditch, in his various entertaining and enlightening writings, has given graphic accounts of the unpredictable and often frightening road behaviour of these machines. One can only wonder why Daimler did not ditch the hydraulics and go over to air pressure brakes and gear operation, but the firm continued with the hydraulic system on the Freeline for years.

Roger Cox

08/07/11 – 08:53

As far as I recall, the ten Daimler CVD6/Brush vehicles bought by Leeds City Transport in 1948, numbers 522 -531, had Lockheed hydraulic brakes. The entire batch were withdrawn early by Leeds and, via a dealer, were bought by Samuel Ledgard. This caused a near riot in the Council Chamber as they entered service alongside LCT buses on much common mileage !! I say "as far as I can recall" because all ten were at the Armley chief depot – I was at Otley/Ilkley – and so I only drove a couple of them briefly as unexpected changeovers. I do remember though that the brakes were more than adequate under all circumstances and had a tendency to "savageness" now and again without warning. Also, in place of the normal 0 – 30 vacuum gauge, there was a dial marked 0 – 2000 in some retarding commodity or other – I am not an engineer so can’t comment further on that. The Brush bodies were about half a ton heavier than normal but were superbly built and finished – we had four near identical vehicles, but with vacuum brakes, ex Exeter Corporation. For 1948 the bodies had a charming mix of vintage styling with extremely tidy and competent outline.

Chris Youhill

09/07/11 – 06:59

There are two different types of hydraulic braking being referred to here. The Leeds Daimlers would have had vacuum servo-assisted hydraulic braking, a bit like a lot of modern cars. Essentially a hydraulic system, the vacuum servo just reduces the effort needed and, I believe, means it works even if you have no vacuum. You just press harder. The gauge you refer to would show vacuum (in inches mercury) and hydraulic pressure (in psi).
The CD650 had a pumped hydraulic system, the pump being driven off the engine. This relied on oil flow. The power steering and hydraulic-assistance on the pre-selector gearbox used the same circuit. I’ve heard tales that on SHMD’s Freeline the sliding centre-doors were hydraulic also and if you opened the doors approaching a stop the brakes eased off!

David Beilby

09/07/11 – 08:23

Off topic, but the platform doors tale reminds me of side-valve Ford cars, which had windscreen wipers driven from the exhaust manifold. As soon as you put you foot down on the throttle, the wipers slowed and could come to a halt on a steep hill. Of course, you could partly overcome it by changing down, but with a three-speed gearbox, you also came close to a halt anyway! But then you needed to, if you couldn’t see where you were going in the rain!

Chris Hebbron

09/07/11 – 21:16

Chris H has brought back many "happy" memories of the side valve Prefects, Anglias and Populars of which I had several in my time. If I recall, the famous windscreen wipers were made by a wonderful supplier called "Trico- Folberth" – and another feature of these basic but tough and characterful cars was the thermo syphon cooling system – no water pump !! Back to the buses now.

Chris Youhill

09/07/11 – 21:18

Yes, Chris – been there, done that! But when you come to think of it, second gear on an Anglia 100E with the 1172cc side valve engine was remarkably flexible – it would actually take you from about 8 up to 40mph – though, of course, at the upper end the wipers would have long since come to a grinding halt!

Stephen Ford

10/07/11 – 07:44

…..and I also have family history with said 100E.

David Oldfield

10/07/11 – 07:45

Ah..memories of the side valve Ford! I spent many years enjoying these as my father had them as Company cars from 1950 until 1964! I hate to say this but may I make a small correction about the wipers? They were driven by manifold depression from the inlet manifold rather than the exhaust. Hence when the engine was under load, depression/vacuum was low and on light running or on the over run, it was high so that as you say, climbing a hill in the rain was guesswork but on a downhill stretch the things flapped about like mad! Trico Folberth also offered screen wash systems that worked in a similar way offering a weak dribble or a fire hydrant depending on throttle position!

Richard Leaman

11/07/11 – 07:30

I to had experience of the vacuum wipers on the side-valve Ford’s. I think I am right in saying that they were also fitted to the Mk1 Zephyr/Consul range and possible the Mk11’s as well.
Amazing what a discussion on Halifax Daimlers leads to!


11/07/11 – 07:32

Richard’s comment brings us back to vacuum servo-assisted brakes, because, as I understand it, the servo also works off the inlet manifold. This is sensible for brakes, because you aren’t going to want to use them when the engine is under load, are you?

Peter Williamson

11/07/11 – 10:38

I believe that only lightweight buses used manifold vacuum for the brake servos. For heavier vehicles a separate engine-driven vacuum pump exhausting a vacuum tank was the norm, so that you had full stopping-power for at least a couple of brake applications if the engine stalled! Some petrol Bedford SBs (NOT my favourite vehicle) had a very capricious vacuum-actuated 2-speed axle. I’d very much appreciate more detail on all this particularly dates of introduction of the various systems. Thanks in advance,

Ian Thompson

21/08/13 – 06:53

Evidently the "chopped off triangle" destination boxes were brought to Halifax by Scotsman Roderick McKenzie, General Manager from 1952 to 1956.
This type of box was common in Scotland but of course Ribble had them as well…

Geoff Kerr

23/08/13 – 15:31

I thought you were referring to Triangle the place as it is below Halifax on the destination display !

Roger Broughton

23/08/13 – 17:47

Well spotted, Roger, very droll!

Eric Bawden

24/08/13 – 11:48

These Daimlers were delivered the same week that I was, and when the time came for me to be returned home from the Infirmary maternity ward my father – never one to waste money on unnecessary luxuries like taxis – decided that the Corporation could do the job perfectly well enough. I, of course can’t remember the occasion too well, but he often related how the bus we travelled on – my first ever bus ride – was on a brand new CD650 with its enormous, glistening fluted radiator.
Consequently I always had a particular fascination with them, and was sad when they had to make such a premature departure to the breakers when only about 11 years old.
I know that they were too complicated and temperamental when new, and that when most of the complicated bits were removed later they became thoroughly unpleasant to drive – most of the older HPT drivers I spoke to were unanimous about that – but they were otherwise well-built, substantial and powerful machines and I can’t help feeling that something very good could have been made out of them.
One of my greatest wishes must be to one day be able to sample a ride on the sole remaining preserved Blue Bus example, and to savour those unique sound effects just one more time.

John Stringer

22/12/13 – 07:23

Further to John Stringers note about sampling a ride on the sole remaining preserved ex-Blue Bus CD650, there is one in Road Transport Museum here in Coventry, SRB 424 (?) although I believe that due to problems with the braking system it has not been anywhere recently.

John Whale

22/12/13 – 15:40

I presume the preserved Blue Bus CD650 must still be equipped with the original querky and complicated hydraulic systems and so if it has been giving problems there will be little likelihood of seeing it out anytime soon. Oh well, I’ll just have to be satisfied with my memories.

John Stringer

22/12/13 – 15:41

I remember seeing the Halifax CD650s on many trips across the Pennines in the 1950s. They were impressive and, with their East Lancs bodies, could be told apart from the rest of the fleet at any angle from a great distance. The discussion about the vacuum wipers on Fords interested me. At 18 I bought a second hand upright Popular. XNE 694 was one of the last ones built before Ford dropped the design in 1959. It had been bought new by a neighbour who had, due to his own illness and the death of wife, abandoned it on the driveway where I saw it every day until I bought it in 1965 for £35, the insurance cost me £15, 3rd party, fire and theft. Having been left out in the Stockport weather, a deal of rot had set in around the front wings, which I patched with bits of tin can riveted in place then painted. Keeping the car mobile taught me a great deal. When I bought it the car had two windscreen wipers joined by a bar above the windscreen and powered by an electric motor which was set above the windscreen on the driver’s side with a three position switch – off, slow and fast. At the fast speed the bar would often disconnect at the passenger side leading me to eventually remove it leaving one wiper -perfectly legal then! I believe this to have been a retrofit but was it a Ford extra or something cobbled up to defeat the problem of the vacuum powered wiper?

Phil Blinkhorn

22/12/13 – 15:42

PRA 388

I believe that only twenty four CD650 ‘deckers were ever made, of which fourteen went to UK operators. The Halifax fleet of six, delivered in 1951, was the largest single order ever placed. Five went to Johannesburg at the end of 1949, and Tailby & George, t/a Blue Bus Services of Willington, took two in 1951 and two more in 1953. The Blue bus examples had Willowbrook lowbridge bodies of that builder’s then standard appearance with, to my eye, a very ungainly frontal profile. Here is a picture of one of these, PRA 388, taken at a rally in 1971, though I cannot now recall the location. Sadly, the bodywork of this bus deteriorated, and the vehicle was scrapped in 1975. The engine was passed on to SRB 424.

Roger Cox

17/12/14 – 05:40

I rescued SRB 424s sister SRB 425 and over a number of years have had her wooden bodywork rebuilt as she too had suffered from the dreaded rot. There is still much to do but having lived alongside the route she traversed and travelled many many miles on her and indeed all her 3 Blue Bus sisters as well, I thought she was owed a future. There were 66 chassis constructed of which only 14 were operated in Britain. 4 for Blue Bus, 6 for Halifax 1 for Glasgow, 1 for Becketts of Bucknall, later to Browns Blue Markfield, 1 for AA Motor services Ayr and 1 for Rossie Motors Doncaster. SRB 425 became the last CD650 operated in Britain passing to Derby City Transport on 1st Dec 1973 on the sale of the company to that concern and finally withdrawn on 23rd August 1974 after a tour on that evening of which I was present, of her old haunts.

Gerald Anthony

25/12/14 – 08:34

Talking of Leon 57 (432 KAL) – which we were, near the top of this page – does anyone know what it had in common with the above CD650s? I presume it would have had, when new, the 10.6 litre engine, but perhaps nothing else. Did the fitment of that engine survive into Leon days? I suspect maybe not, since I’ve a feeling that contemporary fleet lists referred to the vehicle as a CVG6LX-30. www.flickr.com/photos/8755708

David Call

26/12/14 – 08:46

David: To confuse me, there were two sons of CD650’s around Doncaster, one being Leon as above and the other being the Rossie Motors example which features on this site and is debated there. Both seemed to arrive quite late in the day and contrary to appearances, had big Daimler engines. Anyone know any better or more clearly than me?!


27/12/14 – 05:27

Were the RA & RB Derbyshire reg marks? I seem to remember Chesterfield Corporation & East Midland Bus companies with these regs.

Andy Fisher

29/12/14 – 06:29

Unsurprisingly for a discussion that has been going on for years, some of the distinctions between models may have slipped under the wire.
The 14 British-operated CD650s were listed by Gerald above, but note that the Rossie Motors example he refers to was MWU 750, which had previously been used as a Daimler demonstrator.
The 30-foot Daimler CV chassis was first announced well before the Gardner 6LX engine, and so the only engine options were the Gardner 6LW (CVG6-30) and the Daimler CD650 (CVD650-30). As described by Andrew near the top of this discussion, only two of the latter were built, and as correctly surmised by David Call, the engine was the only thing they had in common with the earlier CD650 model. All the photos I can find of the Leon Motors example (which had the first CV-30 chassis built) are captioned CVD650, so the engine must have survived into Leon ownership, though I don’t know for how long. The Glasgow one was definitely replaced by a 6LX at some point. The other Rossie Motors vehicle, mentioned by Joe, was 220 AWY. However, this had no connection whatever with the CD650. It was a CVD6-30 with a turbocharged 8.6 litre Daimler engine. This was later replaced by a Leyland O.600, in which form by all accounts it worked rather well.

Finally to answer Andy’s question, Derbyshire marks were RA, RB and NU (and originally R). These were used by Chesterfield Corporation, Midland General and Notts & Derby, but not by East Midland. Prior to 1974 EMMS always registered their vehicles in Nottinghamshire, despite being based in Chesterfield. The best explanation I have been able to obtain is "someone knew someone".

Peter Williamson

CCP 603_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

16/06/15 – 06:47

I remember back in the 1950s getting on a Daimler CD650 Halifax to Huddersfield and I was most surprised when it climed up The Ainleys in 3rd gear with little effort at all. All the other busses would have to crawl up in 2nd. Why they weren’t kept amazes me!

Kit Coulthard

16/06/15 – 16:32

They were a maintenance nightmare, Kit, due almost wholly to the over taxed high pressure hydraulic system which powered the footbrake, handbrake, steering and gearchange mechanisms. The braking characteristics were particularly wayward and often frightening, bearing in mind the exceptionally hilly terrain of the Halifax operating area. HPTD subsequently removed power operation of the steering, gearchange and handbrake, and, because the demands on the arrangement were now reduced, a simplified hydraulic braking system was fitted, the entire job being a credit to the ingenuity and imagination of the engineering department. The modifications improved reliability, but these buses then became fiendishly heavy to drive, and the engines continued to give trouble. When the Transport Committee accepted that the CVD650s had given a proper return on their initial (and subsequent) outlay, they were sold off with a huge sigh of relief after some 11 years. The Blue Bus examples would not have faced the arduous operating conditions of the Halifax machines.

Roger Cox


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