Old Bus Photos

British Rail – AEC Regal III – KRR 261

British Rail - AEC Regal III - KRR 261
Copyright Ian Wild

British Rail
1949
AEC Regal III
Weymann B35F

British Rail ran a staff bus between Sheffield Midland Station and Tinsley Marshalling Yard and at various times used this ex Mansfield District bus (fleet number 15), similar KRR 264 and KRB 88 which was an ex Midland General Leyland PS1 with a similar body. All ran in the colours of their previous owners. Later the work was contracted to Chesterfield Corporation who used one of their fleet of AEC Reliances to cover the duties.
One of Sheffield’s 1957 Regent V/Weymann is behind, laying over at the terminus of service 60 to Crimicar Lane. This service had been extended from its former Leopold Street terminus in the City Centre to provide a useful link to the Midland Station. In the background one of the 1960 Alexander bodied Regent V is about to turn left into Pond Street Bus Station.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


11/05/11 – 15:37

Fascinating. Was a regular user of the 60 between Crimicar Lane and Midland Station – especially on the said Regent Vs. Was never aware of – and therefore never saw – the British Rail staff buses of any description. PS1 would have been 1946 onward but Regal III would have been 1947 onward. Other than that, I’m no help at all with the date.

David Oldfield


11/05/11 – 19:32

Not a terribly helpful comment, but I believe C T Humpidge was responsible for the blacking out of the cross pieces on the destination indicators as seen on the AEC Regent V and he took up post following R C Moore’s retirement in May 1961.

John Darwent


12/05/11 – 07:00

Yet another fascinating Sheffield picture. In tram days, there had been additional cars on the Walkley section of the main cross-city route to Intake running between Walkley and the Midland Station, quaintly showing ‘LMS STATION’ on their blinds. When the buses took over from the trams on 8th April, 1956, the new 95 bus service was extended at the Walkley end from the old tram terminus along to Tinker Lane, and additional buses were put on between Elm Tree at the Intake end and Walkley (South Road) where the trams had terminated, but the connection to the Midland Station was severed.
To reinstate that link between the railway station and the city centre, and no doubt to the delight of Fulwood passengers who up until this time had managed to get only as far into the city centre as Leopold Street, alternate journeys on the route 60 Fulwood were extended from Barker’s Pool down High Street and Commercial Street to the Midland Station. Imagine getting off your train to be greeted by just such a sight as this one, of a splendidly turned out AEC Regent V waiting on the station forecourt. The heyday of the bus, indeed.

Dave Careless


12/05/11 – 07:03

Ah what beautiful vehicles! There were 25 PS1’s new to Midland General in 1948 and 24 Regal III’s new to Mansfield District in 1949. The bodies were similar but the PS1’s were bodied by Saunders, withdrawal of these started in 1962 and was completed in 1964, Two went to British Rail, KRB 87/88 in 5/64 and 4/63 respectively. About a dozen of the Regals were transferred to Midland General in 1958 and whilst MDT began to withdraw their remaining ones in 1962, MGO kept their acquisitions until 1967, just short of 20 years service. They usually worked out of Alfreton garage on MGO’s ‘rural’ services E2,E3,E4 and E5 between Alfreton and Matlock, routes with some very steep hills, but their 9.6 litre engines could out-perform the later LS’s and MW’s any day! I remember being taken to Matlock on summer Sundays and I loved to travel on these, which were always kept in beautiful condition. On arrival at Matlock Bus Station, they kept company with Silver Service’s wonderful vehicles and North Western’s Bristol K’s. Matlock was a great place to visit then!
Fortunately, one of the Regals, KRR 255 is preserved and I believe it usually resides at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley, Derbyshire.

Chris Barker


12/05/11 – 07:05

The KRR Regal IIIs were new in 1949. KRR 255 is preserved and active.

Peter Williamson


26/10/11 – 10:45

After service with British Rail KRR 261 went to Sykes a dealer at Worsborough Dale South Yorkshire.
Does anybody know if this dealer is still trading?

Gren


01/12/12 – 15:53

Am I right that Paul Sykes of Sykes is the same Paul Sykes who developed the giant Meadowhall mall in Sheffield & other ventures, one of the richest men in England?
He probably doesn’t need to strip buses much now, but is the company or yard still going?

Joe


09/06/14 – 06:55

British Rail in 1949?
oh no! Please gentlemen, surely it could only have been British RailWAYS ?
Unfortunately that error seems to be perpetuated by most of the present day railway and model railway press.
Despite that pedantic comment on my part, I have to say that I find this to be a marvellous site which I visit regularly.
Thanks to all involved

JOJ184


09/06/14 – 11:09

JOJ184, I’m afraid you are making the same error as those you are complaining about. There is nothing pedantic about accuracy and you are being accurate. Far too many people, particularly those working for various media, who claim great education, research and gravitas, daily project errors onto the airwaves, into print and on line.
Given their standing and the widespread unthinking acceptance by the public of what they read and hear, especially from rolling news and internet sites such as Wikipedia, historians and researchers of future generations are going to have their work cut out to reach the truth.
Rant over!

Phil Blinkhorn


10/06/14 – 07:56

I’m not sure that anyone is being accurate actually. 1949 is the year the bus was new. The date it was photographed with BR is as yet unknown. It would be helpful if someone could post the date on which BR changed its name, then we might have a firmer basis for saying which name should be used.

Peter Williamson


10/06/14 – 07:57

Phil, whilst wholeheartedly agreeing with your comments above I think JOJ184 has misinterpreted the heading caption to the photo.
While it is somewhat misleadingly put as British Rail 1949, the year is actually referring to the AEC Regal III/Weymann build date.
If you look closely at the side of the bus it is sporting the double arrow logo of British Rail and would have been taken sometime after 1965 hence on this occasion British Rail is the correct terminology.
Strange how the board was still known as "The British Railways Board" long after the name British Rail came into use.

Eric Bawden


10/06/14 – 07:58

KRR 255 is here https://www.flickr.com/photos/emdjt42/3601052489/

John Darwent


10/06/14 – 07:59

If I recall the British Railways rebranding took place around 1965 and included the change of name, the both ways logo and a typeface- Rail Alphabet. This justified a memorable edition of Design Magazine. It was a major step forward- clear and attractive. Apart from London Transport and its successors I’m not sure if any other combination of transport providers has ever done anything like this: logos have been generally messy, undistinguished or unnoticed and liveries- shall we say- lacking in design coherence and simplicity. Some, like SYPTE’s red and yellow or Lincolnshire RC / YTC’s purple and yellow were just awful.

Joe


10/06/14 – 07:59

For the record, JOJ184, British Railways changed its trading name to British Rail in 1965. So none of this thread would include WAYS!!

Chris Hebbron


10/06/14 – 08:02

Wasn’t the Sheffield Midland-Tinsley staff shuttle worked subsequently by SUT (using East Midland buses on summer Saturdays, when all SUT’s coaches would be in demand), and then by Booth & Fisher? I imagine the need for the contract came to an end when BR realised just what a white elephant Tinsley marshalling yard was.
And I’m sorry to be a pedant here: but, Phil and JOJ184, the British Rail reference is correct as the picture must date from after the British Rail corporate launch in 1965 . . . as the bus is clearly sporting the BR double arrows.

Philip Rushworth


10/06/14 – 08:03

I’ve answered my own question. Wikipedia says that British Railways traded as British Rail from 1965. My copy of BBF5 is dated April 1965 and shows KRR 261 still with Mansfield District. Therefore the photograph must have been taken in 1965 or later, so that "British Rail" is probably correct.

Peter Williamson


10/06/14 – 15:56

The point about the discrepancy between the date of the bus being built and the date of the photo is well made, as is the fact that the vehicle bears the British Rail logo, dating the picture to 1965 or later. With regard to the British Railways Board and the British Rail name, Peter Williamson has it spot on. British Rail was a trading and marketing name so, had this been a non nationalised company it would have been listed at Companies House as British Railways t/a British Rail.

Phil Blinkhorn


10/06/14 – 15:57

Paul Sykes the bus scrapper is also Paul Sykes the builder of Meadowhall and now chief backer of UKIP

Chris Hough


11/06/14 – 07:48

"British Rail" may be chronologically correct for the photograph, but it is still grammatically gormless. I still resent the term "Rail Station" which, to me, indicates a repository for bulk steel strips, not a boarding and alighting point on a particular mode of transport. Would Gerard Fiennes, if writing today, entitle his book, ‘I Tried To Run A Rail’? I can just about accept "Train Station", which is compatible with "Bus Station", but the correct term for the transport infrastructure is ‘Railway’, whatever the marketing morons would wish to thrust upon us. (Dr Johnson is dead; long live Dr Johnson.)

Roger Cox


11/06/14 – 07:50

For clarification, I took the photo on 10th February 1968 hence well into British Rail days

Ian Wild


KRR 261_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


24/02/15 – 15:02

EFE produced a model of an AEC Regal in British Railways livery. It has the registration HKL 842 (Sheffield?) and the code 851-SOM on the sides. Does anyone have any information about this vehicle?

Ian Rawstron


25/02/15 – 06:04

HKL would be a Kent registration Ian.

John Darwent


25/02/15 – 06:05

If you look at:
http://www.classicbuses.co.uk/mdreg.html  and scroll down a bit there is a detailed history of the whole batch with a couple of photographs. It was new to Maidstone & District.

David Beilby


 

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Sheffield Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – PWA 258 – 158

Sheffield Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - PWA 258 - 158   Copyright Ian Wild

Sheffield Corporation
1953
Leyland PD2/12
Weymann H32/26R

Sheffield operated a number of occasional services to small villages and hamlets to the north west of the City. Ewden Valley Village lay about a mile off the main Sheffield to Stocksbridge route 57 via a Sheffield Corporation Waterworks private road and was primarily home to workers at the adjacent reservoir. Service 164 was sparse but included this Saturday morning journey taken in February 1963 with a few villagers complete with shopping leaving Weymann bodied Leyland PD2/12 at the terminus in the snow. The bus which was allocated to Herries Road Garage was one of the 1953 B fleet batch of 26 such buses originally numbered 142-167 but renumbered later in 1963 with the addition of 2000 to their fleet numbers.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

A full list of Titan codes can be seen here.

———

24/02/11 – 08:10

Coincidence. Was just looking at 687 on the South Yorkshire site before I came here to find 158.
Ewden Valley is part of the beautiful Sheffield "Lake District" of reservoirs (and forestry) to the north of the city. Originally part of the West Riding, the area came into the city with the 1974 Local Government reorganisation.
Note the treacherous conditions with "raw" snow. At least the driver had a manual gearbox to help him cope. I drove part time for Reading Mainline in the ’90s and remember a happy Saturday morning in Reading when none of the side roads had been gritted. [I had never been skating before this…..]

David Oldfield

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24/02/11 – 09:19

I worked in Sheffield during that winter. I can’t remember the buses ever stopping, but perhaps they did. I don’t think I missed a day’s work. This bus has- it seems- reversed into its terminus gritless. Presumably with a gentle bit of clutch work it will set off on that lock? Are today’s buses not gritless but gutless- these people wouldn’t have seen one for weeks? Despite the weight at the rear, does the transmission stop them getting a grip or are they just too long to control and the rear weight just makes them jack-knife?

Joe

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24/02/11 – 10:11

Joe, I lived through some pretty harsh Sheffield winters in my childhood – notably 1962. Once the ploughs and gritters had been out, the buses emerged. The STD buses very rarely failed the burghers of Sheffield.
With a clutch there is far more control than any sort of automatic gives. This is one reason that all STD buses from 1951 to 1959 were manual. (The advent of "no-choice" on Atlanteans and Fleetlines put an end to this – and possibly the fact that the Atlantean killed off the last trams and was easier to convert tram drivers.)

David Oldfield

———

24/02/11 – 10:13

Joe – Many of us older drivers know that, in snow, you need grip, not power. The answer is to pull away and accelerate in a higher gear than usual, easy with a manual gearbox.
Also, modern buses have smaller wheels, I’m sure, so a smaller ‘footprint’ in the snow.
There may be other considerations, too, of which I can’t think offhand.

Chris Hebbron

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24/02/11 – 21:33

What a handsome body was this penultimate Weymann style, before the advent of the "Orion". I believe that this style was heavier than the Orion, and that it continued after the 1954 Orion body and was known as "Aurora", availability continuing until the late 50s. In fact, Bournemouth`s MF2B trolleys owe much to this design. Not sure about my facts here, if anyone can clarify, but, as an enthusiast, I remember their gradual demise with some regret. They were, in my view, the most handsome of all bus bodies, and were a real "classic", their ancestry being traceable back to the first Weymann metal bodies of 1933. A truly evocative photograph!

John Whitaker

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24/02/11 – 21:58

In reply to Joe, I am pretty sure that the bus as pictured had driven in to that position, it would reverse to the right of the photo before returning to the main A616 and the City down the private road which is to the left of the picture.
The nearest bus route to my home was on a pretty steep hill and I can remember in the snow drivers would go as slow as possible at the bus stop whilst the passengers jumped on the rear platform. Rarely did the buses miss in those days. My first two winters at work were 1962 and 1963. The first I was at Rotherham, the second on the edge of Sheffield City Centre, as well as two nights a week at night school. I cannot remember missing either work or night school during those winters due to the weather. I remember the single skin upper saloon domes with ice on the inside – no saloon heaters in those days!

Ian Wild

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25/02/11 – 08:38

Rochdale received the Aurora on Regent Vs until 1959 (including the famous Gardners in about 1956) and Bournemouth was receiving the Sunbeams until 1962. The Bournemouths were the same design – except they had five short bays – just as the Rotherham CVG6s, contemporary to 158, had five short bays (and were also 7’6" wide).
The Orion is much maligned – often unfairly – but there is no doubt that this is a far better and more attractive design. Only the roof of the domes was single skinned on the Aurora. Around the front (and front side) windows was double skinned, as was the area around the rear emergency exit. All of this area was single skinned on the Orion.
As I’ve said before, the first upper deck heating on STD buses was the 1325-1349 Regent V/Roes of 1960.

David Oldfield

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25/02/11 – 09:37

I can’t quite work it out on the photo, and it might be a trick of the eye with dirt/snow along the bottom, but does this body have the Weymann flair? If so, it would be quite late to have this feature.

Chris Hebbron

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25/02/11 – 11:18

Yes, 158 had the Weymann flaired skirt. Also, PD2’s 668 to 687 of 1953 and 688-723 of 1954 had the flair. Straight ‘skirts’ were fitted to this body style for the Regent 3’s of 1954, nos. 178-199, 724-735 and 1154-55. Further deliveries thereafter were Orions.

John Darwent

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28/02/11 – 06:59

This body design came out in 1952 or 1953. I have been aware for some time that Croft of Glasgow built similar-looking bodies, and have always assumed that they were Weymann-based – until I discovered that Croft were actually building them several years before Weymann! The one at this link must have looked incredibly modern in 1949.

Peter Williamson

———

02/03/11

Thanks for the Albion-Croft link, Peter W. The Croft body’s modern look is emphasized by the wonderfully thirties-looking Albion chassis–especially the radiator!

Ian Thompson

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06/03/11 – 08:18

The Rochdale 1959 Regent V’s were probably the final incarnation of the Aurora design and what magnificent vehicles they were. When originally delivered in Rochdale’s majestic blue and cream streamlined livery they looked superb. The last four 319-322(TDK 319-322) had platform doors, believed to have been added to the spec so as not to be outdone by Bury Corporation whose Orion bodied PD3’s had this feature and operated on the joint routes 19 and 21T between the two towns. Compared to the Bury vehicles which I always found noisy and rough, the Rochdale Regent V’s with their semi-automatic gearboxes, were much more refined.
One of these vehicles was preserved at Sheffield Bus Museum. Is it still there? One of the 1956 Gardners is in the collection at Boyle Street, Manchester.

Philip Halstead

———

06/03/11 – 09:09

Yes, it’s still at Rotherham. [The museum moved!]

David Oldfield

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07/03/11 – 09:27

I remember the Rochdale Regent Vs (and the preceding Daimlers with basically similar bodies) very well as I used to use the 17 service in Manchester regularly. What impressed me even more than the features Philip mentions was the interiors. They were fairly basic really, with leatherette seats and painted metal window cappings, but who would have thought that two shades of blue, together with a strangely translucent white on the ceiling, could be so restful? With those colours, the smoothness of the drive train and the soporific crooning of the transmission, a 12-minute journey on one of those was almost enough to induce an altered state of consciousness!

Peter Williamson

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12/03/11 – 08:00

I agree with Peter, the Rochdale interiors were plain but very clean and fresh feeling. As a child I was a bit susceptible to travel sickness and somehow the Rochdale interiors seemed to calm my problem. It is surprising how interior features stick in ones mind from those childhood days. Manchester’s ‘standard’ bodies were very dark and oppressive inside with dark moquette seats and dark varnished woodwork. In the days of almost universal adult smoking the moquette seating seemed to soak up the stale tobacco fumes even in the lower saloon. We used to travel into Manchester from Rochdale on the 24/90 service, jointly worked by Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale corporations and I would always hope our bus would be a Rochdale vehicle.
The Oldham buses had some distinctive internal features I well remember. Hanging leather straps in the lower saloon with handles similar to horse-riding stirrups. A row of domestic style Bakelite light switches with porcelain fuse holders on the front lower saloon bulkhead above the driver’s cab window. The words ‘Oldham Corporation’ were emblazoned across the front bulkhead in gold lettering – civic pride still existed in those days! And finally the ‘Honesty Box’ on the rear platform. Did anybody ever put anything into it, I wonder? I also remember the Oldham Roe bodies were a bit short on bell pushes in the upper saloon and conductors would give the starting signal from the front with a couple of heavy stamps of the foot on the floor above the cab!
We seem to concentrate our interest in the exteriors of buses but not much is written or photographed about the insides.

Philip Halstead

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13/03/11 – 08:05

Philip, I fully agree regarding bus interiors. That was the environment in which you travelled, and it was often very distinctive – location and style of bell pushes (or cords or strips), pattern of light fittings (before the arrival of standard fluorescent strip lights), seats and upholstery – even smells. Perhaps there are a few more interior shots out there to add another dimension?

Stephen Ford

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PMT – Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 – 861 REH – L861

861 REH_lr   Copyright Michael Crofts

Potteries Motor Traction
1961
Leyland Atlantean PDR1
Weymann L39/33F

This is one of a batch of 105 Atlanteans delivered between 1959/1961 and the above picture was taken at the water point at the PMT Newcastle under Lyme depot. It was very rare for this type of vehicle to do the Leek route as it was normally worked by Leyland Titan PD3’s and this bus would normally be on the Longton Newcastle Estates route. So it was a pleasure for me and a first to go to Leek in an Atlantean as I liked driving these splendid vehicles unlike the Daimler Fleetline which I detested. The prefix L in front of the fleet number denotes a low height body which was one of the reasons why this type of bus was normally on the Longton service as there was a low railway bridge in Longton.
During the Potteries annual holidays double deck vehicles would be used on the express service’s to Morecambe and Blackpool, the buses would be either Atlanteans or Fleetlines with Alexander bodies the latter being hard work with their hydraulic throttles and having a top speed of 42 mph, the Atlanteans on the other hand would do between 52-55mph.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Michael Crofts


22/02/11 – 10:06

Thanks, Michael, for this interesting picture of another early BET company Atlantean. As you say, they could really motor, but they didn’t half drink the diesel when doing so. That was just one of the reasons why some operators changed to Fleetlines; lower overall maintenance costs was another.

Roy Burke


22/02/11 – 19:54

Good to see this photo of what was the most common type of bus in the PMT fleet in my time working there. Longton Depot had some of the earliest batch and achieved phenomenal engine mileages of 400,000+ between failures. Frank Ling was the Depot Engineer there and maintained a very high standard of maintenance. My first winter there was a cold one and the Atlanteans frequently failed with the air system unloader valve frozen causing the vehicle to lose all air pressure and hence drive. The unloader valve was mounted under the cab in one of the coldest locations on the vehicle. A rag on a steel bar, dipped in diesel and set alight was the quickest means of unfreezing the unloader and restoring normal operation. Flywheel gland failures were another problem coating the engine bay in oil with the consequent fire risk (wiring fires in the Atlantean engine bays were not uncommon not aided by the wiring insulation becoming brittle with age and falling off). Quite a number of Atlanteans had to be rewired, some being dealt with by local Contractors as the level of work exceeded the available labour in Central Works at Stoke. Leyland tried adding a fan bolted to the fluid flywheel (more correctly the fluid-friction clutch) on a number of buses but there was no real improvement. As originally built, the chassis had rear light units fitted on the rear sub frame and which shone through holes in the fibreglass engine cover. PMT later fitted high level rear lights in the rear ‘tween decks panels thus eliminating the wiring to the sub frame lights located as they were in a very oily environment. The main rear lights were fitted to the lift up rear engine cover and the additional lights were necessary to provide rear lights at night if it were necessary to open the engine cover whilst on the road at night. Oh happy days!!

Ian Wild


22/02/11 – 19:55

The early Atlantean in low height form was a modified lowbridge bus in reality on the other hand the Fleetline with its drop centre rear axle was a true lowheight vehicle from the off It took Leyland until 1966 (four years after the first Fleetlines entered service) before they offered a low height chassis which removed the low bridge layout from the top deck. Having said this the Atlantean PDR1/2 was not one of Leylands finest although when it appeared the AN68 was what the Atlantean should have been from the off

Chris Hough


26/01/13 – 06:24

The seating in the forward part of the upper upper deck on these buses was too low in relation to the window line whilst the rear rows of 4 were too high! This is except the initial row of 4 which were mounted straight onto the raised rear platform resulting in an excellent match between seat height and window level.

Ian Wild


 

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