Old Bus Photos

Sheffield Corporation – AEC Regent III – WWB 484 – 1284

Sheffield Corporation - AEC Regent III - WWB 484 - 1284

Sheffield Corporation
AEC Regent III
Weymann ‘Orion’ L27/28R

Now I know what your thinking you think I have got this completely wrong, this is surely a Regent V you say. No it is definitely a Regent III there was a small number of late Regent IIIs that were built with the wide bonnet front more associated with the Regent V and this is one of them. 
I also have a shot of another Sheffield Corporation Regent that could be a bit dubious, registration WWB 542 fleet no 742, it is different to above in that it has an odd shaped window on the staircase and no air vent at the front of the roof, I would guess at Roe bodywork myself. I think that it also maybe a Regent III as that registration dates from 1955/6 and I can find no details of it in the Regent V lists on the excellent Bus Lists on the Web website. If you know please leave a comment.


742 was VWJ 542 Regent III 9613S with Roe H33/25R body, new in 1956.

David Harrison


After over 150 exposed radiator Regent IIIs, Sheffield had 41 Roe and 36 Weymann H58R and 9 Weymann L55R Regent IIIs with manual boxes and the new "Regent V" front. This was in 1955/6 and they followed immediately by 40 genuine Regent Vs with Weymann H58R bodies identical to the earlier Weymann/Regent IIIs. The latter arrived in 1957.

David Oldfield


04/05/11 – 07:06

These were the only lowbridge double deckers in the Sheffield fleet post war (and for some considerable time pre war). See Keith Beeden’s comments re Sheffield 1265 for the reason behind this unusual purchase. Four buses (1284-7) survived the rest of the batch by up to four years and made themselves unpopular turning up on a variety of (non lowbridge) services not least being regular performers on the 50 to the posh village of Dore, on the edge of the Peak District.
1284 is pictured in Pond Street Bus Station for a duplicate on the normally single deck service 99 to Chesterfield via the village of Ford which required single deck buses beyond that point.

Ian Wild


05/05/11 – 07:00

It’s amazing how such a fine builder as Weymann could make the Orion look so fine – as it did for almost all Sheffield’s high-bridge variants – but managed to make such a dog’s breakfast of the low-bridges. They had several attempts and failed – the North Western PD2s neither being the same as 1283-91 nor as neighbouring East Midland examples.
It’s also true that high-bridge Leylands were generally not so handsome as those on almost any other chassis because of the narrow front profile.
I read that, when Leyland closed down the body shop in 1954 that there was a tacet agreement that Leyland body customers would be edged in the direction of MCW (ie MCCW AND Weymann) and this obviously manifested itself in the carry-over from Leyland of a standard 7’6" front, even on 8’0" wide bodies (but with the tapering effect). Bizarrely, the best looking and most balanced "low" Orions were on East Midland and Yorkshire Woolen’s Albion Lowlanders – where Alexander made a pig’s ear of it!
"First" are still managing to put old rubbish on the (now) 30 to Dore. Is it giving the finger to the unworthy rich – or missing a trick in encouraging onto public transport?

David Oldfield


03/02/12 – 15:27

During the school holidays we use to travel on these buses to the mining area pits (my Mum also worked full time so holidays were spent on whatever route my dad was driving. My Auntie was the conductress).I remember there being 4 bench seats in a row to the nearside & access was lower to the seat height. Cannot remember what happened over the drivers cab, but those front seats must also have been higher than the access route.Downstairs offside was the lowered access route with notices for passengers to "watch your heads" My Dad used to say you can buy the best quality towels from the pit shop at really cheap prices. I think it may have been Orgreave pit. We also used to go on Regents single deckers with the doors & access stairs to the doors & these were the first buses we saw that had a round, chrome heater behind the bulkhead to keep you warm, which we appreciated at 5.30am on cold mornings.

Andy Fisher


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Midland General – AEC Regent III – MRB 30 – 28

Midland General - AEC Regent III - MRB 30 - 28

Midland General Omnibus Company
AEC Regent III
Weymann H30/26R

From what I can make out there was the Midland General Group which included Midland General obviously, Mansfield & District and Notts & Derby. One thing I find strange is that they purchased Bristol manufactured buses I thought that after 1948 only nationalised bus operators could do that. Although one thing I found out was that the general manager of the Midland General Group was also the general manager of the Lincolnshire Road Car Company which was a nationalised operator.
One interesting point is that Midland General had their initials in place of the AEC badge on the radiator as can be seen in the blow up below.


A full list of Regent III codes can be seen here.

This is Mount Street bus station, Nottingham. This is a pre-selector, and as I remember, it was quite unusual for them to be used on the C5 (and B3) Alfreton routes – more usually the crash gearbox Regent IIs. Even up to the late 1960s when the main service was run by Lodekkas, Underwood depot used to turn out two or three Regent IIs on Saturday mornings when the service frequency was doubled. The transmission sound of a crash gearbox Regent II was sheer music.
With regard to MGO’s purchase of Bristols, as I understand it the company was part of the Balfour Beatty Group. However, anticipating wholesale bus nationalisation (which didn’t actually materialise), they sold out voluntarily to the British Transport Commission. Their first foray into the Bristol marque was a series of (I think) 15 KSW6G’s in 1952. (They also tried out the prototype Lodekka – a strange and ugly contraption with a very wide exposed radiator.)

Stephen Ford

Strictly speaking, Balfour Beatty were nationalised because they were an electricity generator (for their Notts and Derby’s trolleybuses). They were handed over to THC/Tilling as a result of this. They would happily have continued with AEC/Weymann otherwise.

David Oldfield

(They also tried out the prototype Lodekka – a strange and ugly contraption with a very wide exposed radiator.)
I had to have a wry smile at the above comment, which is admittedly basically true I suppose. What many don’t realise though is that it didn’t have the equally revolutionary "Lodekka" body, but rather a modified version of the standard postwar product – recognition of this feature perhaps being eclipsed by the dramatic radiator and bonnet etc. Eventually joining West Yorkshire Road Car Co. Ltd as 822, it was renumbered with the rest of the fleet and ended its days as DX1. Ugly duckling it may have been, but it was the first practical model to abolish the awkward offside upper saloon gangway and poor headroom, and the notorious nearside leaning and rolling on cambers.

Chris Youhill

The KSW’s mentioned were delivered to Notts & Derby as replacements for the BUT trolleybuses which came off service during 1953. The prototype Lodekka was never owned by the company but spent a while with them on a trial basis however this did start a long relationship with Bristol/ECW right through to the demise (almost) of the MGO group in the 1970’s. Indeed the very last Lodekka (YNU 351G) became part of the fleet in the Autumn of 1968 and after continued service with Trent passed directly into preservation in 1980 where it still is – I was one of the original owners.

Paul D Chambers

23/03/11 – 06:50

The Barton’s low bridge decker looks like one of there NCME Regent V with the wrap around front windows a very smart looking design.

Roger Broughton

23/03/11 – 20:03

I remember these Regents with great affection and I was privileged to travel on them as a young lad! There were three batches, the MRB’s as shown were delivered new to Midland General, then the JVO’s, some of which were transferred from Mansfield District to Notts & Derby as trolleybus replacements and of course the last, the ONU’s which were lowbridge. It’s always slightly annoyed me when these ones are referred to as RLH type Regents, I’ve always felt that London Transport’s RLH’s should be described as ‘Midland General type Regents!’
The most memorable thing about all of them was the astonishing condition in which they were maintained, some of them achieved almost twenty years service and they were always turned out in pristine condition right till the end.
In their later years, there was a concentration of them at Ilkeston garage, for use on the frequent town services which involved a stiff climb up the main street with many stops and high loadings, a task which they performed with consummate ease, much better than a lumbering Lodekka! In fact, I think it wasn’t until the arrival of the semi-automatic FLF6LX Bristols that the management of MGO thought they had anything capable of replacing them.

Chris Barker

24/03/11 – 06:37

You are right about the RLHs Chris (which of course were actually diverted from MGO). Similarly, the Regent IIs which tend to get called STLs. Goodness – LT only had 20 of them. Plenty more went elsewhere, and they were about as different from proper STLs as chalk from cheese! As for the Ilkeston town services (A2 and A3) I seem to remember some of the N&DT KSW6Gs being used, in the early 60s, when they had been displaced by Lodekkas from the Nottingham – Ripley B1. I guess it was the pre-selector gearbox on the Regents that made them favourites with Bath Street hill to contend with in one direction and Nottingham Road in the other.

Stephen Ford

21/01/14 – 06:54

I hope I’m correct in this statement bur Bristol double deckers where not in service at the midland general until after 1957 to 1958…. I used to work at underwood garage 1973 to 76, and used to drive the old deckers both with Gardner engines and also with Bristol engines, these where brutes to the brain, left arm and the hearing at times when missing a gear the right leg also suffered due to the throttle being connected direct to the governor in the fuel pump.

Murray Bacon

21/01/14 – 09:09

The LW and early LX series of Gardner engines had ‘all speed’ governors which worked by setting the maximum engine speed at a level determined by the accelerator position. Pressing the throttle pedal to increase the revs acted against the resistance of the governor setting, and resulted in a heavy pedal action. When changing gear upwards with a conventional clutch/gearbox transmission, it paid to blip the engine slightly to take the load off the governor once the gear had engaged before releasing the clutch again to take up power. This obviated the tendency to jerk when the throttle pedal gave way suddenly under foot pressure.

Roger Cox

22/01/14 – 06:37

Murray, you may be right so far as Underwood was concerned, but I think Langley Mill had Bristol Lodekkas earlier than 1957. I’m almost certain they were running on the Hucknall – Alfreton C9 by 1956 at the latest. And of course there were the 15 earlier Bristol KSWs, that were actually Notts & Derby rather than MGO, which came in 1953.

Stephen Ford

22/01/14 – 14:06

Midland General’s first Lodekkas were actually delivered in 1954. One early use of them was on service 44, Derby – Chesterfield which had been instituted in that year and was regarded as a ‘flagship’ route so Alfreton garage may have had some of the first LD’s.

Chris Barker

22/01/14 – 17:56

For reference, the first Lodekka prototype LHY 949 is here www.sct61.org.uk/

John Darwent

25/01/14 – 08:12

Thanks for the link to the photos of prototype Lodekka LHY 949 John. Stephen’s earlier comments about the Lodekka prototype being a "strange and ugly contraption with a very wide exposed radiator" are, as Chris Y notes, basically true. However, if one looks at the ECW bodywork fitted to both prototypes, even though they were of differing styles, they were still quite attractive – as long as you didn’t stray around to the front end (Oooof!). It is well documented that the pair of Lodekka prototypes used some parts from the two prototype M-type chassis exhibited at the 1948 Commercial Motor Show. Intended as a beefed-up K-type with export markets in mind, the M-type was to have been available in double-deck (MD) or single deck (MS) form, and with either a Bristol AVW or Gardner LW engine, but it never went into production. Externally the main parts transferred over to the prototype Lodekkas appear to have been the wide radiators, chrome bumpers, bonnet assemblies, front mudguards and headlamps. The wide radiator did neither of the Lodekkas any favours, and the kindest comment I have read to date called it "ungainly". Considering the overall attractiveness of the bodywork, the ‘set back’ look of the cab in relation to the radiator, mudguards and bumper simply jars. Most un-Bristol/ECW-like.
Going back to Midland General Stephen, the prototype Lodekka demonstrated to the Company, plus Mansfield District and Notts & Derby, was West Yorkshire’s 822 (JWT 712).

Brendan Smith


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Halifax Corporation – Leyland Leopard – OCP 231 – 231

Halifax Corporation Leyland Leopard  
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
Leyland Leopard L1
Weymann B34D

I thought that this bus was a one off being a dual entrance vehicle with Halifax Corporation, but on research I find that they had half a dozen Karrier WL6 with Harris & Hassall duel entrance bodies in 1928. The above bus was only a duel entrance for three years before being modified to to a front only entrance and seating 42, it was then re-seated the following year to a B44F.
As a matter of interest the 1928 Karriers were all withdrawn by 1932 they were not even re-bodied, duel entrance did not seam to work for Halifax. I think duel entrance buses were more useful in cities rather than towns mainly for the speed of on and off loading of the passengers.


With reference to the Karriers, many vehicles built prior to the late twenties weren’t expected to have lives of much more than five or six years anyway -timber-framed bodies, stiff springing, solid or narrow-section tyres and granite setts didn’t make for longevity.
Karriers were probably the worst motorbus ever perpetrated on the industry, even at a time when there were a lot of poor quality specimens on offer -rebodying these atrocious machines wouldn’t have made sense to anybody however many doors they had!

David A Jones


Earlier comments about these Karriers are well-founded! Another problem was that it was not realised then that if you had two driving rear axles, you needed a third crown wheel and pinion BETWEEN the axles. Thus, many half-shafts needed replacing regularly! And to compound the problem, Karrier never bothered to keep spares much beyond the time when a model had been replaced! Apart from getting extra length with 6-wheelers, one bonus was having braking on all four rear wheels. At that time, effective front wheel braking was not easy to achieve in the late ’20’s.
This was told to me by an old boy who’d worked for Portsmouth Corporation who had made the mistake of buying half a dozen Karriers, they also didn’t last beyond about 1932!

Chris Hebbron


This was actually the prototype Leopard, to spec L1, it had a unique badge different to all other leopards and was built 2 years before any others, in essence a Tiger Cub chassis with a Worldmaster engine and synchromesh gearbox, clearly Mr Lefevre decided to experiment at this time.



27/11/11 – 08:06

I remember driving this bus during my time at Halifax, by which time it had lost its centre door. When one took it straight out from the garage, with cold engine and gearbox, it was virtually impossible to change gear with the thing, so stiff was the linkage (and, presumably, the gearbox internals). Even when warmed up, it was a serious challenge. All Leyland buses of that era had very heavy controls, but this bus, No. 231, was in a class of its own.

Roger Cox


27/11/11 – 09:16

Roger, you’ve brought back vivid memories to me of the earliest batches of 36 foot Leopards which were operated by Wallace Arnold. They were hard work with a vengeance – cold or warm. The clutches were far too heavy and the brakes were poor to the point of inadequacy, especially when needed frequently at speed or on gradients. The four speed gearbox was ludicrous, and these luxurious vehicles were unable to ascend certain hills on some of the most arduous tours, or at least were prohibited from doing so "just in case." A further constant irritation was the enormous steering wheel, mounted by the bodybuilders far too close to the dash assembly. To be fair the 30 foot Leopards were far more acceptable in general, being less cumbersome and far more spritely. The comparison between the large Leopards and the big Reliances from AEC was incredible – the latter being swift (small "S" and no pun intended) ideally geared, and a joy to handle all day – and capable of speeds which, after all these years, I’d be reluctant to mention in print !!

Chris Youhill


28/11/11 – 10:28

I well remember as a child looking out of out the bedroom window of our house at Stump Cross early one Saturday morning – it would be 1961 – and catching my first fleeting glimpse of 231 as it flashed by at great speed towards Hipperholme. It was most likely travelling empty to Brighouse to operate the local Stoney Lane-Brighouse-Field Lane 51 route, to which it had already been banished apparently. I had never heard of a bus having two doors, let alone seen one – it looked very strange. I saw it again a week or two later travelling in the opposite direction, then that was that. Though its appearance was very similar to the earlier Worldmasters, it made a different sound – louder and with much more rasping exhaust.
The following year another sixteen similar buses arrived – nine for the Corporation (31-39) and seven for the Joint Omnibus Committee (232-238). The Corporation ones immediately replaced the preselector Regent III’s on the Northowram route – my daily bus to school. The badge on the front announced that they were Leopards – 231 did not have such a badge at the time and looked a bit blank. The front number plate was attached slightly higher, above the dividing strip between the upper and lower panels, whereas 231’s was in the lower panel. Inside, the interiors were all painted metal – typical MCW of the period – with dark green lower panels and pale green window surrounds, but the inside of the doors was all over dark green, whereas 231’s were divided half and half like the rest of the interior. Trivial differences, but features that made them instantly identifiable from one another. The seats were upholstered in an uncomfortable, slippery green vynide, unlike the moquette-covered ones on the Regents. They were also incredibly noisy inside. The route continued to be crew-operated for quite a while, and the older drivers did appear to struggle with them at times, and it was clear many did not approve.
The next time I saw 231 it was a conventional single door bus just like the others. I did not subscribe to ‘Buses Illustrated’ at the time, and knew no other enthusiasts – indeed I believed I was probably the only person in the world who was interested in buses. I eventually concluded that the two doors had been all in my imagination, and it was to be a few more years before the truth was verified, and a lot longer before I was able to obtain a photograph.
I had always a soft spot for these buses, due to my childhood school bus associations, but years later when I was to drive them in service, that spot was burst for ever ! They were utterly unsuited to Halifax’s hilly local routes, frequently stopping and starting and negotiating awkward turns – the driver constantly grappling with the heavy, stiff gear change linkage and hard pedals. The accelerator was frustrating, the revs taking their time to build up and die down. The steering was relatively light, but like all Leylands of the time the wheel was enormous in order to achieve that. Many would jump out of gear when climbing long hills. Frequent bashing of the steering wheel rim by omo drivers’ heavy metal Ultimate ticket machine boxes had chipped the covering, leaving patches of cold bare metal, and jagged plastic sticking out to cut the fingers. The driving position was very low – it was like you were sitting on the floor with the passengers towering above. The destination winders behind a flap above the windscreen were awkward to access, the door operating lever was a long reach forward. The change dispenser mounted above and behind the driver’s left shoulder was literally a pain – though this feature was common to all HPT buses. The demisters were totally ineffective, so the windscreens would quickly mist over, especially with a full load of standing passengers, so a goodly supply of paper towels was always called for. In winter they were always freezing cold, and the windscreens would often freeze over on the inside, requiring frequent stopping to scrape a clear patch.
In fairness, once up through the gears and on the go they would motor on nicely. They could eventually achieve a fair speed, and their road holding was excellent, but it was not often you got them on a long run. Occasionally one would find its way onto the Rochdale route as a changeover for a newer type, and they would usually romp noisily up from Littleborough to Blackstone Edge and over the moors in fine style with good sound effects from the exhaust. The engineers would probably have argued that they were more reliable and durable than the subsequent AEC Reliances, but as a driver I certainly know which I preferred !

John Stringer


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 21st October 2014