Old Bus Photos

Halifax Corporation – Albion Nimbus NS3AN – RJX 253 – 253

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

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
Albion Nimbus NS3AN
Weymann B31F

Halifax acquired ten of these little Albion Nimbus to do a few routes that due to the narrowness of the roads and sharpness of the bends a small bus was required for the job. These buses suited the bill fine size wise but that was about all. With its rather small engine 4.1 litre I think climbing the Pennine hills was quite a chore and as they were noisy on the flat you can imagine the noise on the climb up from Hebden Bridge to Heptonstall. It has also come to light that they were not all that reliable in a few other ways too. They must of been really bad as 2 went in 65, 2 more in 66 and all the rest by 67 a 4 years life span is not good.


Halifax General Manager Geoffrey Hilditch wrote a series of magazine articles called "Looking at Buses" under the pen-name Gortonian, one of which was about the Albion Nimbus. I’m not saying there weren’t reliability problems, but as I recall it, the main problem at Halifax was a more general operational one.  At a time when there was a general shortage of serviceable vehicles, anything that was available and working needed to be able to go anywhere, not be restricted to certain duties because it only had 31 seats. I think that’s why they had to go.

Peter Williamson


They had to go because they were truly dreadful for reliability, they were replaced with the special short narrow Pennine bodied AEC Reliances



A coincidence (not) that Great Yarmouth’s six Nimbuses were replaced by short Reliances with Pennine bodywork? Not really GH was GM at Caister Road too.
One of the latter vehicles (85) has been wonderfully restored by the East Anglian Transport Museum.

Mick Capon


Several of these Halifax buses served with Wiles as the backbone of their short services from Tranent to Prestonpans and Port Seton well into the 1970s. They stood out as the sole surviving independent bus operation at that time in the Edinburgh area, and the Nimbuses provided an interesting variation on the usual fare!

John Godfrey


Christopher’s comments on the Albion Nimbus reminded me of a short tale, (anecdotal, so I don’t guarantee its total accuracy), about the reliability of these vehicles. Maidstone & District bought a small number of them to use on light rural routes, and they had a dreadful reputation. The Chief Engineer, allegedly, made a derogatory remark about the ability of the Central Works to overhaul the engines properly, and got one that had been rebuilt by his former company, Western Welsh – that much is certainly true; I remember seeing it at Postley Works. A little later, after I had moved to a different department, I asked a friend who worked at Postley how they had got on with it. ‘It ran relatively well’, was the reply. ‘It managed about twenty feet outside the works door before breaking down!’

Roy Burke


29/05/11 – 07:00

When Mr Hilditch then at Great Yarmouth heard that Mr LeFevre was buying Albion Ninbii he offered the Great Yarmouth batch and begged him to reconsider but to no avail, it was shortly after this that Mr. Hilditch returned to Halifax to find his newest buses to be these 10.



31/05/11 – 18:47

RJX 253 and 256 ended up with Baddeley Bros. of Holmfirth for use on their rural routes. 253 lasted long enough to pass to West Yorkshire PTE, as a withdrawn vehicle, with the Baddeley’s business in 1976.
I also remember going to see one of the others operating with Wiles, but can’t remember which one, possibly RJX 252



26/09/11 – 06:34

Ramsbottom Urban District Council became the owner of RJX 258 having acquired it from Warrington Corporation in 1967. It was given fleet number 12 and used on the infrequent service to Holcombe Village. When RUDC was absorbed into SELNEC PTE in 1969 the bus became SELNEC 6082, a picture of it on the service to Summerseat appears at: www.flickr.com/photos/
Summerseat had a railway station but no bus service until the railway closed. Due to the tight access to the village the Nimbus proved useful. Later alternatives were the similar sized Seddon Pennine midi buses one of which, on the Holcombe Village service, appears at: www.flickr.com/photos/

David Slater


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Halifax Corporation – Leyland Titan PD3/4 – TCP 55 – 55

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

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
Leyland Titan PD3/4
Weymann H40/32F

Here is the 30ft Weymann bodied Titan I mentioned yesterday it has a more square appearance I will let you decide which you prefer. This Titan was passed on to WYPTE on the 1st of April 1974 and renumbered 3055
To see what the Halifax livery was like there is a colour shot of a Weymann PD2 of Halifax Corporation here.


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Bournemouth Corporation – Daimler Fleetline – CRU 188C – 188

Bournemouth Corporation - Daimler Fleetline - CRU 188C - 188

Bournemouth Corporation
Daimler Fleetline
Weymann CO43/31F

As is with tradition on the south coast of England most open toppers were named, this bus was named ‘Northumbria’ which is a county in the North East of England. All the the other open toppers of the same batch were also called after counties of England, I would be most upset if there wasn’t one called ‘Yorkshire’ as registration CRU 180C was called ‘Lancashire’. If you know, let me know, please leave a comment.
It would appear that all this batch of Bournemouth open top Fleetlines except this one were sold to London Transport for sightseeing duties I wonder why not this one where did it go? If you know, let me know, please leave a comment.

"Yorkshire" was the next bus in the batch, CRU 181C.
Wasn’t this livery with the green-edged maroon band much classier than the messy blue and brown daubings on an overall yellow bus which replaced it?
But, have you noticed the absolutely miniscule fleet number just above the offside headlamp? These always looked like they’d been done in Letraset and were virtually unreadable at any distance; the previous shaded gold style might have been a bit Olde Worlde but at least they were practical.

David Jones

05/07/11 – 06:40

The names chosen by Bournemouth Corporation for the convertible Fleetlines were a curious bunch.
Bournemouth was in "Hampshire" (no 186) in those days of course, and "Dorset" (no 185) was next door. "Warwickshire" (no 182) and "Surrey" (no 189) may have been chosen in honour of the chassis- and body-builders respectively. Many of the town’s summer visitors may have come from "Staffordshire" (no 183), "Cheshire" (no 184), and possibly "Lancashire" (no 180) and "Yorkshire" (no 181), but "Northumberland" (no 188) and "Durham" (no 187) would seem to be pushing it at bit.

Michael Wadman

17/09/11 – 17:29

Mention has been made of the bright green lines outside the maroon bands on BCT buses and trolleybuses.
I remember the older brown line, best described as "dark mud brown" (that’s from memory) which had been used previously. I will try to establish when the brown was changed to green, but am not hopeful – my best guess is around 1960 as I seem to remember that the first MF2B trolleybuses had the brown lining when new, although it might have been earlier when the wartime brown roofs were repainted yellow.
The open-toppers (in fact convertibles with removable fibreglass roofs) were Bournemouth 180 to 189 CRU180C to CRU189C, and became London DMO class as follows:
182 – DMO1 Stockwell Princess
183 – DMO2 Southern Queen
184 – DMO3 Britannia
185 – DMO4
186 – DMO5
187 – DMO6
189 – DMO7
I will try to find out what happened to the ones that did not go to London.

Bill Nichols

21/11/11 – 09:22

I’m a 40 year old bus enthusiast lifelong resident to Bournemouth. Regards the fate of 180, 181 and 188, obviously CRU180C was preserved in the collection of the Bournemouth Passenger Transport Association 181 and 188 were withdrawn from service in Bournemouth circa spring 1979 and exported to Hong Kong (Source: Transbourne News, circular of BPTA, March 1986)
Obviously I have no idea whether 181 and 188 still exist I somehow doubt it, sadly!

Patrick O’Connor

11/12/11 – 07:05

Just to confirm that 181 and 188 no longer exist. According to PSV Circle fleet history on Hong Kong operators, they entered service with Citybus Ltd in 1979; they were among the very first vehicles acquired by Citybus, along with similar, but closed top ex Bournemouth Fleetlines 190-3. By 1984, all six were in use as open toppers on tourist work. They were all withdrawn and scrapped in 1986 (181/8/90/2/3) or 1987 (191).
Of those that went to London, 184 subsequently operated for many years for Guide Friday, mainly in Stratford on Avon. Does anyone know if this survives in preservation?

Bob Gell

11/12/11 – 16:06

I have a feeling, Bob, that 184 went to Ensign Bus when they took over Guide Friday and is in store with them. That was the position a few months ago, anyway.

Chris Hebbron

23/02/12 – 12:41

The similarities to the Alexander bodied Fleetlines and Atlanteans we had at Northern General are remarkable, the front panel and windscreen would appear to be to be identical, so who copied who, or was one built under licence to the other?

Ronnie Hoye

23/02/12 – 14:00

Both Newcastle and Leeds had batches of identical bodies on Atlantean chassis. However the Newcastle ones did not have engine bustles and neither operators bought open top versions! I think it may have been Newcastle who were the first customers for this design as it was very similar to their Alexander bodied examples.

Chris Hough

24/02/12 – 07:08

Chris. Newcastle did have two open top Atlanteans, but they were the result of accident damage, both had been involved in arguments with bridges and unsurprisingly in both cases the bridge won. One of them went to Percy Main depot and was used on a Sea Front service operated by Northern on behalf of what was by that time the Tyne and Wear PTE, I think the other vehicle went south of the river and ran from South Shields to Sunderland. I seem to remember that in for the Queens silver Jubilee in 1977 one, or possible both of them were painted silver and had either the Royal Coat of Arms or a Crown on them.

Ronnie Hoye

25/02/12 – 07:25

The answer to "who copied who" is that Weymann optionally put the Alexander front end on to their standard body. Roe did something similar with windscreens but not the dash panel (see http://sct61.org.uk/ ). But whether anyone paid Alexander for the privilege I wouldn’t know.

Peter Williamson

25/02/12 – 08:56

…..but it’s always been the case. East Lancs had their R type clone, but the earliest Alexanders were Leyland (Ribble) and Weymann (Glasgow – and Liverpool?) bodies built under licence. The Leyland Royal Tiger Alexander coach had more than awhiff of the Leyland as well.

David Oldfield

26/04/12 – 06:22

Four of this batch of Fleetlines certainly survived until 2011 – and hopefully still do. 180 and fixed top 197 ex-B’mth Museum are now at the West of England Transport Museum, 187 is in private preservation nr. Southampton and 184 is with Ensign bus. The detachable roofs actually combined the same amount of metal and glass-fibre as the permanent version – only 180 still has one.
The first MCW bodies to this style for Bournemouth were built on Atlantean chassis in 1964 (170 survives), the last on similar chassis in 1966 (none remain). Very similar MCW Alexander lookalike bodies were delivered to Newcastle, Leeds and BOAC.
It was the inability of MCW to build a further Bournemouth batch in 1968 that led to the genuine Alexander product finally arriving in 1969. Happily the resultant delay allowed the trolleybuses several months stay of execution! The relationship with Alexander then continued for over one hundred buses until 1990!
The lining issue is simpler than it seems, a dark olive green was used between yellow and maroon from the first trams until 1962 when it was replaced by lighter shade ‘Buckingham’ green. The first vehicles so painted were the last nine Sunbeam trolleybuses. Future repaints used this colour green although the old scheme could be seen until 1969 – lastly on trolleybus No.280.
The description of muddybrown arises because the varnish used in those days to finish off the brush applied paintwork would tend to yellow badly, combining with the olive green to become chocolate in colour – the maroon discolouring to dark chocolate and the yellow oddly brightening with age! The lighter green seemed to escape this process.


17/07/13 – 07:00

I can clearly recollect a lengthy article, complete with photographs, in the Bournemouth Evening Echo when these buses were introduced. It mentioned the novel concept of the detachable roofs and the fact that the buses would be in the general-use fleet during the winter months. I wish I still had the clipping!
It no doubt survives in the ‘Echo’ archives. The general travelling public would have been probably unaware that they were travelling on a ‘convertible’ in the winter, but the names were a giveaway as the rest of the fleet did not carry any.

Grahame Arnold

CRU 188C_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

04/08/13 – 14:56

I took a few shots on the 29-03-1975 to record the passing of the traditional Bournemouth livery with the 2 red/green bands. Already by this time the rot was setting in, with adverts on the exteriors and the traditional Bournemouth large yellow bus stop signs being replaced with ‘standard’ ones. However, note that the driver is still smartly turned-out, even on a Sunday! AEL177B was one of the 1964 batch from Leyland with Alexander bodywork. They were comfortable buses, but noisier than the ‘CRU’ Fleetlines which followed in 1965.

Grahame Arnold


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 25th July 2014