Old Bus Photos

Courts of Nuneaton – Daimler COG5 – FOF 269

Courts of Nuneaton - Daimler COG5 - FOF 269
Copyright Victor Brumby

Courts of Nuneaton
1939
Daimler COG5
BRCW H30/24R – 1949 English Electric H28/26R

Another fine shot from Victor with the following comment which was hand written underneath the photograph.

“FOF 269 – Ex. Birmingham Corporation Daimler highbridge ‘sit-up-and-beg’ body. Birmingham no 1269. Operated by Courts of Nuneaton.
JVO 230 – Barton Leyland lowbridge no 507.”

Interesting information I have come up with for Birmingham 1269 is that in 1949 it received an English Electric H28/26R body from No.765.
765 was a 1935 Daimler COG5 registration AOP 765 with a B R C W H26/22R body but according to my British Bus Fleets 14 – Birmingham City Transport due to war damage 765 was rebodied with an English Electric (M C T D) body in 1943. I am guessing that the (M C T D) stands for Manchester Corporation Transport Department who kind of adopted what Victor calls the ‘sit-up-and-beg’ look. Hopefully someone out there will put me right if I am wrong.

With regards Barton 507 which is/was a Leyland Titan PD1 dating from 1948 which had very smart Duple L28/27F bodywork. The reason I use is/was is because there are a few shots of it on the net at various running days so it would appear to have been preserved.

Photograph and Part Copy contributed by Victor Brumby

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01/12/11 – 07:31

Whatever the machinations – and whoever actually built it – that is a Manchester Corporation (style) body.

David Oldfield

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01/12/11 – 07:32

The English Electric body is definitely of Manchester Corporation ‘standard’ pre-war design. The downward curving upper deck windows at the front and side-front are the main characteristics. In Manchester this design was painted in a ‘streamlined’ livery which featured swoops to match the body design features.

Philip Halstead

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01/12/11 – 07:34

Coincidently, at a bus group meeting two days ago, I was talking to Trevor Brookes who was the first owner of JVO 230 in preservation. He bought it in the early 1970s, I think direct from Barton, and kept it for quite a few years before becoming an operator himself as Genial Travel of Colchester with rather more modern vehicles.

Nigel Turner

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01/12/11 – 17:15

I seem to recall reading, some time ago, that the downward swoop of the front and side windows caused water to accumulate at the four low points and rot the two front pillars.

Chris Hebbron

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02/12/11 – 07:25

The body was one of a batch built by English Electric for Manchester and intended for Daimler COG5 chassis. However, production of the chassis was stopped by bombing of the Daimler factory. The bodies were fully finished and lettered for Manchester as can be seen in the background of a photo in my gallery at: http://davidbeilby.zenfolio.com
The finished bodies were moved to Manchester for storage and some of the surplus ones sold to Birmingham as seen in the photo above.

David Beilby

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02/12/11 – 11:46

Thx, David for that info. and photo. It’s amazing what sometimes lurks in the background of photos, but it remains hidden unless someone observant/knowledgeable picks up on it, plus good fortune to see the photo in the first place!

Chris Hebbron

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02/12/11 – 16:16

Some of these "surplus" Manchester Corporation bodies went on to Arab I chassis, and some went to other operators on unfrozen chassis. Examples were Sheffield, and Newport.
The English Electric variants must have been among the last bodies produced by that firm.
Alan Townsins work on the utilities outlines most of the detail.

David. The photo of the rear of the "Manchester" EEC body is absolutely fascinating! With the Aberdeen tram being a "Preston" product too, could the photo have been taken at Preston do you think, before the trams were delivered and before the Manchester storage occurred?

John Whitaker

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03/12/11 – 06:44

The Sheffield bodies were MCCW and sent to Weymann’s to be finished – making them the only true MCW bodies before 1967.

David Oldfield

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The photograph is definitely at Preston. This photo is part of the English Electric photo archive which I am gradually scanning and putting in my gallery for all to see. There’s some very good stuff in there and I’ll probably end up putting one or two more strategic links on this site in time.
I haven’t got the Manchester Bus book in front of me at the moment, but I believe all the English Electric bodies were fitted to either Manchester or Birmingham Daimlers. The ones you refer to were Metro-Cammell bodies, which also went to Coventry and one or two other places.

David Beilby

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03/12/11 – 06:48

Well I really think that this is a Crosslly body, just look at the front windows and the last two side windows by the entrance very Crossley. Manchester and Stockport used them being local near Mc vites on Crossley Road at Heaten Chapel

Nigel Ganley

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03/12/11 – 06:51

1269, (FOF 269) was numerically the very last Daimler COG5 delivered to Birmingham City Transport. It entered service along with 1262-1268 on 1 November 1939 and was fitted with one of the twenty English Electric bodies surplus to Manchester’s requirements after most of their order for COG5s were destroyed at the Daimler factory in 1940. The EE body was fitted to 765, (AOP 765) on 19 May 1943 making 765 the earliest BCT bus to have a Manchester style body. The original body on 1269 was built to BCT specification by BRCW but were not as robust as the more numerous MCCW equivalent bodies. As a result BRCW bodies were disposed of early,with 1269 getting the EE body as a direct swap on 31 August 1949 with 765 going for scrap. 1269 remained in service until31 October 1953 but remained in store until sold on 4 September 1954 to W T Bird of Stratford. 1269 was sold almost immediately to Lloyd, Nuneaton who ran it until January 1956 and then sold it on to Court of Chapel End whom it is with in the photograph. It lasted with them until September 1958 and was sold to Mayfair Garage of Fazeley who broke it up.

David Harvey

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03/12/11 – 08:58

Nigel. You cannot make that assumption. Crossley, like everyone else, built the bodies to Manchester’s exacting, even quirky, standards. It was almost impossible to tell the difference. [You had to look at things like rain gutters!] It just happened that Crossley occasionally "borrowed" some of these Manchester signatures when building bodies for other operators.

David Oldfield

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04/12/11 – 07:49

According to Paul Collins’s book on Birmingham Corporation, 12 of the 20 ex-Manchester English Electric bodies were fitted to Leyland TD6c chassis, 4 to Daimler COG5s and 4 kept as spares. One of the TDs, EOG 231, whose original body had been damaged beyond repair by enemy action, is illustrated in the book. Another, EOG 215, later turned up with Laurie (Chieftain) of Hamilton, sporting, would you believe, an extremely natty tin front whose postwar Foden-like profile matched those prewar Manchester curves beautifully. There’s a photo on Scran www.scran.ac.uk/ but it will cost you a £10 subscription to see more than a thumbnail.

Peter Williamson

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04/12/11 – 07:50

What interests me is where the location could be. We now know that the date is pre Sept. 1958 but did Court’s have any stage services? the vehicle doesn’t appear to have a destination blind. I’ll hazard a guess at Leicester because Bartons reached there with their service 12 from Nottingham and used PD1’s on it but the destination shows Private so then again it could be on a private hire job somewhere. Very interesting selection of surrounding vehicles too, what appears to be a Plaxton half cab body to the left, a single deck COG5 behind, the rear end of a Plaxton Venturer body to the right and a BMMO S type, the presence of that and a Barton in the same picture points me back to Leicester though!

Chris Barker

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04/12/11 – 16:43

Sorry, Chris – I didn’t note the location of the Barton Titan and the Birmingham Corp. Daimler. They are at Kettering, at Wicksteed’s Park, a sort of antediluvian Disney World which it pleased folk to visit from round the Midlands on a weekend during the 1950s and 60s. So – a private hire, as you opined.

Victor Brumby

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04/12/11 – 17:33

Wicksteed Park is still going today and is frequently advertised as a ‘day out’ destination in ‘what’s on’ tourist leaflets etc. Have to admit I’ve never been.

Philip Halstead

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04/12/11 – 20:34

Ah, the hazards of guessing! but what a fabulous pair of vehicles to use on an excursion or private hire, those were the days!

Chris Barker


 

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Bradford Corporation – AEC 661T – KY 8210 – 607 & AAK 422 – 620

Bradford Corporation - AEC 661T - KY 8210 - 607 & AAK 422 - 620
Copyright J A Pitts

Bradford Corporation - AEC 661T - KY 8210 - 607 & AAK 422 - 620
Copyright J Copland

Bradford Corporation Transport            Bradford Corporation Transport
1934                                                       1935
AEC 661T                                                AEC 661T
English Electric H32/26R                      NCB H30/26R (rebuilt 1949)  

This photo of Bradford “Regen” 607 was taken in 1944 outside Duckworth Lane depot and shows this trolleybus in dark blue with war time white paint and headlamp masks. The overhead wiring has flash guards fitted on the points as a blackout precaution. Also present are two Bradford motor buses in khaki livery which did not apply to any of the trolleybuses in the fleet. The bus on the left is a 1939 Daimler COG6/English Electric Company and the bus on the right is a 1936 Daimler COG6/Weymann. Behind 607 there is a parked 1935 “Regen” in the “new blue” livery introduced by Bradford in 1942. “New blue” was the description used by the Bradford engineering staff during the early years of this light blue and cream livery which remained the standard in Bradford up to April 1972 when WYPTE took over all the Corporation fleets in West Yorkshire.
From my research I have found that 607 had a serious front accident in late December 1935 and was rebuilt with a full width cab and seating reduced to 58. The control contactors and shunt resistors were relocated from the chassis side to the cab. All the “Regens” except 632 were originally built with a half cab and 60 seats but all were rebuilt to full cabs as 607 in 1937/38 and the seating reduced to 58.
Perversely due to the cramped half cabs, the main circuit breakers were located on the roof trolley gantry and operated by levers in the drivers‘ cab connected by Boden cables with steel wires. Overtime these steel wires extended and often broke rendering the trolleybus inert and an operational disaster. It is surprising that Bradford did not fit cab located circuit breakers at the time when the full bulkheads were fitted. This work however did start in 1942 for some “Regens” but was not done to 607 where the large boxes are the circuit breakers which can be seen on the roof. 607 was withdrawn for re-bodying in June 1945 and returned to service with a Northern Coachbuilders Mark 1 56 seat body in September 1946.

The photo of 620 now with a 1949 Northern Coachbuilders Mark 2 56 seat body shows it accelerating noisily up Godwin Street in Bradford City Centre in October 1952. In the background is a Brush bodied “Regen” on the Allerton service to the City Centre terminus. 620 still wears the glorious Tattam livery with cream bands, black beading and yellow lining. It soon lost its cream bands, was moved from Duckworth Lane depot to Thornbury in 1954 and then could be seen elsewhere in the City, Sadly 620 was withdrawn from service prematurely in April 1958 due to a serious accident when it skidded and overturned on the Clayton route. Other “Regens” with NCB bodies lasted until November 1962 having given 28 years service, albeit with a troubled number of early years until re-bodied in the forties.
Happy days, these unique “Regens” with their wailing and humming sound will always remain etched in my mind.

Photographs and Copy contributed by Richard Fieldhouse

Bus tickets issued by this operator can be viewed here.


01/02/11 – 18:41

What a treat to see the 2 "Regen" Bradford trolleybuses, and thanks to Richard for the technical data concerning the circuit breakers and full cab rebuilding.
It all goes to emphasise the points I made about the severe problems with these early EEC metal bodies, mentioned in my own "Regen" post.
In their rebodied form, I spent hours travelling in them, and, like Richard, will never forget their distinctive wailing sound. Also of interest is the rear of the EEC bodied COG6. My recent article on English Electric Bus Bodies mentions the 1937 re-design, and the well rounded rear dome of this bus illustrates this very well. There were very few takers for this design. I can only think of TD5s at Barrow, and lowbridge "Regents" at Southend. Anyone know of any more? The previous design had a very upright dome as can be seen on the "new blue" AAK "Regen" to the left of 607.
My home was about a mile and a Half from Duckworth Lane depot, shown here, and I was about five when the photo was taken!

John Whitaker


01/02/11 – 18:47

Fascinating submission. This is not the first one which mentions noisy trolleybuses, yet I cannot ever recall hearing more than the odd whine and swish from them, and I must have visited and travelled on them in some 10 towns which operated them. Any reason for the noise?.
I must confess that noise would have given individuality to an otherwise usually rather bland form of travel.
Even so, I was always impressed by their 0-60 acceleration and indeed used to ride on the last trolleybus from Croydon to Mitcham which went flat out across the common (about 60) silently, bar the singing of the poles/wires and the vibration from a far from new class of trolleys. On reflection, I wonder if I saw the girlfriend, who gave me this routine, for longer than I might, simply for the trolleybus experience!!

Chris Hebbron


02/02/11 – 06:14

Chris, I think the noise was generated by the double reduction gears in the rear axle differential that were straight cut teeth. Similar to tram motor gearing so a similar noise. I am pleased you found these Regens pictures interesting.

Richard Fieldhouse


05/02/11 – 16:07

Glasgow must have had very quiet trolleybuses. My dad can remember them being almost silent to pedestrians and they became known as ‘the silent death’. I hadn’t ever heard this mentioned anywhere else but reading Ken Houstin’s excellent ‘The Corporation Bus’ (Grosvenor House, £9.99 from Waterstones) lastnight I came across mention of one Dionne Warwick vs Glasgow Corporation. It seems the singer left the Glasgow Odeon after a concert using the back door on to West Nile Street. This being shrouded in thick fog, she didn’t hear or see a trolleybus and was struck by it and an out-of-court settlement smoothed things over!

Scott Anderson


29/04/11 – 06:49

One of the class lasted until 1965 having become trainer no. 060 in 1962. This was the former 597 with an NCB (mk2) body. I photographed it in this role outside Thornbury depot in July 1963. On withdrawal in 1965 it had achieved almost 31 years of service.
No. 603 was repainted in the 1911 style livery to celebrate Bradford’s Golden Jubilee in 1961. According to Stanley King no. 603 attained 1 million miles in service on 24 April 1962.

Malcolm Wells


26/03/12 – 07:53

I have just put together a gallery to commemorate 40 years since the end of Bradford trolleybuses. This incorporates over 500 photos including a section on the ‘Regens’ which I hope will shed some new light on the issues they experienced. Richard Fieldhouse has given me some useful information which has helped to interpret the photos, a lot of which relate to the structure of the body.
There is also route-by-route coverage. The gallery can be found at: http://davidbeilby.zenfolio.com/  
Hope you enjoy it!

David Beilby


26/03/12 – 13:21

David, the Bradford additions to your gallery are absolutely superb. Many thanks for your efforts, and particularly the EEC views, which to us Bradford enthusiasts are unbelievable. We would never have believed that such a wonderful archive even existed, let alone become available.
The Regens have always been my main transport "love", as I grew up with them, and have previously said on a 606 posting, they were "personal friends" in the way that true transport enthusiasts will readily understand.

John Whitaker


27/03/12 – 07:17

Thx, David B, for putting Bradford’s trolleybuses on your website. Interestingly, the range 597-632 is virtually identical to (2)16-(2)24 (and especially (2)24 in Portsmouth Corporation’s fleet. Bradford re-bodied them around the end of the war, but Pompey’s carried their original bodies until they were scrapped, mainly in the 1957-8 period.
What was news to me were the five AEC ‘Q’ trolleybuses, presumably all with English Electric bodies, although whoever built the ‘Q’ (trolley)bus bodies, usually seemed to make them all look very similar. Bradford’s ‘Q’, 633, had a relatively short life (1934-1942). To withdraw a vehicle in mid-war would seem to indicate a really serious deficiency somewhere. The clue might lie with Southend’s ‘Q’ trolleybus No. 123, originally on hire from AEC Ltd., from 1934. It was rebuilt by Sunny Dawes in 1943 and again by Beale in 1945, finally being withdrawn in 1949. Intriguingly, Peter Gould’s website shows this vehicle as being a lowbridge example.

Chris Hebbron


27/03/12 – 15:47

Chris. Bradfords Regens were the first EEC metal framed trolleybus bodies. Like their BCN Leyland TD3 cousins, the bodies were literally shaken to pieces after 10 years, due to body weakness, cobbled streets, and the double reduction drive. EEC had learnt a few lessons by the time PCT received their’s, and there was a redesign in 1937, as exemplified by 635 etc in the BCPT fleet.
the Q ("Queenie", No 633) was sold to South Shields in 1942, where she ran until c.1950. She was non standard in Bradford, regarded as draughty, and there were problems with the front overhang. A MOWT directive instructed BCPT to sell earlier 6 wheelers, and 633, South Shields and Newcastle being the recipients in 1942, and 1945.
Bradford had, of course, received 10 Sunbeam MF2s in 1942 under MOWT directive, which enabled these transactions to proceed. I refer to the "Joburghs", 693-702.
We could write paragraphs on the "Regens", so I will leave it there!

John Whitaker


28/03/12 – 08:31

Thanks, John, for filling in the gaps. We tend to forget cobbled streets and the effect they had on vehicles of the time, and probably to a lesser extent now as well. I sometimes wonder if East End of London cobbles were a prime reason for London Transport’s chassisless bodies coming into service. Although one or two small orders had their weaknesses, most survived the punishment well, although a large maintenance workforce would have helped.

Chris Hebbron


28/03/12 – 18:23

It has always amazed me Chris, that the LPTB chassisless trolleys performed as well as they did, and that the concept was not followed up apart from, I suppose, the RM input. Interesting point!
Re. Bradford`s Q trolley, I think an identical, or near identical body was fitted to the Halifax Motorbus Q. Have a look on David`s site. Most Q motorbuses had MCW bodies as did Bradford`s.
As you say, Southend`s EEC Q was lowbridge, as were the earlier 661Ts! What a fascinating fleet that was!
re. Portsmouth, I am assuming that their EE bodied 5 bay AEC 661T trolleys were metal framed, as I always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that they were. The earlier 6bay EEC bodies, and their 6 wheel equivalents were definitely composite, as the BCPT ones, delivered from November 1934, were definitely the first trolleys from EEC with metal framing.The Burnley C and N Titans were their first all metal motorbus bodies, and caused horrendous problems, as has been stated before. What a great hobby interest we share!!

John Whitaker


02/12/14 – 16:14

I always thought these Bradford Corporation AEC 661Ts 597 to 632 (built 1934/35) with double-reduction differential rear axle drives were unique. This belief was wrong as I have now found details in the recently published Portsmouth Trolleybus book by David R H Bowler that their AEC 661Ts 16 to 24 were also fitted with double-reduction drives and also made a loud noise when running. These Portsmouth trolleybuses with English Electric bodies were built in 1935 and followed the Bradford order and were similar in appearance. By 1936 I believe a worm drive with stronger bearings had emerged from AEC, no doubt due to London Transport influence, and future orders by Bradford and Portsmouth were for AEC 661Ts with worm drives which were much quieter in their operation.

Richard Fieldhouse


03/12/14 – 05:39

Nice to hear from you again, Richard. If you go to ‘More Pages’ on this website, then Old Bus Sounds, the first item is a Portsmouth trolleybus of the later type, but still with a noisy rear axle, albeit because it was worn, perhaps, near the end of its days! It’s certainly not a silent one! I confess that I never heard one of the 16-24 type, to my knowledge. They didn’t possess battery power movement and were usually relegated to peak time workings and were scrapped earlier than would otherwise have been the case. They also had a neglected air about them, with faded paintwork. Sad, because I always thought they had the most attractive bodies of all of Pompey’s trolleybus fleet.

Chris Hebbron


03/12/14 – 10:26

Many thanks Chris for your kind words and advice on the Bus Sound section for the sound of a Portsmouth AEC 661T/Craven trolleybus. I believe the General Manager Mr Ben Hall of Portsmouth was very wise to specify at a late stage Battery Traction availability for the large AEC 661T/Craven order. With the damage due to bombing during World War II, the trolleybuses in Portsmouth were still able to operate by using temporary turning points on battery power. Regarding trolleybus noise, this was also common in Bradford with some of their AEC 661Ts with worn worm drives adding to the "music". It made every trolleybus seem to be a character. Interestingly the Karrier E4s (677 to 692; built 1938) used to make a more growling noise even when newly overhauled. Perhaps these were the bass section.

Richard Fieldhouse


 

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Bradford Corporation – AEC 661T – AAK 422 – 620

Bradford Corporation - AEC 661T - AAK 422 - 620
R F Mack

Bradford Corporation Transport
1935
AEC 661T
English Electric H32/26R

We all have our personal favourites as far as buses are concerned, and I have to confess that mine are, (or were), trolleybuses.
Amongst my earliest memories were the late war years in Bradford, where I so clearly recall the sight, and sound, of Bradford`s “Regen” trolleybuses.
These were AEC 661T types based at my home depot of Duckworth Lane, and were unlike any trolleybuses anywhere else, as they made a NOISE. Their mournful wail could be heard for miles about, especially when braking, and this was due to the double reduction rear axle and full regenerative control. How Bradfordians distinguished them from the Air Raid “all clear” signal I shall never know!
They were new in 2 batches, in 1934 (597-617  KY 8200-8220) and 1935 (618-632  AAK 420-434), and carried early examples of English Electric metal framed bodies, which recent research has discovered, were extremely troublesome right from the off. English Electric metal bodies at that time did not benefit from the expertise demonstrated in the products of Metro Cammel. Having said that, the situation was not helped by tight and hilly schedules, the aforesaid unusual double reduction rear axles, and the fully regenerative control, such that these bodies were virtually shaken to bits after a troublesome 10 year life on Bradford`s granite setts.
Failures were occurring at an alarming rate by the war years, and BCT received permission to rebody 9 of them with Brush utility bodies in 1944, during which process, the regenerative control was reduced. The remainder were rebodied by Northern Coachbuilders in 2 styles, between 1946 and 1949, the last of the English Electric all metal bodies being consigned to scrap in 1947, and these trolleybuses, with their composite bodies, then settled down to a “second life” which was to last into the 1960s.
They still made plenty of noise in their new guise and being a regular rider to school, each one developed its own character for me, and they became firm friends. Sad, I know!

Bradford Corporation - AEC 661T - KY 8209 - 606
I attach a poor quality Brownie Box photo of 606, one of the Brush rebodies, and always my favourites, taken on a quiet 1953 Sunday morning. This photograph is full of nostalgia for me, especially as it was one of the last to carry the older Tattam livery with cream bands and rear dome.
Happy Days! If only I could ride on one again at Sandtoft!

Photographs and Copy contributed by John Whitaker

Bus tickets issued by this operator can be viewed here.

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Not sad at all – some vehicles, just like people, have characters and the more eccentric ones get recalled the most! How amazing that permission was given to re-body vehicles while the war was on, something I’ve not previously heard of.
I always had a soft spot for the London United Tramways (later LT) A1 and A2 class ‘Diddler’ trolleybuses, unique and also frail bodywise!

Chris Hebbron

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Fear not John, as Chris H rightly says there’s nothing sad in being fortunate enough to be able to recognise the characteristics of vehicles. It is a fact that, even in large batches of brand new ones, individual machines very quickly display their own particular "natures." As a teenager on frequent visits to relations in South London I was also totally fascinated by the "Diddlers" on outings to Hampton Court and the area.

Chris Youhill

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Thanks Chris H and Chris Y for the reassuring remarks about my deceased friends!! Good to know that other enthusiasts are just as moved as myself when referring to man-made inanimate objects !!

Thanks for comments about London "Diddlers" from Chris Y and Chris H. I too was fascinated by them, but never saw them "in the flesh". I hold my very fleeting memories of Bradfords EEC 6 wheelers, and single deckers in the same light, as I can only just remember them. It would be great to hear about other trolleybus interests from fellow enthusiasts, as my enthusiasm is for anything old in the psv line, including trams!

But I wont go there!

John Whitaker

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Chris Hebbron raises an interesting point re. re-bodying of vehicles during WW2. The MOWT (Ministry of War Transport) controlled all allocations of chassis and body manufacture, and supply to customers. I doubt whether operators had much say in most cases; Body builders were allocated orders in batches, and hence Pickering, for example, built small numbers of utility bodies in 1942/3 on unfrozen, and early Guy Arabs, (including a minority on Mk2 chassis), they disappeared again until late 1945, when they were allocated a contract for relaxed single deck utility bodies on Albion chassis, for Scottish operators.
East Lancs were used for re-bodying only, several fleets receiving all metal bodies on reconditioned chassis (mainly AEC) to almost peacetime standard. Brush were unusual, but not unique, in being used for new and reconditioned chassis, viz the Bradford trolleybuses and early AEC Regents for Birmingham. Bradford had 10 AEC Regents with all metal English Electric bodies which dated from 1935/6, and these were just as worn out as their trolleybus cousins by 1944, such that 7 were given new East Lancs bodies that year. I intend to look at the English Electric situation as far as metal framed bodies are concerned, as there were other disasters, notably with a batch of TD3/TD3c buses for Burnley Colne and Nelson JTC. I will submit a post on the subject if there is sufficient interest.

John Whitaker

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I was delighted to see the Bradford AEC 661T "Regens" 620 and 606 posted on this web site by my best friend John. These were my favourite group of trolleybuses as they made a loud noise and had regenerative braking. Over the last few years I have been doing research into the early years of these trolleybuses 597 to 632 built 1934/35. My findings have been published in the Journal of the Bradford Trolleybus Association "Trackless" 200 to 205 inc. and 211. I can confirm the double reduction differential rear axle drive and the fierce regenerative braking were the main contributory factors leading to the failure of their EEC metal-framed bodies. The noise and vibration made it impossible for passengers to have a conversation inside these trolleybuses when running at speed, such as from Springhead Road to Bell Dean Road on the Thornton route. This leads me to ponder why Bradford specified a double reduction differential drive when a single worm drive differential was working quietly and efficiently on a very similar AEC 661T/EEC in London, namely LTPB 63 delivered some months earlier.

Richard Fieldhouse

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This site has certainly brought back some memories.
I served an apprenticeship with the English Electric Co. at the Thornbury works in Bradford in the late 50’s. The Trolleybus motors kept the Traction Department busy for many years.
I recall working on the motors in both production and refurbishment and for it’s output it was very compact, good for it’s purpose, but a pain to work on. A common fault with motors returned for Overhaul was the "Square Commutator" Not really square but appearing so due to abnormal wear on opposite sides. Caused it turned out by slightly eccentric brake drums on some vehicles resulting in the motors always stopping and starting at the same point in it’s rotation.

Phil Johnson

———

Amazing the sort of problems which crop up – I should think it required some thinking about to identify THAT problem!

Chris Hebbron

———

I found Phils’ comments and experience at the English Electric Co at Thornbury most interesting and wonder which type of trolleybus traction motors were being overhauled and who were the regular customers. Can I assume Bradford City Transport was a regular as it was a loyal supporter of English Electric traction equipment?

Richard Fieldhouse

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19/04/11 – 19:20

In the comments on the page for Bradford Corporation AEC661T trolleybuses, some correspondents mention the LUT "Diddler" trolleybuses. In 1962 the last trolleybuses were withdrawn in London and living in a road near the last trolleybus route to close I took my 18 month old son to see the last trolleybus from Hammersmith to the depot at Fulwell. In the event the modern bus was preceded by a "Diddler" from the London Transport Museum decorated with bunting, etc. as for its opening day. Alas, my son does not recall the sight.
For those of you who are interested, if you log on to the "You Tube" website and type in the Search Box "Twickenham Trolleybuses" (without the quotes) there is a film of the first day of operation of the diddlers taken in 1932. It is in black and white and, originally, was silent but a sound track of 1930’s band music has been added.
If you look carefully you will notice that they do not have headlights but it was shortly afterwards at the insistence of the police that a single headlight was put in the centre of the panel replacing the radiator on a IC engined bus.

Phi Jones

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