Old Bus Photos

Bradford Corporation – Leyland Badger – KW 7604

Bradford Corporation - Leyland Badger - KW 7604

Bradford Corporation
1930
Leyland Badger TA4
Plaxton B20F

The Leyland Badger was a haulage model introduced in 1920, but progressively developed for heavier weights up to the outbreak of WW2. This little bus, a TA4 4 tonner (denoting payload), was purchased by Bradford for its Welfare Department in 1930, when the city motorbus fleet then consisted of AEC 413, Leyland Lion PLSC and Bristol B full sized saloons, and Leyland TD1 double deckers. The B20F body is thought to be the oldest Plaxton product still in existence. Having served the Corporation for some 32 years, KW 7604 was deservedly sold into preservation in 1962. It is shown here on a Brighton HCVC Rally in the very early 1970s (sadly my slide is an undated Agfa) being followed by the Wigan Leyland PD1 JP 6032 through Preston Park, with the spectacular LBSC railway viaduct in the background.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


01/07/22 – 06:07

Bradford CT Miscellaneous Fleet number O23, worked for the Education Department and had daily runs to a special school in Lister Lane, Bradford whilst being maintained and garaged by the Transport Department. Most of the work from 1949 was done by Bedford OB’s numbered 024 to 026, leaving 023 available if needed.
Sold for preservation to the LVVS, it has appeared in various liveries and in films/TV. https://www.lvvs.org.uk/kw7604.htm  gives further details.

Stuart Emmett


 

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Grayline Bicester – Bristol LHL6L – UBW 625H

UBW 625H

Grayline Bicester
1969
Bristol LHL6L
Plaxton C53F

Photographed during the British Coach Rally of 1970, UBW 625H was one of two Bristol LHL6L coaches bought by Grayline of Bicester. According to BLOTW, 174 examples were constructed of the LHL6L, the extended version of the LH for 36ft long bodywork, though eleven were fitted with specialist van bodies. Of the remaining 163, all received Plaxton coach bodies except for two that were bodied by Duple. The LH6L was powered by the Leyland O400 engine which was fitted to the majority of LH and LHS orders, the alternative being the Perkins H6.354. No examples of the LHL had the raucous (I speak from experience) Perkins engine, but the Leyland power unit was no paragon of quietness either. Apart from the London Transport deliveries that had either six speed manual or automatic gearboxes, the standard fitment was the Turner Clarke five speed synchromesh. At least one, KRE 345K, had a semi auto gearbox, but this might have been retro fitted. The O400 engine proved to be of suspect reliability and was supplanted by the O401 in the last production LH variants. The LH, and the short LHS in particular, soon gained reputations for bad riding, which might well have been ameliorated in the longer LHL, though no variants of the LH model were regarded as being among Bristol’s most reliable or inspired engineering achievements. UBW 625H was delivered to Grayline in August 1969, its stablemate UBW 626H arriving in the following month. Both had Plaxton C53F bodywork. UBW 625H passed from Bicester to the Gosport arm of Grayline, formerly Hutfields, in December1970 and was sold by Grayline in September 1974 to Eagle Coaches of Bristol.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


31/01/22 – 06:19

According to the PSV Circle Bristol LH chassis list, there was one LHL fitted with a Perkins engine – YMD990H supplied to Wilder, Feltham (chassis LHL-143). Whether that is correct, I am not sure – Wilder purchased several LH models, with a mix of Leyland and Prerkins engines.
Chassis LHL-168 had a Leyland engine and a Plaxton body, but it was a Derwent bus body, B55F, for Coity Motors (ATG459H).
Chassis LHL-206 is shown as having a Plaxton DP49F body, for the Irish Army, but I have never seen a photograph of this vehicle, so I am not sure of the body style.
Roger also says: "Apart from the London Transport deliveries that had either six speed manual or automatic gearboxes, the standard fitment was the Turner Clarke five speed synchromesh." London Transport did not have any LHL chassis, only LH and LHS models. As I understand it some LH models for NBC subsidiaries were fitted with semi-automatic gearboxes – Midland General and United Counties, as far as I am aware. I believe that the first 6 vehicles supplied to Bristol OC were also fitted with semi-automatic boxes. However, the PSV Circle book only mentions the LT vehicles, as per Roger’s comment.

Nigel Frampton


01/02/22 – 09:21

Sorry if my text was unclear, Nigel, but my comment about transmissions was meant to cover all the LH variants, not just the long version. I did not know that some of the LH/LHS deliveries to NBC had semi auto boxes. Certainly London Country for whom I worked in an admin capacity had synchromesh boxes in their LH buses, though I think that they were four speeders, and one might have expected LCBS to have taken semi auto if that option had been available. I do recall the engineering department expressing general dissatisfaction with the LH model, and particularly with the synchro boxes, though the latter may well have arisen from the unfamiliarity of most LCBS drivers with manual transmissions. As for some LHL coach operators specifying the Perkins engine, what on earth were they thinking about?

Roger Cox


02/02/22 – 06:09

Taking up the points mentioned by Nigel:-
LHL-206 for the Irish Army can be identified by the body number, 733170, as being a Plaxton Panorama Elite II coach body.
Wilder, Feltham:- From P.S.V. Circle News Sheets
364-EDIT-27:- Brighton Rally entries:
Wilder, Feltham YMD 990H Bl LHL6P  LHL-143, and YLY 594H Bl LHL6L   LHL-144
365-MET-59:- YMD 990H new 4/70 – Bl LHL6L LHL143
380-MET-128:- YMD 990H quoted variously as LHL6L and LHL6P, is LHL6P.
Since the data in the Rally Report pre-dated its appearance in the News Sheet, there can be no doubt that the LHL6P and LHL6L for the Rally entrants was taken from the relevant chassis plates.

John Kaye


04/02/22 – 05:48

Just picked this up. This livery is one of my favourites. This stems back to Gliderways Smethwick in my youth, the first company I wrote to and asked for a fleet list, only to be told they did not issue fleet lists. However I did receive a letter beautifully embossed with the crimson Gliderways fleet name. I suppose the element which made the presentation of the coaches stand out was that the grey/crimson colours were the only colours used, including any lettering and the fleet name. A great look in the 60’s. Grey also weathered well in service, not looking too shabby even when dirty

John Rentell


04/02/22 – 05:50

United had quite a number of the short wheelbase versions with Leyland engines.
They were known as ‘Stotty Boxes’
Stott being a Geordie word meaning ‘bounce’ and my word, they certainly did.

Ronnie Hoye


08/02/22 – 06:17

A little surprised that the O.400 was suspect in reliability. Noisy and underpowered it most certainly was, but I thought that otherwise it had quite a good reputation. I would certainly agree with Ronnie about the shorties. I cannot remember the history of the vehicle – but I believe that it had been with ABC Guildford before reaching the operator for whom I drove it. Possibly the worst, and certainly the most bouncy bus or coach that I have ever driven. How can something as dire as an LH come from the same factory, and at the same time, as an RE?

David Oldfield


09/02/22 – 05:57

I recall that the prevailing view after Leyland bought shares in Bristol was that the Transport Holding Company allowed Leyland to take control from a technical standpoint. The THC wanted a successor to the SU, but Leyland wanted a successor to the Tiger Cub. I see from Wikipedia that the LH’s front and rear axles came from Leyland’s Bathgate plant, which suggests to me that it was designed and developed under Leyland’s thumb.

Peter Williamson


 

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A. Davies – Crossley SD – FAW 334

A. Davies - Crossley SD - FAW 334

A. Davies, Acton Burnell
1949
Crossley SD 42/7
Plaxton C33F

Photographed in Piccadilly, London, in 1961 is the Crossley SD42/7 with Plaxton C33F body bought new by A. Davies (Transport) of Acton Burnell near Shrewsbury, Shropshire in March 1949. To address the shortcomings of the Crossley diesel engine the new AEC designed downdraught HOE7/5 began appearing during 1949, but the March 1949 delivery date of this coach – the chassis must have been produced some time earlier – suggests that it was fitted with the unmodified HOE7/4. In practice, as with the Daimler CD6 engine, the use of the HOE7/4 in single deckers, particularly coaches not subjected to intense stop/start work, taxed the power plant rather less severely than in double deckers, and it generally performed satisfactorily on such duties. This is borne out by the retention of FAW 334 by its original operator for a full working life, and, happily, this coach still exists today:- www.classicbuses.co.uk/faw334.JPG

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


11/03/21 – 08:15

My experience of Crossleys was really only with Portsmouth Corporation, which had a sprinkling of DD42/5s with rather fragile locally-built Reading bodies loosely resembling their Craven-bodied trolleybuses at the front. However, their DD42/7s, with very attractive and sturdy Crossley bodies, always impressed me. Of course, the let down was their engines, but, coupled to turbo converters, they made a unique sound, with only two engine notes, either hard up on the governors when accelerating, or on tick-over when coasting along to the next bus stop. And then the Corporation finally decided that the fuel consumption was too much and replaced the mechanicals with renovated Leyland TD7 engines/gearboxes from scrapped buses. Then, to my ears, they sounded very out of keeping! It was a sad day for me, though, when their numbers dwindled….and then they were gone.

Chris Hebbron


19/03/21 – 06:56

The Brockhouse Turbo Transmitter transmission evolved from the pre war designs of Piero Salerni, a non Fascist Italian long resident in Britain with an English wife. One of his earliest transmissions was in a Tilling-Stevens B10 in 1932, and he continued to develop his designs in several applications, including private cars, in the years up to WW2. During the later 1930s he worked for the Ministry of Aircraft Production until, in the fraught political circumstances of wartime, he was arrested as an alien on 10 June 1940. The first that the MoAP knew of this was when he failed to turn up for work. Repeated pleas by Beaverbrook’s ministry failed to secure his release, and he was despatched from Liverpool to internment in Canada on the Arandora Star. On 2 July 1940 the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U47, and Salerni sadly perished together with 805 others, mostly the Italian and German deportees held in the lower decks. Lifetime patents for the gearless transmission designs were subsequently secured by his widow. The Salerni hydro-kinetic transmission principles were taken up post war by Brockhouse of Southport who foresaw applications in private cars, tractors and commercial vehicles. Crossley offered it as an option in the DD42, but ultimately only a total of 65 such chassis were so fitted. Portsmouth took delivery of Crossley’s largest ever turbo transmitter order – four DD42/5T in 1948 and two more in 1949, all six with locally constructed Reading H26/26R bodies, followed by twenty five Crossley bodied H28/24R DD42/7T in that same year, a turbo total of thirty one. The turbo transmitter propelled the vehicle by running the engine at or near maximum revs under load and acceleration, yielding a low mpg figure. It is thought that the typical transmission efficiency barely exceeded 85%. The reliability was also suspect, overheating being a particular problem, and it never matched that of the Lysholm-Smith hydraulic torque converter transmission of some pre war Leyland TD Titans. Between 1957 and 1959 the Corporation replaced the dubious Crossley HOE7 engines and the dipsomaniac turbo transmissions in all the Crossley bodied DD42/7T buses with Leyland 8.6 litre engines and ‘silent third’ gearboxes from withdrawn TD4 s of 1936/37. (In 1952, the prototype DD42 in the Manchester fleet had also been fitted with a pre war Leyland engine and gearbox.) The Reading bodied buses were not so converted, however. Ironically, the post war HOE7 engine, and the contemporary Daimler CD6, had copied exactly the bore/stroke dimensions of the excellent pre war Leyland unit, no doubt believing that future market success lay therein, an optimism that turned out to be misplaced in both cases. The DD42/5 did carry the Maltese Cross badge on the radiator, which was supplanted by the word ‘Crossley’ on later variants. Portsmouth’s six unmodified turbo transmitter machines were withdrawn in 1963, with the ‘Leylandised’ DD42/7s going during the following years up to 1967. I lived in Alverstoke as a child from 1949 to 1952 and visited war damaged Portsmouth often during that period, when my mother and I usually used the trolleybuses. I remember seeing the Crossleys out and about but never travelled on them, so I have no personal knowledge of their performance in the relatively flat terrain of the city. My own very limited experience of Crossleys occurred as a schoolboy during the extended London Transport strike of 1958, when the flamboyantly named Peoples League For The Defence Of Freedom obtained permission to run buses on some parts of the LT network. Route 2 ran on the fairly hilly section between New Addington and Croydon, and two ex Lancaster SD42/3 Crossley B36R saloons, HTC614/5, of 1947 were allocated, plus an ex Crosville Leyland TD7 and a former Lytham St Annes Daimler CWA6. I was amazed how severely the single deck Crossleys struggled on the gradients despite them being just eleven years old, whilst the more elderly Leyland and Daimler, the latter having an engine 1 litre smaller in capacity, coped significantly better.

Roger Cox


24/03/21 – 06:28

Although LT route 93 from Epsom to Putney was the haunt of pre-war RTs in the 1940s and 50s, for a short period, on Sundays, Merton Garage would supply the odd Daimler CWA ‘D’ Class austerity vehicle. Wimbledon Hill was the challenge, at 1:15 gradient, if memory serves, one reason, I wonder, why the modern RTs, with 9.6 litre engines, were allocated the route. On one occasion, I was on a Daimler which climbed the hill and was quite surprised just how well it performed. These had 8.8 litre engines. Of course, such a large class (281) in just two garages meant they were well maintained and with drivers almost exclusively driving them. By contrast, the nine Portsmouth ones, the only ones with pre-selective gearboxes, were greatly abused, with the gearchange pedal being used as a clutch etc.

Chris Hebbron


25/03/21 – 06:57

Chris, the Daimler CWA6 was powered by the AEC A173 7.7 litre (actually 7.58 litres) direct injection diesel. The 8.8 litre engine of 1931, using indirect injection, was AEC’s first production diesel and became the usual diesel power unit in the Regent until 1935. Thereafter the more economical indirect injection 7.7 A171, developed in 1934 for the side engined Q type, became the more common AEC diesel unit. From 1936 this was additionally offered as the direct injection A173. However, in 1938, a new version of the 8.8 appeared for London Transport using the Leyland design of ‘flower pot’ piston cavity, and yet another 8.8 variant was produced with toroidal piston cavities for some municipal operators. This latter engine then became the design basis of the new 9.6 litre power plant that was a major player on the postwar stage. The 7.7 continued in production during the war when it became the power unit of the Daimler CWA6 and the Bristol K6A, the standard utility output being set at 86 bhp, almost identical to that of the 85 bhp Gardner 5LW. Wartime London Transport looked more favourably upon the preselective Daimler over the utility Guy Arab and ultimately took a total of 281 up to 1946. Of these, thirteen were originally powered by the new Daimler CD6 engine of 8.6 litres rated at 100 bhp at 1800 rpm. Like the Crossley HOE7, the CD6 copied exactly the bore/stroke dimensions of the pre war Leyland E102 diesel, but, in practice, the Daimler engine proved to be generally troublesome and very variable in quality between individual examples. Indeed, Birmingham Corporation considered the Daimler engine to be inferior even to the Crossley. By 1950, all the CD6 engines in the LT ‘D’ class had been replaced by AEC 7.7s. The Crossley HOE7 also claimed to produce 100 bhp at 1750 rpm, but in reality that was the genuine output of the Saurer four valve cylinder head prototype. The much inferior two valve head production version never reached that figure until AEC brought out the 114 bhp downdraught version in 1949.

Roger Cox


28/03/21 – 07:53

Thx for the correction and other information, Roger. So the performance with the CWA6’s 7.7litre engine goes even higher in my estimation for Wimbledon Hill(climbing)! ! I recall that the inside cab front of one D had a chalked comment "Dxxx", the fastest D of them all" so it is likely to have been one of the (6, I think) CD engined ones! I seem to recall that the CD6 engine was also unpopular because it had the timing chain at the rear of the engine, making access much more difficult, with likely engine removal. This reminds me of a friend who had a Renault car with rear timing chain. It shifted cogs (and valve timing) when he tried to start the engine in freezing cold weather. Without access to garage facilities to lift out the engine, or money for a garage to resolve the problem, he cut a hole in the car’s front bulkhead, reset the chain, cut a slightly larger cover and screwed it in over the hole. Job done! And why a rear timing chain? The engine was originally designed for a rear engined car. In his later model, it was fitted at the front!

Chris Hebbron


 

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