Old Bus Photos

Birmingham City – A E C Swift – KOX 663F – 3663

Birmingham City - A E C Swift - KOX 663F - 3663

Birmingham City Transport
1967
A E C Swift 505 MP2R
Metro-Cammell B37D+30

KOX 663F, is an A E C Swift 505 MP2R built in 1967 with Metro-Cammell B37D+30 standing bodywork. New to Birmingham and then West Midlands as 3663 it was acquired by Mid Warwickshire Motors before being preserved and has just been fully restored in West Midland livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones


13/04/14 – 18:30

Another candidate for the Ugly Bus page! Top-heavy treatment of the front end…. Was this for extra headroom? ….and the side route box and blank panel/window by the exit. Does it really have no doors?

Joe


14/04/14 – 07:43

Both sets of doors are open.

Roger Burdett


14/04/14 – 07:43

Slightly less ugly than the same bodybuilder’s effort on the Liverpool Panthers.

Phil Blinkhorn


14/04/14 – 08:44

Doors… I can see a handrail to each right and a well-light at the bottom- but above that I look straight through the bus. Is there room on the left, obstructing the driver’s view?… Now it can be told?

Joe


14/04/14 – 08:44

Two pictures for your consideration

KOX 663F_2

one showing that the vehicle does have doors

KOX 663F_3

and one internal shot showing the standing area.

Ken Jones


14/04/14 – 18:19

Thanks Ken- looks like one flap on each side then? Ceiling marvellous shade of Nicotine, reminiscent of top decks. Is that your silver handled cane?

Joe


14/04/14 – 18:19

Pity it’s ugly – certainly an unbalanced design – because it’s a superb restoration from the photographic evidence. The Liverpool Panthers might beat them in the ugly stakes but the Southport Panthers, with deeper screens, were quite handsome for their time.

David Oldfield


15/04/14 – 06:57

Not my cane and not my bus before anyone asks – they haven’t made a Swift in N gauge yet!

Ken Jones


15/04/14 – 06:57

It looks to me as if Met Cam have used the lower front end of a double deck Fleetline as supplied to Birmingham – probably at the customers request in the interests of standardisation

Ian Wild


15/04/14 – 06:57

I must be fair and agree with David: uglybus maybe, but it looks a lovely job. I have however been staring at Panthers & Swifts on this site and wonder why this bus has so much infilling between screen and peak- look at the Leeds Roes- just enough. Never mind.

Joe


15/04/14 – 06:58

Looking at a photo of a Southport MCW-bodied Panther here http://tinyurl.com/m4xqajb, it looks like the same windscreen to me (although in the curved Manchester version rather than the Birmingham vee-form). But I can see three subtle differences which make it fit better. The blank space above the screen is split up by the way it is mounted, the front half of the bus has deeper windows and the remaining height difference is accommodated by the livery application. It just shows what a little thought can do.

Peter Williamson


15/04/14 – 10:49

…..and longer (panoramic?) side windows, Peter. Always make a better impression than multiple short windows. [Only the Y type "got away" with it, but the panoramic side window – normally coaches – version was much better.]

David Oldfield


15/04/14 – 10:51

These buses were built to the operator’s specification using many standard parts in the interest of economy and ease of maintenance. The flat screens for example, like much of the front end treatment, are shared with the BCT double-deck fleet and were used because they were much cheaper to replace than curved ones. The shell is that used to body mainly Panthers, but also some Panther Cubs and some Swifts and is a close copy of the ubiquitous BET design.
It is a great credit to the owners that they have restored this bus, which is now, and arguably always was, an interesting rarity. If we were to judge all historic artefacts on their aesthetic appearance alone, and only retain what looks nice, bearing in mind of course that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, an immediate end would be put to those interminable antiques programmes on the TV!
Let’s hope that the owners don’t read the comments left here – If I were one of them, I would feel insulted.

KOX 663_4

The bus does look much better in more favourable surroundings, as I’m sure that you gentlemen will agree.

Philip Lamb


15/04/14 – 18:11

I’m not sure why anyone should feel insulted. It is a most attractive restoration of a rather unpretty bus, but a lack of prettiness is no reason not to restore- or I would be rejected by the NHS! As it is, it tells a fascinating tale of fleet management, which has unfolded here- and how this and other operators resolved such questions. Consider the rather odd looking PS1 deckers-utility over looks? Or single deck Fleetlines? Bridgemasters, Wulfrunians were all unpretty but of their time. Was there a balance between appearance and economy through standardisation? Good material for discussion- so we can all be wannabee General Managers!

Joe


16/04/14 – 06:49

Can’t understand why anyone would feel insulted over the ugly bus comments. Preservation of anything is normally for reasons of historic value. Availability, familiarity, rarity are other factors. Looks rarely come into it and shouldn’t have any bearing with a true preservationist

Phil Blinkhorn


16/04/14 – 06:50

Thank you Joe for your balanced comment. There’s no reason for anyone to be insulted by any of the comments on this link – mine or anyone else’s.
There is, of course, a reason for the body being on both Swift and Panther. It’s the same bus. They shared a frame and only the engines and gearboxes were different. It was the first entirely new bus (in 1964) from the Leyland Motor Corporation, after the merger of Leyland and ACV in 1962.

David Oldfield


16/04/14 – 11:09

I consider this bus to be of an interesting – "different" – but perfectly acceptable appearance, especially compared to some of today’s double deckers from certain factories, vehicles which are simply a mass of incongruous bits and pieces disguised to a degree by ghastly "liveries." The Birmingham Swift’s livery is dignified and unsullied in the extreme, and the ceiling material in my view is delightfully restful and attractive and a welcome change from the almost universal garish matt white of today – I’m sure this material was chosen by BCT rather than having anything to do with nicotine Joe.

Chris Youhill


16/04/14 – 18:24

Perhaps David O you should have started your thread with ‘I think it is ugly’ rather than ‘pity its ugly’ that way it is defined as your personal opinion rather than Carte Blanche opinion on the bus as clearly opinion on this bus is divided and just maybe less people may feel a little offended – just my thoughts!
Clearly a lot of time, money and hard work has gone into an excellent restoration of a relatively rare vehicle. I rather like this bus and I would also agree with Ian Wild with regards to the front end treatment.

Richard McAllister


16/04/14 – 18:25

I think some of the difference between this Swift and the Southport Panther are due to the fact that the Panther has a front mounted radiator and therefore needs the attractive grill fitted by Metro Cammell and also has deeper destination apertures which decreases the size of the blank panel above the screen, the deeper windows in the front part of the body also lessen the large side panels aided by the band of colour below the window line which may not look as good on the O/S. To me the use of curved screens on the Panther make little difference to the overall appearance, but the Swift’s restoration is a credit to a huge amount of time and effort by many people WELL DONE.

Diesel Dave


16/04/14 – 19:02

The ceiling colour is similar to that employed by LT on its Routemasters and is there to combat nicotine. This only worked in part. I used to sell a PVC/aluminium product called Tedlar which was supposed to defeat nicotine by being wipe clean but the cost of the product and the cost of cleaning was too much for the 1960s bodybuilders and operators.

Phil Blinkhorn


17/04/14 – 06:29

David’s comment about the windows being shorter than on the Southport Panther has caused me to look at this a little more closely, and I have come to the conclusion that the Swift’s body was designed very much from the inside out. The door apertures are much narrower than on the Panther, and the exit door is mounted further forward. Presumably this was to give the internal layout that the operator desired, but the result is that it would have been impossible to fit longer windows in the front half, and therefore at all (since this was well before the advent of the Borismaster ethos where every bay can be a different size!).

Peter Williamson


26/04/14 – 18:15

Thanks for the interest and comments. My brother David and I funded and Trailways of Bloxwich, West Midlands, transformed the Swift. To me it’s a beauty !
No offence taken ! The walking stick belongs to Trailways owner Ron Faherty !

Robert Carson


27/04/14 – 08:13

Well, Robert, you can both be proud of the finished product and of Trailways for doing such a fine job. I did wonder if the walking stick was something West Midlands Travel provided on all their buses to help all disabled passengers!

Chris Hebbron


28/04/14 – 09:49

KOX 663_4

Here is KOX 663F when owned by the troubled Mid Warwickshire Motors. It is seen in Mereden on an enthusiasts’ tour.

Tony Martin


24/12/15 – 12:11

The usual stamping ground for single-decker BCT buses like this was the 27 route because it required so many low railway bridges to be negotiated – notably in Northfield and outside the Cadbury factory. The 27 was my daily transport to and from school and during the 1960s and early 70s BCT would use the route to trial all kinds of manufacturers test offerings, asking passengers for their opinion. There were Ford R192s (BCT later bought a couple) and even on one occasion a Volvo.

Ray Trendy


KOX 663F_2 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


01/01/16 – 16:51

I think the "issues" with the frontal styling arose because the Swift chassis was (at the rear) relatively high, but this one has a low driving position. Hence the correspondingly low positioning of the windscreen, relative to the overall height of the vehicle, which needs to allow for the height of the floor in the rear section.
As David O says above, the Swift and Panther used the same chassis frame, but Swifts had radiators in the side adjacent to the engine, and I believe this caused them to have higher floors at the rear. Other bodybuilders had this problem with Swifts, for example, Southampton’s East Lancs bodied batch numbered 7-10 also had an "extra" section between the windscreen and destination box.

Nigel Frampton


 

Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page

 


 

Calderdale JOC – Leyland Leopard – NHE 10F – 360

Calderdale JOC - Leyland Leopard - NHE 10F - 360

Calderdale Joint Omnibus Committee
1968
Leyland Leopard PSU4/4R
Marshall B45F

When the Calderdale Joint Committee was formed in the early 1970s several vehicles were acquired from nearby NBC companies. These came mainly from the former Hebble concern and Yorkshire Woollen, however also bought were three Marshall bodied Leyland Leopards from Yorkshire Traction. These were bodied by Marshall and were 45 seat examples. One of the trio is seen at the Leeds departure point for the former Hebble service to Burnley. NHE 10F fleet number 360 was originally fleet number 510 in the Yorkshire Traction fleet.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hough


05/01/14 – 12:52

To be clear, the 8 was not an original Hebble service to Burnley, but a new service created following Hebble and Todmorden entering the Halifax fold and the subsequent reorganisation. It followed the original Hebble service from Leeds through Halifax to Hebden Bridge but then took the more remunerative valley route through Todmorden to Burnley. This is however where the original Hebble service to Burnley would have started.

David Beilby


The following comment has been re posted because I originally only posted part of Johns comment of which I do apologise, I work better when it is busy.
Sorry John

Peter

 

05/01/14 – 16:07

Ah yes, this takes me back. I remember back in my early days with Halifax Corporation my own duty being cancelled one evening in order that my conductor and I could be used elsewhere. He was given a duty with another driver whose conductor had gone home sick, and I was asked to work two trips on the 8 Leeds route. The inspector had not taken into account that this was an OMO route and I was strictly a crew driver. I told him I did not know the route anyway, but he still tried to persuade me to no avail, then very grudgingly had to cancel the first trip and, but then later triumphantly announced that he’d managed to grab a conductor who should have been finishing a middle turn, to do the last trip for overtime. He would show me the way – problem solved. Hmmm.
I walked up to the Bus Station to find one of these ex-YTC Leopards on the stand. At the last minute the conductor arrived. I’d never seen him before.
"Hi mate !" he said, "I hope you know where you’re going ‘cos I haven’t a clue".
"You’re joking," I replied, "You’re supposed to be showing me".
"But I only just came out of the conducting school yesterday – this is my first day on the road" he said. Fantastic !
The grumpy bus station inspector – Ronnie Weston – just shrugged disinterestedly and told us "Too late now lad, you’ll just have to manage".
So off we went, embarrassingly having to ask directions from passengers (of which there were very few), and somehow we reached King Street terminus in Leeds, where this photo was taken.
On the way back, circumnavigating the Armley Giratory, a chap said "…take your next turn off" – so I did literally, and found myself in the cul-de-sac of what I think was the small car park of the Gas Board Training School ! Red faces all round and after a lot of shunting and heaving I managed to extricate our Leopard and got back onto the proper route. I only just managed at the last minute to avoid missing the slip road off Stanningley Road up to Bramley Town End – which would have led us onto the Stanningley By-Pass and missed out about two miles of the route (and probably left several passengers well out of their way), then I managed to find my way back without further incident. You never forget days like that.
These three buses were quite reasonable to drive once you’d managed to install yourself into the cab seat, and provided you were not a large person or had long legs. The pneumocyclic gearchange pedestal was of the original larger type (like our Worldmasters and PD3A’s – they changed to a miniature version from the PSU4B onwards) and it was very awkwardly positioned close to the left and slightly forward of the driving seat, making access to it only easy for a contortionist. The steering wheel was set very low, so unless you wound the seat almost to the floor and adopted a seriously deformed and painfully uncomfortable posture, your knees were jammed under the wheel, which rubbed against your legs as you turned it.
Compared with our ‘own’ single deckers – including the DP’s with similar BET-style screens – the windscreens on these seemed to be twice the distance in front, which was quite off-putting, particularly to me as a relatively inexperienced driver.
This particular bus – 360 – was in PTE days written off in a serious collision, and for many years after a photograph of it in wrecked state was pinned to the wall of the Skircoat Foremens’ office. They had quite a gallery of such things – always having a very low opinion of us drivers and wishing to make some sort of point. So it was quite a surprise when on holiday in Malta in the 1990’s to meet up with it again there, rebuilt and beautifully turned out. I think I have a photo of it so will have to delve through my disorganised old holiday photos and see if I can post a copy.

John Stringer


06/01/14 – 08:01

Its even more complicated than David suggests! The Calderdale 8, as described by David, was a limited-stop service that only ran for a couple of years. From what I can work out – as a welcome relief to pre-Hilary Term (last-minute!) lesson-planning – after Halifax JOC absorbed various Hebble routes in 2/71 the hourly through service between Burnley-Blackshaw Head-Halifax-Leeds was divided at Halifax, with Halifax-Leeds becoming 8 (Burnley-Blackshaw Head-Halifax being much reduced between Burnley-Blackshaw Head, with the Blackshaw Head-Halifax section incorporated into an extended Heptonstall-Halifax ex Halifax JOC service), whilst the hourly through Rochdale-Halifax-Leeds services continued as 27/28. Then, after the Halifax-Todmorden JOC merger in 9/71, the 8 was extended again through to Burnley (via Todmorden, rather than Blackshaw Head [as per Hebble 15]) on a limited-stop (fare-stage only) basis between Todmorden and the Halifax/Queensbury & Shelf UDC boundary at Northowram – I think the 27/28 also operated limited stop over the common short distance between Halifax town centre and the borough boundary at Northowram. On 2/4/73 the limited stop facilities were withdrawn in the evenings. And then on 1/10/73 the Burnley-Todmorden-Halifax-Leeds 8 was withdrawn between Burnley-Halifax when the "stopper" Portsmouth-Todmorden-Halifax 92 was extended back to Burnley.
The building behind 360 was re-developed in the last decade, but the Bank-of-England money store to the left of that building still stands (although though no longer a money store), and you won’t see that "no-entry" sign there now as the traffic flow along St Paul’s St has now been reversed.
This photograph has got me thinking: in LCT days YWD/ Ledgard/Hebble services from the west/south were kept on the fringes of the city centre at terminal points such as this, then under WYPTE were extended through the congested shopping centre into the Central Bus Station – such that it now takes ages for buses to crawl that last mile-or-so to/from the terminus . . . wouldn’t it make more sense to remove bus termini to their original termini, and "allow" passengers to walk that bit further into town (who actually transfers from one bus to another at a bus station?) reducing congestion and pollution.

Philip Rushworth


06/01/14 – 08:01

Reading your comments, John, I experienced a sense of déjà vu. After 4½ years in a London Transport office, I turned up (from the deep south – i.e Croydon, well south of the Watford watershed) for my first day of work in the Traffic Office of HPTD on a Monday in December 1964. On the Friday of that first week, still bemused by my surroundings, a multi bank Ultimate machine was thrust into my hands with the remark, "There lad, we need a conductor for the 3.30 Brighouse. Fred Bull is your driver." With extreme trepidation, not knowing either the geography or the lingo, I endeavoured to meet the occasion. The first bit – over the top via Southowram to Brighouse in a Leopard – was not too bad. Fred was the Conductor School Instructor, so he helped me along, but worse was to come. After the Brighouse runs we went back to the depot and collected one of the old 1947 all Leyland PD2/1s and set off from the town centre for Greetland and Norland, and, for all I can recall, the Moon. It was now the peak period, Fred was now isolated from me in his cab, the bus was full, the windows were steamed up, it was dark outside, and I hadn’t a clue where I was en route. To add to the fun, I had to decipher the required destinations of the passengers which were given in broad Yorkshire accents, and I then found that the places asked for went under totally different names in the printed faretable. Heaven alone knows what I charged them all. We made several trips out again, and the local populace must have thought that the Halifax Passenger Transport Department had been reduced to employing idiots, such was my low level of expertise in the role of conductor. Thankfully, at the end of it all, good old Fred helped his shell shocked ‘mate’ to complete his waybill and cash in. I was a reasonably normal looking 23 year old at the start of that nightmare. At the end I looked like Methuselah (some would say that I still do – I blame HPTD).

Roger Cox


06/01/14 – 16:39

John mentions the large area of unused space between the steering wheel and the windscreen This was not confined to YTC vehicles. I had a ride on a Devon General AEC Reliance of similar vintage at a Chatsworth rally some years ago and this too had acres of space between driver and window although in this case the bodywork was by Willowbrook rather than Marshall.

Chris Hough


07/01/14 – 07:17

I think the gap between the steering wheel and windscreens of BET bodies in this era was to do with their interest in the Clayton UHV heating/ventilation system which drew in air from a grille below the windscreen and then through a glass fibre duct to the engine radiator. There was a flap in the duct, cable operated from the cab which diverted the cool ambient temperature air into the saloon during the warm months. The system was logical but hopelessly unreliable. Most BET subsidiaries would have this kit fitted around this time. The 1965 PMT Reliance 590 DPs certainly were so equipped and my recollection of the ex Yorkshire Traction trio at Halifax was that they were as well. I seem to remember heating problems with them in winter……..not that that was difficult, it applied to most designs within the fleet! The noisy old underseat heater units were amongst the best apart from clogging with dust and rubbish. If it was a Reliance 470 then you might get warmth for a couple of days after repair before the head gaskets blew again!

Ian Wild


07/01/14 – 07:18

Love your ‘thrown to the wolves’ story, Roger.
Nothing to do with buses, but I once worked as a semi-manager in a punched-card unit. Despite never training on the machines, I was competent in the job. A job as trainer came up, the woman who accepted it turned it down at the last minute and I was asked and accepted on the Thursday. However, I asked that the course for the following Monday be postponed for a week to enable to me familiarise myself with the course material and learn the working of that machine. On the Monday, having just started to look at the course material, there was a knock at the door and a face said, “We’ve just arrived for the course!” In the end, I sent them for a long teabreak, ‘genned’ up enough to cover until lunchtime, at lunch, did enough for teabreak and later sent them home early! Then, each night, I did enough to cover the nest day. Somehow I got through the week and got one of my ex-staff to train me on Saturday on the machine for the following week. I survived somehow, but a couple of years later, I was talking to one of my first protégés and mentioned they were my first course and had they realised? I was given 7/10, the first time, perhaps, that the pupils had marked the tutor! As she said, they survived!

Chris Hebbron


07/01/14 – 13:41

The dark oblong under the windscreen is presumably the intake for the apparatus mentioned by Ian. I vividly recall Ribble Leopards had the same arrangement.

Chris Hough


07/01/14 – 13:41

Interesting to hear that 360 gave further service in Malta. I recall riding on it on visits in 2004 and 2009. By the latter year, former 360 had lost its Leyland 0.600 engine for a Cummins C unit, very much transforming its personality and performance. The Maltese bus operators in their final independent days had turned to the Cummins C engine big-time – surviving AEC Reliances and Swifts had received similar engine transplants, and some Fords were also advertising their Cummins power.

Mark Evans


07/01/14 – 13:43

I well remember the Conductor School Instructor, Fred Bull. He was quite a droll character, and used to call in on the Traffic Office from time to time. After three days in his school, new recruits were sent out to accompany an experienced conductor for just a couple of hours or so on the Thursday during the morning off-peak, in order to observe how the job worked. They then returned to him for the rest of the day after which they worked full duties under the supervision of another trusty conductor until the Wednesday of the second week, after which they were let loose on their own.
It sometimes fell on me as a Traffic Clerk to find appropriate duties with ‘suitable’ conductors for these lads (and occasionally lasses), and I had to have these ready and clearly written down for Fred Bull when he graced us with his presence and dry wit.
He retired in 1973, and was replaced by driver Roy Greenwood, who in turn retired and was replaced by conductor Les Sykes. After the last conductor was set on about 1984/85, Les had little to do, and mostly just took care of uniform issue until retiring at deregulation time. I in the meantime had long since thrown in the Traffic Clerk towel, due to intolerable harassment influenced by a certain Traffic Superintendent, and having already obtained my PSV whilst working in the office, gone full time driving.
From deregulation on, all new staff were set on as OPO drivers, and what had been the ‘conductor’ aspect of training had to be incorporated into the driver training – once they had passed their test. Whereas newly passed out drivers had previously little need to do much route learning, as they had already learnt them all well whilst conducting, this also had to be incorporated into their training at the same time and the whole lot became the responsibility of the Driving Instructors.
It was at this point that the existing instructors – by then senior men Ernest Mitchell and Gerry Yardley – decided that things ahead were looking a bit too hectic and complicated for them, and opted for early retirement before D-Day. It was at this point that I made the rather impulsive decision to apply for the job, which I got, and was kept very busy at it (and much more besides) for the next 18 years. Sadly once more, irreconcilable differences with another colleague forced me to finally realise enough had been enough, and it was back to driving again. Now I am a semi-retired part-time driver working just three days a week. It’s been a long time !

John Stringer


07/01/14 – 14:57

Why is it that "Line Managers" – be they Headmasters, Traffic Superintendents (or whatever their appointed role) need to make life difficult for colleagues rather than help them – especially those who have had the other role "on their way up"?

David Oldfield


07/01/14 – 16:18

Ian’s comments about the Clayton automatic heating and ventilating system fitted by the BET group in the mid sixties brings back many unpleasant memories of Southdown’s batch of Weymann bodied Leopards 140-159 so fitted, these buses had a total lack of opening windows but had two roof vents which were permanently fixed slightly open but worst of all they did not have any type of fan assistance in the demister system relying solely on the movement of the vehicle for any effect not very reliable on stage carriage or in traffic. As you can imagine this meant that in warm weather driver and passengers were very prone to sweating and in winter they were freezing cold with the added bonus that the driver could not see where he was going as his windscreen was constantly misting up and the interior of the saloon was also likely to be damp, the system never worked satisfactorily as the control cables seized and the sensors that controlled the pneumatic valves didn’t operate properly. I don’t however recall there being a excess of space behind the windscreen, Southdown did later fit just one sliding window each side and much later fitted a heated windscreen, perversely only on the nearside, 144 of the batch was re-bodied by Marshall after an accident.
The company also had a batch of Plaxton bodied Leopards 1191-1224 fitted with this system to which all the above criticisms apply with the added discomfort of having vinyl covered seats.

Diesel Dave


07/01/14 – 16:43

Unfortunately David, the attitude of the Traffic Superintendent towards me at the time was entirely a personal and totally inappropriate one. Unbeknown to me, when Geoffrey Hilditch offered me the Traffic Clerk post this character – who lived not far from me – thoroughly disliked my father’s family apparently owing to issues with my Grandfather (whom I never knew, having died long before I was born) going right back before the war. It must have seemed to him to be his one golden opportunity to wreak some kind of final futile revenge on the family by making life so intolerable for me that I would surely leave. Nowadays harassment in the workplace is a serious issue (though it still goes on), but then nobody took it seriously – particularly as the man was well regarded both by my office colleagues and the trade union – and since the matter was making me ill, I could see no other way at the time but to give in, and he got his way.
On another website recently, a former long serving employee of Bradford City Transport recalled how working for BCT was like ‘being part of one big family’, implying that it had been on the whole quite an agreeable experience. But there are families, and there are families. There are ‘normal’ families who despite life’s occasional differences and troubles mostly get on well and care for one another. Then there are those broken and dysfunctional families who are always at each others’ throats, feuding, bearing grudges and carrying on vendettas against one another. I found Halifax Corporation and its successors fell more into the latter category !
There were of course also hundreds of great people employed along the way too, but it only takes a few malevolent ones in the more influential positions of authority to perpetuate a permanently unhappy environment, and as a result create an un-cooperative, deeply cynical and resentful workforce. It’s utterly counter-productive, but they never seem to learn that this is not the way to get the best out of people and for their organisations to succeed and be the best.

John Stringer


08/01/14 – 07:45

John, your recollections of HPTD gel with mine in several aspects. In 1964, having upped sticks and journeyed some 200 miles north for the Traffic Clerk job in Halifax, I found my reception from the people there there to be decidedly strange, varying from the very welcoming to the markedly hostile. Amongst some of the latter, which included the Deputy Traffic Superintendent (the Traffic Superintendent always kept me at arm’s length, having as little to do with me as possible) I was referred to as the "cockney", which, while not bothering me, illustrated a degree of isolationism and ignorance that manifested itself in many other ways. Being born in Selsdon, Croydon, in 1941, the only way I could have heard the sound of Bow Bells would have been by telephone, and those peals would then have indicated a German invasion. The system within the Traffic Office was for us all to move round the various jobs – duty cover, schedules, bus list, accidents/private hire et al – every couple of months or so. Unfortunately, in 1965, I suffered a broken leg and had some time on sick leave. On my return, I found that all the others in the office had decided to pick the jobs they liked best and keep them. I was left with the unpopular, mundane task of processing accident reports and quoting for private hires from a fixed price sheet. To further sour the pill, this job was carried out at a desk within the office of the DTS. This was not the sort of thing I had been led by GGH to believe would constitute my career in the municipal bus industry. I stuck it for the best part of a year, and it was only the evening and Saturday overtime driving work with decent people from the road staff that kept me there that long. Differences with the DTS finally came to a head, and I quit towards the end of 1966. It was the best thing I did. Had I stayed I would have simply rotted away in mediocre drudgery. As it was, after 18 months with Aldershot and District as a driver to shake off the memories of Halifax, I went back into the administrative side of the bus industry, ultimately as a Traffic Manager until the gibbet of privatisation cut it short. After a period running my own retail business for several years, I, like you, finished off in the bus industry as a driver, this time in Peterborough and Huntingdonshire. I wasn’t sorry to retire from it – the bus industry was a mere shadow of its former self by then. I haven’t driven a bus since.

Roger Cox


02/01/16 – 06:41

The reason for the distance between the driver’s seat and the windscreen is explained in the text attached to this photo of a Devon General AEC Reliance from the same era:- www.flickr.com/photos/  
If the link doesn’t work (I know Flickr can be sensitive in this respect), then do a search for "TUO74J" in photos from Martyn Hearson (Renown).
Basically, the chassis were designed for 30′ long buses, but most were being built to 10m length by then, partly to provide a wider entrance.

Nigel Frampton


04/01/16 – 06:50

How nice to see Ernest Mitchell mentioned here, I remember Ernest as one of the original drivers when one man operation was introduced on the Siddal route around 1958 when we used to travel to school in Halifax, he was a regular on this route and Norton Tower for many years . When I got married he drove past St Marks church in 1968 and despite around 25 people onboard stopped and called out "there’s no going back now". He was one of the most cheerful blokes you could meet, and over the years I lost contact with him, so you can imagine how surprised I was when I had to help a lady to her flat after a fall to see a picture of Ernest on the sideboard, yes she was Ernest’s wife, and so lots of reminiscing was done. She is still alive and well and had a number of photos taken of his "bus" days throughout his long career.
People said that the one maners wouldn’t last (1958), they got that one wrong???

Stephen Mitchell


NHE 10F Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


08/01/16 – 08:39

NHE 10F

I have attached a photo taken of this bus on 19th June 1980 very close to final withdrawal by West Yorkshire PTE. It is at the reversing point at the small hamlet of Boulderclough high above the Calder Valley. It has a noticeably different frontal appearance from the earlier picture. This was a result of repairs following serious damage when it slid into a lamp standard in heavy snow causing a heavy impact to the centre front. Memory says that we obtained a new front dome from Willowbrook of a different profile from the Marshall original. Also I believe we removed the Clayton UHV heating system (the intake ducting behind the front panel would have been seriously damaged in the collision) hence the different lower level air intake grille.

Ian Wild


 

Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page

 


 

PMT – Leyland Leopard – TVT 129G – SN1129

PMT - Leyland Leopard - TVT 129G - SN1129
Copyright Ian Wild

Potteries Motor Traction
1968
Leyland Leopard PSU4A/4R
Marshall B43F

A pleasant Sunday afternoon scene in May 1970 outside the church at the Bagnall terminus of service 44 from Hanley shows one of Milton Depots pair of short Leopards. This batch of 20 buses was a welcome relief after the 48 Daimler Roadliner buses delivered in the previous three years. These short length Leopards were ultra reliable machines and ideal for the rural services operated by Cheadle, Longton, Newcastle and Milton Depots where they replaced early AEC Reliances.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


24/08/12 – 08:19

Nice shot!
"This batch of 20 buses was a welcome relief after the 48 Daimler Roadliners . . ." All I have read about the Roadliners indicates that the term ‘unmitigated disaster’ is too mild. How could Daimler have got it so wrong?

Pete Davies


24/08/12 – 08:20

Said in three simple words – ultra reliable machines. Never was convinced that Volvo were that much batter than AEC but Leyland suffered from association with British Leyland (Motor Corporation). I have great respect and affection for the Leopard, AN68 and Tiger. They may not have been as flash or quick as the Volvos but they plodded on – you trusted them to keep going.

David Oldfield


24/08/12 – 12:19

A pair of these are preserved namely 1127 – TVT 127G and 1128 – TVT 128G

Chris Hough


24/08/12 – 12:20

Pete. Everyone got it wrong apart from Bristol with rear engined buses – Daimler got more wrong than anyone else, especially choice of engine. As a "coach" man, my top three are ZF Reliance, RE and Leopard. I preferred the Leyland engined RE and, significantly, PMT turned to the RE – albeit late in the RE’s lifespan.

David Oldfield


25/08/12 – 07:40

David,
Ta! I had an idea that most of the problem was the choice of engine.

Pete Davies


25/08/12 – 07:42

David, you can add Seddon to the list of rear engined design failures. No doubt because of his debt of gratitude to Robert Seddon in the early years of his engineering career, Geoff Hilditch, in his writings, is quite kind about the shortcomings of the Pennine RU, but it was undoubtedly a severe disappointment to those who tried hard to encourage competition with British Leyland. The only really satisfactory Seddon psv design was the Pennine VII, which proved to be a sound and reliable performer.

Roger Cox


25/08/12 – 07:42

TVT 127G_lr

Re Chris Hough’s posting of 24/08/12 12:19 about the two preserved PMT Leopards 1127 & 1128, here is a photo I took of them both at the Wirksworth Bus Rally at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway on 1st July this year.

Eric Bawden


25/08/12 – 08:53

As always, seeing sisters side by side highlights the detail differences. In this case, the indicator displays, the "company" logo versus the NBC one on the front, the little ventilator under the windscreen . . . And this is just from a look at the bus front!

Pete Davies


25/08/12 – 10:54

Pete. There was another problem that everyone except Bristol had, as well. Heavy engines overhanging the rear axle causing bodies, and chassis, to flex (and sometimes break). Ingenious use of the Lodekka drop axle enabled Bristol to shorten the overhang on the RE and thus reduce the stresses on both chassis and body. The Seddon RU mentioned by Roger was, as much as anything, meant to be an RE clone to help RE operators out who were suffering delivery delays (a "British Leyland" problem with all their brands at the time). Crosville bought hordes of the things and were stung. The Ward Dalesman GRX was a further unsuccessful attempt. The Seddon Pennine VII, on the other hand was a "Leopard with Gardner engine" that "British Leyland" refused to supply to the Scottish Bus Group.

David Oldfield


25/08/12 – 12:27

And we all know what happened to British Leyland over their perceptions of what the customer wanted and what they were prepared to supply: among other things, we got foreign trucks and buses, and cars with traditional boot lids (even on cars with the hatchback shape) when other car makers were introducing hatchbacks, etc!

Pete Davies


27/08/12 – 07:53

A common consensus is the generally uselessness of early rear engined saloons Interestingly some operators managed to make the beast work. Preston made the Panther work as did Hull equally Leeds 150 Swifts had a normal lifespan. While others quickly sold them off as to fault prone or too costly to maintain.
I suppose that fashion also played a part whereby if undertaking A was getting rid of the things undertaking B down the road would do as well.
To my mind this meant that Leyland could pour money into the National and not further develop the other chassis particularly the Bristol RE which was streets ahead of anything similar from the Leyland empire.

Chris Hough


28/08/12 – 14:35

These Leopards were awful (my opinion) it was all down to the cab layout the windscreen was about 6 feet away so you had to stand up to wipe the screen also had a low driving position. The only good thing was they were warm in the winter. we operated them on the Newcastle – Market Drayton service (64) and the other problem was they did not have a AEC Badge on the front.

Michael Crofts


28/08/12 – 17:55

Well, Michael, I will agree with you wholeheartedly on the matter of AEC, but have to say that Devon General’s similar AH505 Reliances – ie with Marshall bodies – had similarly huge cabs with the screen miles away. So you can blame Leyland for the low driving position, which they rectified on Leopards after 1969, but Marshall are to blame for your trek to clean the screen!
[I assume you were after an AEC chassis and engine behind the badge? I knew a coach operator in High Wycombe (Bucks) who ran a Reliance with a Bedford engine…..!]

David Oldfield


28/08/12 – 17:56

All Leylands had that problem, Michael!

Eric Bawden


29/08/12 – 07:23

Just noticed another difference, on the two preserved examples (1127/8). 1127 has sliding vents behind driver’s signalling window, 1128 doesn’t.

David Oldfield


29/08/12 – 12:20

We had three similar Leopard PSU4/Marshalls to this at Halifax. 358-360 (NHE 8-10F) came to Calderdale J.O.C. from Yorkshire Traction as part of the Todmorden takeover arrangements. Nice enough looking buses, they too suffered from the faraway windscreens and very low driving position. They had the original style of large Pneumocyclic gearchange pedestal which got completely in the way, and to get in and out of the cab seat required the skills of a contortionist. With the seat wound up high enough to see forward and reach the pedals one’s knees were rubbing against the underside of the steering wheel, and one’s left leg had a struggle to fit around the gearchange pedestal. They were extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient buses to drive.
Despite the relative indestructability of the earlier Leopard chassis, I am told that the build quality of the Marshall bodies left a lot to be desired. Despite the apparent similarity of the BET-style bodies built by various bodybuilders, it would seem that some were a lot better than others, and that the Met.Cam/Weymann version was generally the most durable.
Despite this, 360 was badly damaged in a collision and sold to a Barnsley breaker, but later it turned up in Malta rebuilt and magnificently presented by one of the island’s most enthusiastic bus owners.

John Stringer


19/01/13 – 06:12

Having owned a Marshall bodied short Ribble Leopard for almost 15 years I find it hard to believe that they were such poor service vehicles. I must admit there is a certain amount of dexterity required to become seated in the drivers seat, but once seated I have not yet found any problem with the driving position. Surely windscreens on most half cabs and other 1960’s vehicles are a similar distance away? Whilst I have not driven this particular bus fully laden, the steering could be entertaining, I find it a pleasure to drive.

John Davis


20/04/13 – 07:17

Re- remarks on variations with 127/128, yes there’s lots more inside and out, we have a boot but no doors, 127 has a disabled chair lift! 127 has 2 roof vents, 128 has 1, coach seating in 127, service seats in 128. The luggage racks differ, as do cabs, as 128 was altered along with destination box layout by previous owner. I cannot explain, or took the time to find out why all this happened, as owner/secretary of ‘TVT 128G group’ what I can say is that 128 has served us well over the 13 years we have owned her, no major repairs other than a radiator leak/broken jubilee clip/1 leaf spring but she’s a good runner.

Keith Broomhall


TVT 129G_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


20/07/15 – 06:49

Enjoyed a couple of laps around Oulton Park yesterday aboard TVT 128G, one sighting lap and one ‘fast’ lap! Wouldn’t have been half as much fun on a modern bus.

Wayne Hope


 

Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page

 


 

All rights to the design and layout of this website are reserved     Old Bus Photos does not set or use Cookies but Google Analytics will set four see this

Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 20th July 2019