Old Bus Photos

Bradford Corporation – Leyland Titan – LAK 307G – 307

LAK 307G

Bradford Corporation
1969
Leyland PD3A/12
Alexander H41/29F

After its five year AEC Regent V phase (a subject that has generated polarised opinions and been discussed in depth and at length on OBP) Bradford Corporation seemed to cast all thoughts of standardisation to the winds by embarking upon a spending policy that encompassed front and rear engined vehicle types from Leyland and Daimler. Seen in April 1970, against the emerging stark, Stalinist skyline of 1960s Bradford, is No.307, LAK 307G, a Leyland PD3A/12 of April 1969 with Alexander H41/29F bodywork. Behind it is Leyland PDR1/3 Atlantean No.295, LAK 295G with MCW H43/31F body delivered a few months earlier in December 1968.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


 

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Highland Omnibuses – Guy Arab – HGC 147 – E8

Highland Omnibuses - Guy Arab - HGC 147 - E8

Highland Omnibuses Ltd
1945
Guy Arab II
Alexander L27/26RD (1952)

In July 1965 I did a tour of Scotland on a railrover – I think one week though it may have been two – the object of which was to cover as much of the existing passenger rail network as possible, many of the lines being threatened with closure at that time. There was little time to do any bus photography, as arrival in a town at the end of daylight with no booked accommodation meant that finding this was first priority. Then it would be up in the morning for the earliest appropriate departure.
One of the very few occasions where leisure was enforced was near the beginning of the adventure, on my arrival in the far north of Scotland. The railway timetable simply didn’t allow the Thurso and Wick branches to be covered exclusively by rail without an inordinate waste of time. Having arrived at Thurso around 4 pm, it was then a matter of finding a bus to take me to Wick, from where I would catch the early train back to Inverness.
Highland was very much the ‘Second-hand Rose’ of the Scottish Bus Group, particularly as far as double-deck buses were concerned. As far as I can make out, none were bought new between a Guy Arab IV in 1950 and a batch of Fleetlines in 1978.
Having observed (and photographed) a ‘new’ (1963) Lowlander – recently transferred from Central – on the Scrabster service, and a venerable former Scottish Omnibuses Arab II – still with utility body – on the town service to Mount Vernon, I was quite happy to see E8 as seen above turn into the High Street with its destination showing Wick.
HGC 147 began life as London Transport G368, a Guy Arab II with Massey H30/26R utility bodywork. LT’s Guys were always odd-men-out, so had a short life, being withdrawn with the expectation of sale for further use in the early 1950s. The Scottish Bus Group took a number of them, and 19 found their way to Western SMT who in 1952 replaced the utility bodies with smart new Alexander low-bridge bodies in their domed style. HGC 147 took WSMT fleet number 1005. 13 years later, the chassis now fully 20 years old, E8 was still looking smart.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Alan Murray-Rust


20/05/19 – 07:24

These Massey G’s were delivered in the second half of 1945 and probably had the weakest, certainly the most ugly, utility bodies of all LT’s vehicles of this type. ‘Ian’s Bus Stop’ website states that she was acquired for use on Dounray work. She certainly looks smart here and was finally retired in May 1967.

Chris Hebbron


23/05/19 – 06:57

As an afterthought, Alan, I’d hazard a guess that the drivers (and probably conductors) of these venerable vehicles, with austerity bodies or not, would have rued the day that they were ousted by the truly awful Albion Lowlander.

Chris Hebbron


09/06/19 – 10:51

The Guy Arab in its well known guise evolved entirely from the advent of the Second World War, and had it not done so, then, as respected author Robin Hannay confirms, the Guy company would probably have disappeared entirely by 1950. The original Arab FD model (the code stood for forward control type ‘D’, as the previous Guy buses had carried the letter ‘˜C’ – the ‘D’ did not, as often stated, stand for ‘diesel’) came on the market in 1933, carrying forward much of the design philosophy from the FC Invincible that preceded it, and, indeed, an FC demonstrator was rebuilt by Guy as an Arab. This early Arab design was conceived within the Leyland TD1 school of thought, with the engine, driving position and front bulkhead set back from the front axle; this enabled the accommodation of the Gardner 6LW engine, though the 5LW was the usual power unit. The neater front end structure of the AEC Regent had already arrived in 1929 and, strangely, the contemporary Guy trolleybuses did have a tidy frontal design. 1933 also heralded the appearance of the Leyland TD3 with a compact front end but the somewhat autocratic Sidney Guy maintained his own strong beliefs on the subject of bus design. The production run run of the original double deck Arab lasted until 1936, during which period about 50 were made, though Burton on Trent Corporation Transport, a confirmed user of the 4LW powered Arab in its single deck guise, took six more in 1940 and a further six in 1941. Between 1936 and the early years of the war Guy produced vehicles for the military, but even this activity trailed off when the orders for searchlight vehicles were cancelled as radar played a greater role in detecting enemy aircraft. With the outbreak of war all new bus production was halted, being slightly relaxed subsequently to permit the assembly of ‘unfrozen’ chassis. It soon became clear that something had to be done to meet the urgent need for new buses, and, in 1941, officialdom turned first to Leyland, but also (to general astonishment, since it had not been a significant double deck manufacturer for five years) to Guy. When Leyland withdrew due to the pressures of other wartime work, operator astonishment turned to apprehension that the industry’s needs were to be met solely by the Guy company. The original Arab design was clearly outdated and Major Chapple of Bristol offered Sidney Guy the drawings for the K5G, but Mr Guy was having none of it. His new bus would be a Guy, but the shape of the redesigned chassis showed very close similarities with that of that of the Leyland TD7 (a wartime version of which was originally expected to be supplied also), though established Guy transmission units were incorporated. The subsequent history of the Arab Utility is well documented, and its rugged dependability became legendary, even though the ‘˜back to front’ selector positions of the original crash gearbox was not a universally popular feature. However, London Transport drivers did not like the Arab, and the members of the G class were disposed of as soon as the new London Transport Executive could get rid of them, even though they were mechanically sound with years of life potentially ahead. In the booming post war public transport period there was a somewhat paranoid attitude by the Labour government about the disposal of nationalised undertakings’ assets to companies within the UK but outside the state fold, and very many of these Arabs were sold abroad instead. Even Edinburgh Corporation had a mighty struggle to get sixty surplus Arabs from LT. However, the Scottish Motor Traction group was nationalised in 1949 and thus became an acceptable recipient for former London machinery which, like HGC 147, then went on to give sterling service for very many years.

Roger Cox


10/06/19 – 07:41

I believe all London Transport’s Guy Utilities had the 5LW engine and this one, despite having the protruding radiator, appears to have had it’s upturned front wings cut back. It also retains the Arab II high bonnet line although I understand a conversion kit was available to achieve the lower bonnet line of the Arab III, perhaps Western thought the extra expense was unjustified – a shame really because it would have made a nice looking bus even better.

Chris Barker


 

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Potteries Motor Traction – Daimler Fleetline – 5001 VT – L 1001

Potteries Motor Traction - Daimler Fleetline - 5001 VT - L 1001

Potteries Motor Traction
1964
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Alexander H41/31F

Photographed in June 1970 at Manchester, and mercifully still retaining its Potteries livery and logo, is Daimler CRG6LX Fleetline No. L 1001, 5001 VT, with Alexander H41/31F bodywork, the first of a batch of twenty five delivered in April 1964. Ten similar vehicles followed in 1965. L 1001 seems to be remarkably coy about showing its destination, reducing its passenger information down to a sticker in the windscreen. Was this route not a standard operation for this type of vehicle, which would not then have had Manchester on its blind display?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


17/03/19 – 09:11

Yes Roger,
It should be able to show ‘Manchester’ in the top half of the box (where it reads P.M.T.) and the second line would show X2 in Bold, with Knutsford over Altrincham (where it shows ‘Service’) There are photos on the web of the PD3’s that used to run this service and I have downloaded a copy of Fleetline 964 from the web in exactly the same place showing the full service blind that I refer to.The layover seemed to be quite lengthy and in busy times, the vehicle would have to vacate the stand and park on Lower Mosley Street itself, prior to returning to load up for the return journey. I spent many hours in my spotting days here but sadly I never got to ride on the service, principally as it was an out and back service TO Manchester. These Alexander bodied Fleetlines did not look out of place here as they were look alikes of North Westerns own examples and when PMT provided an NCME bodied Fleetline, of course that resembled LUT’s which used LMS on the Blackpool service, as all had a basic Red/Cream livery.

Mike Norris


18/03/19 – 07:08

North Western’s Fleetlines had single piece curved windscreens, single headlamps and different sidelights and the NWRCC colour scheme with a lighter red and more cream was much less drab. PMT’s colours on its double decker fleet didn’t exactly brighten up the Potteries’ landscape.

Phil Blinkhorn


20/03/19 – 06:15

The PMT vehicles often parked in Whitworth Street West. This road was close to LMS and was between the two railway lines that ran from the old Central Station and the line from Oxford Road. In my spotting days the low bridge Atlanteans were common fare.

Andrew Gosling


20/03/19 – 06:16

The ABC Coach and Bus Guide for the Winter period 1969/1970 contains a timetable for the Potteries to Manchester PMT service X2. Points served were Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Kidsgrove, Lawton Arms, Sandbach, Holmes Chapel and Knutsford. Set downs were at Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Manchester (Lower Mosley Street). (A full fare table was not shown.
The timetable shows ‘dep’ for departure times up to and including Lawton Arms and ‘arr’ for arrival times at Altrincham and beyond. However, Sandbach, Holmes Chapel and Knutsford have neither ‘dep’ or ‘arr’ which may mean they could have been both pick-up and set down points).
The northbound departure times were:
09:20 from Newcastle-under-Lyme (arriving Manchester 11:30) on Saturdays and Sundays
14:30 from Hanley (arriving Manchester 16:30) on Fridays and Saturdays
The southbound departure times were:
12:00 from Manchester (arriving Hanley 14:00) on Saturdays
18:00 from Manchester (arriving Newcastle-under-Lyme 20:10) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
PMT also ran a Hanley to Birmingham service X1 which had a similar format timetable.

David Slater


21/03/19 – 06:58

Bury also had some Alexander Fleet lines, 117 to 131, later 6317-31, but they had flat windscreens and were the full height version.

David Pomfret


26/03/19 – 06:53

David Slater’s description of the timetable is very helpful. Was it really the case that passengers were only allowed 30 minutes to spend in the city of Manchester.
Barely time to purchase a cup of tea and an Eccles Cake!

Petras409


02/07/19 – 05:59

L1001. 5001 VT was allocated to Newcastle Garage and service X2 was operated by Hanley Garage it may have been the case that ‘Manchester’ was not on the destination blind. Out of interest the bus was destroyed by a fire at Newcastle Garage in 1975.

Leekensian


 

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