Old Bus Photos

Liverpool City Transport – Leyland Titan – VKB 711 – L255

Liverpool City Transport - Leyland Titan - VKB 711 - L255

Liverpool City Transport
Leyland Titan PD2/20
Crossley H33/29R

New in November 1956, L255 was one of a batch of 65 Leyland Titan PD2/20 chassis that had been ordered back in 1955, partly to enable the 19 & 44 tram routes to be converted to bus operation. It was originally painted in the Dark green livery with two cream bands.
When new L255 was allocated to Carnegie Road garage, but its stay there was only short lived as it was transferred to Walton in March 1957. There it was used on routes such as 19/44/92/93 serving the new expanding housing estates of Kirkby, Southdene and Tower Hill as well as the Corporations own Kirkby Industrial Estate. where it lives today!
When Walton closed for rebuilding in October 1962, L255, along with the majority of Waltons allocation moved to the new Gillmoss garage . Following overhauls in 1966 and 1971 it returned to Gillmoss.
It then moved to Litherland garage in August 1973 and saw use on services 28,51,52,53,55,55A,56,57,57A,58,59 to Ford, Netherton and Sefton. L255’s stay at Litherland was a short one as it was transferred for the last time in April 1975 to Green Lane. There it was used mainly on peak hour extras and industrial workings until it was finally withdrawn from service in March 1976.
Purchased for preservation in May 1976 and joined the other vehicles in the growing Mersey and Calder Preservation group in 1977. As L255 was in basically good condition it was soon rubbed down and painted back into the early 1960’s livery of green with cream staircase panel and window surrounds.
In 1996 after more than 20 years in active preservation and with more than 25 years since a major overhaul, it was time for some major body restoration. After stripping every external panel off the bus, it was soon found that there was a fair amount of work involved.
Following a flurry of activity in early 2007, L255 was eventually completed finally passing the MOT 2 days before the Mersey Transport Trust’s annual running day in September 2007, proving a popular attraction during the day. During 2009 a rechromed drivers window surround was fitted and in 2010 side adverts were added much improving its appearance. It is seen at the 2014 Kirkby running day.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

28/10/14 – 07:03

I always thought that the Liverpool bonnet assembly detracted from the overall look of these buses. The flush windscreen and unusual livery application didn’t really help either

Chris Hough

29/10/14 – 07:12

Totally agree Chris. Much better looking examples of what was a PRV design were operated in the North West by Oldham and Stockport.

Phil Blinkhorn

29/10/14 – 15:59

When compared to other tin fronts of the period, the front panel and the area around the windscreen, give it a sort of DIY in-house accident repair appearance, rather than one that was built that way in the first place.

Ronnie Hoye

30/10/14 – 07:16

There is a lot of confusion about Crossley bodies of this period. Despite employing the PRV rear emergency window, I don’t believe this was the PRV design (as supplied later to Stockport and Oldham), and neither does the Crossley book (Eyre Heaps & Townsin). Mind you, that book isn’t foolproof; identical bodies supplied to Darwen are coded as the PRV design, while those supplied to Sunderland are coded as a Liverpool design.
The flat front to the upper deck is something specifically requested by Liverpool and used on Crossley bodies elsewhere. The standard Midland Red assembly would not have allowed this, and in fact later Liverpool bodies with the Midland Red assembly had bow-fronted bodies by Duple and Alexander.

Peter Williamson

31/10/14 – 06:27

As the owner of the bus, I can confirm that the Crossley body is of Park Royal design, I have restored both L255 & Park Royal bodied Barrow 170 CEO 957, the only difference being the window frames. Liverpool using glass mounted from the inside with a window ledge inside as against the Standard Park Royal body on 170 with windows mounted from the outside with a ledge outside. The last true Crossley designed body supplied to Liverpool was L224, L225 to L244 also carried Crossley framework but the coachwork was completed by LCPT at Edge lane works.
I hope this clarifies it more.

Rob Wilson

03/11/14 – 06:34

Thanks for your clarification, Rob. It probably means I’ve been spouting rubbish on various forums for some time, thanks to believing what experts write in books. One thing that fooled me (not clear in this view but there are plenty of other photos around) was the small rectangular windows in the front bulkhead, which Crossley had used on their own-framed bodies. On other Park Royal-framed Crossley bodies the bulkhead is the standard Park Royal type with a deeply arched lower rail to the windows. Perhaps this is again due to the different glazing system used for Liverpool (and Darwen, Sunderland and Aberdeen).

Peter Williamson

03/11/14 – 10:19

A quick scan on SCT61 pages suggests that Liverpool specified that size of front bulkhead window on all their contemporary Leyland deckers be they Saunders-Roe, Duple, Alexander or Crossley bodied.
On Stockport’s Crossley bodied Leyland deckers with PRV frames the bulkhead window bottom rail does follow the line of the engine cover but it, and those on the next batch of Longwell Green bodies, is still a very narrow window (made to look even more so by the top opening vent) compared with that fitted to their later East Lancs bodied St Helens front PD2s.

Orla Nutting

03/11/14 – 16:28

Liverpool made a habit of taking framed chassis from the likes of Weymann and Crossley but then changing the profiles. There were some very odd Weymann/Liverpool bodies on Regent IIs with an upright profile which ruined the general style of the Weymann original – and I believe they also had non-Weymann upper deck tear emergency exits. Even the Met-Camm Orion Regent Vs were not standard Met-Camm. That accolade went to the the famous Nottingham PD2s famous because they were the first Nottingham PD2s.

David Oldfield

04/11/14 – 06:45

…..and of course there were the 1949 all Crossley DD42s that Sheffield acquired new as a cancelled Liverpool order. These were neither the popularly remembered Crossley outline, nor did they have the PRV framed body. These were identical to the Regent IIIs and the first Regent Vs which Liverpool took delivery of and kept hold of. Although L255 is obviously based on the PRV design, there are also elements of the earlier design around the front (especially upper deck).

David Oldfield

05/11/14 – 06:40

Hopefully a rather extensive restoration of Barrow 170 will be completed soon by the Barrow Transport group.
So I hope that when it ventures to our NWVRT Open day at Kirkby (plug 31/5/2015)we can get them parked together to record similarities.
Another Park Royal trait that L255 carries internally is the pressed out lighting mounts along the cove panels in the upper saloon ,just like the ones on 170 & Park Royal bodied Liverpool E1.
The Crossley Bodies AEC’s and the Liverpool PD2’s up to L224 had their lights at the edge of the ceiling . Was this a standard Crossley practice ?

Rob Wilson

11/11/14 – 18:20

I now have to eat some more of my words. Earlier I said that use of the standard Leyland (originally Midland Red) bonnet assembly would not have allowed Liverpool to have their much-loved flat-fronted upper deck. I got this idea from Alan Townsin’s Duple book, which says that the uncharacteristic bow fronts of the Duple bodies on L91-140 were dictated by the design of the Leyland tin-front.
However, I now find that Darwen’s pair of Crossley-bodied PD2/20s managed to incorporate both the Leyland tin front and the Liverpool-style flat-fronted upper deck perfectly well – see www.sct61.org.uk/dw15
I also think I have solved the conundrum of the bulkhead window. Other photos of L255 show it to have a much wider bulkhead window than the Crossley-framed bodies, and the reason for departing from the standard PRV window was almost certainly the rearward-facing seat behind the bulkhead, which I had forgotten about. I have reverted to my earlier belief that other Crossley bodies with the narrow window (Darwen, Sunderland, Aberdeen) were Crossley-framed.

Peter Williamson

04/06/16 – 07:07

JUV 127

I thought I had a photo of a Liverpool Crossley DD42 and have now found it. C642 taken at Pier Head on July 5, 1962, still in cream bands livery and by this time only appearing on school, university and short workings.

Geoff Pullin

08/01/21 – 07:33

I loved the batch of Leylands that replaced the trams.
When I became a bus spotter circa 1962, the fleet still had remnants of pre war buses when it was difficult to buy one.
When Leyland Atlanteans were used on my school route 61 to Aigburth, occasionally in the peak hours you would get a 1947/8 Leyland Titan PD2/1 (L425-428) with Leyland coachwork with moquette seats, very harsh with short kegs (trousers). They were almost posh for their time and its such a shame that none of them were saved.
I believe L316-318 were not painted as A40. Shame they were not saved as well.
I used to go to the Edge Lane depot and walk around the withdrawals, Daimlers, early AEC regent IIIs (grim). Those lovely enamelled AEC badges on the radiators and bell pushes……
I was only 11.

Muckel Price


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Oldham Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – NBU 508 – 408

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - NBU 508 - 408

Oldham Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/20
Crossley H33/28R

This picture shows Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation Transport XTC 855 and Oldham Corporation Passenger Transport NBU 508 in Oldham’s Wallshaw Street Depot.

NBU 508_2

The photograph shows the cast fleet number plate that was a feature of the Oldham fleet at that time.
In this view 408s Coat of Arms is on the lower deck panel, until, like Ashton, they were moved to the front upper deck panels. This was to save the costs of replacement when damage occurred due to accidents.
The Service 3 was Middleton to Rushcroft.
408 was renumbered as 5308 in the SELNEC fleet in November 1969.
The picture shows the vast expanse of the roof of Wallshaw Street depot. The Garage roof having only 3 stanchions, supporting girders with spans of over 200ft.
Ashton XTC 855 was one of the Guy Arab IVs with Bond H32/28R bodywork delivered as No. 40 in 1956. Here it has Fleet No. 68 which it received in 1964. It was renumbered 5468 at the formation of SELNEC in November 1969.
It can be seen that the Corporation crest and lettering is in the normal position before being moved to the upper deck front panel (as shown in the photograph of No. 19 in Part One – Ashton under Lyne article by Phil Blinkhorn and Roger Cox).
It is in Oldham Garage, showing Service 8 which was the joint Oldham, Ashton, & SHMD service between Oldham and Stalybridge via Hurst Cross.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth

12/09/13 – 16:30

Oldham 408 was numerically the first of five Leyland PD2/20 with Crossley bodies built to Park Royal design, after the takeover by the ACV group. Similar bodies were supplied to Ashton-Under-Lyne and Stockport Corporations at this time Crossley ceased body building soon after, although not before they had built the prototype Bridgemaster, which had many similarities to this body design. The Manchester independent A. Mayne and Son had three AEC Regent V with Park Royal bodywork to the same basic design (although in 30ft length.)
These bodies proved inferior to their contemporaries of other makes, and after takeover by Selnec PTE, 409 was overhauled and lasted in service until 1973, the rest of the batch were withdrawn in 1970.
Ashton-Under-Lyne Corporation was a Leyland User, and had only the one batch of Guy Arab IV’s. These were unusual in having exposed radiators and 5LW engines, as well as the relatively rare body make. I enjoyed several rides on these interesting buses from Ashton to Mossley, this route being their usual home.
I wonder why an Ashton bus was inside Oldham’s depot? At first I wondered if it was one of the many buses hired from other operators as a result of the disastrous visit by Ministry of transport inspectors in October 1965. However David Wayman’s book on Oldham buses states that there were no Ashton buses involved. Perhaps it had broken down in Oldham.

Don McKeown

13/09/13 – 06:30

An interesting photo of a neighbouring municipality’s vehicle interloping into the home fleet’s garage. I would venture this was a relatively rare occurrence in its day unless someone can enlighten us. The photo has made me realise what an attractive design the Bond bodies were in a fairly understated way. The Guy radiator looks a bit old fashioned and puts about 10 years on the body design though. The Birmingham tin front would have made them into really stunning buses. Bolton of course had similar bodies on exposed radiator Leyland PD2’s but somehow the Leyland radiator seemed to age much better and still looked good right up to the end of Titan production.

Philip Halstead

13/09/13 – 08:30

A number of points regarding Don’s comment. The Stockport PD2s with Crossley bodies to the same design didn’t have the same problems as the Oldham batch and some were sent to Oldham after SELNEC took over. As I’m away from home at present I can’t confirm actual vehicles used and the dates but the Stockport vehicles outlasted the Oldham and Ashton batches.
The Ashton Guys were specifically bought for the Mossley route – see my article on SELNEC Part One. They appeared on the 7 and 8 from time to time, both being regular Guy turns, more frequently operated with rebodied austerity Guys sporting 7 foot 6 in versions of the Crossley body shown in the picture.
What the bus is doing in the depot is a matter of conjecture. It certainly wasn’t a 1965 swap vehicle. A breakdown is possible but as there was always one of the batch spare and it may have been filling in for a broken down Oldham vehicle which came to grief in Ashton’s territory and would have been taken to Mossley Rd. Most of the joint services in the Manchester conurbation had vehicle swap arrangements should a vehicle come to grief in the territory of another operator.

Phil Blinkhorn

13/09/13 – 08:30

I know exactly what the Ashton Guy was doing in the Oldham garage and I even have the negative of this photo (although I didn’t take it). I’ve had to look very carefully as it is quite likely that very similar photographs were also taken.
Ashton 68 was on a tour organised by the Buckley Wells Bus Enthusiasts Society. It operated on 9th July 1967 and visited several locations in north Lancashire. Thanks to Stan Fitton, who organised the tour, I have photographs of the Ashton Guy next to Todmorden PD2s, a BCN Guy and an Accrington Wulfrunian. I hope in time to put these in a gallery recounting the history of the Society as I think many will find it an interesting story.
Although both these vehicles were allocated SELNEC fleet numbers neither carried them and in fact the Oldham PD2 had been withdrawn some time before SELNEC was formed.

David Beilby

13/09/13 – 16:30

I wonder why the blind was set for route number 8? Has David thwarted a ruse set 46 years ago to confuse future enthusiasts and historians? The date was my 20th birthday and I spent the day riding buses – far away from Oldham however.
They were two shades of green, exclusively single deck and carried a coat of arms containing the letters SPQR and a crown. I have in mind an article covering my wanderings on the city and country buses I used around Rome but am having problems finding relevant photos and accurate references to exact types.

Phil Blinkhorn

14/09/13 – 06:24

XTC 854

To quote Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder". I consider the elegant and timeless Guy radiator on the Ashton Arab IVs to be much superior in appearance to the bulbous Birmingham style tin front. The best version of the Birmingham front was that fitted to the Dennis Lance K4 which had vertical chrome strips instead of the crude sausage shaped slots. Did these Ashton Arabs really have the 5LW engine? Hitherto, I understood the power plant to be the 6LW. Gardners were always cool runners, an effective oil cooler being an important feature of the engine design. The handsome Bond bodywork exhibits several similarities with contemporary five bay East Lancashire products. Perhaps Bond used the East Lancs frame. Then again, the Harkness bodies of the period had much the same appearance, and these used MetSec frames.

Roger Cox

14/09/13 – 16:19

Roger, as you are aware, I’m away at present but my memory and the references I can find on the Net all point to the 5LW engine. Bond used various frames inc Burlingham but I’ve no knowledge of any use of East Lancs frames and I’d doubt that the Blackburn concern would have supplied frames given just about every batch built by them in the 1950s and 1960s was unique, though I take your point about resemblance, especially the frontal appearance.
The Park Bridge service was an oddity. It followed the Oldham Rd to almost the boundary with Hathershaw then turned right down a winding road to Park Bridge, a hamlet established in the 18th century around an iron works. Its timings on weekdays were based around rush hours and a late evening service. Saturday saw an enhanced daytime service for shoppers but, until the closure of the Oldham to Guide Bridge and Stockport rail services in the Beeching era, the halt at Park Bridge provided a more frequent service though Oldham Rd station at Ashton was a good ten minutes walk from the market and shops, the final 200 yards back to the station being up a quite sharp gradient. The hamlet is now a heritage site with beautifully restored houses in a rural setting.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/09/13 – 07:25

Phil, your knowledge of the operators in the Manchester locality is rewardingly comprehensive, and, as you indicated in the Ashton article, these Guys must have been purchased for a specific reason. Nonetheless, it does seem extraordinary that Ashton should specify the 7 litre, 94 bhp 5LW engine to meet a situation that distressed a 9.8 litre, 125 bhp Leyland. The Gardner would assuredly climb a proverbial brick wall without overheating, but progress must have been decidedly sedate. On the subject of the body frames used by Bond, a contributor to the following website, named T W Moore (surely the well known bus photographer) suggests that Bond was an associated company of East Lancs (see the last post on the page):- //cwk205.freeforums.org/  
Do you think that this was the case?

Roger Cox

15/09/13 – 09:36

XTC 855

The attached photo shows the Ashton Guy at the start of this tour (and all the other Buckley Wells Bus Enthusiasts tours), Manchester Victoria station. 68 has as a backdrop the long-demolished buildings on Hunt’s Bank. The coach behind is unusual as it is a Setra from the Somme Département in France, as shown by the registration which ends with the number 80. Continental coaches were a rare sight in those days.
The blinds were set to all sorts of displays during the tour (it was an opportunity to practice this much-desired but usually not permitted activity). At Ashton it showed 159, certainly not an Ashton route, and a lot of time it showed the perennial favourite but incorrect Ashton display, "10 Downing Street", which unfortunately came out as Downing St 10. Downing Street was a short working on the 5 to Droylsden via Littlemoss.

David Beilby

15/09/13 – 14:02

On the face of it the use of the 5LW looks odd but there may have been a very logical reason – at least in the minds of the members of the Transport Committee and the General Manager. The order was placed in the period in the 1950s when diesel prices and wages had escalated rapidly putting up costs against a background of increased availability of cars, an increase in home entertainment with a widening of TV output and a resistance against increased fares all of which produced a marked decline in passenger numbers.
Small and reduced output engines were not a rare phenomenon in the area and whilst the route to Mossley may have seemed to demand a large engine, a slow plodder which completed the journey, on what was a fairly relaxed schedule, was preferable to an enforced cooling stop or even a breakdown, which had become a regular and expensive enough occurrence. No other route in the system had such demands and the 5LW would have had a more racehorse like performance on the other routes to which Ashton’s Guys were allocated and to which the vehicles would eventually be tasked. I rode on both the Leylands and the Guys and whilst I was under ten at the time the Guys took over, I have memories of their stately progress compared to the rather raucous progress of the Leylands, which included much gear changing and stuttering starts from some of the bus stops on the steeper parts of the route, not to mention the overheating.
With regard to Bond, the posting linking the company to East Lancs contains a major nonsense in so far as it places the latter in Bridlington, not once but twice – hardly a typo. Apart from its own bodies Bond did finish bodies for other manufacturers and may well have taken the strain for East Lancs with the Coventry job but, as far as I have understood the rather obscure history of the company, it was totally independent of any other bus body builder, its demise in Wythenshawe coming about after protracted labour disputes between craft unions.

Phil Blinkhorn

15/09/13 – 16:50

Roger’s information with respect to the suggestion that the S.H. Bond concern was an associate of East Lancs. would go a long way towards explaining why the remainder of a batch of nine pre-war Bristol saloons of Rotherham Corporation, of which I think four had been rebodied by East Lancs. at Bridlington when the decision was taken to wind up the seaside operation in 1952, ended up being taken to Bond at Wythenshawe for the work to be done.

Dave Careless

15/09/13 – 16:51

Ashton’s Guy Arab IVs had 6LW engines. I get this information from a very detailed fleet list published by Ashton themselves about 1968 when the buses were part of the current fleet. As (I believe) the only Ashton buses ever fitted with a 6LW it is most unlikely they would have got that wrong. The fleet list shows withdrawn vehicles and the utility Guys are shown correctly with a 5LW engine.
Bond bodies were built on Metal Sections frames and were as good as anybody else’s. The closest connection they had to any other coach builder was Brush as the head of their bus operation had come from Brush when they moved out of the business.
One of these Guys was earmarked for preservation in early SELNEC days but a significant chassis defect meant that project was stillborn. It’s a shame as one of these would have been a fine testimony to a local coachbuilder, the sole representative being a contemporary Ashton trolleybus.

David Beilby

15/09/13 – 18:05

Phil, East Lancs did have a subsidiary business at Bridlington as the following web page confirms:- www.ebay.com/itm/  
I do, however, agree with your assessment of the situation in that any connection between Bond and East Lancs occurred purely in the course of business; there was no inter company control. I am grateful to David for endorsing my belief that these Ashton Guys had 6LW engines. The revelation that the Bond bodies were built on Metal Section frames also ties in with the visual and quality similarities to the fine Harkness products of that time.

Roger Cox

15/09/13 – 19:19

Dave, I’m a little surprised that either Coventry or Rotherham accepted tenders from the Bridlington operation of East Lancs as I always understood this arm of the operation was to be wound down from the end of 1951, thus my thought that the reference to Bridlington in the link posted by Roger was in error. If the operation was still functioning in 1952, as seems to be the case, then it’s demise must have been delayed then brought on in very short order for vehicles to be moved to Bond, implying a hasty decision and that the Blackburn operation was operating at capacity.
Again, the movement to Bond doesn’t imply any legal connection or association. As mentioned before, Bond completed orders for a number of body builders, including three of the 1953 Royal Tiger half decker airport coaches for Manchester for which Burlingham supplied the frames, the Blackpool concern completing the other three itself.
David, as I mentioned previously, I’m away from home at the moment so can’t access my own records. If 6LW engines were fitted, they would certainly have been the only ones in the fleet and from a power point of view the bigger engine, as Roger points out, would be more logical though the references I can find say 5LW. The fleet list to which you refer has long been on my "must have" list but seems to be as rare as hens’ teeth.

As a rider to the above, the Commercial Motors’ archive which often can clear up seemingly contentious issues with contemporary news items is silent on both the demise of the Bridlington operation and the Ashton order for the Arab IVs.

Phil Blinkhorn

16/09/13 – 06:28

Bond were initially active in rebuilding before they turned their hand to building new bodies. Ribble was a big customer and most memorable were the early SLT trolleybuses that were given a new lease of life at Wythenshawe.
Significantly it appears from the fleet list elsewhere on this site that the Rotherham Bristols that went to Bond were also lengthened to (almost) the recent 30-foot limit, whereas the others were rebodied and remained the original length.

David Beilby

NBU 508 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

17/09/13 – 05:06

Phil, the story of East Lancashire Coachbuilders (Bridlington) Ltd., and sister company, Yorkshire Equipment Company, is a most interesting one. Apparently the latter built school furniture, desks and cupboards etc., and even constructed a furniture van body on an old Rotherham Bristol JO5G chassis with which to deliver the items to schools around the country.
Unfortunately, as orders for bus bodies and school desks inevitably dwindled, and commitment from owners wavered, the search for a buyer was unsuccessful, and both companies went into voluntary liquidation in mid-1952.

Dave Careless

19/11/13 – 18:04

In the comment above you make reference to Yorkshire Equipment being a subsidiary of East Lancs and being a school furniture maker. I had my own website back in Gocities days and had a page for makers. In doing research for Mann Egerton of Norwich, I found a US site that had school desks made by them. At one time they also made radios! Varied markets for many!

John Turnbull


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Sheffield Corporation – Crossley – JWJ 737 – 237 & KWA 776 – 576

Sheffield Corporation - Crossley - JWJ 737 - 237 & KWA 776 - 576

Sheffield Corporation - Crossley - JWJ 737 - 237 & KWA 776 - 576

Sheffield Corporation
Crossley SD42 & DD42
Crossley B32R & H56R

Following the end of the war, Sheffield Corporation A fleet took a small number of Crossleys (28 in all) over three years. First to arrive were six single-deckers 237-242 (JWJ 737 – 742) in 1947. In the same year eight double-deck vehicles were added, they were 573 – 580 (KWA 773 – 780). They were followed in 1948 by another ten and in 1949 by four more. The two pictures show examples of the earliest deliveries, but look at the different styling around the front ends. The doubledeck version is probably more typically Crossley with the window line dipping to meet the line of the windscreen. The singledeck version has a straight window line at the front but still meeting the line of the windscreen. Most Sheffield doubledeckers would have two route blinds, these one-liners were in a minority but taken at a time when getting new buses was a higher priority than "calling the shots".

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

20/06/13 – 16:44

I think all Crossleys were distress purchases, in time of great need, and that they were diverted orders. That explains the non-standard features. Certainly the four 1949 Crossleys were diverted from a Liverpool order, albeit they seemed to have Sheffield specification – down to destination blinds.

David Oldfield

PS: The 1948 ten were interesting in that they had NCB bodywork. Were they unique?

21/06/13 – 08:10

I believe the single deckers were a diverted order from Chesterfield Corporation and the batch of eight double deckers 573-580 diverted from a Lancaster order.
Numbers 573-580 seemed to spend most of their lives on the Inner Circle routes 8 and 9.

John Darwent

21/06/13 – 08:11

A picture of a former Lancaster City Transport SD42 showing the straight windscreen is on this site at the People’s League for the Defence of Freedom page.The straight lower line of the windscreen was standard on the single deck Crossley bus body (the Dutch Crossleys are a completely different species). This feature was maintained right up to the very last single deck SD42/7 Crossley bodies, two of which were delivered to Southport Corporation in 1951, though these lacked the stepped waistrail. Southport had earlier also specified the straight windscreen line on its pair of DD42/7s with downdraught engines supplied in 1950.

Roger Cox

21/06/13 – 08:11

Here’s one of the DD42/3’s with NCB bodywork you mentioned, David O. Certainly nothing I’ve ever seen before. www.sct61.org.uk/sh595

Chris Hebbron

21/06/13 – 16:45


Above is an advertisement put out by Crossley that is quite appropriate.

I was always intrigued how neighbouring Rotherham more or less kept their Crossleys hard at work on the flat terrain as much as possible, mainly on the joint service 69 to Sheffield, whereas STD seemed to deliberately seek out some of the fiercest hills, such as several encountered on the Inner Circle, on which to run theirs!
Division Street obviously had more faith in the Crossley’s climbing abilities than Frederick Street!

Dave Careless

22/06/13 – 07:55

The mention of the double deckers being diverted from a Lancaster order goes a long way to explaining the style of indicator display.

Pete Davies

22/06/13 – 07:56

I don’t think it is true to say that all Crossleys were distress purchases. AFAIK there were only two problems, the engine and the steering, neither of which were known about when the first ones were ordered. The engine problem only became serious under stress: I have never heard any complaints about it in single deckers, even in double deckers it was worse in hilly terrain than on the flat, and it was eventually fixed by AEC engineers. As for the steering, it too could be fixed (I don’t know if Manchester were alone in doing this) and although it sounds brutal, it was something that only affected drivers and not the balance sheet. So unless an operator actually cared about its staff, or had a strong trade union presence, the problem could be ignored.
Those two things apart, I seem to remember Geoffrey Hilditch being quite complimentary about Crossleys.

Peter Williamson

22/06/13 – 09:43

Depends what you mean by distress, Peter. Given a clear field, untrammelled by Government intervention, Sheffield would have continued to buy only Leyland and AEC – presumably continuing the pre-war body orders to Leyland, Weymann, Craven and Roberts. Like everyone else, they couldn’t get enough from their preferred suppliers and in times of "distress" went where they could to find sufficient vehicles. This included the said diverted orders of Crossleys but also included deliveries of Daimler CVD6s as well as going to unusual suppliers of bodywork – NCB; Cawood; Wilks and Meade. When things settled down in the ’50s, a simple dual sourcing policy returned – Leyland/AEC and Weymann/Roe.

David Oldfield

23/06/13 – 08:16

A further point of interest is that on receipt, the six SD42’s diverted to Sheffield had only a single destination aperture at the front (as found on similar Chesterfield vehicles) and this was not wide enough to incorporate a route number as well as a place name. Sheffield therefore effected their own modification and cut out a separate aperture alongside for the route number but presumably the restricted space for this exercise was only sufficient for a two digit display. I doubt this would have been a problem since, as far as I can remember, they spent the majority of their lives on such routes as 37 and 40 to Bakewell via Baslow and via Carver Sough.

John Darwent

23/06/13 – 08:17

Leeds had dual sourced AEC & Leyland pre war and were allocated utility Daimlers during hostilities. Such an impression did these make that Daimler continued to supply chassis for the next thirty years. They bought one Crossley which impressed enough to be followed by 20 odd others all of which lasted until the early sixties. Indeed they outlasted some of the postwar Daimlers which were far more standard than they were. Perhaps as Leeds was a major AEC customer they got help with the Crossleys from that quarter.

Chris Hough

23/06/13 – 08:17

As a small boy in Sheffield I remember being taken by my uncle on more than one occasion for a ride all the way round on the "Outer Circular" service. From memory and it is a long time ago, the bus was invariably a Crossley. Again, from memory, it was never very full so maybe "Division Street" did keep these buses to the lighter used routes?

Stan Zapiec

23/06/13 – 17:23

Like Stan, I also used Crossleys on the 2 / 3 Outer Circle. My trips were shorter, being from Gleadless Town End to Graves Park, or Abbeydale Road where we would get the tram to Millhouses Park. The Crossleys never seemed very happy on this run, especially on the uphill return journey, to my young mind.

Les Dickinson

25/06/13 – 17:04

I used the 8/9 regularly from Broadfield Road to Newbould Lane to get to school from 1964 – 1971. The Crossleys had gone by then. I only had cause to use the Outer Circle after some nit had changed it (and the route) to 2/59! [They were PDR2/1 Atlanteans. Actually quite good, but outside our purview.]

David Oldfield

03/07/13 – 15:13

The double-decker`s were used on the 8&9 routes, along with the 69 Rotherham. They would only have needed single destination blinds for these routes. Later PD2s on the 69 route also had 1 destination blind that had the route & number in one box, as you lads have explained to me before.

Andy Fisher


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 8th August 2022