Old Bus Photos

Caerphilly UDC – Leyland Tiger – LTX 311 – 1

LTX 311

Caerphilly Urban District Council
1952
Leyland Tiger PS2/5
Massey B35F

Fleet number 1 in the small Caerphilly concern was allocated to this less than common Massey-bodied single-deck Leyland PS2/5. Chassis number is 520623 and the body is number 2083 B35F. This image was taken at Bus & Coach Wales in Merthyr Tydfil 14/09/2014.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


12/01/17 – 06:46

Very nice, Les! Thank you for posting. I particularly like the shape of the ‘valance’ forward of the door.

Pete Davies


 

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Caerphilly UDC – Leyland Titan – GNY 432C – 32

GNY 432C

Caerphilly Urban District Council
1965
Leyland Titan PD3/4
Massey L35/33RD

Here we have another Urban District Council vehicle this time it is a Massey lowbridge-bodied Leyland Titan PD3/4 which was new to Caerphilly Urban District Council in October 1965 as fleet number 32. With chassis number L42817 and body number 5911 this bus looks in fine fettle in this photograph, taken at the Bus & Coach Wales event in September 2014.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


21/01/16 – 06:49

What a smart looking bus. Very unusual to have hopper windows in the saloons of a bus of that age – wonder if they are a later fitment? Must be ‘pretty adjacent’ to the nearside top deck passengers heads – wonder if an additional notice is required ‘Please mind your head on the windows when leaving your seat’!!

Ian Wild


21/01/16 – 06:49

Nice view, Les, and thanks for posting.

Pete Davies


21/01/16 – 07:33

Caerphilly had hopper vents on all their later PD2s and PD3s as well as their Massey-bodied Leopards. They seem to have had some popularity in South Wales as Pontypridd also specified them on their last two Guy Arabs and first few Regent Vs as well as some Reliances at the same time. Oddly, they went back to sliders for the last Regent Vs.

David Beilby


21/01/16 – 15:37

Something curiously old fashioned about it for its age. Probably the trad Massey body and classic radiator- and the blind masks and handle… but how come the OMO-ish cab side windows? Smart job, though.

Joe


22/01/16 – 06:14

Very handsome bus, but what really is old-fashioned about it is that as late as 1965 someone thought it worth ordering a traditional lowbridge bus with the awful offside sunken gangway on the upper deck.

David Wragg


22/01/16 – 06:15

Joe – you’ve lost me there about "OMOish cab side windows ?? The extended destination handles were not unknown amongst certain operators and they were an extremely good idea – any small conductor/driver, or any height for that matter, could have a nasty accident climbing up a slippery metal foothold to change the destination in the more usual arrangement. As you say curiously old fashioned – but in my view delightfully traditional and oh how I wish they were rolling off the production lines in their hundreds today !!

Chris Youhill


22/01/16 – 16:10

5350

Talking of small Conductors and changing destination blinds, here is an Oldham Corporation Passenger Transport Department ‘GUARD’ doing just that with the help of the extended winding handles, on Roe (H37/28R) bodied Leyland PD2/30, PBU 950 (Fleet No.450).
New in October 1958, it passed to SELNEC PTE in November 1969, and was given Fleet No.5350, a seen here.
It was the only bus to carry the SELNEC fleet number on the Crimson Lake livery.
It was withdrawn in July 1971, and went to Barnsley for scrap.

Stephen Howarth


22/01/16 – 17:04

West Riding were partial to long winding gear as were Salford. In Salford it was specifically to stop crews clambering up the bus front. Of course West Riding went one further so to speak by fitting exterior winding gear to their Wulfrunians!

Chris Hough


23/01/16 – 06:45

Chris Y…. OMOish because the drivers engine side window appears to be in two pieces but not angled enough for fares… Or was there an orderly queue up, the bus?! Any ideas anywhere… And Chris….were those or the Regent V at Ledgards the only survivors into West Yorkshire?

Joe


23/01/16 – 06:46

David W – Purely by chance, I came across an item about the last lowbridge-bodied bus built – in 1968 and preserved. Coincidentally it was also a PD3 with Massey body! It was bought by Bedwas & Machen UDC, who worked closely with Caerphilly and the two probably influenced each other.
See: http://historypoints.org/index.

Chris Hebbron


23/01/16 – 06:47

I don’t think the hopper vents would have been a problem for passengers leaving, since it was impossible to stand up in any case. The only way out was to slide along the seat – after asking anyone else who was on it to unload themselves into the gangway first.
There really was no excuse for this in 1965. I know these buses were wonderful for enthusiasts, but passengers and conductors were more important.

Peter Williamson


23/01/16 – 12:43

No Joe – you can definitely forget any OMO connotation on connection with the cab window. I’m pretty certain that the only front engined buses, and forward entrance ones at that, were some adapted by various operators for the purpose by angling the front bulkhead window partly over the bonnet. It was the shabbiest practice ever and involved the driver twisting round excessively to serve boarding passengers on the steps as they entered. Much unjustified scoffing is aimed at "Health and Safety" but this would be a prime example of where this "OMO" practice should have been stamped on from the very start !!
Now, the West Yorkshire/Ledgard takeover – all the Ledgard vehicles were taken over by West Yorkshire, but only fourteen were used by them. These were the ten AEC Regent Vs (six new to Ledgard and four ex South Wales) which became DAW 1 – 10, and the two Daimler CVG6s which became DGW 11/12. This apparent "series" of 1 – 12 was not a series but a coincidence as West Yorkshire already DGW 1 – 10 of their own, those being Bristol KSW6Gs. Also used by West Yorkshire were Ledgard’s two Thames/Duple coaches which became CF1/2.

Chris Youhill


25/01/16 – 06:31

Thank you, Chris Hebbron. I hadn’t realised that lowbridge bodies were produced as late as that. My family left for Malta for three years in 1956, by which time Hants & Dorset Bristol LD series Lodekkas could be seen in Gosport. Of course, the change over took some time, and returning in 1959 there were still lowbridge Bristol Ks running around Gosport and Fareham, as well as a couple of highbridge convertibles that had originally been panted in reversed out livery and which, with the upstairs roof on, rattled like mad.

David Wragg


26/01/16 – 06:46

The specifying of lowbridge bodywork as late as 1965 and even afterwards indicates organisations in which the purchasing decisions were dominated by the engineering department. Better to have a simple, proven traditional chassis like the PD3 rather than one of those troublesome rear engined things. As far as the passengers were concerned, they were used to the old lowbridge type and didn’t know any better. The fundamental reason for running buses – that of encouraging people to travel by offering an attractive mode of transport – didn’t enter the equation. The Lodekka was still available right up to 1968, but that didn’t have a rear entrance, nor could it have a Massey body. This was surely a case of "It’s always been done; why change?".

Roger Cox


29/01/16 – 07:09

Does anyone know why, after decades of running lowbridge dds, Caerphilly suddenly switched to highbridge for their last two PD2s (F-reg) and subsequent Atlanteans?

David Call


30/01/16 – 06:10

I think the main reason that Caerphilly changed was the removal of a low railway bridge at Maes-y-Cymmer, between Ystrad Mynach and Pontllanfraith. This was on two routes – the famous 36 from Cardiff to Tredegar and also the former Commercial Motor Service route from Pontypridd to Blackwood. As a consequence it had an impact on a lot of fleets as Cardiff, Caerphilly and West Mon worked the 36 whilst the other service involved Caerphilly, Pontypridd and West Mon. Pontypridd also had a works journey to Pontllanfraith and for this reason Pontypridd had two lowbridge K6Gs in an otherwise highbridge fleet.
Cardiff’s contribution was lowbridge Crossleys followed by Bridgemasters. I think there was another low-ish bridge which still constrained Cardiff a little and only certain batches of vehicles appeared on the 36 even when the Maes-y-Cymmer bridge was removed.

David Beilby


25/10/16 – 14:22

Ramsbottoms last two PD3s, 10 and 11, were fitted for OMO by having an angled shelf towards the driver but when they were transferred to Bury after the Selnec takeover, the crews there would not entertain it at all.

David Pomfret


 

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Lancaster City Transport – Leyland Titan – 998 AKT – 998

Lancaster Corporation - Leyland Titan - 998 AKT - 998

Lancaster City Transport
1957
Leyland Titan PD2/30
Massey H33/28R

998 AKT is a Leyland Titan PD2/30, was new to Maidstone Corporation in 1957, with fleet number 8. She has Massey H61R body. In 1975, she and three sisters returned to their birthplace in the north west to join Lancaster City Council’s Transport Department, after the merger with Morecambe & Heysham in 1974. The new Council had a flurry of buying used vehicles in 1974/5, and Maidstone 8 followed the old Lancaster pattern of matching the fleet number with the registration, becoming 998. In this view, taken on 13 September 1975, she is westbound near the Grand Hotel, on Morecambe Promenade.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


20/11/15 – 06:54

There seemed to be something about Massey bodies and the seaside. Operators on or near the coast that had them that come to mind are Morecambe & Heysham, Lytham St Annes, Birkenhead, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Barrow-in-Furness. Chester, Colchester, Ipswich and Exeter aren’t that far off the sea either being on tidal estuaries.

Philip Halstead


20/11/15 – 06:54

Lancaster City Council had been told by the Traffic Commissioner that the 1940s and early 1950s AEC Regents inherited from Morecambe were unacceptably old and that was the main reason for the secondhand buys. Maidstone around the same time had a new broom General Manager who was convinced that the town didn’t need heavyweight double deck buses and the same job could be done by a fleet of lightweight single deck Bedfords.

Stephen Allcroft


20/11/15 – 14:20

Thank you for your thoughts, Philip and Stephen. If I remember rightly, what Stephen says would account for the views I have seen of Maidstone Atlanteans with operators in the Glasgow area.
Incidentally, the building site in the background, in the process of becoming a block of apartments, was rather controversial, being at the Promenade end of Princes Crescent. There were rumblings at the time of ‘deals’ between the developer and Morecambe & Heysham’s Town Clerk, who was about to become redundant through the Reorganisation. He had long been in dispute with his employers over his address. He was supposed to live within the Borough, but lived just outside it, in Hest Bank. His mother lived within the borough, and he had his post delivered there.
The Captcha code seems vaguely akin to a Rochdale registration: RDK7 . . .

Pete Davies


20/11/15 – 14:21

This vehicle had been on hire to Alder Valley at Reading the previous year.

Paul Robson


20/11/15 – 14:22

What a superb livery! This livery would certainly lift modern double deckers, as opposed to the random ramblings that pass as liveries today.

Allan White


21/11/15 – 06:06

Let’s not forget Southend-on-Sea, too, Philip, with the livery colours of both fleets not being too dissimilar!

Chris Hebbron


21/11/15 – 06:06

Further to Allan White’s comment. At the time the fiesta blue and cream Maidstone livery was new, having been introduced with the trolleybus Replacement Atlanteans.
After a green and cream livery, the GM’s choice, was rejected the Lancaster city fleet was painted Trafalgar Blue and white.

Stephen Allcroft


21/11/15 – 06:07

Yes, Allan, it certainly beats Maidstone’s previous brown.

Pete Davies


21/11/15 – 06:08

In the mid-1970s I knew both the Lancaster Chief Engineer and the depot foreman at Morecambe, and did not hear any suggestion that they were under orders to get rid of the Regent IIIs. I was told that the local examiner was inclined to ‘pull a face’, but that was as far as things ever went. If the relevant bus met the required standards, there wasn’t much anyone could do.
Of course, the Regent IIIs weren’t getting any younger, and no doubt costing more to maintain as time went by. I was one of four enthusiasts who purchased No.72 (MTC540) for preservation in 1975, and (for our own interest) we were given a copy of a list of jobs which would have needed to be done for a recertification, which Lancaster had apparently considered. It was an uncomfortably long list, for a vehicle with a very limited life expectancy.

David Call


21/11/15 – 06:09

The traditional livery at Maidstone was an attractive brown and cream worn by buses and trolleybuses alike. Trolleybus replacement began in 1965, and the new buses introduced the pale blue and cream livery shown in the photo above. In 1974 things changed dramatically at Maidstone when Alan Price became Manager of the transport dept. In that year local government reorganisation saw Maidstone Corporation become the extended Maidstone Borough Council with control over the old rural district councils to the south and east of the former Corporation boundaries. Maidstone then sought run bus services in its new extended area which had hitherto been the province of Maidstone and District, and under the NBC Market Analysis Project, integration did occur under the name "Maidstone Area Bus Services". Until 1974 Maidstone had operated a high quality all double deck fleet. Under its new manager this was quickly replaced with OPO Bedford Y type lightweight single decks and all double deckers had gone from service by 1979. In that year, to commemorate the 75 years of Maidstone municipal transport, a bus was repainted in the old brown/cream livery, and, for a while, this became the new standard again. In the meantime, surplus double deckers that had not been sold were hired out to other operators in that period when British Leyland was falling catastrophically short in the supply of new vehicles and spare parts. As the Maidstone fleet expanded to meet its enlarged aspirations, many second hand vehicles were pressed into service still in the liveries of their previous owners. Then, in October 1986 came deregulation, which, amongst its numerous stupidities, outlawed area operating agreements as being "uncompetitive". Thereupon, Maidstone and M&D became competitors, with the Maidstone business relaunched as Boro’line. A new Best Impressions livery of blue and yellow with red and white trim (to my eye as every bit as grotesque as it sounds) came in at the same time, and double decks, new and second hand, reappeared in the fleet. In entering the new competitive environment, M&D adopted practices that later became the subject of the highly critical Competition Commission enquiry of 1993. To further its expansion, Boro’line succeeded in winning some London Regional Transport contracts. Unfortunately, Boro’line was not entirely adept at costing its operating activities, and began accruing very large debts. The whole business was offered for sale by Maidstone Borough, and Kentish bus took the London contracts early in 1992. A receiver was appointed to sell off the remaining operations but very few takers could be found. Discussions with more than 30 prospective buyers fell through. In the meantime, several buses were repossessed, though services struggled on. The end came in June 1992 with the sale of the of the residual business to Maidstone & District.

Roger Cox


21/11/15 – 06:09

The stories of the happy marriage of Maidstone & Morecambe fall into the category of "you couldn’t make it up". They replaced 25 year old (and more) buses with 17 year old buses…? Maidstone were embracing the mini fashion which has swung to the opposite end now, with oversized buses on urban streets. I think a good compromise would be a 26ft double decker, 7ft 6in wide and carrying 56 passengers. A rear loading platform would speed travel, as would employing apprentices or "conductors" who could train as drivers once they had learnt the routes. It would never catch on…

Joe


22/11/15 – 11:34

Joe, you comment on the ‘happy marriage of Maidstone & Morecambe’. I think you mean the very unhappy, shotgun, marriage of Lancaster and Morecambe. So far as the thoughts about open rear platforms, apprentices helping to load the bus and learn the routes go, well, RADICAL isn’t in it!
I did some afternoon conducting on some of Southampton’s preserved buses (the operation had by then become Southampton Citybus) during afternoons off from my job with the Council, and was amazed at how many folk said much the same thing: it was nice to have a bus with a conductor, and the engine and entrance where they ought to be. I mentioned this to the MD and he declared the thought to be economic suicide. You’re right, Joe – it won’t catch on!

Pete Davies


22/11/15 – 11:35

There is an excellent article in Classic Bus 135 (Feb-Mar 2015) on the Lancaster undertaking written by Thomas Knowles who was GM of the combined Lancaster – Morecambe & Heysham operation from its outset. Mr Knowles gives a fairly candid view on some of the problems he encountered in running the newly combined outfit. There are also some excellent photos illustrating the article.

Philip Halstead


23/11/15 – 06:27

No, Phil- the happy marriage of convenience of Maidstone & Morecambe- one with too many buses and one with too few!
Not conductors, mind… interns or…runners… pupils… there were/are plenty of jobs where you do or did earn next to nothing for the privilege of learning the job. I don’t think the unions ever saw it this way..

Joe


24/11/15 – 13:48

Trafalgar blue is used by Lancaster City Council to this day to paint shelters and stops perhaps they are trying to tell Stagecoach something!

Chris Hough


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 22nd November 2017