Old Bus Photos

Lytham St Annes Corporation – Leyland Titan TD – BTF 25 – 45

Lytham St Annes Corporation - Leyland Titan TD - BTF 25 - 45

Lytham St Annes Corporation
Leyland Titan TD4c
Leyland FH30/24R

The Leyland Titan TD4 replaced the TD3 in production from 1935, differing from its predecessor fundamentally only in the replacement of the three servo vacuum braking system by vacuum/hydraulic operation. The Lysholm Smith torque converter, designed in 1928, was quite popular in the TD3c ‘Gearless Bus’ chassis, the ‘c’ suffix denoting the converter, and remained a transmission option for the TD4. In 1935 Lytham St Annes Corporation took three Leyland Lion LT7c vehicles with torque converters, and all the 1936/37 deliveries, totalling 22 buses, of Lions and Titans, had the converter transmission. These, however, were the last torque converter buses to be received by Lytham St Annes. BTF 25, No. 45, is a Leyland Titan TD4c delivered in March 1937 with a Leyland full fronted FH30/24R body. Unlike the full fronted centre entrance Titans in the fleet of its near neighbour to the north, Blackpool, the Lytham St Annes buses had exposed radiators and rear entrances. In later years some were converted to open top, but number 45 survived intact into preservation. It is pictured at South Croydon on its way to Brighton during the May 1972 HCVC Rally. It is currently undergoing extensive restoration. This is one of only two surviving ’Gearless Buses’, the other being BTB 928, Lytham St Annes No. 34, a 1936 Leyland Lion LT7c.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

13/04/22 – 08:07

Interesting post, Roger. I imagine that the sudden burst of interest in buying Leyland Gearless buses was the closure of their tramway system between 1936 and 1937, thereby easing the tram drivers’ transfer to buses. Many a municipal transport entity did this, but Portsmouth Corporation was late in doing so, buying Crossleys so fitted post-war, when the trams had gone in 1937! They so liked them, that they were converted with Leyland TD4 engines and gearboxes late in their lives! The Crossleys had, if memory serves, Brockhouse converters, which involved the engines rising to their governors to pull away and accelerate and coasting along to the next bus stop!

Chris Hebbron

13/04/22 – 12:58

As you say, Chris, all of Portsmouth’s 31 post-war Crossleys had turbo-transmitters from new, until the late 1950’s when the engines and transmissions from withdrawn TD4s were substituted. Interestingly, though, only two of Portsmouth’s 46 pre-war Leyland TD4s were delivered with torque convertors, both new in 1935. Therese were Nos 126 [EEC body] and 130 [Leyland vee-front body]. Both had this transmission replaced with normal gearbox transmission in 1947. It’s possible Leyland had a replacement programme in place at about that time, as I have read of various municipalities and companies who replaced torque convertor transmission with standard gearbox in the period 1946-47.

Michael Hampton

14/04/22 – 08:17

You have to wonder why they converted 126 and 130 from turbo converters to normal gearboxes in 1947, then purchased a whole batch of Crossleys with turbo converters in 1948/49. Was it around that time that there was a change of General Manager, a thought in the back of my head?

Chris Hebbron

16/04/22 – 08:05

Chris Hebbron mentions the change of Manager at Lytham.
Here are the dates
J.C. Fairchild 1929 – 1946
W. Ashton 1946 – 1954
I hope that helps?

Stephen Howarth

19/04/22 – 06:16

There was no change of Portsmouth manager until 1951, when H C Simmonds took over from Ben Hall. Mr Hall had been manager for many years, and would have been in charge of the ordering of all the pre-war Leyland Titans, and the post-war Leylands and Crossleys. He would also have dealt with the replacement transmissions of the TD4c’s 126/130.
Mr Hall was very pleased with the pre-war Crossley Condors, and I have seen a photo of a visit made by a Crossley rep to Portsmouth c.1945 to receive his congratulations on the lengthy service of these diesel-engined vehicles. Perhaps the reputation and sales pitch was sufficient for the post-war order to be placed. After all, Crossley’s war-time demonstrator had been well received in several places [although it’s not recorded to have visited Portsmouth], and it was only later that the Crossley company messed things up by not proceeding with the patent rights on the engine design.

Michael Hampton


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



Ribble – Leyland Titan TD7 – RN 8979 – 2323

RN 8979

Ribble Motor Services
Leyland Titan TD7
Leyland L27/26R

I cannot now remember where in 1960 I took this rather sad picture of
RN 8979, a former Ribble Leyland TD7 with Leyland L27/26R bodywork, or who the operator then was. The old telephone code HIL (for Hillside) covered the Barnt Green area of Birmingham, which might help to identify the operator. Confirmed Leyland aficionado Ribble must have counted itself lucky to obtain a batch of forty TD7s in May 1940 just after the German attack in France had brought the Phoney War to a violent end.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

12/11/18 – 07:57

I believe they were actually Alexander bodies, Roger, sub contracted and built to Leyland design, as the latter were at that time overwhelmed by work.
I think Samelsbury Engineering also built a few bodies to Leyland design and possibly parts, for the same reason.

Mr Anon

12/11/18 – 07:58

This is recorded by the P.S.V. Circle as being withdrawn by Ribble in 1956 and passing to:-
Smith, Reading 12/56
Liss & District, Bordon 10/58
Trebilock (Finchley Coaches), London N.12 10/59
Dickson, Stoke Mandeville 1/61
last licenced 4/61 and to Ronsway, Hemel Hempstead in 1961, for scrap

I have just checked the old London telephone exchange names and HILlside covered North Finchley tying in nicely with the Trebilcock dates.

John Kaye

12/11/18 – 08:00

I notice that every one of the near side upper deck windows within the five bays has a half drop ventilator fitted. It appears, from photographs of similar Ribble buses I’ve looked at, that the corresponding windows on the off side had no ventilators fitted at all. It seems rather an unusual arrangement, was this Ribble’s normal specification for lowbridge vehicles?

Chris Barker

12/11/18 – 16:07

The nearside half drop would be accessible from the seats, whilst the offside would only be accessible from the sunken aisle so the positioning of the opening windows makes sense.

Phil Blinkhorn

12/11/18 – 16:08

Wow I thought these Blackburn Corporation buses had been scraped. Glad to know they are now vintage buses. My school was on the East Park side of Blackburn and I rode on these to and from school.
They were ancient and noisy to travel in. I enjoyed my journeys. It started a life long interest in buses and travelling on them.
For me these buses bring back my childhood memories of living in Blackburn.
Wonderful bus journeys.

William Ferguson

12/11/18 – 16:10

Thanks, everyone, for the extra information. The Ribble fleet number for this bus was 2323. Alexander did build ‘identikit’ bodies for Leyland, but, in his book on the TD series Titan in the series "The Best of British Buses", Alan Townsin says that these were Leyland bodies, rather than Alexander built clones. Confirmation one way or the other would be welcome.
John, your comprehensive history of this vehicle does confirm that it must have belonged to Finchley Coaches when photographed, which reassures me considerably in my advancing years – I cannot recall ever visiting the Birmingham area in the early 1960s. I am surprised that the less than pristine state of the bus as depicted in the photo still enabled it to work for a further year or so. Chris, I think that a half drop ventilator on the upper deck offside can just be detected through the front upper deck window. It is to the credit of the integrity of the Leyland body design that, after a life of some twenty years. there is no hint of any sag in the waist rail.

Roger Cox

12/11/18 – 16:11

Mr. Anon, There is no record of these on the Alexander records. I think you are confusing things with the early post-war situation which was discussed a year ago on the SCT61 site, and the chassis involved were Leyland PD1 and PD1A types in 1946/7.

John Kaye

13/11/18 – 05:35

Regarding location I think this was at the Austin works at Longbridge. Many of these buses collected workers from the Midlands and were driven by an operative also PSV qualified.

Nigel Edwards

14/11/18 – 07:11

Just a thought re Roger Cox’s possible view of offside half drop windows and the gangway, Is the visible line not more likely to be a handrail fixed to the window pillars?

Stan Zapiec

14/11/18 – 07:12

John: I always thought that Leyland did not, in principle, rebody older chassis. The only exception to that rule being the examples they rebodied for Plymouth Corporation. But, I must be incorrect in that assumption.

Mr Anon

15/11/18 – 07:40

Mr. Anon, I don’t follow your comment on Leyland not in principle rebodying vehicles, in relation to the Ribble vehicle. RN 8979 was new in 1940 with a 1940 Leyland body and so rebodying does not come into the equation.

John Kaye

16/11/18 – 06:59

One might similarly not follow the comment about Blackburn Corporation, but I suppose that, from a passenger’s perspective, there wouldn’t be such a great difference between the above and Blackburn’s PD1s/PD1As, of which Blackburn had rather a lot.

David Call

17/11/18 – 07:42

…although a PD1 and a TD7 would sound rather different in the definitive second and third gear music.

Stephen Ford

17/11/18 – 07:45

Yes John, that is my mistake, at first glance the bus looks like one of Ribble’s pre war Leyland TDs, rebodied after WW2. Some were also rebodied by ECW. But on closer inspection the body fitted to RN8979 is the original 1940 Leyland body. The height of the driver’s door side window, visible through the windscreen, is a give away.
I still maintain that Leyland did not in principle rebody existing chassis, even of their own manufacture, except for the two pre war Titans rebodied with Farrington type bodies for Plymoth. I believe Donald Stoke’s father was GM at Plymouth at the time, which may have influenced their deciscion.

Mr Anon

20/11/18 – 15:09

Ledgards bought two of the early metal framed Leyland bodies in 1934. These caused no end of trouble and Sam being Sam prevailed upon Leyland to rebody them in 1938.

Chris Hough

22/12/18 – 12:21

Chris, Sam was not the only disgruntled operator to trouble Mr Spurrier’s door. On one day he received a delegation, Messrs Sword, Dick and Alexander..

Stephen Allcroft

09/04/21 – 06:36

Further to Mr Anon (17/11/18), a total of eight Plymouth Leyland TD5c, originally Weymann-bodied, were rebodied postwar by Leyland. Two were the last of the 1938 batch (213/4: ADR 813/4), of which 213 became 141 after rebodying. The other six were presumably from the 1939 batch (215-39: BDR 252-76), but there is no acknowledgement on BLOTW of this. 232 (BDR 269) became 143 after rebodying. 213 and 232 later served with Theobald’s of Long Melford.

David Frank


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



Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – GTP 976 – 59

GTP 976

Portsmouth Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/10
Leyland H30/26R

Seen on 13 August 1967 beside the superb gardens at Southsea seafront is Portsmouth Corporation No.59, GTP 976, one of a batch of twenty five Leyland PD2/10 buses with Leyland H30/26R bodywork delivered in 1952. No.59 was withdrawn in 1969, and the last of this batch went in 1971. My childhood trips to Southsea in the late 1940s/early 1950s were always undertaken by trolleybus, a memory to savour, and it is a matter of personal regret that I didn’t manage to capture a picture of one of the trolleys before the system closed in July 1963.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

17/10/18 – 07:58

International Progressive Coachline bought some of these for use on contract work in the early 70’s . Their yard was at Waterbeach near Cambridge. There are a few photos of their buses and coaches on this web site already.
The owner was ‘Paddy’Harris, and the manager was Barry Parsisson. I worked for them briefly in 1972, but after a few months went back to ECOC for an easier life, and less stress !

Norman Long

18/10/18 – 07:35

After many years, the sole survivor of this batch, GTP 975, has turned up safe and reasonable well.
As a schoolboy it was always nice to have one of these beauties turn up as a school relief.

Dave French

19/10/18 – 07:18

As this is a warm sunny day, without a need for a covered-top bus, I imagine that it was an extra covering the busiest part of the route between Clarence Pier and South Parade Pier, rather that going on to Hayling Ferry. The Farington body was very handsome and looked good in Portsmouth’s livery, especially with the white rather than the earlier grey roof. You may have missed snapping a Pompey trolleybus, Roger, but at least you can console yourself with the colour one I posted on this website, long ago.

Chris Hebbron

06/09/20 – 17:09

These were really attractive buses- the windows were opened with a lever- as were later Portsmouth Titans up to those last 1959 PD3s with the sliding windows. The internal panels were covered in some kind of hard-wearing cloth material and not just painted and there was a big plate where the conductor stood with Leyland on it. I am pleased to here that one of these buses still exists. Portsmouth seemed to like to keep one of its older bus types for training but that never happened with these.

Nick Ratnieks

08/09/20 – 06:25

Actually, Nick, two of this batch did become trainers for the Corporation. These were Nos 58-59, transferred to these duties in August / September 1969. They lasted until January 1973, and were sold to Amos (dealer), of Ludlow in October 1973, with no further mention, so presumably scrapped afterwards. [Details from PSV Circle fleet history, though I do remember these two becoming trainers].

Michael Hampton


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 Monday 15th April 2024