Old Bus Photos

Ribble – Leyland Titan TD7 – RN 8979 – 2323

RN 8979

Ribble Motor Services
1940
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This is recorded by the P.S.V. Circle as being withdrawn by Ribble in 1956 and passing to:-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


 

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Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – GTP 976 – 59

GTP 976

Portsmouth Corporation
1952
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


 

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Halifax Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – KWX 19 – 356

Halifax Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - KWX 19 - 356

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
1951
Leyland Titan PD2/12
Leyland L27/26R

On the left of this photo taken in PTE days in December 1977 is the last operational ex Todmorden JOC PD2, as Halifax 356 which had been a Driver Training bus since withdrawal from passenger service. On the right is its replacement – ex Halifax 279, a 1965 Roe bodied Leyland PD2/37. This is in its new guise as Driver Training bus T7. By this date the PTE had introduced a dedicated training bus livery.
T7 was later sold to a driving school in the West Midlands. 356 was put on one side for preservation but was eventually scrapped as a lost cause, a sad loss considering what can be achieved nowadays.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


14/05/18 – 07:18

The heaters on Halifax MCW PD2s were very good for about a year. Being under the seats at floor level they sucked in lots of dust which blocked the warm air flow. It was a long job to clean them out. Just blowing the dust out with an air line covered the saloons in dust. The cleaning job was also unhealthy so nobody would do it. The old round Clayton heaters being fitted well above floor level didn’t gather much dust and remained in working order much longer. At Blackburn we used to place wet sacks over the heater unit to catch the dust when blowing it out with an airline, this was not ideal but kept some heat in the saloon during winter!

Mr Anon


17/05/18 – 07:56

The 1965 Roe bodied Leyland PD2s & the CCP registered Park Royal bodied Regent IIIs are my all time favourite Halifax D/Ds, its a great pity that no examples of either type are in running order in the UK. I did see a former Halifax Roe bodied PD2 still in its Metro training bus guise at Winkleigh a few years ago, but I could not tell which one it was.
Another of the Roe bodied PD2s number 62 was put back in full Halifax green, orange & cream attire, but it did not spend long in preservation & it was exported to either the USA or Canada in the early 1980s. Does it still exist?

Andrew Spriggs


02/07/18 – 07:12

In 1974 my wife worked in the personnel dept. of the then newly formed West Yorkshire Metropolitan Transport Executive. She, they had to send a memo out to Ex Tod crews that taking their buses home at lunchtime was no longer permissible.

Geoff Bragg


05/07/18 – 06:21

Wonderful story, Geoff. Big business versus small business destroying the personal touch, as ever!

Chris Hebbron


11/07/18 – 07:17

The 1965 Roe bodied Leyland PD2s of Halifax were wonderful buses, very solid in the best Roe tradition. It is interesting to relate that a very similar batch of buses were supplied to Ashton Under Lyne in the same year & two years later Lincoln received a batch. Lincoln had received two batches of Roe bodied Atlanteans in 1964/5 & then reverted to PDs in 1967. I would say these Roe bodied PD2s were my favourite double deckers, the longer HBU registered Oldham Corporation Roe bodied PD3s of 1964 were also firm favourites, sadly one was lost when it turned over on a roundabout in Rochdale in 1967.

Andrew Spriggs


12/07/18 – 07:18

The Oldham bus which turned over was 108 HBU.
It turned over in Oldham, at the bottom of West Street, after being hit by a tanker, not in Rochdale.
It was operating the Rochdale to Ashton service 9.

Stephen Howarth


13/07/18 – 07:37

I drove a number of these Roe bodied PD2s whilst at Halifax when they were new, and I agree that they were in a greatly superior class to their Weymann contemporaries, except in one particular. Being a quite long legged specimen, I found that the drivers’ seats on the Roe bodies did not go back as far as those on the Weymann examples, making them less comfortable to drive.

Roger Cox


14/07/18 – 07:01

I know that Mr. Hilditch was, shall we say, a traditionalist in his views and requirements but why did he specify holes in the bonnet sides on these vehicles? It seems like a throwback to the 1940s, did they serve any practical purpose?

Chris Barker


GGH inherited this order from the previous (Leyland besotted) GM, Richard le Fevre, who, despite being on the verge of retirement, chose to saddle his successor with his Leyland legacy. Because of the extended strike at Weymann, where some of these PD2s were heled up for months, Geoffrey Hilditch managed to divert those chassis that were still accessible to Roe for bodying. The apertures in the bonnet were for access to the oil filler cap and dipstick, and this was a Leyland option that appeared on all the Halifax PD2s and PD3s.

Roger Cox


17/07/18 – 06:29

Believe me those holes are invaluable for oil checking. I have a couple of vehicles with solid sides and they are a pain. In service you needed conscientious mechanics to avoid engine seizures.

Roger Burdett


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 16th December 2018