Old Bus Photos

Eastbourne Corporation – Leyland Lion – HC 8643 – 58

Eastbourne Corporation - Leyland Lion - HC 8643 - 58

Eastbourne Corporation
Leyland Lion PLSC3
Leyland B32R

HC 8643 is a Leyland Lion PLSC3 some sources omit the P prefix for 1930s Leyland single deckers, but I’ve no idea why, new to the County Borough Of Eastbourne in 1928. It has Leyland’s own B32R body – with door – and we see it arriving at Duxford on 28 September 2003.

Eastbourne Corporation - Leyland Lion - HC 8643 - 58

This second view shows the fleetname and crest.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

24/11/16 – 09:32

The Lion was a very successful model. The initial letter ‘P’ stood for pneumatic, indicating that it was devised from the outset to accept such tyres rather than being a conversion from solids. The 1926 vintage Lion was designed by J. G. Parry Thomas, who very soon afterwards turned his attention towards the car racing world. It was powered by an overhead valve four cylinder engine of 5.1 litres driving through a four speed crash gearbox, all mounted in a dropped frame chassis, though this was not as low as that on the Rackham designed six cylinder Tiger that appeared in the following year, 1927. According to G. G. Hilditch, who had one at Halifax for a time, the Lion had a top speed of about 25 mph, well above the legal limit of 12 mph that was then in force for buses.

Roger Cox

24/11/16 – 16:44

Thank you, Roger, for the explanation of why some had the P and some did not.

Pete Davies

27/11/16 – 07:36

The PLSC lion was replaced in 1929 by the Lion LT1, and at the same time the Lioness PLC was replaced by the Lioness-Six LTB. The Cub Passenger models (except the REC) carried a P as part of the designation, eg Cub SKPZ2, the first three Gnus were TEP1, although the later design with front end as the TEC1 Steer wagon was the TEC2.
P on post-war Leyland models from the Comet to the Titan meant Passenger.

Stephen Allcroft

27/11/16 – 09:30

I think that we’ve had this discussion about the PD/PS Leyland codes before, Stephen. The generally accepted view is that the ‘P’ stood for ‘post war’ in the passenger models, just as the Daimler ‘V’ in CVG/CVD stood for ‘victory’. Having initiated the ‘P’ classification in 1946, Leyland stuck with it for several years afterwards, by which time the understanding may well have changed to ‘passenger’.

Roger Cox

28/11/16 – 13:34

Roger, it was "generally accepted" for many years that the 27ft Leyland Titan body was the Farington: only it has now been found that was the final 26ft style. Doug Jack for one concludes that Passenger was intended. He had access to the Records. If post war was meant then surely it would have been applied to the freight range as well.

Stephen Allcroft

29/11/16 – 07:47

Stephen, this is a debate that, like the meaning of ‘RT’ and ‘SOS’ continues to run and run. The PD1 was originally designated the TD9 (the TD8 was the projected utility chassis that didn’t materialise), so the subsequent use of ‘P’ for ‘Passenger’ seems illogical, as, indeed does the classification ‘Passenger Double Decker/Passenger Single Decker’. The ‘P’ there is surely redundant, since lorries don’t fall into those categories. Unlike the haulage range, for which a variety of names was adopted, the bulk of the passenger range from Leyland in the early post war years consisted of Titans and Tigers, model names that were carried over from 1939. Given the general public and political mood if the time, I remain convinced that the ‘P’ stood for ‘post war. ‘Passenger Double Decker Type 1 makes no sense when seven versions of the Titan had preceded it. John Banks, for another, agrees with the ‘post war’ understanding, but I am sure that this debate will never be finally settled.

Roger Cox

30/11/16 – 06:57

The menmonics were designed, I’m sure you are aware Roger for the convenience firstly of Leyland production staff and secondly to enable the customers to order the right spare parts. In a way it is immaterial what the letters actually stood for, although we all want to know.
The first Leyland peacetime model was the 12.IB ‘Interim’ Beaver with the same drivetrain as the PD1/PS1 which could on your contention have been the ID1/IS1 as they were also intended as interim models until the "O600 TD9" and its single-deck version became available.
The major difference was the frame, which was dropped for a Passenger application, wheelbases and spring rates then determined the differences between the Tiger and the Titan, so if we disregard names they were always variants of the same passenger model.
If you are right then Leyland designated the Comet bus as Postwar and not the Comet Lorry, although both were launched in 1947, that would be bizarre.

Stephen Allcroft

30/11/16 – 15:49

I am afraid that I remain unconvinced, Stephen. In the cases of the Titan and Tiger, I believe that the change in the initial letter from T to P was intended to mean ‘post war’. The Comet was a haulage model that was adapted to passenger functions, and yes, the ‘P’ did signify ‘passenger in the designation CPO1 etc. However, I think you are reading a degree of consistency in model naming that was probably never there. If your theory is correct, the Comet bus/coach should have been called the PCO1. In the Comet, the letter ‘O’ stood for oil engine, but the same letter ‘O’ was used in export Tiger models such as OPS1 and OPS2, in which case it meant ‘overseas’.

Roger Cox

02/12/16 – 07:06

God Forbid I should accuse any manufacturer of consistency in nomenclature! The OPSU1, 2 and 3 were replaced by the ERT2 3 and 1, while the Leyland designed BUT ETB1 ran concurrent with both. The OPSU3 had been forgotten when the 36 foot Leopard became PSU3, and not L3, the RTC and L1/L2 being replaced by PSU4 in 1967 and PSU5 launched in 1968 which is 23 years after the end of World War two.
AEC is presumed to have chosen 2 for semi-automatic transmission and 3 for synchromesh based on the number of pedals, but when a constant mesh gearbox came from Thornycroft, that became 4 (still using three pedals) and the ZF torque converter option on Swift became 5 (still using two). It is more than probable the P used in Swift and Sabre stood for Panther.
Also as the PSUC1 designation came before the Tiger Cub name and that chassis used modified Comet running units rather than anything from the Cub discontinued 12 years earlier that the C originally stood for Comet.
As a purely passenger model, the Tiger Cub had a P at the front, but as demonstrated above, nobody was consistent, the last Comet buses were sold in the early 1970s; here’s a link to one:

Stephen Allcroft


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Plymouth City Transport – Leyland Titan – ADR 813 – 141

Plymouth City Transport - Leyland Titan - ADR 813 - 141

Plymouth City Transport
Leyland Titan TD5c
Leyland L53R

The chassis of ADR 813 was new to Plymouth City Transport in 1938, but it received its present Leyland L53R body in 1953. As all I have read about Leyland’s body manufacturing facilities says they finished in 1953, this must, surely, have been one of their last. The chassis is noted in the PSVC listing for 2012 as being a Leyland Titan TD5c, which was probably very useful on Plymouth’s hills! We see it at Winkleigh on 6 October 1996.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

07/07/16 – 09:15

Leyland ceased body production in December 1954. The last coach body was built for Wilkinson of Sedgefield, the last bus bodies were on a batch of PD2s for Trent.

Phil Blinkhorn

07/07/16 – 09:15

This very bus appears in the (now) very ancient book, "Building Britain’s Buses", in which some school boys are given a guided tour of the Leyland works. Ian Allan published it, but there is no publication date. However it is clear from the photos and text that Leyland’s body building plant was operative at the time of writing this book. The caption to the photo, which shows ADR 813 in the Customer Inspection Department, gives no indication that the bus is a re-body. Midland Red LD8’s are in the background. Because of that caption, it was many years before I understood that this was a re-body rather than an all-new bus. It must have been quite un-nerving to see a PD2 look-alike approaching, only to find pure Leyland TD5 sounds as it pulled away! As even the picture in this view is 20 years old, I do hope that this bus still survives.

Michael Hampton

07/07/16 – 16:13

Thank you, Phil and Michael, for your comments. I can’t speak in respect of recent developments, but this bus was alive and well last time I visited Winkleigh, in 2012.

Pete Davies

07/07/16 – 16:13

What a wonderful combination, but are we sure that its a TD5c as the normal Autovac is usually replaced by a much deeper device on torque converter chassis. I may well be wrong in always having assumed that this was universally the case.

Chris Youhill

07/07/16 – 16:14

A further thought. I wonder if the radiator shell was not replaced as part of the rebodying contract because Leyland didn’t want a TD5 totally in PD2 clothing.

Phil Blinkhorn

08/07/16 – 06:32

Many operators removed the torque convertors from their Leyland Titans c.1945-47, replacing them with standard Leyland gear boxes for the TD series. If Plymouth did this, perhaps that would account for the replacement of the deeper autovac by a standard size? I don’t have any lists for Plymouth, so this is just a guess. But Southdown and Portsmouth along with others took this option – possibly Leyland put on a "special offer" to cover this change in the early post-war period.

Michael Hampton

08/07/16 – 06:33

In contrast to Pete’s comment about the hill climbing usefulness of the TD5c, I was always under the impression the torque-converter fitted Leylands were very poor on hills. Many operators removed them and fitted a conventional crash gearbox and that could be the case here. The ‘c’ suffix was not always removed from fleet listings when this occurred. I remember riding on the Lytham St Annes Leyland Lion which was still torque-converter fitted at a Heart of the Pennines Rally at Halifax several years ago. The driver insisted on an alternative ‘low level’ route to the mountainous climbs this event always featured as he knew it wouldn’t make it!

Philip Halstead

08/07/16 – 06:33

Chris, presumably by the time of the rebodying the torque converter had been replaced by a conventional transmission. The deeper Autovac was in fact a dual unit containing the hydraulic converter fluid as well as fuel header tank and, after conversion, would have been replaced by a conventional Autovac.

Phil Blinkhorn

08/07/16 – 06:34

I’ve seen a few mentions on this site of the SCT61 website. A look on there shows that, while ADR 813 WAS a TD5C, the rebodying included replacing the gearbox with a conventional one, so I suppose ordinary TD would be the correct caption now.

Pete Davies

08/07/16 – 07:46

I believe the convention is for the chassis designation to remain as built with a note regarding modifications, for one thing the chassis plate would almost certainly retain the original designation. An example of this would be Halifax’s Daimlers which were fitted with Leyland engines, which remained as CVG6 with Leyland engines and not CVL6, which would be an enthusiasts’ designation as such a model didn’t (to my knowledge anyway) exist.

David Beilby

08/07/16 – 09:06

Thanks everyone for clarifying the torque converter query, and for telling me something I certainly didn’t know – that the large tank also included a normal Autovac – I believe the rather intriguing maker’s name of the converters was "Smiths-Lysholm."

Chris Youhill

08/07/16 – 17:13

In the early 1930s Leyland was looking to ease the lot of driving buses in what was then considered heavy traffic. Up until 1932 all its chassis featured a sliding mesh gearbox/friction clutch transmission but Daimler had introduced its preselector system and transport departments were looking to retrain tram drivers as bus drivers so something different was required.
A semi automatic torque converter which had been patented by Alf Lysholm under the manufacturing name of Lysholm-Smith was experimented with in 1932. Dr Haworth, Leyland’s Chief Engineer adopted the principle and developed it so that, at the 1934 Commercial Motor Show, the Tiger, Titan, Titanic and Lion chassis were offered with automatic transmission as an option, the first time any production bus chassis had been offered with the option anywhere in the world. The system offered a single lever with direct, converter and reverse drives plus neutral.
The vehicles were badged as "Leyland Gearless Bus". The company made its own converters but acknowledged Alf Lysholm’s base patent in its own patents.
The gearless chassis sold well and an interesting experiment took place in 1934 when London Transport sent the chassis of STL221, a standard AEC Regent, to Leyland to be fitted with the system. After several days in Lancashire it returned to London, was subsequently bodied and ran with the torque converter until August 1937. The comments from Southall have either been lost to or censored from the annals of history!

Phil Blinkhorn

08/07/16 – 17:14

ADR 813 certainly still exists. It was part of the late Colin Shears’ West of England Transport Collection, so was resident at Winkleigh. ADL is still listed on the collection’s fleet list.
The usual open day at Winkleigh in October is taking a rest this year, so it won’t be until October 2017 that we will be able to see this old girl again for real.


09/07/16 – 06:36

Phil, your little side-issue concerning LT’s STL221 being fitted with a torque-converter between 1934 and August 1937, as ever, shows LT’s illogicality at times! At about the time the decision was being taken to remove STL221’s converter, LT was taking delivery of 100 Leyland TD4’s with Leyland copycat STL bodies, the last 10 of which were fitted with torque-converters! Like STL221, they were soon discarded in favour of crash gearboxes, in 1939, to match the other 90 of the class. To add to this illogicality, if these STD’s were STL clones, why were they not all fitted with pre-selective gearboxes?

Chris Hebbron

09/07/16 – 10:37

All very interesting and valid points indeed Chris H.
Turning now to the immediate postwar period, where supply problems were definitely a feature, I’ve no doubt that the sudden arrival of hired in Tilling Group Bristols and the glorious batch of all Leyland PD1s caused much discontent amongst the drivers involved – after all I doubt if many of them were admiring enthusiasts like me !! I absolutely worshipped the STDs for their unexpected individuality in London. A large number where allocated to Victoria Gillingham Street (GM) and they appeared frequently on the long and arduous 137 route from Highgate to Crystal Palace via Streatham. As a youngster, holidaying in the latter, I was a frequent visitor to the free swings and roundabouts in Norwood Park, which involved stopping the PD1 on the steep of Central Hill – even at that tender age I had a conscience about stopping the driver at such an awkward spot. Never in my wildest dreams then did I imagine that I would one day pass my PSV test on an identical glorious PD1 in Leeds. Oh, why can’t we magically turn the clock back ??

Chris Youhill

09/07/16 – 16:32

Whilst strictly not within the scope of this thread, the mention of Lysholm Smith reminded me that the first Derby Lightweight DMUs of 1954 featured this transmission. To quote from Derby Lightweight DMUs by Evan Green-Hughes, the following may be of interest.
"The West Riding sets were made up of two cars, both of which were powered in view of the heavily graded nature of the territory in which they were to work. The well-established Leyland L600 125hp horizontally mounted six cylinder engine, as used in many buses and trucks, was specified and two were fitted to each coach. Riddles had chosen to fit the Leyland Lysholm Smith torque converter transmission which had been used in an earlier LMS three-car experimental unit. This had a double-acting clutch that either connected the engine output to the torque converter pump or directly to the output shaft and was bolted directly to the engine. The clutch was controlled by the driver who could select one of four positions,off, neutral, converter drive and direct drive.Converter drive was used for pulling away or hill climbing, whilst direct drive would be used when going downhill or when travelling along easy graded sections at speed. However, by the time the units were completed, the Lysholm Smith transmission system was already obsolete and the buses for which it was originally designed were being equipped with pre-selector transmission"

John Darwent

09/07/16 – 17:15

Chris, to answer your question re the lack of preselector gearboxes on the STD class, the STL class through its many variations generally had crash gearboxes though a number had Daimler preselector boxes. AEC and Daimler had formed ADC for a short period in the mid/late 1920s and presumably relations were such that AEC could source from Daimler. Leyland was very much its own man and presumably either would not or could not deal with Daimler and a crash box would not have been seen as disadvantageous at the time.

Phil Blinkhorn


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Sheffield Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – LWE 113 – 613

Sheffield Corporation - Leyland Titan - LWE 113 - 613

Sheffield Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/1
Leyland H30/26R

There’s a bit of a bus jam in Sheffield High Street on 9th October 1965 as 613, one of the large batch of A fleet all Leyland PD2s leaves the stand for a trip to Millhouses. It takes three Inspectors to peruse the Alexander Regent V in the background, hope they move out of the way before the member of the small batch of 1952 all Leyland PD2/10 manages to squeeze past the back of the queue and continue its journey. This little scenario (minus Inspectors) was re enacted last Wednesday in exactly the same place as I passed by – quite a coincidence! Sheffield’s all Leyland PD2s all put in a good innings, at 16 years old 613 looks in fine fettle.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

04/02/16 – 16:58

Strange how Sheffield used two different liveries for differing bodywork designs. The three blue bands was probably the standard but most of the Roe bodies and these Leylands had blue around the windows. The big city fleets tended to be very standardised and bordering on the boring with large batches of buses that looked more of less the same. Sheffield was the exception as they purchased smaller batches of widely varying vehicle types right up to being absorbed into the PTE. A very interesting and always well turned out fleet. We had civic pride in those days.

Philip Halstead

05/02/16 – 14:54

On the subject of civic/local pride First has repainted buses in Leeds and Bradford into former operators liveries. For some reason these are always immaculately turned out by their respective garages unlike some of the standard liveried stuff Makes you think eh.

Chris Hough

06/02/16 – 06:57

Other Chris H – Have found a Bradford one – http://tinyurl.com/h2n27cm  – very smart!

Chris Hebbron

06/02/16 – 18:01

First certainly did Sheffield proud with retro-painted Geminis to celebrate the motor bus centenary in 2013. The superb paintwork depicted both old and new style of livery – a splendid selection of photos can be found at – www.flickr.com/photos/

John Darwent

06/02/16 – 18:02

A great photo Ian, brought back lots of memories! Having spent what might be described as my formative years in Sheffield I can only endorse the comments made about the variety of the fleet, though our local route 61/63 was almost always provided with the Roe bodied Leyland PD3s which replaced the trams. From memory, the buses were usually well maintained and clean inside (apart from the nicotine stained ceiling of the upper deck before smoking was banned)! Perhaps the presence of a conductor made a difference? Now living in Dorset and using First in Weymouth, I have to say that the buses are usually clean inside and out as well.

Stan Zapiec

07/02/16 – 07:17

The images of the First fleet in Sheffield using the older liveries just goes to show how awful the current so-called liveries are. The old ones had style and dignity, and looked good as well.

David Wragg

08/02/16 – 06:33

Nice photo! I visited relatives in Sheffield in the 1960s so delighted to see this. Was the very small plate on the radiators a note that the bus was `antifreezed`? Can’t remember!

Steve Milner

08/02/16 – 16:24

LWE 113_2

The ‘three blue bands’ vs the ‘blue window surrounds’ wasn’t the only variation to be found in the Sheffield livery either. On first repaint, buses had their roofs painted smudge grey instead of the cream they were delivered with, as seen in this photo of the same all-Leyland PD2, 613, laying over in Castlegate, alongside the River Don. I’ve heard it said that the shade of grey was actually derived from mixing the residue of the blue and cream paint tins.
In Ian’s photo of the bus, taken in its later years, the bus is seen to have had its original cream roof restored, part of the modifications made to the livery in the ‘Humpidge’ era of management. When C.T. Humpidge, formerly at Bradford, took over as General Manager from R.C. Moore in 1961, he made moves to do away with the practice of painting the roofs grey, and Roe bodies eventually lost their blue window surrounds, although intriguingly none of the Leyland ‘Farington’ style bodied PD2s so treated ever did, and retained their ‘blue window surrounds’ livery to the end. Humpidge also had matt black applied between the destination apertures to form a so called ‘consolidated display’, a move that still generates fierce debate amongst some older Sheffield enthusiasts even fifty plus years later!!
And yes Steve, that small plate affixed to the radiator read “STD – Do Not Drain”

Dave Careless

10/02/16 – 06:17

If the ‘consolidated’ destination was controversial, why did they not go all the way and just have a single line? Almost all photos that I have seen have one of the two screens showing blank and I have yet to find a reason for two of them being fitted!

David Todd

10/02/16 – 16:32

David – from memory there were a few destinations that required the use of both screens, Dore via Brocco Bank and Beighton Handsworth are two that come to mind. Also I think the lower blind had (generally) City services whilst the longer distance services (generally) appeared on the upper blind. Note that on the photo above from Dave, Shirecliffe is on the top blind (exception proves the rule) whilst on the bus behind, 97 Southey Green used to have via Longley Lane on the lower screen hence its appearance on the top screen.

Ian Wild

11/02/16 – 06:23

Fulwood via Rustlings Road was another, Ian. I remember being fascinated as a kid, on shopping trips into the city, seeing these PD2s storming along Fargate showing Roscoe Bank or Brocco Bank, they seemed like exotic destinations to me at the time, I don’t know why!
Ironically, even though they had the two apertures on the side over the platform, on route 1 they sometimes had to resort to carrying a red board with white lettering in the last nearside lower saloon window, reading ‘via Elm Lane’

Dave Careless

11/02/16 – 06:24

To emphasise Ian’s point, both blinds were used on a number of routes, 61/63 Beauchief and Woodseats Circular with Circular in the lower display spring to mind together with 74 Greystones Norton. So I think both blinds were in pretty frequent use.

Stan Zapiec

13/02/16 – 05:27

Or neither in use – instructions for the Stocksbridge locals were to "show blank" . . . despite "Garden Village" being available. If you follow this link http://forum.sy-transport.co.uk/thread/13424/destination-blinds-lists  (South Yorkshire Transport Forum, History, Destination Blinds) you’ll find listings from various destination blinds, including (if you work through the pages) various Sheffield Transport upper and lower and Y-type blind sets.

Philip Rushworth

12/06/19 – 06:37

Sorry, what’s this "B" fleet thing? Was there an "A" fleet as well, why?

Mark Chawner

12/06/19 – 10:53

…and a C Fleet as well! Others can explain better but it was all to do with the involvement of the railway companies.


12/06/19 – 12:41

Sheffield was a Joint Omnibus Committee where A fleet was wholly owned by Sheffield Corporation and operated within the city boundaries, C fleet was owned by the railways (LMS & LNER) and broadly speaking operated long distance routes often terminating at or near railway stations far afield. B fleet was jointly owned by corporation and railways and usually operated beyond the city boundaries but not so distant as C fleet. As might be expected there were many variations to this and buses from the B fleet especially could be seen on many A & C routes, buses from A fleet would often be seen on C fleet routes and a periodic mileage / income balancing would take place. Popular routes with hikers and ramblers would use vehicles from all fleets at peak weekends and Bank Holidays. See C.C Hall’s "Sheffield Transport" for a more detailed explanation. My very favourite fleet!!

Les Dickinson


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