Old Bus Photos

West Bromwich – Leyland Tiger Cub – UEA 213 – 213

West Bromwich - Leyland Tiger Cub - UEA 213 - 213

West Bromwich (County Borough of) Transport Department
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/4
Mulliner B39R

This was one of three buses purchased by West Bromwich in 1958, which were unusual for two reasons. Firstly they represent a rare foray by Mulliner into the full size bus market; they were known for their bodies on smaller Bedfords, with substantial numbers delivered to the armed forces. Secondly, the provision of a rear entrance on a single deck vehicle was completely out of fashion by this stage, and I am unaware of any other examples on underfloor chassis types. One wonders what the reasoning behind this was, as well as the choice of Mulliner for the bodywork. I can only hazard a guess that none of the major bodybuilders were prepared to do so as they had by this stage all settled on a standard forward entrance design, whereas Mulliner were prepared to build to a bespoke design. Subsequent single deck purchases like 250 to its left were conventional; by this time Mulliner had ceased coachbuilding.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Alan Murray-Rust

15/02/21 – 06:07

Although not common rear entrances on underfloor engined single deckers did exist elsewhere. Accrington had them on East Lancs bodied Guy Arab LUF’s and Manchester on Leyland Royal Tigers bodied by Northern Counties. North Western had some Weymann bodied Atkinsons also. I think Southdown and Aldershot & District also had some but I would bow to our southern experts on that.

Philip Halstead

15/02/21 – 06:08

There were other examples of underfloor single deck service buses without front entrances.
Sheffield had a couple of Royal Tigers with open platform rear entrances and Doncaster (Regal IV) and SHMD (Atkinson) had centre door configurations.
I believe there were similar examples in Scotland which I am sure other contributors will be able to list.

Andrew Charles

15/02/21 – 06:09

FDB 512

North Western Road Car Company had rear entrance single deckers. Here is a picture of Atkinson Alpha, fleet number 512, (FDB 512) with a B44R Willowbrook body.

Stephen Howarth

15/02/21 – 15:19

What an unusual vehicle! Not just the body builder and entrance layout but the chassis as well. PSUC1/4 refers to a 7’6” wide pneumocyclic gearbox version. I would think that is a pretty rare beast.

Ian Wild

15/02/21 – 15:20

East Yorkshire stuck with rear entrances into the underfloor-engined era, having Royal Tigers with Windover Kingsway coach bodies and Brush and Weymann bus bodies (the Weymann ones being later rebuilt as front entrance by Roe). Both East Yorkshire and Yorkshire Traction had Tiger Cubs with Willowbrook DP rear entrance bodies. Pontypridd UDC had some Arab LUFs with Roe bodies, and Edinburgh had one Leyland/MCW Olympic.

John Stringer

16/02/21 – 05:46

Here’s a photo of one of the Pontypridd Guy LUF/Roe vehicles. https://davidbeilby.zenfolio.com/

Chris Hebbron

16/02/21 – 05:48

Southdown did indeed have a batch of 10 Royal Tigers No’s 1500-1509 with East Lancs B40R bodies delivered in 1952. In 1953 these were followed by a further batch of 30 similar but centre entrance bodies again by East Lancs all of which were converted to front entrance for one man operation in the early sixties and very comfortable buses they were too.

David Lennard

16/02/21 – 05:49

Another unusual, even unique, feature of these Mulliner Tiger Cubs was that they had full bulkheads, confining the driver to his own full width cab. It can be made out in this photo – https://flic.kr/p/wXJyEo
Another website explains that rear entrances were specified because the spacing of town centre bus stops was based on rear entrance buses and it was felt that front entrance buses would lead to bus stop congestion. This view no longer prevailed when the next single deckers were acquired.

David Williamson

16/02/21 – 05:50

Thanks to all for the pointers to other rear entrance/underfloor vehicles. I suspect that it was a result of my not really becoming interested in buses until the mid 1960s that I was unaware that there were in fact quite so many, as I suspect that the majority had relatively short lives due to being unsuitable for OPO. Trawling BLOTW shows that the bulk of them date from between 1951 and 1954. The stand-out ones are Accrington (1956) and Pontypridd (1957), but as far as I can see, the West Brom ones were the last of the breed. It was the late date of construction for the layout that surprised me. Of particular interest are the two Royal Tigers for Sheffield, which are shown as B31R, which the discussion here //www.sct61.org.uk/sh222a shows is the result of the buses being designed for a significant number (26 to 31 depending on the source!). That page also drew my attention to another real oddity – the set of 8 Dennis lancet UF2 with unusual Davies bodies that Newport purchased in 1956/7. I should have remembered as I do have a picture of one of them!

Alan Murray-Rust

18/02/21 – 07:18

Referring back to the original post which suggests that this bus was a rare foray by Mulliner into the full size bus market.
In the same year as the three West Bromwich examples were produced Mulliner also built a pair of bodies on AEC Reliance chassis for Douglas Corporation, these followed on from five normal control Guys delivered the previous year.

Andrew Charles

18/02/21 – 07:18

An illustrated short history of Mulliners may be found on the Local Transport History Library site. Select General History, and on that Coach Builders page click on PDF-129-1. Mulliners is near the bottom.

Roger Cox

20/02/21 – 07:17

Municipal ordering begins with an invitation to tender. It’s doubtful if Mulliners would normally have responded to these. However, if Bedford chassis lists are anything to go by, it seems that their military work dried up in mid-1957, hence perhaps the turn towards mainstream PSV work illustrated by their bizarre full-size coach for the 1958 Commercial Motor Show. Even if their tender for this small batch of very non-standard Tiger Cubs (7’6" wide as well as rear-entrance) was not the only one received, it could well have been the lowest. It seems that they gave up and sold out shortly after.

Peter Williamson


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United Oxford Hospitals – Bedford OB – NWL 804

United Oxford Hospitals - Bedford OB - NWL 804
Copyright Unknown

United Oxford Hospitals
Bedford OB
Mulliner B31F

Bedford OB NWL 804 chassis 91874, with Mulliner B31F body number T324 was new in November 1948 to United Oxford Hospitals and is thought to have been attached to Churchill Hospital at Headington. In this view, it appears to have bars at some windows in the same fashion as sometimes applied to similar buses for service with the police. Ironically, for a hospital bus, it is carrying a healthy load. Photo purchased five decades ago, copyright unknown.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

05/02/15 – 06:32

Les, are you sure the bars are not just the frames of two half-drop windows ?
A nice little bus though.

John Stringer

05/02/15 – 06:32

Are they bars, or just half-drop windows?

Stephen Ford

05/02/15 – 16:27

Yes I’m sure they’re half drop windows as the metal tops to the fixed lower panes can clearly be seen level with each other. Considering that Mulliner bodies were usually for unpretentious working vehicles they turned out some very pleasing designs indeed – the hordes of Military buses, all three services, were grand looking vehicles.

Chris Youhill

06/02/15 – 06:44

This particular design of bus body for the OB was designed by Duple, being a development of the OWB utility body, and known as the Mk.II. After building a few, Duple found their production lines overwhelmed with building Vista coaches, and so in 1947 sub-contracted a batch of Mk.II’s to Mulliner’s of Birmingham. Two bodies are known to have been sent to Mulliners to assist in producing jigs. Following the sub-contracted batch, further orders were passed by the Vauxhall dealers directly to Mulliner’s, who continued to supply the design until 1950, very many of which were exported – especially to oil companies in the Middle East or South America. Dealers are believed to have referred to the Mulliner-built bodies as Mk. III. In 1949 Duple came up with a new, more stylish bus body known as the Mk. IV, and recommenced production of bus bodies for OB’s, being produced simultaneously with the older style Mulliners.

John Stringer


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Jersey Motor Transport – Bedford OB – J 6986 – 57

Jersey Motor Transport - Bedford OB - J 6986 - 57

Jersey Motor Transport
Bedford OB
Mulliner B28F

J 6986 was new to Jersey Motor Transport in 1947. She is a Bedford OB with Mulliner B28F bodywork and fleet number 57. She’s seen passing Beaulieu while taking part in a vintage vehicle run through the New Forest on 20 August 1978. The registration shown is LTR 336R but she is noted in the PSVC listing for 2012 as being LSU 857.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

05/10/13 – 17:05

J 6986_2

Here is a shot of J 6986 – 57 when in service with JMT it is seen here at the St Helier – Weighbridge Bus Station.
As with all of JMT vehicles of that era, it has adverts for ‘Jersey’s own Brew’ Mary Ann. It is waiting to depart on Route 22 to BEL ROYAL via (Victoria Ave).
A 5 day Rover Ticket was 25/-, JCT (Jersey Coach Tours) All Day Tour 12/3 with meals 19/6. The window bill is advertising ‘The Sound of Music’, whether this was the film or a stage production is not known.
No.70 behind is displaying notices for ‘Flat Fare please pay 6d in the SLOT – Children 4d’.

Stephen Howarth

06/10/13 – 08:08

Thanks for the response, Stephen.
Certainly when I visited the island in the mid 1970’s, the buses were still advertising that brand. The cars in my posting are waiting to visit the oversize garage which Lord Montagu has in his garden!

Pete Davies

06/10/13 – 08:08

No. 70 is a 1948 Morris Commercial CVF 13/5 with Wadham FB27F body.

Chris Hebbron

08/10/13 – 07:50

This is a lovely little bus, the Mulliner body makes a change from Duple bodies on OB chassis. I have always thought it a great shame that so many enthusiasts tended to ignore Bedfords and Fords. To me they were fascinating vehicles which kept many small independent stage operators using them on rural stage services.

Don McKeown

08/10/13 – 11:24

I agree with you entirely Don. Not only were the OBs (and even more so their "War Effort" OWB siblings) fascinating but their performance from a 28hp petrol engine was unbelievably impressive. They were often in addition subjected to the most abominable overloading which they handled without a whimper. As far as their aural talents were concerned they were unique and magnificent – the lusty tuneful roar in the first three gears was classical music to the ears, followed by calm and quiet in top gear when their gentle rear spring twittering was most enjoyable. They were also very comfortable indeed, considering that the suspension was completely basic, and economical to run and simple to maintain – well, we’re talking legends now and legends they were for me.

Chris Youhill

08/10/13 – 12:53

More than once, Chris, I’ve heard folk, unacquainted with the gearbox crescendo, associating this with the engine noise and make comments such as, ‘If he keeps flogging the engine like that, he’ll have the big ends go!’ I agree with the unbustability of the mechanicals of these little gems so affectionately held in high regard. I sometimes went out of my way to travel on the Portsmouth Corp’n OWB’s, not so satisfying, because in their latter years they were on short routes, some only 10-15 mins long! But a kind driver would let me do a return journey or two if nicely spoken to! Fortunately, no inspector ever came aboard, perhaps because it was an unrewarding pastime on fringe routes! Route 13, Milton (White House) to Locksway Road was the usual one, busy solely for the mental hospital it served.

Chris Hebbron

12/10/13 – 08:05

J 6986_3

I have found a near side view of J 6986.

Stephen Howarth

24/11/13 – 07:42

The nearside view of J.M.T. Bedford OB with Mulliner bodywork was taken at the Snow hill bus station in the early 1960’s just after a re-paint loosing its characteristic cream stripe below the windows which was bordered with a green stripe. originally she had a cream bonnet top and the cream on the front ran down to the mudguard level.She entered service in June 1947 and withdrawn in July 1969. Originally used as a coach from new until March 1951 and there after as a bus.
She ran from 1947 to 1951 in the B.E.A. livery of grey and red before being painted in the green and cream bus livery. She came from S.C.S ( Safety Coach Service) as a chassis and new in 1946, she was going to be bodied by Jersey Motor Panels for S.C.S but the company was taken over by the J.M.T in November 1946.
The chassis was sent up to Mulliner for the bodywork to be fitted. The first vehicle in Jersey to have Mulliner bodywork.

John Luce

10/03/17 – 07:30

My dad used to own what was J 6986 or LTR 336R. He bought her from a man called Sandy in New Milton Hampshire early 70s. She was in rather a sorry state, as it was being used as a green house. Dad brought her back to Breamore near Fordingbridge, where he was curator of the countryside museum there. He completely stripped her down to rolling chassis, repaired and renewed timber frame where needed. He managed to save the panels and beading on the body, took some straightening. Gradually she came back to life. He put her back in her Jersey colour green and cream and named her Maralyn. We used to do Bournemouth to Bath road run with her. Great fun, have to see if I can find some photos. Dad retired about 1979 and moved down to Tiverton Devon with me. Then in 1981 we all moved to Wellington Somerset needless to say the bus came to. Unfortunately dad had to sell her, can’t remember where she went, but not long after we heard she was sold on again, I think she went up to the Kent area,. Dads name was Pat Wale if anyone has the logbook to her. Lost dad 2003, Hope this is of some interest.
Does anyone know where she is now?

Shirley Williams

10/03/17 – 08:40

Thanks for your contribution, Shirley. I lived in Blackfield at the time of my original posting. I see you mention Tiverton. My wife’s side of the family has a branch there, in sight of the canal. Small world!

Pete Davies

10/03/17 – 17:31

Hi Peter my family came from Blackfield my aunt still lives there. We used to live at the Mazery at the top of canal hill Tiverton. We had the bus parked out the back of the house.
Any relation to Richard Davis from New Milton Hampshire.

Shirley Williams

10/03/17 – 17:35

LSU 857 passed to Dr Mark Sleep t/a Ages Past of Eversley 8/08 and is now part of his wedding hire fleet. Now painted Green & White there are numerous pics of it on Flickr.
Previous owners in reverse order are:
John Yonge, Kew 4/07
J M Poultney, Minster 11/89
Thorpe, Herne Bay 6/83 (re regd LSU 857 5/88)
Legg, Bishops Lydeard by 11/82
Pat Wale (Countryside Museum) Fordingbridge -/78 (regd LTR 336R)
New to JMT as J 6986 3/47

John Wakefield

11/03/17 – 07:25

No relation at all to the one you mention in New Milton. I have the Welsh spelling (IES) where he has the English spelling (IS). My grandfather was actually a Welshman!

Pete Davies

11/03/17 – 07:26

Chris Y correctly gives the stated output of the OBs petrol engine as 28 hp, but this was the RAC rating, an absurdly inaccurate and outdated method of measurement from the early years of the 20th century that some manufacturers seemed reluctant to ditch. The 3519 cc engine actually developed 72 bhp, not that far short of the 85 bhp of the Gardner 5LW in many 1940s/1950s double deckers. In the early post war years, a Bedford OB with the Mulliner body could be bought for £1290, which compared well with the £1415 that was asked for one with a Duple Vista coach body.

Roger Cox

12/03/17 – 07:42

Despite the obvious price advantage in having the attractive OB Mulliner coach body, it remained relatively rare, compared with the Duple ones.

Chris Hebbron

12/03/17 – 08:06

j 6986

I took this photo of the delightful J 6986 at the end of the Bournemouth to Bath Rally in about 1977.

John Stringer

12/03/17 – 17:35

Thanks to all its lovely to know the old girls still going strong dad would be very proud. I see in the photo she still has her lucky heather in the grill mum put that there when we took her across the New Forest. Now I will have to find those photos won’t I.

Shirley Williams

13/03/17 – 16:29

Roger, the RAC formula was used to determine vehicle tax until 1947. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_horsepower

Stephen Allcroft

14/03/17 – 06:48

Stephen, I confess to being astonished that the RAC engine formula was still being used for vehicle taxation purposes as late as 1947. I suppose in the early years of the 20th century using the cylinder bore measurement was a roughly consistent method of assessing horsepower when long stroke engines were the norm, but the RAC formula very soon became hopelessly inaccurate as engine design was refined. Its retention until 1947 in official taxation circles seems barely credible. It just goes to show how remote from reality are our politicians cocooned in their Neo Gothic ivory tower at Westminster.

Roger Cox

15/03/17 – 07:04

DVLA still get engine capacity wrong. They often get Cubic Centimetres mixed up with Cubic Inches which of course engines of most buses & commercials are quoted in. So we get 330cc in the case of a 330 cubic inch Bedford engine.

John Wakefield

29/03/21 – 07:03

3 muls

During my research on Daimler Freelines I was pointed to this page in regard to Mulliner bodies. No less than 22 Gardner-engined Freelines with Mulliner B56D bodies were supplied to JN Zarpas, in Lagos, Nigeria in 1957/8.
I have only recently found a low-res scan of 3 of them, which I will try to attach.
Would I be correct in thinking that these bodies would have been built on the Daimler chassis in Birmingham and exported as complete vehicles, or would the bodies have been supplied CKD like the Saro bodies for New Zealand?

Jim Neale


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