Old Bus Photos

Leicester City Council – Karrier Q25 – PBC 734

Leicester City Council - Karrier Q25 - PBC 734

Leicester City Council
Karrier Q25
Readings C14F

PBC 734 was new to Leicester City Council in 1956. It is a Karrier Q25 with Readings C14F body. If the note in the PSVC listing for 2012 is correct, it did not join the Transport Department, so was it some form of welfare vehicle or school bus? It’s 15 July 2001, a soggy day in Lord Street, Fleetwood, where it is visiting the Tram Sunday event.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

20/10/16 – 06:15

We all know what people mean when they describe a certain generation of minibuses from a certain manufacturer as ‘bread vans’, but this looks like an ice cream van to me.
Mind you, not bad looking for a tiddler.

David Wragg

20/10/16 – 06:17

Not sure what Leicester City Council originally used it for but the Coventry Museum acquired it in 1980 as a donation from the Leicester & County Mission for the Deaf. It was restored in its original livery by the Museum workshops in 1988.

John Wakefield

20/10/16 – 09:18

The vehicle was taxed regularly until the cessation of the Coventry Festival of Motoring in 2014 and is stored in their vehicle overflow storage unit that formed part of the now closed Coventry Transport Sandy Lane Garage

Roger Burdett


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Jersey Motor Transport – Leyland Titan PD2 – 780 JGY – 27

Jersey Motor Transport - Leyland Titan PD2 - 780 JGY - 27

Jersey Motor Transport
Leyland Titan PD2/31
Reading H31/28R

780 JGY is a Leyland Titan PD2/31 with H59R body by Readings of Portsmouth. She was new in 1959, as J 8588, for the Jersey Motor Transport fleet and carries the usual advert for Mary Ann.
Is my eyesight playing tricks again or does the bodywork look a bit "Park Royal"? She’s at Amberley on 21 September 1997.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

12/06/15 – 06:11

Did Readings use Park Royal frames hence the similarity?

Philip Halstead

12/06/15 – 07:54

I’m not aware that they ever did, Philip. They always seemed to plough their own furrow and were quite happy to do one-off orders to an individual design. Granted, this body shape is a bit Park Royal’ish, though. Was this one bus the total order for JMT, of its type? It certainly looks very smart, stylish and airy inside.

Chris Hebbron

16/06/15 – 06:51

The Ian Allan ABC British Bus Fleets ‘West of England’ (May 1964) included details of the JMT fleet and has a photograph of number 27 is included.
The fleet list shows a batch of 5 Reading bodied Leyland Titan PD2/31s. They were numbered 16 (J 1583); 22 (J 8587); 27 (J 8588); 47 (J 1588) and 52 (J 1528). The dates new are given as 1958 (16, 47 and 52) and 1959 (22 and 27). Whether they all looked similar I don’t know.

David Slater

18/06/15 – 06:11

J 1588

Jersey Motor Transport (JMT) J 8587 (22) and J 8588 (27) were the second batch of Reading bodied PD2/31 Titans delivered to JMT, arriving in June 1959. These were of a 4 bay design, where as the first batch had 5 bays {please see picture of J 1588 (47)}.
No.27 was the last double decker bought new by JMT, ex London Transport RTLs being bought after that.

J 8587

Also shown is a picture of sister vehicle J 8587 in service in Jersey at The Weighbridge Bus Station for many years the main departure point for JMT services.
The rear of J 1528 (52), one of the first batch is seen on the extreme right.

Stephen Howarth


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Formby Coach Company – Karrier – MDU 74

Formby Coach Company - Karrier - MDU 14
Copyright Alan Murray-Rust

Formby Coach Company
Reading C14F

After the demise of the W-type trolleybus, the Karrier name remained dormant until the Rootes Group revived it for this compact little 14-seater coach. It was clearly based on Commer units, and according to John Gillham’s ‘Buses and Coaches 1945-1965’ used a 4-cylinder petrol engine. It appears to have been marketed as a complete vehicle with Reading bodywork from the outset. No chassis type is indicated.
This example was owned by the Formby Coach Company, although this was clearly not its original owner, as it has a Coventry CBC registration. I have no information about its previous owner(s); the name in the nearside destination opening is indistinct but could be either Bibbys or Kirbys.
The shot was taken in January 1967 at the corner of Lancaster Road and Church Street in Preston, known locally as Starkie’s Corner from the clothing store behind (these words can just be made out on the corner window above the prominent ‘SALE’ sign). Note also the three Preston Corporation deckers in the background, all in the older maroon livery. The building with the clock is the Transport Department offices.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Alan Murray-Rust

17/03/13 – 09:59

Thanks for posting, Alan. There is still a Formby Coaches (based in Formby) appearing on the web, although it probably isn’t the same one.
Looking at the background, don’t those Preston buses in the old livery look dismal? The blue and cream gave a much-needed boost to the impression. And a WONDERLOAF delivery van – remember???????

Pete Davies

17/03/13 – 15:48

This is lovely ‘action’ photo (leaning round the corner) of a Karrier Q25 chassis and an early Reading body of the type called Lilliput. It was exclusively built on Karrier chassis and ‘Karrier/Reading Lilliput’ was a registered trade mark. They were made throughout the fifties and sixties and sold to many well-known companies such as Frames Tours, these examples looking outstanding! The GPO ordered a lot of (modified) ones for outside broadcasting duties. I recall them well in this role. They were a nice little earner for Reading – the cost of them as luxury coaches at that time was around £1250!

Chris Hebbron

17/03/13 – 16:54

Many thanks for the very complete expansion of the details of this – in my opinion – rather neat little vehicle; I was a bit frustrated by the rather scanty info in JCG’s book, although at least there was something there to work on. I also have a photo of a similar combination, but clearly of later date, with the horizontal grille, with Safeway of South Petherton (600 GYC). Presumably that would have been marketed under the Lilliput brand as well?

Alan Murray-Rust

18/03/13 – 06:33

You’re right, Alan. Later on, Reading & Co put stylish Lilliput bodies on the Karrier BFD chassis. Here is an example of one such vehicle: //tinyurl.com/bpr5tdp  
Reading was very much into producing bespoke bodies and Lilliputs came in all shapes.
Plaxton was another company who built bodies on the Karrier chassis, but I think that the Karrier/Reading partnership had a large market.

Chris Hebbron

18/03/13 – 11:27

The photograph of Karrier/Plaxton 2677 NW of T.H.Parkinson of Heckmondwike reminded me that the vehicle in question was painted lemon yellow and later it was replaced by a newer model painted blue. Besides running the coaches the firm ran taxis and were booking agents for West Riding for the daily service from Wakefield to Blackpool that passed through Heckmondwike.

Philip Carlton

18/03/13 – 13:10

Further to my earlier posting of 2677 NW. Bruerian mentions on his Flicker Postings that in fact the registration number was in fact 2677 WW. There is probably a grain of truth in this. NW was a Leeds registration and a vehicle registered in Heckmondwike would have been registered in the West Riding of Yorkshire which had their offices in Wakefield. It would appear Plaxton made a mistake on their official photograph.

Philip Carlton

06/10/19 – 08:13

Lovely to see this photo. Looking at the photo, the registration number might be mistaken, could it be MDU 74? not 14? MDU 74 was a Karrier Q25/Reading Lilliput new in June 1952 to Shirleys of Meriden, near Coventry. (MDU is a Coventry registration). It was chassis number 32A 1158. It was sold in 1959 by Shirley’s and went to Handley, York. is it possible that your photo is this vehicle?

Paul Ellender

Monday 7th

Formby did indeed have MDU 74, acquired in 6/66.

Martin Ingle

07/10/19 – 07:41

07-10-2019 at 07-39

Looks like MDU 74 so I have changed the title.


09/10/19 – 06:25

There was a diesel option on these using I think the Standard side valve diesel used in Karrier Bantam lorries.

Roger Burdett

05/03/20 – 06:54

I note in the first caption it says name in the destination is indistinct. It says maybe Bibby’s or Kirby’s. It’s a Coventry registration and Red House Group of Coventry operated some of these Karriers. Red House took over some other Coventry operators, including Bantam’s and Bunty’s. I would guess the name is either Bantam or Bunty. I would guess Bunty’s.

MDU 74 was owned from 1952 to 1959 by Shirley’s of Meriden, and as I note your photo was taken in 1953, it cant be MDU 74, even though they were identical vehicles. I suggest it really is MDU 14, if the photo is indeed from 1953. !! Sorry for misleading and confusing earlier, as it appears this really could be MDU 14.

Ref earlier comments, I see the date by the photo says 1953. Maybe that’s not the date taken, but refers to vehicle build date. If that’s the case and the photo is taken from 1966 onwards, then the bus is MDU 74.

Paul Ellender


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