Old Bus Photos

Brighton, Hove & District – Bristol Lodekka – OPN 807 – 7

Brighton, Hove & District - Bristol Lodekka - OPN 807 - 7

Brighton, Hove & District
1959
Bristol LDS6B
ECW H33/37R

Seen in Brighton in the summer of 1960 is Brighton, Hove & District OPN 807, fleet no. 7, an example of the rare LDS short version of the Bristol Lodekka with flat lower saloon floor, air suspension on the rear axle, and air (instead of vacuum) over hydraulic braking system. With some adjustments, the LDS model then went into volume production as the FS type. The prototype LDS, an LDS6G with Gardner 6LW engine, went to Crosville in 1958 as 285 HFM, fleet no. DLG 949. In May / June 1959, BH&D received LDS buses OPN 801 to 808, the company’s first Lodekkas, which were powered by the then newly introduced 8.9 litre Bristol BVW engine. OPN 804 to 808 had ECW H33/37R bodywork, but OPN 801 to 803 were CO33/37R convertible open toppers. www.flickr.com/
As delivered, these eight LDS6B buses had the Cave-Brown-Cave heating system installed and, as seen in the photograph, lacked a conventional radiator at the front of the engine bay. The deficiencies of this heating/cooling arrangement, especially apparent with the overheating prone BVW engine, led to its subsequent disconnection and the fitment of a normal radiator, though the cooler running Gardner powered Crosville prototype retained its Cave-Brown-Cave heating and blank front panel with winged motif to the end. OPN 807 served with BH&D until January 1969 when, under NBC “rationalisation”, it passed to Southdown ownership with all the BH&D operations. Withdrawn in 1972, it then went on to Brittain’s in Northampton http://bcv.robsly.com/ who sold it, ostensibly for preservation, in June 1979. Having since passed through a number of supposedly preservationist hands, it would seem that it still exists in the current ownership of a dealer, the London Bus Export Company of Lydney, though its current condition is uncertain. If it still retains its BVW engine then spares for that will be scarcer than hen’s teeth.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


18/02/18 – 17:05

APN 54B

Prodded by Roger’s item, I Googled LDX 003 and found Nigel Furness’ book mentioning LDX003 and LDX004 both of which had passed me by! His book also adds that BCV changed the designation of the six LDL 30′ chassis built in 1957 (eg Bristol L8450 – see http://www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=34464 to LLD after they were built which explains why I had come across this confusing reference at some time whilst at BCV.
Roger’s photo reminded me of one that I took at BCV in early 1964 showing no. 4 with two non-standard to Tilling Group features of these vehicles: the split step (making a ‘stepless’ entry into a stepped access!); and the side route no. indicator. The first feature is still extant in the photo-link of no. 7 in Brittain’s ownership.
When I took the photo I had just arrived back at the factory at Brislington after a long spell with BOC so was not aware why no. 4 was at BCV. It was the first of the eight LDS chassis built at the end of the 138th sanction for BH&D, although the last three with convertible open top bodies were given fleet nos. 1 -3. I also have a note to say that its BVW engine was fitted with a DPA (distributor) type fuel injection pump, instead of the original in-line fuel injection pumps of either CAV or Simms manufacture. I’m not aware that this cheaper component was adopted as a standard in later BVW engines.

Geoff Pullin


19/02/18 – 07:07

Whoops – got confused. This photo is of BH&D no. 54, not 4 and hence is an FS6B of the 214th sanction dating from 1964. The bit about DPA pumps definitely refers to 5no. 4!

Geoff Pullin


19/02/18 – 07:08

Thanks for the picture of the "stepless" door platform on these buses, Geoff. I had completely forgotten about these, but I now recall that they were held to create more platform stumbles than they sought to eradicate. Your reference to the use of DPA fuel pumps on these early BVW engines is notewothy. DPA pumps appeared in the mid to late fifties on smaller engines, but this must surely have been one of the pioneer applications on a relatively large commercial vehicle engine. Was it intended to thus equip the production BVW as standard? I am not an engineer, just an interested layman, but I can recognise the appeal of the DPA against the traditional, much more costly, in line pump. The DPA has to work harder serving all the injectors, but the advantages of cheaper and easier replacement together with simplified calibration must have been attractive. Was reliability a problem, and did these early Lodekkas keep these pumps?

Roger Cox


19/02/18 – 07:08

I remember these Lodekkas from my gap year conducting from Conway Street in 1969/70. The lowered rear platform step was said to be popular with all the old ladies of Hove but in rush hour with visitors and foreign students they were also what we now consider a trip hazard. Happy days!

Anthony H


20/02/18 – 06:03

As of Feb 12 it was still at Lydney. Gossip says it was possessed over an unpaid bill. I would have thought offering it for continued preservation would have attracted a buyer.

Roger Burdett


21/02/18 – 07:26

steps

Reading Geoff Pullin’s post regarding Brighton & Hove APN 54B and its modified entrance step, it put me in mind of a similar design modification applied to a East Midland VR some 9 years later. PRR 121L and its low entrance step option was presented to the local press in Mansfield as a help to the aged and infirm. I don’t know how long it lasted but photos on the web show it had gone by the time Yelloway became the owners. I captured my picture when nearly new at Mansfield depot.

Berisford Jones


 

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Southdown – Leyland Titan – RUF 189/5 – 783/5

Southdown - Leyland Titan - RUF  189/5 - 783/5

Southdown - Leyland Titan - RUF  189/5 - 783/5

Southdown Motor Services
1956
Leyland Titan PD2/12
Beadle H59RD

There have been comments over the years about the last Beadle double deck bodies to be built delivered to Southdown in Nov/Dec 1956 but few photos. To try and rectify this I attach two photos of this batch No’s 777-788 Reg No’s RUF 177-188, That of 783 was taken outside Pevensey Road bus station, whilst not a very good photo I included it as this bus was later converted into a tree lopper after an accident at I believe Jarvis Brook railway bridge which was near Southdown’s Crowborough garage, I heard that the unfortunate driver was an Maidstone & District man trying to reach the garage. That of 785 was taken in Pool Valley Brighton when being reversed on to the stand for the Brighton local service 38 which later became the regular haunt of the RESL/6L’s the route had a significant amount of hill work. Believed to have been built by Beadle on Park Royal frames, the easy way to tell these near identical batches apart was the Beadle’s had sliding ventilators and the Park Royal’s had half drops.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave


30/01/18 – 16:33

In 1956/7, both NGT and Newcastle Corporation took delivery of batches of very similar Park Royal bodied vehicles.
Those of NCT were all AEC Regent V.
The 1956 NGT group vehicles were GUY Arab IV, and the intake for 1957 were R/D versions on a Leyland PD2/12 chassis.
Although they looked very similar to these, one notable difference was that both NCT & NGT were all four bay construction, whereas these are five.
Was that Southdown spec?

Ronnie Hoye


01/02/18 – 07:10

guy

Further to Ronnie Hoye’s post, Northern took 28 Guy Arabs with Park Royal bodies in 1956, 20 for the main fleet and 8 for Tynemouth. There were 10 PD2s in 1957 for Northern. All were 63 seaters.

regent

Newcastle took 20 high bridge examples in 1956, 137-156 (XVK 137-156) and 20 in 1957, 157-176 (157-176 AVK) ten of which were low bridge. The high bridge vehicles seated 62 and the low bridge vehicles 58.

Living north of the Tyne, I was more familiar with the Tynemouth and Newcastle buses. I thought they were well proportioned buses, but the interior finish on the Newcastle vehicles left a lot to be desired, red painted lining panels, narrow seats and a distinct lack of ventilation. Tynemouth’s vehicles were far better finished in my view.
A couple of photos are attached illustrating a Northern vehicle and one of Newcastle’s 1957 high bridge buses.

R Slater


02/02/18 – 05:37

Your not wrong, the NCT vehicles were positively spartan in comparison to those of the NGT Group.
It was the same story with the Orion bodied Leyland PD’s that followed these. Every expense seems to have been spared on the NCT vehicles, with their painted metal interiors, whereas the NGT were covered.
Those of Tynemouth & Wakefields were finished to an even higher standard with moquette upholstered seats.
Getting back to the Park Royal GUY Arab IV’s. As you say, Tynemouth & District had eight of them, FT 9408/15 208/15 I started as a driver at Percy Main in 1967, so by now they were nearly 11 years old, but they were VERY reliable, and for all their age they were a delight to drive, but how much better would they have been if they ha been fitted with a G6LW rather than a 5?
214 was written off after an accident, and dismantled for spares, and the remainder were transferred to Northern in 1968.
By this time we had quite a number of the superb Alexander bodied CRG6LX Daimler Fleetlines, so I was probably in a minority, but I for one was sorry to see them go.

Ronnie Hoye


08/02/18 – 14:46

I could go on a real nostalgia fest here, Ronnie. Tynemouth was my local fleet. My memories date from the mid 1950s when I can just about remember the ECW rebodied Leyland TD5s and the trio of AEC Regents rebodied by Pickering. Wallsend locals were largely in the hands of successive batches of Guy Arabs. I used these services to go the the Buddle school and later the grammar school. I recall end of school day transport at the Buddle was provided by four vehicles, two for High Farm and two for Sunholme, usually older vehicles but sometimes newly overhauled vehicles doing what I assume were running in turns. The Guys gave way to Leyland PD2s and PD3s, Atlanteans and Fleetlines. I’ll shut up now!

Richard Slater


11/02/18 – 06:23

Like you Richard, our school bus was either one of the Pickering rebodied pre war Regents or, occasionally, one of the Weymann bodied, early post war variety. As the bus came off an earlier "Workmen"s service it was usually late,a source of delight to we pupils, but consternation to the school.
In 1957, I started to attend Tynemouth High School, where it was decided we lived near enough to walk to school. 4X4s were rare and mostly restricted to the farming community in those days!
I remember the ECW rebodied TD5s also largely because they were quite fast and refined mechanically, for a bus of that era.They seemed to spend a lot of their time on the 5 Whitley Bay (St. Mary’s Lighthouse) to Newcastle (Haymarket)until about 1955, when they I think (its all a long time ago now) they were largely replaced on that route by the 1955 Orion bodied Guys.

William Mill


 

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Maidstone & District – Daimler Fleetline – 76 YKT – DL76

76 YKT

Maidstone & District
1964
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Northern Counties H44/35F

Maidstone and District was an early user of the Leyland Atlantean, taking both normal and lowheight examples classified DH and DL respectively, from 1959 until 1963, when the Daimler Fleetline became the favoured choice. CRG6LX No.DL76, 76 YKT was delivered in September 1964. The Northern Counties body is shown as H44/35F on BLOTW but elsewhere is stated to be H44/33F. DL76 is seen in Tonbridge on 1st October 1967 by which time the BET was concluding negotiations with a view to the sale of its bus industry interests to the government. The imperfect state of the front panel of DL 76 indicates some prescience of the future world awaiting it under NBC.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


17/01/18 – 06:31

H44/33F seems more likely. The first Atlanteans of my local BET operator, Tynemouth and District had H44/34F seating, reduced on the next batch of Atlanteans, and the first batch of Daimler Fleetlines to H44/33F. This was achieved by reducing the inward facing seat over the front wheel arch from 3 to 2. 34 seems to be the maximum that could easily be fitted in downstairs, 35, although not impossible, would imply very cramped seating.

John Gibson


17/01/18 – 06:33

Roger, I would interpret the bent front panel another way – all was not perfect before National Bus company was formed whatever some fondly like to remember! Had it not been formed I would not have arrived at M&D from Eastern Counties in January 1970! It is perhaps an appropriate location to remind us of Mr Macawber: Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery! Perhaps the main reason BET were willing to sell out!
At that time all the M&D Fleetline DD were 77 seaters as indeed were the highbridge Atlanteans (according to the 1971 fleet list). DL 76 > 6076 was still at Tonbridge in 1971 having been converted to "OMB" as was the current expression. Tonbridge had no bodybuilders and had a small running shift, so it was no doubt waiting to go to Tunbridge Wells for repair – the dreadful split level garage that was eventually closed only in 2017!
See also www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/m_&_d_selected_memories.php

Geoff Pullin


17/01/18 – 06:33

Northern Counties made one of the best jobs of bodying the first generation rear engined buses. The engine shrouds hide the rear end bustle and the proportions look just right. In this instance the whole show was helped by a tasteful traditional livery that fitted the lines of the body. Although a bit boxy I thought the flat screens were better than the later versions where BET style curved windscreens were grafted on and never seemed to blend in right.

Philip Halstead


17/01/18 – 06:34

Nice looking bus, the livery helps. We had similar at PMT new in 1963. They were specified with a seating material called Replin which quickly became very soiled and were later retrimmed in very basic red vinyde. I prefer the M&D single headlamps to the twin headlamps fitted to the PMT batch. I like the Southern Region green Station nameboard!

Ian Wild


18/01/18 – 05:28

Not being familiar with the M&D fleet, I’m assuming that the prefixes DL and DH referred to the overall height rather than the upper-deck seating layout, hence the Fleetlines were DL as they had the drop-centre rear axle.

Geoff Kerr


21/01/18 – 06:22

The old M & D garage at Tunbridge Wells was originally operated by Autocar and was in existence prior to 1933 when London Transport expected to acquire it(they had to make do with the little garage in Whitefield Road which became the operating base for Greenline 704)The garage faced directly onto the main road and also Woodbury Park Road.Why do todays operators consider covered accommodation unnecessary?

Patrick Armstrong


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 26th February 2018