Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Leyland Titan – 415 DCD – 415

Southdown - Leyland Titan - 415 DCD - 415

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
Leyland Titan PD3/4
Northern Counties FCO39/30F

This Titan PD3/4 in the Southdown fleet is seen in somewhat strange surroundings. She is adjacent to a public park outside Dock Gate 4 in Southampton on 23 August 1982 while on hire to Southampton City Transport on park and ride duty in connection with the Tall Ships Races. Portsmouth and Thamesdown loaned buses for the event – I saw some of the Portsmouths but none of the Thamesdowns. My apologies to those of our number who cannot abide the NBC green . . . She has Southdown’s normal Northern Counties body of (in this case) FCO69F layout. She dates from 1964.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

29/06/15 – 06:55

Like many, I prefer buses with half cabs, but I quite liked the Southdown ‘Queen Mary’ Titans in their original form and I think that this one may have curved windows at the front which really didn’t go with the overall design. I also hated National green.

David Wragg

29/06/15 – 10:24

Thank you, David. I, for one, have never quite understood how a full front could possibly help with cooling the engine (and/or the cab!) Now, it could be achieved quite easily with a half cab. Still, design is what matters, rather than fitness for purpose. There are schools in Southampton which won design awards, but the roofs leak like sieves!

Pete Davies

30/06/15 – 06:43

At least this NBC Green is fresh, with a gloss. Probably done specially for the occasion! Three weeks hence and it would be faded and matt finish!
Of course, I exaggerate, but only slightly!
Nice to see a three-quarter rear view of a Queen Mary.

Chris Hebbron

30/06/15 – 09:53

This is an interesting question Pete. Forward control "Queen Mary" lorries became almost universal in this country but I suppose the driver tended to be over rather than alongside the engine. Nevertheless smaller goods vehicles had the engine in the cab. Was it also a question of designing buses for looks- with poor insulation and airflows? On the other hand, half-cabs gave better access and better visibility, especially on the kerbside- allowing for some tin-fronts, but at the cost of looks and municipal pride. Then we got Wulfrunians, Ailsas and a whole lot of rear engines… problem solved?


30/06/15 – 09:55

Thank you, Chris. There were two of these in overall advertising livery, "Maritime Britain" which are too dreadful for publication, as well as some of the early ‘flat front’ VR members of the fleet. I have one in mind for a future offer.

Pete Davies


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Midland Red – BMMO S15 – 5056 HA – 5056

Midland Red - BMMO S15 - 5056 HA - 5056

Midland Red (Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Co)

This was one of the second batch of S15s. Broadly similar to the S14 bus, these were designed as dual-purpose vehicles and featured bucket-seats and double rear wheels as well as, on this second batch, some chrome trim. Circa 1969 the batch was relegated to bus work after being repainted into the standard bus livery. While dual-purpose they had black roofs. In this shot 5056 is seen at the Black Country Living Museum in September 2014.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

25/06/15 – 06:46

I recall 5048 HA (allocated, I think, to Coalville depot) as a regular performer on the Birmingham – Nottingham route X99 in the 1960s. Those bucket seats were pretty comfortable.

Stephen Ford

25/06/15 – 13:34

There’s something in the ‘copy’ which intrigues me, Les, and thanks for posting. There is mention of double rear wheels as if this is something of an innovation. Given the company’s leadership in so many aspects of bus design and operation, were these really the first Midland Reds to have twin wheels at the rear?

Pete Davies

26/06/15 – 05:22

Peter, As I understand it, most of the S14 class were fitted with single rear wheels as part of a desire to produce a light-weight vehicle. Unladen weight was not much over five tons according to M.W. Greenwood’s excellent book – ‘Midland Red Buses’. The S15 was a further development of the class but with modifications, including twin rears, to produce a dual-purpose vehicle.

Les Dickinson

26/06/15 – 05:23

I am no expert on Midland Red, but I suspect that the S14 had single rear wheels as an experiment. Both AEC and Leyland tried this with their underfloor-engined buses, but found that road holding suffered.

David Wragg

26/06/15 – 05:24

I think what Les meant to convey was the fact that the previous S14, built to a lightweight design, had single rear wheels.

Nigel Edwards

27/06/15 – 06:42

Nigel is quite correct regarding single rear wheels on the S14. Although I drove S15s in service (5050, 5055 and 5073 (now preserved)), I never had chance to drive an S14 so I can’t comment on their road holding.

Larry B

27/06/15 – 06:43

Thank you for filling this gap in my knowledge of Midland Red.

Pete Davies

28/06/15 – 05:54

There are 2 S15 in preservation but this one is the only one with original DP seats. It has also been retro-fitted with the 10.5 litre engine. The driving position is not comfortable and requires some getting used to given a tight cab and upright pedals. I sold it after getting a left knee problem and so did the previous owner for the same reason. It is really fast on the road and my claim to fame is 2hrs 40mins from Gateshead to Digbeth some 4 years ago after a Bus Rally.

Roger Burdett


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Huddersfield Corporation – Daimler CVG6 – HVH 472D – 472

Huddersfield Corporation - Daimler CVG6 - HVH 472D - 472

Huddersfield Corporation
Daimler CVG6LX.30DD
East Lancs H41/29F

This is the last Huddersfield Corporation vehicle delivered (numerically) with a front engine and is currently preserved. It was new in 1966 to the Corporation, being withdrawn in 1980, having served 6 years with the WYPTE.
The photo was taken in 2005 at a local bus rally and shows the vehicle turned out in superb condition and displaying the old Corporation livery with the front end swoops.
It is still active and I photographed it at another local rally earlier this year.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Tim Jackson

27/06/15 – 06:40

I rode on this bus this year at Llandudno, and was surprised to be given an ultimate ticket. Perhaps the owners have a big supply of ticket rolls.
A lovely bus, Daimlers don’t get the attention they deserve. Pity about the forward entrance!

Don McKeown

28/06/15 – 05:52

Well Don, Huddersfield used Ultimate ticket machines so that added to the authenticity of riding on it. Despite having served over six years with WYPTE it somehow managed to retain its Huddersfield livery to the end.

Eric Bawden


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 1st July 2015