Old Bus Photos

Greenslades Tours – AEC Reliance – FFJ 13D

Greenslades - AEC Reliance - FFJ 13D

Greenslades Tours 
AEC Reliance 2MU4RA
Harrington C40F

Sadly the very last Harrington body to be built, No 3218, was this Grenadier C40F example on an AEC Reliance 2MU4RA chassis for Greenslades Tours of Exeter registration No FFJ 13D. This photo was taken on the 24th April 1966 at the British Coach Rally on Madeira Drive Brighton whilst the Concours judges were making their inspection. The elegant lines of the body and the restrained but attractive livery are even 48 years later a lesson todays designers and colour stylists might well learn lessons from, but being a cynical 75 year old I doubt it will happen.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

15/09/14 – 07:02

Can’t better Dave’s comments – and nearby were the Devon General 2U3RAs as well. I’m all for Van Hool/DAFs, Setras and Scanias but oh for a world where there were up to date, quality AECs, Bristols, Leylands and Guys with Burlingham, Harrington, (real) Plaxton, Weymann and Roe bodies sitting on them. There is no excuse for selling the family silver – having things built on the continent or in the far east because wage rates are cheaper. What about a bit of pride in our own abilities. [The Germans and the French would not let it happen!]

David Oldfield

15/09/14 – 07:03

This was indeed a very attractive livery, featuring an unusual shade of green. The designation 2MU4RA denotes a "crash" gearbox, which seemed a backward step after most Reliances had synchromesh gearboxes.
The boot lid is interesting. I remember that Yelloway always specified two piece boot doors hinged from the sides to avoid people bumping their heads on the top hinged flaps more commonly used in the fifties and sixties. This design could be an attempt to avoid the problem.
The Grenadier body was a development of the better known "Cavalier" and to me was even more attractive. I agree, Dave, it is so sad that Harrington ceased production of coach bodies, at a time when their products seemed to be more popular than ever.

Don McKeown

15/09/14 – 12:00

The parallel lift boot door was a Harrington patent device, more usually used for side lockers because of often restricted space in coach stations.
It was obviously optional, as witness the side lockers on this example, and presumably cost more.
I wonder why Plaxtons didn’t take over this patent?

Andrew Goodwin

15/09/14 – 12:00

The last sentence of Diesel Dave’s caption mirrors my thoughts precisely, and I am three years even further down "Cynical Avenue" and proud of it !!

Chris Youhill


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Blackburn Corporation – Leyland Titan – PCB 25 – 25

Blackburn Corporation - Leyland Titan - PCB 25 - 25

Blackburn Corporation – Blackburn Borough Transport
Leyland Titan PD2A/24
East Lancs H35/28R

The local government reorganisation of 1974 resulted in the merger of the municipal fleets of Blackburn and Darwen. The initial livery was a compromise, using Darwen’s red and Blackburn’s green, although the shades of these colours were rather brighter than those previously used. The combined undertaking was titled "Blackburn Borough Transport", the word "Corporation" ceased to be used at this time (at least for bus fleets) except in Douglas The main subject of this picture is 25 (PCB 25) a Leyland Titan PD2A/24 with East Lancs H35/28R bodywork, one of twelve delivered to Blackburn Corporation in 1962; a further twelve identical vehicles followed in 1964. These followed batches of Guy Arab IV’s, and I’m sure the drivers will have appreciated the semi-automatic gearboxes on these Titans. Other vehicles of both Blackburn and Ribble can be seen, including the rear of an Atlantean in the previous Blackburn livery. After a few years a version of the latter livery was applied to the whole fleet.

The photograph was taken at The Boulevard bus terminus, which was right outside Blackburn Railway Station. This terminus served the town well until recently, but at the time of writing this area is a building site, with temporary traffic lights causing delays to buses entering or leaving the town from the south. A new bus station is under construction near to the market hall, and a temporary bus station has been built nearby. Nowadays the former municipal services are operated by Transdev Lancashire United, which revives a once proud name, although not in it’s original operating area.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown

11/09/14 – 077:00

Don, there was another exception – Barrow-in-Furness Corporation Transport. Buses proudly carried the fleet name ‘Barrow Corporation’ well into the 1980s. They retained their smart cream and dark blue livery and a coat of arms too. Nice picture with plenty of background interest which captures the era well.

Mike Morton

13/09/14 – 06:35

The semi-automatic PD2 (as opposed to PD3) was a pretty rare vehicle really. And I don’t recall the centrifugal clutches rattling on these PD2s the way they did on Ribble, Wigan, Preston etc PD3s when idling.

Michael Keeley

14/09/14 – 07:26

There were indeed more semi-automatic PD3s built for UK operators than semi-automatic PD2s, but not all that many more.
I can think of 391 PD2s, whereas the total for PD3s was, I think, about 580. The main customer for two-pedal PD2s was Glasgow Corporation Transport, which took 325. Others operators which spring to mind are Blackburn (24), Leeds (20), Huddersfield (6), Manchester (6), Swindon (5), King Alfred (2), Ramsbottom (1), Walsall (1), Demonstrator (1).
Taking Glasgow out of the equation gives 66 PD2s and about 440 PD3s, so, outside Glasgow, two-pedal PD2s were indeed relatively rare. There’s no way a centrifugal clutch couldn’t rattle, so if the Blackburn PD2A/24s didn’t rattle then there’s no way they could have been centrifugal clutch, they must have been fluid flywheel, which is what I would have said they were anyway.
Of the Ribble two-pedal PD3s, only 1706-1800 were centrifugal clutch, the final batch (1815-50) being fluid flywheel.
All two-pedal Preston PD3s were centrifugal clutch, but they only took the one batch (of seven), choosing manual transmissions for all subsequent PD3s.
I never seriously encountered the Wigan PD3s, sorry.

David Call


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CIE – Leyland Leopard – EZH 234 – C234

CIE - Leyland Leopard - EZH 234 - C234

CIE (Coras Iompair Eirann)
Leyland Leopard PSU3 4R

EZH 234 is a Leyland Leopard PSU3 4R coach with METSEC body. It operated for CIE [Córas Iompair Éireann] and is preserved in their brown and cream livery. It was new in 1966 as B53F [fleet number C234] and reseated to C45F in 1968. In 1986 it was reseated to B55F and transferred to Bus Eireann as their CS234 in 1987. Withdrawn in 1995 it has been restored to its C45F layout.
The picture was taken at Gaydon Heritage Centre – Buses Festival 2014

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

07/09/14 – 18:00

Looks like an excellent restoration. The colour scheme complements the METSEC body which is an interesting and very creditable blend of BET and CIE designs. Having sampled CIE’s previous Leopards on express services in the earlier part of the decade, I wonder how the ride was on Irish roads, especially as it aged. Having sampled two ten year old examples of the Bus Eireann Scania/Irizar Century a couple of days ago, between Tralee and Limerick and back, I would think the vehicle would have been allowed to deteriorate fairly rapidly as CIE and Bus Eireann work their charges very hard on roads that, away from the major cities, are not the best.

Phil Blinkhorn

09/09/14 – 07:00

This is certainly one handsome beast and a beautiful restoration.

Chris Hebbron


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 16th September 2014