Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Leyland Tiger Cub – UCD 122 – 1122

UCD 122

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1958
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2
Beadle C37F

Taken in the mid sixties at the exit of Eastbourne Cavendish Place coach station this photo is of one of the last batch of Southdown’s 130 Tiger Cub/ Beadle coaches.
Delivered in 1958 No 1122 registration UCD 122 was one of the last batch of 15 which were the only ones with front entrances the other 115 having centre entrances, this particular car (to use the correct Southdown term) was to C37F layout the rest were C41F with the exception of 1128/9 which were C32F these two were also painted in pale blue and cream for a contract with Linjebus a Swedish tour company.
As this style of body was I believe peculiar to South down and this front entrance batch small in number I have not seen many photos of them here or elsewhere.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave


22/11/17 – 07:44

It still looks odd for me to see front entrance Southdown coaches, so rare were they! These few do remind me, somewhat, of the 11XX (XUF XXX) Weymann Fanfare-bodied Tiger Cubs of the early 1960’s. I think there was a second batch later. But these vehicles came in penny numbers, too!

Chris Hebbron


24/11/17 – 07:29

Its staggering to realise that one batch of coaches could number 130 and just goes to show how the British holiday scene has changed so much. Southdown also had many more batches of coaches in those days and it would be interesting to know what the total coach fleet strength was. And that was only one of the south coast operators to which could be added East Kent, M & D, Royal Blue and numerous others further west.

Philip Halstead


 

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South Yorkshire – Albion Valkyrie – GWT 630 – 61

South Yorkshire - Albion Valkyrie - GWT 630 - 61

South Yorkshire Motors
1947
Albion Valkyrie CX13
Burlingham C33F

GWT 630 is a former South Yorkshire Albion Valkyrie CX13 of 1947 vintage, though some sources say that it entered service in 1948. It is pictured on the HCVC Brighton Rally in 1971, but after a change of ownership, it subsequently underwent a complete restoration in 2009. The Burlingham coach body seats 33 passengers. This was the first post war coach bought by South Yorkshire (a devotee of the Albion marque), but it is thought that it covered a relatively low mileage in South Yorkshire service, the heavy sliding door being unpopular with lady conductors on stage carriage work. The 17ft 7ins wheelbase Valkyrie CX model was introduced by the manufacturer at the 1937 Commercial Motor Show, and was originally offered in three versions – CX 9 (6.1 litre 85 bhp 4 cylinder petrol), CX11 (Gardner 5LW) and CX13 (9.1 litre 120 bhp 6 cylinder petrol, or Gardner 6LW). Production stopped during the war but restarted in 1945 with the emphasis being on diesel power (Albion changed from indirect to direct injection in 1937), though the petrol options remained. The post war Valkyrie was offered as the CX9 with 6.6 litre four cylinder oil engine (Albion always eschewed the use of the word “diesel”), the CX13 now being fitted with the EN242, the oil version of the 9.1 litre six cylinder developing 105 bhp. A four speed constant mesh gearbox in unit with the engine was standard. The CX9 continued to be available until 1950, but the CX13 was replaced on the home market in 1948 by the fundamentally similar Valiant CX39 which had the more powerful 120 bhp EN243B 9.9 litre engine employed in the Venturer CX37 double decker. All Valkyrie and Valiant production ended in 1950, and Leyland took over the Scotstoun firm in the following year.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


22/11/17 – 07:41

Interesting photo and stuff, Roger, thx. Somehow, the whole look of the vehicle is somewhat spoilt by the rather small and therefore out of proportion radiator. Pre-war chassis were better in this respect and if there was a large sun across it as well, so much the better!

Chris Hebbron


 

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WYPTE – AEC Reliance – Pennine – ECP 950D – 250

WYPTE - AEC Reliance - Pennine - ECP 950D - 250

WYPTE (Calderdale)
1966
AEC Reliance 6MU3RA
Pennine B39F

Having suffered a number of Albion Nimbuses whilst in his previous post at Great Yarmouth, Geoffrey Hilditch arrived as GM at Halifax only to find that his predecessor there had bequeathed him a batch of ten more, only recently delivered. Bought originally with the intention of operating out-of-town feeder services to and from the hilltop villages linking with double deckers on the main valley roads, the plan never really came to fruition and the Nimbuses found themselves operating through services from town to these places, as well as substituting for heavier duty single deckers on more local services. In these circumstances rather too much was perhaps expected of them and they soon began to give problems, and were generally unpopular with drivers (except Roger Cox !).
Hilditch was not impressed and within two years he began to sell them off, but there was still considered to be a need for some shorter and narrower than standard single deckers to negotiate the narrow lanes and tight reversing points. He chose to repeat what he had done at Great Yarmouth and ordered some AEC Reliances with Pennine bodywork of reduced dimensions. Seven arrived for the JOC fleet in 1966 – 249-255 (ECP 949-955D) – based on the 505-engined 6MU3RA chassis. Bodies by the Seddon subsidiary Pennine Coachcraft seated 39, 252 having seats with headrests (removed from the two Nimbuses that had been fitted with them previously). 249 was even exhibited at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Earls Court in that year.
They proved to be very useful on the more rural routes and were regular performers on the Heptonstall, Midgley, Booth and Mill Bank services. All passed to WYPTE Calderdale District in 1974 and were withdrawn in 1979/80. 250 was withdrawn on 31 July 1979 and sold at Central Motor Auctions the following month to Askin’s, the Carlton breaker. 251 escaped the breaker to operate for Everton Coaches of Droitwich for a while and was the subject of a sadly failed preservation attempt. 252 was exported to Malta, where it operated in a non-PSV capacity for a number of years.
Here 250 is pictured in WYPTE days (1975) still in Halifax livery as it rests in Rawson Street, Halifax whilst its driver has his mealbreak in the Powell Street canteen, which was down a passageway behind Harvey’s department store on the left.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


10/11/17 – 06:53

Nice interesting buses-always seemed in a hurry and went fast!

Stuart Emmett


10/11/17 – 06:54

I recently paid a return visit to the Halifax area to see relatives who live high above Mytholmroyd on the way up to Pecket Well. After living in the flat lands around Peterborough for over 12 years I found those moorland roads, hills and twists quite challenging even in my humble Vauxhall Zafira. I have nothing but admiration for the men and machines who piloted those orange and green buses into that hinterland. Even these short and narrow Reliances must have been a tight squeeze but unlike the Nimbuses they ousted they would at least have had some power.

Philip Halstead


12/11/17 – 07:17

I remember in the 70’s when I looked after the police radio stations. I was going to one near Blackshaw Head on a quite snowy day when one of these could not make it up a steep climb and had to assist in guiding the driver reversing for almost a 1/2 mile before he could turn round. I then had to walk back to where I had left my Land Rover.

Brian Lunn


12/11/17 – 07:18

That’s an interesting point, Philip. Some may know better than me, but the Halifax/ Heptonstall bus has to use a turning circle to approach the steep hill up to the village. At the top the road narrows through the village and is cobbled, becoming for a bus a single width. Every sort of bus seems to have been used, though, and the whole thing certainly requires skill.

Joe


12/11/17 – 07:19

Philip, I now live some 10 miles down the A1 where the Black Fens abut the rolling hills of West Hunts, and I agree that there could be no greater contrast with the dramatic Calderdale skyline than the the billiard table top topography of South Holland lying to the north of Peterborough. These Pennine bodied Reliances began to appear during my last months with HPTD in the latter part of 1966, but, being earmarked for (what was then called) OMO, they were not driven by we humble office employees who covered only crew duties. On the subject of the Nimbuses (yes, John, I loved ‘em) my acquaintance with them was always on the 46 route to Heptonstall, which, because of the unbelievably constricted terminal reversing point, colloquially known as ‘The Rathole’ – even the mirrors had to be flattened against the bus sides – these little machines carried a conductor. Before the coming of the Nimbuses, I believe that the route was previously operated with Regals, and I commend those drivers struggling over the years to turn round these bigger vehicles at the Rathole. However, I can vouch that the Nimbus did not lack performance when in good order, and could scamper up the steep Heptonstall Road from Hebden Bridge every bit as effectively as the Leopards that initially superseded them when the 46 was mercifully extended onwards beyond the Rathole to follow a circular terminal working round Heptonstall – why this route could not have been adopted long before I cannot imagine, unless there was some Road Service Licence difficulty. Having resolved the terminal problem, it was logical that the 46 would become a driver only operation, but, in my day, the Booth and Midgely services, which ran common with the 46 as far as Luddenden Foot, were PD2 crew runs. It would seem that they, too, soon became OMO workings with the then new Reliances. The Nimbus certainly had mechanical weaknesses, but so did the AH505 engine in the Reliance, so troubles were certainly not over. I have long thought that the fine Reliance chassis (much superior to the Leopard) should have been fitted with the superb Dennis O6 engine – we are all allowed to dream.

Roger Cox


12/11/17 – 09:40

An example of Heptonstall village bus "squeeze" as Joe mentioned. http://www.sct61.org.uk/hx266

John Lomas


21/11/17 – 07:18

Ah, the short Pennine Reliances. What do I remember? Clutch problems, snatching brakes, skidding in wet weather, the inevitable cold heaters and demisters, head gaskets (yes even on the AH505 engine). I have to bow to Roger and John who were there before me that the Nimbus was actually worse!!!!

Ian Wild


24/11/17 – 07:27

Provided all was working well I always much preferred the 505 Reliance to the heavy, clunky L1/L2 Leopards, though of course I wasn’t involved with having to maintain them. Cold heaters and demisters were a feature of most of the buses that I remember driving throughout my career (except during the summer months when some suddenly seemed to blow hot !). The dimensions of these reduced Reliances rendered them just right for the roads they were intended for.
However, I would completely agree with Ian that Reliance brakes could be unpredictably and frighteningly snatchy, and that these short ones were the worst of all. Many of the routes they were used on were tightly timed and yet involved negotiating miles of narrow, steeply graded and winding country lanes with blind bends and shiny worn surfaces, along which numerous farm tractors with muddy tyres and leaking muck spreaders would have passed, and to which herds of cows would have added their messy contribution. All it needed then was for it to rain and you had a recipe for disaster. You had to be extremely careful, yet the running times often didn’t exactly encourage this.
It always seemed to me that when a standard chassis had bits lopped off it to make it shorter and narrower it always upset the balance of things. Even worse than these Reliances were some Bristol LHS6L’s that WYPTE graced us with for a while. The LH was designed primarily as a 32ft x 8ft vehicle and may well have been okay in that form (can’t say – I never drove one). The LHS was a shorter version, maybe around 27ft 6in and sometimes 7ft 6in wide, but ours were as short and narrow as it was possible to make them, with seemingly just enough wheelbase to allow for the engine and transmission to fit, the front and rear overhangs cut down as far as they could go, and with small wheels. This resulted in a 24ft x 7ft 6in, 27-seater roller skate of a bus yet which had the same powerful 0400 engine, gearbox and braking system of the full sized version – seemingly unmodified – and all its weight distribution completely messed up. Those things really were the most fearsome buses I’ve ever driven – too much power for their own good, rear wheelspin, bouncing up and down on the back end and the brakes locking up, skidding and sliding. Terrible things.

John Stringer


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 24th November 2017