Old Bus Photos

Newcastle Corporation – Guy BTX – FVK 109 – 109

Newcastle Corporation - Guy BTX - FVK 109 - 109

Newcastle Corporation - Guy BTX - FVK 109 - 109

Newcastle Corporation
Northern Coachbuilders H33/27D

Once again, these photos are from the Newcastle City Libraries Archives. They are pre delivery publicity shots of FVK 109, a 1937 Guy BTX, and were taken at the Northern Coachbuilders works which was located on Claremont Road Newcastle, my records suggest that the vehicle may have been a one off. Between 1936 & 38, Newcastle Corporation took delivery of 70 Trolleybuses, this took the fleet numbers from 40 to 109. They were an assorted mixture, 40 to 43 were two axle Karrier E4 with H56R MCCW bodies, the remainder were all three axle types with H33/27D bodies, 17 AEC 664T – 24 Guy BTX and 24 Karrier E6A. 44 to 77 and 85 to 108 were MCCW, 78 to 84 were Roe, that brings us back to 109. However, the next vehicle I have records for is 112, a 1938 Daimler with H33/27D MCCW body, it carried a Coventry registration, DHP 112, and was the only Daimler in Newcastle’s not inconsiderable fleet, which would suggest that it was originally a demonstrator. If they ever existed, I have failed to find any records for fleet numbers 110 and 111, so perhaps 109 was actually one of three. Changing the tack slightly, I don’t understand the thinking behind this style of body, two axle trolleybuses had a capacity of 56, but despite the extra length these were only 60, with most of the extra space taken up by a second set of stairs, and a door at the front, it seems an awful lot of expense for the sake of an extra four seats, post war vehicles had what I suppose would be called a normal configuration with an open platform and one set of stairs, which gave a capacity of 70.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

05/08/14 – 06:57

Handsome and fascinating vehicle. Unusual that the staircase evidently eats up one seat downstairs, Roe fashion, yet—to go by the position of the handrail seen through the back window—also extends some way across the back of the platform in conventional staircase fashion, suggesting that the platform is shorter from front to back—something also suggested by the smallish rearmost side windows upstairs. The front upstairs bay is also unusually long, yet there’s nothing unbalanced about the whole design, at least to my eye. If only one had survived!
Seeing one after another of Ronnie’s posts fills me with envy: what a wonderful variety of characterful vehicles, some run by quite small authorities, bearing bold liveries and stylish lettering, all exuding a real sense of local pride.

Ian T

05/08/14 – 07:06

Newcastle’s pre-war trolleybus fleet was entirely six-wheeled vehicles, ALL with the same basic body design, incorporating two staircases, a front exit with doors and sixty seats. This arrangement was adopted because front exits on trams had been the norm for many years in Newcastle and the trolleybus routes were initially all for tram replacement. The layout was similar to that adopted by Bournemouth Corporation for its trolleys. It may just be coincidence but Newcastle’s livery was also very close to that operator’s, albeit with a much darker shade of yellow as per the cadmium used on the trams.
Bournemouth: //farm3.staticflickr.com/2894/  
Newcastle: Here’s a digitally enhanced version of Ronnie’s pic of 109: //farm9.staticflickr.com/8464/

initial 1935 trolleybus fleet was numbered 10-40, extending by 1940 as the network developed to no. 124. As Ronnie rightly states the numbers 110 and 111 were never used, for reasons unknown. Noel Hanson in his excellent history of Newcastle’s trolleybuses offers two theories. One is that 112, a Daimler demonstrator, was coincidentally registered in Coventry as DHP 112 and so NCT thought it prudent to skip from 109 to 112 to keep registration and panel numbers aligned. OR, the reason was an ‘accounting’ allocation of 110 and 111 by Newcastle to other demonstrators that had been borrowed in 1937/38… Whether they actually asked Daimler for a ‘112’ registration on their demonstrator may never be known!
Incidentally 109 saw the light of day as a chassis-only exhibit at the 1937 motor show, then being purchased by Newcastle who had it bodied during 1938 to its ‘standard’ trolleybus design by local firm Northern Coach Builders. Although about this time NCB were bodying Daimler COG5 double-deckers for the Corporation, 109 remained the only pre-war trolleybus bodied by NCB – quite different from the post-war trolleybus fleet in which NCB bodied 80 out of 186 vehicles.
In the pre-war fleet of 113 pretty well externally identical vehicles, no fewer than four chassis makes (27 AEC 664T, 50 Karrier E6/E6A, 35 Guy BTX and 1 Daimler CTM6) and five bodywork manufacturers (5 English Electric, 5 Brush, 89 MCCW, 13 C H Roe and 1 NCB) were represented. Some kind of record? Looks like Metro-Cammell were very much in favour, again reflecting purchases of motor buses at this time.

Fleet summary:
10-4 AEC 664T (EEC)
15-9 AEC 664T (Brush)
20-9 Karrier E6 (MCCW)
30-9 Guy BTX (MCCW)
40 Karrier E6 (MCCW)
41-2 Karrier E6A (MCCW)
43 Karrier E6 (MCCW)
44-6 Guy BTX (MCCW)
47-56 Karrier E6A (MCCW)
57-66 Guy BTX (MCCW)
67-77 AEC 664T (MCCW)
78 Guy BTX (CH Roe)
79-84 AEC 664T (C H Roe)
85-98 Karrier E6A (MCCW)
99-108 Guy BTX (MCCW)
109 Guy BTX (NCB)
112 Daimler CTM6 (MCCW)
113-8 Karrier E6A (C H Roe)
119-24 Karrier E6A (MCCW)

Tony Fox


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Newcastle Corporation – Karrier E6A – BVK 810 – 20

Newcastle Corporation - Karrier - BVK 810 - 20
Courtesy of Newcastle City libraries archives.

Newcastle Corporation
Karrier E6A
Metro-Cammell H33/27D

The last Tyneside and Tynemouth and District trams ran in 1930 and 31 respectively, they were replaced by motor buses, but Newcastle Corporation decided on trolleybus as tram replacements. The Tyneside and T&D tram networks were small in comparison, so the change came very quickly; however, Newcastle was an entirely different matter. The first batch of 30 trolleybuses arrived in 1935; the registrations ran in sequence, BVK 800 to 829, with fleet numbers running from 10 to 39. The changeover was scheduled to take six years; however, the war intervened so it was not until 4th March 1950, that the last trams were finally withdrawn:
The two vehicles in the photo are 20, a Karrier, and an AEC; it is a bit blurred, but possibly 13 or 15.
10/19 were AEC, with English Electric running gear.
20/29 Karrier, with Metropolitan Vickers Company Ltd running gear.
30/39 GUY, with British Thompson Houston running gear.
On the face of it, all the bodies appear to be the same. They were H33/27R, had two sets of stairs, doors at the front and an open platform at the rear. However, three different Coachbuilders were used.
10/14 were built by English Electrical Engineering,
15/19 were – Brush Electrical Engineering,
and 20/39 were – Metropolitan Cammell Carriage + Waggon.
I believe Bournemouth had similar vehicles.
Pre war the fleet numbers went from 10 to 124 with no gaps. In 1942, ten 1931 Dick/Kerr English Electric vehicles were transferred from Bradford by The Ministry of Works and Transport. One was used as a donor vehicle for spares; the remainder were numbered 1 to 9. About 1944, the fleet was renumbered, vehicles up to 99, became 300’s, and 100 onwards were 400’s, the last being 424. New vehicles began to arrive in late 1944, and started at 425, further vehicles continued without interruption up to 628
The combined tram networks of Gateshead and District, and Newcastle Corporation covered a larger geographical area, however, all trams south of the River Tyne ran on G&D tracks, they were a BET group company, and when their last tram ran in 1951, they were replaced by motor buses, so that part of the former tram system was lost, and trolleybuses never ran south of the River Tyne. Consequently, apart from services into Gosforth and Wallsend, all trolleybus routes were wholly within the Newcastle City Boundaries,
As far as I am aware, Newcastle was the largest network outside London. At its peak, the post war fleet numbered in excess of 200 vehicles, just over half of which were three-axle type. The largest number of one type were 70 BUT 9641’s with English Electric running gear, and H40/30R MCCW bodies, the first batch of 20, LTN 479/98, 479/98; were delivered in 1948/9, and were identical to the London Q1 type, even down to the LT style destination layout. Also in 1948/9, they took delivery of 30 Sunbeam S7’s LTN 499/528. 499/528; they had Metropolitan Vickers running gear, and H39/31R Northern Coachbuilders bodies: The remaining 50 BUT’s, NBB 579/628, 579/628; were delivered in 1950, although very similar to the first 20, they had the standard Newcastle Corporation destination layout. Two vehicles have survived into preservation, 628 is from the 1950 BUT batch, and is located at the East Anglia Transport Museum, appropriately it was the last trolleybus to enter service, and 501, a 1948/9 Sunbeam S7, has been restored by Beamish Museum. They were reunited in 2011, for a special event at the East Anglia Transport Museum, photos of which can be found on their website. None of the two axle versions survives.

29/06/14 – 09:40

A lovely posed photo of the initial Newcastle trolleybus fleet. I have a book published by Newcastle City Libraries 1985 which describes the two trolleybuses in the photo as No. 15, an AEC 664T with Brush body and No. 20, a Karrier E6A with Metro-Cammell body and the year is 1935 and the location is Denton Bank.

Richard Fieldhouse


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Demonstrator – Daimler Fleetline – 565 CRW

Demonstrator - Daimler Fleetline - 565 CRW

With – Newcastle Corporation
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Alexander H44/34F

565 CRW; 1963 H44/34F Alexander bodied Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX demonstrator:
Over the years, Newcastle Corporation had quite a number of Daimlers, both double and single deck, with a variety of bodies from different coachbuilders, but with the demise of the half cab in favour of front entrance rear engine buses they stayed very firmly entrenched in the Leyland camp. However, that’s not to say that they didn’t dip a toe in the water. This Daimler demonstrator pictured at Tynemouth is on loan to Newcastle Corporation. The service 11 ran from Newcastle Haymarket to Tynemouth, and was shared by NCT and NGT’s Percy Main depot. When it first started in 1928, the operating licences were divided equally between Newcastle Corporation, Tynemouth and District Transport, and Wakefields Motors Ltd. Wakefields subsequently became part of the NGT group, but all their operators licences remained in their name, so officially, three Percy Main vehicles on this route either had to carry the Wakefields name, or display an ‘On hire to Wakefields’ sticker, needless to say, this was a formality that was frequently overlooked.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

24/02/14 – 07:50

7000 HP_2

Two Demonstrators were shown at the 1960 Commercial Motor Show, one was a chassis, the other a CRD6 model, with chassis No.60000, the well known 7000HP, in Birmingham City Transport livery, shown above.

7000 HP_3

This bus later ended up with the Blue Bus Services (Tailby and George) fleet at Willington in Derbyshire, and was totally destroyed in the disastrous fire in January 1976. See here:- www.stephenhowarth.co.uk/ 

324 YNU

Blue Bus Services (Tailby and George) also took 5 more Fleetlines one of which was the first production chassis – 60003, bodies by Northern Counties in 1962, 324 YNU. Seen here in the 3rd picture negotiating flood waters (just shows they are not a modern problem as the press would have us think), on the Derby to Burton via Etwall service, later to be numbered 46 by Derby Borough Transport on the takeover by that concern in 1974.

Stephen Howarth

25/02/14 – 14:42

Thanks for posting this, Ronnie. I found it rather intriguing! The vehicle shown is, indeed 565 CRW, and I have a bought colour shot of her in a livery with slightly more cream. What intrigues me is that I have vague memories of a Daimler/Alexander demonstrator with an awkwardly similar registration, namely 595 CRW. Were there really two of them, or is my memory card in need of replacement???

Pete Davies

25/02/14 – 17:14

SGD 669_2

Here’s another demonstrator on the 11 Tynemouth to Newcastle, arriving at the Haymarket. Photo by Bob Mack.
Atlantean SGD 669 started life as Glasgow Corporation LA91 then returned to Leyland for use as a demonstrator, afterwards moving on to the Fishwick fleet in Leyland as their no. 34.
IIRC it was in Newcastle during 1964, AFTER the Corporation had committed to this style of bodywork in 1963 on the first trolleybus replacement Atlanteans (1-12 JVK) so I’m not sure what it was demonstrating at the time! Or was it working with Tynemouth, Ronnie?
Does anyone know why this vehicle was chosen for its wider role? Did it initially have any features different from the Glasgow standard? I think (fatal!) that its green panels were changed to matching yellow for its time in Newcastle, so perhaps other modifications happened as well. Did it run in Glasgow colours while in Halifax?

Tony Fox

26/02/14 – 07:40

Glasgow had loaned different Atlanteans to Leyland for demonstration work. Theirs were 30′-8" long and with this stylish Alexander body would have conveyed the modern image of a bus that Leyland would wish to portray. Glasgow and Leyland came to an agreement to part with LA91, replaced later with LA202, presumably to make a vehicle immediately available to Leyland. A six-month wait would risk letting Daimler seize the opportunity. As a demonstrator its Glasgow livery was certainly changed to one more like the Newcastle one, without the green.
I am pretty sure there was no 595 CRW, or at least a Fleetline with that number, but 565 CRW certainly demonstrated in two liveries as it appeared at Halifax in both guises.

David Beilby

26/02/14 – 07:41

Can’t say for certain, Tony. I started at Percy Main in January 1967, so this was before my time, however, by 1963, T&D had 22 PDR1/1’s, which was roughly a quarter of the D/D fleet. In 1963, they took delivery of the first of two batches of Weymann bodied CRG6LX Fleetlines, followed by three batches of Alexander bodied versions in 65/7&8. I lived close to Percy Main depot, and took a keen interest in what went on. From memory, demonstrators were usually to be found working the very busy stop start Whitley Bay to Lobley Hill Gateshead service 1, which was a greater test of stamina than the equally busy but less demanding service 11. If you want my opinion, I would say that it was with NCT rather than Tynemouth.

Ronnie Hoye

26/02/14 – 07:43

Pete, there were no other Fleetline demonstrators around at the time of 565 CRW. I think it replaced 4559VC, a Northern Counties-bodied example which went on to spend many years with Procter’s of Hanley.
Tony, although SGD 669 is nowadays widely-referred to as being ‘ex-Glasgow’, I have to cast doubt on the notion that it actually reached there. Leyland had already, on separate occasions, borrowed two Glasgow Atlanteans, I think they were LA6 and LA83. It was then announced that Glasgow had agree to ‘sell’ LA91 – but it is my recollection that at that time deliveries had not reached that point, and, if that was the case, LA91 would still be in build. Also, it does seem unlikely that Leyland would buy back an already-delivered vehicle when identical ones were still being completed at the rate of, probably, two a week.
SGD 669 took up its demonstration duties in mock Newcastle Corporation livery – there again, why repaint a bus after a week or two in service, when one could be painted to order from scratch?
You’ll see that I said Glasgow had agreed to ‘sell’ LA91 – but it was ultimately replaced by LA152, which was effectively added to the next order for fifty similar buses. So the situation would appear to have been a bit more involved than a simple ‘sale’.
To the question of whether it ran in Halifax in Glasgow colours, I’m obviously doubting that it ever received those colours, and I’m pretty certain that it didn’t do any demonstrating in them.
There’s actually already a page on OBP devoted to SGD 669. www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=581

David Call

26/02/14 – 07:45

When the Atlantean was demonstrated in Aberdeen it was painted yellow and cream Newcastle style.
From memory it had also been in France, the wording on the offside was "Ici Le Leyland Atlantean 78 places".
565 CRW saw service with both Grahams of Paisley and Moffat and Williamson of Gauldry.

Stephen Bloomfield

26/02/14 – 12:10

565 CRW demonstrated at Halifax three times. The first time, in April 1964, it was in a different livery to that depicted above, using a deep brownish maroon and a rich cream. It returned to Halifax in October 1964 to demonstrate to Hebble in the same livery. It returned to the Corporation again in September 1965, by which time it had been repainted in the Edinburgh style with a lighter, more Edinburgh-like red, but with more of an ivory relief colour, rather than Edinburgh’s white. It paid a longer third visit in August/September 1966, just prior to the Corporation’s own first Fleetlines being delivered, still in the same livery. I think much of its extended stay involved some engineering familiarisation.
SGD 669 demonstrated to Halifax in May/June 1964. It was in a Newcastle-style livery, and I recall the interior was rather plain with a lot of darkish green rexene. It returned to the area to demonstrate to Hebble in October/November 1964. There is a nice photo of it working for Halifax Corporation here: www.sct61.org.uk/hxsgd699

John Stringer

26/02/14 – 13:06

Something has just struck me regarding the Alexander body. On such a modern design for the period, why did they continue with rear mudguards when others had abandoned them? It looks particularly odd given the lack of matching ones for the front wheels.

Phil Blinkhorn

26/02/14 – 14:11

If memory serves, Phil, the rear wings were rubber, and so less prone to accidental damage when removing the wheels, especially the inners.

Ronnie Hoye

27/02/14 – 07:38

565 CRW_2

Here is Daimler Fleetline 565 CRW in King Cross Road, Halifax en route from Hebden Bridge to Brighouse when on hire to HPTD in the summer of 1965. The picture was taken late in the evening when I spotted the bus and just managed to get off a shot (with entirely guessed exposure settings) as I walked home, hence the indifferent quality of the picture.

Roger Cox

28/02/14 – 07:54

The hopper windows were uncommon in those days, I can’t recall any local Operators using them (ECW fitted them to Lodekkas etc). Was this body tagged on to one for regular Alexander users (Glasgow or SBG?) Maybe they specified them? They look much neater tan sliders.

Ian Wild

01/03/14 – 13:36

565 CRW had an A-type body with body number A/1363. Alexander’s body numbering was a bit erratic at the time as they kept changing the system, but the only other A-types ordered around the same time seem to have been A/1663 for AA, Ayr (XSD 430); A/1963 for McGill, Barrhead (AHS 16B); A/2063 for Graham, Paisley (HXS 864). Looking at photos of these three on the web show that all had normal sliding windows.

John Stringer

29/06/14 – 07:17

I am sure 565 CRW worked for Harper Bros (Heath Hayes) as a demonstrator for a while in the mid sixties, but if my memory is correct there was a lot more cream livery on it then.

Keith Harley

20/11/15 – 14:12

Significant information just published in Buses Mag December 2015 page 84 reveals that 565 CRW was shown at 1963 Scottish Motor Show in Glasgow Corporation colours, finished to Glasgow spec.
Having a life-long interest in Fleetlines I was not aware of this but Alan Millar confirms this was the case. Buses Illustrated January 1964 issue page 7 states "By the time this column went to press no order had been placed by G.C.T. for another Fleetline" (GCT already had SGD 730, new in May 1963) "But the Show model was finished in G.C.T. colours and to G.C.T. specification" Has anyone seen a picture of 565 CRW in Glasgow colours?

Jim Neale

565 CRW Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

25/10/16 – 14:22

I always liked that Alexander body style on Atlanteans and Fleetlines. Bury had 15 on Fleetline chassis, 117-131, later Selnec 6317-31. They were the only ones in the combined fleet after the PTE took over with the highbridge version of the body, although North Western had quite a few with the low height version. Bury had one of those for a short time, YJA 2, in overall advertising livery for Quicks for Ford.

David Pomfret


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