Old Bus Photos

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


 

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East Yorkshire – Leyland Panther – JRH 323E – 823

East Yorkshire - Leyland Panther - JRH 323E - 823

East Yorkshire
1967
Leyland Panther PSUR1/2R
Weymann Topaz II

The Panther and Panther Cub were Leyland Motors’ rear underfloor-engined offerings during the mid- to late-1960’s. By this time AEC had been taken over and its Swift model shared the same chassis as the Panther, each using their own engines (O600/O680 and AH505/691 respectively), the Panther having a front mounted radiator, whilst the Swift’s was at the rear. Both bus (with a stepped chassis frame) and coach (with a high, straight frame) were offered, the Swift also being offered with a constant-mesh gearbox in place of the more usual semi-automatic. The shorter Panther Cub – originally introduced to meet the requirements of Manchester CT – had a shorter rear overhang and of necessity had to feature the smaller O400 engine. An equivalent shorter Swift was offered with the AH505 engine only.
Several operators – both municipal and company, and some overseas – bought the Panther and Panther Cub in their bus form, and operated them with varying degrees of success, many having relatively short lives mainly due to bodywork deficiencies. The coach version was relatively uncommon though, the largest operator probably being Seamark’s of Bedfordshire, along with Skill’s of Nottingham.
East Yorkshire took 24 Panthers and 17 Panther Cubs. The Panthers consisted 15 buses, 4 DP’s and 5 coaches – but all based on the PSUR1/2R coach chassis. The second batch of three coaches had Plaxton Panorama bodies, but the first pair (823/824) had very rare Weymann Topaz II C44F coachwork.
Here 823 is seen emerging from the company’s Anlaby Road, Hull premises in 1972.The pair were repainted into the NBC corporate white livery in 1973, but were to pass to the NBC’s vehicle cannibalisation centre at Bracebridge Heath, near Lincoln in 1976 to be stripped for spares, after which the remains were sold to Pickersgill & Laverick, the Carlton breakers.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


29/11/17 – 08:24

A Willowbrook DP-bodied PSU3 of 1962 also in view.

Mark Evans


30/11/17 – 08:14

Not a bad looking coach but a bit let down by the rather oversized front grille.

Philip Halstead


01/12/17 – 06:53

Good point, Philip. One expects something better from Weymann.This is a touch vulgar.

David Wragg


02/12/17 – 07:30

I think it’s unlikely that the Topaz II was designed by Weymann, and even more unlikely that it was built by them, since the factory had been closed for 18 months by the time it was delivered. Blame MCW.

Peter Williamson


02/12/17 – 07:31

Can you see that the outline of the grille is basically Duple 1963-1965 (Bella Vega/Vega Major)? By this time, of course, Weymann no longer existed. It is strictly speaking a MCW body.

David Oldfield


13/12/17 – 08:00

Maybe a bit of a BET Group thread here; EYMS with Panther buses and a few coaches, similar to PMT with Roadliners. I wonder how reliable the Panthers were? Would they be used on extended tours? The zig zag flash on the body side forward of the rear wheel arch looks strange and as already commented the front is rather bland with its unappealing grille.

Ian Wild


13/12/17 – 09:48

I took a photo of another coach in Ilfracombe whilst on holiday in 1969 and there is one of these Panthers parked up in the background, so it seems likely they were used on extended tours. I’m very surprised now that I didn’t photograph the Panther also. http://www.sct61.org.uk/zzrdf880g

John Stringer


15/12/17 – 07:24

The entire design looks rather untidy to my eye. Not just the bizarre zig zag on the side and the "parts bins" frontal appearance, but also the fractionally deeper first side window, all conspire to give an insipid, rather than an ugly effect. Wasn’t the original Topaz of circa 1962 redesigned around 1965, which would make the example above a very rare Topaz II?

Roger Cox


15/12/17 – 11:03

About 6 on Bedford VAL14, I believe, and the East Yorkshire Panthers. That was it.

David Oldfield


16/12/17 – 09:20

I have to confess to liking this design: it is all the things the 50’s juke box styles were not- simple, easy on the eye- very 60’s, perhaps Farina. Shortcomings in appearance are surely down to an unsympathetic livery: the white roof dropped down the front, giving too much emphasis to the darker grille- no attempt to use a colour or shade that would draw the necessary elements- lights, vents, displays- together: imagine the dark East Yorks blue overall here and generally replacing the insipid lighter blue : similarly the windows, where the smaller front group would provide the point at which the flash could (if anywhere) begin.
I now digress: purely on livery, has anyone seen a Borismaster in adverlivery? Window dividers on examples I have seen are not then camouflaged to give the impression of a single glazed area, and one I saw had white dividers: the result just emphasises the bizarre design.

Joe


17/12/17 – 07:22

I must point out that the ‘white roof dropped down at the front’ actually, erm…doesn’t. The original slide was a bit on the pale overexposed side and in editing the scan I boosted the colour saturation but it couldn’t bring out the primrose at the front without overdoing the rest of it. In fact I don’t think the roof was white either! I normally wouldn’t submit such a print but it just seemed a bit of a rarity and there wasn’t one on the site.

John Stringer


17/12/17 – 09:19

FWW 809C

This Bedford VAL was parked at Gosforth Park races sometime in the late 1960s, my only ever sighting of a Weymann Topaz body.

Richard Slater


17/12/17 – 10:22

This was operated by Billies coaches of Mexborough, The previous VAL purchased having been a much more traditional Duple bodied item meant this one seemed quite exotic at the time. I assume being a bit of an oddball just meant that they got it for an attractive price.

Andrew Charles


22/12/17 – 07:04

I feel that this coach has a stylish charm of its own. In my humble opinion, the chief problem is that the zigzag flash at the back goes DOWN. If the flash went UP at the same point, it would give a ‘Get up and Go’ impression, rather than its unfortunate ‘Down at Heel’ look.
But I do accept that these things are subjective and our personal tastes will all differ.

Petras409


23/12/17 – 07:57

Interesting to look at other EYMS bus liveries using the dark blue- under EY on this site. Dark blue worked well for the late lamented GNER trains too.

Joe


23/12/17 – 07:58

Petras409, I can’t help but agree with you that the overall design did have a charm of its own, let down by the zigzag flash. A simple straight moulding front to rear would have improved things I feel, especially if positioned to ‘kiss’ the top of each wheelarch. Alternatively, the ‘new’ horizontal moulding could have been stepped down to subtly match the window line at the first bay. In either case the moulding could then have terminated at the centre line of the upper headlamp, which would have made more of a feature of the radiator grille.
With respect to Joe’s comment re the livery, East Yorkshire’s coaches looked splendid in primrose and blue and were always very smartly turned out. Use of the dark blue, primrose and white livery on 823/4 would have meant that they had been demoted for bus work, although it has to be admitted they would still probably have looked just as smart. Now is my memory playing tricks, or am I right in thinking that for some reason the Topaz-bodied Panthers did not carry the usual EYMS ‘xxxxxx Star’ names on their sides?

Brendan Smith


 

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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


25/11/17 – 07:58

According to my 1966 7th edition of Ian Allen BBF Vol 1, Southdown had no less than 401 coaches, and a total fleet strength of 946. As Philip says, add to this M & D, East Kent , Royal Blue etc. and the numbers are quite staggering. In relation to Chris’s comment about front entrances, all post 1958 deliveries to Southdown had them, although the position of the door on the Commer Avengers was debatable! Most pre 1958 deliveries were central entrance.

Roy Nicholson


25/11/17 – 07:59

The total of 130 coaches of this type were in fact delivered over four years No’s 1000-1039 Reg OUF 100-139 in 1955, 1040-1074 Reg RUF 40-74 in1956, 1075-1114 Reg SUF 875-914 in 1957 and the last the front entrance batch 1115-1130 Reg UCD 115-129 in 1958. The Weymann Fanfare bodied Tiger Cubs came in two batches 1130-1144 Reg XUF 130-144 in 1960 and 1145-1154 Reg 8145-8154 CD in 1962 after that the Leopard was the chassis of choice.

Diesel Dave


17/01/18 – 06:26

The details about seating capacity for this batch are wrong. There were in fact 5 different as follows, 1115/6/7/8/9 were 41 seats, 1120-5 were 37 seats, 1126/7 were 41 seats, 1128/9 were 32 or 30 (varied depending on the ours they were running at the time. Now for liveries, 1126/7 were new in triumph blue/cream, 1129 was blue/cream (different) and lettered Linjebuss. This was a Swedish operator for whom Southdown operated a Round Britain tour. 1120-5 were used on Southdown Beacon Tours, at least 1125 having a cream roof and window surrounds from mid-58 to /62. 1128 had a continental step fitted below the central offside emergency exit and was used on a 17-day tour to Moscow for a tour operator called L F Moreland. And just to make the batch really interesting, 1116 was fitted with air suspension by -/60 as a ‘test-bed’ for the new Leopards due the next year !!

Paul Statham


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 24th January 2018