Old Bus Photos

West Riding – Leyland Titan PD2 – GHL 302 – 753

West Riding - Leyland Titan PD2 - GHL 302 - 753

West Riding Automobile
1954
Leyland Titan PD2/22
Roe L24/26R

During the mid 1950s West Riding favoured the Leyland PD2 for its double deck requirements, taking 12 in 1953 with Roe L27/26R bodywork, and a further 10 in 1954, also with Roe lowbridge bodies, but in these the upper deck capacity was reduced to 24. The tin fronted PD2/22 was 7ft 6ins wide and had vacuum brakes. From 1955 West Riding turned to the Guy Arab with Roe bodywork and maintained its allegiance with Guy into the ill fated Wulfrunian saga. GHL 302 was delivered in November 1954 with fleet number 753, but that does not appear to be the number being carried when it was photographed in Leeds in April 1970, which looks something like 833 or 853, originally Guy Arab numbers, though the first digit is partially missing. Can anyone explain, please?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


20/01/22 – 06:48

A couple of points I’m unsure of:
1) Didn’t West Riding co-operate with Guy in the Wulfrunian project?
2) I seem to recall seeing pictures of West Riding buses in red, or was this my wild imaginings?

Chris Hebbron


21/01/22 – 06:15

West Riding had its origins in the Wakefield and District Light Railway Company formed in 1903 to build tramways centred on that town. Two years later this company was taken over by the Yorkshire (West Riding) Electric Tramways Company, itself a subsidiary of the Yorkshire Electric Tramways Construction Syndicate Ltd, which had ambitious plans, authorised in the West Riding Tramways Act of 1904, to construct an additional fifty miles of tramways. In practice most was not built and the initial Wakefield and District network formed the core of the tramway operations authorised by statute. In became apparent by the 1920s that the future of road public transport lay in the increasingly sophisticated motor bus rather than the tram, and the Yorkshire (West Riding) Electric Tramways Company formed a subsidiary, the West Riding Automobile Company to operate its bus fleet. The tram network was finally abandoned in 1932, to be taken over by buses, and accordingly the Yorkshire (West Riding) Electric Tramways Company was renamed the West Riding Automobile Company in 1935, with the subsidiary company of that name being wound up. All this forms the basis of the West Riding company’s colour schemes. The former statutory tramway services were operated by buses in the red livery, whilst the rest of the network, including the former Bullock operations purchased in 1950, ran buses in the green colour scheme. This continued up to the sale of the business to the Transport Holding Company in 1967 which then passed to the National Bus Company in 1969 and on into the aesthetically uninspiring era of Freddie Wood’s poppy red. The full history of the West Riding company’s tramway forebears may be found on the Local Transport History Library website.

Roger Cox


 

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Rye Hill Park Coaches – Leyland Tiger – CKO 979

Rye Hill Park Coaches - Leyland Tiger - CKO 979

Rye Hill Park Coaches
1936
Leyland TS7
Harrington C32F

In May and June 1936 Maidstone & District bought twenty oil engined Leyland TS7 coaches with Harrington C32F bodies. These proved to be excellent purchases, but after thirteen years, including wartime, of hard work, the Harrington bodies showed signs of fatigue. During 1949 and 1950 the entire batch was equipped with new Harrington coachwork, again C32F, and went on to give upwards of eight further years of service. Seventeen were sold to a dealer in October 1958, but the remaining three survived until 1962. CKO 979, Maidstone & District No. CO 576, was one of those sold in 1958, serving first with Diadem Coaches of Luton before passing, in July 1960, to Holmes of London SE15, t/a Rye Hill Park Coaches. It is seen here in 1960 at New Addington, a large Croydon council estate on the extreme south east border of the then borough with Kent. A year later it went to Taylor of London SE1 who kept it for just four months before selling it to Elm Park Coaches of Romford in August 1961. Its subsequent history is not recorded. I acknowledge the Classic Buses website as the source of the historical detail.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


05/09/21 – 06:00

Even for a rebodied bus 25 years’ service is very creditable. I far prefer the restrained curvature of the Harrington body seen here to the exaggerated swoops that some builders went for, particularly after WWII. Do any photos of CKO 979 after rebodying survive?

Ian Thompson


06/09/21 – 07:26

Ian, I presume that you mean "Do any photos of CKO979 BEFORE rebodying survive?" This photo was taken after rebodying!

Nigel Frampton


06/09/21 – 07:31

DKL 591

Not of the same group, Ian, but here, nevertheless, is a 1936 M&D TS7 with original Harrington body. I used to travel from Kingston-on-Thames to Portsmouth on Southdown’s TS7s with this body type in the early to mid 1950s, although theirs had a sliding sunshine roof, on one occasion being opened at the Hindhead tea/toilet layover on a hot summer’s day!

Copyright: R.Marshall, via Bristol Vintage Bus Group

Chris Hebbron


 

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West Bromwich – Leyland Tiger Cub – UEA 213 – 213

West Bromwich - Leyland Tiger Cub - UEA 213 - 213

West Bromwich (County Borough of) Transport Department
1958
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/4
Mulliner B39R

This was one of three buses purchased by West Bromwich in 1958, which were unusual for two reasons. Firstly they represent a rare foray by Mulliner into the full size bus market; they were known for their bodies on smaller Bedfords, with substantial numbers delivered to the armed forces. Secondly, the provision of a rear entrance on a single deck vehicle was completely out of fashion by this stage, and I am unaware of any other examples on underfloor chassis types. One wonders what the reasoning behind this was, as well as the choice of Mulliner for the bodywork. I can only hazard a guess that none of the major bodybuilders were prepared to do so as they had by this stage all settled on a standard forward entrance design, whereas Mulliner were prepared to build to a bespoke design. Subsequent single deck purchases like 250 to its left were conventional; by this time Mulliner had ceased coachbuilding.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Alan Murray-Rust


15/02/21 – 06:07

Although not common rear entrances on underfloor engined single deckers did exist elsewhere. Accrington had them on East Lancs bodied Guy Arab LUF’s and Manchester on Leyland Royal Tigers bodied by Northern Counties. North Western had some Weymann bodied Atkinsons also. I think Southdown and Aldershot & District also had some but I would bow to our southern experts on that.

Philip Halstead


15/02/21 – 06:08

There were other examples of underfloor single deck service buses without front entrances.
Sheffield had a couple of Royal Tigers with open platform rear entrances and Doncaster (Regal IV) and SHMD (Atkinson) had centre door configurations.
I believe there were similar examples in Scotland which I am sure other contributors will be able to list.

Andrew Charles


15/02/21 – 06:09

FDB 512

North Western Road Car Company had rear entrance single deckers. Here is a picture of Atkinson Alpha, fleet number 512, (FDB 512) with a B44R Willowbrook body.

Stephen Howarth


15/02/21 – 15:19

What an unusual vehicle! Not just the body builder and entrance layout but the chassis as well. PSUC1/4 refers to a 7’6” wide pneumocyclic gearbox version. I would think that is a pretty rare beast.

Ian Wild


15/02/21 – 15:20

East Yorkshire stuck with rear entrances into the underfloor-engined era, having Royal Tigers with Windover Kingsway coach bodies and Brush and Weymann bus bodies (the Weymann ones being later rebuilt as front entrance by Roe). Both East Yorkshire and Yorkshire Traction had Tiger Cubs with Willowbrook DP rear entrance bodies. Pontypridd UDC had some Arab LUFs with Roe bodies, and Edinburgh had one Leyland/MCW Olympic.

John Stringer


16/02/21 – 05:46

Here’s a photo of one of the Pontypridd Guy LUF/Roe vehicles. https://davidbeilby.zenfolio.com/

Chris Hebbron


16/02/21 – 05:48

Southdown did indeed have a batch of 10 Royal Tigers No’s 1500-1509 with East Lancs B40R bodies delivered in 1952. In 1953 these were followed by a further batch of 30 similar but centre entrance bodies again by East Lancs all of which were converted to front entrance for one man operation in the early sixties and very comfortable buses they were too.

David Lennard


16/02/21 – 05:49

Another unusual, even unique, feature of these Mulliner Tiger Cubs was that they had full bulkheads, confining the driver to his own full width cab. It can be made out in this photo – https://flic.kr/p/wXJyEo
Another website explains that rear entrances were specified because the spacing of town centre bus stops was based on rear entrance buses and it was felt that front entrance buses would lead to bus stop congestion. This view no longer prevailed when the next single deckers were acquired.

David Williamson


16/02/21 – 05:50

Thanks to all for the pointers to other rear entrance/underfloor vehicles. I suspect that it was a result of my not really becoming interested in buses until the mid 1960s that I was unaware that there were in fact quite so many, as I suspect that the majority had relatively short lives due to being unsuitable for OPO. Trawling BLOTW shows that the bulk of them date from between 1951 and 1954. The stand-out ones are Accrington (1956) and Pontypridd (1957), but as far as I can see, the West Brom ones were the last of the breed. It was the late date of construction for the layout that surprised me. Of particular interest are the two Royal Tigers for Sheffield, which are shown as B31R, which the discussion here http://www.sct61.org.uk/sh222a shows is the result of the buses being designed for a significant number (26 to 31 depending on the source!). That page also drew my attention to another real oddity – the set of 8 Dennis lancet UF2 with unusual Davies bodies that Newport purchased in 1956/7. I should have remembered as I do have a picture of one of them!

Alan Murray-Rust


18/02/21 – 07:18

Referring back to the original post which suggests that this bus was a rare foray by Mulliner into the full size bus market.
In the same year as the three West Bromwich examples were produced Mulliner also built a pair of bodies on AEC Reliance chassis for Douglas Corporation, these followed on from five normal control Guys delivered the previous year.

Andrew Charles


18/02/21 – 07:18

An illustrated short history of Mulliners may be found on the Local Transport History Library site. Select General History, and on that Coach Builders page click on PDF-129-1. Mulliners is near the bottom.

Roger Cox


20/02/21 – 07:17

Municipal ordering begins with an invitation to tender. It’s doubtful if Mulliners would normally have responded to these. However, if Bedford chassis lists are anything to go by, it seems that their military work dried up in mid-1957, hence perhaps the turn towards mainstream PSV work illustrated by their bizarre full-size coach for the 1958 Commercial Motor Show. Even if their tender for this small batch of very non-standard Tiger Cubs (7’6" wide as well as rear-entrance) was not the only one received, it could well have been the lowest. It seems that they gave up and sold out shortly after.

Peter Williamson


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 28th January 2022