Old Bus Photos

Bradford Corporation – Leyland Panther – NAK 512H – 512

NAK 512H

Bradford Corporation Transport
1969
Leyland Panther PSUR1A/1
Marshall B45D

For 1969, Bradford Corporation ordered ten chassis of the rear horizontal engine variety, its first new single deckers since a couple of AEC Reliances in 1958. The ten new chassis were split between AEC’s Swift and Leyland’s Panther, but, since the chassis design of the two types was virtually identical apart from the engine manufacture and the radiator position – at the rear on the AEC and at the front on the Leyland – the exercise was probably intended to ascertain which power unit was best suited to the challenging Bradford terrain. All ten were equipped with Marshall B45D bodies. Seen above in April 1970 is the last of the batch, No. 512, NAK 512H which was delivered in December 1969. In the event, no further single deckers were to be bought by Bradford before the infliction upon all the West Yorkshire municipalities from 1st April 1974 of the all embracing WYPTE. In this new conglomeration, the five Bradford Panthers were the only examples of their type, and the PTE Director of Engineering, a certain Geoffrey Hilditch, soon sold them all to Chesterfield. A picture of one in service in that town may be seen here (a very long page, but about halfway down – search for Chesterfield in the browser :- www.mikesbuspages.com/municipalbuses.htm
In his book Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres, GGH says that pictures of the Bradford Panthers in original livery are hard to come by – he should have asked me.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


11/09/17 – 06:38

Nice pic!
Stuart Emmet Another story on these 10 was they were bought to start OMO; however double decker OMO was approved legally soon after they were ordered, so they were redundant as far as that went. They spent their time inventing conversions to single decker routes and seemed to settle on the 61 as shown – about a 25-minute journey across town from Undercliffe to St. Enochs that went for around 5 mins over roads in the Canterbury Ave area that were not used by other routes.Effectively a peak hour route every 10 min from 0700 to 0900 and 1600 to 1800 with a few journeys between 1200 & 1400 hours that required 6 buses for the 10-minute headway. The rest of time they seemed to rest/in-filled as spares.

Stuart Emmet


12/09/17 – 06:46

From 1969, BCT participated in White Rose Express service X33, Bradford – Sheffield, which entered its area at Birkenshaw. The other joint operators reluctantly agreed, even though Bradford’s entitlement was no more than one journey per week! In practice, as explained to me by the late Stanley King, Bradford saved up their mileage until they were able to operate a bus for a whole week, replacing a Yorkshire Woollen duty.
BCT had few single deckers and I believe these Panthers and the contemporary Swifts were used. Does anyone recall seeing a photo of a Bradford bus on X33, as I’ve never seen one.

Geoff Kerr


12/09/17 – 06:47

Just about everyone was caught with the change of legislation which allowed DD OMO. Sheffield certainly was – initially with purchase of the Swifts and subsequently with the change of Bristol order from REs to VRs.

David Oldfield


13/09/17 – 06:46

In the lovely book Colours of West Yorkshire the author states that these were ordered because agreement could not be reached with the Unions to operate OMO double deckers. I.e. The legislation already permitted it but not the Unions until agreement was reached later on.

Sam Caunt


14/09/17 – 07:04

The Bradford manager at the time was not in favour of one man buses These and the Swifts were also used on the express X72 which ran between Bradford and Leeds at peak hours.

Chris Hough


15/09/17 – 06:45

I recall someone (who I believe was very knowledgeable) telling me that as late as 1981/2 that Bradford area buses of West Yorkshire PTE were around 80% crew operated.

Dave Towers


16/09/17 – 06:47

The change in legislation to permit double deck OPO was in 1966, and I doubt that an order for vehicles to be delivered in 1969 had been placed before that date – i.e. the fact that D/D OPO was possible would have been known.
I like to see a clear and readable destination display, but in this case I suspect that a slightly smaller window would have fitted the lines of the vehicle rather better!

Nigel Frampton


17/09/17 – 06:55

Another story was that the unions rejected the DD legislation but SD would be OK It was also said on delivery of these SD’s unions OKed the use of DD OMO How far this any of this is fact or fiction seems lost in time.

Stuart Emmet


18/09/17 – 07:19

I started working at Bradford City Transport in the Traffic Office in October 1973. The story of OMO at BCT is intriguing. I cannot comment on the position of General Manager Edward Deakin in relation to OMO, although I could find out as Bob Tidswell his PA is still heal and hearty. I can say that Traffic Superintendent John Hill was not very enthusiastic about OMO, and from all accounts the T&GWU branch was not very keen, either. Around 1971 or 1972 the position of Asst. Traffic Superintendent became vacant and Brian Eastwood, who was Traffic Superintendent at Maidstone Corporation, was appointed to the post. Maidstone had undertaken extensive conversion to OMO and BCT felt that Brian’s experience in this regard would be extremely useful. Many years later Brian told me that when he arrived at Forster Square – BCT Head Office – there was little enthusiasm for OMO. Earlier this year I had lunch with Brian and he said that many of the new ideas that he tried to bring to Bradford fell on stony ground. Maidstone had a very large circle OMO sign on the front of their Atlanteans and Brian arranged for one of the signs to be sent to Bradford for evaluation. John Hill rejected the idea. Bob Tidswell once told me that Edward Deakin had a policy of splitting chassis orders between manufacturers – and thus having small batches – on the basis that if one chassis type developed a serious fault then the impact on the operational fleet would be minimised. Some of the single-deckers were allocated to Ludlam Steet and were used on the 272 service to Leeds, the 61 and sometimes other routes operated from the depot, such as Eccleshill, Fagley and Haworth Road. They were used on the White Rose service and at weekends for private hire work at weddings etc. When the PTE was formed John Hill became Metro Bradford District Manager and the position of District Traffic Officer was given to Bert Henry from Leeds City Transport who was very keen to expand OMO across the Bradford route network.

Kevin Hey


19/09/17 – 06:01

Still trying to get "facts" and the best come across so far, is from the JS King book. The following is a timeline summary:
1967
BCT ordered the Swifts and Panthers (503-512 ) to start OMO and had the unions OK 8 and 10/1969. The Swifts and Panthers arrived but went to work with conductors on 61, 83 and 27-29/32. Cannot find a reason why they were not used for OMO. These buses were also available for breakdown cover for the other operators on the joint with 7 other operators "White Rose" express to Sheffield; BCT having only one journey a week which they "banked" so they could then a bus operate all week.
Mr King notes the SD were already "white elephants", as by now DD OMO was acceptable, so seventy 33 foot DD were ordered, with union acceptance of OMO for these 2 door 33 foot vehicles.
8/1970
The DD start to arrive (401-470) but unions said no as are too long and the drivers’ view of exit door was insufficient. So OMO introduction postponed once again.
9/1971
SD work on the peak time only Leeds express (272) joint with Leeds CT who operated SD OMO, but BCT used conductors
31 Dec 1972
OMO finally starts using 30 foot DD (315 to 355) on routes 36-38 and 40-42 20 May 1973
OMO starts on joint working with Leeds on the 72 route
Footnote
This appears is a strange story, that however, shows the management/union environment at the time.

Stuart Emmet


19/09/17 – 06:02

Re Kevin Heys comments. There was a regular evening trip on service 46 to Buttershaw.
OMP operation commenced in Bradford with the conversion of the 72/78 services between Bradford and Leeds which were jointly operated with Leeds City Transport. This started in late May 1973. I cannot recall them being used on White Rose services during my time in Bradford in 1973.

Stephen Bloomfield


 

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Ribble – Leyland Titan – RCK 920 – 1775

RCK 920

Ribble Motor Services
1962
Leyland Titan PD3/5
Metro-Cammell FH41/31F

In 1956 the UK maximum legal length for double deck buses was extended to 30 ft, and Leyland quickly responded with the PD3 chassis, essentially an elongated version of the PD2. Ribble ordered a fleet of 105 synchromesh gearbox PD3/4 machines distinguished by handsome Burlingham FH41/31F bodywork featuring a neatly designed full width front end. These entered service in 1958, but Ribble then tried its hand with the then very new and novel Leyland Atlantean design, taking 100 examples in 1959/60. All operators of the early Atlantean experienced a number of teething troubles, and Ribble, while continuing to favour the Atlantean for future orders, hedged its bets by partially returning to the more dependable PD3 for some of its 1961-63 deliveries. The bodywork was again FH41/31F, but this time of the aesthetically less appealing (to my eye, anyway) Orion style by Metro-Cammell . These later machines, which totalled 131 in number, were equipped with pneumocyclic gearboxes, making them type PD3/5. No.1775, RCK 920 was delivered in 1962 and operated in the Liverpool/Bootle and Carlisle localities until its withdrawal in 1981, when it was subsequently acquired for preservation. At some time in the years following, 1775’s pneumocyclic gearbox failed and was replaced by a synchromesh unit, but, when, in 2010, the vehicle passed into the hands of its current owners, the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust, the pneumocyclic box was repaired and refitted, bringing the bus back up to its original condition. In the picture above, 1775 is seen at the Wansford, Cambridgeshire, premises of the Nene Valley Railway on 8 July 2006 where I encountered it entirely unexpectedly.
A YouTube video of a ride on this bus may be found here:- at this link

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


22/08/17 – 06:32

Although rather plain I always thought these were quite attractive vehicles. The proportions seem to sit right and the livery suits the lines of the bodywork very well. Dignified is the way I would sum it up which is more than can be said for the horrors seen on most modern vehicles.

Philip Halstead


22/08/17 – 06:33

The change away to a synchro box was done when owned by Gerald Boden (who owned a B1+Class 40). From my memory he chose to do it as it would have been cheaper to repair the semi auto.

Roger Burdett


23/08/17 – 06:17

The almost only one-coloured livery hardly favours the body shape, Philip. I can see an improvement in Southdown livery. Oops, it must be the sort-of Queen Mary shape that reminded me of that!

Chris Hebbron


25/08/17 – 06:52

I wondered if Roger Cox or Roger Burdett can shed any light on the original gearboxes (or their flywheels) that were at first originally fitted to these Ribble PD3’s (and for that matter the fully fronted Bolton PD3’s).
When new, at idle there was a most musical tinny mechanical sound that soon disappeared once power was applied, I think they had a mechanical flywheel then. Bolton and later Ribble soon changed them to the fluid flywheel, which I understand gave a better service life – but no music! Hope someone in the ‘know’ might be able to offer enlightenment.

Mike Norris


25/08/17 – 09:36

I believe you are referring to the centrifugal clutch which I suspect was intended to be more efficient than a fluid flywheel. I only had very limited experience of it on a Bolton bus and simply remember an awful racket when the bus was in idle, not something I would describe as music at all.

David Beilby


25/08/17 – 09:37

Cannot shed any light except to speculate it was a body vibration due to harmonics.
Maybe someone from Ribble Group can enlighten if the switch back to a stick box has re-introduced the sound

Roger Burdett


25/08/17 – 09:38

I think that "jingling noise" was symptomatic of a centrifugal clutch, which was an attempt to provide a degree of automatic change, but without the drag and therefore fuel consumption penalty of a fluid flywheel.However I could be wrong.

James Freeman


26/08/17 – 07:13

I’ve noticed in several posts reference to ‘synchromesh’ gearboxes (as above) but am I right in thinking that they were only synchromesh on third and fourth gears? On every Southdown Leopard and Queen Mary I drove that was the format but may have differed elsewhere?

Nick Turner


26/08/17 – 07:14

This page seems to confirm that these Titans were initially fitted with centrifugal clutches:- www.flickr.com/photos/ Several operators tried out the centrifugal coupling to improve fuel consumption – the fluid flywheel could never attain 100% drive efficiency – but transmission snatch and maintenance problems meant that the fluid flywheel reigned supreme until the arrival on the psv scene of the multi stage torque converter gearbox.

Roger Cox


26/08/17 – 07:14

The Wigan PD3’s which were pneumo-cyclic also made this noise. Wigan went back to manual gearboxes for their later PD2’s so perhaps there was some dissatisfaction with the semi-auto transmission.

Philip Halstead


27/08/17 – 07:01

I seem to recall there was another stage of development when centrifugal shoes were included in the fluid flywheel so that it locked up at a suitable speed. I can’t recall technical details of the Ribble/MCW PD3 but know they seemed to perform very well up to the bitter end of TMO in Merseyside.
PS> The Captcha code for this post is PD3A!

Geoff Pullin


27/08/17 – 07:02

The PD2 was initially supplied with the GB63 four speed gearbox that had synchromesh on second, third and top, bottom gear being simply constant mesh. Unfortunately the second gear synchro set up gave some trouble in that engagement was often strongly baulked. Geoffrey Hilditch records examples of the resistance to engagement being so severe that gear levers were snapped off by the over enthusiastic pressures being applied by desperate drivers. Leyland then offered the GB83 box in which the second gear synchromesh was eliminated, and this continued to be available after the second gear synchro problems of the CB63 box were sorted out. All the PD2/PD3 buses I drove in Halifax had synchro on second gear.

Roger Cox


29/08/17 – 06:38

For those who like classic liveries like this, there’s news from Arriva. Their new universal bus livery is a simple Bradford blue, it seems: not clear to me how many extra bits or brandings can be added or where, but others may have more intimate knowledge. It does look if all the fussy skirts and linings may have gone, but what about the odd flash? After First, this is a relief!

Joe


 

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London Transport – Leyland Tiger – JXC 288 – TD 95

London Transport - Leyland Tiger - JXC 288 - TD 95

London Transport
1949
Leyland Tiger PS1
Mann Egerton B30F

Following the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the London Passenger Transport Board found itself seriously short of serviceable vehicles, partly through enemy action but equally because of the time expired nature of much of the fleet. To compound the problem, 55 T type AEC Regals and 20 Leyland Cubs were sent to assist in war ravaged Belgium and Germany. To meet the needs of the capital city, the Ministry of Supply (that still oversaw the allocation of resources in the immediate post war period) sanctioned the delivery of a number of standard provincial types of buses to London, which was still taking the tail end deliveries of utility double deckers, mainly Daimler CWA6 plus a few Guy Arabs. Thus between 1946 and 1948 the AEC Regent O661 (STL) and Regal O662/O962 (T), Leyland PD1 (STD) and PS1(TD) appeared on the London scene. From 1st January 1948 the LPTB became the nationalised London Transport Executive, and help began arriving in the form of vehicles on loan from provincial operators, notably Bristols from Tilling group companies, though Tilling itself did not sell out to the government until September 1948. In 1946 LT was allocated fifty AEC Regal O662 buses (7.7 litre engine/crash gearbox – basically the pre-war design) but also thirty one examples of Leyland’s very new Tiger PS1. These eighty one vehicles were fitted with Weymann B33F bodies of unprepossessing appearance, characterised particularly by a front destination indicator box that “frowned” over the top of the driver’s windscreen. In 1948 a further thirty Regals were acquired, but these were of the O962 variety with 9.6 litre engines and epicyclic gearboxes, consistent in specification with the new RT double deck fleet. At the same time another one hundred PS1s came into LT ownership, though these still had the standard 7.4 litre engine and crash gearbox. The 1948/9 Regal and Tiger deliveries were fitted with Mann Egerton B31F bodywork (later reduced to B30F) displaying much cleaner lines than the earlier Weymann bodies. One would have expected the preselector gearbox Regals to have been allocated to the Central (red) fleet, but they all went to Country area garages, while all the crash gearbox Regals and PS1s operated in red livery. Given London Transport’s unenthusiastic attitude to “non standardisation”, these provincial type single deckers clearly earned some measure of respect, for they lasted between ten and fourteen years in LT ownership. Seen above on the A23 Brighton Road during the 1971 HCVC Run is Mann Egerton bodied TD 95, JXC 288, which entered service in May 1949 and was sold in August 1963. In 1965, now in private hands, it undertook a series of extraordinary Continental journeys to Rumania, Hungary, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Hamburg, Helsinki, Lenningrad, Moscow, Warsaw and Berlin, followed, in 1965, by a trip to France and Spain. Then again in 1966 TD95 went off to France, Belgium, Prague, Offenbach, Budapest and Belgrade. Throughout the performance of this amazing machine was exemplary. It then passed into preservation in May 1967 to be restored into its previous LT guise. In that form, as with all Central Area single deckers of its time, the front entrance has no door at the insistence of the Metropolitan Police, who clearly took the Spartan view that the possibilities of a passenger falling out or incurring influenza from draught were rendered insignificant against boarding and alighting delays.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


08/08/17 – 06:07

The seating capacity of 30 seems rather low for a full sized post war halfcab saloon, most provincial versions averaged around 35 seats. Did these TDs have a standing area at the front with inward facing seats or was it a luggage pen which took up some of the space?

Chris Barker


08/08/17 – 08:36

Chris,
I rather think that, in view of Roger’s views on the attitude of the Metropolitan Police, the reason for the low seating capacity lies in that direction, rather than standing area or luggage pen!

Pete Davies


09/08/17 – 06:42

The full service life of these buses shows that LT could successfully operate standard provincial designs when they put their minds to it. This opens up the oft-debated cherry – was the Routemaster really necessary? Would PD2’s, Regent V’s or CVG’s have done the job of replacing trolleybuses and later on the RT family just as well? All were available in semi-auto form which would probably have been a minimum requirement for LT. Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Glasgow for example seemed to manage and Birmingham even got large numbers of Crossleys to work. Food for thought!

Philip Halstead


09/08/17 – 06:43

I know the Green Line and Country area RF’s had doors, whereas the central area red versions didn’t, was it the same story with these?

Ronnie Hoye


09/08/17 – 06:44

Pete’s comment is true, but it is also relevant to remember that the T&GWU of the time had considerable influence upon the vehicle configuration and seating layout of the LT fleet. These Tigers were used on intensive urban routes where low bridges and other obstructions prevented the operation of double deckers. Free movement of the conductor and easy access/egress for passengers would have been important issues.

Roger Cox


11/08/17 – 06:27

Philip raises an interesting point. Could London Transport have managed without the Routemaster? I think that, yes, it probably could, but some curious features of the London Transport engineering situation have to be taken into account. The RT/RTL/RTW/RM families were designed to be taken to pieces like Meccano for processing through the Aldenham overhaul system. Firstly, however, did LT need a fleet of some 2760 Routemasters in the first place? When the initial deliveries went into service in 1959, LT already possessed a surplus of RT and RTL buses. The last RT deliveries came in November 1954, and 81 went immediately into store until 1958/59 when the RM production scheme was already in progress. Similarly, 63 of the last RTL deliveries were stored until 1958. On the grounds of ‘non standardisation’, the 120 entirely sound Cravens bodied RTs had already been sold off in 1956 when they were only between eight and six years old, and, by 1961, over 200 of the earliest RTs (discounting the so called ‘pre war’ machines that were withdrawn in 1955 when they were 13 to 15 years old) had gone when they were only some 10 years or so of age. Nonetheless, ever besotted with its inward thinking, LT brought out the costly Routemaster, claiming that the capacity increase of 8 seats over the RT family was essential for trolleybus replacement. (It seems astonishing now that London Transport seemed utterly exempt from any kind of cost constraint, but the profligate attitude was to continue in later years with the catastrophic Merlin/Swift/MetroScania charade and then the Daimler Fleetline debacle.) Undoubtedly, standard offerings from the manufacturers catalogues could have provided entirely satisfactory fleets for the Capital’s public transport needs, but for the rigid LT engineering system. London Transport did not employ, at its garages, engineers as they were understood by municipal or company bus operators. London Transport had ‘fitters’. If anything went wrong, that part was simply removed and sent to Chiswick in return for a replacement item. Mechanical analysis was not part of the scheme of things. That was Chiswick’s job. Likewise, body/chassis overhauls were totally centralised at Aldenham, where the chassis and body were separated and sent down different overhaul tracks, the chassis being dealt with more quickly than the bodies. At the output end, the next completely rebuilt emerging body and chassis were put together and given the fleet number of a bus that had just gone into the works. Thus, identifying a London bus by its fleet number was essentially meaningless. Nevertheless, the Aldenham system could have worked equally well with jig built bodywork mounted on a standard provincial chassis type. Indeed, the early Routemasters were exceedingly troublesome, and it took some years of development to make them truly reliable.

Roger Cox


12/08/17 – 07:37

I only travelled on one of these once, on the 240A. I have wondered whether that was part of the original 240 route left for single deck operation after the rest of the route was converted to double deck buses during WWII. I do not recall seeing a standing area or a luggage pen.
I doubt if the standard double deck buses of the mid-1950s would have done the job as London Transport specified automatic gearboxes for the red Routemasters and semi-automatic for the green country area and Greenline Routemasters, probably to provide a mechanically common set of buses for the country area depots. In any case, Greenline drivers sometimes worked a country route when necessary (they were paid the same as the central area crews, which was slightly more than that paid to the country area crews).
That said, I never warmed to the Routemaster. My favourites in the late 1950s and 1960s were the Southdown Guy Arab 4s wit Park Royal Bodywork and Weymann-bodied Dennis Loline IIIs.

David Wragg


14/08/17 – 07:31

The offside seat behind the driver was a single seat on the central area TDs as illustrated here – www.flickr.com/photos/ (taken at a route 227 running day) – think the idea was to give the conductor somewhere to stand without being in the way as passengers got on/off.

Jon


15/08/17 – 07:56

Referring to Philip Halstead’s comment about standard types, the Guy Arab (which, like the others, was available in semi-automatic form) should not be forgotten, particularly in view of the large number operated in Hong Kong. It’s been suggested that if something will work in Hong Kong, it will work anywhere!
As for Birmingham’s Crossleys, they were of the later type with engine design modified by AEC. Apparently they were more successful than the CVD6s that BCT were obliged to take because of a shortage of Gardner engines.

Peter Williamson


16/08/17 – 06:50

Peter, only the second half of the Birmingham Crossley DD42/6 1949/50 order for 260 buses, numbers 2396-2525, had the HOE7/5B downdraught engine. The first 130, numbers 2266-2395, plus the earlier 10 buses delivered in 1946, numbers 1646-1655, were delivered with standard HOE7 engines that were retained to the end. Even so, as you point out, Birmingham regarded the Crossley engine more highly than the contemporary Daimler CD6, individual examples of which proved to be extremely variable in quality.

Roger Cox


16/08/17 – 06:52

I apologise Peter for omitting the Guy Arab. I well remember the Hong Kong Arabs while living out there in the mid-1980’s. They would storm up Stubbs Road on the route on the Island over the mountain to Aberdeen. At the summit they would be boiling profusely but by the time they had thundered down the other side and had chance to cool down a bit they were ready to return. The same can be said about the DMS’s. London offloaded them over there in large numbers saying the were unreliable or some such excuse. They operated quite happily for CMB in far more taxing conditions than London. 30deg of heat, mountainous terrain, severe traffic congestion and some ‘enthusiastic’ handling by the Chinese drivers.

Philip Halstead


17/08/17 – 07:19

I think I might have got on well with the bus drivers in Hong Kong, as my colleagues used to say my style of driving was ‘enthusiastic’! I suppose they were right. Southampton to North Lancashire or the Southern end of the Lake District as a day trip . . . Yes, some of them used a different word!

Pete Davies


17/08/17 – 07:20

Interesting to see mention of Guy Arabs in a thread on Leyland Tigers. Have no personal memories of either as too young but I have pictures of my grandfather stood in front of both a Guy Arab and a Leyland Tiger TS8 while he worked for Thames Valley. Pictures of Thames Valley liveried Guy Arab’s I can find but a Tiger TS8 with ECW B35R coachwork in Thames Valley livery seems to be more of a challenge.

Andrew Stevens


18/08/17 – 06:32

Andrew: that was Thames Valley’s golden age—at least for enthusiasts! There are also some pictures of TV TS8s in the later pages of Thames Valley 1931-1945 and near the beginning of Thames Valley 1946-1960, both written and published by Paul Lacey. The last of the TS8s were withdrawn in October 1954. As a young passenger I loved the "woody" sound of the engine, the groaning in second gear, the gentle whine in third and the big Clayton heater on the front bulkhead.

Ian Thompson


 

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