Old Bus Photos

Tynemouth and District – Daimler Fleetline – HFT 367 – 267

Tynemouth and District - Daimler Fleetline - HFT 367 - 267

Tynemouth and District
1963
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Weymann H44/33F

HFT 367, fleet number 267: A Weymann H44/33F bodied Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX. One of 35 delivered to Percy Main between 1963 & 68. The location is the Gibraltar Rock Public House ‘reflected in the windscreen’ this is at the end of Front Street Tynemouth, and was the terminus of the service 11 to Newcastle, a route shared with Newcastle Corporation. The first PDR1/1 Leyland Atlantean at Percy Main entered service in 1960, and by 1962, they had 22. The first nine, CFT 636/644, 236/244, had H44/34F Weymann bodies; the remainder were all H44/34F Roe bodies. DFT 245/249; 245/249 in 1960. FFT 756/761; 256/261 followed in 1962. 236-254 & 5 all carried the Wakefields name. Percy Main had some very punishing and demanding routes, and despite the best efforts of its maintenance staff, the reliability of the early Atlantean’s was always suspect. It’ s been mentioned before on this site, about the amount of freedom NGT allowed its subsidiaries with vehicle choice and specification. By 1963, Percy Main had lost patience with the PDR1/1, and the roomer mill has it that the first choice would have been front entrance Renown’s or PD3’s. Perhaps mindful of the onset of OPO, Northern thought this a step too far, and would not allow it, however, they did allow Percy Main to switch to the CRG6LX Daimler Fleetline. Nevertheless, it would be a further twelve years before the next new Leyland D/D’s arrived at Percy Main, and they were the 1974 Park Royal bodied Leyland AN68. By that time, it was NBC and you took what you were given with no say in the matter. Ironic really, post NBC six Renown’s were transferred to Percy Main from East Yorkshire. The first batch of Fleetlines arrived in 1963, they were HFT 366/375; 266/275, and had H44/33F Weymann bodies. Outwardly, apart from different wheel trims and the absence of badges, they were more or less identical in appearance to the first Atlantean’s. JFT 276/280; 276/280 arrived in 1964, they were H44/32F Weymann bodies, rather than a conventional staircase with two right angles; they had a full sweep descending forwards. I thought this potentially dangerous, and indeed there were several mishaps, especially if for whatever reason the brakes were applied rather harshly when someone was on the staircase. The remainder were Alexander bodied, AFT 783/789C; 283/289 in 1965: DFT 290/292E; 290/292 in 1967; all H44/32F bodies, and EFT 693/702F, 293/302 in 1968, they were H44/33F bodies. As far as I can remember, 283/289 had air operated doors and windscreen wipers, and the remainder were electric, but that apart they were all more or less the same. I left Percy Main in 1975 to join Armstrong Galley, so my experience of the AN68 is limited, and it would be inappropriate of me to comment on them. However, from my own point of view, the Alexander bodied Daimler Fleetline was the best rear engine double deck bus I have ever driven, the Atlantean may have had a greater top speed, but what the Daimler lacked in speed, it more that made up for at the bottom end. They had power to spare, even with a full load; they were never pushed and could easily keep pace with the traffic we had to contend with. The earlier PD2&3 Leyland’s outlived the first Atlantean’s, as for breakdowns, I can count on one hand with figures to spare the amount of times I broke down with a Fleetline, I lost count with the Atlantean.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye


18/09/14 – 07:54

Ronnie mentions the AEC Renowns that cmd in NBC days. As he says came from East Yorkshire who received a number if Fleetlines from Tynemouth in exchange.

Chris Hough


19/09/14 – 07:04

This Fleetline looks neither full height nor low height. Were these built to an intermediate height of around 14ft?

Chris Barker


20/09/14 – 16:00

Chris, I don’t know the exact height, but if you refer to my gallery of Newcastle bus stations, in the Haymarket section, there is a photo of one of these alongside a United Bristol FLF Lodekka, and they seem to be about the same, but camera angles can be deceptive.

Ronnie Hoye


24/09/14 – 17:35

Thanks for a marvellous photgraph of one of my favourite buses in a great location.The photo highlights the excellent stanard of maintenance of the Tynemouth and District fleet in the 1960s! gleaming paintwork!

Tom Carr


24/09/14 – 17:36

Manchester Corporation had many Fleetlines and PDR1/2 type Atlanteans with Metro-Cammell bodywork similar to this, (but mostly with curved windscreens) with a height of (if I remember rightly) 14ft and half an inch, i.e. between the normal highbridge and lowbridge heights. These also had a modified staircase to Manchester’s own design. The bottom few steps were at an angle of 45 degrees to the length of the bus. It was claimed that this would "aim" descending passengers to the front of the platform, avoiding the bottleneck which could sometimes occur at the bottom of the stairs. When new these buses also had a substantial handrail on the platform which was supposed to separate upper and lower deck passengers when alighting; in practice this didn’t work because most conductors thought that this handrail was for them to lean on. The rails were later removed. The Manchester buses did, in fact, have a specific place for the conductor to stand, a small section was "cut out" of the luggage shelf above the offside front wheel. The angled staircase also allowed space for a cutaway section in the rear wall of the cab, with a coat hook for the driver’s use. This avoided the perennial problem of coat sleeves flapping outside whenever the cab window was opened. At Rochdale in the mid seventies we had nine of these Fleetlines cascaded from Manchester, they were the best Fleetlines to work on, in my opinion.
I wonder if these Tynemouth Fleetlines had these interior features?

Don McKeown


05/10/14 – 07:28

Tynemouth’s Fleetlines certainly didn’t have the 45° lower section of the staircase, the dividing rails or the cutaway section for the conductor to stand. I can’t recall a ‘wardrobe’ and coathook facility in the cab but I think that it would have been unlikely as I gather that it depended on the angled staircase to provide the space.
I’m fascinated by this whole ‘Manchester-style’ platform arrangement and I wonder whether anyone has an interior photograph which shows it.
Surely Don realises that all rails and stanchions on any bus were installed for the sole purpose of providing the conductor with something to lean against! What other possible function could they have been intended to fulfil? Particularly helpful designs often positioned additional rails so that the conductor could conveniently tuck his/her machine behind when not in use!

Alan R Hall


 

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Tynemouth and District – AEC Regent II – FT 6152 – 152

Tynemouth and District - AEC Regent II - FT 6152 - 152

Tynemouth and District
1948
AEC Regent II
Weymann H30/26R

After the Intake of early 1940, no more vehicles arrived at Percy Main until 1946, in the meantime, seven vehicles were transferred to other Northern General Transport depots, eight more were requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport. A total of 15 from a fleet of around 110 was a sizable chunk. For a while, spares availability became a problem, so it was not uncommon for vehicles awaiting parts to be cannibalised to keep others going. The first post war intake arrived in 1946 in the form of five H30/26R Northern Counties bodied 5GLW Guy Arab III’s. However, as has been mentioned before, Northern General Transport allowed its subsidiaries a degree of independence with vehicle choice and spec, so it was not long before Percy Main reverted to AEC.
Between 1947/8 they took delivery of 29, H30/26R Weymann bodied Regent II’s, which at that time amounted to roughly a quarter of the fleet. The first batch delivered in 1947 were FT 5698 to 5712 and numbered 128 to 142, the 1948 intake were FT 6143 to 6156, numbered 143 to 156. 141-142 & 156 carried the Wakefields name but were otherwise identical. The Regent II chassis had a 7.7 Litre diesel engine, four- speed sliding mesh gearbox and friction clutch, buying wasn’t complicated, it was bog standard with no other options available, so it came down to a straightforward decision of take it or leave it. Like most vehicles of the period, by today’s standards they were unrefined, but they were well built rugged and reliable, and demanded a degree of respect, anyone foolish enough to try to abuse them would generally find that the Regent was made of stern stuff. They also had one essential ingredient that modern vehicles don’t have, a conductor! As anyone who has ever worked a dual crew bus will tell you, conductors will be the first to complain if the ride is anything less than acceptable. The choice of body was a different matter with umpteen options on offer, Percy Main opted for Weymann, the build quality was top notch, and arguably one of the best looking bodies of the period. they were no strangers to it having bought similar vehicles in 1940: 152, was from the 1948 intake and is seen here in its original livery. By the time of its first repaint ‘about 1951’, the black lineout had been dropped and the fleet name was much smaller, but the gold coach lines were still in vogue. Note the flip down metal DUPLICATE plate under the overhang, apart from the later Routemasters; this was a standard fitting on all Northern General Transport group half cabs

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye


28/07/14 – 07:57

It’s surprising how many Percy Main depot buses have appeared in model form. AEC Regent 135 (similar to the above photo) was issued by Corgi many years ago. They also issued Leyland Olympian 3593 from a later era. Britbus weighed in with Coastline Atlantean 3458. E.F.E. have been the most prolific with Leyland PD2 / Orion 230, AEC Renown as Tynemouth 333 and yellow Northern 3743, Atlantean / MCW yellow Northern 3194 as well as yellow Northern National 4444 and Coastline Wright Low Floor 4769. Quite an impressive representation really for one depot.

Keith Bruce


26/10/15 – 16:17

A query about this photo is the location. Looking at it, it could be Park Road, Whitley Bay. The area behind the bus was originally occupied by Whitley Park Hall. This later became a hotel, and part of the grounds became the Spanish City. The hotel closed and was demolished in the thirties. In the mid sixties, a new library was built on the site replacing the previous library which was located at the United bus station.
All this has now gone. The Spanish city has been replaced by a new school, while the library has been relocated nearer the town centre. Park Road itself has since the late sixties been a one way street in the opposite direction to which the bus is travelling.
None of this is relevant to the bus, but part of the fascination of old bus photos is seeing how much has changed – not just the buses, but the surroundings.

John Gibson


27/10/15 – 06:32

It could be Park Road, Whitley Bay, very close to the junction with Park Avenue.

Paul Robson


27/10/15 – 06:34

John, as you say, the photo was taken a long time ago, so everything may have changed. However, my guess would be that the bus is heading west along Linskill Terrace opposite the golf course, and the trees are in Northumberland Park

Ronnie Hoye


28/10/15 – 07:00

Linskill Terrace, Tynemouth, is another possibility. However the curve in the road there occurs at the north end of Washington Terrace and you would expect to see behind the bus some of the Edwardian-era houses between Washington Terrace and Park Avenue.

Paul Robson


28/10/15 – 07:01

When I first saw this photo, I was not too certain of it’s location. The photo as reproduced here has been somewhat cropped, but the bends in the road which can be seen more clearly in the original seem to match those on Park Road. There are also buildings in the distance which look to be those between Marine Avenue and the Spanish City. As Paul Robson says, it looks as if it was taken close to the junction with Park Avenue. I would agree however that it could be elsewhere and Ronnies suggestion of Linskill Terrace is certainly a possibility.
Regarding Keith Bruce’s comments about models of Tynemouth vehicles, the E.F.E. model of 230 is a nice model, but it should be a PD3, not a PD2.

John Gibson


29/10/15 – 06:35

Having looked at this again, I think we could all be wrong. It could well be Wallsend Road, at the foot of Balkwell Avenue, opposite the Pineapple Pub. The trees would then be in the grounds of St Joseph’s R.C. school. The present church was built in the late 50’s or early 60’s, which would be after this photo was taken, and the area on the bend where the stone wall is now has a low brick wall which is at the edge of the car park.

Ronnie Hoye


 

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Tynemouth and District – AEC Regent III – FT 6564 – 164

Tynemouth and District - AEC Regent III - FT 6564 - 164

Tynemouth and District
1949
AEC Regent III
Northern Coachbuilders H30/26R

Eight of these splendid AEC Regent III were among the 1949 intake. By 1951, the size of the name had been considerably reduced; this would also be around the time these were due for their first repaint, so my guess would be that the photo was taken roughly 1950 or thereabouts. As things turned out, they would be the last new AEC double deckers to enter service at Percy Main, with the next four intakes all being Guy Arabs, although AEC remained the preferred choice for single deck vehicles and coaches.
After the intake at the beginning of 1940, no new vehicles were allocated to Percy Main until 1946. During the war several vehicles were requisitioned by the Ministry of Transport or transferred to other depots within the NGT group, to make matters worse, the bodies on all the NGT group forward entrance Short Brothers AEC Regent I’s, had developed serious structural faults at the leading edge of the doors, by 1943, they had deteriorated to such an extent that special permission was granted to have them rebodied, presumably as utilities. Northern Coachbuilders carried out the work at their Cramlington works. The H26/24R Short Bros and H28/24R Brush bodied AEC Regent I’s from 1931 and 1932 seem to have lasted somewhat better, they were rebodied in 1945. They were also done by NCB, but at Claremont Road in Newcastle. Once rebodied 42 – 51 – 79/80/81 & 89 all returned to Percy Main, the remainder were reallocated to other depots and renamed and numbered, but retained their original registrations.
The years between 1946 and 1949 saw a frenzy of activity, with no less than 52 new vehicles arriving at Percy Main, bear in mind that the total fleet was around 120 vehicles, of which about 18 were coaches.

New vehicles were:-
1946 – 123/127 – FT 5623/5627 – H56R Northern Counties Guy Arab II G5LW.
1947 – 128/142 – FT 5698/5712 – H30/26R Weymann AEC Regent II – 141/142 carried the Wakefields name.
1948 – 143/156 – FT 6143/6156 – H30/26R Weymann AEC Regent II – 155/156 carried the Wakefields name.
1949 – 157/164 – FT 6557/6564 – H30/26R Northern Coachbuilders AEC Regent III – 157/158 carried the Wakefields name.
165/174 – FT 6565/6574 – H30/26R Pickering Guy Arab II.

In addition, 18 pre war vehicles were rebodied in 1949 and returned to the depot, they were:-
93/95 – FT 4220/4222 – 1938 H26/26F Weymann AEC Regent I – Rebodied by Pickering as H30/26R: 1957 sold to Provincial as replacements for vehicles destroyed in garage fire, finally withdrawn 1964.
96/103; FT 4496/4503: 1938 H26/26F Weymann Leyland TD5 – Rebodied H30/26R Northern Coachbuilders MK 3.
1939 – 111/112 – FT 4941/4942 / 1940 – 114 – FT 5224 – 117/118; FT 5227/5228 – 119/120; FT 5262/5263 – All B38F Brush AEC Regal – Rebodied B38F Pickering.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye


07/05/14 – 12:26

I think this looks a very handsome vehicle, Ronnie. These NCB bodies always remind me very much – if you cover up the very obviously different front ends – to the Park Royal-bodied Regent III’s of my local operator Halifax Corporation/JOC. Bradford had some very similar to these, and Huddersfield JOC had some lowbridge ones. They appeared to develop quite a degree of body sag though and pictures of many of them a few years on show a distinct downward curve in the waistrail (I know how they must have felt!).
A nice straight forward, yet cheerful livery and an impressive gold shaded fleetname. Looks just right.

John Stringer


07/05/14 – 17:36

Sheffield had quite a number of these NCB bodies – 10 each on Daimler CVD6 and Crossley DD42 chassis and 2 lots of 10 on AEC Regent III chassis. The final 10 were of a slightly more modern appearance, and I thought they were rather handsome. I agree with you entirely, John, about the Halifax Park Royals – but I actually think the front has an echo of the classical Weymann front. They were, however, as you say, quite dire, with their pronounced body sag which I assume was for the usual reason of unseasoned timber – being all they could get, even in the early post-war period. The first lot of Regents were included in the green repaint experiments – which was an unmitigated disaster. One assumes that the quality of the timber had improved by the time of the Newcastle "ECW clones". NCB closed shortly after but Roe’s bought all the machinery AND the timber from the receivers.

David Oldfield


07/05/14 – 17:36

Mention of the AEC Regent III /NCBs for Bradford Corporation (524 – 543; 1947/48) by John has made me think there were several variants of the AEC Regent III. Bradford specified the 9.6 litre engine and the pre-selector transmission, whilst some BET Companies preferred the 7.7 litre engine and the crash gearbox. What was the specification Ronnie of the Tynemouth and District AEC Regent III posted above?
When new these buses were splendid sight as shown above and the body fitted well on many other similar types of chassis such as the Leyland PD, Daimler CV and Guy Arab III.

Richard Fieldhouse


They were 7.7 with a crash box, Richard. So far as I am aware, the NGT group never had any pre select half cabs, there were certainly none at Percy Main, and the only semi auto half cabs were the Routemasters. Newcastle Corporation had some very similar NCB bodied Regent III, although they were slightly different under the windscreen, I think they were pre select. Obviously they were double fronted, but they also had 4 and 6 wheel trolleybuses with this style of body (501 is in preservation) As I remember, these and the Newcastle Regents were outlasted by the Weymann bodied Regent 11 from 1947 and 1948, perhaps they developed the body sag problems mentioned. SDO had some Regent III with ROE bodies, they were later transferred to Northern, and lasted until about 1965 or so.

Ronnie Hoye


08/05/14 – 07:51

‘Bus Lists on the Web’ shows the Tynemouth and District Regent IIIs as type 9612A, which, if correct, gives them 9.6 litre engines and crash gearboxes.

Peter Williamson


08/05/14 – 08:11

I stand corrected, Peter. The 1947/48 Regent II were 7.7, and most of the 1949 Pickering bodied Guy Arab III, which came with Meadows engines were later converted to AEC 7.7, but these may well have been 9.6 units, so perhaps spares may have been another reason why they were withdrawn before the Regent II and the Guy’s.

Ronnie Hoye


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 26th April 2017