Old Bus Photos

Brighton, Hove & District – Bristol Lodekka – OPN 807 – 7

Brighton, Hove & District - Bristol Lodekka - OPN 807 - 7

Brighton, Hove & District
Bristol LDS6B
ECW H33/37R

Seen in Brighton in the summer of 1960 is Brighton, Hove & District OPN 807, fleet no. 7, an example of the rare LDS short version of the Bristol Lodekka with flat lower saloon floor, air suspension on the rear axle, and air (instead of vacuum) over hydraulic braking system. With some adjustments, the LDS model then went into volume production as the FS type. The prototype LDS, an LDS6G with Gardner 6LW engine, went to Crosville in 1958 as 285 HFM, fleet no. DLG 949. In May / June 1959, BH&D received LDS buses OPN 801 to 808, the company’s first Lodekkas, which were powered by the then newly introduced 8.9 litre Bristol BVW engine. OPN 804 to 808 had ECW H33/37R bodywork, but OPN 801 to 803 were CO33/37R convertible open toppers. www.flickr.com/
As delivered, these eight LDS6B buses had the Cave-Brown-Cave heating system installed and, as seen in the photograph, lacked a conventional radiator at the front of the engine bay. The deficiencies of this heating/cooling arrangement, especially apparent with the overheating prone BVW engine, led to its subsequent disconnection and the fitment of a normal radiator, though the cooler running Gardner powered Crosville prototype retained its Cave-Brown-Cave heating and blank front panel with winged motif to the end. OPN 807 served with BH&D until January 1969 when, under NBC “rationalisation”, it passed to Southdown ownership with all the BH&D operations. Withdrawn in 1972, it then went on to Brittain’s in Northampton //bcv.robsly.com/ who sold it, ostensibly for preservation, in June 1979. Having since passed through a number of supposedly preservationist hands, it would seem that it still exists in the current ownership of a dealer, the London Bus Export Company of Lydney, though its current condition is uncertain. If it still retains its BVW engine then spares for that will be scarcer than hen’s teeth.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

18/02/18 – 17:05


Prodded by Roger’s item, I Googled LDX 003 and found Nigel Furness’ book mentioning LDX003 and LDX004 both of which had passed me by! His book also adds that BCV changed the designation of the six LDL 30′ chassis built in 1957 (eg Bristol L8450 – see //www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=34464 to LLD after they were built which explains why I had come across this confusing reference at some time whilst at BCV.
Roger’s photo reminded me of one that I took at BCV in early 1964 showing no. 4 with two non-standard to Tilling Group features of these vehicles: the split step (making a ‘stepless’ entry into a stepped access!); and the side route no. indicator. The first feature is still extant in the photo-link of no. 7 in Brittain’s ownership.
When I took the photo I had just arrived back at the factory at Brislington after a long spell with BOC so was not aware why no. 4 was at BCV. It was the first of the eight LDS chassis built at the end of the 138th sanction for BH&D, although the last three with convertible open top bodies were given fleet nos. 1 -3. I also have a note to say that its BVW engine was fitted with a DPA (distributor) type fuel injection pump, instead of the original in-line fuel injection pumps of either CAV or Simms manufacture. I’m not aware that this cheaper component was adopted as a standard in later BVW engines.

Geoff Pullin

19/02/18 – 07:07

Whoops – got confused. This photo is of BH&D no. 54, not 4 and hence is an FS6B of the 214th sanction dating from 1964. The bit about DPA pumps definitely refers to 5no. 4!

Geoff Pullin

19/02/18 – 07:08

Thanks for the picture of the "stepless" door platform on these buses, Geoff. I had completely forgotten about these, but I now recall that they were held to create more platform stumbles than they sought to eradicate. Your reference to the use of DPA fuel pumps on these early BVW engines is notewothy. DPA pumps appeared in the mid to late fifties on smaller engines, but this must surely have been one of the pioneer applications on a relatively large commercial vehicle engine. Was it intended to thus equip the production BVW as standard? I am not an engineer, just an interested layman, but I can recognise the appeal of the DPA against the traditional, much more costly, in line pump. The DPA has to work harder serving all the injectors, but the advantages of cheaper and easier replacement together with simplified calibration must have been attractive. Was reliability a problem, and did these early Lodekkas keep these pumps?

Roger Cox

19/02/18 – 07:08

I remember these Lodekkas from my gap year conducting from Conway Street in 1969/70. The lowered rear platform step was said to be popular with all the old ladies of Hove but in rush hour with visitors and foreign students they were also what we now consider a trip hazard. Happy days!

Anthony H

20/02/18 – 06:03

As of Feb 12 it was still at Lydney. Gossip says it was possessed over an unpaid bill. I would have thought offering it for continued preservation would have attracted a buyer.

Roger Burdett

21/02/18 – 07:26


Reading Geoff Pullin’s post regarding Brighton & Hove APN 54B and its modified entrance step, it put me in mind of a similar design modification applied to a East Midland VR some 9 years later. PRR 121L and its low entrance step option was presented to the local press in Mansfield as a help to the aged and infirm. I don’t know how long it lasted but photos on the web show it had gone by the time Yelloway became the owners. I captured my picture when nearly new at Mansfield depot.

Berisford Jones

28/02/18 – 07:37

Berisford’s photograph of East Midland VRT PRR 121L’s step arrangement has reminded me that one of East Yorkshire’s 1973 VRTs (932) was similarly treated, but was converted to standard layout in later life. Maybe such experimental steps were more widespread than maybe first thought.

Brendan Smith

28/02/18 – 12:21

I seem to remember that ECW did about half a dozen VRTs with this step as an experiment in 1972/3 – another one was Trent 631 (RCH 631L), which was converted to normal within a year or so.

Bob Gell

03/03/18 – 06:40

Roger asks about the DPA fuel injection pump. To my knowledge it was never used on production BVW engines, but others may know differently! I can’t find any information about its introduction to other makes of engines but remember that it was used by Leyland on 680 engines in AN68 Atlanteans and later Leopards and probably Panthers. I can’t remember about the 500/510 series.
The DPA did have some reliability problems but the reduced initial cost and ease of replacement was probably thought to compensate in Leyland’s eyes. It was not suitable for increasing power outputs at a time that competition was pushing them up. The ‘Power Plus’ series of 680 engines used in trucks were fitted with in-line fuel injection pumps and that was the engine used in the Ribble / Standerwick VRL/LH coaches and why they were able to go ‘uphill at 70mph’ compared to 36ft Leopards, which were stuck with the DPA version because the in-line pump would foul the chassis frame. We had to wait for the Tiger before this power problem was sorted!

Geoff Pullin

04/03/18 – 06:50

From memory the later 680’s had an F&M Friedmann and Maier injection pump fitted.

Andrew Charles

05/03/18 – 08:02

Geoff, thank you for the fascinating information regarding BH&D 4 being fitted with a CAV DPA distributor type (sometimes known as rotary) fuel injection pump when new, as I had no idea of such an experiment. As you comment, the standard BVW engine was fitted with an in-line injection pump of either Simms (SPE type) or CAV (N type) manufacture, although I seem to recall that in later years the CAV pump became the norm. West Yorkshire’s 0.680-engined Bristol RELHs and Leyland Leopards were fitted with DPA pumps as standard, apart from a handful of WY’s last Leopards which had Austrian-built Friedmann & Maier (F&M) in-line pumps. F&M injection pumps were also used on Leyland-engined Leyland Tiger TR and National 2 models. The Leyland 510 engine fitted to the National 1 used the CAV NN-type pump, which was a development of the N-type, the immediate difference being that the NN had its oil supplied from the engine lubrication system, whereas the N was simply ‘splash fed’ by oil from its own small ‘sump’. Also, on the National engine the injection pump was laid on its side rather than being vertical.
As Roger says, the cheaper initial cost, ease of removal/replacement and simplified calibration were in the DPA pump’s favour, but I would tend to agree that the pumps would have had to work harder than a larger in-line pump on more powerful engines. The main problem WY had with DPA pumps related to fuel leaks, mainly although not solely, around the banjo bolts retaining the high pressure outlets to the injector pipes. I think Geoff is correct in thinking that the DPA pump was not suited to the steady increase in power outputs on large diesel engines in later years, although CAV did introduce the DPC (Distributor Pump, ‘C’ type) to help counter this, but I’m not sure as to its success. Going back to the DPA pumps, it came as something of a surprise when I first saw one on a 0.680 Atlantean engine. The pump looked so small on the side of such a large engine, especially when compared to the very large (but admittedly long-lived) injection pumps used by Messrs L Gardner & Sons on their range of engines!

Brendan Smith


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Brighton, Hove & District – Bristol K5G – GHT 127 – 992

Brighton, Hove & District - Bristol K5G - GHT 127 - 992

Brighton, Hove & District
Bristol K5G
ECW O33/26R

This vehicle has appeared before on this site in a rather good April fool joke. New to Bristol Tramways as fleet their number C3315 it was sold to Brighton, Hove & District in 1955 as their 992 who reputedly carried out the conversion to open-top. Later sold to Thomas, Port Talbot, then to Bristol Omnibus and thence Badgerline. Then after a stint with First Bristol and First Somerset & Avon it was loaned to the Bristol Vintage Bus Group in Bristol.
Standing aside is GHT 154 another K5G with a H30/26R Bristol body it was new in 1940 to Bristol Tramways and had fleet number C3338. It also is in the care of the Bristol Vintage Bus Group. 
Both vehicles looking great at the Bristol Running Day 2011.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

12/07/13 – 08:04

These are examples of Bristol Tramways’ large tram replacement programme, in which 272 new K5Gs entered service between 1938 and 1941 for Bristol Joint Services.
Bristol’s own body works could not meet the demand and ECW supplied bodies for 78 of these buses.
BH&D must have been responsible not only for the open top conversion of GHT 127 (and five others) but also the fitting of the more modern PV2 radiator, first used in 1946, and the lower bonnet line.

Geoff Kerr

12/07/13 – 12:15

GHT 154, the K5G with a H30/26R Bristol body, is a bus brought back from near-death and is a tribute to those who put in all the hard graft to bring her back to as-new condition.
Rob McCaffrey, in his ‘Transport Illustrated’ blog, mentions a little about its history and also shows a couple of photos of the downstairs inside (click to enlarge). Here’s the link: //transport-illustrated. 

Chris Hebbron

12/07/13 – 22:46


Very sad but here is another one that appears on Ebay every now and then in Arizona. Totally unrealistic asking money for this, offering to a good home would be better. Wish I had the time and the room. I think this is 124.

Mike Pannell


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Brighton, Hove & District – Dennis Lance II – NJ 5978 – 6315

Brighton, Hove & District - Dennis Lance II - NJ5978 - 6315
Copyright R A Mills

Brighton, Hove & District
Dennis Lance II
Tilling H30/26R

Not a big user of the marque, Thomas Tilling, nevertheless, for Brighton town services, bought four Dennis Darts, then two Dennis Aces between 1932 and 1934.
In 1935, they then bought six Dennis Lance II’s, adding Tilling bodywork in the style of their 80 London STL cousins. Here is 6315, standing, driver’s door ajar, at Brighton Station, not long after the war. It is blinded for Fishersgate (Portslade).
Unlike its London cousins, it shows no trace of body sag! The radiator has the style of those fitted to the sweet little Dennis Darts of the early 1930’s and not the ‘Dutch Roof’ design, thick or thin, that had DENNIS across the radiator centre. This one has a small DENNIS plate below the radiator cap. Although it has the archaic triple window front upstairs, the larger BH&D blind box suits this front more than the ‘pinched’ LT style did. One change is that the rear upstairs emergency exit does not have twin windows that its London cousins possessed. All six were withdrawn in 1949.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

27/08/12 – 20:07

As at 3.35pm on Monday, I find nobody has yet had a comment published about this. Surely, you’ve not left us all speechless, Mr Hebbron??? (More likely, of course, that Peter hasn’t had chance to post the comments made already.)
I’ve seen a few buses with the triple front windscreen arrangement, and they seem to have been London types for the most part, with a few CIE vehicles as makeweight. I can understand that the London ones may have fallen under the influence of the Metropolitan Police, but what about CIE? Did they simply like the design and stick with it for many years?

Pete Davies

27/08/12 – 20:11

Chris. Many thanks for the super photo of a BH&D Dennis Lance. It was news to me that they had any Lances, which were very uncommon in Tilling controlled fleets, as I can only think of the 1936 pair at Southern Vectis, with the later radiator. Perhaps this was due to Dennis persevering with the 4 cyl. notion of a double deck chassis, which most had, I believe, in petrol and/or 04 (Lanova ?) form.

Dennis had supplied the Tilling group with substantial numbers of petrol engined Lancet 1 single deckers, and the standard small bus was the Ace, but with the advent of Bristols in the group,Dennis were keen to protect this business. Consequently, trial batches of Lancet 2s , with 04, or 5LW engines, were supplied, but as far as I can see, the only fleet to take any real number was Caledonian. What engines did these Lances have, and when did BH&D start to convert their AECs to oil engines?
Indeed, when were their first Bristol Gs or Ks delivered?
The Lances lasted well, did n`t they, especially as they were not so different from the London collection (DL class) which were all gone by about 1937, albeit a year or two older.
More detail of the Brighton fleet up to 1950 would make delightful reading!
The Lances of the later 1930s, as supplied to Walsall, and Merthyr, had very compact cabs because of their short 4 cyl. engines, theoretically enabling more effective use of passenger space, a bit like the Daimler COG5/40 concept. Fascinating stuff!

John Whitaker

27/08/12 – 20:16

These Brighton, Hove and District Lances were numbered 6311 to 6316, registrations NJ 5974 to 5979. The bus in the picture would appear to be 6315, NJ 5978. The pre war Lance never used the heavy style of radiator of the Lancet I, but the version used on these BH&D Lances appears to have been a slight variation upon the usual contemporary pattern which had a tapering grille set within a parallel sided frame, the bottom edge of which formed a shallow "V". Other Lance IIs, notably those of Aldershot and District, used the high set oval radiator of the Lancet II (and later III) which resulted in a decidedly restricted view from the cab. The Tilling bodies on three of the BH&D Lances, 6311/4/6, were rebuilt by Portsmouth Aviation in 1947, which made their withdrawal just two years later seem rather a profligate decision. I cannot establish if these Lances were powered by the 6.1 litre 100 bhp 6 cylinder ohv petrol engine or the 6.5 litre 85 bhp sixteen valve 4 cylinder O4 diesel, though, in view of the severe gradients in parts of the Brighton area, the petrol version would have been more likely.

Roger Cox

28/08/12 – 18:01

I don’t think that the three-window design would have been anything to do with the Metropolitan Police regulations. It’s notable that the LGOC effectively abandoned three windows around 1930 and all their Regents and Renowns had two windows, whereas Tilling and many of the independents continued to have three windows.
I suspect that it had more to do with the need on buses without roller blinds for a large opening window for the conductor to lean out of to change the destination boards. By the time the Tilling STLs came out I suspect it was just a styling hangover.

Michael Wadman

30/08/12 – 11:49

It is good that BH&D has been given an airing thanks to Chris H. 6315 was one of a batch of six Dennis Lances that were operated by BH&D and were the last petrol-engined double decker buses to join the fleet. They were converted to diesel as follows: – 6312, 6313, 6315, 6316 received Gardner 5LW engines between 1942 and 1946 and 6311,6314 were fitted with AEC 7.7 engines and radiators. When withdrawn in 1949, they were all sold to Westcliff-on -Sea Motor Services Ltd for further service. I do hope we will see more BH&D buses on this web site soon.

Richard Fieldhouse

31/08/12 – 07:29

The three window design for the upper deck was also used on pre war trolleybuses in Huddersfield Indeed a batch of Park Royal Sunbeams of 1949 also had this styling.

Chris Hough

31/08/12 – 07:30

Thx, Richard, for the additional info.
If the condition of these vehicles is as good as seen in the photo, plus diesel engines, I’m not surprised that they were sold on for further service, Richard. Wonder when they finally went for scrap?
Strange that they were re-engined with two types of engine. The fitting of AEC radiators to 6311 and 6314 was an unusual move. I wonder if changing petrol engines for diesels was a common action in the war. I’m not aware that it was.

Chris Hebbron

31/08/12 – 09:42

I was surprised to learn about the Gardner 5LW engine changes in the war period as I believe these were in very short supply and tightly regulated by the Ministry of War Supply. The Daimler Company had only a limited supply of 5LW engines for their production of the CWG5 model in 1943. I can only assume BH&D may have had a few 5LW engines in stock. I have no knowledge about the Dennis Lance operation in Westcliff but I believe the AEC engined Dennis Lances were converted to open top, so possibly ran for some time into the mid-fifties. However another related war time matter that has always been hard to understand is how BH&D could store 7 new AEC 661T/Weymann trolleybuses from 1940 to 1946 when other towns and cities were in desperate need for trolleybuses. Brighton Corporation AEC 661T/Weymann trolleybuses were loaned to Newcastle during the war.

Richard Fieldhouse

04/09/12 – 08:44

Another operator of buses with three windows at the front of the upper deck was Luton Corporation, who operated some pre-war Daimler COG’s with Willowbrook lowbridge bodywork thus fitted. A picture appears on this very site! (see Luton Corporation). A brief look at a fleet book I have reveals Luton operated several Daimlers of CH6, CP6 (petrol), and COG5 (diesel) types, all with Willowbrook L26/26R bodies. These had the lowbridge gangway on both nearside and offside, and were new from c.1933 to 1938, most surviving into post-war years, being withdrawn c.1948-1953. I believe the use of the double lowbridge gangway was originally used to avoid the patent payment to Leyland for their 1927 design, but I think that this was cleared by c.1933/34, so it’s continued use after that date must be operator preference / standardisation. Presumably the three-window upstairs layout suited the two-gangway/central seating block layout inside.

Michael Hampton

18/04/13 – 07:05

Just to keep the record straight the SIX Southern Vectis Dennis ‘Lance’ double deckers delivered in 1935 had Gardner 5LW diesel engines from new.

Patrick Hall

30/07/13 – 15:37

The six Lances [600-605] ADL 500-505 for Southern Vectis were delivered in 1936 with 600/1 arriving 29/5/36 and 602-5 arriving -/6/36.
They had a hard life with SV especially during the war years but still managed to give 17 years service [600/2/4] or 18 years [601/3/5], so the last ones were still in use as spare buses when the first Lodekkas arrived!
Apparently [604] survived with a Showman in Gloucester until November 1965.
Any further news/photos of them welcome.


31/07/13 – 07:51

Here, at least, are a couple of photos of them:
Here’s a photo, behind the T-S, of 500 in pre-war livery (and large SV lettering) – See (scroll): //tinyurl.com/klbxrz7
Here’s a late photo of 504 – See (scroll down): //tinyurl.com/oe358ku

Chris Hebbron

31/01/14 – 10:12

First of all a correction to a commonly made mistake – the company to which the BH&D Lances went was Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Services NOT WestcliffE …
Of the six Lances one, NJ 5976 was converted to open top (I think by Westcliff, not by BH&D) and used on the Southend sea front services. The others were used mainly(possibly entirely) on contract work. One later finished up as a store at Southend depot. Several later acquired AEC radiators. None received Eastern Nation fleet numbers in July 1954, so they must all have gone by then. I think (but cannot check, as I cannot locate my copy) the recent history of Westcliff has a photo of one with that company.

Brian Pask

Thanks Brian I have corrected the spelling of Westcliff.

02/05/14 – 17:55

Further to my query posted above in August 2012, about how BH&D could store their new AEC661T/Weymann trolleybuses throughout the period 1939 to 1945, perhaps some correspondence from the LPTB to the BH&D Tilling Group may put some light on the matter. Michael Dryhurst has written a most interesting "What if–" article in "Classic Bus" no.130 April/May 2014 on these stored BH&D trolleybuses. It would seem the LPTB would have liked to purchase these BH&D trolleybuses in 1944 for use on their 654 Crystal Palace to Sutton route to relieve serious vehicle shortages due to serious war damage to Bexleyheath and West Ham depots.

Richard Fieldhouse

03/05/14 – 07:19

Richard highlights one of the most intriguing episodes of WW2 transport history here. Why were these vehicles stored throughout the war when there were chronic shortages all over the country?
I too have seen the article in "Classic Bus", which is a fascinating "what if" scenario, especially as the B.H.and D. 661Ts had coasting and run back brakes, making them eminently suitable for LPTB.
Perhaps the answer lies in their Crompton Parkinson equipments, totally non standard as far as London trolleybuses were concerned, but thanks, Richard, for bringing up this point.

John Whitaker

03/05/14 – 07:20

I’ve just found out that Westcliff-on-Sea took delivery of three Dennis Lances in 1931 (JN960/1/2), so there was a logic in their taking the BH&D ones. Incidentally, these also finished up with AEC radiators.
Interesting about LPTB’s bid to buy BH&D’s trolleys. Obviously LPTB got by with their shortage in the end, since the only trolleys they ever borrowed were some Bournemouth ones earlier in the war to cover a shortage overcome by acquiring the South Africa-destined trolleys in the end.

Chris Hebbron

NJ 5978_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

19/01/15 – 07:25

On 31/01/14, Brian Pask mentioned that the six Lances went to Westcliff-on-Sea, five to contract work. Here’s a photo of Brian’s, showing NJ 5979 doing this work. The front blind area has changed and the front has also been modified to achieve double windows upstairs. The cab windscreen’s also been altered to allow for the AEC radiator. It’s not an improvement on an otherwise fairly streamlined original front. www.sct61.org.uk/wmnj5979

Chris Hebbron


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