Old Bus Photos

Leeds City Transport – Leeds Titan – UUA 207 – 207

Leeds City Transport - Leeds Titan - UUA 207 - 207

Leeds City Transport
1955
Leeds Titan PD2/11
Roe H33/25R

This looks like a typical view from Yorkshire but these Leeds City Transport buses are interloping in Lancashire. Taken around 1970 the two Leyland Titans are seen in Rochdale climbing up from Sudden on Manchester Road heading for the town centre. The occasion was the Trans Pennine Rally from Manchester to Harrogate. Leading is 207 (UUA 207) a PD2/11 from a batch which were reputed to be the first Titans with Pneumo-cyclic transmission. Following up is 260 (5260 NW) a later PD3/5 30-footer. Both have Roe bodies.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Philip Halstead


28/10/16 – 07:41

Philip, I can’t make out the registration of the PD3, but I’d have thought it would be 5280 NW, ex Leeds 280, which is preserved (currently by Ensign, I believe, but probably with the Mile Cross Transport Collection at the time of your photo), rather than 5260 NW, which I don’t think survived.

Trevor Leach


28/10/16 – 16:55

They may have been the first batch of Pneumocyclic Titans but the very first is Leyland bodied demonstrator NTF 9 still owned by Edward Docherty who bought it from the manufacturer for A1 service work around 1955.

Stephen Allcroft


29/10/16 – 06:16

Is the date on the photo correct? The parts of the cars that we can see look to be more 1990 than 1970.

David Hick


31/10/16 – 08:18

This post is from a print and I regret I kept no notes of when it was taken. On reflection the date is more likely late 1980’s. After enlarging the scan the PD3/5 does look the be 5260. Apologies for any confusion but relying on memory with age is a tricky business.

Philip Halstead


31/10/16 – 15:11

I wondered about the date as I remember UUA 207 being stored on Pocklington Airfield in the 1980s alongside another ex-Leeds Leyland which was being used as a mobile control room/mess room by the gliding club.

David Hick


 

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Leeds City Transport – Daimler Fleetline – 101 LNW – 101

Leeds City Transport - Daimler Fleetline - 101 LNW - 101

Leeds City Transport (West Yorkshire PTE)
1964
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Roe H41/29F

In June 1978 West Yorkshire PTE transferred five Fleetlines 101 – 105 from Leeds to Calderdale. 101 was a 1964 Commercial Vehicle Motor Show exhibit which was unique amongst the batch with a single piece curved windscreen and twin headlamps. It is shown here at Skircoat Moor in Halifax shortly before entering service there. One or two points to note, a relatively low seating capacity of 70 when 77 was more normal for this size and layout; note apparently no opening windows in the lower deck (can’t remember this). I do remember the heavy steering and abysmal demisters – this could also affect many other early Fleetlines. The transfer was in the interests of standardisation but this batch had the original ‘heavyweight’ chassis whereas the Halifax buses had the later simplified rear sub frame hence different rear engine mountings – another problem area in early Fleetlines.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


14/01/16 – 16:30

The various early attempts made to ‘prettify’ the boxy shape of the Orion inspired body designs on the first generation Fleetlines and Atlanteans never seemed to come off. Here on this attempt by Roe the lower front panel and curved windscreen seem totally out of context to the remainder which is totally angular. Of the early rear-engined body designs only the Glasgow Alexander version seemed to be designed as a whole and didn’t look like a botch-up. The Bolton East Lancs Atlanteans were pretty good too where the body design seemed to be geared to suit the very attractive livery. It will certainly not be remembered as a high point in British bus bodywork design.

Philip Halstead


14/01/16 – 17:50

I remember 101 well, Ian. My work records show me as having driven it on three occasions at Halifax during 1979. The first was on the 5th January when my conductor Dave Maude and I had it for the first half of a split duty. It is recorded as having been booked off for "No Heaters, No Demisters, Heavy Steering and Slipping Flywheel".
I well remember this occasion as we had struggled to operate a trip to Sowerby with a full standing load of school children for Ryburn Valley High School who unfortunately all insisted on breathing throughout the journey, misting then frosting up our windscreen, Dave having to constantly reach over with bits of paper towel in a vain attempt to provide visibility ahead. Then on the next trip around the 517 Queens Road Circular it became so cold inside that the windscreen froze over on both sides and any attempts to scrape off the ice were thwarted by it immediately freezing over again. We had to finally stop and abandon any hope of continuing the journey for quite a while until I think eventually we were causing such an obstruction that a sympathetic motorist lent us the remains of his de-icer spray and we were just about able to find our way back to Garage in a series of starts and stops.
We also had four more of the batch (102-105), but these had the more conventional flat fronts. They too – like all early Fleetlines – had very heavy steering, but the bodies seemed to be very solid and rattle-free in comparison with the ex-Halifax Northern Counties-bodied Fleetlines, which I thoroughly disliked.

John Stringer


15/01/16 – 06:28

Reading the comments above, I am surprised that no one thought of specifying heated windscreens. I seem to recall them on Hants & Dorset Bristol MWs in the early sixties, which certainly did not have to cope with the more severe weather found in Yorkshire.

David Wragg


15/01/16 – 06:30

101 was the Roe exhibit at the 1964 Earls Court show. Originally finished in traditional Leeds livery plus gold lining out. It was originally fitted with forced ventilation on both decks but following complaints from the public opening windows were fitted in the upper deck.
Like many of LCTs rear engined fleet 101 wore at least three liveries The original the later one man reversed livery and the Metro livery seen here.

On the subject of seating capacity Leeds had no thirty footers with more than 70 seats the largest 33ft deckers only seated 78 The first 30ft types with more than 70 seats were ordered and delivered to the PTE.

Chris Hough


15/01/16 – 14:44

It is not strictly true to say that the first 30ft deckers delivered to Leeds with more than 70 seats were ordered by the P.T.E.
Leylands 221-291, 5221-5291 NW, Daimlers 502-531, 7502-7531 UA and A.E.C.s 910-923, 3910-3923 UB delivered between 1958 and 1960 seated H39/32R when they entered service.
They were altered to H38/32R between August and October 1960 following a National Agreement on standing capacity which meant that buses with more than 70 seats were restricted to a maximum of 5 standing passengers whilst those with not more than 70 could carry 8 standing passengers.

John Kaye


15/01/16 – 17:06

David, the earliest buses I came across with heated windscreens were the final (1969) batch of Plaxton/Roadliners at PMT where we certainly had problems with heaters and demisters (tell me an undertaking that didn’t). You can’t believe the difficulties in getting hot water to flow round 60 feet of pipework.

Ian Wild


16/01/16 – 06:07

Ian. Thought on Roadliners screens were prone to jumping out which only makes demisters the preferred option

Roger Burdett


16/01/16 – 06:12

In that case, Ian, I must have made a mistake. Certainly the Marshall-bodied AEC Reliances of Aldershot & District had such screens around that time, but as regards the Hants & Dorset MWs, put that down to old age!
I can imagine the difficulties in getting heat around vehicles as they grew longer and engines moved from end to the other. More a case of needing a plumber than a mechanic.

David Wragg


16/01/16 – 06:12

Roe never seemed to quite get the "hang of" being able (or could be bothered?) to match-up the top and side profiles of curved windscreens with adjacent body-work, whether single or double-beck – the impression, to me, is of something just cut into bodywork designed for something else. I hope the near-side windscreen wiper was re-fitted before it entered service. And, John, a double-deck on the 517/8 – that was a bit optimistic as regards loadings wasn’t it? with a conductor you must have outnumbered the passenger.

Philip Rushworth


17/01/16 – 06:33

Yes Philip, if I remember rightly there were occasions when we carried nobody at all for the whole round trip, and if not then there were never more than two or three. The service by then was interworked with other routes and this particular AM trip just happened to slot in nicely to a crew operated double-deck working.
Commencing on 9th November,1925 this fairly short circular route served a densely populated area and in its heyday(as the 25 Inner Circle – same number both ways)had been operated by double deckers on a 20 minute (three peaks)or 30 minute (off-peak) frequency, and running throughout the evening. Renumbered 7 (clockwise) or 8 (anti-clocwise) on 24th October 1955 the timetable remained pretty much the same throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. On 29th September 1968 it was combined with the Beechwood Road route becoming cross-town routes 17/18) and converted to OMO single deck operation. The evening service was withdrawn on 27th May 1970. From 20th November 1972 the Beechwood Road section was incorporated into the 3 Hungerhill Estate service, so the 17/18 now reverted to just a Queens Road circular again. On 4th December 1972 it was diverted to also serve Richmond Road, by which time it ran hourly each way. Renumbered 517/518 by WYPTE it was reduced to just four trips per weekday from 12th January 1981, and was withdrawn altogether from 26th October 1986 when the newly created Yorkshire Rider diverted alternate Wainstalls journeys via Queens Road as route 524.

John Stringer


17/01/16 – 06:34

Notably the first C H Roe customer to ask for an Alexander type double curvature windscreen was the then General Manger at Great Yarmouth.
By the time this bus was transferred to Halifax the same man was Engineering Director of the PTE and prior to that he had been General Manager of Halifax and Todmorden.

This shot shows how Roe didn’t put a taper in the front end, unlike Alexander who did: www.flickr.com/photos/johnmightycat/

Stephen Allcroft


17/01/16 – 12:22

That would be the late Geoffrey Hilditch then. A Bus Engineer through and through, the likes of which the Bus Industry will never see again.

Stephen Howarth


17/01/16 – 17:12

Lincoln also bought a batch of Atlanteans with this style of bodywork.

Chris Hough


 

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Leeds City Transport – AEC Swift – JNW 952E – 52

Leeds City Transport - AEC Swift - JNW 952E - 52

Leeds City Transport
1967
AEC Swift MP2R
Roe B48D

Leeds bought several batches of AEC Swifts between 1967 and 1971. Prior to these appearing the fleet was 90% double deck with around 15 saloons most of which were AEC Reliances some with centre entrance bodies with the later ones being dual door for one man operation.
Seen here are a quartet of the first two batches of Swifts parked outside the old Bramley depot which was a former tram depot.
Three of the Swifts have Roe bodywork of an attractive style while the fourth carries an MCW body which had forward sloping window pillars and a slightly stepped waistrail. Further saloons in the shape of both Swifts and single deck Fleetlines would appear before the last Roe bodied Swifts entered service in 1971. All of the buses seen here carry their original dark green with light green windows livery that was basically reversed when it was decided to paint one man operated buses in a different style to the rear entrance fleet. All of the Swifts passed to the PTE and had a largely normal life span. From the left they are 52 JNW 952E, 74 MNW 174F the solitary MCW example seen here and 54 and 56 from the same batch as 52.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hough


05/09/13 – 14:30

Leeds City Transport plus Roe bodywork is pretty much as one might expect, since the factory was within the boundary. MCW? However did that idea get past Committee???

Pete Davies


05/09/13 – 14:30

A matter of personal preference I know Chris, but I thought that the traditional Leeds City Transport livery as shown here was the very best – corporate and completely dignified, inside and out. The various batches of Swifts each had fascinating characteristics, often considerably different and interesting (challenging even) in their own ways. The first fifty as shown in the picture had semi automatic transmission while the final batches of fifty and twenty had the option of fully automatic or, if drivers like me preferred, manual override so as to allow "normal" gearchanging of a sort. In fairness though the fully automatic mode on these was normally very predictable and well behaved. All things considered, the final twenty (1051 – 1070) with luxury seats were the best of the lot and were a delight to drive and to ride in. Passenger flow in the last seventy was really excellent and they were ideal for one person operation. Rumour had it, we shall never know on what foundation, when the last twenty were on order that they would be of 12 metres length – its a good job that they weren’t, as some of the corners on the inner city routes would have been literally impossible – the turn from the nearside lane of East Parade into Park Lane (Headrow) being one certainty. Thanks again for a really nostalgic picture Chris.

Chris Youhill


06/09/13 – 08:21

Peter Leeds had a long history of dual sourcing bodywork between Roe and MCW although the Swifts were the first saloons.
Chris I too preferred the original liveries seen here although the doors were a little eccentric since the exit door was half the width of the entrance. The Park Royal examples were much better in having both doors of normal width. The Roe 1971 batch had fronts derived from the Leeds two door decker design and as you say were a joy to ride on. I recall that they were replaced on the Ring Road service with Duple bodied Tigers which were also a pleasant ride. One thing that has always struck me about the MCW bodied Swifts was their apparent narrowness at the front compared to the Roe examples.

Chris Hough


06/09/13 – 08:22

By 1967/8 MCW had been Leeds’ ‘backup’ supplier of bodywork for the best part of two decades. It was widely believed that it was possible to get more advantageous quotes from suppliers by multi-sourcing.

David Call


10/09/13 – 06:33

You are right Chris, and the MCW do appear narrower and even allowing for slightly different camera angle its very strange indeed – but must somehow be just an illusion ??
The Tigers were truly superb vehicles, mechanically and bodily, and the luxurious brown patterned moquette seats were the finest. They did indeed replace the Swifts on the Ring Road service entirely, and I think on most other single deck routes from Headingley Depot – memory not clear, although it should be, on the last point but its getting now to be a long time ago – I eagerly took redundancy from the forthcoming "circus" on October 25th 1986. On joining South Yorkshire Road Transport after that I encountered daily more Tigers but with OPO adapted Plaxton luxury coachwork – these really were the bees knees for stage carriage work, and one of them still enjoyed a working radio – the others having been silenced because of arguments arising on private hires and excursions – and whenever I had number 22 on bus services (often) the passengers were able to enjoy Radio Two.

Chris Youhill


10/09/13 – 16:30

Like Chris, I have a great deal of affection for the TRCTL11 Tigers. [A shame there were no TRCTL12s – AEC men will know what I mean.]

David Oldfield


10/09/13 – 16:30

Going off at a bit of a tangent here, but at Halifax we had some of the Tigers to which Chris refers. They became regular performers on the ex-Hebble Rochdale service, along with its later alternative variant via the incredibly narrow and tortuous lanes around Mill Bank and Soyland. They certainly romped along compared with ex-West Yorkshire Leopard coaches which we also had at the time, though they always gave me the impression of not being quite so durable. They were also without any doubt the worst buses I have ever had to drive in snow and ice.
However, I would question Chris’s views on their bodywork. They had Duple Dominant Bus bodies, and were apparently built in stages, the works giving priority to coach production and fitting ours in as and when they had a bit of spare time. Our chap whose job it was to monitor the construction of the PTE’s buses paid a visit to the works and found their basic steel frameworks had been assembled and then dumped outside in the yard with inadequate (or possibly no) rustproofing to suffer the worst of the salty Blackpool sea air. They were already rusting away and a strong request was made (in no uncertain broad Yorkshire terms I can well imagine !) to get them treated straight away. This was apparently carried out, but apparently not very well, and they began to suffer corrosion problems from quite an early stage in their lives. There were two batches, and I think it was the first batch of seven Y-reg ones (which went to Leeds) which suffered the worst, but one of our A-prefix ones was subject to quite a major rebuild later and became the only one to carry the white, blue and yellow First Calderline livery, and the last to survive.

John Stringer


11/09/13 – 08:30

But John, they were Duples. The reason that the firm folded was because of the appalling quality and finish. Your story helps explain why the metal frames were so prone to rust and corrosion. The fit and finish left a lot to be desired on the 320/340 bodies at the end (1989). I know of at least one Western National 340/Tiger where the panels were coming adrift after a few months and I drove a 320/Scania where I thought that the engine cover had counterbalancing until I was told it was rusted metal "sloshing" about in the cavity. How are the mighty fallen. Duple were at the top of their game when they moved to Blackpool and had an honourable history with the Continental and Commander but seemed to lose the plot after that. The Dominant was an Elite rip off – but with a metal frame. Somehow it never worked – despite the Continental being a successful metal-framed model. MCW had exactly the same corrosion problems despite the MCCW metal frames being the best of their time.

David Oldfield


11/09/13 – 16:30

Following on from Davids comments. It is interesting that the PTE/Yorkshire Rider never went for the National (one batch only) and Calderdales last pre low floor saloon were Plaxton bodied Volvos.

Chris Hough


12/09/13 – 08:30

John and David – I can only say that I amazed to hear of such structural inferiority in the Duple Dominant bodies, but naturally don’t doubt it for a minute on hearing such reliable reports. All I can say is that, in their "youth", the Headingley PTE Tiger ones were superbly comfortable and free of any rattling or body noise and movement – as the saying goes "You can’t judge a book by its cover." !!

Chris Youhill


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 2nd December 2016