Old Bus Photos

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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West Bromwich – Guy GS – MXX 340 – 252

MXX 340

West Bromwich (County Borough of) Transport Dept
1953
Guy GS
ECW B26F

This Guy GS Special was attending a West Bromwich running day at the Black Country Museum in September 2014. It was new to London Transport in December 1953 as fleet number GS40 and has an Eastern Coachworks B26F body (number 6386). MXX 340 looks superb and was accompanied by three other West Bromwich buses. This is surely one of the smartest liveries in the country.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


19/04/15 – 11:54

Heartily agree that West Bromwich Corporation had one of the smartest fleet liveries in the country, along with City of Oxford.
Rightly or wrongly I was always under the impression that this vehicle was primarily for use of the Social Services Department although it was numbered 252 in the main fleet series, as was a second ex-London GS (251) whose identity escapes me at the moment.

Larry B


20/04/15 – 07:16

The other one, Larry B, was MXX 341, which was 233 in the West Bromwich fleet. It was scrapped in 1972.

Chris Hebbron


21/04/15 – 06:12

I think this is resident at the Black Country Museum. It was certainly in service doing the "round the site" service when I was there last year. Looks good in this livery, but seemed mechanically a bit run down, though OK for what it was doing.

David


06/06/15 – 06:32

David, They had problems with this one on the day that I took the pic. It would not start and remained at rest whilst the other three did the round the site trips.It was good to see, would have been better to ride!

Les Dickinson


07/07/18 – 05:59

It is indeed being used by the BCLM but it is privately owned and had had quite a lot of work done to it including a partial engine rebuild.It is now due for more work in the very near future,

William Parker


18/02/20 – 07:22

As of today, it is still at the Black Country Living Museum and was in service.

Chris Hebbron


08/02/21 – 13:34

MXX 340_2

The attached photo shows the two GSs in Oak Lane Depot in July 1967, together with the two ex Huddersfield JOC Daimlers (ex 78 & 103, CVG6/Willowbrook) which belonged to the Welfare Services. These two only carry the lighter blue of the standard livery, whereas the two Guys carry the two-tone blue livery of the main bus fleet. BBF 7, third edition of 1967, shows both Guys as being purchased in 1961, with MXX 340 (252) noted has having operated by the Health Department until 1963, at which point it clearly joined the bus fleet. It’s interesting to note that on both the Guys the cream band is the same width right up to the corner pillar rather than than narrowing under the corner light as seen on the main photo.

Alan Murray-Rust


 

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West Bromwich – Daimler CVG5 – FEA 156 – 156

West Bromwich - Daimler CVG5 - FEA 156 - 156

West Bromwich (County Borough of) Transport Dept
1952
Daimler CVG5
Metro-Cammell B38R

To return to West Bromwich, near contemporaries of the GEA registered Daimler double deckers, a pair of which were posted on site a week or so ago, were a batch of single deckers. The chassis were built in 1948, but due to pressure of work at Metro-Cammell the bodies were not ready until 1952. By then, of course, under floor engined saloons were almost ubiquitous, so they seemed old even when new.
One of them, FEA 156, has been preserved and is seen here in 2012, in West Brom’s superb livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Tony Martin


17/06/13 – 06:55

Thanks for posting, Tony. I agree with your comment about their ‘old’ appearance, even from new. If the entry at the rear had been fitted with a door, or if the door had been just behind the front wheels (as with Birmingham’s Tigers, for example) it might have helped.

Pete Davies


17/06/13 – 06:56

Looks a bit old, even for 1948…. it is not helped by the slopey windscreen and rear entrance. I have never seen a Daimler radiator finished in what looks like silver paint.. is this authentic? It makes the radiator seem to project even more in front of the bodywork, which cannot be the engine length as it is a G5: contemporary Daimlers weren’t always so, I suggest. Nice looking preservation, though.

Joe


17/06/13 – 15:04

Interesting bonnet opening arrangement as well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Was this normal Daimler practice at the time?

Eric Bawden


17/06/13 – 17:30

Wonderful livery! One of the all time classics. It seems strange that it took four years to build bodies for this small batch of vehicles despite the post-war high demand for new vehicles.

Philip Halstead


18/06/13 – 07:17

I was also thinking that the four year delay was excessive and must have had some other factor. One other thing I’m not sure of is the length of this bus. I am inclined to think that it’s a thirty-foot long vehicle as 38 is a lot of seats to fit into one twenty-seven and a half feet long when you take into account the platform style which didn’t sit well with maximising seating capacity.
The thing is, I’m sure the increased length didn’t become legal until at least 1949, so why build an illegal chassis in 1948?
Having looked around the web a bit and been rather distracted by some shots of this bus’s superbly-restored double-deck sister 174 I find references to the chassis being built in 1950. Everything then makes sense.
So what is the correct year for the chassis – I have no primary sources to refer to?

David Beilby


18/06/13 – 07:19

Edinburgh bought several batches of saloons with this kind of MCW body including Guys and some similar Daimlers. The body was basically a pre war design.

Chris Hough


18/06/13 – 18:15

Yes, FEA 156 is 30′ long. The chassis was lengthened when the body was fitted, as this was legal by then.

Tony Martin


26/09/13 – 06:33

With regards to the radiator finish, the bus was restored as original as can be, as part of the 156 group we have photos in colour that show 156 had a painted radiator compared to the more ‘standard’ finish that was used with Daimler, I believe they were painted depending on the engine, but when I have found out the correct reason why I will let you all know.

Dan


28/09/13 – 17:46

It’s lovely to see one of these W. Bromwich buses looking impeccable. In my RAF service days in the late 1950’s we’d go into Brum from time to time and see a W. Bromwich bus whizzing across a junction or lurking in a side road. I honestly never saw one other than faded and tatty. It didn’t help that B’ham Corp’n vehicles were always impeccable, greatly helped by a policy of no adverts.

Chris Hebbron


11/11/13 – 09:49

GEA 174

Seen here together are 156 and the recently restored 174 at an event at AMRTM, Aldridge.

Tony Martin


11/11/13 – 15:18

They make a fine pair, tony. Thx for posting.

Chris Hebbron


23/02/14 – 15:17

Re: FEA 156. What a stunning body style this was. I probably saw all these when I worked in West Brom and I always considered them to be unique especially with the rear cut-away entrance and no door. The driver also appeared to sit up very high.
Re: GEA 174. Yet another stunning body style. The flared skirt just makes for a truly handsome vehicle. I rode these as often as I could on the 74 & 75 routes in preference to the Birmingham buses. They had the front row of seats in the lower deck turned at right angles to face each other.
Pity the Beclawat top hinged window vents to the front upper deck are missing. Most likely unable to find any replacements.

Jerry Morgan


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 22nd September 2021