Old Bus Photos

Wallasey Corporation – Leyland Atlantean – FHF 451 – 1

FHF 451

Wallasey Corporation Transport
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Metro-Cammell H44/33F

Cheshire’s seaside resort is New Brighton, part of Wallasey. Wallasey is credited in some sources as having the first Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 in public service, and here is: FHF 451. It dates from 1958 and has a Metropolitan Cammell H77F body. A legend surrounds the peculiar colour. Many of us would regard it as a yellow, and I understand that, to distinguish them from those of the neighbouring Birkenhead blue buses, Wallasey’s were known as the yellow buses. It is – officially – sea green. According to legend, one of the first trams was about to be painted, and the unfortunate operative asked the foreman what colour of paint he should use. The foreman had no idea, but he knew that the manager, a Mr Green, would know what he wanted, and told the painter to "See Green", which he promptly applied.

FHF 451_2

The second view shows the fleet name and Crest. Both photographs were taken in North Albert Street, Fleetwood, on the Tram Sunday of 19 July 1998.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

09/10/16 – 09:39

At Kentish Bus I worked with an accountant who came from the Wirral. His view was that the bus livery reflected the quality of the water at New Brighton (I won’t repeat his exact words). So yes, Sea Green indeed.

Roger Cox

09/10/16 – 15:14

Thank you, Roger. I think the imagination can cope!

Pete Davies

09/10/16 – 15:14

To add a little more amusement to the proceedings, Wallasey Corporation Motor’s General Manager’s full name was Colonel Richard Roughley Greene and his two last names aptly describe the conflict about what colour Sea Green actually is!

Chris Hebbron

10/10/16 – 07:18

My version of the story was that it was the first buses, and the Leyland representative asked the question, but whatever! It is slightly reminiscent of the story of the umber colour of London Brighton and South Coast Railway locos, officially (?) described as "Stroudley’s improved engine green".

Stephen Ford

11/10/16 – 06:36

A Journalist enquired of an employee: ‘How would you would you describe the colour?’ The poor fellow had no idea, so he suggested that the question be directed towards the general manager. ‘See Greene’, he replied, so sea green it became!

Philip Lamb

11/10/16 – 11:20

Such is the stuff of legend!!! When Southampton Citybus, as it had become by then, fitted tanks on the roof to G prefix Dennis Darts, and First Group provided some N prefix ones, locals asked drivers why these tanks were appearing. One driver said they were air tanks, ready for use on the submarine service to Cowes, in competition with Red Funnel. The story soon spread!

A colleague had worked for St Albans Council. He and some others were doing a survey of the high street, in preparation for paving renewal. Some one asked what and why. The reply was that it was ready for the extension of the runway at Luton Airport. You can imagine the letters to the local rag that followed . . .

Pete Davies

13/10/16 – 07:08

And thanks to her owners the 201 Group she is a regular in passenger service at Rallys, possibly the oldest Atlantean still in passenger use next to the PMT preserved example?

C Aston

14/10/16 – 13:47

Wallasey 1 is without any doubt the earliest Atlantean still carrying passengers. Glasgow LA1 is the only other surviving of the four shown at the Earl’s Court show in 1958 and Glasgow Museums do not allow passengers.

Stephen Allcroft

17/10/19 – 06:02

Wallasey buses were locally know as the banana buses. because they were yellow and left the ferry terminal in bunches when the inspector blew his whistle.

Mr Anon


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Wallasey Corporation – Leyland Titans – BHF 497/AHF 854 – 78/58

Wallasey Corporation - Leyland Titans - BHF 497/AHF 854 - 78/58

Wallasey Corporation                                    Wallasey Corporation
1952                                                               1951
Leyland Titan PD2/12                                   Leyland Titan PD2/1
Weymann H30/26R                                       Metro Cammell H30/26R

The 75 buses of the quaintly named Wallasey Corporation Motors was absorbed – along with those of the Corporations of Birkenhead and Liverpool – into the newly formed Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive on 1st December 1969.
On an enthusiasts’ visit the following August I photographed this pair of Leyland Titans, still wearing their original livery and fleet names. I think they make an interesting comparison.
On the left, 78 (BHF 497) is a PD2/12 with Weymann H30/26R body new in 1952. To the right, 58 (AHF 854) is a PD2/1 with Metro-Cammell H30/26R body new in 1951.
It is quite amazing to me that this pair – both bodied by companies associated through the MCW group – were built within a year or so of one another, the design of 58 being a throwback to the early 1930’s yet still being built in 1951. Admittedly that on 78 can possibly also partly trace its origins back to a Weymann design of around 1939, such as that used on Brighton Corporation’s famous FUF-registered Regents and others, but how much more modern it looks.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

28/02/14 – 07:55

What is equally amazing is that some eight years after 58 entered service, Wallasey had one of the first production Atlanteans – a massive jump in design in an always interesting fleet.

Phil Blinkhorn

28/02/14 – 07:57

What a super pair! I was taken on holiday to New Brighton in my early years and still remember the Wallasey fleet such as those pictured. Just a pity the PTE had removed the ornate ‘Wallasey Corporation Motors’ fleetname from the side. Only 75 buses but one of the first Operators to put an Atlantean in service (another contender being the even smaller fleet of James, Ammanford). I think it was in Meccano Magazine that a photo showed a temporary ‘gangplank’ being used at Seacombe ferry where the buses reversed up to the loading points thus enabling passengers to board fleet number 1 in safety.

Ian Wild

01/03/14 – 07:10

Massive route numbers, didn’t Birkenhead have large ones as well? Perhaps lots of short sighted passengers on the Wirral?

Ian Wild

01/03/14 – 13:39

West Bridgford did big route numbers too – as did Douglas IoM. You could tell from three stops away whether it was your bus approaching or not! Much better than scrolling digital displays that include bits of advertising and strange route descriptions instead of numbers.

Stephen Ford

08/10/14 – 06:58

I was employed on Wallasey buses and I was one of the first to drive an Atlantean bus in service, I think it was route 2 from Harrison Drive to Seacombe via Liscard

Trevor Hall

15/04/15 – 10:48

Growing up in Liverpool with its 1,200 corporation buses, the Wallasey fleet ‘over the water’ was always fascinatingly old fashioned in feel and looks, even featuring a clock on the platform giving the time of the next ferry. Always remember that when a ferry unloaded at Seacombe and the lined-up buses filled up, a Wallasey Corporation inspector would blow his whistle and every single bus would pull out, in convoy, bound for the posh Wallasey suburbs or New Brighton.

Mr Anon

02/09/15 – 07:09

I grew up in Wallasey in the fifties and remember the affection we had for our bus fleet. The shared routes such as 9, 10 and 11 with Birkenhead would always cause conflict with yellow and blue buses leapfrogging in rush hour to maximise custom. I recall the annual outings to Helsby when at least 10 Wallasey buses would take us urchins on a day out with a slap up tea and games, I would try to get an upstairs front seat and if possible on bus number 80 which was my adopted favourite.

Alan Johnstone

03/09/15 – 07:12

The interesting thing about Mr Anon’s description of the look and feel of Wallasey buses is that in 1958, of course, Wallasey Corporation Motors was the first operator in the country to put a new-fangled rear-engined double decker into service. But step aboard that bus, and its interior is just as "fascinatingly old-fashioned in feel and looks" as everything else was.

Peter Williamson

05/02/18 – 06:39

I grew up in Wallasey in the late 50’s, 60’s. We used to call the Atlanteans the ‘new buses’. Later in 1974 I trained as a bus driver with MPTE. We were called Instant Whips by the older drivers because we had never been conductors. I often drove some of the original Atlanteans which were still in service. Historic but not as nice to drive as the new ones which we called Jumbos. Later I drove for Crosville where they still had lots of back loaders and conductors. I then drove for Henry C Cox of New Brighton, one of the nicest men and best boss I ever had.

Dan Kelly

13/09/18 – 06:48

Dan, I grew up in Wallasey in the 60s and 70s, and remember well the period you mention. I was wondering though if you know what happened to the Cox’s Coaches business? We used them for trips to Blackpool and Lancaster, but the seem to have vanished without trace. I was asking around about then at the end of last year, but no one I spoke to could recall them.

J Lynch

26/02/19 – 07:18

My grandparents: Mr and Mrs Rupert Jones lived in Grosvenor Drive in the 1960s. Grandad drove the buses and my sister and I used to rollerskate all the way to Birkenhead along the prom to take him his sandwiches! We loved it when he drove the number 1 yellow double-decker bus, because we used to board that one to go to the "Guinea Gap" swimming baths. He used to bring home bus tickets, ticket machines and Wallasey Corporation Driver uniform caps and silver buttons for us to play with. Happy days

Marianne Baddeley

27/02/19 – 07:16

Has the Weymann been re-paneled below the lower deck windows?
All the ones with similar bodies that I’ve seen had an outward curve at the bottom above the under run guard rail

Ronnie Hoye

28/02/19 – 06:23

I think the Weymann flared skirt must have been an option. I have just checked Alan Oxley’s book on Midland General/Notts & Derby Traction. All the pictures of post-war Regents with Weymann body (of which they had quite a lot) were without the flare. Some of the photos are of early date, so unlikely to have been re-panelled. I assume the same was true of Mansfield District, in the same Balfour-Beatty Group.

Stephen Ford

28/02/19 – 06:24

Here’s another member of the batch with the same panels: www.sct61.org.uk/  Earlier Weymann bodies had had the outswept skirt panels, but by 1952 the practice was being phased out. Here’s one delivered further up the coast the same year: www.sct61.org.uk/

Peter Williamson

28/03/19 – 07:23

We too lived in that neck of the woods from the mid 60s onwards. The Wallasey bus colour was known as either "yellow" or "white" by various locals. Of the early Atlanteans, there were eventually 30, but I believe those were the last mainstream buses purchased until MPTE took over. They mainly held down the various routes out to Moreton, where you rarely saw one of the older vehicles, and some of the trunk runs between Seacombe and New Brighton. Everything else was the old half cabs.
The departure from Seacombe every 10-15 minutes, following each ferry arrival, was indeed something to watch. The bulk of the service routes started from there, with vehicles all lined up in echelon, when it looked like the last ferry passenger had come out (and not until) the inspector would blow a piercing whistle (audible all round the terminal), following which up to 10 Leyland engines would instantly roar into life together, and they were off, like a Le Mans start, close manoeuvring, gestures between crews, all pushing across Borough Road together and then fanning out to the different routes. There must have been one or two collisions there from time to time.
Regarding this longstanding Liverpool perception of "posh" Wallasey, goodness knows how that originated about a place which was principally dreary red brick terrace houses, and which had no logical centre.


29/03/19 – 06:19

You make it sound like Formula 1, Bill!

Chris Hebbron

04/03/20 – 06:39

In reply to J Lynch, what happened to Cox’s Coaches. Henry C Cox started his business in the early 1930’s. Along with Hardings it was one of the oldest coach firms on the Wirral. When I drove for him in the 1970’s, Mr Cox was probably in his own seventies but still driving coaches. As I send in my previous post he was a lovely man and a great boss. He had two sons Tim & David but neither were interested in the business. Mr Cox kept going until the early 1980’s when he retired. The garage in Cardigan Road was bought by a damp repairs company who later sold the land for building. All that remains today is Mr Cox’s house at the very end of the road on the left. He built this house along with the garage in the early 1970’s when he moved the business from Mason St to Cardigan Road. He retired to a bungalow in Pensby and died in 1989. A True Gent of the Road.

Dan Kelly

18/01/21 – 06:17

The Wallasey bus colour was known as Sea Green in Wallasey. The story goes that the first manager of the corporation buses was Mr Green and when they bought the first vehicles someone from the coachbuilders called to the council offices and said ‘What colour do you want the omnibuses painting in?’ The clerk didn’t know and replied ‘Oh see Green.’ And so they were painted Sea Green.



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