Old Bus Photos

Barton Transport – Dennis Loline – 861 HAL – 861

Barton Transport - Dennis Loline - 861 HAL - 861

Barton Transport
1961
Dennis Loline II
Northern Counties FL37/31F

861 HAL is the famous ‘limbo dancing’ Dennis Loline II from the Barton fleet. It has an ultra lowbridge Northern Counties FL68F body and we see it at the Netley rally on 13 July 1986. How low can you go? Well, King Alfred’s WCG 104, Tiger Cub, is alongside – compare heights!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


17/11/16 – 07:08

Where does this Loline live now? A long-standing ambition is just to see it: riding on it would be the cherry on top.

Ian Thompson


17/11/16 – 07:09

So much has been written about 861 that I apologise if I’m repeating what’s gone before but for those who may not know, this ultra low Loline was purchased specially by Bartons to pass under an ultra low railway bridge at Sawley Junction station (now renamed Long Eaton) This it did, just, but Bartons proved it could be done. However, the Traffic Commissioners were having none of it and refused to licence the intended route for double deck operation. This left the company with a one-off vehicle with no real purpose but all was not lost for 861 because it became regularly employed on the X42 Nottingham – Derby express service where it put in some astonishing performances, up to 70 mph on the A52 road between the two cities. For most of it’s life it had a Leyland O.600 engine and also a regular driver too, a chap who was always immaculate in Barton’s brown uniform complete with striped shirt and bow tie, I never knew his name but he was known to everyone as ‘Flash Harry’ and a very competent driver he was. The X42 was jointly operated with Trent but those who knew and wanted an exhilarating ride chose Barton!

Chris Barker


17/11/16 – 10:36

Thanks, Chris and Ian. The PSVC listing for 2015 says 861 is part of the Barton collection, but I don’t know the location. A Wiki search gives me all sorts of museums, rare breeds farms and so on, but not what I’m actually seeking!

Pete Davies


17/11/16 – 10:37

This vehicle has become legendary, but I have never actually seen it. I don’t know if those alleged speeds are verifiable – the bus must have been very highly geared to get to 70 mph (I’ve got quite near to that in a 6LXCT powered Olympian). Nevertheless, I can vouch for the supreme stability of the Loline at high speeds, so 861 would have been entirely safe when motoring fast, especially so with such a low built body.

Roger Cox


17/11/16 – 10:56

Ian
861 currently resides in its old depot at Chilwell, along with the other members of the Barton Collection. The premises are usually open to the public during the Heritage Weekend in September each year. Well worth a visit.

Bob Gell


17/11/16 – 12:31

It appeared as part of the Barton display at Showbus this year. I believe the Chilwell site has approval for redevelopment, but don’t know how that will affect the Barton collection.

Ian Comley


17/11/16 – 14:40

861 HAL_2

As presented in the Barton line-up at Showbus 2016.

Les Dickinson


18/11/16 – 07:12

Given that the Loline was offered with a variety of engines, in this case the Leyland 0.600 being fitted, I’ve often wondered how 861 achieved such a low windscreen line together with what appears to be minimal engine intrusion beside the driver. It would seem to be much lower than, say, a Lowlander bonnet line or any other Lolines for that matter. For the technically minded, would the engine have been modified at all, or perhaps a shallower radiator fitted?

Chris Barker


18/11/16 – 07:17

Here is a link to my Flickr site where I have a set of 20 photos of  Barton vehicles at Showbus 2016. Barton at Showbus 2016

Les Dickinson


19/11/16 – 13:38

Thanks for the info, gentlemen. I hadn’t realised that 861 was on the road, so I particularly regret not going to September’s Showbus—especially with all the other fascinating Barton vehicles there. To complement the ingenuity of the mechanical design and seating layout, everything about 861 looks well integrated: the very opposite of the afterthought-plastered-onto-afterthought appearance of some 1960s deckers.

Ian Thompson


20/11/16 – 05:49

Chris, like you, I am convinced that the radiator must have been repositioned or modified to achieve that low windscreen level, and the same is surely true also in respect of the similar bodies on the Barton Regent Vs of the type shown in this link:- www.oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk/

Roger Cox


20/11/16 – 08:20

I take it, Roger, that the Regents weren’t ‘limbo dancers’ in the same was as the Loline – just broadly similar at first glance.

Pete Davies


21/11/16 – 07:50

If you compare the photos of other Loline 2s on this site, you can see that the radiator grille on 861 HAL is much lower, relative to the front wheels, than on other examples of the model.

Nigel Frampton


21/11/16 – 07:51

The clear recognition point between the Loline and the similar-looking Regents is the distance between the top of the wheelarch and the base of the windscreen and side window line.
But both are classic versions of a pleasing design that hasn’t been bettered by the more recent use of economical flat glass for windscreens. The wrap-around look gave a real sense of style, in my opinion. And, of course, much better visibility than certain modern buses with heavy non-glazed corner panels.

Peter Murnaghan


21/11/16 – 10:33

When 861 and Regents 850-4 were delivered they were fitted with the Cave Brown Cave heating system, so presumably they didn’t have a radiator in the conventional position. After only a few years, the CBC grilles disappeared, but it begs the question as to where the radiator is now. I remember one journey on 861 on the X42 with a new driver; I think he must have been used to the Regent Vs (four speed gearbox) as he never found fifth gear on the Loline for the whole journey!

Bob Gell


22/11/16 – 12:27

Fifth gear on the Loline I and II was engaged by pushing the stick forward from fourth into neutral, and then over to the right and back again in a ‘U’ movement. If the driver hadn’t been shown, he would probably never have found it. Changing back down from overdrive to fourth needed practice, too, to avoid engaging second gear by mistake. The trick was to move the stick forward into neutral and let it go, so that the detent spring could centre it properly, and then just pull it straight back into fourth.

Roger Cox


22/11/16 – 13:45

The curved front windows look natural on this bus and not out of place as they definitely do on the later Southdown Queen Mary Titans.

David Wragg


22/11/16 – 16:14

This would seem to be the same procedure as I used to observe drivers doing in the Dennis Lances, Roger, if I’m not mistaken, as I travelled from/to Woking Station and St. Peter’s Hospital, Ottershaw.

Chris Hebbron


22/11/16 – 16:15

Roger Thanks for the explanation of finding fifth gear (and getting out of it again!); is this similar to the 5 speed gearbox fitted to Bristol MWs?

Bob Gell


23/11/16 – 07:28

Whilst 850-4 and 861 had Cave-Browne-Cave equipment when new 957-62 did not and the radiators of tin-front buses were generally a lot smaller than the 1940s -style exposed items. I recall that unlike some Northern Counties full front bodies the regents did not use the manufacturer’s bonnet pressings. Perhaps the owner of one of the preserved examples could comment further.

Stephen Allcroft


23/11/16 – 07:29

In answer to Chris H, the Dennis ‘O’ type gearbox fitted to the Lancet, Lance and Lancet UF (though the few LU4 late examples had the Meadows gearbox) worked the ‘wrong way round’ from right to left, and was essentially a four speed sliding mesh (i.e. true ‘crash’) unit with a preselective overdrive on the end of it. To engage fifth the gear stick had to be pushed from the fourth position over to the left and forward. Unlike me, OBP contributor Ian Thompson has driven Dennis machines with this unique box, so he is our ‘in house’ expert here. The Bristol box, Bob, as fitted to the LS and MW, was a synchromesh unit working conventionally upwards from left to right, and I do have experience of it. Fifth gear was engaged from the fourth position by moving it to the right and forward. It was thus impossible to engage/disengage fifth except though fourth, which meant much labouring of the stick to get going again if one was baulked in overdrive. The Lodekka had the same gear positions, but in that case the gearbox was a constant mesh affair, making the extrication process from overdrive rather more difficult. Generally speaking, Lodekka drivers seemed very reluctant to use fifth in service unless a clear stretch of open road beckoned. By contrast, all versions of the Loline (the Loline III had a gear selector layout similar to the Reliance) allowed immediate access to neutral and the other gears from the fifth gear slot, and fifth was treated as the normal top gear. This feature alone meant that the Loline was a more sprightly machine on the road than the Lodekka.

Roger Cox


24/11/16 – 09:45

For those who would like more information on ‘Dennis ‘O’ Type 5 Speed Gearbox’ see this site:- http://www.dennissociety.org.uk/nl/ogearbox.html

Roger Cox


25/11/16 – 07:24

Thx, Roger, for explaining much more about these gearboxes and that the ‘O’ was different from the Loline. You can quite see that drivers put on these vehicles without any advice, would have difficulty finding overdrive, or, if inexperienced, preferred the simplicity of avoiding it!

Chris Hebbron


25/11/16 – 10:37

One endearing thing about Dennis is that they don’t sheepishly follow the crowd. As Roger’s link to Ted Gamblin’s piece makes clear, changing into and out of the Maybach-designed overdrive on the Dennis "O"-type box is simplicity itself, whereas the other gears need rather precise timing. With the strange two-shaft box of the Loline I and II, on the other hand, you can hardly go wrong with any upward or downward changes, EXCEPT for the change down from fifth into fourth, which needs care not only in locating fourth properly in the gate, as Roger points out, but also in engine-speed matching. Having to go through first to engage and disengage reverse can also take you by surprise!
I may be over-generalising here, since the only Loline I I’ve ever driven is ex-A&D 357, currently out of action with gearbox problems.
It’s interesting that despite (or thanks to?) Dennis’s history of experimental and sometimes eccentric design, and their near-disappearance from the PSV market on several occasions, the company in its present form continues to thrive. Good that they escaped Leyland’s clutches!

Ian Thompson


29/01/17 – 08:43

With BartoN Transport Ltd family and employees we had somewhat different names for the vehicles than what the spotters and enthusiasts call them nowadays. For example the full fronted AEC regents were known as Derby Deckers nothing else, all the ex Londons were London Deckers the 30 foot AEC 470 saloon were known as Reliance (which they were) but the 590s were known as 36 footers. Any thing with a PD1 or PD2 engine was known as just that, we never used Tiger or Titan, or what the chassis originally was. A Vuemaster was that and only that regardless of what it was made from, body names like Vista and Vega were never used. The moggy pickup trucks were vans, the AECs with 3 seats one side and two the other were Jumbos.

Bill Redfern


25/02/17 – 16:30

The driver of 861 on the x42 Derby/Nottm express was Harry Bell or ding dong as we used to call him. His opposite was Ken Gardener also very smart with a dicky bow. I recall this very well as I used to drive 861 on a Saturday which was their day off.

Chris Coleman


 

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Prince of Wales Tours – Dennis Dart – TJ 836

Prince Of Wales Tours - Dennis Dart - TJ 836

Prince Of Wales Tours - Dennis Dart - TJ 836

Prince of Wales Tours
1933
Dennis Dart
Duple C20R

So far as I am aware, Entwhistle & Sons of Morecambe, trading as Prince of Wales tours, only ever had two vehicles. I offered a view of ETC 760B a while ago. Here are two views of their first, a 1933 Dennis Dart with Duple C20R body, with door. After thirty years of regular service, it was retired – ETC 760B being the replacement – and it has now returned to its birthplace, Guildford. It is now in the care of Alexander Dennis and we see it at Wisley on 5 April 2009. Quite why it has a White Heather illuminated rear panel I do not know. It carried it in her normal working life, too!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


13/10/16 – 15:30

Sorry, Pete, I think you’ve got one or two things wrong, there.
TJ 836 was new to Entwistle (no ‘h’) of Morecambe, but later operated for Jardine (t/a ‘White Heather’) also of Morecambe. I would imagine that the transfer took place in 1949/50 since that is the year in which Entwistle took delivery of a new Pearson-bodied Bedford OB – the registration was something like LTD 986, although that possibly isn’t quite right. It was this OB which was in turn replaced by ETC 760B in 1964.
‘LTD 986’ went for further service with Hay, of Kintore, Aberdeenshire.
Frank Entwistle died in the late 1970s (I think) and ETC 760B passed to the partnership of Gerry Lamb and Neville Lacey (of Morecambe) who were already operating a coach of their own (a Bedford VAM, I think), under the name ‘Regent Travel’. IIRC correctly ETC 760B continued to be operated under the name ‘Prince of Wales’ for several years.
‘White Heather’ ceased operation when Mr Jardine died (I think this was the late 1950s). TJ 836 was sold shortly afterwards, but still stored in the Jardine depot at this time was TE 8318, a Chevrolet new to Jardine in 1929. I have read (on a Flickr caption) that TE 8318 and TJ 836 were operated by Jardine concurrently, but I didn’t think that that had been the case, although I don’t know for sure.
In addition to TJ 836, TE 8318 and ETC 760B are, I think, still preserved. There is a nice shot of TJ 836 in service with Jardine on Flickr.

David Call


13/10/16 – 15:31

Can anyone explain, please, what the chimney-like protuberance is, at the nearside rear corner of the roof, above the fold-down steps? Such steps would normally lead to a roof-mounted luggage carrier of some sort (as found on, say, 50s Royal Blue coaches), but I can’t see any way you could keep luggage in place on this one.

Graham Woods


14/10/16 – 05:15

David, You are indeed correct as regards the spelling with or without the ‘H’. My schooldays were spent in Lancaster and Morecambe and I distinctly remember TJ running in the livery shown in the early 1960’s, and then ETC. I have no recollection of the OB. The Chevrolet has appeared on these pages in the past it can been here. I didn’t know that TJ had been with Jardine.

Pete Davies


14/10/16 – 05:16

TJ 836_03

With regards to the luggage rack, I think this would have been a recess in the roof with a waterproof cover that could be pulled back over the luggage (see attached pic) where you can see the cover rolled up on roof. I think the roof has since been panelled over. I don’t know what the square ‘chimney’ protrusion is, being in line with the steps it must have got in the way of the driver when putting cases up on roof. One thought would it have been a vent of some sort?

John Wakefield


14/10/16 – 05:17

It’s the smoke outlet from the boiler Graham. The fireman’s door is just next to it. The coal is stored just next to the number plate. The luggage locker is at the front.

Joe


14/10/16 – 08:47

Nearly right, Joe, the vehicle was actually powered by peat!
That’s a lovely photo, John W, which made me wonder if the roofbox had a winding handle inside for the luggage cover, perhaps.

Chris Hebbron


13/12/16 – 14:10

TJ 836_2

Frank Entwistle was my second cousin and his father, Harry, my great uncle.
TJ 836 originally had a roof box for luggage, see attached photo. The coach which followed the Dart was indeed a Pearson-bodied Bedford OB reg LTD 986. There were previous coaches to TJ 836 and before them horse-drawn Landaus.

Dave Shaw


13/12/16 – 14:10

LTD 986

The Bedford OB which followed the Dart was LTD 986, as shown in the attached photo.

Dave Shaw


10/02/17 – 06:53

If you look at You Tube – Coach Travel in the Fifties www.youtube.com/watch
I think that you see a few frames of this bus, or one looking like it running right to left across the picture at about 19mins and 56secs in.

Roland Harmer


 

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S Bingley – Dennis Lancet – CRE 938

CRE 938
Copyright Unknown

S Bingley (Hemsworth)
1935
Dennis Lancet I
Willowbrook C37F

Dennis Lancet I, chassis number 171027, was bodied by Willowbrook (2830) and seated thirty-seven passengers. It was new in 1935 and was operated by Associated Bus Companies Ltd (formed in 1928 of several local independents) prior to the acquisition of that company by Potteries Motor Traction in 1944. PMT withdrew it from service in 1946 and in April that year it was with S.Bingley, Hemsworth, eventually scrapped by Crossroads Commercials of Leeds in May 1956.
Did S Bingley have any connection with W R & P Bingley of United Services?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


13/07/15 – 06:23

Given that the most common capacities of the time seem to have been 33 seats in coaches and 35 in single deck buses, 37 coach seats must have been very cramped!

Chris Barker


13/07/15 – 17:01

These Lancet I’s suffered from very heavy-looking radiator shells, unlike the equivalent 1935 Lance rads. It rather spolit the look of them.

Chris Hebbron


13/07/15 – 17:01

Perhaps the cramped seating was one reason why Potteries withdrew an eleven year-old vehicle at a time of severe post-war vehicle shortages? The driving cab also looks very fore-shortened leaving the front of the bonnet some way ahead of it.

David Wragg


15/07/15 – 05:59

I, too, am surprised by the large seating capacity. The Lancet I, which appeared on the market in 1931, had a very bulky and deep radiator shell that was shared by the heavier Dennis haulage models of that time, and the cab front was set behind this cowl. The front wings were swept forward in a manner later adopted by wartime Guy Arabs, and these ‘extensions’ were joined across the front by a kind of bumper bar. All this space inefficient front end had to be accommodated within the overall length of 27ft 6ins, which did not allow for a great capacity within the rest of the bodywork. The later Lancet II of 1935 remedied this shortcoming by having a very slim radiator shell mounted at the extreme front, and this was offset to the nearside to maximise driving cab space. Lancet IIs could be fitted with bodywork seating up to 39 passengers. The Lancet I and II were powered by the Dennis 6.79 litre ‘Big Four’ petrol engine that could be rated up to 97 bhp, a very compact and reliable design employing wet cylinder liners. Versions fitted with the ‘O’ type five speed gearbox could attain 58 mph, so the petrol Lancet was no sluggard. From 1934 the advanced O4 diesel was offered as an option in the Lancet II.

Roger Cox


15/07/15 – 15:25

I’d noticed to ‘Guy’ likeness to the wings, myself, Roger.
Pre-war wet-liner engines never seemed to suffer from the same problems as post-war ones did.

Chris Hebbron


15/07/15 – 19:07

You’re referring to the AEC wet liner debacle, Chris. AEC never did solve its wet liner problems, but the responsibility lay with the Southall firm, not with the wet liner concept. Dennis were engineers of a very high order, and knew how to get it right. The post war Dennis O6 diesel, like the earlier O4, was a wet liner engine with the timing gears situated at the rear of the crankcase, yet both of these design features were regarded with disfavour in some quarters following the shortcomings of AEC (wet liners) and Daimler and Meadows (rear timing gears). The Dennis O4 and O6 also employed four valves per cylinder, the only British production engines to be so equipped. The O6 was an outstanding engine, and installed in the Lancet III, was taken up enthusiastically by many small independent operators who valued its total dependability, notwithstanding its advanced specification.

Roger Cox


16/07/15 – 05:38

Amazing that AEC never cured the liner problem.
Renault cars in the 60/70’s had wet liners and I had two cars with them, as did a friend. They were no problem, but the timing chains were another thing. Poor tensioners and these were rear engines put at the front, so that the timing chains were then at the back. My friend with a Renault 16 cut a hole in the front bulkhead to sort out his, then put a plate back over the hole! Post-war Daimler bus also had rear timing chains, difficult to access without removing the engine. The few D’s with them were removed and replaced by surplus AEC 7.7’s within five years.

Chris Hebbron


18/07/15 – 06:23

An early Lancet I, albeit a Short B32F bodied bus rather than a coach, has, thankfully, been preserved. It was new, probably in 1932, to Smith’s of Westoning in Bedfordshire, a firm taken over by Seamarks of Dunstable. In June 1937 it was sold to K W Services, Daventry who ran it until 1944. In 1946 it became a caravan at Snodland in Kent until 1974 when it was bought for preservation. Apparently, this bus still has no electric starter, and has to be swung by hand! A picture may be found here:- https://www.flikr.com/photos/cheltonian1966/19456538949/

Roger Cox


18/07/15 – 06:24

It would appear that S Bingley died in 1968 and the firm was taken over by Pembertons coaches. There seems to have been an approach by W. R & P Bingley for a license to run some of the coach excursions. However the Traffic Commisioners refused the application due to the fact Pembertons were in final talks with Mr Bingleys widow to take over the coach company. Further information is listed on: http://archive.commercialmotor.com/
Pemberton who were based at Upton nr Pontefract I think were absorbed into Welsh’s Coaches who operate from the same depot.

Brian Lunn


20/07/15 – 09:48

Thanks for that link Brian. I guess there was no existing family link or Pembertons would not have got a foot in the door in the first place.

Les Dickinson


16/12/15 – 07:27

Further to Chris Hebbron’s reference to timing chains at the rear of the Daimler CD6 and CD650 engines, that’s not the case, like the Dennis O6 and I believe the Meadows 6DC630 the timing was supplied by a gear train, there is further detail in ‘A Further Look At Buses’ by G. G.Hillditch.

Stephen Allcroft


17/12/15 – 07:39

Gardner’s 15.5 litre 6LYT engine broke new ground for the Company in having a rear-mounted timing gear train, rather than Gardner’s traditional triplex timing chain mounted at the front. The Leyland 500-Series engines as fitted to the Leyland National I, New Zealand Bristol RELLs and quite a number of Bristol VRT3s also had rear-mounted timing gear trains.

Brendan Smith


 

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