Old Bus Photos

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
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.


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

15/10/18 – 07:28

TG 836_3

In this picture, taken at South Croydon in May 1972, the folding roof was still fitted.

Roger Cox


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S Bingley – Dennis Lancet – CRE 938

CRE 938
Copyright Unknown

S Bingley (Hemsworth)
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

The preserved Smith’s of Westoning Lancet is now fitted with an electric starter. My 1935 ex-Southern Vectis one was always fitted with a starter but one should not over-estimate their effectiveness. They would start a vehicle with a warm engine, maybe even one that had had been garaged overnight, but were never suitable for a completely cold start. For that you needed somebody in the cab and somebody helping on the handle. I have seen other marques of vehicle that were similar.
For the record there is of course no such thing as a "Lancet 1" – in their time they were just "Lancet". The assumed designation only came about when the Mk2 arrived.

John H

25/06/17 – 09:26

Yes, the original Lancet was just that, like the original Arab, Regent and Regal, and, in the private car world, the Cortina amongst many others. The retrospective application of the appellation ‘1’ or ‘Mark 1’ does clarify the model being discussed. I suppose that, if one wished to be totally accurate, the term ‘1935 Lancet’ should be employed here, but that wouldn’t work either because the Lancet II came out in that same year. Adopting the form Lancet (1), Regal (1) etc seems unnecessarily pedantic to my mind. I should think that only in the military aircraft field would ‘Mark 1’ be used from the start, and then not always.

Roger Cox


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Aldershot & District – Dennis Falcon P5 – POR 428 – 282

Aldershot & District - Dennis Falcon P5 - POR 428 - 282

Aldershot & District Traction Co
Dennis Falcon P5
Strachans B30F

In the 1930s, Dennis manufactured a bewildering choice of small buses for lightly trafficked routes – Dart, Pike, Arrow Minor, Ace and Mace. These were all replaced in 1938 by a single model, the Falcon, available in normal or forward control, with the engine options of Dennis 3.77 side valve petrol or Gardner 4LK or Perkins P6 diesel. By the onset of WW2 only around 50 had been produced. Aldershot & District took delivery of nine petrol engined Falcons with four speed gearboxes and Strachans B20F bodywork in 1939, but they saw little use before being stored for the duration of the conflict. They were placed back in service after the war but, being petrol powered, all were withdrawn by 1951. It may seem rather surprising that Aldershot & District did not consider converting these little buses to diesel power, but they had been stored in the open in the Aldershot sports field for much of the war, and the bodywork had suffered quite severely. Instead, in 1949/50, the company took delivery of fifteen new Falcons of almost identical appearance to the earlier batch, though these were of the P3 type with Gardner 4LK engines and five speed gearboxes, and the B20F bodies were built by Dennis. In 1951/2 they were reseated to B24F. Withdrawal took place between 1956 and 1960. No less than 15 more Falcons, now of the upgraded and longer P5 variety but still with 4LK engines and five speed gearboxes, arrived in 1954, and a further 8 came two years later, all with Strachans B30F bodywork. These buses marked the end of an era, as they were the last Dennis single deckers and the final Strachans bodies to be bought by Aldershot & District. The last of the batch, POR 428, fleet no. 282, was withdrawn by the Aldershot company in 1967, and, along with many of its fellows, was sold to the Isle of Man. In 1997 it was rescued and returned to the mainland, where the next thirteen years were taken up with its restoration; see-: www.adbig.co.uk/282.html  
In the picture above 282 is seen in 1961 at Petersfield Station, awaiting departure on the very rural route 53 to Alton. A Dennis Loline I arriving from Guildford on route 24 pulls in behind.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

26/04/15 – 11:10

If I remember rightly, these buses were a ‘challenge’ to drive. The driver’s signalling window was higher than the driver’s elbow level, being closer to his shoulder level, so requiring an upward angle for his arm. I think only his hand could actually reach out, because the driver’s seat was so far inboard.
And the raked steering wheel was not positioned on the centre line of the driver’s seat either. So he was always steering through a bit of an angle – a bit like riding a horse side-saddle!


27/04/15 – 07:47

Obviously from an era when pride in the fleet was something to be encouraged. Today’s attitude seems to be that pride is an unnecessary outdated luxury, which is an expensive time consuming drain on recourses.

Ronnie Hoye

27/04/15 – 07:48

Quite a few types of normal control buses seem to have had the steering column positioned further towards the centre of the vehicle than forward control machines. I have never driven a Falcon, but this was certainly true of the Bedford OB, the Leyland Comet and the Guy GS. In my experience of all these other examples, the bodywork tapered inwards towards the front of the vehicle allowing reasonable access to the signalling window. The Strachans body design on these Falcons retained parallel sides right up to the bonnet, and I can well appreciate the difficulty of actually extending one’s signalling arm to as mentioned by Petras 409. I agree also, that the signalling window was set absurdly high for practical use, the saloon window level being set at a higher level than that of the exactly contemporary GS, which was a delightful little bus to drive. Strachans didn’t take ergonomics into account when designing these Falcon bodies.

Roger Cox


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