Old Bus Photos

Bradford Corporation – Leyland Titan – LAK 307G – 307

LAK 307G

Bradford Corporation
Leyland PD3A/12
Alexander H41/29F

After its five year AEC Regent V phase (a subject that has generated polarised opinions and been discussed in depth and at length on OBP) Bradford Corporation seemed to cast all thoughts of standardisation to the winds by embarking upon a spending policy that encompassed front and rear engined vehicle types from Leyland and Daimler. Seen in April 1970, against the emerging stark, Stalinist skyline of 1960s Bradford, is No.307, LAK 307G, a Leyland PD3A/12 of April 1969 with Alexander H41/29F bodywork. Behind it is Leyland PDR1/3 Atlantean No.295, LAK 295G with MCW H43/31F body delivered a few months earlier in December 1968.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

26/08/19 – 07:01

Great picture. When did Leyland discontinue the St Helen’s type front as all the very late PD3s I remember (Stockport and Ramsbottom) had the exposed radiator? I’ve actually started to like 60s architecture a bit in recent years BTW, it does have a stark kind of character, or maybe it’s just because the latest trends of shapeless grey and glass boxes are even worse!

David Pomfret

28/08/19 – 07:00

I don’t think Leyland ever discontinued the St Helens front on PD2/PD3 Titans. It was down to operator choice, and Leyland continued to offer exposed radiators as an option to the St Helens front until the end of all PD2/PD3 construction.

Michael Hampton

28/08/19 – 07:01

The St Helens front was not discontinued. Both it and the exposed radiator were offered as alternatives right to the end. If the dates on buslistsontheweb.co.uk are correct, the Bradford PD3s were delivered after the final Stockport ones, as were three Darwen PD2s, also with St Helens fronts.

Peter Williamson

28/08/19 – 07:02

I think both the fibreglass St Helens front and the exposed radiator format continued until the end of PD3 production in 1969 David. Some organisations preferred the exposed radiator arrangement, as it made engine access easier.

Mr Anon


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Bradford Corporation – Leyland Panther – NAK 512H – 512

NAK 512H

Bradford Corporation Transport
Leyland Panther PSUR1A/1
Marshall B45D

For 1969, Bradford Corporation ordered ten chassis of the rear horizontal engine variety, its first new single deckers since a couple of AEC Reliances in 1958. The ten new chassis were split between AEC’s Swift and Leyland’s Panther, but, since the chassis design of the two types was virtually identical apart from the engine manufacture and the radiator position – at the rear on the AEC and at the front on the Leyland – the exercise was probably intended to ascertain which power unit was best suited to the challenging Bradford terrain. All ten were equipped with Marshall B45D bodies. Seen above in April 1970 is the last of the batch, No. 512, NAK 512H which was delivered in December 1969. In the event, no further single deckers were to be bought by Bradford before the infliction upon all the West Yorkshire municipalities from 1st April 1974 of the all embracing WYPTE. In this new conglomeration, the five Bradford Panthers were the only examples of their type, and the PTE Director of Engineering, a certain Geoffrey Hilditch, soon sold them all to Chesterfield. A picture of one in service in that town may be seen here (a very long page, but about halfway down – search for Chesterfield in the browser :- www.mikesbuspages.com/municipalbuses.htm
In his book Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres, GGH says that pictures of the Bradford Panthers in original livery are hard to come by – he should have asked me.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

11/09/17 – 06:38

Nice pic!
Stuart Emmet Another story on these 10 was they were bought to start OMO; however double decker OMO was approved legally soon after they were ordered, so they were redundant as far as that went. They spent their time inventing conversions to single decker routes and seemed to settle on the 61 as shown – about a 25-minute journey across town from Undercliffe to St. Enochs that went for around 5 mins over roads in the Canterbury Ave area that were not used by other routes.Effectively a peak hour route every 10 min from 0700 to 0900 and 1600 to 1800 with a few journeys between 1200 & 1400 hours that required 6 buses for the 10-minute headway. The rest of time they seemed to rest/in-filled as spares.

Stuart Emmet

12/09/17 – 06:46

From 1969, BCT participated in White Rose Express service X33, Bradford – Sheffield, which entered its area at Birkenshaw. The other joint operators reluctantly agreed, even though Bradford’s entitlement was no more than one journey per week! In practice, as explained to me by the late Stanley King, Bradford saved up their mileage until they were able to operate a bus for a whole week, replacing a Yorkshire Woollen duty.
BCT had few single deckers and I believe these Panthers and the contemporary Swifts were used. Does anyone recall seeing a photo of a Bradford bus on X33, as I’ve never seen one.

Geoff Kerr

12/09/17 – 06:47

Just about everyone was caught with the change of legislation which allowed DD OMO. Sheffield certainly was – initially with purchase of the Swifts and subsequently with the change of Bristol order from REs to VRs.

David Oldfield

13/09/17 – 06:46

In the lovely book Colours of West Yorkshire the author states that these were ordered because agreement could not be reached with the Unions to operate OMO double deckers. I.e. The legislation already permitted it but not the Unions until agreement was reached later on.

Sam Caunt

14/09/17 – 07:04

The Bradford manager at the time was not in favour of one man buses These and the Swifts were also used on the express X72 which ran between Bradford and Leeds at peak hours.

Chris Hough

15/09/17 – 06:45

I recall someone (who I believe was very knowledgeable) telling me that as late as 1981/2 that Bradford area buses of West Yorkshire PTE were around 80% crew operated.

Dave Towers

16/09/17 – 06:47

The change in legislation to permit double deck OPO was in 1966, and I doubt that an order for vehicles to be delivered in 1969 had been placed before that date – i.e. the fact that D/D OPO was possible would have been known.
I like to see a clear and readable destination display, but in this case I suspect that a slightly smaller window would have fitted the lines of the vehicle rather better!

Nigel Frampton

17/09/17 – 06:55

Another story was that the unions rejected the DD legislation but SD would be OK It was also said on delivery of these SD’s unions OKed the use of DD OMO How far this any of this is fact or fiction seems lost in time.

Stuart Emmet

18/09/17 – 07:19

I started working at Bradford City Transport in the Traffic Office in October 1973. The story of OMO at BCT is intriguing. I cannot comment on the position of General Manager Edward Deakin in relation to OMO, although I could find out as Bob Tidswell his PA is still heal and hearty. I can say that Traffic Superintendent John Hill was not very enthusiastic about OMO, and from all accounts the T&GWU branch was not very keen, either. Around 1971 or 1972 the position of Asst. Traffic Superintendent became vacant and Brian Eastwood, who was Traffic Superintendent at Maidstone Corporation, was appointed to the post. Maidstone had undertaken extensive conversion to OMO and BCT felt that Brian’s experience in this regard would be extremely useful. Many years later Brian told me that when he arrived at Forster Square – BCT Head Office – there was little enthusiasm for OMO. Earlier this year I had lunch with Brian and he said that many of the new ideas that he tried to bring to Bradford fell on stony ground. Maidstone had a very large circle OMO sign on the front of their Atlanteans and Brian arranged for one of the signs to be sent to Bradford for evaluation. John Hill rejected the idea. Bob Tidswell once told me that Edward Deakin had a policy of splitting chassis orders between manufacturers – and thus having small batches – on the basis that if one chassis type developed a serious fault then the impact on the operational fleet would be minimised. Some of the single-deckers were allocated to Ludlam Steet and were used on the 272 service to Leeds, the 61 and sometimes other routes operated from the depot, such as Eccleshill, Fagley and Haworth Road. They were used on the White Rose service and at weekends for private hire work at weddings etc. When the PTE was formed John Hill became Metro Bradford District Manager and the position of District Traffic Officer was given to Bert Henry from Leeds City Transport who was very keen to expand OMO across the Bradford route network.

Kevin Hey

19/09/17 – 06:01

Still trying to get "facts" and the best come across so far, is from the JS King book. The following is a timeline summary:
BCT ordered the Swifts and Panthers (503-512 ) to start OMO and had the unions OK 8 and 10/1969. The Swifts and Panthers arrived but went to work with conductors on 61, 83 and 27-29/32. Cannot find a reason why they were not used for OMO. These buses were also available for breakdown cover for the other operators on the joint with 7 other operators "White Rose" express to Sheffield; BCT having only one journey a week which they "banked" so they could then a bus operate all week.
Mr King notes the SD were already "white elephants", as by now DD OMO was acceptable, so seventy 33 foot DD were ordered, with union acceptance of OMO for these 2 door 33 foot vehicles.
The DD start to arrive (401-470) but unions said no as are too long and the drivers’ view of exit door was insufficient. So OMO introduction postponed once again.
SD work on the peak time only Leeds express (272) joint with Leeds CT who operated SD OMO, but BCT used conductors
31 Dec 1972
OMO finally starts using 30 foot DD (315 to 355) on routes 36-38 and 40-42 20 May 1973
OMO starts on joint working with Leeds on the 72 route
This appears is a strange story, that however, shows the management/union environment at the time.

Stuart Emmet

19/09/17 – 06:02

Re Kevin Heys comments. There was a regular evening trip on service 46 to Buttershaw.
OMP operation commenced in Bradford with the conversion of the 72/78 services between Bradford and Leeds which were jointly operated with Leeds City Transport. This started in late May 1973. I cannot recall them being used on White Rose services during my time in Bradford in 1973.

Stephen Bloomfield

22/09/17 – 07:15

I suspect that when BCT ordered dual doorway buses the ‘agreement’ with the T&GWU was merely one of outline or agreement in principle to discuss the matter. It would appear that a detailed agreement with signatories was not secured until 1972. The initial conversions at the end of 1972 used single door Fleetlines, but evidently the T&GWU was prepared to allow two-door buses to be used on services to Leeds when these were converted in May 1973. The feeling I detected at Bradford was that neither management nor the T&GWU were keen to pursue OMO. Management believed that OMO made the service worse for passengers, while the T&GWU was against a reduction in potential members and staff – members – losing overtime.

Kevin Hey

21/11/17 – 08:30

Just a reminder that the 5 Panthers transferred to Calderdale in early PTE days. There was a serious blind spot problem with the blank front corners and all were modified with small corner windows. Memory fails me but I wonder if a serious/fatal accident blamed on lack of visibility occurred. I recall that these weren’t bad buses, hadn’t done a lot of mileage with Bradford.The biggest problem was (the lack of) pit length and accessibility with 36′ long buses in the Dock Shop at Skircoat Road. They were also a bit limited on allocation because of road/junction/camber problems on many routes. Someone out there will remind me how long they ran in Halifax prior to sale to Chesterfield where they put in a good number of years service.

Ian Wild

22/11/17 – 07:22

The first of the Bradford Panthers to arrive in Halifax was 2511 in October 1974, followed by 2508/10/12 in November and 2509 in December – all still in BCT blue and cream livery. They were allocated solely to the 5/6 West End Circular route, which required four vehicles during the daytime just going endlessly round and round, so presumably the fifth one was usually either parked up or ‘day in’ for maintenance. I don’t think the trade union would allow them to be used on any other route – I certainly don’t remember seeing them anywhere else.
Unfortunately one of them was involved in a fatal accident when operating a 6 (clockwise) journey and turning right from Heath Road into Free School Lane – just a couple of hundred yards from Skircoat Garage. They had very thick front corner pillars which caused a terrible blind spot for the driver. The bus had begun to take the right turn and was not cutting the corner when a young chap on a moped approached from the right and appeared to stop at the junction with the intention of going straight ahead after the bus had turned. However he must have decided to chance it and accelerated across the front of the bus, but due to the blind spot the driver couldn’t see him and a terrible accident ensued in which the lad was killed. The bus driver was shown to have been blameless.
The five were immediately taken off the road and, as Ian says, small (very small) windows were let into the pillars. My records only show that they were withdrawn during 1975, but that they passed to Chesterfield Corporation in the September. They ran them quite successfully until 1985/86 after which they saw even further service with CityBus in Manchester.

John Stringer

24/11/17 – 07:23

That sounded a terrible, tragic accident indeed for all concerned John, and it still amazes me that in this day and age just how many modern cars have quite serious blindspots, especially to the rear. West Yorkshire had a 1964 Bristol RELH6G express coach (ERG1/1001: AWR 401B) refurbished by Willowbrook in 1977, which included a new peaked front dome, Duple-type windscreen and revised front dash panel, grille and headlamps. On return to West Yorkshire, and before re-entry into service, the Duple screen was removed and the original ECW ‘wrap around’ version reinstated. This was not connected with night-time reflections as is often stated, but due to a serious blind spot either side of the windscreen. The Duple screen had curved sides, which on a Duple (or Plaxton) body would not have been a problem, as the body pillars/sides were also curved and therefore matched. The ECW body had straight pillars/sides, but the curved Duple screen was matched up to the front pillars using an infill panel at either side, which flared out towards the top. The local ‘Man from the Ministry’ would not pass the vehicle as he felt the blind spots were a serious hazard, hence the change back to original spec. We’ll never know, but the thoroughness of that Ministry Inspector may well have prevented a serious accident at some point, and even saved a life, for which we should be very thankful.

Brendan Smith

29/12/17 – 07:47

The reference to the Panthers being used on the White Rose appeared in a recent book- though I couldn’t find the reference when I looked for it, inevitably. I moved to Sheffield in 1969 and used the X33 regularly but never saw or heard of Bradford actually working on the White Rose; more significantly no record of such a working ever appeared in local enthusiast publications of the time and I never heard fellow enthusiasts mention it.’Joint operation in South Yorkshire’, published by the Omnibus Society in 1974, is also silent on the issue, despite mentioning that, for instance, Ribble provided duplicates on Yorkshire Traction’s X19 (Manchester-Barnsley). It would be intersting if anyone can produce chapter and verse on Bradford’s involvement.

Phil Drake

29/12/17 – 09:48

There was mention somewhere to the effect that the Bradford share, based on the miles of the route in Bradford, was small, therefore Bradford saved up the miles which meant something strange like one bus every x weeks or similar. Will try and find the reference for you. Additionally, Brasford was able to provide breakdown cover for any buses having issues.

Stuart Emmett

30/12/17 – 08:46

Extracts from J S King (1995) Bradford Corporation Motorbuses pages 99 and 100. John King (RIP) is the acknowledged expert on all matters Bradford (trams, trolleys and buses).
Mexborough & Swinton had proposed a network of routes along the then new M1. A consortium of interested parties was formed with M&S, Sheffield JOC, Rotherham, YWD, YTC, WR and Hebble and a service from Sheffield to Bradford via Dewsbury was agreed.
On hearing of this Bradford applied and got consent but as the route in Bradford was less than 10% of the whole giving one journey a week, Bradford decided to accumulated mileage until there had enough for one bus for one week when they took over a YWD duty.
Sheffield, Barnsley and Mexborough were to now appear on all future Bradford buses, meanwhile, 505 to 512 were made available and were occasionally used.
A trial run by Bradford took place on the 14th October 1969 and service started four days later.

Stuart Emmett

08/01/18 – 07:21

Sorry about the delayed reply, but thanks to John Stringer for details of the fatal accident with one of the Panthers whilst in Halifax. It makes you wonder how they ever got through initial certification, I’m almost certain the blind spot would never have been accepted by the Yorkshire TA Certifying Officers. I recall a couple of Halifax Leopard/Weymann buses being ‘overhauled’ as an emergency measure by Willowbrook. They came back with new 6 year certificates (12/13 year old buses by this time) with far less work than we had to put in to obtain a grudging 5 years. This difference in standards in different Traffic Areas continued up to the day I retired!

Ian Wild


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Bradford Corporation – AEC Regent III – HKW 82 – 82

Bradford Corporation - AEC Regent III - HKW 82 - 82
Copyright John Stringer

Bradford Corporation
AEC Regent III 9613E
East Lancs. H35/26R

The trend for concealing the front ends of halfcab buses underneath what was to often later referred to as a ‘tin front’ was initiated in the immediate postwar period by BMMO with its homemade D5 model. Shortly afterwards, neighbouring Birmingham City Transport decided to follow suit and a different design of their own was hatched which was first fitted to a batch of Crossley DD42’s, but then also to subsequent Daimler CVG6’s and Guy Arab IV’s, giving the three different makes a totally uniform appearance.
It seems likely that Crossley produced this particular design, which became known as the ‘New Look’ – a term then currently in use for the latest Christian Dior womens’ fashion styles. Daimler and Guy then adopted the design as the standard option on their models generally, but no more Crossleys were so fitted. However, Crossley had passed into the hands of the ACV Group, which owned AEC, and around 1952/53 a number of Regent III’s were fitted with the ‘New Look’ front – the customers being Devon General, Rhondda Transport South Wales, Hull and Bradford. However, clearly not wishing their products to resemble Daimlers and Guys, AEC soon got to work on producing a unique design of their own, which first appeared on the Regent V, then later graced Bridgemasters and Renowns, and even a few Regent III’s for Sheffield.
Bradford City Transport 82 was one of a batch of 40 (66-105, HKW 66-105) delivered in 1952/53. Originally H33/26R, they had a couple more seats inserted upstairs in 1957. It is seen here under the trolleybus overhead in Glydegate (which no longer exists) – an extremely short street linking Little Horton Lane with Morley Street opposite the Alhambra Theatre. Just behind on the extreme right is the newly opened Museum of Photography, Film and Television.
82 was withdrawn in 1971, and after a long period in storage was acquired for preservation and magnificently restored by Darren Hunt and Jim Speed. Nowadays it is part of the Aire Valley Transport Collection.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

31/03/13 – 08:58

Just a historical puzzler… when was the the National Museum of Photography etc actually opened? After 1971, possibly. It stood empty for a long time, intended I think for use as a theatre. It became known as "Wardley’s Folly" after the City Engineer who planned it. Then the Museum came along, looking for premises, and the rest is history!
In the early 50’s bus bodies got very smart, part possibly of a move to better design inspired by the Festival of Britain. The period piece on this one is the slopey windscreen- a Birmingham hangover?


31/03/13 – 09:23

It’s my recollection that it was South Wales, rather than Rhondda, which had ‘tin-front’ Regent IIIs. I’ll stand corrected, of course.
An interesting thing about the twelve Devon General examples is that after sale three turned up in West Yorkshire (2 Ledgard, 1 Longstaff) and I believe the Ledgard ones (in their short time with Ledgard, of course) regularly worked into Bradford from Leeds via Pudsey. A further three worked into what was at the time West Yorkshire, from what was Nottinghamshire (with Leon).

David Call

31/03/13 – 12:39

The Museum, now the National Media Museum, opened on June 16 1983. I think John is correct that the tin front came out of Errwood Rd as a result of the collaboration with Birmingham. There are a very few minor changes, just as Leyland tinkered with the BMMO design for its tin front.

Phil Blinkhorn

31/03/13 – 12:40

You’re right David of course, it was South Wales and not Rhondda – I don’t know where that came from !
I remember both the Ledgard and Longstaff’s ex-Devon General AEC’s, I rode on all three and they were most wonderful buses – especially in the sound effects department as I recall. The Longstaff one’s aural delights were a little stifled though, as following a brief blast up Webster Hill out of Dewsbury it was never really able to proceed beyond a steady amble around the back lanes of Ravensthorpe and Northorpe.

John Stringer

31/03/13 – 17:45

David – sorry to be pedantic – it was not West Yorkshire (a 1974 invention) but the good old West Riding of Yorkshire – later to become (in that area) another 1974 invention – South Yorkshire.
The old West Riding was vast, stretching from Goole in the East to Bentham and the outskirts of Lancaster in the West and from the area you describe in the South to Dent and Sedbergh in the North

Gordon Green

31/03/13 – 17:46

As an eleven year old schoolboy, I remember with great excitement when some of these first "new look" AEC Regent IIIs entered service on the 1 November 1952. These were the first true "Humpidge" buses after prior taste of C T Humpidge influence with the Crossley re-bodied trolleybuses that had appeared in the previous March. I can confirm that the "tin fronts" were made and fitted at Crossley Motors at Errwood Park. I do recall seeing the final 15 chassis (91 -105) with "tin fronts" stored in the Tin Sheds at Thornbury as these buses entered service later in 1953.
These final 15 buses did differ in appearance to the previous 25 (66 -90) buses as these were the first to have a blue roof in place of the mid grey which was the style used by the previous General Manager C R Tattam.

Richard Fieldhouse

01/04/13 – 07:50

The ‘new look’ or tin front certainly made buses so adorned look much more modern in comparison to those fitted with traditional radiators. Rochdale had a batch of Regent III’s fitted with virtually identical East Lancs bodies dating from 1951 but they had the traditional AEC exposed radiator and looked to be from a different generation than the Bradford vehicles despite being only two years older.
I always found it interesting how the two adjacent Yorkshire cities of Bradford and Leeds had markedly differing vehicle policies. Bradford went early on for tin fronts and then froward entrances on the large fleet of Regent V’s while Leeds ploughed the traditional furrow with 7’6" wide buses until the 30 footers came, exposed radiators and rear open platforms for many years. The small batch of forward entrance Daimler CVG6’s bought by Leeds was I understand due to persuasion from Bradford to run forward entrance buses on the joint Leeds-Bradford route.

Philip Halstead

01/04/13 – 07:51

If my memory serves me correctly, Glydegate was the last road in the UK to be newly wired for trolleybuses coming after the final Teesside extension. It served to allow inbound trolleybuses from Wibsey and Buttershaw to cope with road works and lasted until later in 1971 when the services were withdrawn.

Ken Aveyard

01/04/13 – 07:53

Richard – I well remember these vehicles as from new they were the mainstay of services 79 & 80 (Heaton & Little Horton via Heaton) and I used them daily to School. (One old penny half fare from Heaton to Lister Park Gates !)
I always suspected that these new vehicles were so allocated for two reasons – one being that Heaton in those days was ‘posh’ (I wasn’t) and secondly Chaceley Humpidge lived in Heaton where he was a lay preacher at my local Church.
A couple of years ago I renewed my acquaintance with 82 (which each year provides a shuttle bus service in Haworth for the annual ‘Forties’ war re-enactment weekend) by taking ride. Nostalgia indeed.

Gordon Green

01/04/13 – 07:54

Liverpool had some Regent IIIs with Crossley bodies with this radiator fitted.

Jim Hepburn

01/04/13 – 07:58

An interesting sidelight arises from Richard’s post and my earlier one on this thread. He refers to Errwood Park, I refer to Errwood Rd.
When Crossley originally bought the site it was referred to as Errwood Park, though its location on the Stockport side of the boundary is across what is now Crossley Rd from Errwood Park which still exists and is in Manchester. In those days Crossley Rd was an un-named thoroughfare dividing Cringle Fields from Errwood Park and crossed the boundary between Stockport and Manchester, leading from Stockport Rd at Lloyd Rd to Errwood Rd itself.
The Crossley site, bounded by the railway line and Cringle Fields, which eventually became a large number of football pitches on which I played many a match on a cold Sunday morning, was originally part of Cringle Fields a piece of open grazing land between Errwood Rd and the railway, so it may be assumed that Crossley wanted to give some elegance to their address after leaving the very industrial sounding Pottery Lane, Gorton and Cringle Fields sounded too agricultural whereas Errwood Park was more reminiscent of a country park!
Most people I was brought up with in the adjacent area of Heaton Moor referred to Crossley’s Errwood Rd, though there was no entrance from that thoroughfare without traversing Crossley Rd! Fairey Aviation and later Fairey Engineering which occupied the site at various times always referred to it as Heaton Chapel Works, as did Stevenson’s Box Works who moved in after Crossley closed, Heaton Chapel being the suburb of Stockport in which the works was located.
I wonder if the Errwood Rd usage was actually put about by Crossley whose very existence in the bus world was so dependant on Manchester’s patronage in the 1930s as Errwood Rd was in Manchester whereas the boundary between Manchester and Stockport ran along their wall built to divide the factory from the rump of Cringle Fields, Manchester.
A 1970 copy of the Manchester A-Z interestingly shows the site all within Stockport with Errwood Park Works shown as the major part of the site yet the site where most buses were built is shown still as "Motor Car Works"!
Dig the bones out of that.

Phil Blinkhorn

02/04/13 – 08:17

Philip H makes a good point about the divergent vehicle policies of Bradford and Leeds.
I think I’m right in saying that Leeds had Regent Vs, but with exposed radiators. Why on earth would an operator wish to remove such a graceful and well proportioned front end to revert to the ‘old fashioned’ look of an exposed AEC radiator. Nothing wrong with the exposed AEC rad, but surely it had had its day by the time the Regent Vs came along.


02/04/13 – 08:17

The Liverpool Regent IIIs that Jim H refers to certainly had concealed radiators, but while the grille was identical, the front end design was completely different, using a full-width flat front, as seen in this view of A40. www.old-bus-photos.co.uk

Alan Murray-Rust

02/04/13 – 08:18

The Liverpool Regent III’s had a different tin front unique to Liverpool. It was virtually a full width bonnet and incorporated the front mudguards more on the lines of the Leyland BMMO front than the Birmingham design. There’s a picture of one of the Saunders-Roe bodied buses with this front under the Liverpool link on this website.

Philip Halstead

02/04/13 – 08:19

Ken, Somewhere in my mind is the idea that Glydegate was the last public highway in the UK to be wired for trolleybus operation. The road layout at this point was a gyratory: Little Horton Lane between Princess Way and Glydegate was one way from Princess Way, and Morley Street was one way from Glydegate to Princess Way. Glydegate acted as the road connecting the top of the one-way sections of Little Horton Lane and Morley Street.
According to Stanley King’s book ‘Bradford Corporation Trolleybuses’ Glydegate came into use on 18 May, 1969. The shot of number 82 on service 11 to Queensbury must have been before 1 March 1971 when the services were recast and the joint services to Halifax came into operation.

Kevin Hey

02/04/13 – 12:08

Leeds stuck with exposed radiators until the manger changed in 1961 this was due in some part to ease of maintenance. After that all buses were tin fronted or rear engined Philip mentions the front entrance Daimlers these 5 buses were considered so non standard they were offered for sale in the late sixties In the event they hung on to be the only Leeds buses to be allocated to all four divisions of the PTE and the only front engined Leeds buses to wear PTE livery 574 has been restored and often appears at rallies.

Chris Hough

02/04/13 – 13:03

There is a picture on this site of a Doncaster Regent 5 looking like a 3 with exposed radiator. They stuck with them, too the last front engined Titans in the mid 60’s had exposed radiators like the recent Stockport posting. I think it was also a sort of macho thing like Atkinson lorries.


02/04/13 – 14:50

The use of exposed radiators was by no means a "macho thing". Proponents of the exposed radiator point to easier maintenance access, better driver visibility and better cooling, so much so that when Daimler insisted it would not provide exposed radiators and Manchester was not impressed with the tin front offered, it eventually designed its own concealed radiator for its Daimlers which was all but a reversion to the dimensions of the exposed radiator and was such a success that it was adopted by the manufacturer as its standard.

Phil Blinkhorn

02/04/13 – 14:50

I stand corrected over the Liverpool Regent IIIs. Well it is over 50 years since I’ve seen one!

Jim Hepburn

02/04/13 – 16:34

I still reckon an exposed radiator was seen as a proper "man’s bus" (I’m talking in the unliberated past!) like an Atkinson or a Mack and pretty fronts went with heaters, power steering, trafficators and no climbing into the cab. (Remove tongue from cheek)


02/04/13 – 17:58

I agree with Joe – tin fronts = mutton dressed up as lamb if you ask me!

Stephen Ford

03/04/13 – 07:50

There doesn’t seem to be that much (anything?) on Glydegate at the time the photograph was taken! For the past few years I’ve driven past a similar street in Bradford, which amounted to no more than a left-turn slip road at a set of traffic lights – no buildings on either side – but retained its street name. I think Chester Street (of WYRCC bus station fame) may still exist in this sort of vestigial format – though I’m not certain that the name remains.
From the first time I saw one I always thought that there was "something" about the Manchester-fronted CVGs of Bradford and Huddersfield (Leeds was unexplored territory in those days!): as much as I tried to stay loyal to AEC/Hebble I still have to admit that – much like Clodagh Rogers – those Manchester-fronted CVGs looked classy.
Halifax? Sorry, your exposed-radiator PD2/3s didn’t even get a look in . . . you should have stuck with Regent Vs – attractive enough in the Susan George mold, but not a patch on Clodagh! And I still can’t work out whether the
St Helens front on Bradford’s PD3s was "industrial" or just plain ugly – like, like . . .
Anyway, for Glydegate to be able to claim that it was last road to be wired for trolleybus operation seems to be stretching things for was by then just part of a gyratory system.

Philip Rushworth

I have very fond memories of conducting 82 even though I never had the pleasure of working for BCT. "Well then what’s he talking about" you may understandably ask !!
This superb vehicle played a welcome and major part in the 40th anniversary commemoration running day on 14th October 2007 marking the sad end of the Samuel Ledgard era. The fifteen hour running extravaganza culminated in a simulation of the 23:00 hours departure from Leeds to Ilkley via Guiseley – a journey performed very appropriately by the preserved Bradford RT – the real thing forty years earlier featured HLX 157, a Ledgard RT, which ran out of fuel a mile short of the Ilkley terminus. That circumstance, unheard of normally in Ledgard days, remains a mystery to this day. The Bradford RT was made to simulate a similar failure at the same spot. In 1967 the RT was replaced by Ledgard’s own 1953 U, a Mark V Regent, but in 2007 Bradford 82 played the part having "been summoned from Otley depot." So there we have it, 82 completed the journey to Ilkley and then operated the late running 2355 from Ilkley to Otley. I had been conducting all day from 09:00, mainly on the superbly restored MXX 232 (RLH 32) so very kindly provided in perfect Samuel Ledgard livery by Timebus of St. Alban’s. The feeling of "deja vu" in that last couple of hours was almost unbearable, but nevertheless I felt very honoured to be asked to do it, wearing my genuine Ledgard uniform and using an actual Otley depot Setright which I own.

Chris Youhill

03/04/13 – 11:43

I always considered Hull’s "tin-fronted" Weymann bodied AEC Regent IIIs (336-341) to be the city’s best looking buses until the dual door Atlanteans came along in 1969. The overall body profile combined with the typical upswept bottom panels and the front end resulted in a very handsome bus one of which can be seen here.

Malcolm Wells

HKW 82 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

05/04/13 – 05:48

This discussion makes me wonder if there would ever have been such a thing as a tin front if it hadn’t been for Midland Red uniquely combining the roles of chassis designer, body designer and operator. Being in the vanguard of underfloor-engined development, which revolutionised the appearance of single deckers, it was probably inevitable that they would do something with their double deckers as well. Then I suppose BCT, seeing all these modern apparitions coming in and out of their city, felt obliged to keep their end up by doing something similar, and it all took off from there.
I remember being very impressed as a youngster with the tin-fronted PD2s of Oldham and Southport. But ultimately, as so often happens, something which was designed specifically to create an appearance of modernity in its own time ends up rapidly becoming very dated.

Peter Williamson


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