Old Bus Photos

United Services – Dennis Loline Mk I – SOU 473

United Service - Dennis Loline Mk I - SOU 473
Copyright John Stringer

United Services
1958
Dennis Loline MkI 6LW
East Lancs. H37/31RD

One of a batch of 34 Lolines delivered to Aldershot & District in 1958 numbered 336-369 (SOU 445-477), SOU 473 was withdrawn by them in 1969. It was then bought by W. R. & P. Bingley of Kinsley, who along with Cooper’s of South Elmsall and Everett’s of South Kirkby traded under the name ‘United Services’. It is pictured here resting at Bingley’s Upton depot in April 1973.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


13/02/13 – 04:47

SOU 473_2

Here is a photograph of this bus when in service with its original owner, Aldershot and District. It is seen in Farnham Road bus station, Guildford in 1961. The Aldershot fleet was generally impeccably turned out, so that the tree damage to the front dome is surprising. The Loline I was a close copy of the Bristol LD Lodekka, but axles, clutch and gearbox were all of Dennis design. Unlike the Lodekka, the Loline always had a full air braking system. These Lolines were thoroughbreds to drive, better in every respect, in my estimation, to the Leyland PD2 and PD3, and the AEC Regent V machines that I had encountered at Halifax. Though equipped with the modestly powerful Gardner 6LW, which A&D rated at the full manufacturer’s setting, they were good performers, and, with a top speed touching 50 mph, quite fast for the time (1958) when they were introduced (and when the legal maximum speed for a PSV was 30 mph). The high quality East Lancs bodywork completed the specification of a supremely capable and reliable bus.

Roger Cox


13/02/13 – 04:50

Just between duties or withdrawn? Certainly not the pristine condition one normally associated with her original owner!

Pete Davies


13/02/13 – 14:43

I suppose that replacing a dented panel or wing to maintain standards of presentation was one thing, but straightening out a roof dome once battered by trees would be rather a big job – time consuming and therefore expensive, and the chances were that once done there was a distinct likely hood of it returning again with the same problem soon after.

John Stringer


15/02/13 – 12:06

Good to see these pictures of a superbly well-proportioned bus with, as Roger points out, first-rate innards to match. And if the 6LW was modestly-powered on paper, 112GHP (Gardner horsepower) was worth 125 of anyone else’s. Two of this batch fortunately survive: SOU 465, a regular attender at events, and SOU 456, still under restoration.
I prefer the Loline I radiator-grille shape to the later square-with-rounded-corners design.
I’ve got a Loline maintenance manual with sectional drawings of a bewildering variety of alternative gearboxes. Apparently they even offered a six-speed version, which I’m sure was never fitted to a production bus. I’ll post them here soon.

Ian Thompson


15/02/13 – 17:07

Ian, your extensive knowledge of, and fellow enthusiasm for Dennis machinery is very welcome on this site. I certainly never knew that a six speed option was available for the Loline. That would have given a 6LX powered bus an extraordinary performance. The generally accepted view is that the Loline was little more than a licence built Lodekka, but this is an over simplification, particularly in the case of the Loline III. I think I am right in believing that even the Loline I had a gearbox (the ‘V’ type?) that lowered the transmission line without the need for transfer gears as fitted to the Lodekka. The Loline transmission would have thus been more positive and efficient than the Bristol equivalent. The pre Hestair Dennis company had a high level of engineering expertise, but its commercial policies were very indecisive and often misguided. The firm nearly fell victim to a takeover by Seddon before Hestair became interested. Had that happened, or had Leyland made a move to gobble up the Guildford manufacturer, the outcome would surely have been oblivion. ADL may be a different animal from the Dennis of fond memory, and, alas, the superb fire engine business is no more, but it is the only significant bus chassis manufacturer now left in the UK.

Roger Cox


16/02/13 – 07:16

I think SOU 473 was bought by Everett’s in spring 1969, and later passed to Bingleys when Everett’s ceased to operate. I have no record of the takeover date or SOU’s withdrawal date, if anyone knows, please tell me! This was a superb bus to travel in, very speedy and much more spacious than any previous United Services vehicle. The rear door was air-powered, sliding forward into a pocket – when opened whilst decelerating for a stop, it crashed heavily onto the front of the pocket, no chance of dozing off despite the comfortable seats.

Roger Townend


16/02/13 – 07:17

I have a Loline sales brochure from about 1960 and this shows that the standard gearbox offering was the 5 speed V type. Interestingly a 4 speed SCG epicyclic was also offered but I have no knowledge of it ever being fitted. In 1967 Halifax took 5 Lolines with 6LX engines and a five speed overdrive epicyclic gearbox. The GM at the time, Geoffrey Hilditch, described them as having "a useful turn of speed". I believe he meant that it went like the wind!

Paragon


16/02/13 – 10:15

Were these Halifax Lolines not the same ones which they sold to West Riding when they were only two to three years old.

They must have run out of wind rather quickly.

Andrew Beever


16/02/13 – 13:38

Andrew, I recall reading some years ago that the Halifax batch were bought for a specific purpose, namely a specialised route needing vehicles of this specification for the best performance. This, I believe, they did well. However, once the PTE came into existence, my memory is that the route or the perceived needs changed, and the batch ended up on local routes. They weren’t suited to this role at all! This meant that their early sale to West Riding was convenient for both PTE and W. Riding. I am only going on memories of what I have read, not local experience, but others may have more specific details. In the early days of Classic Bus magazine, there was a three-bus test drive including an AEC Renown (King Alfred), a Bristol Lodekka(Hants & Dorset) and a Dennis Loline (Aldershot & District. The drivers were expecting Lodekka or Renown to win out, but the Loline beat the others into the corner!

Michael Hampton


16/02/13 – 14:42

In 1962, on two occasions, I took a bus from Southsea to Milford (Surrey). I can’t recall the Southdown vehicle to/from Petersfield, but do recall the A&D Lolines north of Petersfield on the challenging A3 route. They were comfortable, quiet and performed very well.

Chris Hebbron


16/02/13 – 17:00

Remember that West Riding were in a pretty bad way with their Wulfrunians and acquired a lot of second hand Lodekkas to keep them going…so a few Lolines added a certain standardisation. …. the other story (SCT61) is that the Lolines were for the Calder Valley and when Tod came on board, even they couldn’t get in the newly integrated garage.

Joe


16/02/13 – 18:10

By their very nature, the Halifax Lolines were best suited to lengthy, high speed runs, which were not characteristic features of the local Halifax topography. Whilst they were suitable for the inter urban ‘B’ services such as the 43 to Huddersfield or the 48/49 Brighouse – Hebden Bridge, these busy routes were well within the capabilities of the PD2s, PD3s, Regent Vs and Fleetlines in the fleet. The Lolines migrated to the Meredith and Drew contracts where their remarkable road performance (GGH admits to these machines being capable of 55 mph plus) proved entirely suitable to the task, but, of necessity, a conductor had to be carried on what was essentially a coach service. When West Riding, desperate for Wulfrunian replacement stock, made an enticing offer, they were sold on in 1970. However, Geoff Hilditch, in his book "Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres" (Vol 2) states that "this would not have happened had we then known of the Millwood (i.e,Todmorden) garage problem that would face us in 1971 They would have been ideal for the Halifax – Todmorden – Burnley service." There was nothing wrong with the buses. They were just unsuited to much of the tortuous route system that was indigenous to the Halifax area.

Roger Cox


17/02/13 – 07:27

…..and, of course, the North Western Lolines – along with the Renowns – were for long distance routes rather than urban stop/start.

David Oldfield


17/02/13 – 07:28

A "cartoon-style" line-drawing of one of the Halifax Lolines was used as the basis for a recruitment poster during the early 1970s: "I’m blue because I have no driver" – featuring blue Loline with weeping eyes/headlights. This was painted onto a blank window panel in Crossfield Bus Station near the 76 (Bradford v Queensbury) stand. I remember, as my 6/7 year-old self, thinking why didn’t they picture a Regent/Titan/Fleetline instead of a "made-up" double-decker – of course by then (post Hebble-Halifax JOC merger) the Lolines had moved on, and I’d never noticed/come across them. But what made the artist/HPT choose one of their most un-typical buses? Other similar advertisements included one for the 68/X68 to Sheffield featuring one of the Seddon Pennine RU DPs, and one for private hire featuring – I think! – one of the ex-Timpsons Park Royal Royalist Reliances . . . I said "I think", perhaps it was just a Panorama Elite.

Philip Rushworth


17/02/13 – 07:29

SOU 465

Ian mentions above that one of the two surviving Aldershot and District Loline I machines is SOU 465. Here is a picture of this bus taken on 25 June 1967 in Petersfield. It is operating the lengthy 24 route to Guildford on which Chris would have travelled to reach Milford. I, too frequently sampled this route and its Loline Mk.Is in the days before I acquired a PSV Licence. Later, as driver with A&D at Aldershot circa 1966-68, I did drive on the parallel route 6 between Aldershot and Petersfield (Steep village), though Loline IIIs had taken over by that time. Interestingly, the only joint operation into Aldershot was Route 12 to Reading, which was shared with Thames Valley. When an Lodekka suffered a defect or failure at the Hampshire end of the service, it was replaced by a Loline, and very often the Thames Valley driver was reluctant to hand it back again later in return for the repaired Lodekka. I genuinely cannot recall any instances of a Loline failing at the Reading end of the route though I expect this must have happened now and again. Aldershot & District had much higher engineering standards than Thames Valley.

Roger Cox


17/02/13 – 08:50

That’s a lovely photo which brings back lots of memories, Roger. I recognise the place well. Thx. It was a long route – the better part of 30 miles in total, hilly and twisting in places, all taken with panache. I worked in Guildford and had a soft spot for the old ‘All Aboard & Risk it’, as it was nicknamed! And an Aunt-in-Law was once a clippie with them during the war, around Woking.

Chris Hebbron


17/02/13 – 08:51

I think you may be right about engineering standards, Roger.

David Oldfield


17/02/13 – 12:23

Your mention of "I’m blue because I have no driver",Phlip, reminded me of a quiz a couple of years ago on a blog I follow. I’ve found it here. I did badly! See HERE: http://tinyurl.com/c97j9kf

Chris Hebbron


18/02/13 – 08:26

Roger’s comments about engineering standards at Thames Valley remind me of the set of pictures I have of a whole variety of other operators’ vehicles which had to be drafted into Reading to help out because of vehicles off the road, firstly in May and September 1973 (London Country RTs and some Royal Blue MWs) and then again in April 1974 and August/September 1974, when a variety of buses came from Ensign Bus, (ex Portsmouth, Swindon, S&M of Hadleigh, LT) together with a couple of Reliances and a couple of Lolines from Reading Transport. It appears that the merger with A&D didn’t result in a migration of engineering standards to Reading!

Alan Murray-Rust


18/02/13 – 10:57

It may have been coincidence, or simply made the situation worse: it was that period in the early seventies which was also the period of (British) Leyland’s worst "hour" – not only take it or leave it but you can’t get it (spares) and we won’t make/supply it (Bristol RE). Thames Valley were not the only operator in that position. Leyland disease – oh I’d forgotten late deliveries as well – certainly affected Sheffield/SYPTE and others as well.

David Oldfield


SOU 473 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


20/02/13 – 05:57

Those six Halifax Lolines may have contributed to Dennis’ survival as a manufacturer today (even if in a different form). Mr GGH (as he is referred to above) was impressed by his contacts with Dennis, and on moving to Leicester a few years later, encouraged Dennis to develop the Dominator double-decker as an antidote to the "leylandisation" of the British bus manufacturing industry. Dennis had only dabbled in the bus market from c. 1950 until then, but from the mid/late 1970s developed new ranges to suit the new challenges. And the rest, as they say, is history. I guess "Mr GGH" was embarking on a wider plan than he realised, thus making it still possible to buy a British-made bus today.

Michael Hampton


20/02/13 – 09:35

In 1963 the magazine Commercial Motor published the results of a road test of 447, an Aldershot and District Mk3 Loline. It produced the best fuel consumption figures of any double decker tested by the magazine since the Second World War.
Fully laden with the equivalent of 68 passengers the testers obtained 12.75 mpg at two stops per mile and 9.25 mpg at six stops per mile. The fleet average for A&D Lolines at that time was 13.5 mpg.
One of the testers was the well known transport author Alan Townsin and he describes travelling on an undulating stretch of the A3 at an average speed of 32.4 mph and obtaining 15.7 mpg. He gives the top speed at about 47mph.
He describes all controls as "very satisfying" and had that "indefinable feel of a thoroughbred vehicle"
Praise indeed.

I think it is Paragon


21/02/13 – 06:22

I drove Loline Is and IIIs from Aldershot Depot in 1966-68, after which I returned to the administrative side of the bus industry. Without doubt, the Loline was a superb bus, predictable, stable and refined. The A&D Loline III was rather livelier than the Mark I by virtue of the lighter bodywork by Alexander or Weymann, and its Dennis gearbox had a modified gate that emulated the Reliance pattern, making the engagement of overdrive rather simpler. Those fuel economy figures are way beyond the reach of "modern" buses, and, I suspect, the reliability statistics for today’s machinery are equally inferior. Progress? What progress?

Roger Cox


 

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United Services – Daimler CVD6 – LTO 10

United Services Daimler CVD6 

United Services
1950
Daimler CVD6
Duple L56RD

I fondly remember visiting Bingley’s (one of the United Servces partners) in the mid-60s and asking Mrs Bingley ("Ma" Bingley as she was fondly known to us), whether LTO 10 was operating that day, as I wanted to photograph it. No sooner said, than she shouted for her daughter (?) who was the operations manager, and said – "Put t’Daimler on’t teatime dupe, ‘cos there’s a lad here wants to take a snap of it!" As promised, LTO 10 arrived into Wakefield bus station at about 5.30pm, and I got a (not very good) shot of it. Wonderful times which can never be repeated.

Photograph and copy contributed by Paul Haywood

 

The above bus was originally owned by A Skill of Nottingham and was delivered in 1950. Skills were supposed to take delivery of another CVD6 with Duple body as above but it went to W Gash & Sons instead as there DD7 (LNN 353) view at this link scroll down a bit and you will find two shots.

Spencer

———

My friend Paul has revived many happy memories of our days in the Wallace Arnold traffic office. "Ma" Bingley was Phyllis and was the "P" in "W. R. & P. Bingley – she was as Paul reports a "no nonsense" lady who quite simply got things done. That she was also a competent conjurer is beyond argument. All desperate calls from WA Hunslet for heavy assistance when summer peak demands got out of hand were calmly answered with "Ow many der yer want ??" No matter how many extra coaches we needed the necessary vehicles would appear at all hours as if by magic – fresh from pit contracts or schools or wherever – all manned by chaps who knew their place and "did as Phyllis said" without question and the impossibly large seaside passengers would all be gone without a hiccup. Slightly off the Daimler topic I admit, but Phyllis deserves an accolade as one of the real legends of the Industry.

Chris Youhill

———

Great story, Paul/Chris. Keep ’em coming! The human side is just as interesting as the bus side.

Chris Hebbron

———

10/10/12 – 09:00

The above photograph is featured on the ‘sct61’ website, along with another photo of LTO 10 in the caption of which it is asserted that Skills ordered three of these vehicles and that it was two, rather than one, which were diverted to Gash of Newark. LNN 353 (Gash DD7) was apparently intended to become Skills No.30 (LTO 30) and LRR 403 Skills No.20 (LTO 20). I haven’t been able to retrieve the Gash fleet number of LRR 403.

David Call


 

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United Services – Leyland Titan PD2/3 – BCK 460

United Services - Leyland Titan PD2/3 - BCK 460
Photograph P Haywood

United Services
1947
Leyland Titan PD2/3
Burlingham L53R

A few days ago I received an email from a Mr Paul Haywood with a photo attached, below is the email, above is the photo.

“I have just come across your site, and noticed the article on United Services. Attached is a poor view of a United Services ex Ribble PD2/3 (?) with a Burlingham body, taken at Wakefield bus station sometime around 1969, but don’t know which of the three families owned the bus.”

“Perhaps one of your viewers could help?”

United Services was owned by three families but at times it was hard to tell just who owned what, I do hope somebody can supply the information Paul is wanting, if you know please leave a comment.
What I have managed to find out about this bus is that it was originally with Ribble Motor Services fleet number 2517 a Leyland Titan PD2/1 with a Brush L53R body. A batch of the original PD2/1s were re-bodied by Burlingham as L53R and converted to 8ft wide at the same time making them PD2/3s.
There is also to the left in the above photo a Guy Wulfrunion one of the forum members has been asking about them lately. If anybody could send me a photo of one I wouldn’t mind doing a little article about them, they were a bit different.

A full list of Titan codes can be seen here.


BCK 460_fleetname

I can answer who owned the Titan.
It was Cooper Brothers. The clue is the United CB Services fleet name on the side of the bus. The Cooper Brothers fleet had "CB" inserted between "United" and "Services". 
The WR & P Bingley fleet had a different fleet name style with "United" directly over the "Services" name. The "U" and the "D" of "United" were oversized so that the "Services" name fitted in between underneath. I hope that helps.
I was brought up in a village called Crofton. The United fleet ran at the edge of the village via Doncaster Road into Wakefield. I have some memories of the double deckers however as I was born in 1961 my memory is far clearer with vehicles from the 1970’s and 1980’s, most notably the three Plaxton Derwent bodied Lepoards (that had loads of character) that Bingleys used and the Panther Cub and two Bedfords that Cooper Brothers used.

Mark B


I have since discovered that it started life as a PD1A with a Brush body in 1947. In 1955 it was rebodied by Burlingham and widened to become a PD2/3. It was bought by Coopers in 1965 and withdrawn (presumed scrapped) in 1972. Thanks to John Kaye for this information.

Paul Haywood


31/12/11 – 07:35

I can confirm that the CB does indeed stand for Cooper Brothers. My Grandad was Lawrence Lee Cooper and his brother Walter Lee Cooper. Their association with the Bingleys was very close as Dot Bingley, Phillis Bingleys daughter was my Godmother.

Vicky Cooper


31/12/11 – 09:28

Can I be a pain in the neck? I also thought that, when they sold them – and Ribble had a lot of them – these interesting rebuilds were given 7.4 engines in exchange for the 0.600s.

David Oldfield


31/12/11 – 09:28

I’m grateful to all correspondents in this topic, as I’ve learned much that I didn’t know about this fascinating trio of joint operators. I believe, open to correction, that Bingley’s had considerably more mileage than the other two, and little ever seems to be written about Everett the third partner. I worked at Caldaire/Arriva in Pontefract with Mr. Bill Bingley who was a relation of Phillis. Earlier in my career, at Samuel Ledgard of Leeds, we had two identical ex Ribble rebuilds BCK 427/441 – fascinating and very sound vehicles they were too !!
Also in my Arriva times we had a school special from Crofton High School and so I became acquainted with the A638 and Mark B’s village in the 1990s/2000s. In the 1960s, when working in the traffic office at Wallace Arnold’s, we had frequent communication with Mrs Phillis Bingley who seemed to be able to conjure up incredible numbers of her coaches and drivers for hiring in at our busy times. This was to a Leeds resident like me a fascinating era – and area – with which to be involved and I wouldn’t have missed any of it for the World.

Chris Youhill


31/12/11 – 11:15

A very interesting question from David about the possible engine exchange and something I haven’t heard before. I too would like to know because I travelled on this vehicle, it would have been around 1970/71, one Saturday afternoon and I had a short ride from Hemsworth to South Kirkby but it’s so long ago now that I have no recollection of the engine sound! Incidentally, one of the un-rebuilt examples, BCK 440 with it’s original Brush body ended up as a mobile shop in the village where I was born and was often parked on the street where I lived, the registration has stuck in my mind ever since!

Chris Barker


31/12/11 – 15:00

BCK 423-460 was a batch of 38 Leyland PD1A/Brush L27/26R delivered to Ribble (2480-2517) in 1947. In 1955, 22 of them (including BCK 427, 441 and 460, but excluding BCK 440 mentioned above) were rebodied with Burlingham L27/26RD eight feet wide bodies. The chassis remained at their original 7ft 6in width – the extra 3 inch side overhang can be seen at the wheel arches on the photo. In 1958/9, 21 of those 22 had their 7.4 engines replaced by O.600 engines, all but one coming from withdrawn vehicles, to which were fitted the displaced 7.4 engines before sale. (Info from PSV Circle Ribble Fleet History)

Dave Williamson


01/01/12 – 07:12

W R P Bingley had a regular works service to Blakeley’s Boot Protectors (segs in local parlance) in Armley Leeds This involved a number of Yeates bodied coaches up to five in the sixties.

Chris Hough


03/01/12 – 06:53

Thank you to all for these most interesting postings, I travelled to school in Wakefield from the mid-sixties onwards, very frequently on the United Service as they were more interesting than West Riding. Many of these journeys were on ‘BCK’, often very full! It probably worked harder for Coopers than it ever did for Ribble.
I recall the Cooper’s fleet was for several years BCK 460, CCK 354 (ex-Ribble all-Leyland PD2) and MDT 220 (ex-Doncaster Roe-bodied Regent III). The Leylands seemed to be the mainstay of the fleet, doing most of the Wakefield-Doncaster workings, and the AEC spent more time on the peak-hour short journeys Wakefield to Hemsworth or South Elmsall. The photo is 1969 or later, as hiding behind BCK is EWX 819 H, Bedford VAM / Willowbrook which (I think) replaced CCK 354.
Yes, Bingleys seemed to be the dominant member of the group. The basic Wakefield-Doncaster service required three buses, logically one per member, but there were many duplicates and short workings and Bingleys seemed to provide more than one-third of those. My parents used to say that there was previously another member called Granter’s, so possibly Bingley’s had taken over Granter’s share ?? It would be fascinating to learn how the duties were shared out, if anyone has any info? It would also be great to see a fleet history for all the members, if one exists ?

Roger Townend


04/01/12 – 06:52

As with many operators, Ribble was a rich source of vehicles for United Services. The ones I have record of are BCK 438, another of the type pictured above with Everett, White Ladies BRN 281 (Burlingham) and DCK 213 (East Lancs) All Leyland PD2’s CCK 354 and DRN 268 and Brush bodied PD2’s CCK 646 and CCK 653. There were also utilities ACK 755 (Daimler) and ACK 819 (Guy) The vehicles of Everett seen to have been rather anonymous, Bingley’s were usually well turned out with the fleet name as shown above whilst Cooper Bros, particularly when in the two tone blue and cream were quite impressive. One interesting connection with the recent postings about Blue Bus Services and W Gash is that Bingley’s apparently also had a Burlingham Seagull bodied Daimler Freeline. I’ve never seen a picture of it, does anyone have one?

Chris Barker


02/05/12 – 08:46

I recall back in the late fifties or early sixties that whichever of the operating partners of United Services (possibly Everetts) that operated from the Kinsley depot near Hemsworth used to leave vehicles parked outside overnight, and, come the morning, rabbits had to be chased off the busses prior to them entering service.

Mick Taylor


02/05/12 – 11:16

Mick, the Kinsley Depot was the headquarters of W.R. & P. Bingley and was eventually taken over and used by Metro/Yorkshire Rider.

Chris Youhill


02/05/12 – 11:17

Nice story, Mick. Those who wanted a nice rabbit for dinner, no doubt caught the best one, before chasing off the others!

Chris Hebbron


02/05/12 – 17:23

Mick and Chris H – the reason for the presence of the rabbits has just occurred to me – what else could one expect at premises called Hunter’s Farm Garage, Kinsley ??

Chris Youhill


03/05/12 – 08:00

I’m intrigued by Dave Williamson’s information about these vehicles being fitted with 0.600 engines from withdrawn vehicles. If this was done in 1958/9, it would seem a bit early for anything with the post-war 9.8ltr engine to be withdrawn. I wonder what the donors were, PS2 coaches perhaps?

Chris Barker


03/05/12 – 08:52

They’d been chased by the greyhounds (whippets?) from Kinsley dog track!

Joe


03/05/12 – 14:06

The answer to Chris Barker’s question is that 19 of those 21 O.600 engines came from 1946/7 PD1s, which had themselves been re-engined in 1948/9. Their original 7.4 litre engines were fitted to pre-war Leyland TS and LZ vehicles, replacing their original petrol engines. Of the remaining two O.600 engines, one came from a 1948 PD2, which was then withdrawn, and the other is described as a spare engine.

Dave Williamson


10/10/12 – 09:04

These Ribble rebuilds never cease to inspire comment. Does anyone have a copy of the book ’52 Years Of Ribble’, by Tom Collinge? Having once owned a copy of the book myself and knowing the detail into which the fleet history goes, I can’t help but think that the question of which engines went into which buses from which would be well and truly settled.
If one engine came from a 1948 PD2 which was then withdrawn this could have only been 2648, the only Burlingham bus-bodied (as opposed to coach-bodied) PD2 Ribble operated. It was the first PD2 to be withdrawn, going before the Brush lowbridges 2661-91, which themselves went probably a couple of years earlier than slightly older Leyland-bodied examples.
One notion which I must contest is Dave Williamson’s assertion that the difference between the chassis width and body width can be seen in the above photo, since the position of the wheels relative to the bodywork looks to me just as it would on any 8-foot wide bus. The chassis width would have remained at 7’6", yes, with the new body mounted on outriggers, but both axles have definitely been replaced. If you want to see what an 8′ wide body looks like on a 7’6" axle, refer to a shot of Bradford trolleys 703-39 (and possibly others, I’m not sure) which were rebodied in the late fifties/early sixties, being fitted with new front axles but retaining the 7’6" rear ones.
Now I’m really going to set the cat amongst the pigeons and assert that, in the late 1960s (which was the only period in which I came into contact with the United operations) the Bingley depot at Kinsley was used purely as a coach garage, and the buses were accommodated at a separate depot at Upton. I’m pretty sure that WYPTE acquired only the Kinsley depot, the implication being that Upton closed in Bingley days.
Paul, when you saw ‘Ma’ Bingley and her daughter in the traffic office, was it at a coach or bus depot (or both)? And were you at Kinsley, or Upton?

David Call


18/10/12 – 17:25

Thanks David C for pointing out my mistake in claiming the rebodied chassis remained 7’6" wide -"should have gone to a well known chain of opticians" springs to mind! New 8′ axles were fitted prior to being rebodied by Burlingham. The PD2 that donated its engine was indeed 2648, as you surmise.

David Williamson


19/10/12 – 06:22

David C – sorry for the late reply, but I’ve only just seen your question. I suspect it must have been Kinsley as this was where we knew "Ma" was based. The other night we had a talk in our village Institute by a local historian who, at the end of a very interesting talk on "Keighley between the wars" acclaimed – "Forget official history books written by academics, real history lies with ordinary folk and their memories!" How true – that’s if we can remember things!

Paul Haywood


20/10/12 – 10:22

BRN 281_lr

It’s been interesting to follow the discussion concerning United Services, particularly the recent Burlingham PD1 debate. Thought you may be interested to see another ex Ribble Leyland in the fleet seen here at Doncaster Marshgate bus station.

Andrew Charles


21/10/12 – 08:14

BCK 437_lr

Here are three more of these popular Ribble PD1 to PD2 rebodies, this time with Ezra Laycock of Barnoldswick, photographed by me at their depot in 1966 or 1967. BCK 437 & 452 with an unidentified third one just sneaking into view on the left. (Sorry about the dodgy quality but it took Photoshop and I over an hour to get it to this state !)

John Stringer


21/10/12 – 19:14

The bus just in the shot would have been Laycock 75 (BCK 428), the other two being numbered 74 & 76 respectively. After acquisition (in 1966, I think) these three buses comprised Laycock’s entire double-deck fleet until joined in 1968 by ex-Ribble 1357 (ECK 927), a lowbridge Leyland-bodied PD2/12, upon which I took my psv test in November 1970. Although I worked for Laycock’s for about six months after taking my test, the only one of the buses illustrated above I drove was BCK 452, and this only on two/three occasions. This was because its regular driver (fitter Philip Baker) only had a midweek day off once every three weeks! I couldn’t drive BCK 437 (usually driven by Roy Laycock, who also had a midweek day off every three weeks) since the driver’s seat was jammed in its position, and I couldn’t comfortably reach the pedals! What a disappointment. The third rebuild, BCK 428, had already gone by the time I started with Laycock’s, having been inadvertently driven under the (very) low bridge adjacent to Nelson railway station. It was replaced by ex-City Of Oxford 968 (968 CWL), a Regent V/MCW (becoming Laycock 83), which I also drove on two/three occasions. Of these four double-deckers (Laycock 74/6, 80/3) at least three survived up to the takeover by Pennine (not sure about the fourth), 74 later being privately preserved (in Ribble colours), and 83 subsequently operating for Wild’s, of Barnoldswick.
Anyone know what ultimately happened to BCK 437? The last I heard (which is quite a few years ago now) its status was not known.

David Call


11/11/12 – 17:08

Between 1954 and 1956 I was a pupil at Wakefield College and had United Services school contract to travel between Hemsworth and Wakefield. I don’t have any details of Reg Nos but I do remember the Types of buses used in the era. The three companies involved must have had some kind of rota because they appeared to change a couple of times each week. The most popular double deckers used by all three companies in those days were were Guy Arabs with utility bodies, and in winter freezing cold. Bingleys also ran a Leyland TS7/8, a very fast machine for its age but equally as cold in winter as the Guys. I think it was in 1955 when Bingleys acquired a low bridge Daimler, this was a superb machine compared with what we were used to. The best thing about it was it had an excellent heating system. After leaving college I joined the West Riding Automobile Co, and later moved on to the Yorkshire Traction Co. The job allowed me to drive all the different types of vehicles that I had admired in the past. Happy days.

Barrie Micklethwaite


12/11/12 – 12:00

The United Services only had three partners, Bingley, Cooper Bros and Everett – The closest working relationship was between Bingley and Cooper Bros – Ma Bingley (Phillis) was based at Kingsley whilst Frank Bingley was based at Upton. The Coopers, Lawrence, Walter and Lols son Austin was based in South Kirkby depot opposite the Old Mill.

Vicky Cooper


02/04/13 – 09:55

A slight correction needs to be made to my reference above to Ribble PD2 2648. I could have said that it was Ribble’s only Burlingham-bodied PD2/3, or Ribble’s only PD2 with a Burlingham body to the same style as those on the PD1/3 ‘White Ladies’ (see pic of BRN281, above), or their only PD2 with a lowbridge Burlingham body. There were, of course, later Burlingham-bodied PD2/12s (1431-75). There’s a nice photo of 2648 in its Ribble days here www.sct61.org.uk/rl2648  (click on ‘higher resolution’ – and note the similarity of the bodywork to that on the adjacent East Lancs-bodied ‘White Lady’ PD2). It subsequently ran for a few years with Carruthers, of New Abbey, Dumfriesshire.

David Call


05/12/13 – 16:01

Regarding the United Services debate and the operators W.R. & P. Bingley, Cooper Bros’ and Everett’s
I have seven black and white photographs of some of these fleets which I obtained with others from an ad in an Ian Allan publication in the mid to late 60’s.
They are of :
Bingley’s UWT 875 AEC Regent V in the identical location of 876 shown parked up in Wakefield bus station.
LTO 10 Daimler previously referred to in the Northern Doncaster Bus Station.
DCK 213 Ex Ribble about to leave Wakefield Bus Station.
Cooper Bros’ CCK 646 Ex Ribble Leyland on the stand for Doncaster in Wakefield.
MDT 220 AEC Regent III? Outbound from Wakefield passing Woolworths at the top of Kirkgate and a Daimler single decker.
HWT 48 on the stand in Doncaster.
Now the remaining two have no distinguishing marks and therefore I wonder if these were Everett’s? They are Ex Ribble Leyland BCK 438 unloading in Wakefield Bus Station and Regent III? AJX 243 on the stand in Doncaster.

CRE 93X

CRE 93X_2

The plot widens with another photo in the batch which shows a Dennis coach CRE93? Operated by S. Bingley Luxury Tours, of 53 Westfield Road, Hemsworth. Presumably a relation?

John Ramskill


05/12/13 – 16:53

AJX 243 was owned by W. & H. Everett. It had been new to Hebble (No.28, later 228) in 1948, who withdrew it in 11/59 and sold it to dealer Frank Cowley of Salford. Everett’s purchased it from them in 3/60, and withdrew it in 8/64.

John Stringer


BCK 460_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


13/06/15 – 06:43

Does anyone have a photograph of the heroine of this tale Phyllis "Ma" Bingley?

Willy Coupar


 

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