Old Bus Photos

J Fishwick & Sons – Leyland-MCW Olympian – 521 CTF – 7

521 CTF

521 CTF_2

J Fishwick & Sons
Leyland-MCW Olympian LW1
Weymann B44F

This is sad to say the last week of operation for J Fishwick & Sons of Leyland, Lancashire so I thought it would only fitting for one of their vehicles to be posted this Sunday the 1st November 2015. So here we have 521 CTF a Leyland Olympian LW1 from 1957. She has a Weymann B44F body. Am I right in thinking this was to the HR Olympic what the Tiger Cub was to the Royal Tiger? She’s seen in the museum in Leyland on 19 August 2012 and the second view is a close-up of the maker’s interesting badge.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

03/11/15 – 06:43

Everyone is rightly mourning the seemingly sudden end of Fishwicks. I never lived near it’s main operational area, but may have seen one or two when I lived in the Manchester area as a student in the late 1960’s. At the end of September this year, the wife and I took a short break from the south coast to Blackpool, using a Nat Express service, which went via Preston. So I did see several Fishwick’s buses then. I never though that within a month, that fine livery, and the services provided, would be no more.

Michael Hampton

03/11/15 – 15:04

It’s the age of some of these companies which is so sad, they’re not recent operators to the scene. At least, there is a book about them; David Prescott’s "John Fishwick & Sons 1907-2007: A Century of Transport".

Chris Hebbron

03/11/15 – 15:05

Yes, the end seems to have come very quickly. Other former operators have seen the end on the horizon and have managed to terminate contracts, and tell the public and the Traffic Commissioners in good time. I suppose we’ll find out eventually what went wrong.

Pete Davies

03/11/15 – 16:19

I’m totally baffled Pete by the badge on this vehicle, in particular the name "Olympian." I’ve had a brief scan of the splendid book "The Leyland Bus" and find no reference to such a model. There is plenty of description about the substantial body subframe of the Olympic, but no mention of a "proper chassis" vehicle.
The Tiger Cub and the Royal Tiger both had separate chassis, but differing in substantiality and specification, so please come anyone tell anything they know about the mysterious 1950s "Olympian."

Chris Youhill

03/11/15 – 17:21

Like Chris I too was confused linking this to the Double decker with the same designation. This link should explain origin of this hansom Tiger Cub based variant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyland-MCW_Olympian

Nigel Edwards

04/11/15 – 06:47

I’m still somewhat bemused by the Wiki link stating that it was an INTEGRAL single-deck bus built by Weymann’s for the MCW group, using Leyland Tiger Cub CHASSIS. The words in capitals show the contradiction. I wonder if they were long-lived vehicles? I have to say that the badge is very impressive.

Chris Hebbron

04/11/15 – 06:48

Thank you indeed Nigel for helping me out there, and I’m blushing at being unaware of such a model, or hopefully I did know all those years ago when it was "in the news." Mind you, the first line of the excellent Wikipaedia information throws another red herring into the mix, although correct data occurring thereafter in the piece – it says that the Olympian was an INTEGRAL model incorporating a Tiger Cub CHASSIS !! Obviously they meant Tiger Cub chassis COMPONENTS as correctly detailed from then in the item. Both models were fascinating players in the 1950s belief that "lighter will be economically better" – a theory which proved to be far from totally correct in subsequent decades – a fascinating process to study in depth.

Chris Youhill

04/11/15 – 16:05

According to Glyn Kraemer-Johnson’s authoritative book Britain’s Olympic Hope, the Olympian was unveiled at the 1954 Commercial Motor Show, two years after the last Olympic HR44 had been built. The new model was a lightweight version of the Olympic, using the 0.350 5.76-litre engine as fitted to the Tiger Cub.
Two examples of the Olympian were on show at Earls Court – demonstrator TPH 996 that was later sold to Jones of Aberbeeg, and JUH 469 of Western Welsh. Indeed, Western Welsh was the largest customer for the Olympian, taking 40 in 1956 with the same body as Fishwick’s example above. Fishwick bought six of them, 521-526 CTF. One other was exported to Ceylon and a further four went to Trinidad.
The immediate recognition difference of the Olympian was the lack of the deep aluminium rubbing strip around the entire body at floor level, which was a familiar feature of the Olympic (and many Tiger Cubs).

Peter Murnaghan

04/11/15 – 16:07

Thank you all for your comments, folks. It doesn’t help in resolving the confusion by asking ‘that well-known search engine’ for information on the Leyland Olympian, because that throws out only details of the double decker built after 1980 . . . One has to ask for the Leyland-MCW Olympian! And, yes, integral and chassis are opposite ends of the conventional spectrum. One problem with that encyclopaedia is that it is open to anyone to edit, unlike the traditional book version, which had a team of editors. I believe it’s called ‘progress’.

Pete Davies

05/11/15 – 06:38

Ah, Wikipedia. The concept is admirable, but accuracy often lags well behind. For the past two years I have been ferreting out as much information from as many sources as possible for an article on Tilling-Stevens. The Wikipedia entry on this manufacturer contains several errors that may be found, repeated word for word, elsewhere on the internet, though, like the conundrum of the chicken and the egg, it is impossible to know who copied from whom. Wikipedia should always be taken with substantial helpings of salt.

Roger Cox

05/11/15 – 06:37

Pete- there was no traditional book version of Wikipedia: you may be thinking of Encyclopedia Britannica which is in theory out of date the day after it is printed, and needed the easiest of easy terms to buy. There is a 2010 Edition, new, on Amazon I see for £1500. Wikipedia adds greatly to widening knowledge – I find it useful (especially whilst watching TV quizzes, documentaries etc) and no more slanted than anything else. If you put Leyland Olympian single deck into Google you get this bus- what do you think?


05/11/15 – 16:57

Joe, I must admit I’ve not tried the particular enquiry you mention. Must try it!

Pete Davies

When I wrote the Leyland-MCW Olympian article I said, Leyland Tiger Cub _units_. If it has been edited to _chassis_ I shall attempt to correct it.
Mr Kraemer-Johnson’s book is good but by no mean’s free from errors, one of which is he says HR with the Olympic stands for Home Range, which would be absurd when only one model was initially offered, and would mean presumably that EL stood for Export Lange?
The original error comes from David Kaye’s Blandford Pocket guide of 1968. So errors propagate as often in old media as in new. The difference is I can’t correct the book, nor can Mr Kraemer-Johnson unless it has sold enough for a second edition, which would be highly unusual for a bus book.

Stephen Allcroft

05/11/15 – 16:59

I’m no expert on bus construction, but "integral-ness" seems to be a matter of degree. It isn’t just a matter of the running units being attached to a strengthened body structure: there is often something resembling a chassis frame, and it’s often referred to as exactly that. I remember visiting Fishwicks once when they were working on the Olympian. They said "You can tell it isn’t a Tiger Cub, because the floor sits straight on top of the chassis." Another example was Sentinel’s so-called integrals, where bodyless structures could often be seen driving round the roads of Shropshire while they were in build.

Peter Williamson

06/11/15 – 07:08

At least YOU can change Wikipedia and you can see who changed it! Stephen has changed it back from ‘chassis’ (itself changed by "Mo7838" on 20/11/14) to ‘units’ today!

Geoff Pullin

06/11/15 – 07:08

Export Olympics could be either EL or ER, denoting (yes, you’ve guessed it) Left or Right hand drive. I do not think it wise to start a discussion on the definition of "integral", as one interpretation could include every double decker from the Atlantean and Fleetline onwards!

Allan White

06/11/15 – 16:42

Not all Olympic HR were built at Home and not all ER were exported from their country of manufacture. This is because some were built in South Africa by Bus Builders (South Africa) Ltd. They did export some too, to Rhodesia, and some Addlestone built RHD chassis in the HR series were exported too. BUSAF also built an SA version with a Cummins 220 engine and Twin-Disc transmission for South African railways. Leyland listed the Olympic and Olympian in a 1964 booklet, although the last Olympian had been built six years earlier. www.flickr.com/photos/

Stephen Allcroft


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J Fishwick & Sons – Leyland-MCW Olympian – 524 CTF – 28

J Fishwick & Sons – Leyland Olympian – 524 CTF – 28
Copyright Peter Williamson

J Fishwick & Sons
Leyland-MCW Olympian
Weymann DP40F

This should go nicely with the Fishwick Olympic already posted.  The Olympian was to the Tiger Cub what the Olympic was to to the Royal Tiger – in other words it was a lightweight integral with Tiger Cub running units and an MCW Hermes body built by Weymann.
According to Bus Lists on the Web, only 60 of these were built: most were supplied to Western Welsh, while Fishwicks had six and a few went 524 CTF_badge_lrabroad.
This one was finished to dual-purpose standard, and by the time it was photographed at Newtown on a PSV Circle tour of Shropshire and mid-Wales in June 1968, it had been refurbished (by Burlingham or their successor Duple Northern) to include a flashy mock grille proudly incorporating the Olympian badge.  It was painted in Fishwicks coach livery of the day, which I think was something like lilac and grey – I’m sure someone will be able to confirm or correct that.
Sister vehicle 521 CTF is preserved – see details in the discussion under the Olympic posting at this link.


Photograph and Copy contributed by Peter Williamson

22/04/12 – 07:28

The coach colours were described as Guildford Blue and Arundel Grey. It was in this livery from 1964 to 1969, when it reverted to standard bus colours.

Dave Williamson


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J Fishwick & Sons – Leyland Olympic – NTC 232 – 13

J Fishwick & Sons - Leyland Olympic - NTC 232 - 13

J Fishwick & Sons
Leyland Olympic
Metro Cammell Weymann B44F

I took this photo as I have previously said on a trip to the Fishwick depot at Leyland in Lancashire considering there location it is hardly surprising what vehicles they favoured. There livery was and probable still is a Moss Green and Dark Green which was different but quite nice. Practically all there service routes are local and either start, finish or go through Leyland I think the longer distance routes in the area will be handled by Stagecoach Ribble.
I have read somewhere that the Leyland Olympic and the Royal Tiger more or less began the end of the vertical front engine single decker bus, as the AEC Reliance came along three years later then the article could have a point. The Olympic was built in conjunction with the body builder Metro Cammell Weymann and I think most of them went overseas rather than the home market.
I actually e-mailed J Fishwick & Sons for any information of the above bus, as the company is one of a very few original operators still in existence, and they would have information going back to year dot. They did not even acknowledge receipt of my mail never mind supply information, shame really. The days must have gone when you could write and ask an operator for a fleet list and by return of post it arrived along with a sample set of bus tickets an the odd photo of there latest arrival. The credit crunch must be squeezing quite tight up in Leyland.

Hi, came across this picture searching around for Fishwick bus photo’s, I am from the Leyland area and although I can’t shed any light on this bus, I do have a picture of an almost identical Fishwicks bus taken last week at a bus rally in Leyland. As for the company, I am quite surprised you received no response from your email, Fishwicks seem to be quite keen on the history and tradition and always send a number of buses to local rallies and have a downloadable fleet list on their website. Anyway thanks for the picture.

Graham Rutherford

When I was a lad of 16 years, I was an apprentice to the Jamaica Omnibus Company in Kingston Jamaica. This was in 1968 and the outgoing busses on the fleet at the time were the Leyland Olympic A, B, and C the "C" being the long chassis version. They were replaced with the "G" Busses. These were clutchless with pneumatic shift levers. This photo certainly brings back memories.

Albert Walker

I have tried to email J Fishwick & Sons with regard to the single decker Leyland Olympian twice. I have been ignored by the company on both occasions. Apart from being amazingly ignorant or perhaps not very good at email can anybody tell me anything about them and especially the single decker Leyland Olympian 521 CTF. Do they still have the bus, is it still running? What do you know?

Edward Cambridge

J Fishwicks 521 CTF

Edward, this is a video of the actual Leyland Olympian 521 CTF.

Terry Malloy

You may be able to get more info from:-
Leyland Commercial Vehicle Museum.
King Street
Nr Preston
PR25 2LE


I went to school on Fishwick’s buses 1959-1961, usually coming home on the 4.30PM Preston Fox Street to "Seven Stars via Croston Rosd" (actually service 115 but Fishwicks had no number displays in them days. It was regularly no.13, NTC 232 on the 4.30, usually full especially on market days, with a standing load, and people left behind. Passengers for Croston Road were rightly annoyed when Penwortham passengers were on, as they had the frequent "Earnshaw Bridge" bus (111). All other Croston Road buses were double deckers, but never this one.
Fishwicks had 8 Olympics, and 6 Olympians at this time, mostly for the Chorley routes under Pack Saddle Bridge, and the Bamber Bridge route along Shady Lane.
I could go on….

Bernard Parkinson

Apologies for digressing slightly but where did Bamber Bridge Motor Services fit into this picture? Was their route from Preston to Bamber Bridge exactly same as Fishwicks and if so was there a co-ordinated timetable? Did BBMS operate one route only?

Chris Barker

Fishwick’s Bamber Bridge route was today’s service 117, but ran every 90 minutes then, all day incl evenings and Sundays, but went via Shady Lane before Clayton Brook village was expanded by Central Lancs New Town. As today it ran via Brownedge Road, so did not compete with BBMS. This service always displayed simply "Bamber Bridge" whichever way it was going, despite its destination being Preston or Leyland (Earnshaw Bridge).
BBMS just ran one service direct Preston (Starch House Square)-Bamber Bridge (Hob Inn), plus works services to Leyland and Lostock Hall, In its latter years one service deviated via Duddle Lane (service D), while the direct route became service P (via Pear Tree).

Bernard Parkinson

Olympian 521 CTF is preserved and appears at rallies, not sure who owns it.
Spent most of its life working 109 and 119 routes, but also worked regularly the Sunday morning Croston Road service, (115), 10.12 and 11.12 from Moss Side (Black Bull) to Preston (Fox Street), 10.43 and 11.43 return (Seven Stars via Croston Road), which service actually went beyond Seven Stars up Slater Lane terminating at the Black Bull, then back along Dunkirk Lane to Preston. There was no 12.12 service on a Sunday, but the 1.12PM service resumed with the regular Croston Road bus no.23, LTD 445, a PD2/1, and worked this run every hour until 11.0pm.
The last Olympic to survive was no 17, NTC 234, which was 21 years old when withdrawn, its regular job in its last days was the Vernons Mill to Earnshaw Bridge service, which needed a single decker to get through Factory Lane tunnel under the railway. In earlier days two Olympics together worked this job, such was demand, one just to Lostock Hall,the other working through to Earnshaw Bridge, as shown in the 111 timetable of the day.

Bernard Parkinson

29/01/12 – 11:14

521 CTF Leyland Olympian Single Decker was sold by Fishwick to a man called M.Hayes, Mark Hayes I believe.
He apparently has a private bus collection and does exhibit the bus. Does anybody know anything about him?

E. Cambridge

29/01/12 – 16:30

Yorkshire Woollen had a number of these buses. My wife was a clippie at Frost Hill at Liversedge and remembers these buses being on service 36 between Leeds and Elland. On one occasion a driver drove through very deep flood water quite fast and the water came up through the inspection floor boards.

Philip Carlton

06/03/12 – 12:10

I Found the 521 CTF Bus. It is in the British Commercial Vehicle Museum. I shall visit it this Spring. Thank You All.

Edward Cambridge

25/10/15 – 06:23

It has been reported in the local media that the company went into administration Tuesday and the last service on the 111 route will be today.
A sad ending to a company that had high standards and delighted many of us over the years with the one off and unusual Buses that they operated.
The end of an era and a sad day for the Town of Leyland.

Cyril Aston

26/10/15 – 06:49

Very sad news about Fishwick & Sons. Another old-established and well-respected operator ceases to trade. Is there any indication about what happens to their services, most of which were run in conjunction with Ribble?

Pete Davies

26/10/15 – 06:50

Philip – how interesting to read that your good lady was on the 36 route – in the early 1950s I used to travel on the nearly new Olympics from Leeds to the top of Wide Lane at Morley to visit a friend. That they were of "semi integral" or "chassisless" construction was obvious from the moment the driver pressed the starter as everything from floors to luggage racks and windows began to rattle and thud and the journeys were very uncomfortable – a great shame because they were handsome and lively vehicles, but there we are.

Cyril – what an awful piece of news you’ve had to break to us. Being a traditionalist myself, but fully accepting changes in the Industry, I have always held Fishwick’s in the very highest esteem. Their colours, criticised by many as "dour", "drab" etc, are a tribute to unashamed dignity and smartness and the demise of the Company is a very sad loss indeed. Presumably and hopefully any staff so wishing will be accommodated by other operators in the area, while those sadly wanting to call it a day will be able to do so voluntarily.

Chris Youhill

26/10/15 – 16:14

I understand from the "Lancashire Evening Post" that Stagecoach are taking over the 111 service, but that the others will be subject to the tendering process.

Pete Davies

27/10/15 – 06:38

Just picking up on a couple of points above.
Bernard P – it may have been that Fishwick’s were not authorised to carry through passengers on the 117 service. Such restrictions were rife in the decades following Road Service Licensing (1930) and only began to be seriously eliminated with the so-called County Council ‘agency agreements’ of the late 1970s. Or Fishwicks may have found that it caused less confusion to passengers to do things the way they did.
Are you sure there didn’t come a point on the route where the destination was changed to ‘Earnshaw Bridge’ or ‘Preston’?

Pete D – I think you’ll find that in recent decades the only route which was operated by both Fishwicks and Ribble (to a co-ordinated timetable) was the 109. The fact that most of the other routes were numbered in the Ribble series was a leftover from pre-deregulation days when services were technically ‘joint’ with Ribble (i.e. operated under a joint licence) even though Ribble may have never actually operated on particular routes.
This is how Pennine’s Skipton to Malham service was service 211, in pre-deregulation days the services was ‘joint’ with Ribble, even though I don’t think Ribble ever provided any vehicles. Funny thing is, I don’t think Pennine vehicles carried route numbers until well after deregulation anyway!
There were lots and lots of services where Ribble had a stake, but didn’t provide any vehicles, e.g. the 39 from ‘Manchester’ (actually Salford) to Liverpool, which was mainly (perhaps entirely) operated by LUT.
The converse applied too, the 130 (Bolton-Morecambe) was joint Ribble/Bolton Corporation, but Bolton didn’t operate, instead they did the 122 (Bolton-Southport).

David Call

28/10/15 – 13:25

Further to the above, further reflection seems to say that the Malham service was 210, rather than 211.

David Call

29/10/15 – 16:40

A real shame to hear that Fishwick has gone under. There will be no question of Stagecoach maintaining the brand name, unlike the situation in Nottingham where the South Notts and Pathfinder brands continue in use as a positive marketing feature.

Alan Murray-Rust

22/10/18 – 06:12

Birmingham City Transport also ran 5 Leyland Olympics. 4 where based at Selly Oak Depot, and one JOJ 261 was used on the Hall of Memory/Birmingham Airport service. This one was based near the city centre.
They were Leylands first under floor engined chassisless single deckers. I believe only 23 were built.
I remember being amazed at seeing a engine on its side apparently suspended in mid air as the lack of a conventional chassis gave the impression the engine/gearbox were not attached to anything,
They where very high floored not easy to board for the elderly or disabled.
They where known to as Geeps by the staff at Selly Oak. I loved them, they were very lively and my first speeding caution was in one of them.

John Hipkins

NTC 232_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

09/04/21 – 07:25

The bus in question is a integrated body with a Leyland engine fitted to a Albion box it is in a private collection cause my mates owns it.

Aidy Burrows


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