Old Bus Photos

Oldham Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – NBU 502 – 402

Oldham Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - NBU 502 - 402
Copyright unknown.

Oldham Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/20
Roe H33/27R

A couple of weeks ago I commented on the Pommard and Devon Cream livery introduced in 1966, after the very short lived ‘Blue’ livery experiment with NBU 502 (Fleet No 402).
Well here it is, seen in a rather grubby state, in Union Street, operating on the Service ‘A’ Greenacres/Bar Gap Road – Limeside (Laburnum Road) via Chapel Road. The service was renumbered ‘18’ in the April (1st) 1968 renumbering exercise.
The bus was transferred to SELNEC and became 5302 in their numbering scheme.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth

10/04/12 – 19:45

I may be wrong but I seem to recall that this bus had a yellow band between the two shades of blue instead of the white band shown in the photograph at some time during the experiment. Can anybody confirm? I used to see it on the 9 in Rochdale fairly frequently.

Philip Halstead

11/04/12 – 06:08

This blue livery reminds me of the equally abysmal colour scheme of Cambus of Cambridge, which blended in astonishingly well with the Fenland fogs.

Roger Cox

11/04/12 – 06:09

The original scheme was more like you describe, but the yellow was the "Roe" waistrail and all above was light blue. It looked quite different! It seems to have been changed quite quickly.

David Beilby

11/04/12 – 16:00

Would that, Roger, be the livery of white with a variety of horizontal stripes of various blue hue? It put me off visiting that area again for some twenty years!!

Chris Hebbron

12/04/12 – 05:54

Chris, the original Cambus attempt at a livery was overall pale "Cambridge Blue" with cream trim, and the insipid effect made buses virtually invisible at dusk and in fog, as well as showing up the road dirt rather prominently. A variant for dual purpose vehicles had stripes of darker blue across the vehicle front and in a reverse slope along the sides. As you say, the visual effect was awful. Later, Cambus revised the bus livery to show a darker blue on the lower half of the vehicle, with the pale blue above, very similar in appearance to the Oldham experiment. When one remembers the inspired company liveries of the past – City of Oxford, Aldershot and District, Southdown, East Kent to name but a few – and the neat simple paint schemes of the ex Tilling group, plus the multiplicity of interesting municipal colours, the present day rash of garish garbs seem to be the end results of opium induced nightmares.

Roger Cox

13/04/12 – 06:15

Your so right, Roger. Even today, the most dignified liveries are the traditional ones. Thankfully, a few operators still respect that principle.

Chris Hebbron

13/04/12 – 17:23

I particularly enjoyed the description in the caption of Rotherham’s depot as being a ‘gloomy’ looking place. Sandwiched between the River Don on one side and the canal on the other, the Rawmarsh Road garage was prone to flooding in heavy rains, such that the inspection pits would sometimes fill with water, making it very gloomy indeed if you were trying to work in there. In PTE days, some of the fitters actually ‘acquired’ a rowing boat left behind by some contractors working on the river bank, and used it, painted in PTE coffee and cream (!), to row across to the fish and chip shop at lunch times!
There was a set of steps leading down to the canal bank from the roadway, which rose up to pass over the railway alongside the garage, which were ideally placed from which to stand, with notebook and pencil, and watch the comings and goings of the Crossleys and Bristols in the yard, while the single-deck trolleys of Rotherham and Mexboro and Swinton swept by every few minutes on the road; from this schoolboy spotter’s point of view, it didn’t get much better.

Dave Careless

13/04/12 – 17:33

OCPTD First Blue Livery_lr
Copyright unknown.

I have found a photo of OCPTD NBU 502 in the ‘First’ blue livery with the yellow band, as mentioned by David Beilby.
I’ll let you and your contributors decide which is the better livery of the 2 in the picture. I know which is my favourite.
Note the Salford DD in the back ground hired in after the fleet check by the ‘Ministry Man’ in 1965, which dates the picture to late that year.
Not my copyright, but I have had it in my collection for many years. No mention of the original photographer.

Stephen Howarth

14/04/12 – 07:08

That’s not a Salford Daimler, the photograph predates that affair. It’s one of two Liverpool Crossleys bought for spares by Oldham. The engine of one of them ended up in preserved Oldham Crossley 368.

David Beilby

16/04/12 – 07:34

The blue bus (402) took to the road in September 1963, but within a few weeks the livery was changed to the two shades of blue separated by a white band. I preferred the first version. The interior was unchanged – dark red trim and upholstery: a neighbour of mine said that she found this a disappointment!! Presumably a blue bus should have a blue interior, as (at the time) Rochdale Corporation’s buses had. This was also the case with Lytham St.Anne’s Corporation buses.
402 was one of three buses to receive the Pommard and cream livery in July 1966. The others were Met. Cam. 419 (PBU 919) and Northern Counties 457 (PBU 957). The whole fleet then received this livery up to 1970 with the exception of Roe PD1 246 (DBU 246, preserved); Roe Titan PD2 360 (FBU 647); and Roe Titan 450 (PBU 950); withdrawn in 1971.

D. Butterworth

19/02/15 – 10:38

I might be a bit late putting this comment in but as far as I remember Oldham 246 (DBU246) did receive the Pommard and cream livery. I was a passenger on her when she was the first bus of the morning on the number 8 (later 20) route from the top of Featherstall Road to Hollinwood back in 1966/1967.

Eric Langley

19/02/15 – 15:52

I can bring to mind only two examples where two shades of blue have looked good on buses because it is a feat that is difficult to pull off.
West Brom’s post war double deck fleet, bar the rear engined buses, look absolutely superb with two shades of blue. The trick there was to keep them well apart.
Manchester’s airport coaches, both single and double deck, carried the two shades well mainly because each complimented the other. There was a time in the mid 70’s when dissatisfaction by the public with the orange and white SELNEC livery led to a campaign to have the fleet in two tones of blue. It came to nought. Perhaps someone remembered the Oldham examples.

Orla Nutting

19/02/15 – 17:25

I wonder if the Manchester airport buses inspired the second Oldham scheme.

Phil Blinkhorn

20/02/15 – 07:39

Orla Nutting mentions that there was a proposal to have the SELNEC PTE fleet painted in to a two tone blue livery but nothing came of it, perhaps because of the ill fated Oldham scheme.
It is worth mentioning here that Harry Taylor, ex Oldham Corporation General Manager was the Fleet Development Engineer of SELNEC.
Enough said.

Stephen Howarth

20/02/15 – 07:41

Orla, I would agree with you about the West Bromwich livery, but I can think of a few more superb liveries using two shades of blue separated by cream. First, in my opinion one of the finest liveries ever – that of W. Alexander. Then there was South Yorkshire of Pontefract, and still with us – Delaine of Bourne.

John Stringer

20/02/15 – 07:42

Another two blues, Orla- South Yorkshire. Boat race colours. Chris Y will tell you they always looked good.


20/02/15 – 09:33

The South Yorkshire livery did work until someone was let loose with too much white paint, a spray gun and oversized lettering.

Phil Blinkhorn

20/02/15 – 11:32

Quite right, Phil. I was only thinking of the classic original South Yorkshire livery, the later soap powder box style was awful to my mind.

John Stringer

20/02/15 – 16:26

The Delaine, I’ll concede, impossible not to particularly when they’ve produced so many winning combinations of the two shades of blue over the years albeit the navy is almost black at times. Again, the application of white (or cream on some coaches) has enhanced the blues.
South Yorkshire, I’m afraid not for me; undistinguished.
I haven’t a problem with the colour blue it’s simply that the application of pale blues is a bit hit and miss (a bit like City is suppose) but more often miss. Rotherham, Rochdale (until nondescript cream ruled) Eastbourne & Swindon were about right with their blue and white/cream applications, Leigh and Middlesborough less so with their shade of blue and I was indifferent to Ashton’s so called peacock blue. Same for Bradford and Preston. Accrington’s was stunning with red and Birkenhead carried it off with pale blue with just the right amount of white/cream relief.
There’s more but I won’t bore more and don’t get me going on two shades of green.
BTW, I totally fail to understand why Oldham wanted a change in the first place. First it changed the rather nice plum colour to Pommard, a ghastly washed out colour, then this blue two tone (maybe the Gen Mgr had a Hillman Minx of this period).

Orla Nutting

20/02/15 – 16:27

DBU 246

D. Butterworth mentions that the whole Oldham Corporation fleet received the Pommard and Devon Cream livery, "with the exception of PD1, DBU 246………."
Attached is a picture of 246 in the ‘Grave Yard’ behind Oldham Depot displaying the afore mentioned livery.
I hope that this clarifies the situation.

Stephen Howarth

21/02/15 – 07:04

When I was at Oldham Harry Taylor the General Manager, had a Ford Corsair – Registration GBU 1. The Departmental staff car, was, however a Hillman Minx. It was painted black, which the Chauffeur kept immaculate, with red upholstery, with the Municipal crest on the doors.

Stephen Howarth

21/02/15 – 12:30

The Ashton Peacock Blue was reasonable but not a patch on the patriotic blue white and red that covered the fleet until late 1954. Oldham’s Pommard and Cream was just *~!**@& The Pommard looked like undercoat.

Phil Blinkhorn

Its either means a naughty word or Phil’s predictive typing has gone wonky again.

21/02/15 – 12:32

There were still quite a few vehicles in the older crimson and white livery when Oldham was subsumed into SELNEC. These fell into three categories:
1. Vehicles withdrawn when still in the crimson and white livery. Quite a lot of the older stock came into this category but one of the last "tin-fronts" 453 (PBU 953) was an early withdrawal and 425/6/50 followed later. There was also stock withdrawn before the formation of SELNEC that was still around, such as accident-damaged PD3 108 and four of the five Crossley-bodied PD2s.
2. Vehicles repainted into pommard and cream in the first few months before the new orange and white livery was implemented. Several "tin-front" PD2s came into this category but so, much to our surprise at the time, did one ex-Bolton, two ex-Sheffield PD2s and even more unexpected the last PD1/3 246 (DBU 246) referred to above.
3. Vehicles repainted directly into orange and white. Only one "tin-front" PD2 came into this category which was Metro-Cammell bodied 421 (PBU 921). The remainder were PD3s 101/2/4/5/7 and Tiger Cubs 111/2/6, the last of which was the final vehicle in service in crimson.

David Beilby

22/02/15 – 07:50

Absolutely nothing to do with buses but I rather liked the later BR DMU blue with white window surrounds colour scheme (the earlier overall blue looked dreadful)

Ian Wild

22/02/15 – 07:51

Why do operators see a need to change their image so radically? – especially when the change isn’t for the best. Whatever, as I’ve posted on another thread, last month I happened to see First’s Wright Eclipse(?) that is decked-out in heritage Pommard/cream . . . and I thought it looked superb (although that was against a back-drop of the current First livery).

Philip Rushworth

08/04/15 – 06:18

I agree with Philip Rushworth about the single deck Wright Eclipse bus looking good; a pity that a double deck version could not have been chosen -in the crimson lined livery – found on many of Oldham’s buses up until the mid 1960s.

David Butterworth

03/12/15 – 10:42

Citibus, one of those cheap and nasty firms which sprung up after deregulation had some Atlanteans in a similar 2 tone blue to the Oldham PD2

David Pomfret


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