Old Bus Photos

Bradford Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – EKY 569 – 34

Bradford Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - EKY 569 - 34
Copyright Ian Wild

Bradford Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/3
Leyland H33/27R

This Driver Training bus is seen shining in the sunshine outside Thornbury Depot at an open day in September 1973 a few months prior to the formation of West Yorkshire PTE. It appears to be in splendid condition for its age. Records show its withdrawal from normal service (as fleet number 569) in 1965 so it had a long innings as a driver trainer.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

16/11/12 – 09:00

These Leyland PD2/3s were a batch of 20 bought in 1949/50. The last ones were 20 years old when they were withdrawn in 1970. A mere 2 years before the 1961 AEC Regents.
Somehow I don’t think todays replacements will be around in twenty years time!

Chris Hough

16/11/12 – 11:24

558 from the same batch is preserved. Last time I saw it, it was undergoing major body restoration at Sandtoft but was in running order.
It spent it’s early preservation years taking members of the West Riding Transport Society to rallies and towing the society’s preserved trolleybuses around, a duty shared with Guy Arab II ex County 70.

Eric Bawden

16/11/12 – 11:38

I may upset a few people here, but I’d like to venture to suggest that Bradford Regent Vs 121-5 were withdrawn in 1972 not because they were worn out, so to speak, but simply because Bradford had a surplus of vehicles at the time – Fleetlines 336-55 being more than enough to see off the last Regent IIIs. The earlier Regent Vs, 106-20, would have been past their second recertification at the time.
It has been inferred elsewhere that AV590-engined Regent Vs were a disaster, but AV590 engines continued to be fitted, almost to the end of production, and I’m not aware that Regent Vs generally had a short life – they seemed to last just as long as contemporary PD3s, Arab Vs, and CVG6LXs.
One thing which does seem untoward is the quoting of EKY 569’s lower deck seating capacity as 27, rather than the more usual 26. Yes, this is consistent with the Peter Gould site, which asserts that all of the batch (554-73) were upseated to H33/27R in the mid-fifties. Most or all of Bradford’s post-war motorbuses were upseated in the mid-1950s, but no other batch apparently had the lower deck capacity increased to more than 26. This includes the 41-65 batch of PD2s, which must have been virtually identical to 554-73. A lower deck seating capacity of 27 implies a rearward-facing seat for five behind the bulkhead, and I can’t recall this as being a feature of any Bradford buses.

David Call

16/11/12 – 13:49

David. As one of AECs biggest fans, I would concur that all wet-liner AECs (470 and 590) were not as good as the A2** that preceded them nor the 691/760 that followed. I have long been puzzled, along with folk such as you, as to the vilification of Bradford Regent Vs. Sheffield’s terrain is as bad as, if not worse than, Bradford’s. Over a 100 590 Regent Vs gave sterling service – and a full service life – in and around the city and were quite frankly superior to the (very good) PD Titans let alone the typically iffy PDR1 Atlanteans. Was there something in the Bradford air that disagreed with the Southall fuel system?

David Oldfield

16/11/12 – 13:50

No David, none of Bradford`s buses had a rearwards facing seat, even after "upseating" I also believe that 121 – 125 were withdrawn due to their extra high fuel consumption.
The Titan PD2/3s came in 2 batches, 554-573, and 41 – 65, the later batch not having the front upper deck rain shields, and thus having a more up to date look. Both batches of Titans looked absolutely superb in their original "Tattam" livery, with yellow lining, cream bands, and grey roofs, the livery to which the preserved example is, I believe, returning. Bradford`s operating and maintenance staff highly praised the Titans, and rightly so, BCPT was never really a "Leyland" fleet, the previous Titans being of the TD1 type, and subsequent ones, in 1967, of the PD3A variety, and consequently, they always had something of a "separate" feel about them amongst the more numerous Mark 111 Regents.
This photo brings the memories flooding back! I always preferred a downstairs ride on a PD2, as the tickover "gurgle" used to fascinate me along with the other magnificent sounds, and the sight of the "Leyland metal framed body" badge is something else etched into my memory! Wonderful, high quality vehicles!

John Whitaker

16/11/12 – 15:35

It is the very essence of informed transport enthusiasm for each of us to have especial fondness for a particular marque or model, and this site thrives upon the diversity of discussion that arises from individual preferences. I personally felt that the Mark V Regent, particularly the noisy synchromesh version, did not measure up to the standards of the older Mark III in a number of respects – sacrilegious, I know, but my favourite Regent Vs were the preselective Gardner powered Rochdale examples – but the views of others offering a different opinion are equally valid. Whatever its shortcomings, real or imagined, the Regent V was not a commercial or operating disaster, and it served many operators faithfully for several years. David Call’s explanation for the seemingly early withdrawals of the Bradford examples seems a little strange to me. No properly run operation would wake up to find itself holding an unplanned surfeit of vehicles, thereby necessitating the early withdrawal of entirely serviceable stock. The earlier than expected demise of buses such as these, by no means only in Bradford, surely arose from the introduction of the New Bus Grant Scheme in the 1968 Transport Act. The opportunity of buying a new bus at half cost was seized upon by all operators throughout the bus industry, and perfectly sound Leyland Titans, Guy Arabs, Daimler CVGs as well as Regent Vs, were pensioned off early. Certainly, the Regent V could probably give most of the modern, tinny, lurching buzz boxes a good run for their money, and probably achieve that result at a lower cost in maintenance and fuel.

Roger Cox

16/11/12 – 16:45

GKU 61_lr

Here pictured in April 1970, again on training duties, is one of the later batch of Leyland H30/26R bodied PD2/3s, GKU 61, delivered in 1950. This bus presents a bit of a puzzle. According to Peter Gould, the fleet numbers and registrations matched, which should make this bus No. 61, but the fleet number 60 is clearly displayed. Do our experts have an answer, please?

Roger Cox

16/11/12 – 17:14

Hi Roger,
Bradford’s "0" series numbers were specifically for what they called service vehicles, such as tuition buses, grit wagons, tower wagons etc, and had no connection whatever with the fleet numbers of passenger stock.

John Whitaker

17/11/12 – 06:47

Many thanks, John. That explains it. This site is a goldmine.

Roger Cox

17/11/12 – 06:48

The AEC engine types that David Oldfield refers to as predecessors of the AV470/AV590 were the A208 and A218.
The A208 was the original engine fitted to 9612E/9612A which was found to run hot when driven ‘hard’ and the A218 had an external water pipe feeding coolant to the rearmost cylinders to overcome this.
The engine fitted to the Regent RT was the A204, which also received the external water pipe modification but without any change to the type number, which remained A204.

Michael Elliott

17/11/12 – 06:49

Bradford borrowed some AEC Regents from Huddersfield in the final months before the formation of the PTE. This may have been in part due to vehicle shortages as Bradford decided to buy no more new vehicles after 1972 as they were not in favour of the PTE and did not wish to furnish it with new stock. Certainly in the early years of the PTE a number of Leeds Daimlers saw service in Bradford to cover shortages.

Chris Hough

17/11/12 – 06:50

There are comments elsewhere on the BRADFORD thread about changes to the livery. Some apparent changes are caused by the lighting conditions, the film or the way it was processed – for example, I have a Royal Blue coach next to a Birmingham PS2 in one photo, and they both look alike, whether they were or not in reality. In the views above, are they really different shades of blue, or is there an outside factor?
Nice views, by the way!

Pete Davies

17/11/12 – 06:53

Are the colours of these two buses supposed to be the same or is it a photo thing? If the same, which of the two is the more realistic?

Chris Hebbron

17/11/12 – 06:53

Both of these beautiful vehicles are presented in a way that would disgrace many modern operator – and they were only for driver training at the time! Well done, Bradford.

David Oldfield

17/11/12 – 06:54

I said I might upset people – I probably have, but I’ll probably upset a few more yet. AEC’s 470/590 engines may well have been widely criticised, but they must have had something going for them, or they wouldn’t have been introduced, and operators wouldn’t have bought them by the thousand.
I don’t think Bradford’s Regent Vs were universally disliked – Stanley King may have disliked them, and he was inclined to make his views known.
As for Bradford 121-5 having excessively high fuel consumption, I’ve heard this one before – but why would they be any more thirsty than 126-225, which had the same engines? The two-pedal control wouldn’t have made any great difference.
I’m now going to take Roger Cox to task for his criticism of my suggestion as to why 121-5 were withdrawn when they were. At the height of the bus-buying boom (prompted by the ‘bus grant’) there was a two-year waiting list for new buses – any operator who could accurately predict how many vehicles would be coming due for replacement in two years time would need not only good business sense but a degree in clairvoyance. To have predicted within five, for a fleet of over three hundred, doesn’t seem bad to me. Don’t forget that operators were more likely to err on the side of underestimation – and finished up keeping vehicles they had been planning to dispose of.

David Call

17/11/12 – 08:39

As Chris says, the Bradford Blue has come up before. Years ago, I had problems trying to obtain a consistent blue in silk screen work, and eventually those who knew told us that blue was a translucent colour (or somesuch) and it depended on the colour of the primer. On the other hand, 35mm colour film did vary: I think Fuji was bluish and Kodak reddish- perhaps!


17/11/12 – 08:39

EKY 55x

Another picture of a PD2 in the Bradford Training fleet. I took this hurriedly composed shot around 1969/70 but can’t quite make out the registration number. It looks like EKY 55?
Can anybody positively identify it?

Eric Bawden

17/11/12 – 13:29

Re film colour. I’ve been shooting aircraft on AGFA, Fuji and a much smaller amount on Kodak slide stock since the early 1970s. I also have a fair number of prints/negatives from various film types.
I’m currently scanning around 14,000 aircraft slides, 2,000 prints plus all the family photos using an Epson V700.
Colour rendering and quality varies. The Epson tends to scan to a blue bias whilst Fuji slide stock of the period has an inherent green tinge. Agfa tends to a slight red and, if the slides have suffered from age, those tendencies are amplified.
Kodak is a nightmare to scan and, thankfully, forms the minority of my shots by a long way.
I find that I have to do some colour work in Photoshop with most slides older than 15 -20 years.
Blue as a colour does have inherent pigment problems. I was a regular visitor to Bradford from a young age and there was always some difference in shades between their buses in the same way as the off white of Stockport’s scheme changed with not very great age.
Am I right in thinking that the shade of blue in later years was deliberately darker than in the early – mid 1950s possibly to overcome fading?
Going back to the comparison between the two photos I’d say, looking at the sky, that Ian’s photo is slightly overexposed either in the original or in scanning but the blue, were the colour temperature and exposure corrected, would approximate to an 1950s blue.
Roger’s photo also has the sky over exposed, presumably to have enough exposure for the bus, but the green of the grass is more accurate. Having said that the blue red balance is out (look at the road surface and the various windows) so the blue of the bus will also be out.
This: www.flickr.com/photos/1  illustrates how the colour is affected by light and shade and is closer to Ian’s shot.
Here is the same bus on a grey day: www.flickr.com/photos/2  which is how I remember the colour (perhaps it was always grey when I went to Bradford (!) but again shows variation and is closer to Roger’s shot. Also look how much richer the cream is in the first of the Flickr shots compared to the second and the shots in this thread.
Unfortunately the variation in film stock, exposure, processing and scanning is not going to help either justify or correct our memories where such issues arise. The only way to know for sure is to obtain the colour number used for the paint and then try to find a colour chart.

Phil Blinkhorn

17/11/12 – 14:37

The last six months of BCT was not a period of great glory. Last week I met some friends in Leeds from my days in the bus industry at that time including Brian Eastwood, who was then Assistant Traffic Superintendent at BCT.
Brian reminded me of the day that the Chief Engineer, Bernard Barrington Brown [who was known as ‘B-cubed’] announced that there was a vehicle crisis. John Hodgson Hill, the Traffic Superintendent, then set Brian and Chief Inspector Fred Wilkinson the task of selecting running boards (vehicle schedules) that could be dropped.
I seem to remember that eventually a list of boards that could be dropped was agreed upon and Arthur Wheet, who operated the address-o-graph and printing machine on the 6th floor of the Head Office at Forster Square, produced the necessary passenger notices of journeys that would no longer be operating.
As I recall the problem came in part from a large number of vehicles requiring re-certification and I seem to remember that a great many of the first batch of 15 Leyland Atlanteans delivered in 1967 were out of service during the period immediately prior to the PTE taking-over.

Kevin Hey

17/11/12 – 17:26

Some interesting comments about colour rendering! It may seem a silly question – but I’m from British West Bradford, not the Yorkshire one, so I think I have an excuse! – is the 0 series a number or a letter?

Pete Davies

18/11/12 – 08:13

I think the "0" is a number, Pete, not a letter, but I do not really know, and does it have any significance anyway? !!.
Regarding the shade of blue. This was adopted in 1942, inspired by the loaned Southend trolleybuses, and never as far as I know, altered until the demise of BCT in 1974, although it is possible that changes occurred as paint ranges changed, evolved, or improved over the years. There always seemed to be a pigment problem, with great shade variations, some buses taking on a distinctive turquoise hue as the paint aged between repaints. This was particularly apparent with certain vehicles, 611 being notoriously remembered. It must also be remembered that the industrial atmosphere changed for the better in later post war years, with less acid based colour deterioration.
I also well remember the BCPT practice of "TUV" , where little black letters above the platform exit referred to the date of the last "touch up and varnish".
There was nothing smarter than a Bradford bus straight out of the paint shops, but, unfortunately, they never retained this shiny smartness for long!
Strange too, that the "new blue" was adopted in wartime, when many motorbuses were decked out in khaki, but I believe that trolleybuses were not subject to quite the same WW2 restrictions as were motorbuses.

John Whitaker

18/11/12 – 08:13

It will be difficult to answer that one! I have a typed and duplicated official Bradford fleet list from the period and this shows the vehicles as "O.60", but unfortunately that particular typewriter used the same character for the number and the letter, so you just can’t be sure. However, a letter would make more sense if you put the full stop in. As far as I can make out though, it never appeared on the vehicles themselves.

David Beilby

18/11/12 – 08:15

The subject of Eric Bawden’s photo is EKY 556. This was formerly fleet number 556. It was transferred to driver training duties as 067 in December 1970, was renumbered 033 in April 1972 and was sold for scrap to Hartwood Exports in February 1974.

Michael Elliott

18/11/12 – 08:16

Pete, does that mean you are really the Clitheroe Kid?

Phil Blinkhorn

18/11/12 – 12:11

No, Phil, but a former boss (the one who told me the Geoff Hilditch version of the advent of the Dennis Dominator, having worked with GH at one time) was. He looked too much like Eric Morecambe for his own good and was rather accident prone, but that’s another story altogether!

Pete Davies

18/11/12 – 12:12

Thank you for that information, Michael. If you look carefully you can just make out the fleet number 067, something that doesn’t show up on the original!
From what you say I think I must have taken it in 1971, whilst on trolleybus photography ‘duty’.

Eric Bawden

11/01/13 – 14:28

In the early 1960s I attended school in Harrogate Road Bradford. One school special was provided by Bankfoot depot, usually an EKY PD2 or now and then a PKY Mark V. Normal services from Ludlam Street depot were RTs/HKW Mark 111/GKU PD2s.
One bus which seemed to perform the best was PD2 573 even with a full load it seemed to power up the hills.
Does anyone know if any modifications were made to the O.600 engine to improve performance. I think 573 was the last PD2 to be withdrawn in 1969.
With regard the school special, what duty did the bus do on reaching Bradford City Centre

Geoff S

12/01/13 – 13:51

Nothing special about 573 that I am aware of Geoff.
I often rode on this batch in their later years, sometimes as duplicates on the 80 route in the Mk V era, and I was, like you, always amazed at their performance. They could all, both batches, have soldiered on for another 20 years or so! In their earlier years, they absolutely "flew" up Manchester Road, so that you thought, apart from that superb "gurgling " sound, that they were trolleys! Wonderful buses.

John Whitaker

13/01/13 – 07:22

Phil has given an excellent resume on colour, but Bradford blue and similar were prone to shade changes due to weather and also what base coat was being used under the blue. Although the blue would have been specified to the Paint suppliers whose tolerances would have been slightly different, the base coats could vary enormously – sometimes referred to as batch to batch variation, but often due to using a cheaper less opaque filler.After university I worked 4 years in surface coatings and was given the job to match the white from an artist impression of the new Hartley’s jam jar. Despite us having hundreds of shades of white I had to start from scratch and can remember adding some yellow and then a drop of black to make it look cleaner. Later I would work 8 years for Bayer who at the time owned Agfa so nearly all my slides used Agfa film as we got them at staff prices. These days as a modeller Bradford blue still causes problems – manufactures saying the model is finished in Bradford Blue. There is no modelling paint which is a direct match for these vehicles – you are advised to make up your own colour blend, or like me don’t chose to paint your bus Bradford blue – stick to Tilling Green which is much easier and readily available.
Why did the New Hartleys Jam Jar fail – well not for the work we did on the paint, but although the sides were slanted inwards for customers to grab them easier from the shelves, the supermarkets found they could get less of these jars on the shelf than conventional ones with vertical sides. – sorry for going ‘Off Piste’

Ken Jones

13/01/13 – 14:09

Some paint colours are unstable. I moved into a house with a bluey colour on the window frames which needed repainting. The garage had a couple of old tins of Ripolin turquoise and I decided to repaint the frames, which finished up an accurate turquoise colour. After about two years, however, it had returned to the colour I first saw. Part weathering, but perhaps part salty air, being half a mile from the beach. However, the latter was not an influence in Bradford!
My recollection of the Hartleys’ jars were that the new shape only held 12ozs rather than the earlier one pound jars, but costing the same. But maybe that was on another occasion.

Chris Hebbron

13/01/13 – 15:14


Following on the question of colour, particularly Phil’s earlier comments, this montage photo shows just how dependent we are on our subjective assessment. The two views are consecutive, taken just a short time apart, at the same location, in the same lighting conditions and of course on the same film. The two slides have been stored in identical conditions, but in separate boxes. The film is one of my rare forays away from Agfa, being Fujicolor, and has survived reasonably well in terms of colour casts. The originals look a bit brownish in the shadows.
The difference in the outcome is due to the fact that they were scanned at very different times, although with the same scanner. The trolleybus was scanned in 2003, the PD2 4 years later. The trolleybus was one of my early scans, before I had become fully versed in what could be done in photoshop. It is definitely over-saturated when I now look at it, but it must have seemed OK at the time.
Scanners do have a tendency to increase contrast relative to the original. The PD2 is perhaps a bit undersaturated, but looks fairly true-to life in terms of colour balance. The shade of blue doesn’t look to bad.
The photo’s were taken on the last day of normal trolleybus service, 24 March 1972. The PD2 as well must have been close to the end of its working life, being already 23 years old.

Alan Murray-Rust

13/01/13 – 17:23

Quick comment on Hartley Jam Jars as I spent so long working on them – they were 12oz at request of shoppers who complained about having to buy 1 pound jars of things like Robertsons Jam, although some shops sold half pound jars of their marmalade. Initial pricing reflected that the Hartleys jars were smaller, then supermarkets moved prices to be same as lb jars, so Chris is right in remembering prices but other supermarkets just gave up and reduced the price of the Hartleys jars to clear space. He’s definitely right about paint being unstable both in settling out and application. Our back faces south and the colours are never the same as the front although black & white has worked best – we have had blue & white and currently red & white – think we might just go for white only next time.

Ken Jones

14/01/13 – 07:08

There are so many variables with paint colour. Memory doesn’t help nor, I understand, do some of the modern pigments which have different chemical properties to those of 40-60 years ago.
I’m told that even using the same colour numbers to the same mixture cannot guarantee a match and then, of course, there is the absence of lead which would have been used in the white base, certainly prior to the 1960s.
As far as Alan’s pics go, to my eye neither is spot on and they illustrate the problem with scanners as the trolley is over saturated, the PD2 is about right for its age but the grass and houses look too pale.
It wasn’t any simpler in the days of black and white. Red, for instance, could be rendered on film in good lighting conditions as anything from light grey to the deepest black depending on the film used.

Phil Blinkhorn

14/01/13 – 13:14

Well, what a range of colours when one looks down these posts! The original photo may not be accurate, but is probably my favourite, albeit allowing for my colour-blindness. But then, after red, my favourite colour is among the greys and I mean this most sincerely, folks. Now you’ll tell me it’s green! And that gloss on the lower deck panels – very impressive!

Chris Hebbron

14/01/13 – 14:22

I was born about half a mile away from this location, and both blues look pretty good to me! In reality, as has been stated before, BCT buses demonstrated great variations when it came to shade and gloss, as the colour did not wear well. However, there was no finer sight than a BCT vehicle straight out of the paint shops!
I firmly believe that such speedy deterioration was worsened after the appointment of Mr Humpidge, in late 1951. He sought to reduce costs, and rightly so, but his elimination of cream bands, yellow lining, and later, grey roofs, seemed to emphasise this deterioration.
The full glory of the earlier "Tattam" livery is a sight to behold, as can be witnessed on 746 at Sandtoft, but the irony is that the pre-war Prussian Blue was not so prone to deterioration. I was brought up though, with Tattam`s "New Blue" as inspired by the Southend loans, and I have this livery etched on my psyche from childhood! To me, the perfect example of a classic livery.

John Whitaker

06/07/13 – 07:02

Catching up with the threads on Bradford City Transport, I am not the only one to have heard the reasons for the early withdrawal of Regent Vs 121-125 and do believe it was because of higher fuel consumption caused by Monocontrol gearbox, which is the old Automatic v Manual car argument. Bradford Regent Vs received very bad reports mainly because the injector pipe clips were not replaced at overhaul, and the subsequent vibration caused pipes to fracture. I am told by someone in the know that a fitter was stationed in the city centre on a full time basis. The problem was later solved by re-designing the pipe ends so they were more akin to Gardner injector pipes. Having had the problem occur on preserved example 6220 KW, for the same reasons, I can assure readers that it still happens!!!. Most wet liner engines are suspect as the seal between cylinder block and cylinder liner is of vital importance in not allowing water into the sump. AV470 and 590 are no different to Bristol BVWs in this respect and they suffered from similar problems. On the subject of fuel consumption, BCT 224 and 225 were experimentally fitted with AV690 engines. Needless to say the experiment did not last long and no other vehicles were converted.

David Hudson

06/07/13 – 18:11

The Dennis O4 and O6 engines were of wet liner configuration, and reputedly gave very little trouble, despite being of advanced design with four valves per cylinder and having the timing gears located at the rear of the block. The post war smooth running O6 in particular proved very reliable, and became popular with independent operators who had only basic workshop facilities for maintenance, so it would seem that the engineering skills at Guildford were not matched by manufacturers elsewhere in Britain.

Roger Cox

01/05/18 – 06:12

From what I can remember from the 60s and 70s BCT brought in Scania’s to be used as the first O.M.O. bus and was viewed at Duckworth lane depot, they tried to incorporate a self pay right coinage machine on the front platform…

Mr Anon

EKY 569_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

18/12/18 – 07:22

Mr Anon mentions the Scalia which ran in Bradford These were originally ordered by Leeds but all were diverted to Bradford by the PTE Like all Scalia Metropolitans they were very prone to corrosion and had quite short lives with the PTE.

Chris Hough


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