Old Bus Photos

Midland Red – BMMO CL3 – UHA 196/220 – 4196/4220

Midland Red - C3L - UHA 196/220 - 4196/4220

Midland Red - C3L - UHA 196/220 - 4196/4220
Copyright Diesel Dave

Midland Red (Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Co)
Plaxton C36F (1961/2)

I thought I would send you these two photos that I took in Eastbourne in the late 60’s showing two of Midland Red’s CL3 touring coaches, these started life in 1954 as C3 class vehicles with C37C bodies by Willowbrook. During the winter of 1961/2 sixteen of the type, from a total of I think sixty three, had their bodies removed their chassis extended and new Plaxton C36F bodies fitted they were then reclassified as CL3. They entered service in the summer of 1962 in a livery of all over pale stone colour with red being confined to the fleet name lettering but for the next season they reverted to what most people would consider to be their proper colour of red and black as shown in the photo of 4196 the only remnant of the stone being the narrow band below the windows. The other photo of 4220 taken at a later date shows a different livery with the black replaced by a insipid maroon and the stone coloured band removed which to me made them look somewhat drab as the black roof always seemed to me to be the finishing touch of class to Midland Red coaches.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

05/03/13 – 14:41

I agree Dave, the black roof was the finishing touch. It worked equally well on North Western livery too

Les Dickinson

05/03/13 – 16:29

Dave, There was a practical reason for replacing the Black roofs, though I totally agree they finished a resplendent livery. As with the C5’s on Motorway duties it was removed for ‘passenger comfort’ – Black being a great conductor of heat ! Some of the C5 coaching stock also had a white panel (centre roof) over the later darker maroon.

Nigel Edwards

06/03/13 – 06:54

I have to agree that the black roof looked a lot better. What a pity it didn’t "work" in the passenger comfort department. I used to work with Architects who won design awards for their schools. Roofs leaked like sieves but they looked good. Perhaps, one day, we’ll have something that looks good and works as well: sorry, I was forgetting the all-Leyland PD2!

Pete Davies

06/03/13 – 09:28

Yes Pete, but look how long ago that was – and Colin didn’t have the benefit of computers or a PhD to help (?) him…..

David Oldfield

06/03/13 – 15:31

These coaches carried no name badges, although technically speaking they were, with their long windows and forced air ventilation, Panoramas. The Embassy-style grille was required to supply air to the C3’s front-mounted radiator, Similar bodies fitted to Bedford VALs were badged ‘Val’.

Philip Lamb

06/03/13 – 16:42

From a (sadly) bye-gone golden age of Plaxtons.

David Oldfield

19/03/13 – 07:25

Slight correction-they were CL3s, not C3Ls.

Phil Drake

Copy changed thanks for that Phil


20/03/13 – 16:33

On the 19th March 2013, around 15:00 hours, an AEC Plaxton bodied coach drove up Baslow Road in Totley Sheffield (S17). It was a middle to later 1960s coach, I was so excited I forgot to take the reg no, but I recognised the style as a Panama Elite or similar. We used to go to many football matches in the 70s on these. It was driven by a lady who waved back when I gave her the thumbs up. It was full of more elderly people. Some seats were reversed to make a table type seating arrangement. I think it had table lamps. Although possibly a 53? seater, it was full but may have had not much over 30 people on board. On the boot lid it had Cheshire in large letters. How come you never have your camera when you need it. It is a 30mph zone, but was more than capable of keeping up with traffic.

Andy Fisher

26/11/13 – 13:16

4220 was based at Nuneaton garage for a while in the early 1970s. By 1972 it had been sold to a small coach operator in the Manchester area. I don’t think they knew what they were taking on… late one Saturday night we received a call from Rugby asking us to attend a breakdown at the A5/A46 junction, where a certain ex-4220 had expired while on a private hire with its new owner, to its old stomping ground. The owners claimed there was an agreement whereby they could call on Midland Red to provide backup in such an eventuality. The Rugby staff took this as fact and asked us to supply a replacement vehicle if they recovered 4220 as we were without our towing vehicle. So we attended taking LC11 Leopard coach 6243 WHA 243H and driver who conveyed the passengers home to Lancs, while 4220 was found to have a dropped valve/seized engine and was towed to Nuneaton. On the Monday there was a bit of a stink as no such agreement existed…the owners were told to bring a substantial sum for the repairs and vehicle hire, or else 4220 would not be released to them. The money paid, 4220 left, certainly in better shape than before, with new piston and cylinder head, and I never saw it again.

Michael F


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