Old Bus Photos

East Midland – Guy Arab – GNN 136/437 – D36/7

East Midland - Guy Arab - GNN 136/437 - D36/7
Copyright R H G Simpson

East Midland Motor Services
Guy Arab
Roe L27/28

At first glance, this pair are identical, but not so. See the differing sizes, and positioning, of the headlamps, and also the deeper edge of the canopy on D37 (far Vehicle).
These were delivered in 1945, then rebodied by Roe in 1954. I cannot be certain, but think that the seating capacity was L27/28R, both before and after. See also the paper stickers inside the lower saloon, perhaps telling of timetable changes, or advertising EMMS’ other services, sometimes advertising for drivers/conductors.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

14/04/13 – 08:23

Incredible, Les. Never seen these in original guise but have seen the rebodies. As usual, the new bodies were beautiful and beautifully made – but interestingly, they were quoted as being 26′ 9" long. [Was this done simply by building the body longer, or was the chassis extended?] Roe rebuilt literally hundreds of war-time Guys and Daimlers but the sad thing is that few, if any, lasted more than ten years with their new bodies. East Midland, Tracky, County and Woolen spring readily to mind as do the, penny numbers of AECs and Daimlers for Sheffield A fleet.

David Oldfield

14/04/13 – 18:39

and of course, Sheffield Guy 45 David, rebuilt by Roe for the B fleet.

John Darwent

14/04/13 – 18:39

During the war official dispensation was given for the current 26ft. length limit for two-axle double deckers to be increased to 26ft. 9in. in the case of Guy Arabs, in order for the optional long Gardner 6LW engine to be fitted, by allowing it to project forwards in a ‘snout’ rather than have to move the front bulkhead back.
As it happened, the majority of Arab II’s continued to be fitted with the shorter 5LW, but the elongated bonnet was used irrespective of which engine was fitted. All East Midland’s Arabs had the 5LW, so there would probably have been a lot of spare space behind those radiators.

John Stringer

14/04/13 – 18:41

They would be Arab I’s, but were they 5LW’s or 6LW’s? And Roe’s part in building austerity bus bodies was something I’d only recently discovered. Few of them ever seem to have made their way south of the Midlands. I certainly never saw one and it’s very much a recent discovery that they built any. Duple, Brush and Massey seemed the dominant builders and their quality was in that order, too, I’d hazard.

Chris Hebbron

15/04/13 – 07:44

East Midland took only twelve utilities during the war. The first, in 1941, was a Bristol K5G which went to North Western in 1946 in exchange for an Arab I/Roe. Next came two Arab I’s with Brush bodies, the remainder were all Arab II’s with Roe bodies. Interestingly, East Midland managed to obtain consecutive last numbers for the registrations throughout the war. Five of the Arab II’s received new Roe lowbridge bodies in 1954. There was a further Arab II which was taken over from Baker Brothers of Warsop in 1953 and also rebodied by Roe. All of them went in 1960 and six years does seem a sadly short life for a vehicle with a new body but of course the Atlantean was no doubt responsible for that.
The question of the wartime length dispensation for the Guy Arab is an interesting one, production continued after the war with the Arab II, then the Arab III, all built to the extended length before the maximum dimension was increased to 27ft. So if it was an emergency wartime measure, how come the dispensation was never rescinded after the war, was it quietly forgotten about? It’s surprising someone didn’t ask, if Bristol and Daimler can accommodate the Gardner 6LW, why can’t Guy!

Chris Barker

15/04/13 – 07:44

Chris H: Jasper Pettie’s "Guy Buses in Camera" states the following:
"[the first] 500 were known as the Arab MkI. Thereafter the Arab MkII was introduced, and all had the longer bonnet and outswept front mudguards which had featured only on the 6LW-engined MkI examples".
On that basis, if they are definitely MkI chassis, they must have had 6LW engines. If as John Stringer states all the East Midland Arabs had 5LW, then these are MkIIs.
Caerphilly had at least one Roe utility ArabII, which survived as training bus until at least 1966. It has curved valances to the canopy and platform rather than the straight ones on the EM view, but this could have been a subsequent modification. BBF records it as rebuilt 1957, but the only obvious difference is that the front top deck windows are rubber-mounted, and there are two sliding windows per side on the lower and three on the upper deck.

Alan Murray-Rust

15/04/13 – 07:45

Chris… If you check Peter Gould’s lists, it was Doncaster’s wartime Roe bodied Regents that seemed to survive longest- Does anyone know why?


16/04/13 – 07:29

Joe At least three of the Doncaster Regents were to full peacetime standards being delivered in 1941 all of the Roe bus output for that year were to the same pre war spec. It is possible that the 1942 Doncaster Regent was also built to this standard using sored parts. Certainly Roe produced a full utility body by January 1942 albeit on so called unfrozen chassis for Yorkshire Woollen and Yorkshire Traction.
As well as building utility bodies on Guy and Daimler chassis they also built a number of trolleybuses building 63 of the 438 buses produced.

Chris Hough

16/04/13 – 10:50

Thanks Chris. I recall that the survivors mostly had proper domes and smelt rather funny. The lists suggest that Doncaster took very few buses during the war and got rid of the Guys fairly quickly: anything with an AEC engine (Bristol, Daimler, AEC) hung on, and were usually Roe bodied. The trolley story is even thinner: a very few utilities, rebodied by Roe after the war (presumably the same bodies that found their way on to the post war Titans.)


19/10/13 – 18:00

East Midland Motor Services took over Baker Brothers in Warsop who run the Mansfield to Church Warsop service I am not sure if it went to Shirebrooke the garage was at the side of the Hare & Hounds pub, the relief road in Warsop as gone through the garage. They took over Trumans at Shirebrooke and built a larger garage which is now a furniture shop.

Arthur Williams

16/05/16 – 17:53

East Midland Motor Services had 6 depots in North Derbys and North Notts, Chesterfield, Shirebrook, Clowne,Worksop, Retford and a shared garage at Mansfield with Trent, they covered quite a large area going as far as Doncaster, in the 70s they changed colour from red to lime green, the Chesterfield depot is now a car sales, the Shirebrook depot is a furniture w/house Clowne is a car repair place, Worksop still survives. Mansfields is a car repair and petrol station, Retford I am not sure,

Mr Anon

19/05/16 – 06:22

New Street, Chesterfield, is car body repairs rather than car sales, although Stagecoach East Midlands retained offices there for quite a while after the buses had moved out.

Peter Williamson

19/08/16 – 14:12

I have seen photos of East Midland’s Albion Lowlanders in two liveries, red with a cream waistband and red with cream lower deck window surrounds. Can someone enlighten me on when these versions were in use?


20/08/16 – 05:52

Tim asked about the colour schemes of EM’s Lowlanders. I am not able to recall the timescales but can tell him that they were delivered in the maroon colour with a broad white band above the lower-deck windows.The fronts as I recall were unrelieved maroon. They also went through a period wearing what I think was the NBC leaf-green and white as well as the two red/cream options as described by Tim.

Les Dickinson

20/08/16 – 05:52

After Tim’s question about East Midland’s Lowlanders appeared under this heading I checked my picture collection but sadly do not have any of this subject, however Classic Bus No63 carried a four-page article all about them and in which there is a section headed ‘Transformations’ of which the following is an extract "Over the years, East Midland’s Lowlanders were subject to several transformations of their appearance. They entered service in the company’s dark red with single cream band…" and goes on to say that changes were made to include cream window surrounds and later still their appearance in NBC green was in 1973. The article contains five pictures though none showing the period with the greater use of cream relief. Despite the piece saying they entered service with a bold cream band, my own memory is of a white, not cream band. It could be my old grey cells playing tricks but I frequently travelled on these on East Midland’s route 3.

Les Dickinson

25/08/16 – 15:23

Thanks, Les. Most helpful and interesting. Tim.


16/02/22 – 07:04

Re. Mr Anon’s post; there was also an EMMS garage at Warsop. My dad was Driver in Charge at Worksop garage for a number of years in the 1960s.

Notts Lad


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 22nd May 2022