Old Bus Photos

Wakefields Motors – AEC Regent I – FT 2611 – 42

Wakefields Motors - AEC Regent I - FT 2611 - 42
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Wakefields Motors
AEC Regent I
Short Bros – Northern Coachbuilders H56R (1945)

Featured elsewhere on this site is a posting of a 1931 Short Bros bodied AEC Regent of Portsmouth Corporation. Between 1931/2 Percy Main depot took delivery of 16 virtually identical vehicles, I cant be absolutely certain about the fleet or registration numbers, but my information suggests they came in two batches of eight, and were FT 2516/23 – 34/41 in 1931; and FT 2611/18 – 42/9 in 1932: In 1940, three of them, 39/41 were transferred to Northern. All 16 were rebodied by Northern Coachbuilders, the first was 49, that was during the war years and it received a utility body, it too was also transferred, but the remainder were done in 1945, and all as seen here. All the vehicles that remained at Percy Main retained their original fleet numbers, four of them, 42/5, carried the Wakefields name, but that apart they were all identical.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

28/07/13 – 07:36

These bodies were notorious for sagging (green wood in the frames) but this one looks smart – probably photographed when the body was new. Is that a retro-fitted post-war radiator? Looks a little long – certainly compared with Sheffield’s 1952 rebuilds of 1938/9 Regent I chassis which retained the original (short) radiators.

David Oldfield

28/07/13 – 10:37

The high gloss and standard of finish of this very attractive body suggests at least a repaint and possibly an overhaul, hence no sag! I notice it’s been given the later, longer, AEC rad, which always improved the frontal appearance.

Chris Hebbron

28/07/13 – 12:44

You mention the high gloss, Chris, even as late as 1967, when I first started at Percy Main, all vehicles were repainted every three years, they were hand painted, and the process was five coats, the last one being a clear varnish. But ‘here we go again’ that was pre NBC, and all the NGT group companies had a pride in their fleets, as did the vast majority of operators at the time.

Ronnie Hoye

29/07/13 – 07:47

There was some discussion on the SCT site a while ago about the NGT pre-war SOS which was rebodied with this style of NCB body in 1945. Noting that Ronnie states that these AEC’s were also rebodied in 1945 and taking that date to be correct, would that make NCB the first British coachbuilder to produce bodywork to full peacetime standards after WW2?

Chris Barker

29/07/13 – 14:53

I can’t help noticing that, disregarding the front end, the rest of this bus looks remarkably similar to Halifax Corporation/JOC’s Park Royal-bodied Regents of 1947-50. These were based on Park Royal’s wartime utility design with a prewar-style rear dome and the frontal profile modified to resemble the current postwar metal-framed design.
As I understand it, Park Royal were responsible for designing the original utility double-deck body for the MoS which other manufacturers then put their own interpretation on. NCB did build some utilities, so I wonder if these and their early postwar bodies were based on the Park Royal utility design.

John Stringer

29/07/13 – 17:39

Thanks for offering this, Ronnie. Another gem from your collection.
So far as pride in the fleet is concerned, it does seem to have carried forward into what is now the Go Ahead Group, if my experiences with Brighton & Hove, Oxford, and the "Go South Coast" members (Solent Blue Line, Southern Vectis and Wilts & Dorset) are any guide. The punters notice such things, too, with the local member of that group based in Aberdeen getting a far less favourable press than GA.

Pete Davies

30/07/13 – 07:19

Interesting to see such a modern-looking body on a chassis with semi-floating rear axle. The short bay ahead of the platform intrigues me too: did the chassis have the older 15′ 6½" wheelbase? A standard postwar NCB body would have been designed around a roughly 16′ 3" wheelbase, so this one would have needed adapting.
Whatever the structural problems may have been, I still find these bodies very good-looking.

Ian Thompson

31/07/13 – 07:54

I submitted some thoughts too this Old Bus website in 2012 on post-war NCB design relating to the Bradford Corporation re-bodied AEC 661T trolleybuses 597 to 632 series from 1946 through to 1949 and resubmit my views to this debate. These views can be found on the OB site under Newcastle Corporation – Daimler.

Richard Fieldhouse


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