Old Bus Photos

West Bridgford – AEC Renown – BRR 241C – 41

West Bridgford - AEC Renown - BRR 241C - 41

West Bridgford Urban District Council 
AEC Renown
East Lancs H44/31F

Not many Urban District Council’s had there own bus concern but West Bridgford which is on the outskirts of Nottingham was one of them. The council started the bus service to connect to the Nottingham tram system which did not get as far as West Bridgford in 1913. It is a shame how it all ended for West Bridgford Urban District Council but they had to save money because of a drop off in passengers and tried to introduce one man operation with three AEC Swifts. Unfortunately the union would not go along with it so they decided to cut there losses and sell to Nottingham Corporation in 1968.
There is a very interesting historic article regarding West Bridgford Urban District Council transport here on the website of Peter Gould.

Just browsing the internet and I find a great piece of nostalgia. I lived in Nottingham in the 50s/60s and I definitely would have travelled on this bus many times.
The photo is taken at the old Broad Marsh bus station, which at that time was situated on an area of flattened land following the demolition of old Victorian back-to-back terraced houses. Note the red of several old Barton buses/coaches in the background. They shared the bus station, along with South Notts and Nottingham Corporation Transport.
The bus shows route number 68 to Clifton (where I lived) via Trent Bridge, which was a joint operation with South Notts and Nottingham Corporation Transport.


This takes me back to when I was a young lad about 14 West Bridgford Urban District Council ran a free service from Clifton to the supermarket advertised on the side of the above bus "Gem" which is where Asda is now.
I used to travel a lot to Gem on this service with my mum, and I used to use the service some times as a way of getting into town for free.


Great images of a much lamented and long departed fleet. Just one small, probably nit-picking, comment – West Bridgford has no "e" in it.

Neil Woodcock

Looking at the photo again, I definitely travelled on that bus many times as a kid because I’ve noticed something on it which used to intrigue me even then. Look at the entrance area; there is a metal pole in the middle running full height. I always assumed that was added at a later stage, to deal with some distorting or bodywork rigidity problem.
Or was it always designed to be there?


This looks like a very modern bus, most of the fleet were very old, we called them "Wessers" I lived in Clifton 1953 – 68 and often caught one of the wrecks into Nottingham. When you waited at one of the stops in Clifton, everyone groaned when one of these dinosaurs turned up! Because they had to use the Wilford route they were very low, to get under the railway bridge, and the upstairs was ok if you were a midget! the gangway was sunken into the floor at one side and the seats were "fourers".
Happy days!

Stuart Wisher

I also took this bus between Clifton and Nottingham and to Gem Supermarket many times. I agree with what Stew Wisher says – I’d forgotten about little details – for example how people would groan when they saw an old bus coming going by the long route via Wilford Lane. By the way – I remember Stew Wisher from Fairham! I lived in Clifton on Bainton Grove between 1953 and 1976. I have now been living in Rabat, Morocco for many years – you should see the buses here!

James Gould

Until Clifton Bridge over thee Trent opened (in 1958 I think) all Clifton services ran via Wilford Lane, as Stewart and James will remember. It was a tri-partite joint service with Nottingham City Transport, South Notts and WBUDC, so all were running lowbridge buses. When the estate was first built about 1950 NCT (who until that time had no lowbridge buses and only a very small fleet of single deckers) bought a few second hand Utilities from somewhere "up north" as a stop-gap. About 1953 they bought 10 new AEC Regent IIIs with Park Royal lowbridge bodies (SAU 199-208). Later when the new bridge was opened, the NCT share of the routes was diverted that way with full height double deckers from the brand new fleet of Leyland PD2/40s (1 ATO-45 ATO). Interestingly, for many years afterwards the route numbers remained common to all three operators (61, 61A, 66, 67 and 68) even though the NCT share took a different route to the city.

Stephen Ford

07/03/11 – 09:27

The AEC Renown photo flummoxed me because I lived on Eltham Road in West Bridgford from 1947 until after the demise of WBUDC buses in 1968, and this was near to the entrance to the depot, so I saw dozens of their buses every day on their way in and out. I cannot remember EVER seeing such a bus! I was very familiar with the fleet, including the low roof jobs used on the Wilford Lane route to Clifton. In addition my mother was a clippie during the war years, and my uncle Bill Whitten was a driver throughout the 50’s and early 60’s. I just cannot reconcile the photo with my memories. I rode probably thousands of times on the 14 and 21 routes too, and again the photo means nothing. Quite a mystery, and I wonder if it was a one-off purchase that was not retained….

Brian Marshall

08/03/11 – 06:11

Peter Gould’s site, referred to above, has a fleet list as well as a historical article. There were two Renowns, 41 and 42 purchased 4/65. They passed with the rest of the fleet to Nottingham 9/68, where they were renumbered 393 and 394.

Peter Williamson

05/06/11 – 14:30

The West Bridgford fleet was a good fleet even the oldest members being well looked after .when NCT took over the buses, the ones that were kept ran well and used all over the system I know because I worked in WBUDC workshops I started as a tyre fitter at WBUDC in 1959 then driving for NCT then back to Bridgford in 1967 as a tyre fitter till take over to NCT 1968

John Turton

05/12/11 – 06:26

As a lad growing up in WB in the early to late 1940s I remember all the old WBUDC buses. They seemed to have only one, two or three of each type. I don’t know the technical details but some registration numbers come back to me such as ARR 831 and 832, FNN 101-3, and there were two even older buses usually kept at the back of the Depot on Abbey Road which were included in NCT’s stock after the takeover. One of them is illustrated in John Banks/GHF Atkins books on Nottingham City Transport which are full of nostalgia. I think that at some stage I must have travelled on every WBUDC route apart from perhaps the No.12 (Seymour Road). Does anybody know if any WBUDC buses were saved?

Alan Rose

08/12/11 – 06:41

The only preserved ex-West Bridgford vehicle I’m aware of is no.24, CCX 777, the ex-Huddersfield Daimler CWA6. But despite having spent longer with West Bridgford than it did with Huddersfield, it has never carried West Bridgford livery in preservation.

Peter Williamson

08/12/11 – 15:35

I don’t know if it still exists, but certainly up to 1995 WBUDC 21 (ORR 140) was preserved. This was one of the lowbridge manual gearbox AEC Regent IIIs with Willowbrook body, bought by the UDC in 1954. Does anyone know of its whereabouts (or fate)?

Stephen Ford

08/12/11 – 15:37

Peter There is a second ex West Bridgford bus in preservation, 21 (ORR 140), one of the pair of lowbridge Willowbrook bodied Regent IIIs new in 1954.
It is preserved in WB livery and was active in the 70s and early 80s. I understand an extensive renovation has recently been completed, so hopefully it may be out and about again soon.

Bob Gell

11/12/11 – 11:22

Thank you both. I regard WBUDC as having had one of the best of municipal liveries, and it would be good to see it in the metal again.

Peter Williamson

11/12/11 – 16:53

There’s a picture, now about forty years old, of WBUDC 21 next to the Huddersfield (ex-WBUDC) utility, taken I think at a Rochdale Motorcade. It is in my Pikfu gallery, having been on Fotopic until they went under. As Pikfu is still very much under development I have no control over the watermark, which is a bit obtrusive. It can be found at: http://davidbeilby.pikfu.net

David Beilby

11/10/12 – 15:59

I remember the AEC Renown appearing with South Wales in the early 1960s. There were two batches – the first by Park Royal, and the later ones by Willowbrook. They worked on routes formerly operated by either low height regents or Bridgemasters.
There was one unique Renown. Local operator West Wales bought one, Willowbrook bodied and resplendent in a grey livery with red trim, to operate on the joint service from Swansea to Llandeilo.
South Wales also had ten of the former six wheel single decker Renowns – they survived until about 1955.

Mark Lee Inman

13/10/12 – 06:31

Mark, according to BBF18 the first batch of South Wales Renowns were the first in service anywhere.

Peter Williamson

14/10/12 – 14:40


There is mention above of the preserved AEC Regent III/Willowbrook ORR140. This photo was taken at the AEC Rally in May of this year, showing its current condition.

Bob Gell

31/10/12 – 17:35

It would seem the biggest user of the Bridgemaster was Western Welsh taking 31 in all. They also had three Renowns delivered in 1965 part of a batch of 28. Thankfully WW did not have any of the frightful front entrance Bridgemasters that S Wales received from Park Royal. They were frightful! The WW Renowns had very smart Northern Counties bodywork.

Mark Lee Inman

02/11/13 – 17:50

I have just read the extremely interesting details on your Nottingham page from Michael Elliott regarding the vehicle allocations between NCT South Notts and WBUDC on the Clifton services. Please could anyone out there tell me how many vehicles of each fleet were allocated to the West Bridgford town services.

David Beardsell

03/11/13 – 08:52

Talking of Renowns, could anyone confirm which were two-pedal (i.e. monocontrol)? ‘Bus Lists On The Web’ only gives two as 3B2RA (the ‘King Alfred’ ones) but it is my understanding that there were a further eight – these two West Bridgford, the five Wolverhampton, and the prototype 8071ML. Can anyone confirm? Surprisingly, ‘Bus Lists On The Web’ doesn’t mention either of the prototypes.
An interesting thing about the Nottingham/West Bridgford Renowns – the operator buying the most Renowns new was City Of Oxford (43), but the operator running the most altogether was Nottingham (44 – the 42 bought new, and the two ex-West Bridgford).

David Call

03/11/13 – 08:54

David B, the only true town services that WBUDC operated were routes 1 and 2 run at school times (to the Grammar School I think) from different parts of WB – so probably one vehicle each, as they were converging on the school at the same time. All of the other WBUDC services were joint operations with NCT to Nottingham South Parade (which is the south side of the Old Market Square). The route numbers (excluding Clifton) were 11, 12, 14, 15, 15A, 21 and 24. I don’t know the vehicle split on those routes. It always seemed about 50/50. Maybe Michael will be able to come in with vehicle numbers. South Notts played no part in these operations – only the Clifton services. Clifton was a strange case, because until Clifton Bridge was opened in 1958, the only route from Nottingham to Clifton estate (which was part of the city) was over Trent Bridge and through West Bridgford, who therefore demanded a slice of the action. It appears to have been quite an acrimonious wrangle before the traffic commissioners.

Stephen Ford

12/11/13 – 06:15

David B/Stephen,
The NCT/WBUDC Joint Operation Agreements (the original of 15/9/27 and the subsequent agreement, when services were extended from Grey Friar Gate to the Old Market Square, dated 30/6/30)provided for an equal split of vehicles between the two operators.
I have some details of the split between the two operators as the situation was in 1968. For the 15/15a the split at Monday to Friday peak periods was two buses each, with the off peak/evening Monday to Friday split being one bus each. On Sunday the split was one bus each. On Saturdays the split was two buses each during the day with one bus each during the evening. So a 50/50 split here.
For the 21 I only have information for the Monday to Friday operation. The split for Monday to Friday peak operation was West Bridgford five buses and NCT four buses. The inter peak period appears to be West Bridgford three buses to NCT’s one (but NCT provided the three extra buses required for the mid day peak service). During the evening three buses were required with the split being West Bridgford two to NCT’s one.
During Monday to Friday evenings services 11/12/14/24 inter worked with a 30 minute headway on each service worked by five buses. The split was NCT three buses and West Bridgford two buses. The morning and afternoon peak service on services 11/12/14/24 required a total of 18 buses, with the inter peak service requiring eight buses. Additional buses would have been needed for the mid day peak.
The total WBUDC Monday to Friday peak vehicle requirement was 23 vehicles during the morning peak and 24 during the afternoon peak. The morning total was made up of five buses on Cliftons, two on the West Bridgford schools service which leaves 16 for the joint services. Given that two buses were on the 15/15a and five on the 21, the remaining nine were on services 11/12/14/24. The afternoon peak required 24 buses because of the additional bus on Cliftons with the other totals unchanged. An additional bus was required for the GEM ‘free bus’ during the afternoon peak when this was in operation (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I think).
David C – as far as I am aware there were ten ‘two pedal’ Renowns (model 3B2RA). These were the demonstrator 8071 ML, the two ‘King Alfred’s’ 595/596 LCG, the two West Bridgfords

Michael Elliott

16/11/13 – 11:00

A big thank you to Michael Elliott and Stephen Ford for the above information. Although I have lived in West Bridgford all my life and taken a keen interest in WB buses I have not paid much attention to the actual services. This interest was sparked off by the acquisition of a mint condition 1956 WBUDC timetable book at the Sandtoft gathering this July. This reminded me of another long forgotten artefact which I have hidden away. One day when walking home from Rushcliffe School in the late 1970’s I was passing the old green metal bus shelter on Melton Road which used to stand near the end of Devonshire Road. I noticed the corner of something sticking out from behind the NCT timetable case, I pulled it out to reveal a sheet of varnished plywood with the old WBUDC timetable pasted to it, needless to say it was spirited away.
Next year is the centenary of motor buses in West Bridgford, and I gather that NCT intend to paint a bus in the old maroon and deep cream to commemorate this, I think it looks likely to be Scania Omnidekka 955 as this has not been repainted in Bridgford Bus green livery like its sisters 952-954. There are already posters displayed inside these buses with a basic timeline of the history.

David Beardsell

BRR 241C_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

22/11/13 – 08:08

David C – as far as I am aware there were ten ‘two pedal’ Renowns (model 3B2RA). These were the demonstrator 8071 ML, the two ‘King Alfred’s’ 595/596 LCG, the two West Bridgford’s BRR 241/242C and five Wolverhampton’s HJW 182-186D. Some general sources on AEC Renowns quote the Wolverhampton’s as model 3B3RA but other sources dealing with Wolverhampton quote them as 3B2RA, which fits in with Wolverhampton’s preference for ‘two pedal’ control Guy Arabs.

Michael Elliott


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 23rd October 2019