Old Bus Photos

Do you have a photo of a bus of which you have little or no information, or would you just like to know more about a particular shot. Upload it from the ‘Contact’ page or send it along as an attachment via email to



South Shields Corporation Transport

Is there anyone out there who can advise me of the the livery of the Charabanc Service between South Shields Market Place and Cleadon Village. I’ve found an old photograph of a single decker parked at the bus stop in Cleadon probably taken in 20’s or 30’s.
I can only remember as far back as 1950 when all buses in the fleet were painted cream and blue.


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Embankment of Plymouth Maudslay/Whitson EJY 124

I am a transport artist and wish to paint the following coach; Maudslay/Whitson EJY 124 operated by Embankment of Plymouth. Can anyone kindly confirm the livery?

John Kinsley

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08/08/19 – 05:56

Embankment’s livery, until the takeover by Wallace Arnold was brown and cream; the colours being similar to BR Western Region chocolate and cream coaches, although the brown was maybe a little lighter; more of a milk chocolate colour, and the cream was certainly more acid than say Tilling cream.
There are a couple of colour photos on the web of a couple of Embankment’s later fleet, including UDR910L and UJY58L, which through half squinted eyes give a fair representation.

John Grigg


Radio fitment

Can anyone put a date on when radio’s were installed in half cab coaches with aerial mounted centrally above destination blind above drivers cab I have seen photographs of aerials mounted to offside around top corner of coach. I am more interested in the above cab centrally date. Nearest I can get is 1949.

Alan Coulson

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09/08/19 – 08:58

The earliest vehicles so fitted were London Transport LTC class private hire coaches delivered in November 1937, some of which had radios with roof aerials on them. The next batch were twelve London Transport private hire coach TF’s delivered in April 1939. A poor photo of TF7c can be found here, clearly showing the roof aerial. All but one were destroyed by bombing in October 1940, but here is a photo of ill-fated TF7c: https://tinyurl.com/yyljxx88

Chris Hebbron


No one can remember what the 2x route numbers were?

I have been writing about myself and my 3 younger Siblings going to and from School in the 1950’s.
We lived in Wardley area near Gateshead in 1951-52.
My job as a 13/14 year old Big Brother was to take the 3 young ones to and from a School near the newly opened pedestrian Tunnel at Jarrow, Tyneside near the Jarrow to Howden Car Ferry.
If my memory serves me right. That was the Terminus for a Northern Bus that we used to catch from York Ave or Primrose Terrace, Jarrow. We used to catch the No6 bus from Wardley and it used to run from Worswick St Bus Station in Newcastle to South Shields. If the No6 was on time we caught our link at Primrose Terrace to Jarrow Tunnel. If the No6 was a few minutes late, we had to get off at York Ave and catch that link to Jarrow and walk down to School.
The reason for my inquiry is!
No one can remember what the 2x route numbers were?
I was sure one of them was a 27 bus that terminated at the Pedestrian Tunnel.
I wish I had asked these 2 questions years ago, as my late Brother in Law and a few of his friends were all bus drivers running from Jarrow bus station and my late sister worked in the Bus Canteen at Jarrow.
I have searched online a few times to see if there was a group of Jarrow retired bus drivers, but had no response to my inquiry. Sorry to be a bit longwinded with this quest, just tried to recall as much as possible.
Thank You and I would welcome any help please.

Jeff Appleyard

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19/07/19 – 06:54

The 26 and 27 were linked Northern General routes that served Sunderland, Jarrow and Hebburn, with some journeys serving the south end of the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel. After Northern General acquired Routemasters they were often on these services: the first time I saw an NGT Routemaster was when I went through the pedestrian tunnel and there was a Routemaster at the stop near the south end of the tunnel.

Paul Robson


Margo’s of Bexleyheath MY 3393

MY 3393

Margo’s operated this Daimler CF6 between 1944 & 1947. It is seen here outside Erith Town Hall on 19 July 1946.
Would any kind soul be prepared to hazard a guess (preferably an educated guess!) as to the coach builder?
(Photo Bexley Council. Colourised by me).

Steve Thoroughgood

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W. Hooper. Maidenhead /// Marsten Meysey

I ask for any information of W. Hooper all I know is 3 coaches are listed new to Hooper.
1 from Maidenhead and 2 from Marsten Meysey .
I am interested in any 2nd hand coaches that Hooper operated a approximate date would be 1938 to 1958. Any detail make model registration company livery anything.

Alan Coulson

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30/06/19 – 07:40

I can’t help you with any fleet details, but are you sure it’s Marsten Meysey? I know only of a Marston Meysey, which is on the south side of RAF Fairford, at the western end of the runway.

Pete Davies

30/06/19 – 07:41

Are you confident that the two Hoopers are one and the same? It’s a long way from Maidenhead to Marston Meysey (or Maisey) – note the spelling.
Hooper of Marston Meysey was a one-time operator of KR 1749, Leyland TS2/Harrington, ex-Maidstone & District 615. More details here. http://www.classicbuses.co.uk/mdtig.html

David Call

01/07/19 – 05:44

Typo error by me sorry thank you for correction.
Not Overly confident they are one of the same Detail of KR 1749 in your link very interesting.
Thank you both for you reply’s.

Alan Coulson

25/07/19 – 07:00

I now know Hooper of Marston Meysey ran 4 coaches.
It is known 1 coach 2nd hand was,
KR 1749 a Leyland Ex. Maidstone from 9-1943 withdrawn 1-1953.
EMW 85 was a New coach 7-1947 No further Details.
GHR 627 was a New coach 2-1950 No further Details.
Another 2nd. hand coach was with them in 1958 Registration Unknown coach is believed to be a Leyland I ask can anyone supply Registration details this coach appears to have a livery of 3 colours. Maybe someone can confirm this or provide a livery of Hooper.

Alan Coulson


Wallace Arnold 8340 U

I’m wondering if you could help me I’m looking for a coach that belonged to my grandad years ago we tracked it down in 2013 but I’ve lost the number to contact them it’s was a Wallace Arnold reg 8340 U any help would be appreciate

Clare Slater

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24/05/19 – 06:27

Clare, as far as I know, 8340 U is in the safe hands of Neil Millington’s Classic Connections coach fleet. I can’t find any direct contact information, but this website should help. https://classicconnections.org.uk 

Paul Haywood

24/05/19 – 06:28

8340 U along with 8332 U is in preservation with Neil Millington of Horseforth.

John Wakefield

24/05/19 – 06:29

The owner is Neil Millington-he has a website which should be your first port of call.

Roger Burdett

29/06/19 – 06:36

John what is Neil’s website called as there isn’t any contact info on classic connection would greatly appreciate your help in contacting Neil.

Robert Lindley

30/06/19 – 07:34

The site is called Classic Connections and was active this morning. If you have trouble go to Dick Gilbert Classic Buses click on links select Bus Musuems and collections then click on Classic Connections.

Roger Burdett

30/06/19 – 07:35

Robert – the link is in Paul’s message above (24 May)

Nigel Frampton

02/07/19 – 05:53

The problem is that the Classic Connections web page does not include a contact page or provide an email/ phone number.
I have a phone number for Neil which I will send to the Old Bus Photos administrator by separate email. Perhaps he can pass this to Robert Lindley by private message,

John Wakefield


Bedford JUJ 199

JUJ 199

Your readers having solved one matter for me – the mythical Southdown AEC S type maybe they can shed some light on something else that’s long bemused me. I have a memory of a school outing in Worthing in the late 1950’s where the school hired a couple of coaches to take us somewhere, and although one of them was a Southdown, my recollection is that the other was a blue Bedford run by an operator styled "King of the Road". I’ve even carried the reg number in my head for 60 years, JUJ 199, and googling this does indeed bring up a Flickr photo of a Bedford with that number, as attached. However I’ve never been able to trace any record of the operator, and I’m beginning to doubt that part of my memory after 60 odd years! Does anyone have any info about this coach or its operators, please?

Don Davis

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13/04/19 – 05:54

Since I posted this I’ve found a website that gave me some key bits of information: firstly that there was indeed a coach firm called "King of the Road" based in Worthing in that era, secondly the website listed 5 coaches which King of the Road owned in the 50’s, though none of them were this one. And thirdly, that JUJ 199 was owned by Salopia of Whitchurch at that time. As Worthing is a long way from Whitchurch this has only deepened the mystery, unless the answer is that 60 years is just too long a period over which to trust my memory! So I’d still be grateful for any light anyone can shed on this, please?

Don Davis

13/04/19 – 14:32

It’s a Bedford SB coach. UJ was a registration issued in Shrewsbury, although the vehicle seems to be parked next to some East Kent buses and very much towards the end of its life.

Chris Hebbron

13/04/19 – 14:32

I have no details of this Bedford coach. The two double-deckers behind are East Kent buses, with front one having it’s indicators set for service. However, the background looks more like parking for an excursion rather than a bus station scenario. But this may well suggest that the photo was taken in the south-eastern part of England, with JUJ199 having moved on from Salopia to King of the Road in Worthing by the photo date. I have also checked for the coach and the operator on the SCT’61 site, but nothing relevant is recorded there.

Michael Hampton

14/04/19 – 06:13

King of the Road, Worthing mainly bought ‘new’ vehicles in the 1950s with West Sussex registrations. Their livery was dark & light light. You don’t say what year it was but they had BJU 779 [Bd WTB – Wk C26F] in the fleet until 10/56 so maybe they turned that out St Trinian’s style for your school party. JUJ 199 seems a red herring, after Salopia it went to a London operator and then a series of South Eastern operators ending up with Wren, Canterbury in 1966.


15/04/19 – 07:00

King of the road were a well respected small independent in Worthing, who always took Bedford chassis. They usually had around half a dozen coaches & were still going in the mid 80s, though I cant be sure when they ceased. The photograph looks as if it was taken in Canterbury bus station & The East Kent Regent V of the type seen here first entered service from 1961 onwards, so would date the shot to post 1961. hope this helps.

Malcolm Pelling

15/04/19 – 07:02

It seems likely that the above shot was taken when the vehicle was in the employ of Wren, Canterbury. That is the destination shown on the foremost of the East Kent Regent Vs, so it is almost certain that that is the location.
Don Davis seems to be satisfied that JUJ 199 was the vehicle he travelled on, therefore I am inclined to suppose that it was in the ‘King Of The Road’ fleet for a time, or perhaps the proprietor had it on loan from another operator.

David Call

15/04/19 – 07:07

JUJ 199 Bedford SB 16384 Duple 1031/47 C35F new 5/1953 Salopia, Whitchurch fleet No 93.

John Wakefield

20/04/19 – 07:10

Oh what a weak and fickle thing is memory! I can’t be sure of the year, the vehicle, or the occasion of that school outing; just little snatches vaguely remembered after the passage of 60+ years! I think we’ll have to leave it that it was one of the other King of the Road Bedfords that we used that time in Worthing. However, your replies have sparked off a completely new train of thought; in the 60’s we moved to Hythe in Kent, and I now recall that I once went on a church outing from there – to Canterbury! Maybe that’s when I came across JUJ 199, particularly if as David says it was in the employ of a Canterbury firm at the time. Maybe the church hired it from Wren, and all I’ve done is conflate two separate childhood memories a few years apart!
Anyway thanks for all your comments, chaps, and for trying to help elucidate my mystery, and thanks to this brilliant website for providing the forum to air the matter!

Don Davis

23/04/19 – 07:25

Records confirm that JUJ 199 was indeed in the fleet of Mrs D E Wren (Drew’s Coaches), Canterbury (moving to nearby Waltham by 4/68) between 1966 and 1968.
Various PSV Circle publications confirm that it was new to Salopia (fleet no.93) in 5/53 and passed in 3/58 to Mitchell, London N.9. There is then a report of it passing from Mitchell to Waterhouse, Burwash, East Sussex in 1/60; Collins, Dymchurch, Kent (t/a Sigrist & Collins) in 7/61, then to Wren (Drew’s) in 5/66.
So if it did run for King of the Road it would most likely have been sometime just before Waterhouse received it in 1/60, but otherwise I think you may be right about having conflated two distinct memories!

Derek Jones

06/07/19 – 07:23

My memory is failing too, but I know King of the Road was aligned with another operator in the Worthing area in 1970. If I have to suggest a name it would be Austin Hire, run by the Tavender family, but I can’t be sure.

Nick Turner


Southdown AEC

I have acquired a Matchbox ‘Models of Yesterday’ of a fairly accurate AEC ‘S’ type, but it’s tricked out as a Southdown bus, and so far I can’t find any record of Southdown ever operating one. Can anyone confirm whether or not Southdown ever operated any AECs, in the 1920s/30s please? As my rule is that I only retain authentic models in my collection, the model stays if the bus existed but heads for the second-hand shop otherwise.

Don Davis

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04/04/19 – 07:09

Southdown and AEC’s were as rare as hen’s teeth. Southdown had an AEC Regent with Short Bros body on hire from July 1930 to March 1931. It was painted in Southdown livery and numbered 10, registered by AEC as HX 1091. It operated in the eastern part of Southdown territory. Southdown bought plenty more Short Bros bodies, but placed on Leyland Titans, not on AECs! There was also an AEC Regal coach taken over with the fleet of an independent c.1931/32. It was soon sent off to Bath Tramways / Motor Services [whichever term was correct for that time]. Four AEC B or Y-types were acquired on taking over other operators between 1921 and 1925 (Nos 32-34/36). These had charabanc bodies. There were also the two ADC 802 six-wheelers on demonstration for a while (Nos 28-29). Both had gone by 1930. Will any of these match your model?

Michael Hampton

07/04/19 – 07:57

They were unusually loyal to Leyland. Michael. I can only recall the distressed purchases of Guys during and after the late unpleasantness. I cannot recall them having any austerity Daimlers or single deck Bedford OWB’s. For the latter, I suspect they had enough single deck coaches they could call upon, if necessary.

Chris Hebbron

09/04/19 – 08:38

Chris, Southdown bought Guy Arab 4s in 1955 and 1956 and Commer Avengers in 1959

Philip Blinkhorn

09/04/19 – 08:39

Indeed, Southdown were firm Leyland users, although Tilling-Stevens were another well-used supplier in the mid- to late-1920s. The other, perhaps surprising, use of an AEC, was the use of demonstrator AEC Renown 7552MX for a few days (weeks?) c.1962/63. Painted blue and cream, it was used at least in the Portsmouth area, and I rode on it on route 42 – from Southsea to Cosham (the bus continued on to Petersfield). No new AECs appeared, and Southdown had no need of low-height double-deckers, so it’s use on hire is really a mystery. 7552 MX eventually arrived with Burwell & District as its permanent owner, and I have an EFE model of it thus portrayed. It’s one of the few models which I can truly say I have used in it’s primal form!

Michael Hampton

09/04/19 – 08:40

Thanks chaps for your very helpful replies – you have been able to confirm what I thought must be the case, that this model is a complete non-starter. If my modelling skills were up to it I’d try repainting it in a livery it would actually have carried, e.g. East Surrey, but my skills being non-existent (like the bus), I’ll dispose of it, as humanely as possible!

Don Davis

11/04/19 – 06:02

Well, Don, you will be following a great Southdown tradition – moving an AEC out of the fleet as soon as possible to another user!

Michael Hampton


J 8338 Mystery OB

J 8338

Can anyone throw any light on this coach-found in a field in Jersey circa late 90’s. Probably has an interesting history?

Nigel Edwards

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26/01/19 – 06:37

Originally LCD 236, new to Johnston (Unique), Brighton. Re-registered J 8338 5/59 by Lock St Quen, Jersey.

David Hick

09/04/19 – 08:52

I have no record of this OB surviving, this is the full history from PSVC records.
Bedford OB 146932 Duple 55536 C29F
New 3/51 to RG Johnston {Unique Coaches}, Brighton as LCD 236
Operated 5/59 to 12/62 by W Lock {St Ouen Coaches}, St Ouen, Jersey as J 8338
Derelict at St Ouen until at least 1984
I am hoping to get an up to date report on it from an enthusiast on Jersey.

John Wakefield

11/04/19 – 06:05

Nigel Edwards, I took the liberty of posting your picture on the Passenger Transport of the Channel Islands, past & present, Facebook Group to see if any further information was forthcoming.
I received the following information off John Luce.
"She was in Service with St. Ouen’s Coaches, from 21/05/1959 and was their only coach based at the Glenmore Hotel at St. Ouen. I have never seen the coach as she was in their livery of Salmon pink and black.
Last PSV Plated 09/06/1961, and the Plate returned & Cancelled 25/06/1962.
She was in the field at the back of the Glenmore Hotel at St. Ouen, access via the road that leads to Lecq Farm and the clay pigeon shooting range.
Just when she was assigned to the field I do not know although when I saw her she had only the back seat in her, probably used as sleeping accommodation, maybe by either the hotel, or more likely a farmer? "
Hope all this is of use

Stephen Howarth

13/04/19 – 05:49

Thank you Stephen, Nice to know the history and good of the gent in the C.I to reply. Always a bonus if one can add this info to the photo(s).

Nigel Edwards


Old Bus in New Zealand

CG 01

CG 02

I was wondering if anyone may be able to identify the make of this old Bus for me. It is on the Side of the Napier to Taupo Road in New Zealand, previously used as a house bus. "Foden" came to mind from the shape of the front grill, but I did not get close enough to inspect.

Chris Geddis

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24/01/19 – 15:55

A possible starting point to assist with this query might be Sean Millar in Auckland who has published a number of New Zealand bus and railway enthusiast books.
He can be contacted through his website http://www.seanmillar.co.nz/
Another possible contact might be the ‘Otago Heritage Bus Society Incorporated’ on Facebook.

David Slater

26/01/19 – 09:56

I’ll start it off… could it be a Daimler- did they export the CD650?


29/01/19 – 06:37

A nine bay bus suggests it might have a local body. The style and length reminds of the full fronted Dennis Lancet (III, I think) that Newport had. The radiator grill looks homemade!

Orla Nutting

30/01/19 – 06:44

It looks like it could be an old N.Z. Railways Road Transport Services bus with N.Z.M.B. bodywork. Possibly a late 1940s Mack.

Pete Comb

30/01/19 – 06:45

I’ve travelled the Napier-Taupo many times in my 30 ears in new Zealand and sadly never spotted that bus. It looks a bit like NZ Motor Bodies coachwork, they seemed to delight in US style of lots of smaller side windows.I agree with Orla, I think the front grille is home made. A good guess for the chassis would be a petrol engine Bedford of some sort, possibly OB. NZ was renowned for large numbers of petrol engined heavy vehicles, up to the 1980’s. Mainly Bedfords. Most of the buses were operated by NZ Railways Road Services – in fact they had the largest fleet of road vehicles in the country at one time!

David Field

31/01/19 – 06:08

Yes, David F, I did a posting some time ago of an Air Ministry Bedford Bedford SB and wrote, "It became a big seller in India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, as well as in the UK. The largest fleet of SB buses in the world belonged to New Zealand Railways Road Services, with 1280 SB buses, built between 1954 and 1981. became a big seller in India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, as well as in the UK. The largest fleet of SB buses in the world belonged to New Zealand Railways Road Services, with 1280 SB buses, built between 1954 and 1981".
I did wonder if the front grill of the "old bus" is that of a Jenson, but it’s doubtful: I tend to agree with others that it’s homemade!

Chris Hebbron


Maudslay Marathon FBX 555

FBX 555

I came across these photos in Newcastle Emlyn Museum today. Very poor quality because they are a photocopy of a copy,etc,etc. However the reg no is FBX 555. The chassis is (I think) Maudslay Marathon III. I’m thinking the date is around 1948. The coachwork looks a bit strange around the windscreen area, so I wonder if this was built by a local company, perhaps Longfords of Neath. The operator is G J Jones & Son, Newcastle Emlyn, sadly no longer in existence. I can’t find any info on this coach, so can anybody fill in the gaps, please?

David Field

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02/12/18 – 11:07

New in October 1949, it is a Maudsley Marathon III, the body is by South Western (Taunton) and is to C35F configuration.

Stephen Howarth

03/12/18 – 07:08

South Western Coachbuilders, that’s a new one on me, mind you that’s nothing fresh. Here’s a shot of what’s apparently a Guy Vixen with South Western bodywork. www.tapatalk.com/groups/nonsequitur/
There’s an article on South Western in issues 27/29 of the Web News of the West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust (WHOTT), but you need to be a member to access it.

David Call

05/12/18 – 07:51

Sorry, what I said above isn’t correct, past issues of the newsletter are available in hard copy at £2.00 each, but they have to be ordered by post and payment needs to be by cheque/postal order.

David Call

16/12/18 – 07:50

Thanks for the info. It seems an unusual choice of chassis & bodybuilder for a small operator in West Wales. Do we know if it was new to Jones, how long they kept it and what happened to the coach eventually?

David Field

18/12/18 – 07:28

This unique vehicle seems to have been either a speculative build or a cancelled order. It was advertised for sale [new] in Commercial Motor 2/9/49 by the coachbuilder as a 33 seater and the photos do seem to agree with that. http://archive.commercialmotor.com/
It later passed to Williams (Tumble Coaches), Upper Tumble and they traded it in to Sleeman a London dealer in 1958. It ended up with a showman.

Martin Ingle


Traffic Lorry Bus

CC 2029

Re the appended photo of Traffic Lorry Bus CC 2029 – does anyone know who manufactured the Traffic brand chassis, and where?

Keith Jaggers

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20/11/18 – 12:10

The only information I can find is that the company was American.

Chris Hebbron

07/12/18 – 06:58

The Traffic was made by the Traffic Motor Truck Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.. 1917-1929.

Pete Comb

09/12/18 – 09:09

There is a brief Wikipedia article on this manufacturer, which appears to have been a casualty of the 1929 depression:- https://en.wikipedia.org/

Roger Cox


Early ’20s Crash



The most battered photograph in this pair has been in the family for as long as I can remember with the stories of our ancestors being killed on returning from a game at a pub. Some ghoulish person has put an X on the tree where one of the passengers ended his life. Even today, driving down that road to Oxenhope near Keighley, requires careful negotiating. I would guess that the date is early ’20s and with 1920s brake technology, one slip of a crash gear box… Does anyone else have any information about this incident?

David Rhodes

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JHL 670 Atkinson

JHL 670

JHL 670 Atkinson PL745H FC4656 Plaxton 2966 C41C new 7/1956 to Young, Hornchurch via Comberhill, Wakefield (dealer) sold to Val O’Sullivan in Hospital, Ireland circa 2002 from John Brenson, Little Waltham, Essex. Has anyone seen it since? (photo taken by Val O’Sullivan shortly after he bought it)

John Wakefield

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13/11/18 – 06:39

I have heard on good authority that JHL 670 is still with Val O’Sullivan but is a non runner, engine seized he also owns Guy SS MXX 352, an unidentified rear engine Foden and a Bedford J2 Plaxton.

John Wakefield


The Origins of HWR 396

HWR 396

Can anyone help with identifying the origins of HWR 396, which appears to be an AEC Regal of Baldwin and Barlow, Tow Law t/a Heather Bell.
I have tried the PSV Circle chassis publications for AECs and can find nothing. I suspect it could be a rebuild from an earlier chassis, but the registration suggests around 1946. The attached photo was taken by Alan Cross.

Philip Harwell

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24/10/18 – 06:17

This is a West Riding registration not a municipality. Sounds Like FC Burrows to me…


24/10/18 – 06:19

Philip, ‘HWR’ was first issued in July 1948, and was a West Riding of Yorkshire registration mark. A look on the ‘Bus Lists on the Web’ site sadly drew a blank regarding HWR 396, even after typing in the registration number. The only ‘HWR’ AEC Regal III listed was HWR 121, a Santus C33F-bodied coach delivered to Anderton’s of Keighley in August 1948 (Chassis No. 6821A126). Sorry the info is not really of much use, apart from pointing strongly to Baldwin & Barlow acquiring HWR 396 second-hand, but I’ll try ferreting through any books containing photos of ‘Yorkshire operators’ and see what happens. "The plot thickens….." as the saying goes, along with another used up here – "Tha’ nivver knows…."

Brendan Smith

25/10/18 – 05:00

If I may answer my own over-hasty posting: its not FC Burrows (they are roofers) but Tom Burrows of Wombwell and there was a lot of correspondence about them at one time on OBP- but no sign in published listings of HWR 396. The answer is out there somewhere!


25/10/18 – 05:02

At a glance this looks like a standard Duple body of the period but I don’t think it is. The side flash isn’t applied in Duple style and there are two sliding ventilators provided to the side windows whereas I believe Duple used wind down windows in their post-war A type body. Also interesting is the cab door which has a straight bottom edge to it and no toe holds provided for the driver to climb in. Other than using the nut guard on the front wheel, I imagine accessing the cab would have been quite a challenge.
I think this coach is a copy of the Duple A style, I know that Gurney Nutting produced some lookalikes but I’m not sure they did so as early as 1946. It’s a good effort but I feel sure it’s not the real thing.

Chris Barker

This was a rebuild of an AEC Regent I, chassis number 06614408, original registration number HL 7772, and I suspect that, as a double decker, probably with a Roe lowbridge body when it was new to Bullock & Sons of Featherstone.
The chassis was rebodied by Tower Coachworks of Leeds and reregistered for Myers Rose of Shipley, from whom the coach was acquired by Balwin and Barlow (Heather Bell) of Tow Law in either 1949 or 1950. It ran for Heather Bell until 1960.
In this photograph, HWR 396 is in Bishop Auckland, operating the Stanhope – Wolsingham – Fir Tree – Howden-le-Wear – Bishop Auckland service. It is obviously a Thursday or Saturday (Bishop Auckland market days, when the service ran hourly, instead of 2-hourly on other days), because there is a duplicate vehicle alongside. The duplicate coach is also a rebuild from an earlier chassis, one of three, KTC 450/454/457, with Trans-United bodies and chassis numbers 0662/LD/001, 5 & 8. Baldwin and Barlow acquired these from the Kia Ora / Tattersall group in Lancashire, the chassis rebuilds having been carried out by AEC dealer Oswald Tillotson’s Lancashire Depot (LD), in Burnley.
Heather Bell also operated another Tower bodied coach, LPT 40, a Leyland PS1, which they acquired new in 1950.

Charles Marshall

27/10/18 – 05:19

There is a photograph of this vehicle in it’s original form as double decker HL 7772 in the Super Prestige series, number eight, South Yorkshire and Bullocks. It’s particularly interesting because it had a Willowbrook lowbridge body of the twin sunken gangway type with a seating capacity of 48. It was one of two, new in 1937 and refurbished by Barnaby in 1945. The caption to the photograph states that they were withdrawn by 1951 but that would conflict with the registration of the coach if HWR 396 was issued in July 1948. Assuming it was withdrawn by Bullocks in early 1948, it would seem to have had a rather short life with them particularly as it had been refurbished only three years previously. Perhaps the twin sunken gangways and resultant low capacity were the main factors in their early demise with Bullocks.

Chris Barker

28/10/18 – 07:43

HWR 396 was withdrawn by Bullock in 1948. HWR 397 did survive to pass with the business to West Riding in 1950, but was sold by them two months later. It ran as a lorry in Wales for a further 18 months. The fact that it saw no further use as a bus would seem to indicate that the 1945 Barnaby refurb cannot have been that extensive.

David Hick

28/10/18 – 07:44

The single side gangway style of lowbridge bodywork was patented (the name ‘lowbridge’ thereby becoming a trade name) by Leyland before the emergence of the Titan in 1927. In 1928, to get round the Leyland patent, Hall, Lewis and Company introduced a double gangway design which was termed ‘lowheight’ to avoid problems with Leyland, and this style became used by other manufacturers for some ten years or so, notwithstanding the capacity limitations and extra intrusions into the lower deck ceiling. It would seem, however, that the Leyland lowbridge patent expired in the mid 1930s, possibly as early as 1935, when Manchester began a programme of rebodying 40 TD1 twin gangway buses with Crossley single gangway bodies on MCW frames. It does seem a little surprising that twin gangway double deckers should still have been constructed in 1937, unless there were specific reasons for doing so.

Roger Cox

28/10/18 – 07:46

Thank you, gentlemen, for your help in uncovering the origins of HWR.

Philip Hanwell

28/10/18 – 15:39

I’m trying to keep a working up to date history of B&S greatly expanding on the fleet history published by the PSVC. To that end this vehicle is of interest.
Starting life as HL 7772 it was indeed bodied by Willowbrook but the photo in the Super Prestige book looks as though there are seats arranged four across – so probably not twin gangways. 48 seats isn’t really too low a figure considering that Roe also supplied two L24/24R bodies later the same year on HL 8493/4 and many others similar to West Riding which didn’t have two gangways. In the picture of 171 (HL 6349) which is the forward entrance Daimler with Willowbrook body you can see seats arranged three across, giving space for the second gangway, but the individual rows are closer together so allowing as many seats as a conventional single side gangway layout. There is usually a lot more legroom when seats are arranged four across.
HL 7772 didn’t pass to West Riding in 9/50 as it had already left the fleet and was only registered HWR 396 after it had been rebuilt. Myers Wrose Tours Ltd only ran it three months so perhaps it wasn’t what they expected of it ?.
The PSVC records for Baldwin & Barlow {Heather Belle} show that HWR 396 only reached the unknown dealer in Gateshead in 9/60 so a suggestion that the Tower body may have been transferred to LPT 40 in 4/50 is clearly wide of the mark. It is certainly rare that two Tower bodied coaches should serve in the same fleet considering that the coachbuilder wasn’t exactly mainstream. (They only built one body on Leyland PS chassis)
What then is HWR 397 – I can’t find any reference to that in the B&S records?

Mike Bennett (PSV Circle)

29/10/18 – 05:49

Apologies for the reference to HWR 397-the vehicle I was referring to was HL 7773, HL 7772’s sister vehicle-I was trying to illustrate the fact that the bodies on both vehicles must have been pretty worn out, hence the re-bodying of one and the conversion of the other into a lorry.

David Hick

30/10/18 – 06:59

There’s a little more information about Tower Coachworks here. http://www.sct61.org.uk/ld29d
I’m aware that the address of Raine’s of Spennymoor was Tower Coachworks, but I don’t suspect any connection with the Leeds company.

David Call

30/10/18 – 07:00

To follow on Charles Marshall thread, Heather Bell also run a Regal MK 3 CFK541 which was New to Burnham’s of Worcestor in 6/1948 later sold onto Baldwin of Tow Law in 7/1953 operated by Heather Bell coach was used on the Bishop Auckland to Stanhope service. I have no withdrawal date of the coach. On retirement of Baldwin & Barlow Heather Bell was sold to Gibson’s in 1962.

Alan Coulson

27/11/18 – 07:07

Mike Bennett.
From having went to Unknown Gateshead dealer in 9/1960 HWR 396 ex Baldwin & Barlow coach went to D. Coates of Gateshead in 7/1961, no further trace thereafter.

Alan Coulson


KWR 450

KWR 450

KWR 450. PSV Circle list this as being on a Bedford OY chassis number 68232 with Barnaby B30F body new to E Laycock & Sons, Barnoldswick 1/51 fleet No 49. This looks more like a Duple Mk II bus body on an OB chassis. Maybe PSVC have made a mistake and its an OB chassis or number plates were swapped to an OB later? The OY was a 3 ton general purpose army truck chassis, shorter than the OB.
The Perkins badge on radiator grille suggests this had been re engined with a diesel engine, photo was apparently taken in Skipton bus station in the 1950’s when owned by Laycock

John Wakefield

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16/09/18 – 06:54

I think the key to the wheelbase issue is that the chassis was new in 1943 and was rebuilt before being bodied in 1951. The body in the photograph has several features shared with other Barnaby bodies of the period.The Perkins engine was probably fitted at time of the rebuild, Laycocks re-engined quite a few Bedfords with Perkins engines around this time.No 50 in fleet was an OWB rebuild, again with a Barnaby body and Perkins engine: www.flickr.com/photos/niagarekoja

David Hick

16/09/18 – 06:56

According to the Ezra Laycock ( First Bus in Yorkshire) book, this was an OB (P6 engine) purchased new in 1950.However looking at Laycocks other OBs including those purchased with the business of Silver Star of Carleton it appears to have a 1948 chassis number. While I don’t have a list of actual registration number dates, it would appear likely that KWR450 IS a 1950 registration.
Possibly,therefore it is either an OY which was never actually sold, or an earlier OB which for some reason was delivered out of sequence. Or there might be some other explanation altogether – perhaps connected with Perkins. Laycocks previous bus bodied OB together with bus bodied and downgraded coach bodied WTBs , and a rebuilt OWB were all fitted with Perkins engines.

Malcolm Hirst


Unidentified French(?) Bus Photo

GHB 361

Roger sent this photo saying he had sent details earlier but I did not receive them, I tried to email Roger but no reply. So what does anybody know about this one.

Roger Monk

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09/09/18 – 06:21

The bus is a Latil and like most, if not all, vehicles built by the company, it is RHD.

Pete Comb


Another Mystery Bus in Cambridge


This pic captioned date unknown is published on the Cambridge News web site. Caption says "Cambridge Charabanc outing date unknown".
looks to have been taken in early 1920’s, the name on the front reads ‘Ethelredia’, not sure if this is the name of the chara, or the operator, but no mention of a company called Ethelredia in Paul Carters ‘Cambridge 1’ book. Ortona had three Straker Squire chara’s CE7023-5 with 33 seat bodies, could be one of these.

John Wakefield

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29/08/18 – 10:22

Ethelreda (or Audrey) was a Christian saint connected with the Abbey Of Ely, so Ely may be a clue.



Mystery Bus in Cambridge


Local Cambridgeshire historian Mike Petty has recently posted this pic on Flickr but unfortunately has not captioned it. I think we can assume the pic was taken in Cambridge or surrounding area as Mike has put it in an album entitled ‘CambsPix’ by the looks of it in the early 1930’s.
Can anyone identify the make of coach and who the operator may be.


There is a crest on the side with what looks like 3 letters, but is very indistinct. The pic appears to have been copied from a book or other publication.

John Wakefield

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14/08/18 – 06:05

Commer Invader of around 1933, perhaps? No idea about the operator though.

Eric Bawden

15/08/18 – 06:45

With respect, this does not seem to be a Commer Invader, which, unlike the mystery bus, had narrow track axles, the front wheels being "embellished" with large hubcaps, precursors of the chromium plated excrescences of 1960s lightweights. www.flickr.com/photos/
In the years up to the 1930s a number of small operators in the Cambridge area used a garter style of fleetname which incorporated the initials of the proprietor. Both Norman Thompson of Harston & District, and Jabez Parnell of Haddenham & District employed this device, and, if we could decipher the lettering on the mystery bus, it might be possible to have a crack at identifying the operator and hence the vehicle. I have trawled through my books by Cambridgeshire transport expert Paul Carter without success.

Roger Cox

16/08/18 – 06:15

I’ve played around with this in Photoshop without too much success. The lettering in the garter I could marginally improve, enough to make a bit clearer the last three letters on the upper left side of the garter which seem to be Ltd. The first three letters on the top of the right hand side maybe Cam , the C is certain, the rest not so much. This looks like a short name on the left and a larger location on the right given the proportions of the space on each side of the garter. I can’t make much sense of the logo in the middle. What looks like legal lettering in white on the lower forward panel definitely starts with J but the second word has the wrong shapes for Parnell. Even though the lettering on the right of the garter begins with C there is no certainty that the coach isn’t visiting from further afield.

Phil Blinkhorn

16/08/18 – 06:16

The front hubs were the one reservation I had about it being a Commer.
The style of hub looks familiar, and quite distinctive but I can’t put my finger on it. Morris Commercial springs to mind, but I doubt it and the wheels aren’t right for a Ford BB.

Eric Bawden

16/08/18 – 06:17

Further reflections. The exuberance of the occupants suggests that this might well have been a visiting coach party rather than a local bus, in which case the vehicle could have come from way beyond the Cambridgeshire locality.

Roger Cox

17/08/18 – 06:58

A likely possibility is that the coach was a Gilford AS6 from Harston and District, (there is a pic of one (VE8761) on page 8 of Paul Carters Premier Travel book which looks to have the same or similar logo. If so it was being hired in by Edward Lainson, the man who started Premier Travel Ltd., who in 1932 started a bus company with some undergraduate friends and called it ‘Undergraduate Roadways’ I think this pic could have been taken on the inaugural trip.
Not sure, but the lady looking out of the passenger door window may be Edward Lainson’s girl friend later to become Mrs Lainson.
The pic is in Mike Petty’s Flickr postings ref No 186.64, unfortunately he has not activated a comments box for viewers to add comments, but various sizes of the pic can be down loaded.

John Wakefield

17/08/18 – 06:58

The angle of the photo makes identification of the vehicle rather difficult, but I harbour the notion that this might be a Gilford AS6, a type that was quite well represented in the eastern area. Like Phil, I have played about with the crest, in my case using PhotoZoom Pro which writes in extra pixels when zooming, but again without material success.

Roger Cox

17/08/18 – 06:59

I have now heard from Mike Petty, he says the coach was owned by S C Woolstenholmes of Haddenham Cambs. He does not know what the make of coach is or what it was doing.

John Wakefield

19/08/18 – 06:43

Further info has come to light via Martin Ingle and Cambridgeshire Community Archive. The coach is possibly Gilford AS6 HF 7747 new to Harding & Taylor, Birkenhead in 1931 and later passing to Sidney Charles Woolstenholme of Haddenham in who’s ownership it was in the pic (date unknown) taken in Hillrow, Haddenham, the initials in logo are SCW. So pic not taken in Cambridge! see http://haddenham-aldreth.ccan.co.uk/

John Wakefield

20/08/18 – 06:41

Congratulations on your detective work, John. Gratifying, too, that our identification of the vehicle type was accurate. The garter style fleetname must have been a speciality of a sign writer in the locality – no vinyls back in the 1930s – as it was used by Jabez Parnell and Norman Thompson, as well as Sidney Charles Woolstenholme, and possibly by others.

Roger Cox

22/08/18 – 06:38

It would be interesting to know what is written in the garter.

Phil Blinkhorn

24/08/18 – 07:24

Phil, the version of this picture on Johns link (click on the bottom right hand corner for a bigger view) suggests to me that there is nothing at all written in the circumference of the garter. It has emerged that Sidney Charles Woolstenholmes was fundamentally a haulage operator specialising in the bulk collection of milk from farms around the Black Fen region, and his two private hire coaches were a sideline to his main activities. The lorries seem to have had a more flamboyant version of the garter device as seen here:- http://haddenham-aldreth.ccan.co.uk/

Roger Cox

25/08/18 – 07:05

I’m not sure when transfers came into common usage, but blank garter transfers were produced, requiring a sign writer to merely ‘personalise’ them for an operator.

David Williamson

26/08/18 – 07:12

The initials in the garter, and the garter itself, on the coach are totally different to the monogram on the lorry garter. I don’t think that Mr. Woolstenholme would have used different initials on his lorries and coaches, with the lorries being more complex than that on the coaches. Unless some elements of the Coach initials have been lost in the photographic process the initials appear to read L.E.R.

David Hick

26/08/18 – 07:14

Having now identified the operator of the coach, the question still remains as to what it was doing. I still think it was being hired in to Edward Lainson for his fledgling Undergraduate Roadways. The passengers do look like undergraduate types rather than ‘fen folk’ I am sure I have seen this photo before in connection with Lainson & Undergraduate Roadways. Its not in Paul Carters books (Cambridge 1 or Premier Travel) nor in Premier’s own book Premier’s Progress edited by Mrs Lainson.

John Wakefield




This came out of a pile of rubbish left when clearing out someone’s effects. It was found in Derbyshire. Sorry I don’t have any more information. It is 9" x 35" and I would guess it has come from a lower deck bulkhead. Can anyone tell me more about it please?

David Rhodes

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29/07/18 – 07:28

Looks suspiciously like STD (Sheffield) typeface and 468 would make it a PD3/1 Roe H39/30R of 1959.

David Oldfield

29/07/18 – 07:28

This is typically Sheffield Transport. My guess is that it came off the saloon side of the bulkhead behind the driver. Best guess HWA 148, an AEC Regent of 1942

Les Dickinson

29/07/18 – 07:30

This is a pure guess, but the font of "468" vaguely points to Sheffield Corporation (and I have no idea why, as I have never been particularly familiar with them).

Malcolm Hirst

30/07/18 – 06:25

Like David, Les and Malcolm, I immediately thought of Sheffield.
That same typeface was also used by Rochdale Corporation although I know it isn’t one of theirs.
The name ‘Tearn’s Transfers’ also came to mind but I don’t know if Tearn’s made the transfers for Rochdale and Sheffield. I Googled Tearn’s and the company (or a successor) still trades today.

David Slater

30/07/18 – 06:25

David Oldfield could be right as the one he refers to would have been withdrawn in the mid-seventies however I believe that the numbers were applied direct to the panel-work by then rather than being on a separate block as shown in the picture. HWA 148 became Gritter G51 for many years after being withdrawn from passenger service so bits may have survived longer than normal. Be interesting to see where this one goes though.

Les Dickinson

30/07/18 – 06:26

Smoking was prohibited, but presumably spitting was permitted!!!

Chris Hebbron

31/07/18 – 06:48

Thanks to everyone who has had a go at solving the puzzle. I thought it likely to be Sheffield – it just has that look about it. ECW bulkhead panels had the main one placed centrally. I only ever saw "no spitting" on Huddersfield trolleybuses. The colour of this panel is quite strange because it appears to have a metallic tinge mixed into the cream. Pity somebody had a scratch around at it and just spoiled the tidiness. So there it is. I think we all agree on Sheffield, but not sure about the actual vehicle. I’ll probably put it on eBay at some time in the future and that’ll make sure that it goes to the right home – someone who appreciates it.

David Rhodes

01/08/18 – 07:21

Other operators to have NO SPITTING notices were to my knowledge, Ashton Corporation, Swindon, SHMD Joint Board, and St Helens.
I am sure there are others.

Stephen Howarth

01/08/18 – 07:23

One query…what would be under the smudged out part above the number, if anything?

Chris Hebbron

01/08/18 – 07:23

Rochdale Corporation’s take on the spitting sign was ‘SPITTING STRICTLY PROHIBITED’

David Slater

02/08/18 – 06:12

From the 1940s until well into the 1950s Manchester Corporation’s vehicles’ lower deck bulkheads contained two admonishments. Above the nearside window "NO SPITTING", above the driver’s window "NO SMOKING". The central pillar carried an advertising space frequently extolling the benefits of using the Manchester Ship Canal often ending with the slogan "Use the Ship Canal" In the days before widespread car ownership many of Manchester’s importers and exporters went to work by bus.
The admonishment about spitting and the advert were combined by a local comedian in his music hall act and the saying "Don’t spit, use the Ship Canal" became a well known local saying.

Phil Blinkhorn

02/08/18 – 06:13

Tom Robinson, secretary of the Sheffield Transport Study Group is of the opinion that the saloon bulkhead panel shown from 468 would be from Roe-bodied PD3 4468WE as the bulkhead panel from HWA 148 of 1942 would have been in wood and the one shown appears to be metal.

John Darwent

02/08/18 – 06:14

‘SPITTING STRICTLY PROHIBITED’ was perhaps more prevalent in the coalfield areas where many miners used to chew tobacco rather than smoke it. The practice, I believe, required required spit to be discharged at certain intervals.
Derby Corporation had an unusual notice: PLEASE KEEP YOU FEET OFF THE PANELS – although it didn’t specify which panels.

Chris Barker

03/08/18 – 05:15

It wasn’t only a problem on buses, my grandfather was a railway guard on the Woodhead line, he also used to chew tobacco and would spit into the open fire at home. At our house he would sometimes forget and spit all down the front of our flame effect gas fire!

Tony Johnson

04/08/18 – 07:17

I can remember, passing through Carlisle in the mid-1950’s, going into a pub one evening. As per usual, I went into the lounge which was full of women, giving me an unwelcome stare. I decided to go into the Public Bar. It had sawdust on the floor, which was awash with beer and there was a spittoon in one corner, which one person decided to use I beat a hasty retreat and went back to the hotel and to bed! Aah, the good old days!

Chris Hebbron

05/08/18 – 07:37

Chris,in SHMD territory only what was termed a "Southern Jessie" would try and go in the Lounge. As a child I would be sent in there to get a large jug filled up with Stout to take home to my cotton mill worker Grandmother. When I was beyond the bottle of pop and packet of crisps age I used to drink with my Dad and Grandads, this had to be in the Vault. This would be full of men like them with arms like Popeye.(the product of hard manual labour, not gym and steroids), most of these men had served in one or both wars. The time to leave would be if one of them put his dimpled pint glass upside down on the bar, this was a challenge that he would take on anybody in a fist fight.

Tony Johnson

05/08/18 – 07:37

"Spitting Prohibited" was on the lower deck bulkhead of Hants and Dorset buses at least until those delivered as late as the early sixties. As an apprentice in the early seventies I asked why it was there and was told it was to try to reduce the spread of TB.

Steve Barnett

06/08/18 – 06:26

I think TB is the most likely. It was a nasty killer and spitting in mining areas was not just the (declining?) footballer gesture, but a whole ritual of collecting…that will do…The top brown bit looks like a dab of paint as if covering up the ownership- but who?



GO 8512

GO 8512

GO 8512_2

I’ve attached a photo of GO 8512 which I have been unable to identify and I would be grateful if you could upload to the DYK feature. I have received permission from the Museum which owns the photo to do this.

Nigel Turner

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10/07/18 – 07:32

To expand on the caption, the photo is in the collection of Halstead (Essex) Museum and should therefore logically have some connection with the area.

Nigel Turner

10/07/18 – 07:30

Sorry, no idea, but at the risk of being called a smart Alec, the close up reveals that it is actually GD 8512.

Stephen Ford

10/07/18 – 07:33

To me that registration is without doubt GD 8512 – the corners of the letter are not all the same as they would be if it was an ‘O’.

David Beilby

11/07/18 – 06:02

Yes, certainly looks like GD which was a Glasgow mark.

Andy Johnson

11/07/18 – 06:05

I’m fairly sure this is a REO Pullman, similar to this one: http://transpressnz.blogspot.com

John Stringer

11/07/18 – 06:06

Registration GD 8512 was issued in 1927 in Glasgow. It is a REO (REO Pullman?).

David Hick

05/08/18 – 07:33

According to "Fred" who posted on sct61.org.uk this was a 26 seat REO Pullman first registered in Glasgow in October 1927. It later served with A.E. Letch of Sible Hedingham.
Letch sold his operations in June 1960 to his part time assistant, a keen enthusiast called Donald MacGregor. Mr. MacGregor renamed the business "Hedingham & District Omnibuses" and spent the next fifty years building it in to a major operator.
Thanks to all who contributed. Now all we have to do is find the location!

Nigel Turner

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 19th August 2019