Stockport Corporation – Leyland Titan – KJA 871F – 71/5871

Stockport Corporation - Leyland Titan PD3 - KJA 871F - 71 / 5871
Copyright Ken Jones

Stockport Corporation
1968
Leyland Titan PD3/14
East Lancs H38/32R

KJA 871F is a Leyland Titan PD3/14 with East Lancs H38/32R body, new to Stockport Corporation as their no. 71 in February 1968. It is preserved at The Manchester Museum of Transport in Boyle Street, Cheetham Hill. Greater Manchester. The museum is next to an operational bus garage.
It is photographed on 24/7/10 returning to the museum on a shuttle service from Heaton Park, during a running day linking the museum and the tram system at Heaton Park. It is preserved in SELNEC livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones


26/03/13 – 16:17

Stockport’s second attempt at something "new fangled"!!
After years of almost dedicated conservatism Stockport dipped their toe into the second half of the twentieth century with this, the first of their first batch of 30 foot long double deckers. Apart from the length, nothing else changed. Rear open platform, East Lancs bodies with wind down windows and draught/drip strips.
Still a magnificent vehicle and one of the few body styles to really look good in SELNEC orange.
As a matter of interest, Stockport’s first attempt at modernity was the inclusion of translucent roof centres from 1964 onwards.

Phil Blinkhorn


26/03/13 – 17:17

…..but they did try tin fronts on the 1958 Crossley bodies – and finally went mad and had a batch of forward entrance PD3s…..

David Oldfield


27/03/13 – 06:55

The livery is an abomination compared with that which it bore before the advent of SELNEC and the blinds are totally unsuited to the apertures but as an example of the way that presentational standards dropped during the ’70’s it is perfect.
Actually, Stockport’s first attempt at modernity was the trolleybuses of 1913 but perhaps that experience persuaded the Transport Dept to draw in it’s horns thereafter though they did order several TD4c’s as tramway replacements …. adventurous by their standards!
Truth is that conservatism paid for Stockport. They got a standardized fleet of reliable vehicles and ran a profitable organization even though most of their vehicles were two man operated and they had the advantage of lower dwell times that omo fleets. Mind you, I should have hated to have to drive a PD3 for a living!

Orla Nutting


27/03/13 – 06:56

The SELNEC orange and white has had a lot of bad press amongst enthusiasts. I think this was largely because it replaced a lot of cherished and varied municipal liveries in the area. In itself I thought it was not unattractive and in some instances was an improvement on the previous municipal scheme. I quote as an example Rochdale’s dreadfully bland all over cream with a bit of blue which was adopted for spray painting in the early 1960’s. The majestic Weymann bodied Regent V’s looked much better to me in SELNEC livery. It was really designed for rear engined buses and did generally sit uneasily on front engined double deckers particularly where an exposed radiator was used. One thing in SELNEC’s favour was that it went for something new and did not favour any of the previous liveries of any of the constituent operators. West Midlands got a watered down Birmingham livery for example with no recognition of the other three operators involved. The same applied on Tyneside with South Shields not getting a look in.

Philip Halstead


27/03/13 – 12:17

Orla has a good point about the trolleybuses, especially as they were Lloyd Kohler system of current transfer – a total dead end in the trolleybus world.
I’m not sure the tin fronts were an attempt at modernity. Leyland decided to standardise on the tin front and later St Helen’s fronts. For a period, there was a small premium for the traditional radiator. This coincided with Stockport’s tin front and St Helens front orders – so the adoption of these styles was typical of their monetary conservatism.
Philip restates a long held misunderstanding regarding the design of SELNEC’s livery. It was definitely not designed for rear engined vehicles, or even the SELNEC "Standards", the design of which had not been finalised at the time the livery was agreed.
In 1970 I had a meeting with Tony Harrison in his office in Peter House. On the window ledge was a range of bus models, some Corgi, some Dinky, some hand built and a mix of single deckers and front and rear engined double deckers in an array of colour schemes.
Whilst I was there for another reason to be revealed in an article in due course, I asked Tony what they were for. As I found out later when he was my boss, he wasn’t the most patient man but he told me they had been used when the livery was designed and he gave me chapter and verse on how the SELNEC Board were frustrated by what at the time was a negative public and media reaction to the scheme.
He told me that they had decided to avoid any reference to any of the constituent Transport Departments’ colours and had looked to have designed a layout between the orange and warm white which would look balanced on any vehicle even when side advertising was applied.
Stuart Brown in "Greater Manchester Buses" states correctly that the orange band above the lower deck windows was not to be more than 12 inches deep and the white on the between decks panel was to be fixed at 26 inches.
This is where the misapprehension regarding the scheme being designed for rear engined vehicles arises. Whilst the "Standard" design hadn’t been finalised when the dimensions of the scheme were worked out, the dimensions were exactly those of the Northern Counties "Standard" but not of the Park Royal version, which had a deeper between decks band.
At the time they had expected to keep rear entrance double deckers until the end of the 1970s, given the slow delivery rate from the Leyland group so needed a scheme to cover all types. The initial scheme the designers came up with was the Mancunian scheme with the white replaced by orange and the red by white. There was a model of a rear entrance bus in Tony’s office in that scheme and it look terrible, particularly around the rear nearside, though it looked a little better on a rear engined model. It was quickly rejected.
Once real vehicles were painted two things became apparent. With certain types, keeping to the dimensions made some bodies look ungainly. The difference in depth of the orange below the upper deck window line due to window depth, to maintain the 26 inches between decks white dimension, gave the impression of random application when different bodies were seen together.
Secondly, after a short period of time, different paint shops decided to vary the application to suit certain body styles. The Northern Division was the worst offender. Bury’s MCW bodied Atlanteans were painted almost correctly but almost identical Bolton versions had different paint dimensions and Bolton’s East Lancs bodied Atlanteans had different versions almost batch by batch. Bolton’s MCW front entrance PD3s had a unique version of the Orion scheme with virtually no orange under the windows making the between decks white very wide.
What had been intended as a non-partisan, unifying scheme rapidly descended into something resembling a visual disaster.

Phil Blinkhorn


27/03/13 – 12:18

Although Stockport had a conservative vehicle-buying policy and never operated a rear-engined double-decker, a batch of Bristol VRs was being built for them at the time of SELNEC’s formation but a fire at the factory destroyed them all before delivery.
This must have been the East Lancs factory in Blackburn. Someone will know more! There is a story that at least one of the chassis ended up in New Zealand.

Geoff Kerr


27/03/13 – 16:47

The fire was at the East Lancs Blackburn factory. The full story will appear on this Forum shortly. One VRT chassis was certainly saved in complete form and ended up in Woollagong Australia with a locally built body. It’s been stated that of the rest, those that could be salvaged were broken for spares.
There is a story that Daw Bank would not have received the vehicles and that they would have been sent to Leigh where they would have been used to introduce OMO service, their lower height would have allowed them to be stabled in the old Corporation depot.

Phil Blinkhorn


28/03/13 – 06:49

Philip H mentions South Shields not getting a look in with the new T&W PTE livery, Sunderland were in the same boat. T&W decided that their livery would be based on the yellow of Newcastle Corporation, they went through several different permutations before they eventually settled for something not a million miles from where they started. The change would have been obvious to anyone living in South Shields or Sunderland, whereas most people in the Newcastle area would hardly be aware that the livery had changed.

Ronnie Hoye


28/03/13 – 06:49

In a recent edition of ‘Classic Bus’ there was a brave attempt by Mike Eyre based on Soton buses to interpret what the VR’s would have looked like had they made it to Stockport including mock ‘J’ registrations in the JA series. Unfortunately I think the answer is ‘ugly’ especially with the treatment of the radiator grills and had they gone to Leigh I should not have wept.

Orla Nutting


28/03/13 – 07:57

Orla, I haven’t seen the Mike Eyre attempt but I can say two things with certainty based on seeing the first of the batch complete and painted. The vehicles would have looked very much like any other East Lancs rear engine design, similar to the last Bury Atlanteans and Fleetlines plus radiator grilles a la the delivery of VRs to Sheffield in 1972.
As Mike’s attempt was based on Southampton, I assume you mean the livery layout. Of course the bus was painted in full SELNEC colours but no logo or legal lettering had been applied when I saw it so the veracity of the Leigh story cannot be confirmed. The front indicator layout was standard SELNEC with a number indicator in the usual SELNEC nearside position.
My East Lancs’ contact promised to look out the correspondence with Stockport regarding livery for my subsequent visit. My contact said he seemed to remember they had been asked to quote for both the traditional Stockport layout and a revised layout based on that supplied on the Leopards. There seems to have been a division of opinion in the Stockport Transport Committee regarding the Leopard scheme. He did comment that the traditional layout cost a few pounds more per bus due to the extra masking and lining out.
Of course my subsequent visit never materialised as the fire intervened, destroyed their records and lost me an order for SELNEC!

Phil Blinkhorn


29/03/13 – 06:50

The first attempts at modernising the look of the early rear engined double deckers fell broadly into two camps: the peak and angle treatment (Liverpool and Bolton) and the curves (e.g. most Alexanders, plus other builders using Alexander features). Unfortunately by 1970 the standard offering from East Lancs had a foot in each camp, with a peaked dome above a curved windscreen, which always jarred with me. This is the version which Mike Eyre used as the basis for his image. The curved windscreen was not obligatory, however – the Sheffield VRs didn’t have it, and neither did the Fleetlines ordered by Bury and delivered to SELNEC. As for the grill on the Sheffield VRs, the attempt to hide it rather than make a feature of it was not a clever idea, although I’m sure it must have saved a few quid!

Peter Williamson


29/03/13 – 08:54

Peter, this is the body style used on the "Stockport" VRs: www.sct61.org.uk/ 
Move the staircase forward to the standard front entrance position and add the grille and you have the bus as I saw it.

Phil Blinkhorn


29/03/13 – 08:55

The Sheffield East Lancs bodied VRs were withdrawn by the PTE as non-standard in the late seventies They went on to have long lives with various NBC companies notably Crosville and Hastings & District In late 1974 one was on loan as a demonstrator to West Yorkshire PTE I saw it working the Bradford-Halifax service New VRs did not figure on WYPTE orders but its successor Yorkshire Rider ran many after they absorbed West Yorkshire Road Car in 1990.
As well as Sheffield Merseyside PTE also ran some East Lancs bodied VRs

Chris Hough


31/03/13 – 07:42

The Sheffield VR loaned to West Yorkshire PTE in 1975 was fleet number 275. It was a swap with WYPTE AN68 6003 which was fitted with Leyland G3 automatic gearbox control which SYPTE wished to try. Engineers from Dennis had a look at the drive train of the VR whilst it was at Halifax when they were designing the Dominator (ie how NOT to design a drive train!)

Ian Wild

 

Tynemouth and District – Guy Arab III – FT 7388 – 188

Tynemouth and District - Guy Arab III - FT 7388 - 188
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Tynemouth and District
1952
Guy Arab III
Weymann H30/26R

On the last leg of its journey from Whitley Bay St Mary’s Island to Newcastle Haymarket, this 1952 H30/26R Weymann bodied Guy Arab III was one of ten in the NGT Tynemouth and District fleet; FT 7381/90 181/90. When new the livery would have been the same as the two Regent’s and the Pickering Arab featured elsewhere on this site. The interiors of these sturdy well built bodies were finished to a very high standard, they were double skinned throughout, the lights had glass covers with chrome bezels and the area around the window’s was finished off with polished wood surrounds. As with all of T&D vehicles of the period, the seat cushions and backrests were upholstered in a rather attractive dark red moquette, the backs and cushion edges were trimmed in leather. Percy Main’s first 8ft wide buses, they were also the first with sliding cab doors, but they were a heavy beast and lacked many of the creature comforts we now take for granted. No heaters or power steering, they had a crash box and the brakes could best be described as adequate. They were fitted with the almost indestructible Gardner 5LW and breakdowns were extremely rare, but they were anything but fast, and these days they would be underpowered and would struggle to keep pace with traffic, but they could scale the North Face of The Eiger ‘metaphorically speaking’. I was 6 in 1952, so in my youth I must have clocked up quite a few passenger miles on these, but they were withdrawn in 1966 so I never drove one on service. However, one vehicle in particular was to play a significant part in my life; at the tender age of 21, in January 1967 I started my driver training at Percy Main and passed my test two weeks later, the training vehicle was 189 and the instructor was a chap called Jackie Gallon. He taught me how to start off using the clutch, then go through the box from 1 to 4 and back to 1 just by listening to the engine ‘no rev counters in those days’ the object of the exercise was to keep the engine in tune with the gearbox, and done properly the gears would just fall into place as smooth as silk, but get it wrong and everyone within a radius of 100yd’s would hear about it. Once you’ve mastered the technique you can get a quick change down on a hill that would rival any other gearbox I’ve ever encountered. The early Orion bodied Arabs that followed these were stripped to the bone to achieve lightness, but they were an unpleasant vehicle to be on as you were subjected to a constant barrage of knocks bangs rattles and squeaks, and the interiors looked cheap and chatty in comparison. I know of some similar Weymann bodies have survived, but I’m not aware of any on a GuyFT 7388_2 chassis.
As a footnote, If you look behind the bus, going in the opposite direction is what looks like the rear of a MK 3 Zodiac, so the photo cant be earlier than 1962, but by the layout and style of the Shop At Binns logo, I would say it was about 1964.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye


24/03/13 – 15:09

Another gem from Ronnie! I note his comments about learning to drive a bus. Crash box? My first experience of driving a bus was on one of the Hampshire Bus (ex Wilts & Dorset) FLF trainers. That had a crash box. Going up was easy but, for coming down, I was told to make sure the speedo was showing precisely 20 for 4 to 3, and precisely 12 for 3 to 2. 1 was used only for hill starts. A chap at what was then Southampton Citybus was telling me one day that his instructor had said double declutching is for amateurs – if you listen to the engine, you can go straight through. This ties in very nicely with Ronnie’s comment about being in tune, and it ties in with what others on this site have said about the rear engine!

Pete Davies


24/03/13 – 15:10

Looking at the main photo and reading the text I was convinced the photo was indicative of Tyneside as I knew it when visiting in 1958/9. Then I saw Ronnie’s blow up inset and his comment about the Zodiac which is quite correct.

another 
Apart from the Commer C series Mk2 (I can hear "the Knocker" as I type!) in front of what is presumably a PD2 (whose?) there is, at the extreme left, the front wing of a Sunbeam Rapier distinguishable from its Rootes Group contemporaries by its wheel embellisher.
A very atmospheric photo of a time now almost half a century ago.

Phil Blinkhorn


24/03/13 – 16:47

Phil, the PD2 is one of Gateshead’s, they had the Newcastle Corporation destination layout rather than the standard NGT. The livery was a dark chocolate with cream centre band and also under the lower saloon windows, it was outlined in black and they had black wings. they looked superb, but it tended to fade rather quickly, and that made them look a bit drab.

Ronnie Hoye


24/03/13 – 16:48

With regards this posting by Ronnie of a Tynemouth Guy FT 7388, in which he mentions later, lightweight Orion bodies, not sure whether any had survived on Guy chassis.

CU 7650

Well, here is one that did, if only for a little while, seen here on some works contract when I stumbled across it in the Bromford Bridge area of Birmingham, one afternoon in the late sixties when I was working in that city. I recall it had the remains of “Northern” fleet names rather than Tynemouth, but it is the only shot I have of an Orion body on an exposed-radiator Guy chassis. I had always thought it was perhaps a rebodied older bus, a Utility even, perhaps not.

Rob Hancock


24/03/13 – 17:13

A superb photograph and wonderful commentary. To pick-up Phil’s point about the PD2 I would hazard a guess that the destination layout is that of Gateshead and District, but I am open to correction here.

Kevin Hey

Another 2

This is all there is I’m afraid


24/03/13 – 17:40

Thanks Ronnie and Kevin for reminding me of Gateshead and District, especially of the livery, of which I’d all but forgotten. The number of operators in the Newcastle area with interestingly different liveries always made a visit worthwhile.
I also note in the latest inset shot confirming my Sunbeam Rapier identification, the rear of a 1956 Vauxhall Cresta, though the owner saved money by not opting for the contrasting second colour flash!

Phil Blinkhorn


25/03/13 – 07:53

Yes, thanks Ronnie for confirming the destination layout on the PD2. It had never crossed my mind that Gateshead and District motorbuses had Newcastle Corporation-style destination indicator layout, well at least until the 30ft Titans and Atlanteans were taken into stock. The Newcastle destination layout was in fact the same as Huddersfield Corporation. This was introduced at Newcastle when Harry Godsmark became General Manager having previously been at Huddersfield. In the municipal sector there are quite a few examples of general managers introducing revised destination layouts to their new fleet based on the arrangements at their previous undertaking. The move by John C. Wake from St. Helens to Bradford is one example of this, although strangely he did not take the arrangement with him when he moved to Nottingham.
As Phil says the Tyneside area was always worth visiting on account of the various operators.

Kevin Hey


25/03/13 – 07:53

Phil, the Rapier is also a convertible. Quite rare, especially in northern climes!
Perhaps a little more commonly seen amongst Southdown Arab III’s, for example.

Eric Bawden


25/03/13 – 10:30

Absolutely Eric!

Phil Blinkhorn


25/03/13 – 15:03

Ronnie Is this photograph taken on the Gt North Road at Barras Bridge? The dotted white line on the roadway curving to the lower left of the photograph is intriguing. Was this a guide line for drivers of Corporation trolleybuses, I wonder?
Phil/Eric If I only had my old copies of Observer’s Book of Automobiles! These books were superb for identifying cars and the variants!

Kevin Hey


25/03/13 – 15:58

Could be a clip from the 1961 film Payroll starring Michael Craig and Billie Whitelaw.

Roger Broughton


26/03/13 – 06:50

Yes, Kevin, the photographer would be standing with His/Her back to the South African War Memorial, if the bus had kept to the left it would have gone down Northumberland Street, which at that time was still the A1.

CCN 138

Phil, I knew I had a photo of one somewhere, it would have been taken from about the same place as the one of the Guy, but facing to the right. I think Gateshead had around 33 of these splendid all Leyland PD2’s, they were a mixture of both 8ft and 7ft 6", the later were for services over the High Level Bridge which at that time had width restriction, the Trolleybus is one of 70 similar to the London Q’s, this is one of the first batch of 20, the remainder had the same destination layout as the Leyland

Ronnie Hoye


26/03/13 – 06:51

Yes Kevin, I also had a couple of editions of the Observers books and whilst they did come in handy they also listed many Russian and other Eastern Bloc cars that you would never see on British roads, as well as many US and Australian cars that were unlikely to grace our highways. Happy days though!

Eric Bawden


26/03/13 – 06:51

Yes this is Barras Bridge between the university and the bus station.I worked at the then new Civic Centre, just opposite, in 1970-73 just as the area was trashed by the central motorway.So I was familiar with this scene and there were still a few interesting buses about, though sadly the trolleybuses were long gone.

David Rhodes


26/03/13 – 06:52

As a Weymann fan, especially this classic design, how many of you (like me) noticed that this is a 27′ long bus with longer rear upstairs windows. I think it makes a good design even better (balance and integrity). Morecambe had at least one Regent III like this (which I believe is preserved), Devon General had a number (one of which is reserved ?). How many more were there at 27′ – I don’t count the Bury examples because they were a transition to the Aurora and had a mix of designs?

David Oldfield


26/03/13 – 08:13

Thanks for the PD2 photo Ronnie. Re the trolleybus, I well remember these because, apart from visits with my Father when he was working, he had cousins in Walker and Denton. My earliest memory of those is of staying in an hotel in, I think, Denton with the trolleybuses parked in front.
Presumably this was the Denton terminus. As this was 1953 and I was around 6 at the time, the memory is hazy.

Phil Blinkhorn


28/03/13 – 10:53

Hard to imagine a better-looking bus than this very welcome posting of Ronnie’s. The dead-vertical, straight-sided radiator means business and the Weymann body looks as if had been sculpted from a block, rather than put together piece by piece. Before David O’s comment I hadn’t noticed that it was 27′ long. I don’t know how long these buses were in service, but with Guy-Gardner-Weymann quality they must have had a potential lifespan of 40-odd years. It’s a pity that changing needs and fashions cause such wastage.
Ronnie Hoye and Pete Davies’s mention of clutchless changes remind me of a day in 1968 when this trickery came in very handy. I was doing a short, quiet but hilly Thames Valley working northward from Reading to the Unicorn Inn at Kingwood Common, when at the bottom of Prospect Street, Caversham, the clutch pedal went to the floor. Luckily the Lodekka had a very nicely-mannered AVW engine with an extremely precise pump and no backlash in the transmission, so I reckoned that with the conductor’s permission we could soldier on, using the starter to get us rolling in first gear after each stop. He agreed and rang through to Lower Thorn Street to warn them that a replacement bus would be needed later.
Coming up to each stop where there was anyone to get on or off I dropped her into first for the last few yards and slowed to about one mph, and to our relief most people hopped on and off in paternoster-lift fashion. For old folk, of course, we came to a proper halt and restarted on the button. Not being able to change up out of first till the top of any real hill was an embarrassment, though on gentle slopes you could get up into second and beyond without risking a jerk.
I can’t remember whether we did the same on the way back, or whether they sent the replacement up to meet us. I’m grateful to a co-operative conductor and a beautifully-engineered vehicle for making possible an antic I wouldn’t dream of risking today!

Ian Thompson


FT 7388 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


29/03/13 – 06:52

I once had a Fiat Uno whose clutch cable snapped. I drove it from my home in Chipping Sodbury to the garage in Bristol in the manner described by Ian – a bit hair-raising at times (with that gearing the starter would not have coped with any sort of gradient) but great fun. There are times when knowledge of crash gearboxes is very useful, even when you aren’t using a crash gearbox!

Peter Williamson


30/03/13 – 10:04

The very early Atlanteans we had at Godfrey Abbott (ex Ribble) were not fitted with an interlock on the gear change, it was perfectly possible, and by no means unusual to accidentally change down from fourth to first!! A sound that was like no other, before or since!!
Some of the early semi’s had a ring of differing colour round the speedo to show when to change gears. This device could also be seen on Leyland/BUT engined DMU’s of similar vintage (could the connection be "Self Changing Gears"? of which W. A. Stanier of duchess fame was a director)
Another excitement was with NCK 352 which used to stick on or about TDC, this bus had a large pair of Stilly’s as standard equipment! open bonnet, apply to nut on end of crankshaft, pull hard, then restart!!

Pete Bradshaw

 

Warwickshire Miners – Leyland Royal Tiger – GJT 29

Warwickshire Miners - Leyland Royal Tiger - GJT 29

Warwickshire Miners - Leyland Royal Tiger - GJT 29
Copyright Pete Davies

Warwickshire Miners
1953
Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/16
Leyland C41C

Here are two views of GJT 29 for your perusal. She is a Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/16, with Leyland’s own C41C bodywork, and is seen at the Southsea rally on 17 June 1984. The odd feature about her is that she was never a PSV. She was built in 1953 (according to the PSVC listing) as a staff bus for a mining and/or quarrying firm in the Purbeck area of Dorset. PSVC lists the original owners as Warwickshire Miners and I’m supposing that the Dorset operation was a subsidiary. She was in use with a Scout group in the area at the time of the photographs.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


22/03/13 – 08:03

The Purbeck area of Dorset there is an Oil field still producing a lot of oil, so it is probably that site in which GJT 29 transported the staff.

David J Henighan


22/03/13 – 16:37

The mining industry had various convalescent homes around the country which were regionalised (S. Wales, Yorkshire, Warwickshire) and the latter had a home in Swanage (Durlston Court). This one was called the Warwickshire Miners’ Convalescent Home, which is the full title of the owner of the coach. I wonder if the coach had been pensioned off by then, but bought/passed on for the nearby oilfield’s employees.

Chris Hebbron


22/03/13 – 16:37

I believe the Royal Tiger was used by the Warwickshire Miners’ Convalescent Home (Durlston Court, Park Road, Swanage) to transport its patients.

John Stringer


22/03/13 – 16:38

Here she is in preservation. www.flickr.com/one  According to Preserved Buses (2006 Edition), she was owned by Massingham of Slough but that may have changed by now of course.

John Darwent


22/03/13 – 16:39

There is a Warwickshire Miners Convalescent Home in Swanage. I believe that it has since been demolished. This maybe the reason for the Dorset registration.
Also see the following picture on flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/two

Stephen Bloomfield


23/03/13 – 07:51

John…
Would you know where to look or search for if GJT 29 is still with us…
I’ve tried the usual Googling and nothing other than links back to this site and flickr…
These vehicles are one of my all time favourites but I haven’t seen one in the flesh for maybe 50 years now…We had a thread sometime during last year and I was asking if it would be possible to find one during our annual visit back to the UK and (I think it was) Neville Mercer, but apologies if I’m wrong there, suggested that there may only be two of these beauties left – one at the Scottish Bus Museum in Fife and another, perhaps, somewhere in Yorkshire…
If this one was in a preserved condition as recently as 2006, maybe it’s still in ownership somewhere and I’d love to be able to see it during this year’s visit…

Stuart C


23/03/13 – 09:02

Stuart, GJT is listed in the PSVC edition for 2012 as being with Massingham, Slough. I’ve no idea what condition she’s in!

Pete Davies


24/03/13 – 15:06

. . . and I forgot! Pennine still have the former demonstrator, MTD 235. My sources tell me she’s stored in the garage in Skipton (the former Ribble place in Broughton Road) but others say she’s at Barnoldswick. The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust used to have one, possibly two, but their website didn’t mention them when I looked last.

Pete Davies


26/03/13 – 06:35

Many quality vehicles ended their working lives as workmens or staff buses, but not many would have started that way. You would expect a new vehicle to have been from the lightweight end of the market rather than a Royal Tiger.

Ronnie Hoye


26/03/13 – 08:59

To be fair, Ronnie, it’s not clear that it did start as a workmen’s bus. But you make a good point that, even if the vehicle had been acquired by the convalescent home for patient use, why was it such a heavyweight? It’s all shrouded in mystery, as ever!

Chris Hebbron


26/03/13 – 16:10

Thanks very much….If I track down GJT later this year, then I’ll update everyone….Fingers crossed she’s still in one piece !

Stuart C


27/03/13 – 06:40

The various "Unions of Mineworkers" – Warwickshire, Durham, Kent etc (the National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] was a federation of the regional unions/areas) each had their own convalescent homes for sick/retired mineworkers. A coach would be required to transport residents around the local area, and also to ferry residents between the home and place of residence: I would assume that the coach would spend most of its time on "local" work around the home, with regular – but less frequent – trips to collect/return patients to the place of residence, so perhaps it made sense to register the coach in the area where it would spend most of its time (Dorset) rather than Warwickshire. I’m sure a lightweight could have done the job, but a heavyweight would have done it better and would make a "statement": don’t forget that until the mid-1980s the NUM areas were very wealthy bodies – a new heavyweight would make a powerful statement of "who we are" and "how we care for our members", both to those inside and outside the organisation.

Philip Rushworth


GJT 29 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


30/10/13 – 07:03

Ribble 377 the all Leyland Royal Tiger PSU/13 ERN 700 is with the Ribble preservation group and restoration is on going, though it is a 44 seat Bus variant.

Cyril Aston

 

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