SELNEC PTE – Daimler CVG6 – TRJ 128 – 4017

SELNEC PTE - Daimler CVG6 - TRJ 128 - 4017

Daimler CVG6
Metro-Cammell H37/28R (Orion)

During the Selnec era, quite a number of ex-Salford buses were transferred to the former Manchester Corporation Depot at Queens Road. Most of these were Leyland Atlanteans and PD2’s, which would be quite at home among the ex-Manchester Leylands based here, although I wondered what the Queens Road crews made of the forward entrances on the PD2’s.
4017 (ex-Salford 128) was one of a handful of CVG6’s which moved from Salford to Queens Road. The latter depot had been home to Manchester’s only manual gearbox Daimlers, 4650 – 4, and occasionally elderly CVG6’s had spent their last days at Queens Road Depot on peak hour workings. However Queens Road was a firmly Leyland Depot, and I sometimes wonder how many drivers here were trained to use the preselector gearbox.
The bus is seen at Mills Hill Bridge, which had traditionally been the boundary between the operating areas of Manchester and Oldham Corporations. It was the half way point on service 59 (Manchester – Middleton – Oldham – Shaw) which was normally operated by 6 buses from each fleet. However on Sunday Mornings in pre Selnec times, the service was operated in two halves with passengers changing buses at Mills Hill Bridge. Both operators ran short workings to this point, Oldham as service 3 and Manchester as 59X.
Note the very small print on the standard Selnec destination blind. Obviously its a matter of opinion, but I thought the ‘Orion’ body suited the Selnec livery quite well.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown

16/01/14 – 06:23

The manual CCG6 Daimlers made sweet music after the fashion of Guy Arabs – whose gearbox they shared – but were universally loathed by both Salford and Manchester drivers. [Apparently the Daimler installation worked less well than Guy’s own.] You’re not the only one, Don, who thinks an Orion can look good with the correct livery.

David Oldfield

16/01/14 – 06:24

What an interesting view! Thanks for posting, Don. Unlike most of the new PTE operations, which simply extended the livery of the biggest constituent with little or no variation, SELNEC went for a completely new livery. Some liked it, some were appalled, but they couldn’t ignore it. More orange below the lower deck windows may have helped to placate some observers – but it might have annoyed some of them even more!

Pete Davies

16/01/14 – 06:25

Would the (ex-)Salford CVGs have had air or spring-operated pre-selector gears? And why the split in the Sunday am service? a perception for the need for differing frequencies from each municipality perhaps?? . . . but with practices like that – and Oldham giving their half of the Sunday morning shorts a different number altogether – is it any wonder passengers went elsewhere?
Now, I’ve never driven a pre-selector: does it require "training" or can it be picked up "on the job"? are there aspects of driving manual/clash/crash/synchro/whatever that need to be put aside when driving a pre-selector? I must admit that I’ve felt wary of going near a pre-selector ever since I read about that nasty "kick-back" habit of spring-change pre-selectors . . . then again, I’ve enough trouble with throttle/clutch/shift without the added complication of shift/throttle/change (am I right there?).

Philip Rushworth

16/01/14 – 08:42

As an "amateur" with about twenty years experience of using my PSV (PCV) for various things – in fact most types of operation – I would say that type training is an essential but often overlooked element of the job. In an ideal world, that includes the difference between Synchro Manual, Crash Manual, Semi Automatic and Pre Select gear change.

David Oldfield

16/01/14 – 09:02

The Orion bodied vehicles probably came out best of all with the SELNEC livery, primarily because as there were more of this style of body than any other across the fleets absorbed into SELNEC, the final livery from a number of options was actually designed around drawings and hand made models of the body style (don’t forget this was before computer graphics) and the dimensions and spacings of the colours were then adopted fleet wide to the benefit of a few other body styles and the detriment of many. The orange was, however, distinctive and, to be controversial, not dull as it appeared to be in the shades and quantities chosen for Cardiff or Glasgow.
The photo highlights a number of issues. It would have been rare for a Salford or Manchester vehicle to be out on service for long with damage as seen on the radiator housing. The blind was a lash up job and, as there doesn’t seem to be any snow around, it looks as if the bus hasn’t been through the washer for some days. These were some of the problems faced by the new entity for some time after set up as old loyalties were, as one inspector said to me, smashed and blown to the four winds and some depots had almost a rebellious attitude to the new organisation. In addition there was a range of problems when transferring vehicles from depot to depot such as blind sizes. unfamiliar position of bells on rear entrance double deckers, position of fuel fillers and different interior light bulbs and of course different gear boxes, to name a few. The appearance of many vehicles rapidly deteriorated. Those left in their original schemes with the appropriate divisional motifs added (the Central blue S flash on Manchester’s red or Salford’s green looking particularly odd) were generally left without attention to dints and paint deterioration until full repaint, some waiting two or three years for attention or for withdrawal. All this added to the debate about the orange, which was by no means confined to the enthusiast fraternity, gave the management plenty to cope wit. Much had settled by 1973, then there was another upheaval with the advent of Greater Manchester Transport.

Phil Blinkhorn

16/01/14 – 11:02

…..but as a Sheffielder who spent student and early working days in SELNEC/GMT land, Sunglow Orange and White were infinitely superior to SYPTE Coffee and Cream. Darkening the coffee didn’t improve it. Only adding the red – just before wiping it away with Mainline Yellow and Red – made it just about acceptable. If only they HAD kept Sheffield Cream and Blue – but the better Manchester/SELNEC alternative would have been Salford Green and Cream – kept up to the latter day standards of Salford. […..but then it would have been some sort of green and cream from Merseyside, through Manchester to West Yorkshire!]

David Oldfield

16/01/14 – 11:03

I fully agree with the SELNEC livery looking good on the Orion. The original orange, sunglow I think it was called, was a very intense yellowish shade which looked especially attractive when freshly applied. However, it was prone to fading so that when the fleet was rebranded it was replaced with a darker, redder version. The difference can be seen quite well on these ex SHMD Daimlers:  The off-white originally used was also replaced by brilliant white at some stage. I personally preferred the former combination but as livery is often a controversial subject that is a matter of opinion. The PTE liveries are often maligned but some of them worked well and looked bright and refreshing on the right vehicles at the right time. I always liked the original WYPTE ‘Metro’ livery with the stripe above the cab on the Roe bodied Atlanteans but on older vehicles it looked wrong. Merseyside used the same bluish Verona green which I thought looked very smart combined with jonquil yellow (a shade similar to the primrose used by East Yorkshire), especially on their Panthers. And, the final version of the Tyne and Wear livery with white rather than cream and royal blue lining has always been a personal favourite, especially on the Metropolitans. However, I would never deny that it was also something of a tragedy that magnificent liveries such as those at Halifax, Southport or South Shields were lost, and like the NBC liveries of the day, those of the PTEs were not helped by the loss of local pride that came with these huge, impersonal organisations.

Mike Morton

16/01/14 – 14:07

The question of appearance is highly subjective, but I remain an unapologetic loather of the Selnec ‘livery’ which looked particularly abhorrent when applied to front engined buses. The painting of the bonnet in orange, completely out of sympathy with the other lines of the scheme, made it look as absurdly conspicuous as a pantomime pirate’s eye patch. I have always disliked the Orion body, too. The straight taper from skirt panels to roofline, accentuated by the shallow upper saloon windows, gave the thing a gawky, ungainly, pin headed profile, which the cheap looking dome and glazing method merely compounded. Orange is a very tricky colour to adopt and maintain, as my time in Halifax revealed. HPTD buses emerging from the bodyshop with newly painted replacement lower panels resembled a patchwork quilt. Certainly, the Selnec scheme shows up body damage like a beacon. Salford would never have left the radiator cowl in that state, but even if it had, the missing slat would not have leapt so readily to the eye in that superb dark green livery. I will now don my hard hat in readiness for the onslaught from Selnec and Orion aficionados.

Roger Cox

17/01/14 – 08:25

I fully agree with Roger Cox regarding the SELNEC orange and white colour scheme it was one that was only ever going to look even reasonable when just out of the paint shop, considering the number of attractive colour schemes SELNEC inherited, MCTD’s being one of the least attractive, there were reasons to expect so much better. The Orion body was also an unattractive bus as it was unbalanced with the unequal depth windows and the inward taper from skirt to roof making it look very narrow and slab sided which looked even worse on a Regent V with a full front, the nasty tinny domes only made matters worse. Having said that if nobody had bought them how long would the design have lasted let alone been copied by Park Royal who managed to make a bad design even worse.

Diesel Dave

17/01/14 – 08:26

The livery certainly accentuates the Salford style of winding handles attached to a cumbersome-looking frame, designed to be reached without the need for the guard (sic)to climb on the radiator.

Geoff Kerr

17/01/14 – 09:19

The "tinny" domes were actually fibreglass with the outside smoothed and the inside almost always left rough so the passengers could view the fibres through the paint. They were prone to loads of condensation and vibration and used to crack to a greater or lesser extent. Manchester had many delivered with v shaped push window vents in the two front windows which helped the frontal appearance but they were removed and later orders had them omitted as, if the vents became stiff to move, the efforts of the passengers or guard to open or close them led to the whole window flexing and there were instances of major cracking and windows falling out as a result.

Phil Blinkhorn

17/01/14 – 17:53

Great to see a Middleton run featured and thanks Don for posting. Re the 3 and 59: the 3 (Oldham Corp) was Rushcroft to Mills Hill only. In 1968/9 every journey was extended to Middleton. All Sunday morning 59 runs were numbered 59x and ran only to Mills Hill until 11am, then through to Shaw. There were few passengers. Middleton had interesting routes and short workings, mostly forgotten now. Selnec livery? Yuk! Lots preferred the original liveries. These Daimlers were stunning when new teaming along the Crescent and better still if all the lights from Adelphi to Blackfriars were green.

Mike Franks

18/01/14 – 07:45

Mike, in my day as a teenager, the longer it took from Adelphi to Blackfriars the better, especially on a weekday afternoon in term time – go figure!

Phil Blinkhorn

18/01/14 – 07:46

To answer one of Philip’s questions, I’m pretty sure that all Salford CVG6s had spring-operated gearchanges. The spring operation went with vacuum brakes, whereas air operation went with air brakes. Salford stuck with vacuum brakes as long as possible, buying PD2/40s when their allegiance changed to Leyland. I would imagine their CCG6s were vacuum braked too, whereas Manchester’s were definitely air-braked.
Talking of which (David), I didn’t know the Guy gearbox behaved differently in these than in its native Arab. I wonder if it was perhaps in the wrong place. Guy always put it amidships, so if Daimler put it at the front, it would need a different linkage. Whilst it is very nearly true that they were universally loathed, there was one driver who loved them – a certain Ron Barton, whose book "Manchester Buses from the Platform" has just been published. I haven’t read it, but I should be rather surprised if he doesn’t mention the CCG6s.

Peter Williamson

19/01/14 – 08:21

There was nothing wrong with the Guy gearbox. The constant mesh box was always disliked in fleets with a preponderance of preselective, semi auto or even synchromesh transmissions. The constant mesh gearbox required a degree of familiarity and skill for clean changes that drivers in mixed fleets did not (or could not be bothered to) acquire. The staff in neighbouring Tilling or BET fleets would have wondered what all the fuss was about.

Roger Cox

19/01/14 – 09:41

I like the way this is wandering into the realms of the merits or otherwise of different gearbox arrangements!
In mid career, my duties with Southampton City Council began to involve what had been the Transport Department (by 1990 well into the deregulation era) and I encountered someone who was about to retire from that undertaking. He was telling me one day that he had started work with Provincial. All crash gearboxes. His instructor had mentioned – vaguely – double declutching, and had dismissed the idea as being for amateurs. "Listen to the engine, boy, and you can go straight through!" How would today’s drivers manage???

Pete Davies

19/06/17 – 07:14

As a former employee based at the Weaste Garage. The transfer of Salford vehicles to Manchester Queens Road due to the interest being shown by the ‘Ministry’ in the ‘presentation’ of Manchester vehicles.
To placate the ‘Ministry’ overnight Salford vehicles in good order were transferred to Queens Road and conversely Queen Road relics arrived at Weaste and Frederick Rd. To say the least engineering at the former Salford undertaking were not the least happy with the transfer.

Robert Walsh

20/06/17 – 07:19

Could someone confirm that Salford Daimlers 111-146 had spring operated gearboxes and vacuum brakes?

David Call

21/06/17 – 07:19

Selnec livery. As a student in Manchester in the early 1970’s I was recruited by SELNEC to assist with an evening survey in Wythenshawe. Being a loyal employee, I equipped myself with a felt tip pen in Selnec’s house colour, orange, to complete my survey forms. I rapidly discovered that the neon street lighting in Wythenshawe made the form itself orange which meant that it was impossible to see whether anything had been written.

Peter Cook

21/06/17 – 07:20

My early comments (16.01.14) about gearbox set-up were purely hearsay on my part. Having subsequently driven a "crash" Guy, I would say that (once one has learned to drive it properly) it was one of the sweetest gear-changes I have come across.

David Oldfield


Southern National – Bristol LS – OTT 98 – 1299

Southern National - Bristol LS - OTT 98 - 1299

Southern National Omnibus Company
Bristol LS6G

Seen heading along York Place, Harrogate at the end of a Trans-Pennine run is Southern National 1299 (OTT 98), a 1953 Bristol LS6G with ECW C41F coachwork. Resplendent in iconic Royal Blue livery, this coach was part of the last batch to be built with the traditional Royal Blue roof-mounted luggage rack, which was accessed by a set of foldaway steps at the rear of the vehicle. It is a fine example of the underfloor-engined Royal Blue fleet operational in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and it is good to see 1299 wearing its original ‘dark roof’ version of the livery once again. (In 1958, with the arrival of the MW coaches, the livery was altered to a half blue/half cream layout, with dark blue up to waist rail level, and cream above). The 1953 batch of coaches for operation on Royal Blue services were also the last to display ‘Royal Blue Coach Service’ illuminated panels above the side windows. Subsequent deliveries of LS and MW coaches sported the more usual curved roof glasses in the cant rail panels instead.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Brendan Smith

12/01/14 – 07:47

Despite the registration there was nothing OTT about this. Rather understated luxury and quality with the 6LW offering a long legged, relaxed, lope in the pre motorway era.

David Oldfield

12/01/14 – 11:12

Thanks for posting, Brendan. I have read in different places of the shape caused by the presence of the rooftop luggage rack as being "Camel Back". Rather flattering to a camel, perhaps!

Pete Davies

12/01/14 – 13:04

There was always something special about Royal Blue coaches and these last-gasp versions of the traditional style are no exception. One point, were the roof racks ever used?

Chris Hebbron

13/01/14 – 08:44

OTT 43

I thought you might like to add this picture to the current OTT 98 thread as it shows a similar preserved vehicle but in the cream roof colours.

Ken Jones

13/01/14 – 08:44

The roof luggage carriers were used – I have a copy of a picture (not my copyright though!) of the driver loading luggage on LS car 1292 – in the ‘cream roof’ era, so post 1958.
The reason for the livery change was not ‘cosmetic’ but a practical one – I will look out the exact details in next day or two !

Peter Delaney

13/01/14 – 09:46

I’m wondering whether this is 1297, OTT 96. Both 1297 and 1299 are preserved but 1297 went to the Netherlands at some stage.

Geoff Kerr

OTT 98_2

Close up of registration and fleet number of posted shot.

13/01/14 – 11:25

OTT 98_3

I thought this photo may be of interest. It is OTT 98 after sale to the dealer W. North, Sherburn-in-Elmet, seen at their premises during the Summer of 1970.
It was quite a shock to see this here, as I had shortly before been on holiday in North Devon and seen these LS’s still working hard for a living. It was still in splendid condition here and I remember hoping that it would find a suitable. sympathetic new owner. At the time it seemed far too modern to be considered for preservation. Fortunately OTT 96 is still with us.

John Stringer

13/01/14 – 13:45

Thanks – it does look a bit like 96 though!

Geoff Kerr

I must admit I did have to go back to the original shot to be sure.

13/01/14 – 15:17

Both 1297 (OTT 96) and 1299 (OTT 98) are still with us. The former is in The Netherlands as part of the Leek collection at Monickendam, and OTT 98 is now part of the West Country Historic Omnibus and Transport Trust collection, having had a complete engine rebuild in 2007 and was hand painted back into original 1953 livery in 2009. I am delighted to be 1299’s current custodian and sponsor.
I look forward to reading Peter’s explanation as to the reasons for the change in roof colour in 1957.
Incidentally all this 1953 batch, 1293-9 and 2200-2, were down-seated to C39F following mid-life refurbishment at ECW Lowestoft, in 1961, and 1299 remains so.

John Grigg

13/01/14 – 16:42

Just a reminder you can see a picture of OTT 98 and one of OTT 43 from 2012 on this site at the Royal Blue Run gallery.

Ken Jones

13/01/14 – 17:40

OTT 98_4

I attach a photo of 1299 taken in the early 70’s which was taken on Madeira Drive Brighton following a HCVC London-Brighton run. This shows it with a blue roof as it is now preserved so it seems that the roof has changed colour a number of times over the years, I agree that the blue roof looks better but this is purely a personal preference I know.

Diesel Dave

14/01/14 – 08:22

The ‘incident’ which led to the change in colour of the roof of Royal Blue cars was as below:-
On August 2nd 1957, the 2.35 pm summer only service from Plymouth to Bournemouth, was a Bristol L coach – probably car 1239 – being driven John Whitlock when its roof was grazed by a plane landing at Exeter Airport. The undercarriage hit the top of the coach, breaking both skylights. He drove to the control tower, with the somewhat shaken passengers on board, and reported the incident. The pilot apparently had not seen a coach, and following his reporting the incident, there was an official enquiry, which John was asked to attend.
The incident was reported in the local Exeter newspaper, the ‘Express and Echo’, on 3rd August 1957, under the heading "Bus roof ‘skimmed’ by plane" and "Observers ‘saw nothing unusual’". From the newspaper account we learn that the coach was going along the Exeter – Honiton road, when the roof was "’skimmed’ by a twin engined Mosquito going in to land at Exeter Airport. The plane landed without a mark on it and the coach had a slight dent in the roof. The bus driver felt a slight bump. As there were no other cars on the road at the time he assumed it must have something to do with a plane that had passed low over him. Wing Cmdr. R J B Pearse, manager of the airport, said that a slight dent was found in the roof of the bus, but when an inspection was made of the Mosquito there was not a mark to be found, either on the tyres or the paintwork. The pilot said he had felt nothing at all. ‘We can only assume that the plane did touch the bus’ said Wing Cmdr Pearse. The pilot’s name was withheld".
The subsequent enquiry resulted in an accident report card being filed with the RAF, and that adds further information. The aircraft was a Mosquito Mk 35, number TA724, of the 3/4 CAACU, part of 61 Group, Home Command. The accident occurred at 16.55 on 2nd August 1957, at the end of a 2 hour 10 minute flight out and back from Exeter. This particular flight had been for Army firing practice. The pilot, 35 year old Flt Lt K Munson, was experienced, with 195 flying hours on Mosquitos, and 1567 flying hours overall. The lighting conditions were described as ‘dull’. At the end of the exercise, the pilot had joined the circuit and landed, but he was totally "unaware that his aircraft had struck the single decker bus (sic) travelling on the A30 road which runs adjacent to the airport". The report also records that "damage was caused to the roof of the bus. No damage was sustained to the aircraft."
It was considered that the organisation ‘at station level’ was at fault, as they knew of the danger of a collision between aircraft and vehicles, but had "made inadequate efforts to have remedial action taken." The A30 passed across the approach to runway 13, at a distance of 50 yards. There were no traffic signals or warning notices on the road, and there was a tall hedge bounding the road which "would effectively prevent the pilot seeing the bus and vice versa". No blame was attached to the pilot (who was making a low approach in order to touch down early on a short runway) or the driver.
As a result, 150 yards of the runway 13/31 were ‘sterilized’, and a local flying order issued to warn pilots of the dangers likely to be met on the approach to runway 13, whilst the roof of Royal Blue coaches was changed from dark blue to cream, to make them more conspicuous from the air.

Peter Delaney

14/01/14 – 11:48

I’ve just checked my original his-res image, and it definitely is OTT 98, confirmed by my notes taken at the time I wasn’t aware that it was also preserved – that’s nice to know.

John Stringer

14/01/14 – 12:27

OTT 98_5

The give away in the photo that it can only be OTT 98 is that the words "Dorset Transport Circle" are shown in the "via" part of the destination display. DTC owned this coach for well over 30 years and rallied it extensively for most of that time before generously donating it to WHOTT in 2006.

John Grigg


Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland TD1 – RV 715/6 – 7/8

Portsmouth Corporation - Leyland TD1 - RV 715/6 - 7/8

Portsmouth Corporation
Leyland Titan TD1
Park Royal H26/24R

After purchasing its double-deck Karrier WL6/2’s in 1927/28, Portsmouths next double-deck purchase was seven petrol-engined Leyland TD1’s numbered 4-10. Numbers 4-6 and 9-10 had Short Bros. bodies like that of the diesel AEC Regent posted elsewhere on this site. A diesel Crossley Condor also had a Short Bros. body. Numbers 7 and 8, however, had rather attractive 5-bay Park Royal bodies, never purchased before or afterwards. They had long lives, RV 716 being withdrawn in 1950 aged 19 years and RV 715 in 1952, aged 21 years.

Photograph copyright Park Royal and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

09/01/14 – 12:26

Yes Chris, this pair of Park Royal bodied TD1’s looked smart, even in later life, when the whole bonnet area was painted red, and the depth of the white waist rail reduced. However, I’m too young to remember seeing them, and can only rely on photos like these! Thank you. These were Portsmouth’s first Leylands (also a single-deck Lion, No 3). Portsmouth bought 8 bodies from Hall Lewis in 1929 (4 each Dennis EV and Thornycroft BC), and 5 bodies from Park Royal (the Lion mentioned here, the two TD1s as the subject of this posting, and 2 TSM B10A2s. Park Royal never again featured in CPPTD orders, and the main suppliers became English Electric then Cravens in the 1930’s, and Metro-Cammell and Weymann post-war. This official looking portrait also shows a neatly lined out lower deck panel, but no lining out on the ‘tween deck panels. The reason for this was queried on the earlier posting of the Portsmouth AEC Regent with Short Bros body, No. 35. This was also a pre-entry to service official picture. I believe that the reason for this was to allow advertisements to be placed on the bus before entry to service. Why paint ornate lines which were going to be covered over? The extent of the adverts can be seen on the posting for the Portsmouth Corporation TSM E60A6. The side adverts cover virtually the full length of the vehicle. Post-war, this changed, and buses had lining out on the sides in front of and behind the adverts, which only covered the centre bays, not full length.

Michael Hampton

10/01/14 – 09:47

I thought that Park Royal was formed out of Hall Lewis, so the batches of 8 buses and 5 were really from the same stable.


10/01/14 – 10:56

Yes, Petras409, Hall Lewis did become Park Royal. In a summary, Alan Townsin states that Hall, Lewis & Co Ltd was formed in 1924, and was based at Abbey Road, Park Royal, London. AAT states that the origins of this are complex and go back to 1889. Hall, Lewis was involved in other transport interests, not just a successful bus body building programme. In spite of some sizeable and successful contracts, the firm became bankrupt in early 1930. One of the creditors, a Mr Harry Yager, bought the business, and it was renamed Park Royal Coachworks, as from April 1930. Before the 1930 change, there was a link to Northern Counties of Wigan through the Lewis family, but the Lewis family retained their interests in NCME when Hall Lewis was bought by Yager and became Park Royal. This is a mere summary of Alan Townsin’s summary in Vol 2 of his book Park Royal Vehicles 1942-1980. Portsmouth Corporation, however, did not avail themselves of their products after this initial foray, leaving Provincial on the other side of Portsmouth Harbour to build up a fleet of Park Royal-bodied AEC Regents, and Southdown to run into Portsmouth using Leyland TD4 and TD5, some with Park Royal bodies.

Michael Hampton

Thank you, Petras409 and Michael H for respectively asking and answering a queaion that I was going to ask!

Chris Hebbron

11/01/14 – 15:20

A lovely photo Chris , from a super period in bus history!
It does show how dated the TD1 was in its chassis geometry though. The space between the front bulkhead and the wheel centre was greater than most of its contemporary competitors such as the more recent Regent, and Daimler designs, and it was not until the TD3 that this feature was brought into line with "fashion". There was the whole TD2 model to go through first!
By 1931, Rackham inspired bow fronted bodies were coming into fashion, as typically exemplified by Weymann, Brush etc, and this was a most fascinating chapter in the evolution of bus design.

John Whitaker

11/01/14 – 17:55

In other TD1 photos I’ve seen, John, the rear of nearside wings all curve rearwards to avoid a total gap, even slightly earlier Hall, Lewis ones. The original photo of this vehicle is not clear enough to work out the actual situation, but it is strange that the safety rail projects forward of the front bulkhead, so maybe the wing just follows the tyre shape and leaves a gap. I think the bodywork style gives the bus the impression of being slightly later than 1931, partly because the stubby radiator in not obvious.

Chris Hebbron

12/01/14 – 07:44

It’s all subjective, I know, but I find this double-decker about as good-looking as a bus can get. That nice forward-set front axle was part of the appeal of the Reading TD1s, along with the subdued engine note and howling gearbox. They had Leyland bodies but–as John W points out–it was the chassis that dictated the overall look. Lucky old Portsmouth always got handsome buses especially with that wonderful livery.

Ian Thompson

14/01/14 – 14:49

I agree, Ian, that it has that certain elegant simplicity about it. Of course, it looks very tidy around the windows, presumably because it has one-piece three-quarter wind-down opening ones, so beloved at this time, but not for much longer. This aids the impression of a light, airy appearance inside.

Chris Hebbron

05/02/14 – 06:08

This picture appears in the October 1964 issue of buses illustrated as part of the Portsmouth edition and is part of a contributor’s personal favourites.
According to the article, this is number 8- RV 716.

Dave French

05/02/14 – 09:25

Thx, Dave F, for clarifying which of the two it was. I agree that, for its time, it’s quite handsome.

Chris Hebbron


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