West Bromwich – Daimler CVG5 – FEA 156 – 156

West Bromwich - Daimler CVG5 - FEA 156 - 156

West Bromwich (County Borough of) Transport Dept
Daimler CVG5
Metro-Cammell B38R

To return to West Bromwich, near contemporaries of the GEA registered Daimler double deckers, a pair of which were posted on site a week or so ago, were a batch of single deckers. The chassis were built in 1948, but due to pressure of work at Metro-Cammell the bodies were not ready until 1952. By then, of course, under floor engined saloons were almost ubiquitous, so they seemed old even when new.
One of them, FEA 156, has been preserved and is seen here in 2012, in West Brom’s superb livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Tony Martin

17/06/13 – 06:55

Thanks for posting, Tony. I agree with your comment about their ‘old’ appearance, even from new. If the entry at the rear had been fitted with a door, or if the door had been just behind the front wheels (as with Birmingham’s Tigers, for example) it might have helped.

Pete Davies

17/06/13 – 06:56

Looks a bit old, even for 1948…. it is not helped by the slopey windscreen and rear entrance. I have never seen a Daimler radiator finished in what looks like silver paint.. is this authentic? It makes the radiator seem to project even more in front of the bodywork, which cannot be the engine length as it is a G5: contemporary Daimlers weren’t always so, I suggest. Nice looking preservation, though.


17/06/13 – 15:04

Interesting bonnet opening arrangement as well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Was this normal Daimler practice at the time?

Eric Bawden

17/06/13 – 17:30

Wonderful livery! One of the all time classics. It seems strange that it took four years to build bodies for this small batch of vehicles despite the post-war high demand for new vehicles.

Philip Halstead

18/06/13 – 07:17

I was also thinking that the four year delay was excessive and must have had some other factor. One other thing I’m not sure of is the length of this bus. I am inclined to think that it’s a thirty-foot long vehicle as 38 is a lot of seats to fit into one twenty-seven and a half feet long when you take into account the platform style which didn’t sit well with maximising seating capacity.
The thing is, I’m sure the increased length didn’t become legal until at least 1949, so why build an illegal chassis in 1948?
Having looked around the web a bit and been rather distracted by some shots of this bus’s superbly-restored double-deck sister 174 I find references to the chassis being built in 1950. Everything then makes sense.
So what is the correct year for the chassis – I have no primary sources to refer to?

David Beilby

18/06/13 – 07:19

Edinburgh bought several batches of saloons with this kind of MCW body including Guys and some similar Daimlers. The body was basically a pre war design.

Chris Hough

18/06/13 – 18:15

Yes, FEA 156 is 30′ long. The chassis was lengthened when the body was fitted, as this was legal by then.

Tony Martin

26/09/13 – 06:33

With regards to the radiator finish, the bus was restored as original as can be, as part of the 156 group we have photos in colour that show 156 had a painted radiator compared to the more ‘standard’ finish that was used with Daimler, I believe they were painted depending on the engine, but when I have found out the correct reason why I will let you all know.


28/09/13 – 17:46

It’s lovely to see one of these W. Bromwich buses looking impeccable. In my RAF service days in the late 1950’s we’d go into Brum from time to time and see a W. Bromwich bus whizzing across a junction or lurking in a side road. I honestly never saw one other than faded and tatty. It didn’t help that B’ham Corp’n vehicles were always impeccable, greatly helped by a policy of no adverts.

Chris Hebbron

11/11/13 – 09:49

GEA 174

Seen here together are 156 and the recently restored 174 at an event at AMRTM, Aldridge.

Tony Martin

11/11/13 – 15:18

They make a fine pair, tony. Thx for posting.

Chris Hebbron

23/02/14 – 15:17

Re: FEA 156. What a stunning body style this was. I probably saw all these when I worked in West Brom and I always considered them to be unique especially with the rear cut-away entrance and no door. The driver also appeared to sit up very high.
Re: GEA 174. Yet another stunning body style. The flared skirt just makes for a truly handsome vehicle. I rode these as often as I could on the 74 & 75 routes in preference to the Birmingham buses. They had the front row of seats in the lower deck turned at right angles to face each other.
Pity the Beclawat top hinged window vents to the front upper deck are missing. Most likely unable to find any replacements.

Jerry Morgan


Western National – Bristol L6A – HOD 30 – 1228

Western National - Bristol L6A - HOD 30 - 1228

Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
Bristol L6A
Beadle C31F

H0D 30 is a Western National Royal Blue with fleet number 1228 dating from 1948. It’s a Bristol L6A with Beadle C31F body. It is fitted with a 7.7 litre AEC engine as specified by Royal Blue, the coachwork largely to Duple design, was contracted out to Beadles of Dartford as the coach building capacity during the post war recovery period was overstretched. It features staggered seating to allow a little more elbow room in the 7’6” width of the vehicle.
Withdrawn from service in 1960, HOD30 was one of a number of vehicles sold to a china clay company for staff transport which aided its survival until 1968 when it was finally withdrawn.
It had a number of owners between 1960 when it was taken out of service to when Greg Lawson acquired it in 1996. It is part of the growing number of Aire Valley heritage fleet vehicles
The picture was taken in 2011 at the Heaton Park rally

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

14/06/13 – 07:47

I’m not sure just how correct Ken is in saying that Royal Blue "specified" the AEC engine. It is true that it is the basically the same engine as that specified in Royal Blue’s 1937 batch of AEC Regals, fleet nos 1050-1065, but the first post war batch of JUO registered Bristol Ls, (1200-1224) delivered in spring and summer 1948 were Bristol engined as were the later summer 1949 batch of HOD registered coaches 1230-1234 and 1240-1244. Those delivered very late in 1948 and early 1949, 1225-1229 and 1238/9 were the only 7 post war AEC engined Royal Blue Bristol Ls, and I suspect that a shortage of Bristol AVW engines may have created the necessity for this batch to be fitted with AEC engines.

John Grigg


Tynemouth and District – Guy Arab – FT 9005 – 205

Tynemouth and District - Guy Arab - FT 9005 - 205

Tynemouth and District
Guy Arab IV
Weymann H33/28R

I’m not sure if these 1954, H33/28R Weymann Guy Arab IV’s were Aurora’s or Orion’s. Tynemouth and District had four; FT 7893/6 193/6; and when I started at Percy Main in 1967, they were the oldest D/D vehicles in service. This livery style was current when the vehicle was new, but was discontinued in 1956. All Northern General Transport vehicles underwent a complete overhaul and repaint at three yearly intervals, so the photo is pre 1957.
In 1955, they were followed by five Orion Arab IV’s; FT 9003/7 203/7; In addition to a greater seating capacity ‘H35/28R’ they had several other differences, no air ducts on the roof, the upper front windows had an opening vent above them, the rear side window on the upper deck had a vertically mounted opening vent, and they had a different rear light layout. As ever, NGT specified the Gardner 5LW engine for the GUY chassis and they seldom gave any trouble, but the body let them down. I don’t know if Weymann were working to NGT specifications, but too many corners had been cut to save weight, and they suffered badly as a result requiring constant maintenance. The interiors were positively Spartan, they were single skinned with exposed frames, and with nothing to stop them vibrating the side panels were constantly drumming. They became known as ‘the rattletraps’ and were never the most popular vehicles in the fleet, the last ones were withdrawn in 1968, and not many were sorry to see them go. Some of NGT’s went on to see service with other companies, so it speaks volumes for NGT that poorly built bodies lasted as long as they did. To be fair, by 1958, when the Orion bodied PD3/4’s came into service, lessons had been learned, they were well built and finished to a much higher standard and did not suffer from the shortcomings of their predecessors.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

09/06/13 – 11:42

This is an Orion, Ronnie. The fact that it is a third rate, single skinned rattletrap confirms that. The Aurora was the interim design which retained the profile of the recently posted Sheffield Regent III with aluminium window pans of which Sheffield had hoards of PD2s and Regent IIIs. Sheffield and Manchester, and no doubt many others, had (nay demanded) improved later Orions built to Aurora standards and finish detail. To confuse the issue further, though, Weymann resurrected the Aurora name for the forward entrance version of the Orion – ie entrance just behind the engine. [Sheffield’s early Orions on Regent IIIs, Regent Vs and PD2s were atrocious just as these Guy’s bodies evidently were.]

David Oldfield

11/06/13 – 12:34

Even the Orion doesn’t look too bad on a real-radiator Arab IV! With that light body these 5LW Guys must have been pretty economical. Did someone replace the back axle at some time with one from an Arab III?

Ian Thompson

12/06/13 – 15:47

Well spotted, Ian, I never noticed that. From the photos I have of the rest of T&D’s Arab IV’s this must be a one off in that respect as the remainder have much larger rear hubs. Many of the half cabs in the fleet didn’t have a full interior window behind the driver, they had a small sliding one at the top that enabled the conductor to talk to the driver, the larger space at the bottom where the window would have been was a case for adverts, this one would seem to be the latter

Ronnie Hoye

12/06/13 – 21:08

That’s pretty mean of them—blanking out the window behind the cab! Normal passengers would have been deprived of the view forward and abnormal children like me (any other volunteers?) couldn’t have stood on tiptoe in fascination watching the driver.

Ian Thompson

17/06/13 – 06:41

You were not alone, Ian. In Manchester drivers could draw a blind to cover the window behind them. About half of them did, which was very disappointing. But when they didn’t, I learned exactly half of how to drive a bus – the right half. I had no idea what happened on the left.

Peter Williamson

17/06/13 – 10:19

I too learnt a lot about how to drive from sitting behind the driver: including what to do if someone pulls out in front of you: no, it didn’t include braking. The cab blind was to stop night-time lighting reflection: it often had a little square hole in it: they have cctv today. Fortunately few drivers used it in the day: it prevented non-verbal communication with the conductor, be that male or, yes, female.



All rights to the design and layout of this website are reserved     Old Bus Photos does not set or use Cookies but Google Analytics will set four see this

Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 22nd October 2016