Llandudno and Colwyn Bay – Guy Arab II – GUF 159 – 3

Llandudno and Colwyn Bay – Guy Arab II – GUF 513 – 3
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway Co
1945
Guy Arab II 
Northern Counties UH30/26R

I am, basically, a tram and trolleybus enthusiast, and, unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of sampling the delights of the LCBER. By 1955, money was in short supply, and the trams were just about worn away, and the company decided to switch to motorbus operation.
I did sample these, in 1956/7, and remember them with great affection. I think that the history of these buses, which succumbed to the mighty Crosville in 1961, has been largely overlooked, perhaps because of the nature of the tram to bus conversion, which was particularly noxious for a hard-core of true bred tramway enthusiasts!
There were a dozen or so ex Southdown utility Arab 11s (as shot above), with 3 makes of body, supplemented by 2 later East Kent examples. There was also an ex-East Kent TD5 used only for the initial phase of driver training, and 2 ex Newcastle NCB bodied Daimler COG5s of 1939 vintage. One of the latter was converted to open top in 1956, and there were plans to likewise convert some of the Guys. I can vividly remember riding on the Guys, which reminded me at the time, of Bristol K5Gs, probably because of the crunchy gear change, not always well executed, and the growl of the 5LW.
It would be very interesting to hear if other enthusiasts remember this fleet with the same affection as I do, and if there are any other photos out there!
I do have an exact fleet list should interest demand it!

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Whitaker


11/05/12 – 08:09

Looks like Mostyn Street, Llandudno. Can anybody with more detailed knowledge of the area confirm or otherwise?

Stephen Ford


11/05/12 – 09:38

This photo has brought very fond memories of by first visit to Llandudno in 1956. Seeing these Guy Arabs operating as an independent Tramway Company gave me a feeling of David and Goliath as Crosville seemed to be the main operator in the area.
For once I ignored the Crosville buses and rode on the LCBER buses to their depot at Rhos-on-Sea where a few trams still remained in the yard. I have always found bus companies operating with Tramway names fascinating as they reflect a proud heritage. How many other bus companies were operating with Tramway Company names in the fifties? Sadly LCBER was taken over by Crosville in 1961.

Richard Fieldhouse


11/05/12 – 12:00

One company that springs to mind is the Northern subsidiary Tyneside Tramways and Tramroads. A title they kept until they disappeared into the parent company in the seventies.

Chris Hough


12/05/12 – 07:44

I think Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company Limited was not renamed Bristol Omnibus Company Limited until the 1950s. Now First Somerset & Avon Limited it must surely be one of the oldest legal entities in the public transport field still operating as it was incorporated on October 1st 1887

Nigel Turner


12/05/12 – 07:46

Great posting and wonderful photo John, thanks very much. It just goes to show that many of the most interesting items on OBP are about lesser known operators, and LCBER are an excellent example of that. They were clearly very cost conscious, buying wartime bodied Guy Arabs; many operators had rebodied such vehicles years earlier, and 11/12 year old ones were hardly in the first flush of youth. It’s also interesting that they bought a Leyland TD5 for driver training when they had no Leylands in service, as is the decision to buy the two Daimlers with, presumably, pre-selector gearboxes, amongst the (very) crash gearbox Guys. And how did passengers react to the replacement of smooth and quiet electric traction with trundling 5LW’s? A final question, John – what was LCBER’s livery? It looks smart in your photo, I must say.

Roy Burke


12/05/12 – 07:49

I can remember Bristol, and Bath Tramways in the 1950s when I was stationed at RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire.

Jim Hepburn


12/05/12 – 07:51

I think this bus’s registration is GUF 153, which was Southdown’s 453, a Guy Arab II, 5LW. (Ch: FD27379), built Feb 1945. Its Northern Counties body (3737) started as H30/26R, was rebuilt to H28/26R and re-engined as a 6LW in Dec 1950, then re-engined to 5LW again prior to withdrawal and sale in July 1956. It was one to escape being converted to an open-topper, like many of its cousins.
Whether they realised it or not, they bought wisely with a Guy with Northern Counties bodies, who were given dispensation during the war to build metal-framed bodies, which would have given them far longer lives then their ‘green’-wood, wooden-framed cousins. The windows were rather shallow and out-of-proportion, but they were still rather handsome beasts and looked just as nice beheaded!

Chris Hebbron


12/05/12 – 07:53

Sadly, Chris, the Tyneside and Tramroads name was abandoned in 1965 and thereafter the rather more prosaic Tyneside Omnibus Company had to suffice until it became one of the last Northern subsidiaries (along with Gateshead) to be fully absorbed in, I think, 1976.

Alan Hall


12/05/12 – 08:15

Apologies for the wrong registration GUF 351. Later access to a fleet list, and closer perusal of the photo, has shown this bus to be GUF 159.
As Stephen says, it is in Mostyn Street, Llandudno as far as I can tell.
This bus was the second No.3, being purchased in 1957, to replace an identical vehicle, original No.3, GUF 128.
The Northern Counties bodied examples were metal framed, and this would explain the earlier withdrawal of these buses compared to their Weymann and Park Royal sisters. It would have been much easier for former tramway engineers to maintain a composite body! I understand that a bus fleet list for LCBER will shortly be included in the fleet list section

John Whitaker


12/05/12 – 17:15

Didn’t Bath Electric Tramways and Bath Tramways Motor Co survive until c.1972, when absorbed into BOC?

Philip Rushworth


12/05/12 – 17:26

Just to answer Roy`s question about the LCBER bus livery; this was a deep crimson and cream, being the original tram colours from opening in 1907, until the green livery was adopted in the mid 1920s
I presume they did not continue with the green livery after tramway abandonment, in order to differentiate their vehicles from the Tilling green of Crosville.
As Richard says, it was also very unusual for me too, to let Bristols go by, but this was a notable and worthy exception!

John Whitaker


19/05/12 – 15:18

Further to my previous comment, I can now confirm the change of names for the following-
Gateshead & District Tramways Co.Ltd. became Gateshead & District Omnibus Co. Ltd. on July 12th 1950
Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co Ltd became Bristol Omnibus Co Ltd on May 16th 1957
Tyneside Tramways & Tramroads Co.Ltd. became Tyneside Omnibus Co.Ltd. on March 4th 1965
and surely last of all –
Bath Tramways Motor Co. Ltd. became Wessex National Ltd. on August 9th 1974

Nigel Turner


21/05/12 – 17:23

Having asked the question, many thanks Nigel for the details of ex Tramway Companies operating buses in England. Another one that I am aware of is the Rothesay Tramway Company that ceased tramway operations on the Isle of Bute in 1936 but was operating bus services on the Isle with the tramway name to at least to 1951. Scottish postings do seem to be absent at moment so perhaps someone with Rothesay details can assist.

Richard Fieldhouse


23/06/12 – 05:57

I’ve only ever visited Llandudno once, and I must have been 6 or younger, as we went by bus from Bolton – moved from there in 1954, when I was 6 – to Liverpool, then by steamer to Llandudno. It was a day trip, and my parents commented frequently about the fact that it was so foggy on the way, we were in time to disembark and join the queue to return. So, I never saw the trams or their replacement buses!

Pete Davies


23/06/12 – 21:23

When I was about five years old (1958ish) I took a steamer ride out into the Irish Sea from Llandudno aboard a vessel called the St Tudno. A few years later it sank. Moving back to the buses, Pete must have had a very long day to go and see some fog. There were no direct bus routes from Bolton to Liverpool until after deregulation (and even then Merseybus’s 510 service was short-lived), so the trip would have involved changing at Wigan (to the 320) or Atherton (to the 39 from "Manchester" – actually Salford).

Incidentally (here comes a bit of shameless self-promotion!) my new book on "Independent Buses in North Wales" will be out in the next few weeks and it includes the history of the L&CBER along with 29 other indies in the region. Just thought I’d let you know.

Neville Mercer


21/10/12 – 08:02

Lovely photograph of No 3 on Mostyn Street. I was captivated by the trams in 1943 and was heartbroken when they finished in 1956. I was 13 at the time and, like another contributor, only rode on the "Red Buses" when visiting the area. I am currently developing the definitive history of the L&CBER and am constantly looking for personal memories, photographs and memorabilia, particularly geographical tickets and timetables. Good photocopies are all that is required – not original documents, as it is the information only that I require. Should anyone be able to help, it would be very much appreciated and they could contact me through this site.

Geoff Price


06/01/14 – 07:45

I remember these buses when I used to go to stay at my Nains in Penrhynside. They were not liked by myself or the locals who did not want the trams to stop running.
Locals referred to them as the "Rock & Roll" buses which summed up the ride they gave.

Trefor Davies


06/01/14 – 09:30

That’s a turnaround, Trefor. My experience and that of many others was that it was the trams which gave you the ‘Rock ‘n Roll’ treatment, especially those with four-wheel trucks. I travelled a lot on trams when a boy (London) and am glad to say that an aunt of mine humoured me by going on them for me instead of the far faster Tube trains, bless her!

Chris Hebbron


06/01/14 – 09:36

In the early 1950s the delightful Hastings trolleybuses – by then operated by Maidstone and District – proudly carried the fleetname "Hastings Tramways Company." As a young enthusiast I found this delightful – and I also loved the description of the majestic Hastings and St.Leonards Promenade on the destination blinds – "FRONT."

Chris Youhill


06/01/14 – 14:16

Re Chris Y’s comment on the Hastings destination "Front" if you go to the outer Hebrides you will find buses in Stornoway bearing the destination "Back" – a village around 6 miles out on the road to North Tolsta.

Stephen Ford


06/01/14 – 16:44

"Front" and "Back"! Now that would make quite a route to rival Lands End to John O’Groats, especially if it were undertaken in a 5LW powered utility Guy Arab (max speed 28mph).

Roger Cox


07/01/14 – 06:59

And, of course, on the return journey southward you would be travelling Back to Front!

Stephen Ford


07/01/14 – 08:14

Reminds me of the WWI newspaper headline: Haigh flies back to front.

David Oldfield


GUF 153_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


03/02/14 – 07:24

I used to catch the bus home from this stop when at Mostyn school its out side a the bakers Dale Jones which we nicknamed stale Jones We would try and catch a "red" bus because we discovered we could open the destination board on the top deck and wind it on, As these still had the previous routes on them it was great fun to watch the waiting customers at the next stops hoping to catch a bus to Rhos on Sea as the Glasgow city centre only pulled up, as they say Happy days

JK

 

South Yorkshire – Leyland Titan PD3/1 – 2600 WW – 83

South Yorkshire - Leyland Titan PD3/1 - 2600 WW - 83                   Copyright Brian Lunn

South Yorkshire Motors 
1960
Leyland Titan PD3/1
Roe L31/32RD

In the late 1970’s I purchased South Yorkshire Motors Leyland PD3 2600WW at the urging of a number of people who offered help in preserving this vehicle. The bus was running in service the day before I took it to where I was keeping it. I was a little naive as I thought straight out of service it must be roadworthy. How wrong could I be? I took it for a MOT a month later and it failed on 5 items rendering the vehicle dangerous to use on the road. I managed to get the bus painted in the original South Yorkshire Motors colours, by this time a year had passed and so had all the willing helpers who soon disappeared when they found out there was some hard graft to do. I think all they were interested in was going to Rally’s! However I progressed with as much as I could manage by myself, until one day in the early 1980’s I was offered a sum of cash for it and away it went. It caused a bit of a topic when it was seen in a local scrap yard, I think it caused more interest as to why I had sold it than any of the time I had been struggling to get jobs done on it. I am sure I am not they only one who has been led into the false sense of believing all the promises of help and then they do not materialise.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Brian Lunn

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09/05/12 – 07:53

Such a sad story, Brian, but so common. A friend bought a Grey Cars Reliance/Willowbrook Viscount about thirty years ago and spent much in time and money. In the end, it was too much for one man on his own and again the scrap yard won. Makes you admire even more the chaps who manage to succeed and share their charges with us at rallies and on running days.

David Oldfield

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09/05/12 – 07:56

I think we all know about "fair weather friends", Brian!
At least you tried. Thanks for posting what looks to be in interesting bus with an unusual livery, albeit one I’m not that keen on.

Chris Hebbron

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09/05/12 – 09:22

They looked good round Pontefract! There’s a clip of one of their Albions on the "sounds" page here, if I recall.

Joe

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09/05/12 – 09:22

What a very sad, but by no means rare, saga Brian. Its also a great pity because 83 and its twin 82 were, as far as I’m aware, the very last 30 foot long lowbridge double deckers ever produced, and were like all SYRT vehicles above average in internal appointments. I shall have to relay your story to my one time workmate Mrs. Gladys Banks of Pontefract – I still see her and many more of my former colleagues quite regularly.
Gladys passed her PSV test on 83 and was a driver, a very competent one indeed, for many years before becoming an inspector. Right up to her retirement she would abandon her ticket checking at a second’s notice and would operate any busy journey, OPO of course in latter days, without a whimper and with impressive and enviable punctuality !!

Chris Youhill

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09/05/12 – 19:22

After the 1325-49 Regent Vs the 901 and 464 PD3s were among my STD favourites – the PD3s being highbridge but otherwise like the South Yorkshire motors (only a year older).

David Oldfield

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09/05/12 – 19:24

Thank you Brian for being open about a saga that some would keep quiet. Unfortunately when your resources are stretched to the limit and you decide you need to let go of a bus, you will never find a suitable buyer. Let’s face it, realistically how many people would want buy a South Yorkshire PD3?
Unrealistically, I would, as I thought they were superb machines. In hindsight I would have picked one of the Bond-bodied PD2s which were also very appealing as well as being unusual.
They were by no means the last lowbridge PD3s as several entered service in South Wales later, notably the last lowbridge bus of all, Bedwas and Machen UDC 6 (PAX 466F) in 1967. Caerphilly UDC also bought a few, before turning to the PD2 for their later purchases.

David Beilby

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09/05/12 – 19:26

Thanks to every one for their comments I thought that I had not tried enough, to make it work, but it makes me feel a little better to know I was not the only one who was left to graft alone. I think that you are right Chris regarding the last 30 foot low bridge to be built. As for Gladys she used to conduct on my local service coming home from school, in the mid 50’s as Gladys Illingworth as she was then, I still see Fred Bellamy and Nelly Edwards around town. One thing that was good about SYM all the garage staff with licenced drivers and conductors, I know the duplicate on the Doncaster-Leeds route which ran from Thorp Audlin to Whitwood Tech, often had a member of the garage conducting.

Brian Lunn

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10/05/12 – 11:13

Thanks David B for that correction – I think I was confused regarding the last thirty foot lowbridge bodies, and SYRT 82/3 were simply the last such built by Roe.
Brian, I’m fascinated to learn that you are local to Pontefract, where I spent almost fifteen very happy years with SYRT/Caldaire/British Bus/Arriva before retiring on my 65th birthday.
I was once involved in the preservation of a Portsmouth Corporation Bedford OWB in the open air in a muddy yard off the A61 at Robin Hood. While we toiled away under awful conditions, hoping to reach a point where we could attend rallies "part preserved", there were plenty of "visiting dignitaries" with much verbal advice and that’s all !! I nearly blew my top one day as the season approached and a notorious pair rolled up one Saturday and, casting a deprecatory glance at CTP 200, remarked "Huh, only three weeks to the Rally – THEY’RE going to have to get out and get under then !!" "THEY’RE" consisted of me and my pal up to hilt in grease etc and we were not amused. The state visit lasted only a few minutes before the smartly clad "enthusiasts" departed.

Chris Youhill

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11/05/12 – 08:05

Alas, the Albion clip has gone- "taken down" from you-tube. It was shot in Dewsbury, with a trip up the "cutting". Could it be tracked down?
I think I now see your livery problem, Chris H: the pic here makes the lower "Oxford Blue" look black. Chris Y & I register it in the proper colour!

Joe

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12/05/12 – 07:42

Although I do have colour-blindness problems, Joe, even my wife, not so afflicted, thought it was black at first sight. We both noticed the subtle difference between the black mudguard and lower bodywork. A look at the SY Albion on Flikr, showed the true colours. And you would both be familiar with the livery, whereas I’d never seen it in the flesh, so to speak! Freshly painted, it looks handsome!

Chris Hebbron

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12/05/12 – 17:23

In answer to the colour, I did use the official SYM paint which was mixed by Masons of Wakefield, I agree that in the photograph it does look dark, but I think that there is some evening shadows on the vehicle as the photograph was taken quite late in the day. I have looked at No 81 and the lower blue seem much lighter than I remember and looking at my collection of SYM photos a number tend to differ in different light conditions.

Brian Lunn

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13/05/12 – 08:37

Brian, I’ve had lunch in Pontefract today with Gladys, who was quite amazed and pleased to hear that she was so well remembered.

Chris Youhill

 

Exeter Corporation – Daimler CVD6 – JFJ 873 – 173

Exeter City Transport - Daimler CVD6 - JFJ 873 - 173

Exeter City Transport - Daimler CVD6 - JFJ 873 - 173
Copyright both shots Ken Jones

Exeter Corporation
1950
Daimler CVD6
Weymann B35F

This Exeter City Daimler half cab is more than 60 years old, so even older than me, and is owned by John Handford and based near Solihull in the West Midlands. I’m fortunate to be able to navigate for John on this bus and he has taken it to the Kingsbridge 7ft 6in running day, events in Exeter and the trans Pennine run to name but a few. It has a genuine Exeter City destination blind and letters so in 2009 we took the bus to Exeter and met up with a former Exeter City conductor who worked on such buses and knew all the routes and stops.
Here are two of the pictures I took during the tour around the villages near Exeter. The first on the way back from Upton Pyne at the junction drivers would stop at if passengers wanted to get on or off. The second is crossing the narrow bridge near the village of Bramford Speke.
Visibility for navigating is not ideal, and communicating with John over the engine noise, it has an original Daimler engine, can be limited to reaching out to touch his left or right shoulder. A sister vehicle is preserved at Winkleigh and they were together for the Exeter Nocturnal event in 2011.
It’s a long trip from the West Midlands to Devon – some 6 hours – an endurance test for John as the driver but also for me as the passenger.
Nice vehicle though and full of character, you can sense all the ladies of the villages talking to each other about the latest news whilst they were travelling to and from the City with their groceries.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

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06/05/12 – 16:59

Thank you Ken… this has to be one of the best bus photographs that I’ve seen, and it evokes happy memories of times long past, not only working as a rural bus driver, but of a time when the pace of ordinary life was more moderate…

Norman Long

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07/05/12 – 09:23

I agree completely Norman – at Samuel Ledgard’s we had four Exeter Corporation Daimler CVD6/Brush double deckers which had their own very special "atmosphere."
JFJ 50/51/52/55 were superbly appointed dignified vehicles full of real "quality" and even sported fascinating offside rear corner chrome bumpers which gave a lovely "pre 1948" touch. Ledgard policy was to equip all second hand purchases with powerful "KL" box type heaters – two under the lower saloon seats and one under the front nearside seat upstairs. As is well known, the large Daimler engines tended to run very hot, and I can honestly say that even in the cruellest of Winter days I’ve known passengers to plead for the heaters to be turned down or off, so effective were they. What happy days those were – and I’m saying this without a pair of rose tinted glasses anywhere to be seen.

Chris Youhill

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07/05/12 – 19:16

Next Saturday [14th May] there is an event in Coventry celebrating 100 years of CCT. Some 30 vintage buses will be at former Sandy Lane depot, where the reserve transport museum collection will be open. Some of these buses including JFJ 873 will be operating a shuttle service to the Transport Museum. There will also be a cavalcade of the buses including JFJ 873 at around 16.00

Ken

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08/05/12 – 07:20

So, there’s an opportunity for someone in the Coventry area to bag a recording of a CVD6 for the Old Bus Sounds page – any takers?

Stephen Ford

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08/05/12 – 07:26

Ken…I think you may have intended to say next Saturday May 12th. Just in case anybody gets mixed up and misses your day!

Richard Leaman

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08/05/12 – 10:47

EFJ 666_lr

EFJ 666_rear_lr

Ken Jones might be interested in the attached pictures of Exeter’s EFJ 666, Leyland Tiger TS8 Cravens B32R. I took the photos at the Gloucester Steam Fair, South Cerney in 2011. This was new in 1938, no less, and was the oldest bus present on the day. It looked and sounded wonderful despite its years

Les Dickinson

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08/05/12 – 12:10

Exeter 66 had a role in the film ‘Remains of the Day’ with some very evocative night shots as Emma Thompson boards the bus.

Chris Hough

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09/05/12 – 08:04

Yes I meant Saturday May 12th – thanks for pointing out the error

Ken

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09/05/12 – 08:05

Did the rear offside seats on any of these single-deckers extend to the very back of the bus, possible because the platform would be split into two steps. The earliest of LGOC/London Transport’s T’s did, until most, but not all, were modified to front entrance. One, T31, is preserved in original condition and, as a rear passenger, I would have felt very insecure, I feel, when going around a right-hand bend!

Chris Hebbron

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05/09/12 – 08:42

Thanks for the wonderful old photo’s. I drove these buses also the Guys & the Leyland PD2’s from 1963 to when Exeter City Corporation merged with Devon General, best years of my life. Great to see these old friends being preserved so well. My uniform was donated to the Winkiegh Museum.

Tony Comley

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JFJ 873_2_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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11/09/12 – 05:30

JFJ 875_lr

By the time that the last edition of the West of England BBF came out around 1966, the existence of half-a-dozen half-cabs as the only single-deckers in the fleet of Exeter City Transport was already of sufficient curiosity to be remarked upon.
For several years during the ‘nineties, sister vehicle JFJ 875 (Exeter 175) was in the care of Carmel Coaches for operation on Dartmoor Rover summer Sunday service 174 between Okehampton and Moretonhampstead, seen at the latter on a rather damp 3rd August 1997. Unfortunately 175’s body wasn’t entirely Dartmoor-weatherproof by this time and a game of musical busseats usually took place when the rain started.

Michael Wadman

 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 29th November 2014