Silver Star – Leyland Tiger Cub – MMR 552/3 – 10/26

Silver Star – Leyland Tiger Cub – MMR 552/3 – 10/26
Copyright Pete Davies

Silver Star Motor Services
1956
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2
Harrington C41C

Here is a view of MMR552 and 553 fleet numbers 10 and 26, Tiger Cubs with Harrington coach bodies from the dear departed fleet of Silver Star, Porton, near Salisbury. I have seen and photographed both of them on a number of occasions, but this sighting at the "Harrington Gathering" at Amberley on 3rd June was my first of them together. They may be twins, but they are most certainly not identical twins.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


31/08/12 – 07:37

My late friend Walter Martin bought two identical Bedford YRQ/Plaxton Panorama Elite III in 1972/3 which were instantly identifiable by several small differences in livery and application – just like these two splendid vehicles.

David Oldfield


31/08/12 – 12:34

This picture has made my day! From the age of 9 I grew up in Sale in Cheshire and the Silver Star vehicle(s) doing the forces leave service to Manchester spent their lay-over at the premises of Pride of Sale, often venturing out "on hire" on local excursions. They also sometimes appeared "doubly on hire" to North Western for use on the North Wales and Yorkshire Coast services.
Sadly my personal experience of their fine fleet was short-lived as they sold out to W&D less than a year after I moved to Sale. A brief pleasure, but still vivid in my memory. It’s good to see the pair together again in a recent shot.

Neville Mercer


31/08/12 – 14:29

I’m glad you found the view interesting, Neville. One of the Atlanteans, 1013MW, survives as well, but I don’t know of any of the other vehicles from the fleet.
The idea of reaching destination and then running ‘on hire’ to the local operator caught me out on several occasions. The one which sticks out most clearly is a Red & White MW coach which had arrived in Morecambe on a tour and was acting as a PD3 on the L6 Heysham to Lancaster service, on hire to Ribble. Must have been a surprise for the crew to draw that!

Pete Davies


31/08/12 – 16:05

I know the feeling Pete – Ribble would seize anything on a busy day. I was always amazed by some of the oddities that would turn up at Lower Mosley Street on X60 duplicates. As I mentioned in my article (on this site) about LMS these included vehicles from East Kent and East Yorkshire which had been commandeered by Ribble staff at the Blackpool end. I also witnessed the arrival of a 36ft Yelloway Reliance/Cavalier on an X60 extra in the summer of 1966 – presumably it had operated a duplicate on their own Blackpool services and then been free for the day for other remunerative work. It also, of course, had the advantage of being able to show both Manchester and Blackpool on its destination blind, but I bet that the Allen family made them pay the top rate for the hire!

Neville Mercer


01/09/12 – 08:06

I well remember during busy summer periods working for Southdown at Eastbourne in the 1970’s and 80’s it was a case of anything goes especially with coaches that were staying on a weeks tour on days when they were not out or coaches that were on day trips, on entering the garage the drivers were asked " what time are you leaving" if it was late enough for the coach to be used that afternoon he was asked to please see nothing was left on the luggage racks as the coach would be used, this of course was in NBC days. The favourite tour coaches used belonged to Eastern Scottish which were at different times Bristol LH’s Leyland Leopards and on one occasion a Seddon Pennine VII. another favourite was Western Welsh nearly always a Leopard but among other companies featured was a Crosville Bedford VAM. My fondest memory of these is of taking a school party from Eastbourne to Lewes on one of M&D’s superb AEC Reliance/Harrington Grenadiers a totally blissful afternoon, the different companies vehicles driven when on express services however is a story on it,s own.

Diesel Dave


01/09/12 – 10:51

An interesting posting, and I was most amused to read the appreciative comments of some correspondents about these vehicles. I agree with them. Apart from the Leyland chassis and the different treatment around the destination indicators, however, these coaches are pretty well the same design as my recent M&D AEC posting that received rather less fulsome responses. Maybe I’m thick, but I just don’t understand that. I also agree with Diesel Dave about the M&D Grenadiers; superb describes them absolutely.

Roy Burke


02/09/12 – 15:35

No, Roy, you’re not thick! It’s taken me a while to work it out, but I think the reason for the difference of opinion about the appearance of the Maidstone vehicle versus this pair is the indicator display.
These two have a modified version of what many regard as the typical Harrington front dome of the period, with two wide indicator displays. That on the Maidstone looks to be much more of a bus indicator, far more concentrated in the middle of the dome, and I’m sure the more usual style would have made it more attractive to many of our readers. A different way of applying the livery, with a lighter top, might have helped, too. I don’t suppose Southdown would have objected if their neighbour (and associate BET company) had used the Southdown style.

Pete Davies


03/09/12 – 07:54

Off subject, Neville, but I lived in Ashton-on-Mersey in the late ’70s.

David Oldfield


04/09/12 – 08:43

We missed each other by a few years, David. I moved to Nottingham when I was 19 (mid-1972) and from there to the USA for a six year spell from 1974. I blame the introduction of the NBC corporate liveries. Emigration became the only sensible option!

Neville Mercer


05/09/12 – 06:54

I can understand that, Neville. Glad you came back, though.

David Oldfield


05/09/12 – 08:40

I’m with Pete here: I’m still not a big fan of the design, but the overall styling/livery/destination display works much better (and its "polished-up", which might help!). For me the significant differences are: the fog/spot lights and associated moulding, which when combined with the "pointy" dome tend to accentuate the vertical aspect and narrow the front; and the absence of the above-windows moulding present on the M&D vehicle (which seems to be a throw-back to the 1930’s).

Philip Rushworth


06/09/12 – 06:51

I stand by my comments on the M&D Reliance, but as I’ve said before, in the right livery an Orion can look good. This just emphasises how important livery and its application is and reinforces all the comments on this forum about kids in paintbox liveries that we suffer today with current operators. Two identical vehicles can look SO different in different colours.

David Oldfield


07/09/12 – 07:25

I agree David – but I think the converse is true as well. Many colour schemes look well on some vehicle designs but not on others. A good livery is one that is sufficiently robust (and perhaps adaptable) to be applied to different types. Even some of the big groups seem to be recognising this. For example, I dreaded the appearance of "splash it all over" washed out green when Arriva took over Cross Country Trains – but they didn’t, thank goodness!

Stephen Ford


07/09/12 – 07:25

Well, David, we could have a long discussion about the effect of livery and detailed design differences on a vehicle’s ultimate attractiveness. However – maybe I don’t possess a ‘true’ enthusiast’s appreciation of these things – but to me a basically sound and well-balanced design is not somehow transformed, Jekyll and Hyde-like, into hideous ugliness because of such elements. I can understand how one treatment might appeal more than another, but the underlying balance and elegance of Harringtons’ design on these Silver Star coaches, (‘splendid’ was your own adjective), remains apparent in the M&D vehicles, dated destination indicator screens notwithstanding. I returned to the link showing one in Hebble livery, but that exercise has served only to reinforce my view. We can only agree, perhaps, to differ – and Philip, I guess, would be with you rather than me – on this.
‘Two other points in my final comment on this issue. First, Peter’s observations. I agree that M&D’s destination screen treatment is rather ‘bus’ like. Most of their express services were short distance, on which many passengers would buy their tickets from local agents just before travel. A large, instantly readable destination screen thus made operational sense. I’m not sure I follow his point about Southdown livery, however; after more than a year with that company, I never quite understood what their express livery was, and judging by the inconsistency with which it, (and even whether a vehicle should display a scripted or capital lettered name), was applied, I’m not entirely sure that they did either.
Secondly, while there is no rule that says correspondents must like this Harrington design, I find both the Silver Star and M&D versions infinitely cleaner and better balanced than the Duple coachwork on the recent Black & White posting. While looking at Hebble vehicles, moreover,I came across a Bellhouse Hartwell Landmaster of about the same date as the M&D vehicles. Now for real ugliness…….’

Roy Burke


08/09/12 – 07:05

There you go, Roy. I agree with you on your latter points.

David Oldfield


08/09/12 – 07:05

We’re back to this ‘beholder’ business again and the matter of comparisons, one with another! I don’t find the BHS vehicle THAT ugly, but this Barton monstrosity is another matter: SEE: www.modelbuszone.co.uk

Chris Hebbron


08/09/12 – 07:06

Mention of the Bellhouse and Hartwell coaches reminded me of a comment my friend the late Donald Ingham who had been a driver of these beasts told me. The drivers referred to them as Brabs this being a reference to the giant seaplane the Brabazan that flew in the 1950s. One of these coaches was sold to a old persons home in Derbyshire and had its rear end modified to take wheel chairs and eventually was sold for preservation to a group of drivers at YWD Frost Hill depot. Alas this was an abortive venture and I recently heard that it had passed to Ensign for their heritage fleet but it would appear to be too far gone. .

Philip Carlton


09/09/12 – 07:20

Wow, Chris, what a beauty! (Pardon the irony). What is it? There’s some script below the radiator grille, but I can’t make out what it says. (not ‘Bristol’, surely?). Could it be the builder’s name – I’d have wanted to remain anonymous if I’d had anything to do with it. More details from someone, please. I’m intrigued.
Philip’s remark about the Bellhouse Hartwell coaches’ nickname was amusing, too. Very appropriate. I read elsewhere that they were also nicknamed ‘Sabrinas’, for fairly obvious reasons.

Roy Burke


09/09/12 – 07:20

Reference to Chris H’s link, Barton’s 657 was certainly no oil-painting, and the normally attractive livery was applied in a rather fussy way. I remember it as one of those quirky members of the Barton fleet – an in-house rebody of, if I remember its sound correctly, a half-cab Leyland TS? In the early/mid 50s it often worked on the route 10, Nottingham – Long Eaton – Kegworth – Loughborough. There were a few similar rebodies, plus the much more attractive style just visible behind, but I think there were only one or two of this particular design.

Stephen Ford


09/09/12 – 07:21

Small point, Philip, but if I don’t mention it someone else surely will. The Bristol Brabazon was a large landplane, powered by eight Bristol Centaurus piston engines mounted in pairs driving contra rotating airscrews. The huge contemporary flying boat was the Saunders Roe Princess which had ten Bristol Proteus turbo props. Both were misconceived for the post war air transport scene.

Roger Cox


10/09/12 – 07:08

As originally built, MMR 553 also featured the "V" shape front trim but fairly early on presumably had a bit of an accident and for most of the time with Silver Star appeared as we see it today.

Nick Webster


10/09/12 – 07:09

If you’re looking for ugly in house re bodies, you need look no further that the Tynesider and Wearsider of Northern General. I think one of them is still around somewhere in the North West area ‘Liverpool?’ but I’m not sure which one it is

Ronnie Hoye


10/09/12 – 07:09

You see the safe path I tread to avoid controversy with body designs! I thought, Roy, that the writing said ‘Daimler’, but could be mistaken. And thanks, Stephen, for your thoughts on the body’s origin.

Chris Hebbron


10/09/12 – 07:10

I believe the Sabrinas were SUT.

David Oldfield


11/09/12 – 06:49

I realise that we have taken something of a diversion but the excellent picture of the Barton BTS1 made me wonder, whilst the body was built in Barton’s own workshops and rightly ascribed to them, I wonder how many components were bought in, such as front wings, front dome and windscreen frames etc. I may be wrong but I can’t imagine all of these being produced by Barton, or any other operators who built their own bodywork. One thing is certain though, these were sound vehicles which gave Bartons good service. They must have been considerably better than some of the offerings from the myriad of post war British coachbuilders.

Chris Barker


12/09/12 – 06:54

Discussion on styling should also take into account changing fashion- less so with buses than coaches- as well as functionality. I think the Bridgemaster/Renown expressed a fashion for the square rather than curves, seen in buildings of that era. Liveries/trim were lightened and simplified in the 60’s. Curves were very thirties/forties and in the case of Barton, the "diner" look became a caricature. Then there is the "classic" look like the Leyland/Leyland PD2, and most ECW output, which could seem boring- but the style had to last 10/20 years. Now today… the Optare Spectra already looks dated and those areas of purposeless blind glazing in other, later designs… why?
A CVG6/Roe* takes a lot of beating….(insert your own preference here)*

Joe


28/07/14 – 07:33

Just come across the site and was taken aback to see the Silver Star Leylands. I was stationed in Tidworth 61-62 and used to travel up most weekends to Manchester using Silver Star. The drivers name was Vic I believe.

Richard Hill


28/07/14 – 10:23

Glad about your surprise delight, Richard!
Companies like Silver Star must have started to feel the pinch once the last National Servicemen finished their service in 1962 and their places were taken by civilians, who mainly lived locally. Strangely enough, I always found it better to go home by train, with reasonably-priced Forces Return tickets. We still had an extensive rail network then, too!

Chris Hebbron


28/07/14 – 11:49

I have some very happy memories indeed of outstanding small operators that I encountered and used during National Service 1954/5/6.
First was the highly individual Green Bus Service (Rugeley and Uttoxeter) Ltd – M.A. & C.J. Whieldon – what an exotic an assorted fleet they had.
Then, at Yatesbury, troop transport was provided by the wonderful R & W Febry – "Sodbury Queen" radio luxury coaches – a very smart and proud Firm indeed, and still I believe in haulage in a very big way.
Later, at Patrington, East Yorkshire the contrast was fascinating – the magnificent East Yorkshire Motor Services with a glorious fleet, and the tiny Connor and Graham of Easington (Spurn Point) who provided reliable and most useful services almost into the North Sea !! In 1955/6 they had a very elderly conductress called Sally and, many years later after De-mob, I went on an official enthusiasts tour of the area, including being greeted by one of the proprietors. Near the depot at Easington I said to him "I don’t suppose dear old Sally is still around now ??" With a mischievous smile he told me to knock on the door of the second nearby cottage – the door was answered by the good lady herself and I was invited into the original "chocolate box" country cottage and made very welcome – "I’m always glad to see mi’RAF lads" said Sally followed by this classic "Of course I’m not on the buses now yer’ know." Bless her, she must have been close to receiving HM’s telegram !!

Chris Youhill


MMR 552_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


25/08/14 – 07:26

Is there any record of the sold Silver Star Leyland Atlantic’s that went to Bristol Bus Company for use on the WSM routes.

Ray Kite


26/08/14 – 06:47

1013 MW

The ex Silver Star Atlantean 1013 MW is in active preservation, as seen here on a re-creation of Silver Star operations around Salisbury Plain in August 2009. This bus saw service with Super Coaches of Upminster and Beresfords of Cheddleton, following its withdrawal from service with Bristol Omnibus.

Petras409

 

North Western – AEC Renown – AJA 127B – 127

North Western - AEC Renown - AJA 127B - 127
Copyright Ian Wild

North Western Road Car
1964
AEC Renown 3B3RA
Park Royal H42/30F

This former North Western bus still in its original livery but with SELNEC (Cheshire) fleetnames is at the Norfolk Arms terminus in Glossop in May 1972 not long after North Western was split between SELNEC, Trent and Crosville. This was one of the second batch of these buses bought by North Western in this case with forced ventilation evidenced by the lack of opening windows. I wonder how effective this was in dispersing the cigarette smog more or less standard on the upper decks of buses in those days. I pass this location from time to time and wonder at how there could have been a busy bus terminus at such a busy location.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

A full list of Renown codes can be seen here.

———

28/08/12 – 15:17

The Norfolk Arms was busy and similar to the LPTB Hounslow trolleys, the traffic signals were controlled by the driver when ready to depart. I think it was mounted on the pole just by the driver’s cab in the picture. This turned the High St W and E, Victoria St and Norfolk St lights to red and then the bus would sweep out. I have it on good authority this led to at least one conductor being left behind. The old North Westerns from Glossop had a few characters.

Mike Franks

———

28/08/12 – 18:03

I felt bereft, as a student in Manchester, missing my AECs from STD, SUT and the local coach operators. Luckily North Western plied down the Wilmslow and Palatine Roads in student land. It might have been a Fleetline or a Loline but my day was always made when one of these Renowns turned up to take me home.
These PRV bodies have, unfairly in my opinion, been called ugly. Compared with Bridgemasters – especially the forward entrance version – these were positively beautiful, and in their own right were better looking than many contemporaries.

David Oldfield

———

28/08/12 – 18:04

When NBC was set up many fleets were shuffled around like decks of cards, and Northern General was no exception. At Percy Main ‘Tynemouth and Wakefields’ we had a number of Daimler Fleetlines sent off to different areas and got all sorts in return, among the number were six Renown’s that came from East Yorkshire’s fleet. I was in the minority but I quite liked them, especially if you got one on the likes of the 306 or 308 where you had some long gaps between stops, but they could be hard work on some of the town service routes that stopped at every other lamp post.

Ronnie Hoye

———

29/08/12 – 07:59

I have to agree with David that this version of the Park Royal body, combined with North Western’s style of applying the livery, is FAR better than the version on the Bridgemaster or on Southampton’s Regents and PD2As. Those things were little better than shoe boxes with windows. It’s not far off the style Oxford had on their …CWL Regents, and it really was quite good!

Pete Davies

———

29/08/12 – 08:00

I agree with David that the Park Royal Renowns were a big improvement on the Bridgemaster but I wouldn’t go as far as to say they were beautiful. The only Renowns that can justify that accolade in my opinion were the East Lancs bodied versions operated by Leigh Corporation. There were both rear and forward entrance versions in a wonderful blue and cream livery. Fortunately one of the forward entrance vehicles is still with us at Boyle Street museum in Manchester.

Philip Halstead

———

29/08/12 – 08:02

Wearing my driver’s hat, I can imagine a Fleetlines’s attraction for stop start over a manual AEC – much as I personally prefer the latter. Significantly, the North Western Renowns had been "downgraded" from long trunk routes, only to be reinstated by Crosville when they had taken over the Cheshire operations. They claimed they were better out on the open road and could maintain "a head of steam"!

David Oldfield

———

29/08/12 – 10:17

Philip. I did say compared with the Bridgemaster. I would definitely agree with you about the Leigh buses. I used them on the Warrington service when I was doing my post-graduate teacher training at Padgate in the mid ’70s. One or two were still in blue and cream but orange and white was the order of the day. [For new vehicles, I think SELNEC/GMT orange and white was actually quite good even though it did spoil older vehicles in "better" municipal colours.]

David Oldfield

———

29/08/12 – 12:24

As I’ve already said I quite liked the Renown’s, but by the time they came to us most of the routes for which they would have been ideally suited had either gone over to, or were in the process of being changed to OPO, as for them having "a head of steam" they could clip on a bit, and unlike the PD3’s, where after a prolonged spell of stop start braking where the brakes become a tad warm and tend to fade, you could guarantee the Renown’s would stop when asked to.

Ronnie Hoye

———

29/08/12 – 12:24

East Lancs also bodied Renowns for Leicester in both front and rear entrance versions on of the front entrance ones regularly appeared on the rally circuit 190 DBC 190C. My own favourite Renowns were the ones owned by East Yorks in their traditional livery complete with modified upper deck window pillars to negotiate Beverly Bar.

Chris Hough

———

29/08/12 – 12:26

Regarding the beautiful East Lancs-bodied Leigh Renowns, Philip Halstead mentions there is a forward entrance example preserved at the Manchester Museum.
Their rear entrance Renowns were always great favourites of mine ever since I saw the front and rear view photographs of one of them in Buses Illustrated when new. In 1976 I bought 28 (1975 TJ) for preservation from GMPTE, but in the 1980’s sold it and it then passed through several subsequent owners – maintaining a very low profile in the process. Only last week I learned that it been acquired by Tony Blackman for continued preservation, and who knows…..maybe operation in his Yorkshire Heritage Buses wedding hire fleet, though I do hope that it doesn’t turn black and white in the process. The beautiful azure blue and cream Leigh livery would be very much in demand by would-be happy couples I would imagine – it would match the bridesmaids’ dresses and floral arrangements !

John Stringer

———

30/08/12 – 06:49

1975 TJ_lr

Leigh 28 at Luddenden Foot, it has been working hard this summer for Yorkshire Heritage Buses. This shot was on her first day in service and as can be seen it is in black & white John.

Geoff S

———

30/08/12 – 07:09

AJA 129B_lr

Here is a picture of fellow Renown AJA 129B in Manchester, en route to Alderley in true North Western days. I have to admit that personally I much preferred the North Western Loline IIIs to the Renowns in both appearance and performance, but it would be nice to be able to detect something of the variety and individuality of the psv designs of those times in the present day crop of tediously indistinguishable bus types.

Roger Cox

———

31/08/12 – 07:33

Thanks Geoff S. for sending the photo. I hadn’t realised its restoration had advanced so far, I may well then have seen it at a distance and mistaken it for the ex-Southampton Regent V. As for the livery……….I’ll say no more.

John Stringer

———

31/08/12 – 09:35

Black marks for the new livery, then, John?

David Oldfield

———

31/08/12 – 09:45

Is black a good colour for a wedding or do they do funerals as well.

Spencer

———

So where have you been for the past year and a bit? Have you forgot how to send emails?

Peter

———

31/08/12 – 12:28

It’s a dual-purpose vehicle, Spencer; white for weddings; black for funerals!

Chris Hebbron

———

31/08/12 – 12:29

Tony Blackman’s "new" livery is in fact that of Lockey of West Auckland, and presumably was prompted by his acquisition of a full-fronted Regent V/Park Royal which (although new to East Kent) had been operated by that famous County Durham independent. That particular vehicle also carries Lockeys titles while the rest of the heritage fleet don’t. We all have a lot to thank Tony for – in my personal case for an unforgettable ride through the Mersey Tunnel on his ex-Halifax Regent III. What a pity that his revived Halifax JOC no longer operates stage services in the original glorious livery!

Neville Mercer

———

31/08/12 – 12:30

I suppose so David, but the thought of how it could have looked in its proper livery leaves me feeling blue.

John Stringer

———

31/08/12 – 12:32

The black and cream livery used by Yorkshire heritage buses is derived from the colours on a former East Kent AEC Regent V which is in the livery of its last owner Lockey of St Helens Auckland I saw the ex Darlington Guy saloon in the livery recently and it looked very good indeed. Better in a livery than a scrap yard!

Chris Hough

———

02/09/12 – 07:10

The trouble with Bridgemasters and lowheight Renowns was that there was no inward tapering at the front, creating a profile that was squat and square. That’s why the Beverley Bar treatment is such an improvement – it adds a much-needed bit of shape. Don’t forget Northern Counties www.flickr.com/

Peter Williamson

———

03/10/12 – 06:07

I used to drive these Renowns, 127b, & 129b, in the 60s at the North Western Altrincham Depot , a nice drive but a bit on the ‘Bouncy’ side!!

Roger Williams

———

AJA 127B_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

———

13/11/12 – 08:44

I was a summer guard with NWRCC at Glossop Garage between 1960 and 1962. It was the guard that operated the lights at the Norfolk Arms terminus and you had to be mighty quick to get back to the platform, clutching Setright and money bag to grasp the platform pole before the driver moved off. Bristol K5G’s were OK but a PD2 was fast off the mark and you held on like grim death for the swing round. Those were the days – swinging loads on the old 125 to Manchester and overloads on the 85 to Buxton on summer days. It was a great company with great mates at Glossop depot. Public service at its best!

Roger Chadwick

———

13/11/12 – 12:57

Roger, be thankful it was a PD2 and not a trolleybus or you’d have been left standing.

Ronnie Hoye

———

23/11/12 – 10:03

Roger, Myself and two colleagues have been researching the North Western driver and conductor duties. Would you have kept any information when you worked at Glossop in the 60’s

Keith Hampton

———

22/01/13 – 06:33

Roger, Being one of the Two colleagues that Keith refers to can you supply any names of staff at all.
All part of an on going, and growing, North Western project of ours.

John Dixon

 

Brighton, Hove & District – Dennis Lance II – NJ 5978 – 6315

Brighton, Hove & District - Dennis Lance II - NJ5978 - 6315
Copyright R A Mills

Brighton, Hove & District
1935
Dennis Lance II
Tilling H30/26R

Not a big user of the marque, Thomas Tilling, nevertheless, for Brighton town services, bought four Dennis Darts, then two Dennis Aces between 1932 and 1934.
In 1935, they then bought six Dennis Lance II’s, adding Tilling bodywork in the style of their 80 London STL cousins. Here is 6315, standing, driver’s door ajar, at Brighton Station, not long after the war. It is blinded for Fishersgate (Portslade).
Unlike its London cousins, it shows no trace of body sag! The radiator has the style of those fitted to the sweet little Dennis Darts of the early 1930’s and not the ‘Dutch Roof’ design, thick or thin, that had DENNIS across the radiator centre. This one has a small DENNIS plate below the radiator cap. Although it has the archaic triple window front upstairs, the larger BH&D blind box suits this front more than the ‘pinched’ LT style did. One change is that the rear upstairs emergency exit does not have twin windows that its London cousins possessed. All six were withdrawn in 1949.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron


27/08/12 – 20:07

As at 3.35pm on Monday, I find nobody has yet had a comment published about this. Surely, you’ve not left us all speechless, Mr Hebbron??? (More likely, of course, that Peter hasn’t had chance to post the comments made already.)
I’ve seen a few buses with the triple front windscreen arrangement, and they seem to have been London types for the most part, with a few CIE vehicles as makeweight. I can understand that the London ones may have fallen under the influence of the Metropolitan Police, but what about CIE? Did they simply like the design and stick with it for many years?

Pete Davies


27/08/12 – 20:11

Chris. Many thanks for the super photo of a BH&D Dennis Lance. It was news to me that they had any Lances, which were very uncommon in Tilling controlled fleets, as I can only think of the 1936 pair at Southern Vectis, with the later radiator. Perhaps this was due to Dennis persevering with the 4 cyl. notion of a double deck chassis, which most had, I believe, in petrol and/or 04 (Lanova ?) form.

Dennis had supplied the Tilling group with substantial numbers of petrol engined Lancet 1 single deckers, and the standard small bus was the Ace, but with the advent of Bristols in the group,Dennis were keen to protect this business. Consequently, trial batches of Lancet 2s , with 04, or 5LW engines, were supplied, but as far as I can see, the only fleet to take any real number was Caledonian. What engines did these Lances have, and when did BH&D start to convert their AECs to oil engines?
Indeed, when were their first Bristol Gs or Ks delivered?
The Lances lasted well, did n`t they, especially as they were not so different from the London collection (DL class) which were all gone by about 1937, albeit a year or two older.
More detail of the Brighton fleet up to 1950 would make delightful reading!
The Lances of the later 1930s, as supplied to Walsall, and Merthyr, had very compact cabs because of their short 4 cyl. engines, theoretically enabling more effective use of passenger space, a bit like the Daimler COG5/40 concept. Fascinating stuff!

John Whitaker


27/08/12 – 20:16

These Brighton, Hove and District Lances were numbered 6311 to 6316, registrations NJ 5974 to 5979. The bus in the picture would appear to be 6315, NJ 5978. The pre war Lance never used the heavy style of radiator of the Lancet I, but the version used on these BH&D Lances appears to have been a slight variation upon the usual contemporary pattern which had a tapering grille set within a parallel sided frame, the bottom edge of which formed a shallow "V". Other Lance IIs, notably those of Aldershot and District, used the high set oval radiator of the Lancet II (and later III) which resulted in a decidedly restricted view from the cab. The Tilling bodies on three of the BH&D Lances, 6311/4/6, were rebuilt by Portsmouth Aviation in 1947, which made their withdrawal just two years later seem rather a profligate decision. I cannot establish if these Lances were powered by the 6.1 litre 100 bhp 6 cylinder ohv petrol engine or the 6.5 litre 85 bhp sixteen valve 4 cylinder O4 diesel, though, in view of the severe gradients in parts of the Brighton area, the petrol version would have been more likely.

Roger Cox


28/08/12 – 18:01

I don’t think that the three-window design would have been anything to do with the Metropolitan Police regulations. It’s notable that the LGOC effectively abandoned three windows around 1930 and all their Regents and Renowns had two windows, whereas Tilling and many of the independents continued to have three windows.
I suspect that it had more to do with the need on buses without roller blinds for a large opening window for the conductor to lean out of to change the destination boards. By the time the Tilling STLs came out I suspect it was just a styling hangover.

Michael Wadman


30/08/12 – 11:49

It is good that BH&D has been given an airing thanks to Chris H. 6315 was one of a batch of six Dennis Lances that were operated by BH&D and were the last petrol-engined double decker buses to join the fleet. They were converted to diesel as follows: – 6312, 6313, 6315, 6316 received Gardner 5LW engines between 1942 and 1946 and 6311,6314 were fitted with AEC 7.7 engines and radiators. When withdrawn in 1949, they were all sold to Westcliff-on -Sea Motor Services Ltd for further service. I do hope we will see more BH&D buses on this web site soon.

Richard Fieldhouse


31/08/12 – 07:29

The three window design for the upper deck was also used on pre war trolleybuses in Huddersfield Indeed a batch of Park Royal Sunbeams of 1949 also had this styling.

Chris Hough


31/08/12 – 07:30

Thx, Richard, for the additional info.
If the condition of these vehicles is as good as seen in the photo, plus diesel engines, I’m not surprised that they were sold on for further service, Richard. Wonder when they finally went for scrap?
Strange that they were re-engined with two types of engine. The fitting of AEC radiators to 6311 and 6314 was an unusual move. I wonder if changing petrol engines for diesels was a common action in the war. I’m not aware that it was.

Chris Hebbron


31/08/12 – 09:42

I was surprised to learn about the Gardner 5LW engine changes in the war period as I believe these were in very short supply and tightly regulated by the Ministry of War Supply. The Daimler Company had only a limited supply of 5LW engines for their production of the CWG5 model in 1943. I can only assume BH&D may have had a few 5LW engines in stock. I have no knowledge about the Dennis Lance operation in Westcliff but I believe the AEC engined Dennis Lances were converted to open top, so possibly ran for some time into the mid-fifties. However another related war time matter that has always been hard to understand is how BH&D could store 7 new AEC 661T/Weymann trolleybuses from 1940 to 1946 when other towns and cities were in desperate need for trolleybuses. Brighton Corporation AEC 661T/Weymann trolleybuses were loaned to Newcastle during the war.

Richard Fieldhouse


04/09/12 – 08:44

Another operator of buses with three windows at the front of the upper deck was Luton Corporation, who operated some pre-war Daimler COG’s with Willowbrook lowbridge bodywork thus fitted. A picture appears on this very site! (see Luton Corporation). A brief look at a fleet book I have reveals Luton operated several Daimlers of CH6, CP6 (petrol), and COG5 (diesel) types, all with Willowbrook L26/26R bodies. These had the lowbridge gangway on both nearside and offside, and were new from c.1933 to 1938, most surviving into post-war years, being withdrawn c.1948-1953. I believe the use of the double lowbridge gangway was originally used to avoid the patent payment to Leyland for their 1927 design, but I think that this was cleared by c.1933/34, so it’s continued use after that date must be operator preference / standardisation. Presumably the three-window upstairs layout suited the two-gangway/central seating block layout inside.

Michael Hampton


18/04/13 – 07:05

Just to keep the record straight the SIX Southern Vectis Dennis ‘Lance’ double deckers delivered in 1935 had Gardner 5LW diesel engines from new.

Patrick Hall


30/07/13 – 15:37

The six Lances [600-605] ADL 500-505 for Southern Vectis were delivered in 1936 with 600/1 arriving 29/5/36 and 602-5 arriving -/6/36.
They had a hard life with SV especially during the war years but still managed to give 17 years service [600/2/4] or 18 years [601/3/5], so the last ones were still in use as spare buses when the first Lodekkas arrived!
Apparently [604] survived with a Showman in Gloucester until November 1965.
Any further news/photos of them welcome.

Vectis83


31/07/13 – 07:51

Here, at least, are a couple of photos of them:
Here’s a photo, behind the T-S, of 500 in pre-war livery (and large SV lettering) – See (scroll): http://tinyurl.com/klbxrz7
Here’s a late photo of 504 – See (scroll down): http://tinyurl.com/oe358ku

Chris Hebbron


31/01/14 – 10:12

First of all a correction to a commonly made mistake – the company to which the BH&D Lances went was Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Services NOT WestcliffE …
Of the six Lances one, NJ 5976 was converted to open top (I think by Westcliff, not by BH&D) and used on the Southend sea front services. The others were used mainly(possibly entirely) on contract work. One later finished up as a store at Southend depot. Several later acquired AEC radiators. None received Eastern Nation fleet numbers in July 1954, so they must all have gone by then. I think (but cannot check, as I cannot locate my copy) the recent history of Westcliff has a photo of one with that company.

Brian Pask

Thanks Brian I have corrected the spelling of Westcliff.


02/05/14 – 17:55

Further to my query posted above in August 2012, about how BH&D could store their new AEC661T/Weymann trolleybuses throughout the period 1939 to 1945, perhaps some correspondence from the LPTB to the BH&D Tilling Group may put some light on the matter. Michael Dryhurst has written a most interesting "What if–" article in "Classic Bus" no.130 April/May 2014 on these stored BH&D trolleybuses. It would seem the LPTB would have liked to purchase these BH&D trolleybuses in 1944 for use on their 654 Crystal Palace to Sutton route to relieve serious vehicle shortages due to serious war damage to Bexleyheath and West Ham depots.

Richard Fieldhouse


03/05/14 – 07:19

Richard highlights one of the most intriguing episodes of WW2 transport history here. Why were these vehicles stored throughout the war when there were chronic shortages all over the country?
I too have seen the article in "Classic Bus", which is a fascinating "what if" scenario, especially as the B.H.and D. 661Ts had coasting and run back brakes, making them eminently suitable for LPTB.
Perhaps the answer lies in their Crompton Parkinson equipments, totally non standard as far as London trolleybuses were concerned, but thanks, Richard, for bringing up this point.

John Whitaker


03/05/14 – 07:20

I’ve just found out that Westcliff-on-Sea took delivery of three Dennis Lances in 1931 (JN960/1/2), so there was a logic in their taking the BH&D ones. Incidentally, these also finished up with AEC radiators.
Interesting about LPTB’s bid to buy BH&D’s trolleys. Obviously LPTB got by with their shortage in the end, since the only trolleys they ever borrowed were some Bournemouth ones earlier in the war to cover a shortage overcome by acquiring the South Africa-destined trolleys in the end.

Chris Hebbron


NJ 5978_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


19/01/15 – 07:25

On 31/01/14, Brian Pask mentioned that the six Lances went to Westcliff-on-Sea, five to contract work. Here’s a photo of Brian’s, showing NJ 5979 doing this work. The front blind area has changed and the front has also been modified to achieve double windows upstairs. The cab windscreen’s also been altered to allow for the AEC radiator. It’s not an improvement on an otherwise fairly streamlined original front. www.sct61.org.uk/wmnj5979

Chris Hebbron

 

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 Wednesday 1st July 2015