Hanson – AEC/Hanson Regent – TVH 497 – 361

Hanson - AEC/Hanson Regent - TVH 497 - 361                     Copyright Eric Bawden

Hanson
1950
AEC/Hanson Regent
Roe H37/28F

Here we have a picture I took at Sandtoft around 1972/3.
This bus started life in 1950 with Hanson of Huddersfield as an AEC Regal III 9621E with a Duple C33F body, registration EVH 805 fleet number 295. To ‘modernise it’ in 1954 Hanson had Plaxton remove the front bulkhead and build a Venturer style full front on it. It was then renumbered 326.

Hanson - AEC/Hanson Regent - TVH 497 - 361

In 1961 Hansons’ rebuilt the chassis and had a new Roe H37/28F body fitted, re-registered it as TVH 497 and gave it fleet number of 361. Numerically it was the seventh rebuild in the series, the fourth double decker and the first front entrance decker. It passed to Huddersfield Corporation with the stage carriage operations of Hansons’ on 1st October 1969.
Thornes of Bubwith acquired it in October 1970 as their no. 57. Although listed as being withdrawn and scrapped in Thornes own lists in May 1972, it was eventually acquired for preservation.
It is seen in the above colour shot in as acquired condition and what appears to be ex Aachen 22, a 1956 Henschell trolleybus with Ludewig body along side it. As this trolleybus is kept at the Sandtoft Transport Centre one must assume 361’s destination blind is telling the truth! I’m afraid I didn’t keep records of the pictures I took in those days so have to rely on detective work to place and date them.
Sadly 361’s career as a preserved bus didn’t last very long, I believe it suffered a catastrophic engine failure and was sold for scrap.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Eric Bawden

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13/07/12 – 09:08

Thanks for posting. I have in my "bought" collection a view of VVH 348 which, by that time, had migrated to the Porthcawl Omnibus Company.

Pete Davies

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13/07/12 – 17:12

Pete, That would be 368 when with Hanson, rebuilt in 1962 from 1949 Roe H31/25R bodied Regent III 285, ECX 414.

Eric Bawden

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14/07/12 – 07:39

Unfortunately I don’t believe 361 suffered any catastrophic failure at all, but was just sold. It was kept here where I live in Greenfield, less than five minutes walk from where I now live, along with various other vehicles including my own. It just disappeared one day and I was annoyed about it at the time and even more so now, as it is a genuine Saddleworth bus which would have appeared frequently on the Oldham service which ran past Greenfield station.
The shame is that, had it survived at Thorne’s, even out of use, a bit longer it might have joined their fleet of splendidly-restored vehicles.

David Beilby

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14/07/12 – 11:23

I was always under the impression that a conrod came through the engine block and that is why it was scrapped. It did get repainted in an approximation of Hanson livery but the shade of red was far too dark, almost maroon. There are some photos about of it in these colours. The correct shade was a Dulux colour called Wexham Red.
I did know the owner at one time but it is many, many years since I lost contact with him.

Eric Bawden

 

Midland Red – SOS FEDD – FHA 236 – 236 – 2254

Midland Red - SOS FEDD - FHA 236 - 236 - 2254
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Midland Red (Birmingham & Midland Omnibus Co)
1939
SOS FEDD
Brush H30/26F

Midland Red FHA 236 (2254, formerly 236) was one of their unique pre-war, front-entrance, SOS FEDD double-deckers. They were built in large numbers between 1933 until 1939 with bodies by Carlyle (1), Short Bros, Metro-Cammell and finally Brush, each batch having gradual improvements and modifications. Like their SON single-deck sisters, they were extensively rebuilt by Hooton Aero & Engineering (and others?) in the 1940s to extend their lives. This example is seen at Stourbridge busFHA 236._ffjpg station, probably in the late 1950s. Note the position of the fuel cap, which fed the tank positioned beneath the driver’s seat. This postcard is uncredited so if anyone knows who took it, please let us know.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Paul Haywood


10/07/12 – 18:28

It’s interesting how this forward entrance layout, used extensively pre-war by Barton and London Country area as well as Midland Red died out in the post-war period only to find popularity again in the early 1960’s. The reasons cited for the adoption of forward entrances in the sixties were greater safety by giving the driver a better view of the entrance and easing the conductor’s workload as a result particularly on 30ft long higher capacity vehicles.

Philip Halstead


11/07/12 – 08:05

Looking at this, and at the single decker posted a few days ago, without looking at the caption, the radiator grille looks remarkably AEC, at first glance. Then, you study it and see it isn’t!

Pete Davies


11/07/12 – 08:06

Dare I say, that surely must be one of the most awkward looking designs imaginable. What strange proportions giving it a very "tall" appearance and the design around the cab is very unhappy. Even the radiator looks partly buried by the flat, featureless front.
Thank goodness this was only a blip in inspiration before coming up with many superb designs not long afterwards!
I hope this doesn’t upset anyone but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder..this poor bus needed help!

Richard Leaman


11/07/12 – 12:38

You’re absolutely right, Richard, on both the points you make: first, I agree with you that the overall design just doesn’t work. The whole of the cab area is untidy; the staircase gives the impression that the front offside passenger window has just been blocked off. The ‘tall’ appearance is possibly due to the angle of the photo, but you’re right about the radiator, the location of the front registration plate exaggerates the problem, and the livery doesn’t help either.
However, as you also remark, beauty is in the eye of the beholder; unlike many correspondents, I always thought the (much later, of course), Orion looked balanced and business like, (especially on M&D’s Guys), but at the time, the message I was being taught was that appearance is secondary to operational performance any way. An ugly duckling that was economical and reliable was preferable to a good looker that wasn’t.
The choice of entrance location, (Philip’s comment), is worth an entire separate article of its own. For urban working, there was a lot to be said, (before H&S concerns), for open platforms – quick, convenient for passengers, and, provided the driver was using his mirrors as he should, tolerably safe. Doors were less draughty for inter-urban use, but manually operated doors, especially rear doors such as Lodekkas had, were a drag for the conductor otherwise and were usually left open. In moving to front entrances, I think some operators – e.g Southdown with its Queen Marys – were motivated partly just by a desire to demonstrate their modernity; officially, the conductor remained responsible for giving the ‘go’ bell however busy. Personally, I never understood why operators chose rear or centre entrances on underfloor single deckers intended for stage carriage work.

Roy Burke


11/07/12 – 18:43

Although it wasn’t my favourite, I agree with Roy that the Orion – in the right livery – could still look good. [M & D, Sheffield and St Helens being three examples.] …..but ideally have a good looking, attractive vehicle that is also reliable and economic – in that order.
Am I the only one [ducks low to avoid flying missiles] that wasn’t over impressed with looks of BMMO buses? I have a thing about balanced designs and BMMO were, to say the least, quirky and original – and early Ds (1 – 5 especially) always seemed to be a cross between Clement Freud and Eyor; mournful and unhappy. […..or is now a good time to leave the country?]

David Oldfield


11/07/12 – 18:44

While the body, as a whole, is not unattractive, the detail is very deleterious to the overall effect. Although I’m no lover of sliding windows, the arrangement of these is bizarre. It’s also mean upstairs, in such a smoking era! The driving cab windows are so small as to be useless to a driver looking out, and the front/rear side ones are non-standard lengths! At least both headlamps are the same height!
I wonder if these FHA’s had the same entrances as the earlier EHA’s, whereby the (wooden?) doors were inset and there were two steps to climb before going through said doors. I recall the latter when I was based at RAF Stafford in 1956-58. My abiding memory of BMMO at this time was the sole bus (usually a D7), which ran through the Sunday night/Monday morning from Stafford railway station the RAF Stafford. This service must have broken records for overloading, with folk standing downstairs and upstairs and sometimes three to a seat! Bends were taken very gingerly, but with no guarantee that the vehicle would right itself then! If the bus wasn’t waiting, we’d take one of the pre-war Rolls-Royce taxis which held about 7-8 and were more than capable of 70mph, even at 20+ years old and God knows how many miles on the clock! When these beauties were replaced by Vauxhall Wyverns, my last journey from camp to station involved a driver who remained in top gear for the whole journey into town, slipping the clutch with expertise when crawling through traffic – such consummate abuse! But I digress!

Chris Hebbron


11/07/12 – 18:45

This vehicle remained in service until 1960 and was one of the final 6 withdrawn in December 1960. Two sister FEDD’s – 2120 and 2247 – continued as staff and training buses, I wonder how many miles they covered in their lifetime? I vividly remember as a youngster going ‘long distance’ with my parents to visit a cousin in Halesowen (from my home of Birmingham) and the route traversed the infamous ‘Mucklows Hill’. This was used for testing new buses and the FEDD’s were the staple diet on this route along Hagley Road and the climb-returning to Brum-was in first gear for about a mile, I can still hear the howl of the poor K type engine to this day!

Nigel Edwards


12/07/12 – 07:56

The use of forward entrance double deckers in the East Midlands before World War 2 was not confined to Barton. Midland General/Mansfield District (on AEC Regents) and Trent (AEC Regents and Daimler COG5s) were users of this entrance layout for double deckers as well. Trent also had a batch of FEDDs with MCCW bodies. After the War Barton continued with forward entrance double deckers with its Leyland PD1s with Duple bodies while MGO/MDT and Trent switched to rear entrance bodies on double deckers.

Michael Elliott


12/07/12 – 11:17

David, you speak as an enthusiast, and from that standpoint, your views, (appearance, reliability and economy in that order), are the appropriate ones and few enthusiasts would disagree with you. However, expressing your order of preference in M&D’s Traffic Department would have caused major head shaking; doing so in front of the Traffic Manager, Stanley Smith, would have been to risk a reaction of life-threatening proportions! Similarly, I don’t think your views would have been appreciated by the Chatham Detailer who’d had to send out a Guy Arab at ten o’clock at night to replace a broken down Atlantean – a not altogether unknown occurrence.

Roy Burke


12/07/12 – 12:05

I was going to say the same as Michael regarding East Midlands area use of front entrance double deckers. Just to add that Trent had quite a lot of their Weymann bodied front entrance vehicles rebodied with Willowbrook rear entrance open platform bodies after the war. I can also remember travelling from Alfreton to Nottingham on a front entrance Midland General Regent about 1952. They had big single piece manually operated sliding doors. Barton’s Duple PD1s however had power operated bi-parting doors – with a set of conductor or passenger operated open/close buttons on the inside, and I seem to think an external open button.

Stephen Ford


12/07/12 – 19:24

Roy, speaking as an enthusiast, I was saying "Why not have something good looking". Only the reliable and economic (in that order) were meant to be juxtaposed – ideally they should be good looking as well.

David Oldfield


12/07/12 – 19:24

In common with David Oldfield Midland Red buses sadly leave me cold. They may have been innovative but their looks were not for the purist with the possible exception of the C5 motor way coaches. No give me an AEC preferably with Roe bodywork any day!

Chris Hough


12/07/12 – 19:25

How interesting to get the operator`s viewpoint in these posts. Roy`s comments about his M and D experiences of management attitudes just makes me realise that operators had a totally different approach. It was all about profit and loss, with a dash of "public service" thrown in.
You have the best of both worlds, Roy, as you have enthusiasm, and a knowledge of the practical issues!

John Whitaker


13/07/12 – 06:01

Chris H., that’s music to my ears (AEC/Roe).

David Oldfield


13/07/12 – 06:0213/07/12 – 06:02

Fascinating isn’t it how attitudes and priorities change. These days it is all about appearances, image, reputation and less about genuine customer service. Maybe years ago it really did not matter what a bus looked or rode like as long as it arrived at 11.38am on the dot. The even more strange thing is that very many operators combined good looking vehicles WITH service as it is well documented on this website. It is a rather rare find today though!

Richard Leaman


13/07/12 – 09:16

I must agree with David and Chris about BMMO. All my enthusiast life, I have failed to interest myself in anything Midland Red. Something about their ugliness, narrow cabs, and "totally unlike anything elseness"
Perhaps the later examples were more pleasing to look at, but something was missing for me!
It was the same when SOS buses were in other fleets such as Trent, no appeal whatsoever, and I lived on one of the BMMO routes for the last year or so of their existence too!
However, if people ARE interested, who am I to criticise them. To repeat the current idiom of this site, "Beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder"

John Whitaker


13/07/12 – 17:08

Your meaning, David, was really quite clear, and I was, perhaps, being a bit pedantic in taking you up on it. You’re absolutely right; while reliability and economy are obviously vital factors, there was, (still is), no reason why the vehicle couldn’t also be pleasing to the eye. Hence, I’d agree with you totally about AEC/Roe – a great combination that fulfilled all three requirements.
My observations were just based on personal experience. Since I was supposed to be learning about bus company management, I always tried to understand, (and acquire), a ‘management’ view about the fleet rather than an ‘enthusiast’ view. Since, also, the then Traffic Manager was very well known as a man not to mince words, I couldn’t help, as I wrote my comment, getting a mental picture of his reaction, (which would have been voluble and scathing), to the idea that operational effectiveness should in any way be compromised by considerations of what he might well have described dismissively as ‘prettiness’.
My operational training in the Medway Towns altered my opinion of Leyland, a maker who until then I’d almost revered, especially in comparison with Guy, a maker who I’d hardly come across and had never thought about much. Guys every time!
I mentioned the Orion only because that’s what we had and they were very satisfactory in service. On balance, given a totally free hand, I’d probably have stuck with (6LW-engined) Arabs, but with the Park Royal bodies that East Kent had and which were still occasionally seen at Maidstone. Not the AEC/Roe combination that you’d have chosen, David, but if I’d been a Traffic Manager, I’d have been happy.

Roy Burke


14/07/12 – 07:24

AEC/Roe was one of my favourite combinations too, David, but not quite as nice as highbridge Bristol K/ECW!
There are many other "classic" combination favourites, and it would be nice to hear what they all are.
I`m quite fond of the whole range of utility bodies too, especially Daimler CWA6/Duple (shell back dome, of course) I dare not mention the famous phrase about beauty yet again!

John Whitaker


14/07/12 – 07:25

My first encounter with Midland Red buses came when, as an ATC cadet, I went on a week’s summer camp at Shawbury, near Shrewsbury, in 1957. With memories of the Picture Post "eyes" set each side of the front destination display on London buses at that time, I always thought that the curiously miserable, droopy expression of the D5 similarly deserved a teardrop on each side of the destination box. The crude radiator slots of the tin front didn’t impress me much either. The D7 was a bit less eccentric in appearance, but the set back front wheels of the D9, apparently intended to improve engine bay access, always looked a bit odd and unbalanced to me. At least the D9 and the contemporary S14 had a decently designed radiator shape instead of the primitive slots of previous types.
The early FEDD buses up to about 1938 had the unbelievably old fashioned radiator inherited from the ON type, and this was set off centre to the nearside, with the nearside of the cab positioned in line with the offside of the radiator. The result looked decidedly antiquated, and compared poorly with contemporary AEC, Daimler and Leyland models. The introduction in 1939 of the "AEC" lookalike radiator, as shown in the picture of FHA 236, though still offset, did improve matters somewhat, but the curious disparity in the spacing of lower and upper deck window bays makes the body look untidy. Probably another reason why Midland Red failed to enthuse many of we transport aficionados was the boring, unrelieved, overall red bus livery, though the black embellishment of the coaches showed what could be done with a bit more imagination.

Roger Cox


14/07/12 – 10:52

John. If you mean KSW/ECW, I agree with you. The only thing that spoiled Sheffield’s 1957 B/C Fleet PD2s was the tin front. The four bay body was far better than the five bay on the K – but Lowestoft’s rare five bays on Regent IIs were rather special.

David Oldfield

PS: Roy. Glad we’ve not fallen out – and still agree!

 

Wallace Arnold Tours – Leyland Tiger – LUB 260

 Wallace Arnold Tours - Leyland Tiger - LUB 260
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Wallace Arnold Tours Leeds
1948
Leyland Tiger PS1
Duple C33F

This photo is another from my dusty collection of postcards bought many years ago, and recently extracted from the proverbial shoebox. This view of Wallace Arnold coach LUB 260 was taken by an unknown photographer sometime in the mid-1950s, and might possibly have been at their Paignton depot (confirmation would be appreciated please). Amazingly, on the back of this photo I have written its subsequent history, although where I got the information from is a mystery, On being withdrawn by WA in 1958 it went to Ward Brothers of Lepton (Huddersfield). In 1960 it was sold to Mitchell’s of Luthermuir, presumably to join their existing fleet of red and cream PS1 coaches - see this link - Its last known move was to contractors Haley of Cleckheaton (West Yorkshire) in 1962, and was presumably scrapped soon after. Quite a well-travelled coach even after its glorious WA days.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Paul Haywood


08/07/12 – 10:15

Looks like the frontage of Royston depot – but I stand to be corrected . . .

Philip Rushworth


08/07/12 – 10:15

LUB 260_cu

 

 

 

 

There’s a picture of this coach in "Holidays By Coach" an illustrated history of Wallace Arnold, by Stewart J Brown.
The caption states it was rebuilt with a full front in 1954.

 

 

In the same book is a photo of Royston depot taken in 1948 and there are detail differences in the asbestos style cladding to the building.

Eric Bawden

 

 

 

 

 


09/07/12 – 07:13

Yes R. T. Haley of Hillside Works Hunsworth Cleckheaton. I remember them having this coach painted bright yellow and as stated fitted with a full front. I don’t think the company is still in business.

Philip Carlton


10/07/12 – 06:55

Anybody have a photo of LUB 260 after rebuilding to full front?

Eric Bawden


10/07/12 – 13:46

The full front coach would surely never have looked as good as the original did. What a great photograph…I really enjoy looking at these old buses and coaches…and wishing I had a time machine!!

Norman Long


11/07/12 – 08:16

Too true Norman – these full front conversions of the early 1950s always looked "unhappy", and the process turned the interiors of the driving cabs into a nightmare of noise and condensation – and as with all these "consultant led" schemes fooled nobody – the public aren’t dense, but sadly even today operators seem to think that they are – age disguised re-registrations etc – bah humbug !!
Samuel Ledgard had a batch of truly beautiful looking PS1/Duple half cabs in 1948 – classic is the word – and had them "full fronted" – ever after they looked simply awful and caused we devotees much displeasure.

Chris Youhill


11/07/12 – 12:35

Yet again, I find myself agreeing with Ebenezer Youhill. With the possible exception of the "Regent V" version, I always preferred exposed radiators as well.

David Oldfield


12/07/12 – 07:55

I’m always glad of the support of our wise colleague David Cratchett Oldfield in these matters – I might just consider relenting my nature and let him have Christmas Day off with pay this year !!

Chris Youhill


12/07/12 – 11:21

…..with a whole goose, not just a pigeon!

David Oldfield


15/07/12 – 17:10

LUB 260 rebuilt with full front by Wilkes and Meade to Plaxton design in 1/54.

Dave Williamson


20/03/15 – 09:24

Thank you for all these wonderful comments. Immensely useful to me as I write about my childhood memories of going to Blackpool Illuminations in the 1950s. I just wish there was a shot of the inside of the coach as I can’t remember where you stored your mackintosh and bag, did they have overhead racks or nets? Anyway, lovely stuff and great memories, thanks.

Lynda Radley Finn

 

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