Cumberland – Bristol MW6G – AAO 34B – 231

Cumberland - Bristol MW - AAO 34B - 231

Cumberland Motor Services
Bristol MW6G

Cumberland 231 (AAO 34B) was a 1964 Bristol MW6G with the standard Eastern Coachworks B45F body. Of interest is the T-style destination display, which required the front dome to be raised above the natural roofline of the bus. ECW always managed to make this feature look like a natural part of the design, whereas some builders used to make this feature look like an "afterthought".
The bus is seen at Seatoller, terminus of service 79 from Keswick. This exceptionally scenic route followed the Borrowdale Valley, and is nowadays operated by Stagecoach using open top double-deckers. 231 and a sister spent more or less all her life allocated to Keswick Depot, most of this time being spent on service 79.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Don McKeown

12/02/14 – 18:15

Always thought this was a neat little body on the MW and always preferred the 6Gs. I’m sure Westmorland and Cumberland were better tackled with this engine.

David Oldfield

12/02/14 – 18:35

The 79 was operated jointly with the "Keswick – Borrowdale Bus service" which consisted of Simpsons and Weightmans – one bus each I think, and for many years both of them Bedford OB/Duples.

Stephen Ford

13/02/14 – 08:11

Happy days! I regularly travelled on one these workhorses to school. Cumberland provided 2 x MWs, 1 x FS, and 1 x FLF for the school run from Seascale to Egremont during the mid 1970s. In addition to the standard MW6G buses there were also a few MW oddities, numbered 222-226. These had been downgraded from coaches or dual-purpose vehicles and at least one of them still had comfy seats! The MWs were especially suited to working routes that followed narrow winding roads into the valleys of the Western Lake District, including the 79 from Keswick to Seatoller, the 65 from Cockermouth to Buttermere, and the weekly 11 from Whitehaven into Wasdale. They also performed well on the less busy southern section of the long coastal route 12 from Whitehaven to Millom. The tight curve under the low railway bridge at Seascale determined a change of vehicles and an MW could just squeeze through with an inch on either side. Happily 231 is preserved having been purchased when it was withdrawn in 1980 by Richard Solyom, a Keswick schoolboy who travelled on it every day.

Mike Morton

13/02/14 – 10:50

This bus was actually new to Cumberland in 1963 but was kept in store for a year before it entered service Surprisingly in view of its operating territories sparse population Cumberland was the most profitable NBC company just before the NBC was dismembered.

Chris Hough

13/02/14 – 13:28

That’s very interesting regarding profitability. There were a number of rural routes though most of them were in the urban area between the coastal towns and former mining areas: Egremont, Cleator Moor, Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport plus the busy route from Whitehaven to Carlisle which still exists as a Stagecoach Gold service. The other factor may have been the large number of works contracts, especially for Sellafield.

Mike Morton

13/02/14 – 17:30

AAO 34B_2

For a number of years my family had a Hotel in the Borrowdale Valley, (The Hazelbank Hotel in Rosthwaite), so I know this area very well. The Bristol MWs, now long since gone, were replaced by the Leyland National, the Mark 2 variety, with out roof pod, if memory serves me right.
This run up the valley must be one of the nicest in the Country. I have in my collection a picture of 231 at the Seatoller Terminus in 1979, ready to operate back to Keswick. It is shown here.

Stephen Howarth

14/02/14 – 07:07

Yes, interesting comments about profitability. Being a bit parochial, I would have thought Yorkshire Woollen would have been close to the top of the list as regards profitable companies, indeed, Don Akrigg’s "Colours of West Yorkshire" book described it as "the BET’s goldmine" and with services into cities such as Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield and large towns like Halifax and Huddersfield, with numerous smaller ones in-between, one can understand why it was once a thriving network.
To go back to Cumberland, as a matter of interest, does anyone know why, after decades of the Seatoller service being numbered 79, Stagecoach changed it to 78 a couple of years back?

Dave Towers

14/02/14 – 17:10

Dave a good point about YWD in the same area YTC must have been profitable too Cumberland were seen as top dog in the run up to NBC dismemberment when YWD no longer existed as such being under West Riding management.

Chris Hough

15/02/14 – 06:52

Always thought this was a neat little body on the MW and always preferred the 6Gs. I’m sure Westmorland and Cumberland were better tackled with this engine.

David Oldfield

15/02/14 – 15:29

Chris Hough- the profitability of BET companies like YTC and YWD would be interesting to know: YWD seemed to suffer acute shortages of working buses, whilst the old YTC seemed to trundle round potentially crowded routes with a fleet of oldies and goldies- including oddities taken on from other operators. We don’t seem to have old YTCers on this site? Were these companies cash cows to finance the conglomerate’s expansion?


16/02/14 – 07:50

A lovely photo from Don who draws attention to the raising of the roof line to accommodate the T-style destination. It very much depended on which past of the Tilling empire you were familiar with as to how unusual this was for down in Essex this was very familiar on Eastern National’s bus versions.
Indeed when returning to the family’s home in Widnes/Runcorn there always seemed something odd about Crosville’s examples.

Rob McCaffery

18/02/14 – 08:09

Living Bristol Omnibus territory when I was a boy I remember riding on BOC MWs frequently to and from school in Wells. There were several allocated to Wells depot. They were fitted with T-style destination boxes front and rear. Made them look very odd to the Western National MWs I encountered.

Richard Stubbings

19/02/14 – 15:05

I remember reports in the newspapers (may it even have made television news?) about Richard buying this bus – it did give me a false-hope that my parents may have somehow contrived to buy for me a suitable YWD single-decker. I also remember a holiday in Seatoller around 1972, and remember watching these MWs come and go – they seemed very quaint to me back then, usual single-deck fare around Halifax having BET recessed or twin-curvature screens. Despite my entreaties we never took the opportunity to ride into Keswick on one . . . and the opportunity to ride on an MW never subsequently presented itself.
Regarding the profitability of ex-NBC companies, I’m surprised that Cumberland was top-of-the-list in the run-up to privatisation – did the transfer of Ribble’s Carlisle-area workings have an influence? In the early 1980s I’m sure that Northern was the most profitable NBC subsidiary . . . but these things come and go. YTC’s profitability must have been hit by the decline in the mining industry (less colliery specials, less disposable income for travel), as must YWDs by the decline of the heavy woollen industry – indeed Arriva’s current network is just a shadow of that which the NBC inherited in the area. And both YWD and YTC must have generated a lot of income from the Yorkshire-Blackpool express traffic and other excursion traffic, which just evaporated through the early 1970s.

Philip Rushworth

19/02/14 – 17:28

He was definitely on the local Border TV news Philip. It gave me false hope too – I was offered one of Barrow Corporation’s Massey bodied PD2A/27s for £150.00 at around that time. Even if I had been able to raise the money my parent’s drive wasn’t big enough to park it! It’s a pity none survived – I always remember the big sliding entrance doors.

Mike Morton

25/02/14 – 16:41

The 79 was renumbered 78 because from c2006 Stagecoach in Cumberland found itself with two 79s- the other one an ex Western SMT route north of Carlisle which a group reorganisation had transferred into their hands.
On the profitability point, in 1970 (a terrible year for the NBC) I remember trade press reports that only Cumberland and Southern Vectis had turned in a profit. By that time Yorkshire Woollen – and Hebble’s fleets – were in a terrible state. I remember Decrepit Regent Vs belching out blue smoke and the desperate enthusiasm with which YWD fell on Sheffield’s C fleet double deckers when the Joint Omnibus Committee was broken up at the end of 1969. Yorkshire Traction, by contrast, were in a much better state, I think the only second hand example sin the fleet had come as a result of company takeovers.

Phil Drake

26/02/14 – 07:54

If you look at photographs of the Yorkshire Woollen and Hebble fleet around 1970 you will see that there was no company pride. Bumps and scrapes not repaired and the bad sight of diesel stains when overfilling. Some of the destination displays were not 100 per cent.

Philip Carlton

25/03/14 – 15:30

Somewhat surprisingly, Colin Shears, who is usually a parochial West Country enthusiast, mentioned to me that Cumberland used to run Bristol SC4LK’s along Borrowdale. Would this be the route they were used on?

Peter Cook

26/03/14 – 10:59

The SC4LKs in the Cumberland fleet were known as ‘Sputniks’. According to Harry Postlethwaite in his excellent Venture publications history of Cumberland, it is alleged that the first driver to take one out said, on his return. "They should have sent that up in the Sputnik!". That said they must have found them useful for the lightly loaded rural routes because the 5 purchased in 1957 and 1959 were supplement by 3 from United Counties and 1 from United Welsh in 1963 and a further 3 from ENOC a year later. They were used throughout the network from the web of services on the Solway plain south as far as Millom and inland to places such as Ennerdale Bridge, and on the 79 from Keswick to Seatoller. Despite this being a scenic route that penetrates the Lake District fells it follows the valley floor and, unlike parts of the coastal route, has no stiff climbs. All of these routes were later served by the MWs.

Mike Morton

31/03/14 – 07:12

Great picture.
Can anyone help me with details of routs/timetables special schools and works services operated by CMS Cumberland Motor Services.?

Alisdair Goodall

02/04/14 – 08:26

Apart from timetables, the best source of information is ‘British Bus Systems No.1 – Cumberland’ by Harry Postlethwaite, published by TPC in 1983. This was later brought up to date as ‘Cumberland Motor Services 1921-1996 and published by Venture.
Routes have inevitably changes over the years, especially following deregulation and take over by Stagecoach which brought in routes and vehicles operated by Barrow Corporation, and by Ribble in South Cumbria and Carlisle. Until privatisation the main area of operation was the former county of Cumberland. The main trunk route was the 30 from Whitehaven to Carlisle via Workington, Maryport and Wigton which took just over 2 hours with a headway of 30 minutes through much of the day. Other key longer routes included 12/13 Whitehaven – Egremont – Seascale – Millom, and 34/35 Whitehaven – Workington Cockermouth – Keswick. There were also town services, and a network of rural routes including market day only routes such as the Thursdays only 11 from Whitehaven to Wasdale and the 26 to Ennerdale as well as tourist routes such as the 79 Keswick to Seatoller. There was also parcels traffic and schools and work services. The latter usually carried the destination ‘works’ and included heavy traffic to Sellafield from various destinations (service 85) and from Workington to Lillyhall estate for Courtaulds, Heavy Duty Alloys and K-Shoes (service 90). There were also services to local collieries and iron mines – I often caught a school bus that had just come off the Beckermet Mine turn on a wet day, its floor red from the iron ore.
There was also the 87 from Maryport and Workington to the West Cumberland Hospital at Hensingham (Whitehaven).

Mike Morton

30/10/14 – 07:06

Ex Eastern Counties ONV 430 was stabled at Cleator Moor and used on Service 44 from Cleator Moor to Workington via Moresby Parks, Pica, Distington and Harrington for several years. I clocked up many hours as a passenger on this route in the late 60’s and early 70 and I can confirm that it struggled with several of the ascents on this route – especially the climbs out of Harrington if it had to stop at Beckstone Bridge. If I remember rightly it was replaced by a LH (XRM 111J ??) before Cumberland closed the Cleator Moor depot and ran Service 44 from Workington to Pica with this service being operated by whatever was available – even coaches and DPs found themselves at Pica.


06/02/15 – 06:35

The service 90 actually had the destination "Workmen". One of these carried on from the Lillyhall industrial estate round the loop road in Distington to form the Schools service 43 in the 80’s. This was an unusual route as members of the public could use the bus up to Workington bus station after which it carried on to Workington Grammar School and then on to Clifton. Standard fare on this route in the early 80’s were MWs LHs and flat front REs with T type destination blinds. You needed strong arms in those days as they often rostered vehicles with sticking doors.

Ken Anderson

06/05/15 – 07:22

Nice photos my dad Tommy Thompson was a reguler driver of that vehicle, he was a Whitehaven driver.

Darren Thompson

09/10/15 – 07:21

Mike Morton. You may remember me from schooldays. Occasionally I remember a really old single-decker (pre-A reg) turning up as the first bus from Seascale to Egremont. It had battered green leather seats with high curved backs and the engine was rather noisy, but I really loved that bus! Do you happen to remember it and if so, do you know what model of bus it was? I hope it has been preserved.

Karen Caldwell

09/10/15 – 17:19

Hello Karen Lovely to hear from you. That’s an incredible memory and very accurate too. The first bus that turned up on that school run was usually a standard Bristol MW bus like 231 above. However, if we were lucky, it would be one from an odd batch of that had formerly been coaches but had been converted for use as buses. These were also Bristol MWs but they dated from 1958-1960. They were numbered 222-226 (registrations VAO 390, XAO 600-601, 511-512 BRM) and some, if not all, were exactly as you describe with those curved leather seats. You can just make out the seats in the following photo of the last of them:  
Sadly none have survived though 231, the standard MW in the article, is alive and kicking and regularly turns up at events all over Cumbria. The buses that followed that first one on the school run were usually a rear entrance and then a front entrance double decker (Britol Lodekka FS and FLF models). One of the former 550, which we often caught to school, has also been preserved.

Mike Morton

09/10/15 – 17:22

I remember from my visits to Keswick and district in the mid 1960’s that, before Cumberland took over the service, buses to Grange and Seatoller were operated by the ‘Keswick Borrowdale Bus Services’. According to Neville Mercer’s book "Independent Operators In North West England", they ceased operating in 1967, and the three Bedford ‘OB’ types still in service then found homes elsewhere. Neville’s book says that two of them survive.

Pete Davies

01/01/16 – 06:53

With regard the Leyland Nationals most likely the B series these originally based on short version and simplified heating hence no pod. Introduced about 1977. Cumberland had some of first examples but many went to Crosville to replace MWs the series 2 Nationals came in early 80s and had front radiator and available in either length as type A with pod or B type without pod.


02/01/16 – 08:53

The Keswick Borrowdale Bus Services was a wonderful organisation. The contrast between the well kept OBs and the intrusion of the new fangled MW was quite something. Although the legal capacity of the OBs was considerably less than the MW the practical capacity of the OB was defined as all those that wanted to go to Keswick! The OBs always managed to keep the customer happy. If I remember correctly, only the CMS vehicles went to the bus station, the others terminating at the Moot Hall in central Keswick.
My last trip on this route was on a Stagecoach open top VRT. I seem to remember it was a whitish mobile advertisement hoarding rather than the dedicated "Borrowdale Bus". My ever suffering wife recorded the familiar sounds of the Gardner engine both in motion and idling at Grange. This made an interesting comparison with the sound of the Cummins engine of an Olympian effortlessly attacking Dunmail Rise.
The evil weather has dealt a severe blow to this area and our thoughts go out to the residents.

Andrew Gosling

02/01/16 – 14:45

Even the OBs couldn’t expand to infinity! I recall waiting for the bus near Lodore, one summer evening after a long day’s hike. I guess there were a dozen or so waiting. Mr Weightman’s OB hove into view and everyone stood up expectantly. With a regretful wave from the driver, the bus sailed past – with an apparently solid mass of humanity inside! Fortunately, someone spotted a launch far out on Derwent Water, heading for the landing stage…

Stephen Ford

AAO 34B Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

09/06/17 – 06:21

A great route and responsible in 1954 for my life long bus interest.
Weightmans are not recorded as having an OB, but Askew, Simpson and Youngs, (as well as Cumberland), did. Weightman though was latterly associated with Lake Hotel coaches and they did have OB’s.
Weightman sold out to Cumberland in 1958 and the three remaining operators-with OB’s to the end-formed the Keswick Borrowdale Bus Service that lasted until 1967 when Cumberland then got the whole route.

Stuart Emmett


Lowestoft Corporation – AEC Regent II – GBJ 192 -21

Lowestoft Corporation - AEC Regent II - GBJ 192 - 21

Lowestoft Corporation
AEC Regent II
ECW H30/26R

Preserved Lowestoft Corporation 21, GBJ 192, a 1947 AEC Regent II with an ECW H30/26R body seen at East Anglia Transport Museum. More information about Lowestoft Corporation Transport can be found at

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

09/02/14 – 11:38

Nice view, Ken. Thanks for posting. Of course, we’d expect Lowestoft to support the local firm, wouldn’t we. The application of the livery is reminiscent of Newport who, until not long ago had a green and cream version and it’s reminiscent of the Dinky Toys STL.

Pete Davies

09/02/14 – 11:39

Beautiful picture of a beautiful bus. Just think of what we were deprived of by the Transport Act. ECW bodied AECs from 1948 to 1965 – not to mention Roe or Weymann bodied Bristols.

David Oldfield

09/02/14 – 16:35

I Remember traveling on this bus up the Norwich Rd when in my teens plus other routes in Lowestoft.
Bad day when the corporation buses were taken over by the double n people.


10/02/14 – 07:54

I’ve just read the article at the link above – what went wrong at Lowestoft/Waveney? In the late 1960s it seems Lowestoft Corporation considered selling the bus undertaking to ECOC, but finding the offer unacceptable then proposed route extensions . . . but lost-out in the traffic courts to ECOC. In April 1974 a joint services agreement with ECOC was reached . . . which was dissolved in March 1976, when most of the services reverted to ECOC. Seemingly reduced to being a one-route operator Waveney DC threw in the towel in December 1977 and sold the undertaking on to ECOC.
I have a Lowestoft Setright ticket from the days of Waveney DC, which is titled "Lowestoft Passenger Transport – Waveney DC Lowestoft…etc" (in black). Did Lowestoft vehicles wear this livery (with traditional lettering) to the end? and what changed when it became Waveney??

Philip Rushworth

10/02/14 – 07:56

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen another ECW body like this one – it seems to have more than a touch of the Park Royal about it. It’s certainly very stylish and it’s fortunate that it’s been preserved.

Chris Hebbron

10/02/14 – 09:51

Maybe just the angle, Chris, but it’s the standard body for the time as found on numerous Bristol Ks and Chris Y’s favourite PD1As. It also appeared briefly as a Northern Coachbuilders’ body – as in the Newcastle Regent III. The livery not being a Tilling standard makes a lot of difference!

David Oldfield

10/02/14 – 15:02

There’s always been something of a mystery about these vehicles, there were ten of them, the only AEC Regent II’s bodied by ECW. Lowestoft had nine of them, the tenth went to Ebor Transport of Mansfield and was registered HAL 841. Nine would seem an odd quantity for Lowestoft to order and it seems equally unlikely that Ebor would have chosen ECW to body an odd Regent. I’ve always thought they must have been one batch so did Lowestoft order ten and then decide they only needed nine? Perhaps we will never know now. Incidentally, HAL 841 entered ‘Tilling’ ownership when Ebor was taken over by Mansfield District.

Chris Barker

11/02/14 – 07:10

Chris B, Messrs Doggett and Townsin’s Book ‘ECW 1946-1965’ mentions the nine ECW-bodied Regent IIs for Lowestoft and that "a tenth body of similar design was built on the same type of chassis for the Ebor Bus Co Ltd". The text also states that the Lowestoft vehicles had body numbers 1579-1587, with the Ebor body directly following (1588). It does seem odd as you say, that the independent Ebor asked ECW to body one chassis, but the authors also mention that another independent took delivery of six ECW-bodied Leyland Tiger PS1 buses in 1946/47, namely Birch Bros of London. David O’s comments about the Transport Act depriving us of some fascinating chassis/body combinations certainly rings true. Just imagine a Roe-bodied Lodekka, or ECW-bodied Daimler CVG6….

Brendan Smith

11/02/14 – 17:40

But we did get ECW bodied Leyland PD2s and Leyland Leopard L1s for Sheffield Joint Omnibus Committee and Bristol LSs and MWs with Alexander bodies for Western S.M.T. Also rebodied Bristol Ks with Weymann bodies for Maidstone and District.

Stephen Bloomfield

12/02/14 – 06:55

Thanks Stephen, that’s very true, and how could such gems have slipped my mind? (Especially as the Sheffield examples are shown on this very website!) On the same tack Rotherham had batches of East Lancs-bodied Bristol K and KS types. ECW bodied Albions for Red & White, and Guy Arab IIIs for Middlesbrough, as well as Leyland Royal Tigers for United (coaches) and Cumberland (buses). One tends to forget just how many advance orders had been placed with both Bristol and ECW for delivery after the nationalisation watershed of 1948.

Brendan Smith

13/02/14 – 08:09

West Yorkshire also had a batch of prewar Bristol k’s rebodied by Roe in 1953 of which KDG 26 (CWX 671) is still with us.

Keith Clark

13/02/14 – 09:54

PHN 801

Two none Bristol ECW bodied vehicles from the United fleet. Both are PSU1/15 Leyland Royal Tigers. LUT1; PHN 801 was one of nine C39F coaches bought in 1952 for the Tyne Tees Thames Newcastle London route: LU4; RHN 766 was from a batch of B45F service vehicles from 1953. I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened at Carlisle, but when LU4 was based there, the depot was run by United, some Darlington registered vehicles ended up in the Ribble fleet, and then I think all Carlisle operations became Cumberland. Perhaps someone can enlighten us?

Ronnie Hoye

14/02/14 – 06:42

Ronnie, So far as I am aware, United operations in Carlisle passed to Ribble when NBC was established. With the run-up to privatisation, Ribble was split, and the northern area passed to Cumberland, while the Liverpool area (did it include Southport?) went to a new firm reviving the old North Western name. Others may know otherwise!

Pete Davies

15/02/14 – 06:11

In the old days, when we were young, there was a lot of BET/Tilling overlap. There was also a lot of historical "baggage". United historically ran Leyland coaches – and continued to do so as long as possible. Cumberland had at least 50% private ownership and were a Leyland fleet – until Tilling came into the ascendency in the ’50s. Carlisle was given to Ribble by NBC in 1969/70. When Ribble and Cumberland came into common Stagecoach ownership, Cumbria went to Cumberland and Lancashire to Ribble.

David Oldfield

15/02/14 – 06:12

I know, I’m a bit behind the thread, but thanks to Ken Jones for posting the photo of Lowestoft Corporation No.21. As I’ve only just seen it on the website I must a rant as this bus is one of my favourite machines. Everything about it takes my breath away. The deep maroon and primrose livery which appears quite plain and Dinky 290’ish, which in itself is a lovely period half and half style, has thin black lining, then emblazoned along the lower panels is the large serif Corporaton fleetname. Inside, a lovely maroon chain-link style moquette covered the seats (see photograph). The Regent II/ECW combination always fascinated me and eventually I got a ride on this wonderful bus at the 2012 ECW 25 year Commemoration weekend.
I didn’t realise, until I read Malcom R. Whites "Lowestoft Corporation Transport- Bygone Town Services" (ISBN 0-9532485-9-3) book how the Corporations routes were severely restricted to basically north-south with loops on each end and have always wondered why they were not extended inland to places like Oulton Broad and Carlton Colville.
The Rotterdam Road bus depot building still survives, but now owned by an industrial concern.

Graham Watling

15/02/14 – 06:13

W Alexander & Sons had 12 Daimler CVD6s with ECW ‘Queen Mary’ coach bodies, complete with the Alexander Bluebird emblem. It doesn’t get more mouth-watering than that!

Peter Williamson

15/02/14 – 06:54

GBJ 192_2

GBJ 192_3

Just to support the latest thread on this marvellous bus a couple of photos one of the interior of lower deck and a rear view.

Graham Watling

15/02/14 – 10:47

This beautiful moquette pattern, but in blue and cream, was used by Roe in the two new bodies (lower saloons) fitted in 1951 to Samuel Ledgard’s two utility Guy Arabs. I always thought it to be a most appealing design, bold but tasteful.

Chris Youhill

15/02/14 – 13:39

Chris Y’s comments made me think of something else. The interior shot shows window pans more in the Roe mould than that found on standard Bristol/ECW vehicles. [Were there not overtures to ECW from both Roe and Roberts in the pre WW II years? There was certainly tooing and froing of major people between the likes of Roe, ECW, Park Royal and Weymann.]

David Oldfield

16/02/14 – 07:30

I’m a bit slow replying, David O, but you are right about the vehicle looking different when not in Tilling Green. SEE my post  And the AEC rad also tends to fool the eye. Finally, the light upper colour diminishes the rather high front roofline which these highbridge bodies possessed. It’s a very satisfying body and livery.

Chris Hebbron

16/02/14 – 07:31

I only found out today whilst perusing the latest edition of Classic Bus that this style of 5 bay ECW body (albeit in lowbridge form) was fitted to a Daimler, a CWA6 which had been rebodied by one of the Scottish companies. You learn something new every day!

Chris Barker

19/06/14 – 09:26

Having done much work on this bus during its restoration , I can add that it is a standard ECW ‘K” body fitted to a Regent II chassis this is highlighted around the cab front end area when compared to the Bristol variant , either way it sits well unlike some body builders efforts , another issue that affected maintenance of these vehicles was the provision of the trapdoors in the cab for the starter motor was not ideally suitable and same with the gearbox lifting eye in the lower saloon was too offset to be of use. Another point of interest was the Ebor body no. was found on our example on some of the internal panels I can understand other body numbers being found from the Lowestoft batch because of salvage etc.

Peter Short

29/06/14 – 17:11

Graham Watling wonders why the Corporation never operated to Oulton Broad and similar. The answer lay in the licensing system whereby the traffic commissioners had to always give the licence for any new route to the "established operator". Thus because Eastern Counties was the first to provide services to Oulton Broad and Oulton, the corporation had no chance of obtaining a licence to operate to those points. The system produced utter farce at times, such as when the Corporation applied for a town centre to Hollingsworth Road service, it could not have a stop in the lower portion of Rotterdam Road because that might lead to abstraction from ECOC service 3, which did not serve the Gunton Estate!
To hell with the customer, the bus company interest came first, I know I was one of many who complained about the bad behaviour of ECOC to our local MP and the Department of Transport. The deregulation of buses was welcome, but unfortunately threw out the baby with the bath water, so that we lost local council fleets in many cases whilst happily getting rid of the NBC and PTEs.

These buses provided a source of pleasure to me from late 1966 when I moved to Lowestoft. Wonderful sound effects! I have an amusing incident concerning one of these lovely buses. I got on one at Station Square one evening after travelling from work at Norwich. The crew boarded, a short pause and communication between them followed, then the conductor asked the men in the lower saloon if we could give the bus a push as the starter motor was stuck. We duly obliged and the bus was soon under way. Happy days!
Perhaps Peter Short can answer a question about these buses. they are shown as Regent IIs but the chassis numbers all commence 0661, which of course is the Regent I So are these really Regent IIs?

Brian Moore

12/09/15 – 14:38

Brian Moore mentions the "push starting" at Station Square. Well in about 1969 a fellow passenger, the conductor and I had a similar "stuck" starter motor at the No 2 Gunton Drive/Gunton Drive terminus one cold morning when I was trying to get to the station. It was a bit of a push as the road there had ruts caused by the bus wheels always stopping in the same place….!
The conductor did not seem surprised. I think he said that bus 27 had a missing tooth on the starter wheel! I am so glad that one from that batch has been preserved

Christopher Boulter

GBJ 192 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

08/01/16 – 06:31

I have just overhauled and re fitted the rear axle on this and if this is any use Brian Moore the chassis number is 06611945 also the rear axle had so many part what no other Regent II had i:e parallel rollers instead of tapered roller bearing and the only explanation I can come up with is that AEC must of used up all the parts from Regent I as I believe these are very early regent II? so effectively it is just a Regent I underneath.
Also was number 27 an AEC Regent III?



Southdown – Leyland Tiger Cub – MUF 637 – 637

Southdown - Leyland Tiger Cub - MUF 637 - 637

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/1
Duple/Nudd B39F

The recent posting of the Edinburgh Guy Arab re-bodied by Nudd Brothers & Lockyer reminded me of this batch of saloons delivered to Southdown in 1954. This batch of Leyland Tiger Cubs were numbered 620-639 registered MUF 620-639 with B39F seating layout which oddly had a single N/S front seat and 2 pairs at the rear with a central emergency door and a mixture of half drop and sliding ventilators as well as unusual, for Southdown, curved seat top rails. These were new at a time when large numbers of parcels were carried, so behind the cab there was a floor to ceiling compartment about the size of a wardrobe fitted with shelving for carrying the parcels at the rear of which was a sliding door into the saloon, the drivers only other entry was the sliding door to the outside. Five very similar but by no means identical Tiger Cubs were delivered in 1955 numbered 640-644 registered OUF 640-643/PUF 644. They were very light and pleasant to drive and I always thought that the Tiger Cub had the best brakes of any Leyland model of that era.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

06/02/14 – 08:59

Reminds me of the 1950’s Devon General Weymann Reliances. These are the only other underfloor front loaders I can remember with a separate cab door.

David Oldfield

06/02/14 – 16:06

I thought that some of the early BMMO built S types had a cab door.

Stephen Bloomfield

06/02/14 – 16:49

Huddersfield specified enclosed cabs with an offside hinged cab door on all its UF purchases up to and including the 1963 ‘A’ registered pair of Reliances (23 and 24)

Ian Wild

06/02/14 – 17:37

Bradford also had two AEC Reliances (501 and 502) with offside cab doors.

Stephen Bloomfield

07/02/14 – 06:49

Manchester Corporation’s Leyland Royal Tigers 20 – 23 and "Leyland" Aberdonians 40 – 45 all had the offside cab door, with a fixed partition between the cab and the platform. I think East Yorkshire also had some saloons with this feature.

Don McKeown

07/02/14 – 06:50

Your mention of parcels, D Dave, reminds me of when I lived in Southsea, 1956-76, and the GPO would hire Southdown coaches to deliver Xmas parcels around the streets. With modern traffic parking down the road I lived in, I doubt if a coach could get along it now!

Chris Hebbon

07/02/14 – 18:47

Maidstone & District had a batch of Harrington/Commer integral saloons with an o/s cab door.
Re GPO use, can recall M&D buses and coaches hired for Xmas deliveries many many years ago.

Malcolm Boyland

08/02/14 – 08:23


Here is a photograph of the cab of an East Yorkshire Tiger Cub which had C H Roe bodywork.

Ken Wragg

08/02/14 – 09:49

Interesting that many of the early underfloor saloons had these enclosed cabs.
M&D’s certainly did but they subsequently went over to the near standard practice of just using a low waist high enclosure.
In today’s unpleasant society, the driver sadly needs the security of an assault proof working place but that wouldn’t have been so in the 50’s or 60’s.

Malcolm Boyland

25/03/14 – 15:27

I assume the requirement for the cab to have an emergency exit is still in place. On half cabs the side window over the engine is usually the emergency exit. If you can’t get out if the bus goes on its offside, then there needs to be a second way out. I guess that is the reason for the sliding door at the back of the Roe bodywork in the picture.

Peter Cook

26/03/14 – 06:25

I remember the prosaic message in the cabs of the Routemasters In the event of a fire get out.!!!

Philip Carlton

26/03/14 – 09:30

Frank Muir once remarked that, in all Emergency Instructions, item number two was always more important than number one.
Thus:- In Case of Fire
1. Notify your superior officer
2. Jump out of the window.

Roger Cox

09/08/17 – 06:36

From what Diesel Dave says about this beauty and the 15xx’s I get the impression our formative bus years were pretty much the same (KK 48848?). The later 640-4 were still around when I began driving but, certainly as far as the driver’s compartment went, they looked as though they’d been rescued from a chicken farm. However, for one brief interlude 638 came our way and what a dream. Somewhere along the line it had acquired one of the more modern grey enamel dashboards and could be driven with finger tip control. Is there anything on the road today that modern drivers will look back on with such fondness and respect?

Nick Turner


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 22nd September 2017