United Automobile – Bristol KSW6B – PHN 809 – BH27

United Automobile - Bristol KSW6B - PHN 809 - BH27
Copyright John Stringer

United Automobile Services
1952
Bristol KSW6B
ECW H32/28R

Following all the recent enthusiastic comment regarding the Western National KS5G photo, I thought I would submit this, taken from a recently rediscovered early slide of mine.
United’s BH27 (originally BBH27), PHN 809, a KSW6B, is seen operating the 109 Seafront Service around North Marine Drive in Scarborough in 1966, previously the sole preserve of the dedicated ‘Queen Mary’ Bristol LWL’s.
New in 1952, this fine machine was withdrawn the following year, and after being stored for a further year or so was sold to North’s, the dealer, who sold it for scrap.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

A full list of Bristol codes can be seen here.


29/03/12 – 08:17

Ah, Scarborough 1966 – my last year at school. We had a week’s geography field course in Scarborough. Stayed at a hotel on Castle Road, not far from the Court House where all the United town services started and terminated. I seem to remember many of them were in the hands of KSWs. We had some free time on the Sunday afternoon and three of us set off on a KSW out to Cloughton, then walked up the closed but still intact Whitby railway line as far as Stainton Dale station. Very picturesque and great fun.

Stephen Ford


29/03/12 – 11:44

As anyone who’s been on this site for long enough will know, I’m an AEC man. If you pay attention, you’ll also know I’m a Bristol/Bristol man. Many happy holidays, as a kid, in Scarborough confirmed this and Bristol engined KSWs like this (along with similar engined Lodekkas) are part of the happy memories.
I can remember days like this along the Marine Drive – and also the sea fret which was like a cloak around you!

David Oldfield


29/03/12 – 17:57

I would imagine that the area covered by United must have made them ‘Geographically at least’ one of the biggest operators in the Tilling Group. Their territory included parts of the Scottish Border Region, the whole of Northumberland and Durham, parts of Cumberland and Westmoreland and a huge chunk of North Yorkshire, in addition, they had a lot of what would now be called ‘Inter City Express Routes’ including the legendary twice daily Tyne Tees Thames service. Apart from any vehicles that came into the fleet as a result of takeovers, they were all HN Darlington registrations. I don’t have a clue how many vehicles they had, but they were always immaculate and would put many an operator to shame

Ronnie Hoye


29/03/12 – 17:57

What a nostalgic shot this is, it looks to be a very bracing day on the Scarborough sea front. This one has special meaning for me as well, as I took some of my first bus photographs with the family Agfa at the Corner Cafe while on holiday in Scarborough in the summer of 1961. I ended up with quite a few rear end views, some better than others, simply because I was quite young and shy at the time, and thus a bit reluctant to point the camera at a bus load of passengers staring at me through the windows! Consequently I still have in my collection a rather nice shot of the back end of NHN 149, waiting to depart the North Sands terminus on local service 108 to Holbeck Road. Happy days.

Dave Careless


03/02/13 – 06:58

Brighton in the early 50s had a lot of B H & District Bristol buses and if anyone from Brighton remembers the route 14, on that route was a Bristol bus that seemed to have more power than its contemporise. The 14 served a cross country route from East Brighton to Hove. This particular bus must have been supercharged or something similar. I think the registration began with HAP…

John Snelling

 

Hebble – AEC Regent III – AJX 245 – 30

Hebble - AEC Regent III - AJX 245 - 30
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Hebble Motor Services
1948
AEC Regent III 9612E
Roe L27/26R

I recently came across this photograph. I know very little about its history with Hebble, but it is familiar to me – after sale by Hebble, this and an identical vehicle AJX 281 were both acquired by an operator very local to me at the time, Makemson of Bulwell, Nottingham.
They arrived in January 1961, and ran for a while as acquired; the Makemson livery was dark red and cream, so the Hebble colours fitted in well. They replaced an ex Ribble Leyland bodied TD7, RN 8990 and
CRR 92, a 1936 AEC Regent new to West Bridgford UDC. Neither of the ex Hebble Regents lasted long with Makemson, both were withdrawn in the second half of 1962, and were sold for scrap to a local dealer/showman.
Hopefully the Yorkshire based correspondents will know its earlier history, and the location of the photograph.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Bob Gell

A full list of Regent III codes can be seen here.


25/03/12 – 11:22

This photo just got me in the nostalgia department Bob!
One of Hebble`s Regent 111s, in Chester Street Bus Station, Bradford, probably some time after 1956.
It is the starting point (or was!) of the 19 service from Bradford to Bingley, via Allerton, Wilsden and Harden, a service I rode on regularly.
The route was regularly served by the Weymann bodied Regal 11s of 1946, until their withdrawal c.1956.
The 19 service followed BCPT Trolleybus 31 route as far as Allerton, and provided an alternative for us trolleybus enthusiasts to sample, as did the West Yorkshire route to Denholm and Keighley, which followed a similar route out of the City as far as Four Lane Ends, and thence with the 7 trolleys to Thornton and beyond.
Many a time have I ridden on this bus and her sisters when visiting a well known hostelry at Wilsden, known a " t`Ling Bob".

John Whitaker


25/03/12 – 12:05

Nostalgia here too John – for I used to greatly admire these lovely vehicles as they occupied the stand in King Street, Leeds next to our Samuel Ledgard terminus for Horsforth, Guiseley and Ilkley. The Hebble vehicles left at 20 and 50 minutes past the hour on services 15 and 28 to Rochdale or Burnley. Can anyone today imagine the wonderful scene in King Street each weekday between 1715 and 1730 – passengers then were plentiful. Two Hebble buses (one duplicate) left at 1720, leaving room on the stand for no less than four Samuel Ledgard machines for the 1730 to Ilkley thus – 1727 to Rawdon, 1728 to Guiseley, 1729 to Ilkley, 1730 to Ilkley. Those were the days and no mistake !!

Chris Youhill


26/03/12 – 07:48

I imagine Chris that the current 508 route is the "fag end" of Hebble’s 15 and 28 services. The 508 takes over an hour to get to Halifax; do you have any old timetables which might show how long the 15 and 28 took to get to their destinations in Lancashire? And did the Burnley route go over the top via Heptonstall and the Sportsman Inn or did it go via Todmorden and Cornholme?

Dave Towers


26/03/12 – 11:02

From my June 1965 Hebble Timetable.

Route 15 left Leeds 17:20 and via Halifax 18:18 – Heptonstall Slack 18:56 – Sportsman Inn 19:15 and arriving Burley at 19:38 – 2hrs 18min later.

Route 18 Left Leeds 17:50 and via Halifax 18:45 – Ripponden 19:03 and arriving Rochdale at 19:41 – 1hr 51min later.

Peter


26/03/12 – 13:15

Yes Dave, the 508 which was instituted by the PTE, was indeed the Halifax – Leeds section (or fag end) of the Hebble services. I say "was" because in recent times service revisions appear to be endless, and the 508 has been re-routed in Leeds away from the City end of the A647 Armley Road. It now uses the A65 as far as Kirkstall and then goes via the old Leeds and Bradford Road and Farsley before rejoining the A647 at Stanningley, then as before.
Thanks to Peter for the Hebble 15/28 details which I did not know – I do though just recall from King Street days that one of the displays showed intermediate points as "Dudley Hill, Halifax, Littleborough – I think !!

Chris Youhill


26/03/12 – 16:58

Thanks for the interesting replies, Peter and Chris. The 508 was re-routed when the 15 Bradford to Farsley service was withdrawn a couple of years back. It provided an extra service to Farsley (though not from Bradford centre) and the 72 frequency was increased to compensate for less buses down the A 647.
A 508 leaving Leeds now at 17:35 is given 1hr 29 mins to reach Halifax. A 592 leaving Halifax is given 1hr 25 minutes to reach Burnley, so add them together and you’re just short of 3 hours – such is progress! I suppose back in 1965, whilst the vehicle would be slower, there wouldn’t be as much traffic around and if double deckers were used, the service would be crew operated. It’s not a direct comparison though as the routes don’t totally match each other.

Dave


27/03/12 – 07:19

I travelled regularly on the Burnley/Rochdale to Halifax sections of these routes back in 1965-70 and don’t remember seeing double-deckers in use on them anywhere west of Hebden Bridge. Usually it was Weymann Hermes/BET style saloons, although on one occasion I managed to talk myself on board a Hebble Bellhouse Hartwell Landmaster serving as a duplicate – in theory only for passengers connecting to Yelloway’s overnight departure to Torquay. The Landmaster then went "on hire" to Yelloway. Am I right in thinking that one of these wonderful coaches survives?

Neville Mercer


27/03/12 – 07:19

This photo and the comments bring back happy memories from my childhood. One of the joys of travelling by Hebble on the 15 or 28 from Leeds was the (usually) non-stop thrash to Stanningley Bottom. This was the result of the then very common revenue protection arrangements enforced by Leeds City Transport within their boundaries.
To a twelve year-old lad, the pleasure and novelty of overtaking LCT buses on Armley and Stanningley Roads was always appreciated and a fitting end to a day’s train spotting, even though Hebble’s first permitted stop was well beyond our usual destination. In keeping with our childish mentality were our giggles when being asked by what was probably the first Asian conductor I’d encountered, "Are you sure you want this bus – the first stop is Stanningley Bottoms!".

Paul Haywood


27/03/12 – 07:21

These services have an interesting history. Road service licensing meant that, as Todmorden already had services in the valley, Hebble had to be content with getting to Burnley through Heptonstall. This was a route not suitable for double-deckers and in some winters not suitable for buses at all. They provided an hourly service though for the sheep to watch – there was little in the way of traffic on this section.
The Rochdale service had a variety of operators including the LMS Railway from Rochdale to Leeds. That was hourly, again with single-deckers, in this case due to low bridge in Littleborough, although the Rochdale to Halifax section was half-hourly on Saturdays. It also included a through journey to Llandudno on summer Saturdays, just slightly west of Rochdale.
When Calderdale JOC was formed Halifax, Todmorden and Hebble became all part of the same organisation and a rationalisation of services ensued. The service to Burnley via Heptonstall became two journeys on a Saturday and through traffic was dealt with by linking the Halifax to Hebden Bridge and Todmorden to Burnley services, supplemented with an express Leeds-Burnley service, the 8. The express service was not successful and was truncated to a Leeds to Halifax service, the 8 which became the 508 under the PTE numbering scheme. Up until 1976/7 it was worked exclusively from Halifax but then operation was shared with Leeds, just in time to allow some of the last surviving buses in Leeds livery to work it – I have a picture of Jumbo 491 in Halifax on it.
The Rochdale service became really exciting in Halifax ownership. The existing 28 ran every two hours and alternated with a new 27, which turned off at Triangle and passed through Soyland and Mill Bank before rejoining the 28 near Baitings reservoir. The 27 was a lovely run along hilly country lanes but made exciting by the fact that for all the detour, it didn’t have any more running time. The Leopards used on it gave a very spirited performance. I used to love riding on it and more than once had Tony Blackman at the wheel, which was even better.
After deregulation the Rochdale services were operated by Yelloway and saw such vehicles as Plaxton-bodied Reliance coaches and National 2s.
I used to use the 508 when I was at Leeds University to get back from Halifax (and beyond) after a pub crawl as you could get back later from Halifax than most other places.

David Beilby


27/03/12 – 15:50

David, your comment reminds me of the time when Leeds began to operate the 508 service out of Bramley depot. Its difficult now to imagine how very "parochial" the Leeds operation in general was in those days – even those drivers aware of the long distance journey to Bradford were looked on by the rest as brave explorers. When the Halifax participation began only a limited number of drivers were familiarised and they became celebrities almost overnight. I was once "showing up" (spare) in Leeds Bus station with an AEC Swift and a conductor when a harassed inspector enquired of the several crews if anyone knew the way to Bradford as there was a serious hiatus in the frequent service – I volunteered immediately with glee, and was looked on by the others as a "double agent" who’d let the side down and broken up the card school. I enjoyed the trip immensely, full load all the way there and back, and managed to handle all the usual passenger jibes "Thought you’d gone on strike" etc – the young conductor was not amused at all – no stamina some of them you know !!

Chris Youhill


27/03/12 – 15:51

I once caught the Rochdale – Leeds service in Calderdale days. The steed was a Weymann bodied Leopard which gave a good account of itself .However it was a chilly spring evening and the rubber edging on the door was somewhat frayed and the ensuing draft assumed Antarctic proportions on the tops . Like many Calderdale buses the Leopard was fitted with the unusual and eccentric method of change giving whereby the coins rattled down a chute to the right of the passenger The journey cost me 40p at the time what a bargain! Incidentally First ran a short lived direct peak hour Leeds – Halifax direct service numbered X8 which has now ceased.
The Heeble service from Bradford via Queensbury to Halifax was another epic with astounding views into the Calder Valley as you headed into Halifax

Chris Hough


28/03/12 – 08:44

I’ve been wondering exactly the same as Neville Mercer about the Hebble Royal Tiger/Bellhouse Hartwell. It was ECP 500 and apparently someone made an appeal to Dewsbury Bus Museum to see if it could be saved but that was well over a year ago and as nothing has been heard since, I fear it has been lost. A very sad event if so because I thought they were wonderful machines, they exuded fabulous Fifties flamboyance!

Chris Barker


28/03/12 – 08:44

When Calderdale took over the Leeds services they tended to use dual purpose saloons interspersed with bus Leopards and front entrance Titans and Regent V. However the depot must have been short of motive power one afternoon as the 4PM departure from Leeds to Burnley was an ex Todmorden all Leyland PD2/12! Despite its age around 20 it stormed up Stanningly road leaving LCT vehicles trailing in its wake! It was still carrying Todmorden livery which must have confused passengers no end

Chris Hough


28/03/12 – 11:32

There is a good shot of ECP 500 in Malcolm Keeley’s Buses in Camera ‘Mercian and Welsh’

Roger Broughton


28/03/12 – 11:33

I agree with Chris Barker that it would be a tragedy if the Landmaster has been scrapped. These were never that common – the only other one I ever managed to ride on was an AEC Regal IV belonging to Meredith & Jesson of Cefn Mawr. M&J frequently used their example on their stage service to Wrexham! I fear that if the Hebble machine has indeed gone, then the glorious BH Landmaster is now extinct. Where on Earth are people’s priorities when there are hundreds of Routemasters still in preservation? Thank heaven for far-sighted preservationists such as Roger Burdett and the Ementons who bring a bit of welcome variety to the preservation scene.

Neville Mercer


28/03/12 – 11:37

Gentlemen – thank you for filling in the information on this Regent’s Hebble days, I’m pleased you found the photo of interest.

One question though – why is the bus parked with its offside nearest the platform/bay/stand – was it normal practice, or a one off?

Also there has been mention of the Hebble Royal Tiger ECP 500, below are a couple of shots as it was when I photographed it in Lancashire in August 2008.

Bob Gell

Ex Hebble ECP500

Ex Hebble ECP500 (3)


28/03/12 – 18:25

Chester Street bus station in Bradford was basically two rudimentary laybys with Chester Street going through the middle West Yorkshire used the layby opposite the Hebble stands which was also home to Yorkshire Woollen and Yorkshire Traction services. As well as the aforementioned laybys the actual street was also utilised. The whole set up being very spartan with little in the way of passenger facilities

Chris Hough


28/03/12 – 18:29

…..and there was also the Sheffield United Tours pair of 1955 Reliances. They seemed to be an extra order and the bodies were apparently cancelled by Blue Cars and originally intended for Leyland chassis. Blue Cars already had examples.

David Oldfield


28/03/12 – 18:30

Apparently the Landmaster was due to be scrapped, but at the eleventh hour it was reprieved when Ensign agreed to take it on. Having seen some of the restoration jobs they have undertaken, this was a great relief, but I am told that even they decided that it was beyond redemption, and that it may well have been scrapped by now. I hope not, as it would be a tragic loss.

John Stringer


28/03/12 – 18:31

I have a feeling that I read somewhere, not so long ago, that Ensign had been approached to save ECP500, but had declined because of its stripped out condition and its frailty, making it too tricky to tow.

Chris Hebbron


28/03/12 – 18:38

To answer Bob Gell’s latest question – Chester Street Bus Station (but not the through road down the middle) operated at this time as “one way” for buses.
Thus they all entered via Little Horton lane and exited via either Great Horton Road or (in the case of buses heading back up Little Horton Lane – The Sheffield 66 joint service and certain Hebble Routes) via a loop on Wilton Street past the morgue and thence back up Little Horton Lane.
The non West Yorkshire side had two stands – on the side pictured there were the Hebble Stands for the 7 & 17 Halifax services, the two Hipperholme (26) routes (where AJX 245 appears to be heading as far as I can tell from the blind), and the Bingley 19 service via Wilsden. Additionally there was the joint Yorkshire Woollen and North Western X12 Manchester service. Any remaining space nearer Little Horton Lane was taken up with spare West Yorkshire vehicles between turns. Interestingly these were parked against the traffic flow – presumably so that they could regain the West Yorkshire half facing in the right direction ready for their next run. Thus all these service buses loaded on the live bus carriageway.
On the other side of this half there were stands for the Sheffield 66, (joint Sheffield’C’ Yorkshire Traction and Yorkshire Woollen.) and also the Samuel Ledgard Leeds via Pudsey Routes. These loaded from the kerb.
On the West Yorkshire half, all routes with the exception of the 67 Keighley/Skipton loaded in the middle of the bus carriageway as they were parked “herringbone” either side of the Green Hut. All passengers for these routes had to cross the bus carriageway to join their buses.
All in all the place was somewhat hazardous for passengers to say the least. I think things were remodelled sometime in the late 60’s. Returning to AJX 245 it was bound for Hipperholme Crossroads via Wibsey. There were two routes 26 and 26a, one branching off just after Stone Chair at Shelf to run through Coley village with other keeping to the main road through Lumbrook. There was a short working for a time to the edge of the then new Bradford Council Buttershaw Estate which displayed Boltby Lane – running I recall at peak hours only. This was discontinued when Bradford Corporation built a trolleybus extension into the heart of the Estate. One other interesting bit of information is that there was a through route to Halifax (29) that ran on this route from Bradford as far as Shelf thence to Halifax – for some reason on Saturdays only. It was termed the “Wibsey Flyer” – its route was marginally shorter than the main routes through Queensbury or Odsal/Shelf and Hebble drivers always liked a challenge.
And finally I used to visit my Sister for lunch once a week – she lived in Allerton on the Hebble Route 19 from Bingley. I always used to catch the Hebble back into Bradford, I reckon it could shave at least 5 minutes off the 31 trolleybus – rarely stopping at all after the Chapel Lane stop in Allerton. As I said the Hebble drivers liked a challenge !

Farmer G


29/03/12 – 08:04

The Samuel Ledgard (formerly B & B TOURS) buses for Harrogate also departed from the "West Yorkshire" side of Chester Street Bus Station. Their route was identical to the WYRCC 53 service except that "the blues" deviated from the main road at the Hare and Hounds and additionally served the full length of Menston Village.

Chris Youhill


29/03/12 – 08:06

What a shame to think that ECP 500 has survived so long only to be lost so recently. Whilst in a poor state it doesn’t look so dreadful compared to some restorations. I managed to find a photograph of it taken in 1976 and better times when it appears to be in fine condition.
Here… http://s880.photobucket.com/ 

Richard Leaman


29/03/12 – 08:07

To sort of illustrate Chris’ memory on this thread (which seems to be unravelling into about three different themes) the attached picture shows the bus he was referring to, which was Calderdale 357. This one lasted quite a while in Todmorden livery and I’m pretty sure was the last to carry it by some margin.

1766
This picture is taken near Cliviger, between Todmorden and Burnley, a location much better known to railway enthusiasts as Copy Pit and a bit of a shrine in the very last days of steam.
What it shows is a Halifax PD2 on the 8 from Burnley to Leeds, with 357 behind on what I recall as a duplicate. Behind that is a Ribble Leopard on an express service to Manchester.

David Beilby


29/03/12 – 17:50

I love your comments, Farmer G, about the speed of the Hebble 19 service! They were flyers alright, especially before the route was double decked. Swirls of dust and dead leaves in their wake!
West Yorkshire, down Thornton Road were just as exciting sometimes, even with 5LWs, but one of the reasons was the longer spacings of bus stops, and the penny surcharge in the City boundary, which got them to Town quicker, but which most thrifty Bradfordians did not experience because of said surcharge.
Mind you, the old "Regen" trolleys could move a bit too! Memories of hurtling down Thornton Road, from Spring Head to Bell Dean come to mind. So much for "silent trolleybuses"! They made more noise than a Hebble and a WY combined!
Happy Days!

John Whitaker


30/03/12 – 07:08

What a superb photo David B! When was it taken, early PTE days perhaps?

Dave Towers


30/03/12 – 08:52

Sorry – I forgot to add a date! It was on 17th June 1972.

David Beilby


17/09/12 – 06:58

I well remember the Hebble service over the tops to Halifax in the 1960s–used to use it on Saturdays to call at the Sportsman for a few jars–great service–do any buses go over the tops these days? Hard for me to check as I left to live in France when I retired.

John Oakes


17/05/13 – 09:09

I was a parcels delivery driver for rail express in the early 1970s I noticed ECP 500 in the yard at Talbot House school in Glossop whilst delivering there. I wrote to the H C V C in the hope that someone could rescue her 40 years on I have just found out that John S Hinchliffe purchased her from the school. Some pictures I have seen show that she scrubbed up well how sad that more recent pictures tell a different story.it would appear that she did not survive

John Kelly


AJX 245_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


05/04/14 – 07:12

I lived in Northowram and when the Bradford service was routed via Stone Chair and Landemere under Calderdale, we often had to give directions to drivers who previously stopped at the Northowram boundary or at least, only knew the main road between Bradford and Halifax. They would fly down the hill from Stone Chair only to find around a slight bend at the bottom that there were passengers standing in the road (no pavement). The drivers were none too happy in trying to pull up a Fleetline in short order!

John


06/04/14 – 08:24

John, I was once involved in a collision on the ‘slight bend’ you mention, which was towards the bottom of Score Hill and just above Landemere Syke.
If they were on time, opposing buses were due to pass one another in Score Hill, so could easily meet on the bend. There was a stone barn belonging to the adjacent farm on downhill side, right on the bend, severely restricting visibility, so one quickly learned to scan the view ahead over the top of the farm from much further back – whilst travelling along Northowram Green (outbound) or from the top of Score Hill (inbound). Though it was not an official instruction, the regular drivers’ convention was for the inbound bus to slow right down or stop half way down the hill until the outbound one had safely negotiated the corner.
One weekday afternoon I was outbound towards Bradford in an ex-Halifax Fleetline. I did the usual scan ahead and could not see a bus descending the hill, so I proceeded and approached the bend with great caution. Unfortunately, whilst I had been passing through the blind section of the dip at Landemere Syke the inbound bus had come over the brow of the hill and was hurtling down it rather too speedily. The weather conditions were dull and drizzly, so the road surface was already wet, but the fact that the farmer from Wall Nook Farm had earlier herded his cows down the road meant that there was a lethal coating of slippery brown stuff too.
As I very slowly rounded the bend I then saw the bus – another of the same type – coming towards me and so stopped immediately. The other driver had only passed out of the driving school a few days before and must have panicked, hitting the brakes hard. It went into a lengthy skid – totally out of control – and as Fleetlines would do in such instances went into a front wheel skid on the bend. I instinctively accelerated to the left to avoid being hit head on, and the bus collided violently with my front offside then bounced off in the other direction and buried itself in the barn wall, virtually destroying it.
Strangely I felt quite calm, and was about to leap out to check if the other driver was injured – fearing the worst. I raised my arm to brush a fragment of something from my hair, and my conductor Ken got into a bit of a state and shouted at me not to move, and not to touch my head – pointing at it anxiously. I looked in the mirror and there was a very large triangular-shaped section of my offside cab window glass stuck into my hair in an upright position – like a kind of glass Mohican ! He’s assumed it must have been buried into my skull, but I just flicked it away without any red stuff gushing out, much to his relief.
Miraculously neither the other driver nor any of our passengers were injured. Police and our inspectors and engineers were soon on the scene, and the other bus had to be extracted and towed away. Our inspector – the late John Davis – having knocked out the remaining broken glass from my side windows and twisted off various bits of metal trim and the odd panel, deemed that my bus was fit to drive, and decided that the other badly shaken driver should drive it back to depot under his supervision, fearing that otherwise they would go home and never want to drive again. That would most certainly not happen nowadays, but fortunately he was right and the driver did carry on and drove for a few more years. The barn was eventually rebuilt, and ever afterwards each time I passed it I could not help being reminded of the incident, and of what might have been.

John Stringer


06/04/14 – 10:44

A very ‘interesting’ tale, in more ways then one, John. The scary thing is seeing things unfold and it was quick-witted of you to get your bus moving so quickly when trouble approached. The amazing thing is that the barn was rebuilt, so perpetuating the very danger that caused the accident!

Chris Hebbron

 

Eastbourne Corporation – Daimler Roadliner – DHC 786E – 86

Eastbourne Corporation - Daimler Roadliner - DHC 786E - 86
Copyright Roger Cox

Eastbourne Corporation
1967
Daimler Roadliner SRC6
East Lancs B45D

Here is a shot of the Eastbourne Roadliner, that Diesel Dave referred to under the Halifax Corporation – Daimler Roadliner on the 4th of January heading. Cummins earned such a bad reputation for its V6 engine (and the corresponding V8) that it is a wonder that it survived as a company. For years, Cummins used its own fuel injection system in which the pump pressurised the fuel lines but the injectors were individually actuated by a separate camshaft. It is rumoured that Cummins devised this system to avoid paying royalties to the inventors of the in line fuel pump, the German Robert Bosch company. In Britain, Lucas/CAV manufactured pumps under Bosch licence. The Cummins system rendered the engine unresponsive to modest movements of the accelerator – the engine was either "on" or "off". I never drove a Roadliner, but I have driven Lynxes and Olympians powered by the later L10 engine, and they were crude and rough. Proper fine control of the engine was impossible. The present day "B" series engine and its derivatives used in ADL buses was originally a design of the Case Corporation, and does not have the traditional extreme Cummins characteristics.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

———

22/03/12 – 08:16

I think Cummins survived (at least in Britain) because the passenger and freight markets don’t talk to each other much. The V engines may have been as bad in both, but Cummins were also building inline engines which seem to have been very successful, and which marked the beginning of the end of Gardner supremacy in ERF and Atkinson trucks among others.
What I find more surprising is the way the bus industry embraced the L10 after its earlier bad experiences.

Peter Williamson

———

22/03/12 – 13:41

Cummins came badly unstuck with some diesel-powered trains a few years ago, with them having to replace the unreliable engines at some cost to themselves.

Chris Hebbron

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22/03/12 – 13:41

Many examples can be found where British companies made the best product in the world and then just sat back and allowed the rest to catch up. When the power to weight legislation came in the six cylinder inline Cummins did become popular with ERF and Atkinson buyers in the haulage sector, but it was more a case of supply rather than choice. The Cummins was more readily available than the Gardner, but it wasn’t as reliable and devoured fuel at an alarming rate. Gardner did have a ’240′ inline eight cylinder marine engine that was very reliable for the job it was designed for but as a vehicle engine it wasn’t, but in fairness it was being asked to do a job for which it was never intended, marine engines tend to work for long periods at more or less a constant RPM, where as the RPM on a vehicle is constantly fluctuating, it gained a reputation as being unreliable. Gardner tried fitting a turbo to the 180, but through complacency they eventually fell victim to the classic British motor vehicle disease of failure to invest in development

Ronnie Hoye

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22/03/12 – 13:42

Whatever merits the L10 may have had as a lorry engine, and one can but reflect upon such "merits" in the ultimate fates of ERF and Seddon Atkinson, it was not a good bus engine, having crude response to accelerator pressure resulting in very rough and jerky ride standards. Along with the Seddon Pennine IV, I would nominate the Cummins powered Lynx as the most horrible vehicle type that I have ever driven. Likewise, the Cummins Olympian was not a patch upon the sophistication of its Gardner equivalent. The L10 was enlarged into the 10.8 litre M11, and early tests with this engine proved that it was totally unsuitable for bus work. It is noteworthy that, along with ERF and Seddon Atkinson, the M11 has now virtually disappeared from the road haulage scene. The smaller "B" series used initially in the Dart and later in ADL ‘deckers as well is a much superior design.

Roger Cox

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23/03/12 – 06:30

Rolls-Royce made the Eagle Diesel engine for lorries, which was not too good, and metamophosed into a Cummins engine on takeover, in the end, also not very good, I believe. Was the Eagle ever fitted into buses. I believe it was rather large.

Chris Hebbron

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23/03/12 – 06:30

I am surprised at the comments about the Cummins L10 engine. My fleet took a batch of L10 powered Olympians which I viewed with some trepidation. However they matched the 6LX engined Fleetlines they replaced almost exactly in fuel consumption despite having rather more go about them. After an initial problem with cylinder head gasket failures (quickly modified and repaired by Cummins) reliability was exemplary and they were a delightfully simple to work on. Very different from their successor vehicles fitted with the Swedish engine – needed a fuel tanker to follow them round each day and not nice to work on. As for drivers’ comments about the L10, well there was nearly an international enquiry each time one of the fleet worked from the main depot after any repair work had been completed. The ones they couldn’t stand were some early Gardner Olympians with Voith transmission. The comment about replacing engines in diesel trains, I’m pretty sure this referred to trains built with MTU power units as the Cummins NT14 had given excellent service in BR built trains.

Looking at the photo of the Eastbourne bus I am struck that it would not look out of place amongst todays single deckers. It looks smart (the livery helps there), modern, well proportioned and purposeful. What a pity the Roadliner didn’t succeed as the concept was excellent. Still, neither AEC nor Leyland fared much better with early rear engined single deckers.

Ian Wild

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23/03/12 – 07:14

SYPTE specified Rolls Royce Eagles to special order for all their Dennis Dominators and all their MCW Metrobuses. This only ended when they began a period of single deck purchase and operation with the Volvo B10M Alexander PS era. One must therefore assume that they were happy with their Eagles – which all had full service lives.
Roll Royce (Eagle) engines were bought by Perkins – not Cummins. (I believe they eventually, by a series of buy outs, ended up in common ownership – but the Eagle became a Perkins).

David Oldfield

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23/03/12 – 09:35

Thx, David.

Chris Hebbron

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24/03/12 – 09:19

From what I remember reading at the time, I’m pretty sure the Cummins L10 was designed specifically as a bus engine, and wasn’t used in lorries.
As for the Rolls Royce Eagle, I’ve heard exactly the same about that as Ronnie says about the 8-cylinder Gardner – that it was designed for marine use and wasn’t much good on the road. SYPTE chose it for extra muscle, which they felt they needed, and that being the case, they probably felt they had no choice but to stick with it. With the number they had, they would at least become world leaders in making it work!
Bristol Omnibus also used five or six Rolls-Royce powered Metrobuses in Bath. Anyone familiar with Bath and Sheffield will quickly see the connection!

Peter Williamson

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24/03/12 – 09:20

Referring to Roger’s comments, the most difficult things I ever had to drive were a couple of ex Shearing’s L10, ZF manual Leyland Tigers. I always put it down to the clutch not being man enough for the job, but maybe I was wrong. Rogers comment about crude response to accelerator pressure producing a rough, jerky ride certainly rings true. Taming the beast was a challenge and then rejoicing when you got the knack! [One of my favourites was a ZF manual Tiger with TL11(260) engine.]
Not really experienced in the engineering or operating side, the number of negative comments on the L10 comes as a surprise. I have driven M11 powered Dennis Rs with AS-tronic – including a jaunt to the south of France – and found it most enjoyable experience. [I have known one vehicle for about six years. The engine has never given cause for concern.]

David Oldfield

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24/03/12 – 18:08

The Gardner 240 bhp 8LXB was widely and successfully used in lorries; its problem was that it was physically large and very expensive. The 6LXB/C/D, even in turbocharged form, increasingly became unable to meet minimum power to weight requirements in the the haulage market. To compound the problem, British lorry manufacturers always charged a premium over and above the extra cost for Gardner- in his "Gardner" book, Graham Edge illustrates that the extra cost for a Gardner 8LXB of £1367 became a mark up of £3000 in the ERF sale price. In the straitened economic circumstances of the 1980s, the much cheaper Cummins L10, which was certainly widely installed as standard in Seddon Atkinson, Foden and ERF chassis, became the preferred option. I am not challenging the reliability or fuel economy characteristics of the Cummins, but I do hold fast on its unsatisfactory throttle response features. The Wikipedia entry on the Roadliner says, "The Cummins V6 had that manufacturer’s patented intermediate-pressure fuel pump and governor system, supplying the fuel to open-cup injectors through internal drilled fuel galleries, four-valve cylinder heads and tappet-actuated injection. This made the engine less than suitable for slow speed stop-start work……". The same characteristics were carried over into the L10.
Taking up Ian Wild’s point about a certain "Swedish" ‘decker engine, the two Gardner Olympians outstationed at Ramsey in the Huntingdonshire Fens could complete two days if required on a tank of fuel. The Volvo Olympians that replaced them not only drank fuel at a prodigious rate, but were equipped with smaller tanks, and had to be filled up twice in the same day. They also possessed the endearing characteristic of blowing out all the power steering fluid. With the Voith three speed transmission, which required the engine to scream up to near maximum revs in the lower two gears before changing up, they were, in my view, despite their powerful performance, decidedly less than impressive. I have also driven TL11 powered Olympians, which were smooth, civilised machines. Given a more enlightened political approach at the time, the TL11 had development potential that could have been reflected in a much stronger present day British engineering industrial base.

Roger Cox

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25/03/12 – 09:07

Rolls Royce engines in trains (Bedford – St Pancras DMUs circa 1960) were a disaster, having an unfortunate propensity to ignite spontaneously. In the mid 1980s British Rail insisted on dual sourcing for the big class 158 fleet, so that some were fitted with Perkins engines, which proved inferior to the Cummins unit. (I think they may also have been fitted in some of the class 165s for the same reason, and with no better results.)

Stephen Ford

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25/03/12 – 09:08

Being an enthusiast rather than an engineer, I have found Roger’s insight of the operational drawbacks of the Cummins L10 quite fascinating. Wasn’t this the standard engine fitted to the MCW Metroliner 3 axle double deck coaches new in the early/mid eighties?

Bob Gell

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25/03/12 – 18:55

On the subject of reliability, a survey taken in 1979 by "Transport Engineer", the journal of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers investigated the maintenance costs of 9488 heavy lorries, fitted with 16 different engine types, operating at 30/32 tons gvw. This entirely independent review showed the 6LXB at the top of the list, costing just 0.265 pence per mile to maintain, with the 8LXB in close second place. This survey predated the introduction of the Cummins L10, which appeared in 1982, but the earlier Cummins straight six ranges occupied third and sixth places in the list, very creditable indeed. Doubtlessly the later L10 would have returned similar figures. Interestingly, the Leyland O680 and 510 came fourteenth and fifteenth respectively, just above Scania, the costs for which were six times those of the 6LXB. One can only reflect upon the figures for contemporary engines, with their high turbocharging pressures and costly emission control systems, together with their propensity to drink fuel like a dipsomaniac.

Roger Cox

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30/03/12 – 07:05

I recall from my days on Southdown just after it’s sale to Stagecoach one of our depot fitters being less than impressed by the Gardner engines lack of oil tightness when fitted to a batch of recently delivered Olympians when compared to the Volvo D10M’s bought by the independent Southdown. He said you could get to work almost straight away on the Volvo when necessary with only a minimum of cleaning, whereas the Gardner took some time to get clean enough to work on.

Diesel Dave

 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 21st September 2014