Reading Corporation – AEC Reagent I – RD 7127 – 47

Reading Corporation - AEC Reagent I - RD 7127 - 47

Reading Corporation
1935
AEC Regent I
Park Royal L26/26R

RD 7127 is an AEC Regent I with ‘oil’ engine, making her an O661. Those with petrol engines did not have the O prefix, and it dates from 1935. It has Park Royal bodywork, to the L52R layout, and we see it at Longcross, Chobham, on 1 April 2007.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


18/03/17 – 07:14

Sister vehicles 11 and 46 were withdrawn as early as 1950, but the Corporation gave 47 a body rebuild and she ran till the end of February ’56, to the delight of a small knot of enthusiasts, one of whom sat in the front nearside seat upstairs as she rumbled over a cobbled bridge, celebrating the fact that she was now in her 21st year of service.
Seven years later Reading Transport Society member John Whitehead announced that 47 was still active, ferrying mushroom farm employees at Thakeham, W Sussex, and that the owners, A G Linfield, were shortly to donate her to the Society. In October 1963 we went down to pick her up and, being the only one of us over 21, I had the honour of driving. No bus could have been kinder to the novice: ideal driving position, excellent visibility, positive controls with no slack anywhere, nice progressive clutch and brakes,
easy gearbox, reassuring stability…47 has it all. Mike Dare and I did all our pre-PSV-test driving practice on her before joining Smiths Coaches. Over the next few years we covered hundreds of miles in 47 to and from rallies, museums and—sadly—trolleybus system closures. Still in good mechanical shape, she awaits structural work on the body before being fit to carry a full load again.

Ian Thompson


18/03/17 – 16:12

Thanks for your thoughts, Ian. As previously, if you or any other members of the readership don’t have a copy of your own of this view, Peter has my permission to forward on your request.

Pete Davies


18/03/17 – 16:14

Memories of Doncaster’s Regent no 60 which apparently ran from 1942 to 1962 in a similar livery and Roe body, no doubt ferrying miners home from shift. It is no wonder that Donny seemed to like AEC’s: although nothing beats its all Leyland PD2’s with trolley rebodies which all did 25-26 years.

Joe


19/03/17 – 07:05

Provincial’s number 35 is a very similar vehicle except for being highbridge. That ran in service 1936-1966 with its original company before being sold to preservation. Its body is teak framed and aluminium panelled which accounted for longevity – does anyone know if this combination was used for other bodies by Park Royal and if they too lasted a long time.

David Chapman


21/03/17 – 15:57

Thanks for the kind offer of a copy, Pete. Superb photo!

Ian Thompson

 

Trent – SOS DON – RC 2721 – 321

RC 2721

Trent Motor Traction
1935
SOS DON
Brush B36F

Pictured on the HCVC Brighton Run in 1969 is RC 2721, an ex Trent SOS DON of 1935 with a Brush front entrance bus body that originally held 36 seats. SOS vehicles were favoured by the Trent and Northern companies during the 1930s, and the vehicle radiators were cast with the appropriate nameplates. No.321 ran for the Trent company until about 1953, when it then became a mobile booking office at Skegness, a popular holiday destination for coach trips from Derbyshire. In 1965 the vehicle passed into the hands of the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society, who rallied it in its unrestored state as shown in the photograph for several years, before retiring it with a (long term) view to full restoration in the early 1970s. Other pictures of RC 2721 may be seen on OBP here (scroll to bottom):- www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/

The extensive refurbishment/rebuilding programme is currently progressing well, as may be seen at this site:-www.lvvs.org.uk/

The SOS ON (“Onward”) type appeared in 1934 following the increase in maximum permitted length of single deckers to 27ft 6ins. The ON had the compact SOS 6 cylinder 5.986 litre RR2SB petrol engine which allowed the body to house 38 seats, and some retained the petrol unit right up to withdrawal in the early 1950s. A diesel version of the ON was immediately put in hand, and after trialling prototypes with the direct injection Leyland 8.6 litre engine and the indirect injection AEC 7.7 litre A171 engine, production adopted the AEC unit. The petrol ON thus became the diesel DON, but the AEC six cylinder engine was longer than the BMMO petrol, reducing the body capacity to 36 seats. The indirect injection engines in the BMMO DON fleet were converted to the A173 direct injection type in 1938, and this Trent example was likewise modified. By 1935, the SOS type presented a truly archaic appearance with the offset antiquated shape of radiator, narrow cab set entirely clear of the bonnet and different shape and depth to the mudguards (wings is hardly an appropriate description) on each side of the body. It compared unfavourably with the contemporary classic designs from Leyland, AEC and other major manufacturers. Whatever the mechanical merits, it was as if BMMO perversely set out to make its machinery as ungainly in appearance as possible. Not until 1938 did the more modern “AEC clone” radiator appear on BMMO SOS vehicles, and then only on double deck FEDDs. The first single deckers with the new style radiator were the SONs of 1939, as seen in this OBP page:- www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


12/03/17 – 17:37

I should have added that Potteries was another company that took SOS chassis. Surprisingly, Stratford Blue, a BMMO subsidiary from 1935, took none.

Roger Cox


13/03/17 – 16:34

UP 551, is a 1929 Northern General B37F Brush bodied SOS QL. It has been fully restored by Beamish Museum, and is shown on their website. Its in regular use transporting visitors around the site, and as Roger says in his posting, the Northern name is cast into the radiator. Whether it would be allowed onto a public highway is not known, but when this restoration is complete, it would be nice if somehow they could been seen together

Ronnie Hoye


13/03/17 – 16:35

Although Stratford Blue ran a very eclectic range of vehicles makes pre-war, it was a very loyal Leyland user post-war. I used to enjoy visiting there (and Birds)from time to time in the 1950’s and 60’s.
A pocket history of the company can be found here: http://lths.lutsociety.org.uk/

Chris Hebbron


14/03/17 – 06:51

Ronnie – From photos on the web, it looks as if Northern General CN 2870 has ‘Northern’ on its radiator, UP 551 having Midland Red. See: https://tinyurl.com/he7e48f

Chris Hebbron


15/03/17 – 07:06

That’s a strange one Chris, having seen UP 551 in the flesh as it were, and in all the photos I’ve seen, it has Northern on the radiator, and yet, as can be clearly seen, in this case it has midland.
Explanations or theories anyone?

Ronnie Hoye


15/03/17 – 16:08

It certainly is a conundrum. The radiator shape and bonnet profiles of the two vehicles are quite different and it seems unlikely that they would be swapped over at any time.

Chris Hebbron

 

Scarlet Coaches – Leyland Comet – MYA 590

Scarlet Coaches - Leyland Comet - MYA 590

Scarlet Coaches (Minehead)
1950
Leyland Comet CPP1
Harrington C29F

Here we have another wonderful example of how a coat of paint can make such a difference to the way almost anything can appear. MYA 590 is a Leyland Comet CPP1 with Harrington C29F body. In the first view, it is in the livery of Scarlet Coaches of Minehead, and it is in the Southsea rally on 17 June 1984.

Scarlet Coaches - Leyland Comet - MYA 590

In this second view, it has been repainted blue and cream to star alongside Joan Hickson in the ‘Miss Marple’ film, Nemesis. This view was captured at Netley on 12 July 1987.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


09/03/17 – 07:02

I seem to remember that, during the 1950s, the livery change between the top colour and the lower was achieved by a ‘blend’ of the two colours down the rear corner panels.
This was fashionable at the time, although must have been incredibly difficult to achieve. Virtually impossible to achieve with brush painting, so presumably the gradual change from the light colour to the dark might have been a way of showing off the ‘new spray painting’ technique.
It’s not a feature I have seen on any currently preserved coaches, but this picture of the unnatural hard line between the two colours has sparked the memory of this old style.
Anybody else remember it?

Petras409


10/03/17 – 17:39

Can anyone suggest why, given Leyland’s good name, the Comet was not more popular? Did the Tiger Cub sweep it away?

Ian Thompson


11/03/17 – 07:23

Pure guesswork on my part Ian. The Comet was a very successful commercial vehicle chassis, with production continuing through the forward control LAD and ergomatic cabs in both rigid and artic unit form. However, it gave coach bodybuilders less design scope, and lower seating capacity than the under floor chassis of a Royal Tiger or Tiger Cub

Ronnie Hoye


12/03/17 – 07:45

Thanks, folks!

Pete Davies


12/03/17 – 07:46

The Comet wasn’t in the same market as the underfloor-engined chassis. As a lightweight with a seating capacity probably limited to 32, it was competing with the Bedford OB and Albion Victor. It’s likely to have been more expensive than both, and didn’t really offer anything extra.

Peter Williamson


13/03/17 – 16:32

Later passenger variants of the Comet were forward control but aimed primarily for export. There was a Duple bodied ECPO12/2T in preservation once, this was one of a handful sold on the home market, the Albion Victor and the SB, particularly with a Leyland Engine, not to mention the Ford and Commer alternatives made it a non-starter over here although it was very popular in New Zealand with the Bedford SB8 and SB13 known as the "Poor Man’s Comet".

Stephen Allcroft

 

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