Ribble – Leyland Titan TD7 – RN 8979 – 2323

RN 8979

Ribble Motor Services
1940
Leyland Titan TD7
Leyland L27/26R

I cannot now remember where in 1960 I took this rather sad picture of
RN 8979, a former Ribble Leyland TD7 with Leyland L27/26R bodywork, or who the operator then was. The old telephone code HIL (for Hillside) covered the Barnt Green area of Birmingham, which might help to identify the operator. Confirmed Leyland aficionado Ribble must have counted itself lucky to obtain a batch of forty TD7s in May 1940 just after the German attack in France had brought the Phoney War to a violent end.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


12/11/18 – 07:57

I believe they were actually Alexander bodies, Roger, sub contracted and built to Leyland design, as the latter were at that time overwhelmed by work.
I think Samelsbury Engineering also built a few bodies to Leyland design and possibly parts, for the same reason.

Mr Anon


12/11/18 – 07:58

This is recorded by the P.S.V. Circle as being withdrawn by Ribble in 1956 and passing to:-
Smith, Reading 12/56
Liss & District, Bordon 10/58
Trebilock (Finchley Coaches), London N.12 10/59
Dickson, Stoke Mandeville 1/61
last licenced 4/61 and to Ronsway, Hemel Hempstead in 1961, for scrap

I have just checked the old London telephone exchange names and HILlside covered North Finchley tying in nicely with the Trebilcock dates.

John Kaye


12/11/18 – 08:00

I notice that every one of the near side upper deck windows within the five bays has a half drop ventilator fitted. It appears, from photographs of similar Ribble buses I’ve looked at, that the corresponding windows on the off side had no ventilators fitted at all. It seems rather an unusual arrangement, was this Ribble’s normal specification for lowbridge vehicles?

Chris Barker


12/11/18 – 16:07

The nearside half drop would be accessible from the seats, whilst the offside would only be accessible from the sunken aisle so the positioning of the opening windows makes sense.

Phil Blinkhorn


12/11/18 – 16:08

Wow I thought these Blackburn Corporation buses had been scraped. Glad to know they are now vintage buses. My school was on the East Park side of Blackburn and I rode on these to and from school.
They were ancient and noisy to travel in. I enjoyed my journeys. It started a life long interest in buses and travelling on them.
For me these buses bring back my childhood memories of living in Blackburn.
Wonderful bus journeys.

William Ferguson


12/11/18 – 16:10

Thanks, everyone, for the extra information. The Ribble fleet number for this bus was 2323. Alexander did build ‘identikit’ bodies for Leyland, but, in his book on the TD series Titan in the series "The Best of British Buses", Alan Townsin says that these were Leyland bodies, rather than Alexander built clones. Confirmation one way or the other would be welcome.
John, your comprehensive history of this vehicle does confirm that it must have belonged to Finchley Coaches when photographed, which reassures me considerably in my advancing years – I cannot recall ever visiting the Birmingham area in the early 1960s. I am surprised that the less than pristine state of the bus as depicted in the photo still enabled it to work for a further year or so. Chris, I think that a half drop ventilator on the upper deck offside can just be detected through the front upper deck window. It is to the credit of the integrity of the Leyland body design that, after a life of some twenty years. there is no hint of any sag in the waist rail.

Roger Cox


12/11/18 – 16:11

Mr. Anon, There is no record of these on the Alexander records. I think you are confusing things with the early post-war situation which was discussed a year ago on the SCT61 site, and the chassis involved were Leyland PD1 and PD1A types in 1946/7.

John Kaye


13/11/18 – 05:35

Regarding location I think this was at the Austin works at Longbridge. Many of these buses collected workers from the Midlands and were driven by an operative also PSV qualified.

Nigel Edwards


14/11/18 – 07:11

Just a thought re Roger Cox’s possible view of offside half drop windows and the gangway, Is the visible line not more likely to be a handrail fixed to the window pillars?

Stan Zapiec


14/11/18 – 07:12

John: I always thought that Leyland did not, in principle, rebody older chassis. The only exception to that rule being the examples they rebodied for Plymouth Corporation. But, I must be incorrect in that assumption.

Mr Anon


15/11/18 – 07:40

Mr. Anon, I don’t follow your comment on Leyland not in principle rebodying vehicles, in relation to the Ribble vehicle. RN 8979 was new in 1940 with a 1940 Leyland body and so rebodying does not come into the equation.

John Kaye


16/11/18 – 06:59

One might similarly not follow the comment about Blackburn Corporation, but I suppose that, from a passenger’s perspective, there wouldn’t be such a great difference between the above and Blackburn’s PD1s/PD1As, of which Blackburn had rather a lot.

David Call


17/11/18 – 07:42

…although a PD1 and a TD7 would sound rather different in the definitive second and third gear music.

Stephen Ford


17/11/18 – 07:45

Yes John, that is my mistake, at first glance the bus looks like one of Ribble’s pre war Leyland TDs, rebodied after WW2. Some were also rebodied by ECW. But on closer inspection the body fitted to RN8979 is the original 1940 Leyland body. The height of the driver’s door side window, visible through the windscreen, is a give away.
I still maintain that Leyland did not in principle rebody existing chassis, even of their own manufacture, except for the two pre war Titans rebodied with Farrington type bodies for Plymoth. I believe Donald Stoke’s father was GM at Plymouth at the time, which may have influenced their deciscion.

Mr Anon


20/11/18 – 15:09

Ledgards bought two of the early metal framed Leyland bodies in 1934. These caused no end of trouble and Sam being Sam prevailed upon Leyland to rebody them in 1938.

Chris Hough

 

Wilts & Dorset – Leyland Tiger – CHR 485

CHR 485

Wilts & Dorset Motor Services
1940
Leyland Tiger TS8
Harrington C32R

When photographed at Brighton during the 1970 HCVC Rally, this ex Wilts & Dorset Leyland Tiger TS8 with a Harrington C32R body had been converted into a caravan. A picture of this coach in its former glory may be found here:- www.flickr.com/photos/ingythewingy/ 
Although the TS8 had nominally been superseded by the TS11 in October 1939, the exigencies of war resulted in deliveries of the earlier version continuing well into 1940, when Wilts & Dorset received fleet number 186, CHR 485. The TS11 model became quite a rare beast from its eventual appearance in mid 1940, and when Leyland turned its entire resources over to war work, the final 22 TS11 chassis emerged as a result of the “unfrozen” programme in 1942. They were the very last TS type Tigers to be produced. The photo in the above link of CHR 485 in Wilts and Dorset ownership is interesting in that the glasses of the destination indicator and those of the fixed passenger windows below the opening sections have flush rubber glazing, which must surely have been a later modification to the 1940 vintage Harrington body. The same features are evident in its later guise as a caravan. I can find no current record of CHR 485 being in existence today.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


23/10/18 – 12:59

Sad that despite having survived till 1970 this superb Tiger is no longer around. Let’s hope that it’s sitting somewhere awaiting restoration, though I feel that that’s unlikely.

Ian Thompson


29/10/18 – 06:08

Sorry, the 1993 Slater/Godwin preserved buses list has it as "chassis only" with the South Lancashire Transport Society in 1986.

Peter Williamson


02/11/18 – 07:05

How come that W&D, I presume a Tilling company, ordered Leyland chassis and not Bristol ones?

Chris Hebbron


02/11/18 – 12:09

In pre-war days, W&D had close links with Southdown, and followed it’s purchasing policies rather than Tilling ones. Indeed, at the outbreak of war, a fair number of Southdown Leyland TD1s found their way to W&D because of the need to cover wartime service personnel services in their area [Salisbury Plain]. The 1942 split of T&BAT arrangements left W&D in the Tilling camp rather than BET.

Michael Hampton


02/11/18 – 12:10

The reason why is surely that this was before nationalisation, and I recall reading somewhere that before WWII Wilts & Dorset was heavily influenced by Southdown – a Leyland fan.

David Wragg


03/11/18 – 06:42

Thx for that, Michael/David. For some reason, most Tilling group company bus photos I’ve seen have always been Bristols, hence my query.
My experiences with Bristol buses has been very limited and greatly influenced, negatively, by the pre-war Bristol K’s on the Isle of Wight, noisy, vibrating things, which made me think that Wilts & Dorset were very wise in buying Leyland vehicles in preference! My other was riding in more civilised post-war Bristol K’s from Fareham Bus Station to Warsash when, living in Southsea, I was posted, for some bizarre reason, to RAF Calshot for a my last 6 weeks National Service!

Chris Hebbron


03/11/18 – 06:44

There were actually quite a few BTC companies that used Leylands – Cumberland, Lincolnshire, Western and Southern National – and even Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company itself!

Stephen Ford


04/11/18 – 07:24

The Slater/Goodwin book told a partially correct story.
The chassis of CHR 485 came to the South Lancashire Transport Society from the well known Bolton PSV dealer – Lister’s. It was acquired as a donor vehicle to aid the restoration of Ribble Tiger 209 (1400), RN 7588. Upon completion of RN, the chassis of CHR was stripped for anything useable and scrapped locally.

Mike Norris


12/12/18 – 08:49

United also had many Leylands, especially fir their London coach services.

Peter Stobart

 

Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – GTP 976 – 59

GTP 976

Portsmouth Corporation
1952
Leyland Titan PD2/10
Leyland H30/26R

Seen on 13 August 1967 beside the superb gardens at Southsea seafront is Portsmouth Corporation No.59, GTP 976, one of a batch of twenty five Leyland PD2/10 buses with Leyland H30/26R bodywork delivered in 1952. No.59 was withdrawn in 1969, and the last of this batch went in 1971. My childhood trips to Southsea in the late 1940s/early 1950s were always undertaken by trolleybus, a memory to savour, and it is a matter of personal regret that I didn’t manage to capture a picture of one of the trolleys before the system closed in July 1963.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


17/10/18 – 07:58

International Progressive Coachline bought some of these for use on contract work in the early 70’s . Their yard was at Waterbeach near Cambridge. There are a few photos of their buses and coaches on this web site already.
The owner was ‘Paddy’Harris, and the manager was Barry Parsisson. I worked for them briefly in 1972, but after a few months went back to ECOC for an easier life, and less stress !

Norman Long


18/10/18 – 07:35

After many years, the sole survivor of this batch, GTP 975, has turned up safe and reasonable well.
As a schoolboy it was always nice to have one of these beauties turn up as a school relief.

Dave French


19/10/18 – 07:18

As this is a warm sunny day, without a need for a covered-top bus, I imagine that it was an extra covering the busiest part of the route between Clarence Pier and South Parade Pier, rather that going on to Hayling Ferry. The Farington body was very handsome and looked good in Portsmouth’s livery, especially with the white rather than the earlier grey roof. You may have missed snapping a Pompey trolleybus, Roger, but at least you can console yourself with the colour one I posted on this website, long ago.

Chris Hebbron

 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 16th December 2018