Old Bus Photos

Express Motors – AEC Regal I 0662 – RC 9680

Express Motors - AEC Regal I 0662 - RC 9680

Express Motors
AEC Regal I 0662
Willowbrook rebody 1958 FDP39F

RC 9680 was new to Trent in 1947 with a Willowbrook B35F body being lengthened and fitted with a new Willowbrook body in 1958. It was withdrawn by Trent in 1963 and is shown here four years later laying over in the shadow of Caernarvon Castle on a wet day in September 1967.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

21/07/20 – 06:41

A small correction to Ian’s caption; these vehicles were not given new Willowbrook bodies, the original bodies were lengthened at the rear to allow an extra double seat on each side and slightly at the front to fully enclose the cab and conceal the radiator. The other modification was a folding door, as seen, replacing the previous porch type entrance with a door at the top of the steps.
There were twenty of these conversions, the first one was given all new flush glazed windows mounted in rubber gasket, the remainder kept their original windows to reduce the conversion cost. They were all given new seats which allowed them to be re-classified as dual purpose but the new seats, although an improvement, were still rather spartan for 2-3 hour seaside services.

Chris Barker

22/07/20 – 06:58

It was a very successful conversion, IMHO, helped by the completely horizontal waistline instead of the dropping rear. I wouldn’t have guessed the bodywork wasn’t original. And here it is, still around, 20 years after being built!

Chris Hebbron

25/07/20 – 07:15

I agree with Chris Barkers comment about the horizontal waste line, helping to give the vehicle a more modern appearance. However when I see these vehicles I always feel that the frontal appearance could have been improved if – either the aluminium trim followed the bottom contour of the front windows, (and not a horizontal line) or the windows had a horizontal base instead of the angled finish. I’m sure their were good reasons for not altering the line of the windows (not least because they concealed the bulkhead and radiator and were part of the original half cab design). Nice conversion in any event.

John Rentell

09/08/20 – 05:53

Looks like a Creams (of Llandudno) Bedford VAL alongside. Could be BCC 1C ( https://flic.kr/p/7Qrw3K ), or BCC 6C.

David Williamson


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Red Bus Service – AEC Regal – Craven – VO 6806

Red Bus Service - AEC Regal - Craven - VO 6806

Red Bus Service
AEC Regal 662
Craven B32F

VO 6806 is a petrol-engined AEC Regal 662 with Craven B32F body new in 1931 to Bevan & Barker Ltd. (t/a Red Bus Service), Warsop Road Garage, Mansfield, one of three similar vehicles. The company was taken over by Mansfield District Traction on 1st January 1957 along with eight vehicles – seven AEC’s and a Bedford.  Of these an AEC Regal 0662/Massey and four Regent III double deckers (one with Massey and three with Crossley bodies) were retained by MDT for further service, but this, another Regal and the Bedford OWB utility were immediately withdrawn.
VO 6806 was handed over to the British Transport Museum at Clapham for preservation, but this establishment was extremely London Transport orientated and the handful of provincial vehicles in their collection remained quietly in the background until in 1968 Halifax GM Geoffrey Hilditch persuaded them to loan him the Regal – along with an ex-Jersey PLSC Lion, an-ex-Swindon Arab utility and an-ex-Rotherham Crossley – ostensibly to take part in a parade through the town to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the undertaking. The vehicles were subsequently used in other local events and all four took part in the 1973 Trans-Pennine Rally, and the Regal is shown here manoeuvring in the tight confines of the original Harrogate location (before in later years moving to The Stray) at the end of that event.
I believe that the four were officially transferred into Halifax Corporation ownership for the duration of the loan – indeed the Crossley was used for driver training on occasions – but when Hilditch moved to Leicester around 1975 they went with him to the best of my knowledge. Their present whereabouts are not known to me, although I gather they are all still in existence somewhere. It would be nice to see them out and about again though.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

03/07/17 – 07:55

Actually, on having a closer look this doesn’t look like Harrogate and may well have been Harry Ramsden’s Car Park at Guiseley en route.

John Stringer

03/07/17 – 07:56

Both this Regal and the Leyland Lion are currently shown as being part of the Science Museum collection, though it is unclear whether or not they are on display or in running order.

Roger Cox

04/07/17 – 07:09

All four of these were (the last I read) at the Science Museum reserve collections centre at Wroughton, Wiltshire.

Stephen Allcroft

04/07/17 – 07:10

Roger is right and I believe the AEC is stored at Wroughton. I was surprised how many vehicles are stored there including a Guy Arab which GGH also looked after. The state of some of them is not good but at least they are under cover. I guess we were lucky to see them running when we did thanks to GGH. I just wish we could see the exhibits more often as it is a national collection – no pun intended but there is a Leyland Nxxxxxxl there too!

Sam Caunt

04/07/17 – 07:11

If they are at Wroughton and I think they are then they are being stored in an uncared for state. One of my colleagues was there recently and was asked not to take pictures because of the poor state of the vehicles.
Colin Billington has tried several times to get vehicles moved to secure homes and inertia/unwillingness to take a decision has frustrated him.

Roger Burdett

05/07/17 – 06:27

Just as an aside to this interesting post, Bevan & Barker sold only their stage service and buses to Mansfield District in 1957. Their garage still stands (on Leeming Lane North actually) and they continue in business to this day as well regarded motor engineers and petrol station. (no relation to me incidentally!)

Chris Barker

06/07/17 – 07:38

Wroughton, opened in 1940, was both an RAF and RNAS station for many years, with lots of original hangars, which hold the Science Museum’s varied "exhibits" in a far-from-ideal environment, hence their slow deterioration.

Chris Hebbron

07/07/17 – 07:44

Ribble white lady in the background.

Peter Butler

01/12/20 – 05:32

With regard to Chris Barker’s comment on 05/07/17, the Bevan and Barker garage on Leeming Lane North is up for sale as at November 2020.

Mr Anon

13/04/22 – 08:00

The Science Museum (Wroughton) website says that the museum is Permanently Closed, what does that mean?. That is, where have the contents gone?

Roger Ingle


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Sheffield Corporation – AEC Regal I – KWJ 184 – 1184

Sheffield Corporation - AEC Regal - KWJ 184 - 1184

Sheffield Corporation
AEC Regal I
Weymann B34R

A few early post war Sheffield single deckers found their way to Contractors on withdrawal and this example is with H Camm. It is seen on the car park near Pond Street Bus Station in 1963. The bus would have been a regular performer on Peak District services during its Sheffield career, particularly on the 37 to Bakewell and the 84 to Buxton as it was a C fleet bus.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

09/03/16 – 15:23

I’m surprised not to have seen a comment yet on this fine vehicle, so here goes! This AEC demonstrates that the designers of a really good-looking vehicle put function in very first place, but also let a good eye dictate the details, all of which they’ve achieved to perfection. Interesting that this posting comes so soon after Roger Cox’s unearthing of that poor Austin K3 with its April Fool Nightmare "coachwork"—which I hope one day turns out not to be by Bush and Twiddy. I’ve always found buses far more interesting than coaches simply because there’s so much less scope for "stylists" to let their imagination run riot on a vehicle that has to meet as many demanding criteria as a service bus must.

Ian Thompson

15/03/16 – 06:22

Yes Ian and Ian, splendid buses that stir childhood memories for me on the Bakewell 40 via Calver Sough and 84 Buxton. Living at Ecclesall, as a small child I was occasionally treated to a trip to Bakewell with my mother and of course the favoured seat would be at the front behind the engine and the heater.


As far as I can remember, this batch buses had the whopping Clayton Heaters affixed to the bulkhead but I may be wrong as I don’t remember any other post-war buses carrying these heaters.

John Darwent

17/03/16 – 05:08

I think most if not all early post war single deckers for Sheffield JOC (B&C fleets) had the Clayton bulkhead heater fitted. I too travelled on these to Buxton and Bakewell and on similar PS1/PS2 on the Manchester services. Do you remember this type of bus being fitted with rear wheel chains to cope with snowy weather? They made one hell of a noise on Ecclesall Road.

Ian Wild

26/03/16 – 05:05

As a teenager in the mid 60’s I made the trip from Denton (east of Manchester) to Sheffield on the 39. A leisurely ride including a break at the Snake Inn. I was always fascinated by the blind which showed "Sheffield via Ashopton" but I could never work out where was Ashopton. It was only some time later that I discovered that Ashopton together with Derwent were drowned villages and lay at the bottom of the Ladybower reservoirs but nobody had bothered to update the destination blinds. I note Ian Wild’s comment that PS1/PS2 were used on the Manchester services: I am sure that the bus I rode on that day was an AEC because the radiator caught my attention. There were no AECs in the part of Manchester where I lived at that time. Could it have been a one-off allocation I wonder?

David Revis

27/03/16 – 16:35

David, I suspect that your memory serves you well. In some personal memories of Dennis E Vickers, a former Sheffield bus operator and enthusiast, he well remembers one of his first journeys over The Snake (Route 39) on an ageing Sheffield 1947 AEC Regal 1, sitting behind the large circular heater on the front bulkhead of the rear entrance half-cab saloon as it whined and rattled over the moors.

John Darwent

29/03/16 – 07:01

Hello John, thank you for your confirmation that AEC’s did work the 39. The photo at the head of this thread is definitely the type I rode in. It would be good if someone could provide a photo of this type in Sheffield colours…..please.
I did make an error in my original post: it was the mid 50’s and not the mid 60’s when I made that trip. Sheffield still had trams running then Are the personal memories by Dennis Vickers in book form or can they be accessed on the internet?

David Revis

02/04/16 – 07:05

KWE 797
Copyright Unknown

Here’s a picture of a couple of Sheffield’s Regals David. As far as the memories are concerned, they are neither in book form nor on the net unfortunately. They were a short article in an amateur periodical of a local enthusiasts society many years ago. If you will let me have an email address, I will happily send you a scan of the rather faded ‘remains’ of the article.

John Darwent

03/04/16 – 07:32


A very interesting Sheffield 54 ex demo AEC.

Ken Wragg

04/04/16 – 06:39

John, Many thanks for digging out the photo: it is much appreciated. It also confirms my boyhood opinion that even in 1957 (I think) they looked so old fashioned.

Ken, an interesting photo indeed. It looks as if it’s a half-canopy front; would that have been unique to Sheffield I wonder?

David Revis

05/04/16 – 06:45

I have no idea whether this bus is a half canopy or not it is a photo from my great uncle Frank Brindley a freelance press photographer who took a lot of bad weather photos all I know is this bus was a AEC demo bus.

Ken Wragg

08/04/16 – 06:21

Photo Courtesy of the Tom Robinson Collection

Quite right David, Sheffield’s Weymann/Regal 1 No. 54 was indeed a half-canopy front and as such was unique in the Sheffield fleet. The late Charles Hall FCIT in his Sheffield Transport ‘bible’ stated that this was a demonstrator ‘on loan’ from January 1940 until brought into the fleet in December of that year as number 54. It was believed to have been at the last Pre-War Commercial Motor Show. 54 was apparently a well-liked and reliable vehicle, lasting until 1955 in service before being converted into a canteen bus with withdrawal coming in January 1961.

John Darwent

08/04/16 – 16:54

I bet they were glad to grab it while they could.

Chris Hebbron


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