Old Bus Photos

London Transport – AEC Regal IV – UMP 227

UMP 227

London Transport
AEC Regal IV
Park Royal B40F

I have submitted this vehicle under the London Transport heading as it is in ‘Country Area’ green and carries the London Transport fleetname. It is an AEC Regal IV with Park Royal B40F body, new as an AEC Demonstrator in 1949. Neither the Jenkinson list of 1978 nor the PSVC list of 2012 gives it a model number. It now forms part of the collection at Brooklands, where we see it (newly restored) on 13 April 2014.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

10/02/17 – 07:04

Looking through the driver’s windscreen this bus seems to have the later control binnacle beneath the steering wheel as produced for the Regent V/Reliance from around 1960. It also looks to have the Monocontrol semi-auto gearchange on the side of it. Was this original or has it been modified at some stage?

Philip Halstead

10/02/17 – 07:05

When this vehicle was constructed in 1949 the maximum permissible length for a single decker was 27ft 6ins. This one and its left hand drive counterpart, together with the 25 private hire examples of the LT RF class were the only Regal IVs built to that length. After serving as a demonstrator with London Transport at St Albans, and then with others including SMT, UMP 227 went back to AEC as a works hack, where it managed to survive into preservation. The bodywork styling is clearly related to the immediate pre war LT Chiswick and Park Royal built buses of the Q, TF and CR classes.

Roger Cox

According to Alan Townsin’s book ‘Blue Triangle’, there were two Regal IV prototypes – as Roger has mentioned – both with Park Royal bodies. UMP 227 was finished in green livery as seen in Pete’s photo, and the other – a left hand drive version – wore a blue livery and went to Holland for a time before returning and being sold around the mid-1950s. (Sadly where it ended up is not stated). The author states that the prototypes "had chassis numbers in the U series of numbers used for experimental parts, a practice that became usual for subsequent prototypes or experimental vehicles, though the production type numbers were 9821E and 9831E for right and left hand versions". UMP 227’s chassis number is given as U135974, but that of the left hand drive prototype is not mentioned.
Philip, the same source describes the Regal IV as having a "horizontal A219 version of the 9.6 litre engine and air-operated preselective gearbox, and air pressure brake operation". I would hazard a guess – a foolish thing to do on this well-informed website I know! – that the ‘Monocontrol’ semi-automatic gearchange binnacle you mention may well have been fitted during UMP’s subsequent life as an AEC Experimental Department hack.

Brendan Smith

11/02/17 – 06:38

Philip, I’ve just had a look on the London Bus Museum website, which states that UMP227 was "originally fitted with air-operated pre-select gearbox, later fitted with mono control (sic) with overdrive on 3rd and 4th gears". Well spotted that man!

Brendan Smith

11/02/17 – 06:39

UMP 227 does indeed have Monocontrol transmission.

Mark Evans

12/02/17 – 07:14

Regarding the second prototype fitted out as left hand drive I have a very vague recollection of seeing a photo somewhere, I know not where, of it being used as a roadside café somewhere in the south of England.
I am probably totally wrong and having a senior moment if so I apologise in advance.

Diesel Dave

12/02/17 – 07:17

I see distinct similarities to the 1950 AEC Regal IV/Park Royal demonstrator VMK 271, which ended up on the Isle of Man as Douglas Corporation no. 31.


19/02/17 – 07:34

In Gavin Booth’s book "British Buses In Colour" (Ian Allen 1996) there is a picture of Douglas Corporation No. 31, NMN 355 mentioned by Petras409. As he suggests, this was VMK 271, the other 27ft 6in Regal IV AEC demonstrator dating from 1950, originally built with left hand drive. It passed to the Isle of Man in 1951 and stayed there until 1974 when it was sold to Manx Metals for scrapping. A working life of 24 years is pretty good for a prototype, and testifies to the rugged reliability of the Regal IV, borne out by the long lives of the members of the LT RF class.

Roger Cox

29/05/18 – 06:41

The LHD prototype Regal IV did indeed finish up as a roadside café in the 1950’s, at Hindhead Surrey in a wooded car park just off the A3. My family regularly stopped there for refreshments at my insistence to look at a bus so different to anything else around. Suddenly one day it had gone, a sad day for a (then) youngster!

Peter Burton


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Hampson (Oswestry) – AEC Regal IV – LUC 213

Hampson (Oswestry) - AEC Regal IV - LUC 213

Hampson of Oswestry
AEC Regal IV
Metro-Cammell B35F

"Yes, Jim, she is an RF, but not as we know them," as ‘Startrek’s’ Mr Spock might say. This AEC Regal IV of the normal RF specification has a Metropolitan Cammell B35F body and is seen in the livery of a later owner, Hampson’s of Oswestry, at Dunsfold on 10 April 2011, another of the rare occasions when ‘Wisley’ wasn’t at Wisley, before moving to Brooklands.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

17/04/16 – 06:52

Pete, I wouldn’t regard this as being a "normal" RF. This was one of 25 "Private Hire" RFs, the major differences between this and the standard RF being a length of 27’6" to the 30’0" length of the Standard RF and glazing in the roof.

David Revis

18/04/16 – 06:08

I always thought these stubby creatures looked somewhat unbalanced, compared with their grown-up cousins!

Chris Hebbron

18/04/16 – 07:12

LUC 208

LUC 225

Here are two in service with London Transport LUC 208 RF8 and LUC 225 RF25.


18/04/16 – 17:59

OOPS! Sorry, folks, but I hadn’t realised that, apart from the roof glazing, the dimensions of these vehicles were any different. I had always thought they were of normal length but with more legroom for the sightseeing public. There is a view of an RFW somewhere in the queue, another factoer in my description of ‘normal’ specification!

Pete Davies

18/04/16 – 17:59

At 27’6" long and 7′ 6" wide with only 35 seats and an unladen weight around eight tons (about the same as a 53-seat Leopard) these were not in high demand when withdrawn in the early 1960s, however two other firms who took to them Garelochhead Coach Service and Premier Travel, both of whom had narrow roads to serve. Both Mr Lainson and Mr Foy were also known to drive hard bargains.

Stephen Allcroft

18/04/16 – 17:59

LUC 213 survives in preservation with Wealdsman Preservation Group, Headcorn they are also listed as having LUC 212 & 216. Other survivors of the ‘Lucys’ as they were nicknamed are LUC 204, 210, & 219. 220 is also listed as a spares donor with Penfold of Meldreth, Cambs but may have been broken up by now since he sold LUC 204 to Dawes of Headcorn circa 2013.
Premier Travel of Cambridge bought& operated 8 of the LUC’s from LT in 1964 they were LUC 202/3/4, 206/7/8/9 & 211.

John Wakefield

20/04/16 – 11:17

The Garelochhead ones (courtesy Andrew Shirley’s GCS Bromley Garage website) were LUC214,215 and 224 numbered 39-41.

Stephen Allcroft

23/04/16 – 06:33

These private hire RFs were ordered before the legal maximum length was increased in 1950 to 30 feet. When the new limit became effective, it was too late to change the dimensions of the first twenty-five machines then under construction, and these, together with the Park Royal prototype UMP 227, became the only short wheelbase 27ft 6ins long Regal IVs ever produced. LTE quickly amended the specification for the subsequent six hundred and seventy-five RF deliveries. The short RFs were all withdrawn by LT during 1963, whereas the thirty footers ran on reliably for upwards of ten more years. The registration letters ‘LUC’ were carried by many members of the RFW, RT and RTL classes as well as the short RFs, and the name ‘Lucy’ was never applied in London service.

Roger Cox

23/04/16 – 13:27

Roger, I am quite relieved by your confirmation that "Lucy" was never used by LT staff. As a member of LT’s Bus schedules office at 55 Broadway in the late 1960’s and early 70’s I was surrounded by any number of feral bus enthusiasts and I’m sure that if that expression had been used I would have heard of it.

David Revis

23/04/16 – 17:47

The reason for their withdrawal in 1963 was a dire shortage of drivers at that time and the consequent need to concentrate manpower/overtime on keeping normal services going, causing LTE to abandon private hire work.

Chris Hebbron

24/04/16 – 07:05

David, I was a schedules compiler at Reigate at about the same time. We can preen ourselves on our skills in producing efficient duty schedules within the very tight constraints of the T&GWU agreements then prevailing. As an expatriate Croydonian in East Anglia, I don’t know about the current situation in London, but the present day schedules of the provincial big groups, unfettered by such agreements, are kids’ play to compile, and often inefficient into the bargain.

Roger Cox

01/11/17 – 07:14

I have read that the last ten of these 27 foot 6 inch long vehicles were modified to Green Line standards receiving route board brackets and overhead luggage racks. Quite when this was done I don’t recall.

Mike Beard

02/11/17 – 06:36

This vehicle is now back on the road having been repainted in original livery and mechanicals serviced as part of the Quantock Heritage Fleet.

Roger Burdett


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British European Airways – AEC Regal IV – NLP 645 – 1035

British European Airways - AEC Regal IV - NLP 645 - 1035

British European Airways
AEC Regal IV 9822E
Park Royal RDP37C

NLP 645 is an AEC Regal IV 9822E with Park Royal bodywork, new to BEA in 1953. The bodywork is described in different sources as HDC or RDC. The 2012 PSVC listing has her as RDP37C, which is a bit different! We see her during one of the infuriatingly rare open days at the Science Museum Annex, Wroughton, on 12 July 1986.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

07/04/16 – 15:00

RDP37C is the correct code – these were essentially observation coaches, but with a continuous roof-line and poorer quality "DP" style seats and interior trim. The "HD" code applied to Crellin-Duplex "half-deckers" such as the prototype which can be found on the "Ugly Bus" part of this website.

Neville Mercer

08/04/16 – 06:18

BLOTW. Under more shows 3 photos in Everyone’s photos of NLP 645 being with BEA until 1966-67 1 of the 3 photos shows coach went to the London perfume and soap house Yardleys whom were then based in Basildon Essex. NPL 641 also went to them they are seen as a pair in first of the 3 photos. It is later seen in preservation.

Alan Coulson

08/04/16 – 06:19

Thanks, Neville. These pages have carried a fair amount of debate about what is or is not a DP

Pete Davies

08/04/16 – 15:40

Manchester’s Burlingham bodied airport vehicles were always classified as "RC" by the PSV Circle, even though the level of comfort and trim was almost identical to the "RDP" London machines. I don’t think that there was any hard and fast policy- the use of the DP prefix was left to the discretion of the individual editor in the PSV Circle chain. In the case of North Western, for example, somebody at the Circle decided that the Weymann and Willowbrook 30′ DPs (the "Black Tops") were DPs despite their relatively bus-like seating and seat-pitch. The Alexander bodied 30′ Reliances of 1961 on the other hand were often described as "C41F", even though they consisted of coach interiors in a bus shell. Later in their lives (when repainted half-and-half) they were sometimes described as DP41F even though nothing had changed except their livery. I’m always very careful when I use a "DP" prefix- it’s essentially meaningless unless you go on to specify the exact configuration.

Neville Mercer

23/04/16 – 06:35

MLL 747

The contract to run and maintain the BEA transfer coaches between central London and the surrounding airports was held by London Transport. When the Commer Commando 18 seater observation coach fleet became due for replacement, LT convinced BEA to adopt a variant of its standard RF Regal IV saloon, albeit with a Park Royal rather than a Metro-Cammell body. The new fleet began arriving from 1952, and was classified 4RF4 by LT. In their earlier years, they saw sporadic use, some being stored in the winter months, but as air travel became more and more popular, so the BEA fleet saw increasingly heavier service. They soldiered on reliably until 1966/7 when they were replaced by front entrance Routemasters with luggage trailers. MLL 747, one of the 1953 deliveries, was withdrawn in 1967 and passed to Continental Pioneer, in whose ownership it is seen here on the A23 at Southgate, Crawley during the May 1970 HCVC Brighton Run. In May 1972 it was sold to Scout Groups in Brighton and Hove, and its subsequent fate is unclear.

Roger Cox

11/04/17 – 07:23

MLL 747 was sold to the 20th Brighton Scout troop. The Scout troop took it to summer camp at the Olympic Games in Munich 1972, I was one of the scouts. The huge luggage space came into good use. It was used to take the Scout troop to other summer camps, I remember at least one in the West Country. The coach was later sold and the troop bought a Harrington bodied coach I think a Grenadier from Unique Coaches of Brighton. A couple of photos of it in Brighton https://flic.kr/p/9nk4AM  – https://flic.kr/p/9oi6N7

Andy Gibbs

11/04/17 – 17:31

Although Roger mentions The vehicles running from Central London, the BEA ones, at least, ran from the West London Air Terminal in Kensington, to Heathrow. Here’s a link to an item about it: https://rbkclocalstudies.
The item mentions that, coming in, you could go to Central London, via the Terminal and presumably, you could pick up the vehicles in Cnetral London, too, but where?
Did the vehicles and terminal also deal with BOAC?

Chris Hebbron

07/01/19 – 07:18

Chris, as you may have found out, Ian’s Bus stop is pretty good at summarising the 4RF4 operations. The WLAT I think was only BEA – then BA per the K&C local studies link.
BOAC used their own Leyland Atlanteans from the Victoria Air Terminal (now the National Audit Office) which I think were garaged in the Heathrow area.

Ian London

09/01/19 – 06:37

To add a little to your second paragraph, Ian, the Victoria Air Terminal could well be that which was used before the war, serving the same purpose for Croydon Airport.

Chris Hebbron

10/01/19 – 06:24

The present National Audit Office was originally the Imperial Airways London Terminal, opened in 1939 to serve Croydon Airport. The war then intervened, and, with the resumption of peace, Heathrow became the airport for London, and BOAC the major carrier beyond Europe.

Roger Cox

12/01/19 – 07:04

Thx for confirming my thoughts, Roger. It must have been almost the last flourish of Art Deco architecture and duly awarded the name of the Empire Air Terminal. My favourite is the Daily Express building in Manchester, renovated not many years ago and truly beautiful, not a word I use lightly!

Chris Hebbron


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 10th July 2020