Old Bus Photos

London Transport – AEC Regent II – HGC 225 – STL2692

London Transport - AEC Regent II - HGC 225 - STL2692

London Transport
AEC Regent II
Weymann H30/26R

HGC 225 is an AEC Regent II with Weymann H56R body, and it dates from 1946. It wears Country Area green in this view, and the fleet number STL2692. Allowing for the London method of bus overhauls, how many chassis and bodies have worn this fleet number over the years? It is on Itchen Bridge, while taking part in the Southampton city transport centenary rally on 6 May 1979.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

19/03/17 – 10:49

"How many chassis and bodies have worn this fleet number over the years?" The answer is, just this one. These post war STL Regents didn’t last long enough with LT to pass through the Aldenham works, which only became fully operational in 1956. These buses were sold off by LT in 1955 as deliveries of the RT type became an embarrassment to the point where many new ones, together with others of the RTL class, were put straight into store upon receipt from the manufacturers. Some of these light STLs were used in 1954 on the 327 route at Hertford which traversed a weak bridge, but they were replaced in the following year by "pre war" (actually wartime) RTs which were less heavy than their post war cousins. This allowed the entire class of post war STLs to be sold to the dealer North of Leeds in July/August 1955. They soon found new owners with Dundee, Grimsby and Widnes corporations where they gave sterling service for upwards of six more years. STL 2692 went to Grimsby who got twelve years out of it before withdrawing it early in 1968.

Roger Cox

21/03/17 – 06:19

Thanks, Roger!

Pete Davies

21/03/17 – 06:20

Roger, do you happen to know if one of the municipalities you mention, perhaps Grimsby, changed the gearboxes in their examples from crash to pre-select?
I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere!

Chris Barker

21/03/17 – 08:45

Chris B – I hadn’t heard of this procedure, but if it did take place in Grimsby you have to wonder why go to such expense in a town which I assume is "as flat as a pancake" and driving a bus with a traditional transmission should surely present no problems.

Chris Youhill

21/03/17 – 15:55

Chris and Chris – I can find no record of any of these former LT STLs undergoing a gearbox change from crash to preselector, but, if true, the most likely candidate amongst the subsequent owners must surely be Dundee which had a fleet of Daimlers and AEC Regent III at that time. Do we have a Dundee expert on OBP? The Grimsby situation should be easily determined by an examination of HGC 225 itself.

Roger Cox

22/03/17 – 06:08

One of my wife’s friends lives in Grimsby. I’ll check and find out in respect of the pancakes . . .

Wife’s friend has been consulted. Grimsby is largely flat with bumps, but Cleethorpes is generally hilly with flat bits.

Pete Davies

22/03/17 – 06:10

I think I travelled on all of Grimsby’s ex-STLs (nos. 42-47 of which HGC225 was 47. 43 was HGC222 and 46 HGC219 – don’t know the others). I am sure that none were changed to pre-selectors. However there were four (I think) ex-Sheffield Regents – nos. 41 and 48-50 (?) with registrations in the KWE250 series. These had more or less identical Weymann bodies, and were pre-selectors from new. They were visually identifiable by the deeper windscreen. I’m away from home at the moment, so this is all from memory plus one or two snippets I have filed on here!

And then I realised…one of the Sheffield transfers featured in David Careless’s post in June 2013, and I responded at the time thus : "The transfers became Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport numbers 41 (KWE 258), 48 (KWE 251), 49 (KWE 252) and 50 (KWE 254). The intervening numbers 42-47 were occupied by similarly Weymann-bodied Regent IIs ex London Transport (HGC 233, 222, 227, 228, 219 and 225 respectively)."

Stephen Ford

22/03/17 – 06:11

As a one-tome Grimbarian, I remember STL2692 as Grimsby No. 47, bought in 1955 with five other STLs to replace trolleybuses on the 10 route. Dundee was the only buyer of this batch of STLs to convert them to preselector gearboxes. HGC 225 served her initial Grimsby years in a crimson lake and cream livery, after the 1957 combination of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes operations, her colours were various permutations of blue and cream.

Mark Evans

12/01/19 – 08:25

As conjectured earlier, it was for the Dundee tram-replacement fleet that some of these London Transport Regent II were converted to pre-selector transmission. A Buses Extra article detailed the changes. I believe all the gearboxes were reconditioned, previously fitted to pre-war Dundee buses in process of withdrawal.

Stephen Allcroft

15/01/19 – 06:55

Thanks, Stephen A for the information, so it was Dundee who swapped the gearboxes for pre-selectors. I understand the post-war O661 Regent II was not offered with such a gearbox but the pre-war model (just Regent, not Regent I) was. I believe the gear selection was by means of a conventional type gear stick which rose from the floor rather than a steering column mounted unit although I’m not sure if this was universal.
Stephen says the gearboxes were reconditioned units salvaged from pre-war buses. It would be interesting to know which method of selection was employed, whichever it was, it made Dundee’s conversions unique as Regent IIs.

Chris Barker

16/01/19 – 07:19

My recollection of all the London Transport pre-war pre-selective buses (I regard the first RT’s as being Wartime) I travelled on as having conventional floor-mounted gearlevers.
I never came across a pre-war Daimler CO bus, but imagine that they would have had the simpler type of steering column lever which the CW types did in the war.

Chris Hebbron

18/01/19 – 06:34

My CO bus has the same lever set-up as CW

Roger Burdett

19/01/19 – 06:24

Thx, Roger B.
"Why change something so simple?" might well have been Daimler’s attitude and it certainly continued with their CV’s.
I had a neighbour when I lived at Morden, in Daimlerland, who’d worked both at both Putney and Merton Garages and felt that Daimler’s simple gearchange was preferable to the RT’s one.

Chris Hebbron

20/01/19 – 06:57

The later Daimler CVs (e.g. Derby Corporation’s fleet of CVG6s and no doubt many others) had an H-gate selector, similar to the AEC set-up, on the left side of the steering column (as opposed to the earlier quadrant type selector mounted on the right).

Stephen Ford

20/01/19 – 06:58

The quadrant type of gear selector used on Daimler’s CO, CW and early CV series was the same as on Daimler cars. The CV changed to the AEC type around 1953-5.

Peter Williamson

21/01/19 – 07:12

The preselector version of the Guy Arab had a floor mounted gear lever; Guy built its own preselector gearbox.

Roger Cox

24/08/22 – 06:36

I remember these 10 STLs arriving in Dundee country area green along with 30 Cravens-bodied RTs for tram replacement. The RTs with roofbox route number displays were instantly recognisable and were known locally as ‘London Buses’. Their moquette upholstery in place of the leather on the indigenous buses was also a recognition point once you were aboard. But the STLs looked so similar to the home-grown variety that none of my schoolmates would believe me that they were ex-LT. Their HGC series registrations made it obvious, but that convinced no-one! Very frustrating.


26/08/22 – 05:57

My only experience and sight of one was on Epsom Day in about 1950/51, when I took a ride back to Morden on one. It was the newest bus I saw that day, among all the other almost forgotten museum pieces raked out from dusty corners of garages. And a long way from its home garage in Hertfordshire!
It was also the only AEC I travelled on with this Weymann’s bodywork: the others all being Leylands.

Chris Hebbron

29/08/22 – 06:30

A caption in ABC London Transport Buses either 1961 or 1962 (I’m not sure but it was at the time when only a few trolleybuses were still in service) stated that London Transport took delivery of provincial Regents and for convenience designated them as STL’s. Maybe a reader still has copy of the book and could give more information.

Andy Hemming

25/09/22 – 06:35

HGC 225_2

Here is a shot taken on an HCVC Brighton Rally in the early 1970s of HGC 225 as No.47 in the livery of Grimsby-Cleethorpes Joint Transport Committee.

Roger Cox

29/09/22 – 06:09

Thanks for that, Roger. I wonder if she’s still around. That’s a strange roof layout – anyone know the reason for it?

Chris Hebbron

30/09/22 – 05:43

I know NGT had some of these, three I think, and NGT’s depot at Percy Main had 29.
That was out of a fleet of 105 vehicles, which included 12 coaches, and 6 single deckers, so over a third of the D/D fleet.
They were all delivered between 1945 & 1948, and were withdrawn between 1958 & 1960.
They all had 0661 engines, and all had crash boxes.

Ronnie Hoye

30/09/22 – 05:49

Chris H, I may be wrong but I believe the strange roof layout, not normally seen, was simply because the framework was on the outside of the single skin roof. I have vague recollections of riding on Midland General’s Weymann bodied Regent IIIs and remember seeing the exposed framework of the side panels from the interior. I’m not saying the bodies were meant to be lightweight at all but I’m pretty sure most of the panelling was single skinned.

Chris Barker

01/10/22 – 05:32

Sorry about the typo in my post chaps and chaperones.
It should have been NCT (Newcastle) had three and not NGT written twice.

Re the unusual roof.
The 29 in the Tynemouth & Wakefields fleet at Percy Main came in two batches. If memory serves, the first were the same as the one in the photo, with the frame on the outside, but the next batch (two years on) were double skinned.
This was just after the war, and my feeling is that he exposed frame may have been due to material shortages rather than weight saving.

Ronnie Hoye


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Wakefields Motors – AEC Regent II – FT 6156 – 156

Wakefields Motors - AEC Regent II - FT 6156 - 156

Wakefields Motors
AEC Regent II
Weymann H30/26R

Having completed its journey, 156 is seen here turning round at Whitley Bay Bandstand before returning to North Shields Ferry Landing. The service 8 was known to crews as ‘the track’ because it followed the exact route of the Tynemouth and District trams. The AEC Regent II chassis was well built, rugged and reliable, and was available in two options, take it or leave it. The engine was a 7.7 litre diesel, and the transmission was a 4-speed sliding mesh gearbox with friction clutch. It was an entirely different matter when it came to choice of body. NGT Percy Main depot opted for the H30/26R Weymann. This is one of twenty nine of the type delivered to them between 1947 & 48; the 1947 intake were FT 5698 to 5712, 128/142, and 1948 were FT 6143 to 6156; 143/156; they were all ‘Tynemouth’ apart from 141 – 142 & 156 which carried the Wakefields name. The first vehicles to carry this style of livery layout were the 1958 Orion bodied PD3/4’s, so the photo is after that date, but just look at the collection of coaches in the background.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

10/11/14 – 06:58

Good to see a Regent II. I used to take them for granted in Reading, where they were the mainstay of the motorbus fleet from 1947 to 64, but they seem rare today. Was the choice of 5 bays a matter of date, of chassis design or of operator’s choice?

Ian T

10/11/14 – 08:23

According to "Weymann Part 2", these were delivered (due to shortages) without destination blinds and with metal panelling covering the "empty holes".

David Oldfield

10/11/14 – 11:47

I think that the matter of 4- or 5-bay bodywork is a matter of date. The 5-bay was standard in the immediate post-war years, on AEC and other makes. I am fairly sure I read somewhere that Weymann re-designed the body as four-bay for the AEC Regent III chassis, but did not build it on other makes/types, at least initially. Perhaps those with access to the "Weymann Part 2" book will find some detail, as my memory may be in "error mode" on this one.

Michael Hampton

10/11/14 – 13:31

Michael, I don’t know when the change came about, but Percy Main’s 1952 Guy Arab III’s ‘FT 7381/90 – 181/90 were four bay type. They were also P/M’s first 8ft wide D/D’s, and the first with sliding cab doors.

Ronnie Hoye

10/11/14 – 13:32

I think, originally, that AEC and the body-builders colluded to make a four bay body – but it relied on body fixing points. Guy and then Leyland eventually caught up by building chassis with compatible points and then Daimler. [Bristol was obviously a different case.] What was more interesting was the reversion to five short bays with the appalling early Orions.

David Oldfield

14/11/14 – 14:56

What was the difference between a Regent II & III’s. We had Regent III’s in Sheffield around the same year. They had pre selector gearboxes though.

Andy Fisher

15/11/14 – 05:41

AEC Regent. Mark I, II and III.
AEC Regent 661 petrol engine was built from 1929-1942, powered by an AEC A145 7.4 litre engine, many of the early examples had the open staircase later enclosed and the typical 30 seats over 26 seat layout became the standard design on a 27 foot long by 7 feet 6 inch wide chassis with over 7000 built.
AEC Regent Mk II 661/O661 was developed in the late 1930’s at 27 feet 6 inches by 7 feet 6 inches with the A173, 7.7 litre 6 cylinder diesel oil engine, resulting in the London Transport RT 1-151, the Regent II was curtailed during the second world war but recommenced after the war with only 700 built.
After the war AEC with London Passenger Transport Board had developed the AEC Regent III O961 with the more powerful AEC 9.6 litre engine. 8261 were built over the next 10 years, most of these were the iconic RT for London Transport.

Ron Mesure

15/11/14 – 05:42

The Regent II had a 7.7 litre engine, sliding mesh gearbox and vacuum brakes. The Regent III was its successor, and could be supplied with the same spec, in which case there was very little difference between the two. Most Regent IIIs however had the 9.6 litre engine, and many of these had air brakes and air-operated preselector gearboxes (especially in Yorkshire!). In this form the Regent III was a development of the London RT type which had its origins just before the war.

Peter Williamson

14/12/18 – 06:24

I have only just noticed that four years ago Ron Mesure attempted to give a fuller and more detailed answer to Andy Fisher’s question than mine. Unfortunately this is mainly incorrect.
Firstly, the petrol engines used in the Regent 661 were of 6.1 litre capacity, the 7.4 litre A145 being reserved for the three-axle Renown. Diesel engines included an 8.8 litre and a 6.6 litre unit as well as a couple of Gardners (rarely fitted).
Secondly, the version with the 7.7 litre engine was not called Regent II before the war and did not include RT1-151, which used a 9.6 litre engine like all subsequent RTs. Although designated as O661 and built before the Regent II was introduced, RT1-151 (and an odd similar chassis for Glasgow) are now regarded as the first Regent IIIs.
Thirdly, the lengths quoted are incorrect, as the maximum length of a two-axle double decker was 26 feet until 1950.

Peter Williamson


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Tynemouth and District – AEC Regent II – FT 6152 – 152

Tynemouth and District - AEC Regent II - FT 6152 - 152

Tynemouth and District
AEC Regent II
Weymann H30/26R

After the Intake of early 1940, no more vehicles arrived at Percy Main until 1946, in the meantime, seven vehicles were transferred to other Northern General Transport depots, eight more were requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport. A total of 15 from a fleet of around 110 was a sizable chunk. For a while, spares availability became a problem, so it was not uncommon for vehicles awaiting parts to be cannibalised to keep others going. The first post war intake arrived in 1946 in the form of five H30/26R Northern Counties bodied 5GLW Guy Arab III’s. However, as has been mentioned before, Northern General Transport allowed its subsidiaries a degree of independence with vehicle choice and spec, so it was not long before Percy Main reverted to AEC.
Between 1947/8 they took delivery of 29, H30/26R Weymann bodied Regent II’s, which at that time amounted to roughly a quarter of the fleet. The first batch delivered in 1947 were FT 5698 to 5712 and numbered 128 to 142, the 1948 intake were FT 6143 to 6156, numbered 143 to 156. 141-142 & 156 carried the Wakefields name but were otherwise identical. The Regent II chassis had a 7.7 Litre diesel engine, four- speed sliding mesh gearbox and friction clutch, buying wasn’t complicated, it was bog standard with no other options available, so it came down to a straightforward decision of take it or leave it. Like most vehicles of the period, by today’s standards they were unrefined, but they were well built rugged and reliable, and demanded a degree of respect, anyone foolish enough to try to abuse them would generally find that the Regent was made of stern stuff. They also had one essential ingredient that modern vehicles don’t have, a conductor! As anyone who has ever worked a dual crew bus will tell you, conductors will be the first to complain if the ride is anything less than acceptable. The choice of body was a different matter with umpteen options on offer, Percy Main opted for Weymann, the build quality was top notch, and arguably one of the best looking bodies of the period. they were no strangers to it having bought similar vehicles in 1940: 152, was from the 1948 intake and is seen here in its original livery. By the time of its first repaint ‘about 1951’, the black lineout had been dropped and the fleet name was much smaller, but the gold coach lines were still in vogue. Note the flip down metal DUPLICATE plate under the overhang, apart from the later Routemasters; this was a standard fitting on all Northern General Transport group half cabs

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

28/07/14 – 07:57

It’s surprising how many Percy Main depot buses have appeared in model form. AEC Regent 135 (similar to the above photo) was issued by Corgi many years ago. They also issued Leyland Olympian 3593 from a later era. Britbus weighed in with Coastline Atlantean 3458. E.F.E. have been the most prolific with Leyland PD2 / Orion 230, AEC Renown as Tynemouth 333 and yellow Northern 3743, Atlantean / MCW yellow Northern 3194 as well as yellow Northern National 4444 and Coastline Wright Low Floor 4769. Quite an impressive representation really for one depot.

Keith Bruce

26/10/15 – 16:17

A query about this photo is the location. Looking at it, it could be Park Road, Whitley Bay. The area behind the bus was originally occupied by Whitley Park Hall. This later became a hotel, and part of the grounds became the Spanish City. The hotel closed and was demolished in the thirties. In the mid sixties, a new library was built on the site replacing the previous library which was located at the United bus station.
All this has now gone. The Spanish city has been replaced by a new school, while the library has been relocated nearer the town centre. Park Road itself has since the late sixties been a one way street in the opposite direction to which the bus is travelling.
None of this is relevant to the bus, but part of the fascination of old bus photos is seeing how much has changed – not just the buses, but the surroundings.

John Gibson

27/10/15 – 06:32

It could be Park Road, Whitley Bay, very close to the junction with Park Avenue.

Paul Robson

27/10/15 – 06:34

John, as you say, the photo was taken a long time ago, so everything may have changed. However, my guess would be that the bus is heading west along Linskill Terrace opposite the golf course, and the trees are in Northumberland Park

Ronnie Hoye

28/10/15 – 07:00

Linskill Terrace, Tynemouth, is another possibility. However the curve in the road there occurs at the north end of Washington Terrace and you would expect to see behind the bus some of the Edwardian-era houses between Washington Terrace and Park Avenue.

Paul Robson

28/10/15 – 07:01

When I first saw this photo, I was not too certain of it’s location. The photo as reproduced here has been somewhat cropped, but the bends in the road which can be seen more clearly in the original seem to match those on Park Road. There are also buildings in the distance which look to be those between Marine Avenue and the Spanish City. As Paul Robson says, it looks as if it was taken close to the junction with Park Avenue. I would agree however that it could be elsewhere and Ronnies suggestion of Linskill Terrace is certainly a possibility.
Regarding Keith Bruce’s comments about models of Tynemouth vehicles, the E.F.E. model of 230 is a nice model, but it should be a PD3, not a PD2.

John Gibson

29/10/15 – 06:35

Having looked at this again, I think we could all be wrong. It could well be Wallsend Road, at the foot of Balkwell Avenue, opposite the Pineapple Pub. The trees would then be in the grounds of St Joseph’s R.C. school. The present church was built in the late 50’s or early 60’s, which would be after this photo was taken, and the area on the bend where the stone wall is now has a low brick wall which is at the edge of the car park.

Ronnie Hoye

01/07/22 – 06:03

Definitely Park Road, almost at Park Avenue junction. The park is Whitley Park, and the parkkeeper’s house is behind the stone wall – his son was a friend of my brother. The distant bend is indeed the Spanish City funfair location.Service 4 Gateshead was renumbered Service 1 Gateshead Lobley Hill Moorfoot subsequently.

Conrad Smith


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 2nd December 2023