Old Bus Photos

Lowestoft Corporation – AEC Regent II – GBJ 192 -21

Lowestoft Corporation - AEC Regent II - GBJ 192 - 21

Lowestoft Corporation
AEC Regent II
ECW H30/26R

Preserved Lowestoft Corporation 21, GBJ 192, a 1947 AEC Regent II with an ECW H30/26R body seen at East Anglia Transport Museum. More information about Lowestoft Corporation Transport can be found at www.petergould.co.uk/lowestoft1.htm

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

09/02/14 – 11:38

Nice view, Ken. Thanks for posting. Of course, we’d expect Lowestoft to support the local firm, wouldn’t we. The application of the livery is reminiscent of Newport who, until not long ago had a green and cream version and it’s reminiscent of the Dinky Toys STL.

Pete Davies

09/02/14 – 11:39

Beautiful picture of a beautiful bus. Just think of what we were deprived of by the Transport Act. ECW bodied AECs from 1948 to 1965 – not to mention Roe or Weymann bodied Bristols.

David Oldfield

09/02/14 – 16:35

I Remember traveling on this bus up the Norwich Rd when in my teens plus other routes in Lowestoft.
Bad day when the corporation buses were taken over by the double n people.


10/02/14 – 07:54

I’ve just read the article at the link above – what went wrong at Lowestoft/Waveney? In the late 1960s it seems Lowestoft Corporation considered selling the bus undertaking to ECOC, but finding the offer unacceptable then proposed route extensions . . . but lost-out in the traffic courts to ECOC. In April 1974 a joint services agreement with ECOC was reached . . . which was dissolved in March 1976, when most of the services reverted to ECOC. Seemingly reduced to being a one-route operator Waveney DC threw in the towel in December 1977 and sold the undertaking on to ECOC.
I have a Lowestoft Setright ticket from the days of Waveney DC, which is titled "Lowestoft Passenger Transport – Waveney DC Lowestoft…etc" (in black). Did Lowestoft vehicles wear this livery (with traditional lettering) to the end? and what changed when it became Waveney??

Philip Rushworth

10/02/14 – 07:56

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen another ECW body like this one – it seems to have more than a touch of the Park Royal about it. It’s certainly very stylish and it’s fortunate that it’s been preserved.

Chris Hebbron

10/02/14 – 09:51

Maybe just the angle, Chris, but it’s the standard body for the time as found on numerous Bristol Ks and Chris Y’s favourite PD1As. It also appeared briefly as a Northern Coachbuilders’ body – as in the Newcastle Regent III. The livery not being a Tilling standard makes a lot of difference!

David Oldfield

10/02/14 – 15:02

There’s always been something of a mystery about these vehicles, there were ten of them, the only AEC Regent II’s bodied by ECW. Lowestoft had nine of them, the tenth went to Ebor Transport of Mansfield and was registered HAL 841. Nine would seem an odd quantity for Lowestoft to order and it seems equally unlikely that Ebor would have chosen ECW to body an odd Regent. I’ve always thought they must have been one batch so did Lowestoft order ten and then decide they only needed nine? Perhaps we will never know now. Incidentally, HAL 841 entered ‘Tilling’ ownership when Ebor was taken over by Mansfield District.

Chris Barker

11/02/14 – 07:10

Chris B, Messrs Doggett and Townsin’s Book ‘ECW 1946-1965’ mentions the nine ECW-bodied Regent IIs for Lowestoft and that "a tenth body of similar design was built on the same type of chassis for the Ebor Bus Co Ltd". The text also states that the Lowestoft vehicles had body numbers 1579-1587, with the Ebor body directly following (1588). It does seem odd as you say, that the independent Ebor asked ECW to body one chassis, but the authors also mention that another independent took delivery of six ECW-bodied Leyland Tiger PS1 buses in 1946/47, namely Birch Bros of London. David O’s comments about the Transport Act depriving us of some fascinating chassis/body combinations certainly rings true. Just imagine a Roe-bodied Lodekka, or ECW-bodied Daimler CVG6….

Brendan Smith

11/02/14 – 17:40

But we did get ECW bodied Leyland PD2s and Leyland Leopard L1s for Sheffield Joint Omnibus Committee and Bristol LSs and MWs with Alexander bodies for Western S.M.T. Also rebodied Bristol Ks with Weymann bodies for Maidstone and District.

Stephen Bloomfield

12/02/14 – 06:55

Thanks Stephen, that’s very true, and how could such gems have slipped my mind? (Especially as the Sheffield examples are shown on this very website!) On the same tack Rotherham had batches of East Lancs-bodied Bristol K and KS types. ECW bodied Albions for Red & White, and Guy Arab IIIs for Middlesbrough, as well as Leyland Royal Tigers for United (coaches) and Cumberland (buses). One tends to forget just how many advance orders had been placed with both Bristol and ECW for delivery after the nationalisation watershed of 1948.

Brendan Smith

13/02/14 – 08:09

West Yorkshire also had a batch of prewar Bristol k’s rebodied by Roe in 1953 of which KDG 26 (CWX 671) is still with us.

Keith Clark

13/02/14 – 09:54

PHN 801

Two none Bristol ECW bodied vehicles from the United fleet. Both are PSU1/15 Leyland Royal Tigers. LUT1; PHN 801 was one of nine C39F coaches bought in 1952 for the Tyne Tees Thames Newcastle London route: LU4; RHN 766 was from a batch of B45F service vehicles from 1953. I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened at Carlisle, but when LU4 was based there, the depot was run by United, some Darlington registered vehicles ended up in the Ribble fleet, and then I think all Carlisle operations became Cumberland. Perhaps someone can enlighten us?

Ronnie Hoye

14/02/14 – 06:42

Ronnie, So far as I am aware, United operations in Carlisle passed to Ribble when NBC was established. With the run-up to privatisation, Ribble was split, and the northern area passed to Cumberland, while the Liverpool area (did it include Southport?) went to a new firm reviving the old North Western name. Others may know otherwise!

Pete Davies

15/02/14 – 06:11

In the old days, when we were young, there was a lot of BET/Tilling overlap. There was also a lot of historical "baggage". United historically ran Leyland coaches – and continued to do so as long as possible. Cumberland had at least 50% private ownership and were a Leyland fleet – until Tilling came into the ascendency in the ’50s. Carlisle was given to Ribble by NBC in 1969/70. When Ribble and Cumberland came into common Stagecoach ownership, Cumbria went to Cumberland and Lancashire to Ribble.

David Oldfield

15/02/14 – 06:12

I know, I’m a bit behind the thread, but thanks to Ken Jones for posting the photo of Lowestoft Corporation No.21. As I’ve only just seen it on the website I must a rant as this bus is one of my favourite machines. Everything about it takes my breath away. The deep maroon and primrose livery which appears quite plain and Dinky 290’ish, which in itself is a lovely period half and half style, has thin black lining, then emblazoned along the lower panels is the large serif Corporaton fleetname. Inside, a lovely maroon chain-link style moquette covered the seats (see photograph). The Regent II/ECW combination always fascinated me and eventually I got a ride on this wonderful bus at the 2012 ECW 25 year Commemoration weekend.
I didn’t realise, until I read Malcom R. Whites "Lowestoft Corporation Transport- Bygone Town Services" (ISBN 0-9532485-9-3) book how the Corporations routes were severely restricted to basically north-south with loops on each end and have always wondered why they were not extended inland to places like Oulton Broad and Carlton Colville.
The Rotterdam Road bus depot building still survives, but now owned by an industrial concern.

Graham Watling

15/02/14 – 06:13

W Alexander & Sons had 12 Daimler CVD6s with ECW ‘Queen Mary’ coach bodies, complete with the Alexander Bluebird emblem. It doesn’t get more mouth-watering than that!

Peter Williamson

15/02/14 – 06:54

GBJ 192_2

GBJ 192_3

Just to support the latest thread on this marvellous bus a couple of photos one of the interior of lower deck and a rear view.

Graham Watling

15/02/14 – 10:47

This beautiful moquette pattern, but in blue and cream, was used by Roe in the two new bodies (lower saloons) fitted in 1951 to Samuel Ledgard’s two utility Guy Arabs. I always thought it to be a most appealing design, bold but tasteful.

Chris Youhill

15/02/14 – 13:39

Chris Y’s comments made me think of something else. The interior shot shows window pans more in the Roe mould than that found on standard Bristol/ECW vehicles. [Were there not overtures to ECW from both Roe and Roberts in the pre WW II years? There was certainly tooing and froing of major people between the likes of Roe, ECW, Park Royal and Weymann.]

David Oldfield

16/02/14 – 07:30

I’m a bit slow replying, David O, but you are right about the vehicle looking different when not in Tilling Green. SEE my post www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=4321  And the AEC rad also tends to fool the eye. Finally, the light upper colour diminishes the rather high front roofline which these highbridge bodies possessed. It’s a very satisfying body and livery.

Chris Hebbron

16/02/14 – 07:31

I only found out today whilst perusing the latest edition of Classic Bus that this style of 5 bay ECW body (albeit in lowbridge form) was fitted to a Daimler, a CWA6 which had been rebodied by one of the Scottish companies. You learn something new every day!

Chris Barker

19/06/14 – 09:26

Having done much work on this bus during its restoration , I can add that it is a standard ECW ‘K” body fitted to a Regent II chassis this is highlighted around the cab front end area when compared to the Bristol variant , either way it sits well unlike some body builders efforts , another issue that affected maintenance of these vehicles was the provision of the trapdoors in the cab for the starter motor was not ideally suitable and same with the gearbox lifting eye in the lower saloon was too offset to be of use. Another point of interest was the Ebor body no. was found on our example on some of the internal panels I can understand other body numbers being found from the Lowestoft batch because of salvage etc.

Peter Short

29/06/14 – 17:11

Graham Watling wonders why the Corporation never operated to Oulton Broad and similar. The answer lay in the licensing system whereby the traffic commissioners had to always give the licence for any new route to the "established operator". Thus because Eastern Counties was the first to provide services to Oulton Broad and Oulton, the corporation had no chance of obtaining a licence to operate to those points. The system produced utter farce at times, such as when the Corporation applied for a town centre to Hollingsworth Road service, it could not have a stop in the lower portion of Rotterdam Road because that might lead to abstraction from ECOC service 3, which did not serve the Gunton Estate!
To hell with the customer, the bus company interest came first, I know I was one of many who complained about the bad behaviour of ECOC to our local MP and the Department of Transport. The deregulation of buses was welcome, but unfortunately threw out the baby with the bath water, so that we lost local council fleets in many cases whilst happily getting rid of the NBC and PTEs.

These buses provided a source of pleasure to me from late 1966 when I moved to Lowestoft. Wonderful sound effects! I have an amusing incident concerning one of these lovely buses. I got on one at Station Square one evening after travelling from work at Norwich. The crew boarded, a short pause and communication between them followed, then the conductor asked the men in the lower saloon if we could give the bus a push as the starter motor was stuck. We duly obliged and the bus was soon under way. Happy days!
Perhaps Peter Short can answer a question about these buses. they are shown as Regent IIs but the chassis numbers all commence 0661, which of course is the Regent I So are these really Regent IIs?

Brian Moore

12/09/15 – 14:38

Brian Moore mentions the "push starting" at Station Square. Well in about 1969 a fellow passenger, the conductor and I had a similar "stuck" starter motor at the No 2 Gunton Drive/Gunton Drive terminus one cold morning when I was trying to get to the station. It was a bit of a push as the road there had ruts caused by the bus wheels always stopping in the same place….!
The conductor did not seem surprised. I think he said that bus 27 had a missing tooth on the starter wheel! I am so glad that one from that batch has been preserved

Christopher Boulter

GBJ 192 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

08/01/16 – 06:31

I have just overhauled and re fitted the rear axle on this and if this is any use Brian Moore the chassis number is 06611945 also the rear axle had so many part what no other Regent II had i:e parallel rollers instead of tapered roller bearing and the only explanation I can come up with is that AEC must of used up all the parts from Regent I as I believe these are very early regent II? so effectively it is just a Regent I underneath.
Also was number 27 an AEC Regent III?


03/04/19 – 08:45

In reply to Connor’s 08/01/16 question about number 27 which I believe was the bus with the missing starter tooth, it would have been from the same series ie 19-27 like number 21.
None had direction indicators which in the late 1960s caused much confusion with holidaymakers used to such modern extras as the drivers hand would only stick out about 10 inches from the cab window!
The 19-27 series was withdrawn around 1969 to be replaced by the Corporation’s first four front entrance/centre exit single deckers numbers 1-4.
Numbers 28 & 29 were of a later vintage and were around 1969 retrofitted with indicators!
I recall some early/mid 1960s AEC & Leyland double deckers too which had replaced some war/post war utility buses.

Christopher Boulter


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Tynemouth and District – AEC Regent II – FT 6153 – 153

Tynemouth and District – AEC Regent – FT 6153 – 153
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Tynemouth and District
AEC Regent II 
Weymann H30/28R

A pair of very handsome AEC Regents from the Northern General Tynemouth and District subsidiary. They are pictured at Whitley Bay Bandstand waiting to depart on the service 8 to North Shields Ferry Landing, they would follow exactly the same route as the tram service that ceased operation about 1931, not unsurprisingly it was know locally as ‘the track’.
If my records are correct, between 1947 and 1949 Percy Main took delivery of 37 Regents, all were H30/28R’s. The 1947/8 intake were all Weymann bodied, 15 in 1947 FT 5698/712 – 128/52; followed by a further 14 in 1948, FT 6143/56 – 143/56. In 1949, 21 vehicles joined the fleet, they consisted of 8 AEC Regent 111’s with Northern Coachbuilders bodies, FT 6557/64 – 157/64 the first two carried the Wakefields name, the remaining 13 were all Pickering bodied as were, 10 Guy Arab’s FT 6565/74 – 165/74 and three re bodied Regent 1’s of I think 1936 vintage – FT 4220/22 – 93/5, they had previously been Weymann forward entrance. By the time I started in 1967 all the Regents had gone, but I seem to think the Northern Coachbuilders batch went first. The Regents were the last AEC Double Deckers to be bought by Percy Main but they kept faith with AEC for coaches and single deckers.
As a footnote, in 1957 the three re bodied Regents were sold to Provincial as replacements for vehicles destroyed in a fire, the last one remained in service until 1963, by which time the chassis was 27 years old.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye


12/11/12 – 10:56

Strange how some things just work. This design was good when first introduced and just got better post war culminating in the superb four bay version. The interim (Aurora) still had character and style but the Orion never quite lived up to it’s predecessors. Like the Burlingham Seagull – "Follow that!" It’s not that easy.

David Oldfield


12/11/12 – 16:33

Can anyone tell me what type of gear control these vehicles used, manual or pre-select like the London Transport RT’s?

Norman Long


12/11/12 – 17:01

No options at all with the MkII Norman, AEC A173 7.7 litre (7.58) engine, four speed sliding mesh gearbox and vacuum assisted brakes.



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Midland Red – AEC Regent II – JHA 49 – 3148

 Midland Red - AEC Regent II - JHA 49 - 3148
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Midland Red (Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Co)
AEC Regent II
Brush H30/26R

This photograph of Midland Red buses at Stourbridge bus station in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, comes from my collection of postcards bought as an aide memoire of my early bus spotting holidays in the Hinckley area in the 1950s, when Midland Red (BMMO) was at the peak of their existence. The photographer is unknown, but the card is credited to the Midlands Omnibus Preservation Society, so perhaps someone may be able to gives us a name.
Midland Red was famous for its innovative bus designs. During a glorious period from 1938 until the mid-1960’s, BMMO introduced a stunning array of unique and efficient buses to serve their huge network of urban, suburban, inter-urban, country, express and tour operations. Ironically, their in-house activities eventually proved to be their downfall, as they couldn’t compete with commercial suppliers who eventually offered more economical (but less interesting) products.
3148 (JHA 49) was an AD2 – one of fifty AEC Regent II’s with Brush H30/26R bodies, delivered as late as 1948.  These had the distinctive body style which was a direct development of the 1945 BMMO-engined prototype (D1). Once BMMO’s in-house manufacturing capacity became free, following large-scale, underfloor-engined, single-deck chassis manufacture, they were able to build the D5 chassis which bore an 8-foot wide version of the AD2 body (the designations D3 and D4 were never used). 
3970 (OHA 970) was one of a large number of BMMO-engined S13’s from 1953 with DP40F bodies built by Carlyle, Brush and Nudd. It is wearing the distinctive red and black coach livery even though it is operating a local town service.
Just visible is the rear of one of the delightful, pre-war SOS FEDD’s (forward-entrance, double-decker).

Photograph and Copy contributed by Paul Haywood


02/05/12 – 17:25

Great to see my old Company featured, most of the articles feature the ‘Northerners’ and BMMO, the great innovators, largely ignored. With regard to Paul’s request the Birmingham Omnibus Preservation Society was formed by John A Searle and Paul Gray, the latter (I think) still has a connection with the late lamented ‘Aston Manor Museum’ which I am pleased to see has relocated after being so dreadfully treated by Birmingham City Council! "BOPS" was formed – in the early 70’s, ‘to purchase, or assist other suitable bodies to purchase, a small but representative selection of the remaining BMMO built vehicles’. I do hope Paul’s recollections spark many more memories of this unique operator and it’s many ground breaking PSV derivatives.

Nigel Edwards


03/05/12 – 09:06

Your comment, Nigel, struck a chord with me because, browsing through the site the other day, I too was struck by the absence of any Midland Red posting. Paul’s is the only one I’ve come across. BMMO were by far the largest provincial operator – about 3 times the size of the next largest company – so that’s odd, especially bearing in mind their extensive manufacturing activities.
I’ve sometimes wondered why BMMO vehicles never found their way to other, (particularly BET), companies. Was this deliberate Midland Red policy, was it lack of manufacturing capacity, (I think BMMOs were made in the old Bean factory), was it cost compared to alternatives, or were other operators just not interested?
Paul suggests that cost was a factor, and no doubt he’s right, but a larger market would have reduced unit costs and made BMMOs a more attractive proposition, surely? Considering how Bristol grew and flourished through Tilling support, were BMMO vehicles a lost opportunity? If they were as good as their fans claim, it might seem so.

Roy Burke


03/05/12 – 14:13

Don’t forget that Trent actually took a substantial fleet of SOS’s, but then went over to AEC Regals. I don’t know why, but BMMO just never "floated my boat". For one thing I never did like tin fronts. Mind you, I remember doing an aural double-take at Tamworth bus station one day, when one of these disguised AEC’s was started up and set off for "St Helena via Glascote", producing the delightful music of a crash-gearbox Regent, which was the last sound in the world I was expecting it to make.

Stephen Ford


03/05/12 – 14:14

In prewar days both Trent and Northern General bought BMMO designed vehicles. After the war I doubt if the BMMO factory could have kept pace with demand and in addition several of the designs were advanced mechanically and the British bus industry has always been conservative when it comes to innovation.

Chris Hough


04/05/12 – 07:16

Interestingly Stratford Blue who were a Midland Rad subsidiary were never tempted being happy with various members of the Leyland zoo.

Chris Hough


04/05/12 – 07:18

You’re right, Stephen and Chris, about the Trent and Northern General versions of the BMMO designs. However, this was during the pre-war era when Midland Red seemed archaic, and before the wonderful post-war period when GM Donald Sinclair turned BMMO into an industry-leading organisation.
My early memories of MR date from the mid-1950s and, although I was used to seeing underfloor-engined buses and "tin fronts" in Leeds, the style of bodywork of the AD2’s, D5’s, S6’s and S8’s was so different I found them fascinating.
I fondly remember the adventure of riding on one of the ONC pre-war coaches on the X69(?) from Hinckley to Bedworth (because my pocket money wouldn’t stretch to Coventry). Add to that, numerous "thrashes" on a D5B (D5’s with electric doors) to and from Leicester on the 658 and I was in heaven.
Yes, Stephen, I also remember the AD2’s with their delightful crash-box whine on the Hinckley/Burbage locals, and being surprised to learn, much later, that they were AEC’s.
In the 1960’s, the ubiquitous D7’s and D9’s ruled the roost but were still different enough to be interesting. But by then, for me, the glory days were over!
Perhaps the lack of interest in Midland Red is because of their gradual decline from a unique operation into a bland monopoly using off-the-peg products.

Paul Haywood


04/05/12 – 14:38

Love it, Paul, about having to take the shorter journey because of pocket money inadequacies! In 1956-58, I was in the RAF at 16MU Stafford and recall the SOS-FEDD’s, that appeared, to a Londoner, very old-fashioned, especially around the front entrance. Conversely, who couldn’t love their C1 coaches in that gorgeous Red/Black livery!

Chris Hebbron


12/06/12 – 14:43

I was a member of Midlands Omnibus Preservation Society (MOPS) c1968. Cannot remember the names of other members but we did exhibit our buses at Crich around ’69 – ’70 and sold postcards etc. there. We owned a D5 (?) and a Leyland Tiger coach (Dorsal Fin) – can’t supply any further details as I wasn’t exactly a "keen" member and did not keep in touch with any of the others.

John Rollason


13/06/12 – 08:03

Thanks, John – my buying this card at Crich would certainly make sense around the late 60s, early 70s. It’s amazing to think that in those days our only access to photos from other systems/regions was by way of postcard stalls or mail order. How different and easy it all is today, with an increasingly thorough database to draw from, adding to, or refreshing, our interest and knowledge.

Paul Haywood


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