The Northern General Transport Company
AEC Reliance MU3RV
When it was new in 1957, this Willowbrook bodied AEC Reliance was one of three in the Tynemouth and District fleet, FT 9916/8 – 216/8 the livery was always all one colour but they never carried adverts. They were originally DP41F’s, but when they were transferred to Northern General they were re-seated as buses and I think the capacity was increased to 43. They had a lever operated manual door, and believe me your arm got rather tired if you had one of these on a busy local service route, so needless to say the door spent a lot of time left open on warmer days. As I remember them from their days at Percy Main, they had a lower trim on the front, similar to the Venture bus to the right of the picture, and they also had a trim that ran from the rear of the front wheel and right round the back of the vehicle at the same height as the top of the inspection panels, but 40 odd years on it may well be that the memory is playing tricks.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye
12/03/13 – 13:16
I have to say the lack of any form of relief – trim or paint – reminds me of some other operators in the BET group. It just goes to show the level of tolerance for "individuality" that once prevailed (or still does) in some groups. The relief Ronnie mentions, even if it’s only the trim as seen on the Saro Tiger Cubs Ribble had, or the front end on the Venture vehicle in the picture, does make a lot of difference.
12/03/13 – 14:08
Pete, I’ve just been talking to a former colleague of mine from Percy Main, and he reminded me of something I had quite forgotten. When they were about six or seven years old, one of these (unknown) caught fire and was extensively rebuilt, it may well have been this one, and that would explain the lack of trim.
12/03/13 – 14:58
It would indeed, Ronnie. Thanks for the update.
18/05/14 – 06:28
The registration makes it look older as most registration offices had progressed much further in their issues by 1957 ie 3 letters, 3 numbers and some were well into reversed series. Yes, Tynemouth had its own vehicle registration office issuing one mark (FT) and up to 1957 had only issued 9917 marks!