Old Bus Photos

Sheffield Corporation – AEC Reliance – 9000 WB – 900

9000 WB_lr
Copyright Ian Wild

Sheffield Corporation
1958
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Roe Dalesman C37C

This was a one off purchase by Sheffield initially used for visits, inspections etc by the Transport Committee but later used in normal service. My mother travelled on it on a number of occasions on service 48 to Manchester via Woodhead when visiting relations ‘over there’. Having a centre entrance made it unsuitable for one man operation but it still lasted until 1970. Since much of the Peak District single deck work had by this time been converted to OMO, I wonder what use was made of it in the final two or three years.
The bus was renumbered 90 in the 1967 scheme and I recall it being in a pretty dreadful external condition towards the end of its life.
This was Sheffield’s only AEC Reliance (perhaps experience suggested the Leyland 0.600 engine in the early Leopards was a better bet than the head gasket failure prone AEC AH470) and their only coach body built by Roe. I think it is quite an elegant design from what was generally a bus body builder. I assume it would be teak framed like their standard double deck design . Note the non standard size Sheffield Transport fleet name transfer above the City coat of arms.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

A full list of Reliance codes can be seen here.

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19/06/12 – 18:07

Oh the blessed 900/90. What Ian says from both a professional and enthusiast perspective is quite right, but the Leopards came later. The story I heard was about Civic Spite – between Sheffield and Leeds. Leeds bought one and Sheffield had to have one as well. [Bit like Salford and Manchester.] I assume the 1955 Moncoaches were AH470 rather than AH410, but I agree dry-liner 0.600s were probably a better bet than wet-liner AH470s for charging across the Pennines and into the Peak District. As Charles H Roe’s biggest fan, I’m a little sorry that the Dalesman didn’t quite take off into great popularity – but that wasn’t really the point. Just as Plaxton’s built buses in the summer to cover their dead period, Roe built batches of Dalesmans for sale from stock when they had fallow periods of bus construction. [On that basis, I suppose it’s surprising they built so many Dalesmans!] The construction was of Roe’s original and best.

David Oldfield

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20/06/12 – 08:17

David. you’re probably aware of this already, but Economic of Whitburn had one of these splendid vehicles on an AEC chassis ‘YPT 796′ and I’m pleased to say that its still alive and well and now forms part of the N.E.B.P.T. Ltd collection

Ronnie Hoye

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20/06/12 – 08:18

Leeds first coach came in 1965 and was an AEC Reliance with a different style of Roe bodywork. It was always used as a private hire vehicle and never as a committee toy! Indeed the only saloons in the Leeds fleet at that time were some centre entrance standee types on Leyland AEC and Guy chassis seating 34 and some newer Reliances with dual door bodywork. All carried Roe bodies and had mountainous steps. They were certainly not coaches!
Locally West Riding had a batch of AEC Reliance coaches with Dalesman bodywork

Chris Hough

———

20/06/12 – 11:38

These stories which go the rounds….. I actually drove the Leeds coach when in the ownership of David Crowther’s Classic Coaches of High Wycombe. [In lousy weather from Reading to Lord’s Cricket ground – and back.] The Dalesman was dropped after the slightly odd final version in 1959, of which Black & White had, I believe, six. After that, the Roe coach was far closer to a DP on the standard bus shell. Leeds and York Pullman showed how to "coachify" the body to make it more than acceptable for Private Hires – as did Booth and Fisher.
Ronnie, I was aware of the Economic coach, but not its continued existence. Thanks for the good news. Regrettably this Sheffield exile in Surrey may never get to see it in your beautiful part of the world.

David Oldfield

———

20/06/12 – 11:39

There are shots of both the Economic and also a West Riding example at www.sct61.org.uk

Chris Hough

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21/06/12 – 06:43

There are some interesting comments above and on other pages of this site regarding civic jealousy, rather than civic pride, when it came to having a coach in the fleet. In Southampton, there was a period when the then Transport Manager wanted at least dual purpose vehicles if not full coaches, to support his growing private hire business. The idea was rejected by the Committee, largely because one of the members was of the family owning a local coach operator. Shouldn’t there have been a declaration of interest?
I imagine from the photo that this coach was in overall cream livery. I feel it would have looked better with the lower panels – where the crest is – in blue.

Pete Davies

———

21/06/12 – 06:44

The story goes that on one of its first outings with the Transport Committee on board, 9000 WB ground to a halt in the centre of the city, needing rescue. Apparently before leaving Townhead Street garage, the driver had topped it up with water, but had poured it into the the fuel tank instead of the radiator. Can’t begin to imagine what the Committee chairman had to say about that!

Dave Careless

———

21/06/12 – 06:44

It was known amongst Sheffield Transport staff as the "blunderbus"!

P White

———

21/06/12 – 06:45

Felix of Hadfield also had a "coachified" AEC Reliance- Roe DP vehicle which is happily still around it lives at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum

Chris Hough

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21/06/12 – 06:46

David O, I don’t understand your passing reference to Salford and Manchester. Salford had a committee coach – a self-indulgent 26-seat Weymann Fanfare-bodied Reliance that rarely turned a wheel – but I don’t believe Manchester did.

Peter Williamson

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21/06/12 – 11:22

Peter. Sometimes the brain is faster than the finger. Manchester always had some sort of coach for Ringway services, Salford had to have one and, like Sheffield, the only true use was for the Committee. Yes, the Fanfare got more use in SELNEC days on airport work. [I believe its predecessor was a full fronted Daimler CVD6/Burlingham.

David Oldfield

———

21/06/12 – 11:25

Did Roe have any liaison with Duple over the Dalesman as it bears more than a passing resemblance to the Duple Elizabethan body. Similarly the last version of the Dalesman has a look of the contemporary Willowbrook Viscount One of these ex Felix of Hadfield is also preserved at Sandtoft.

Chris Hough

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21/06/12 – 19:06

Just for the record, Sheffield used its other coaches (23 I believe) on the longer routes, for example the Peak District routes / railway routes.

Les Dickinson

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21/06/12 – 19:12

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think that Roe were probably just inspired by the Elizabethan and copied the general outline of the front entrance version, with its slightly more upright front, yet making it sufficiently different in detail so as not to cause any bother. The Dalesman’s window line was a fraction higher and slightly straighter, and the forward sloping pillar that divided these from the front section was slightly squarer. I rather prefer the Dalesman myself, but Duple soon replaced the Elizabethan with the neater Brittania with its uninterrupted window line, whereas Roe continued with the stepped outline.

John Stringer

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07/08/12 – 07:19

I suspect this was as much to do with civic pride as anything else. If Leeds has got one, we must too and vice versa. LCT certainly had a Reliance coach, C reg I think. Then there was SCTs 500 City Clipper service, cos Leeds had one, using Merc minibuses. It continues today with the nonsense over trams.

Roger Davies


 

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Sheffield United Tours – AEC Reliance – YWA 269-273 – 269-273

 

SUT - AEC Reliance - YWA 269-273 - 269-273

SUT - AEC Reliance - YWA 269-273 - 269-273

Sheffield United Tours
1957
AEC Reliance MU3RV
Burlingham C37C

In connection with the article about ‘Burlingham’s flock of Seagulls’ by Neville Mercer. I would like to contribute the above shots of my all-time favourite coach. They looked great and were a real joy to ride. SUT’s Seagulls took me on holiday to Skegness. I attach two views, nearside & offside of the 1957 batch. Not sure of the location of 269 but YWA 273 is seen loading in Pond Street, Sheffield. Additionally many had names of European places on SUTs trips, for example, 269 was Como and 273 was Interlaken. Both had worthwhile careers after SUT. The Seagull and SUT livery were made for each other. Photos purchased from RHG Simpson.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson


10/06/12 – 11:48

I know Burlingham were eventually swallowed up by Duple, but did Duple have any influence on this update from the original Seagull? From this angle the rear end seems to be very similar to the Duple design of the early sixties which had a Butterfly or Crown shaped grill ‘I’ve heard it referred to as both’ Some may disagree, but I always thought the Seagull was better suited to an under floor engined chassis rather the the likes of a Bedford, but either way it was a timeless classic

Ronnie Hoye


10/06/12 – 18:00

Anyone who has been around this site for any time will know that I am an AEC, Burlingham and, as a Sheffielder, SUT fan. The rear end design, which changed in 1957, has always puzzled me, too. It is INDENTICAL to the rear end of the Duple Butterfly Vega. This was three or four years before the Duple takeover and I don’t think there was an official link before 1960 or 1961. [Where’s Neville Mercer when you need him?]
SUT coaches differed within batches as to capacity (from 30 to 41) and in the case of the Burlinghams as to seat style. Some, the "Oyster" seats were standard high backed coach seats, but others (on touring coaches) had retractable heads for better vision.
Later 36′ Plaxtons had only 44 widely spaced seats for touring and no headrests for similar reasons.

David Oldfield


11/06/12 – 08:43

I reckon these particular coaches were a comparative rarity. From the Seagull Mk. IV onwards most examples were front entranced with a subtly slightly more squared up front end to suit. It seems that on the few occasions when a centre-entrance was still specified the original more rounded profile of the classic Mk. I to III was retained. This is presumably a Mk. V because of the curved rear corner window arrangement.
As recent discussion has pointed out, Plaxton also retained a more rounded front end on their centre-entrance models of the period, and even more so Duple on their later Brittanias.

John Stringer


11/06/12 – 14:21

TWJ 249_lr

In response to David Oldfield’s interesting observation on the similarity of the Seagull to the Duple Vega body of the era I submit a picture of TWJ 249 which was one of a batch (243-252) of C41C Duple Elizabethan bodied Reliances delivered to SUT in 1955. They were MU3RV The first of the Seagulls followed in 1956. Whilst the Elizabethan is not un-attractive, for me it does not please the eye so much as either the Seagull or the Duple Vega.

VWE 260_lr

The earlier batch of Seagulls for Sheffield United Tours is represented here by VWE 260 delivered in 1956. The batch was 255-266 and they were AEC Reliance MU3RV (780-791). The Seagull bodies were C41C (255/6), C39C (257/8), C37C (259-264) and C30C (265/6).

3283 WB_lr_02

The third, and final batch of AEC Reliance Burlingham Seagulls delivered to Sheffield United Tours is represented in this picture which, as before, was purchased from RHG Simpson and illustrates 3283 WB. These were again MU3RV (1529-34) and C41C.
All of these went to Neath & Cardiff, and became "Brown Bombers" in 1966.

Les Dickinson


11/06/12 – 17:49

Fantastic collection, Les. Thank you for that.
The Duple Elizabethan picture has a number of interesting points to it. Firstly, the Elizabethan morphed into the Roe Dalesman. [As a "Roe" man I would like to know how this happened. Did Roe buy the rights to it or did Duple buy the rights from ACV – or what?]
In the background there is one of only two vehicles "bought" second-hand – as opposed to coming with the acquisition of a fleet. Two AEC Regal IV/Plaxton Venture II came from Altrincham Coachways in 1954 when less than twelve months old. Altrincham Coachways was a subsidiary of North Western Road Car – one third of the consortium that owned SUT (along with Yorkshire Traction and East Midland). "Bought" may, therefore be stretching it a bit. One was involved in an accident but the integrity of the body held up and impressed SUT engineers so much that it was responsible for them going to Plaxtons for the Panorama when Burlingham, their preferred builder, was unwilling to do so.

David Oldfield


12/06/12 – 06:52

SUT worked very closely with Plaxton on the design of the Panorama and I believe they had the first production model David. Also, the first 36′ coach on UK roads was SUT 326, 136AWJ, which was a Reliance4U3RA I think. This was Plaxton Panorama C44F where the forerunners had been variously C36/40/41F.
Many of the original ones had names which were prefixed Panorama. For example the first two,285 and 286, were Panorama Pilot and Panorama Pioneer respectively.
SUT didn’t have any Roe Dalesman however Sheffield Corporation had one, 9000WB fleet number 900/90 which had a central doorway but was mostly used as a "committee" plaything I think.

Les Dickinson


12/06/12 – 06:53

Here I am! As far as I know there is no record of Burlingham purchasing parts or design rights for the "rear end" arrangement on the Seagull Mk V from Duple. Almost all external panels were made from sheet metal in Burlingham’s own workshops. Since the Seagull V was introduced two years after the first model of Duple Super Vega with a similar back-end one must suspect that a Burlingham designer was a fan of Hendon’s design.
This kind of plagiarism (or is it "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"?) was quite common back in the 1950s with both Trans-United of Rochdale and Heaver of Durrington being well-known for their Burlingham clone designs. Heaver finally took it a step too far with their New Look design of 1952. This was around 90% Seagull and attracted letters from Burlingham’s solicitors. The model was rapidly discontinued.
Hate to correct you, David, but North Western didn’t buy Altrincham Coachways until 1958. At the time it sold the coaches to SUT it was still owned by the Frank Ford organisation. Ford was in the habit of selling off relatively new coaches if the price was right, and then replacing them with older vehicles from elsewhere in his empire – Altrincham Coachways received hand-me-downs from Triumph of Hastings and Gardiner of Spennymoor to replace the majority of its own fleet in 1956-57. Then, after stripping the firm’s assets, he sold it to NWRCC.

Neville Mercer


12/06/12 – 06:53

That Duple Elizabethan has a front dash panel and grill the like of which I have never seen anywhere, never mind on a Duple Elizabethan, and it is not an improvement! In its natural form I think the Elizabethan was neater and more elegant than the Dalesman, with more continuity of level between the front bit and the main window line. I’ve never heard mention of any connection before – it just looks like mild plagiarism to me.
According to BBF17, Altrincham Coachways did not become a North Western subsidiary until 1958, so a purchase in 1954 would have been exactly that.

Peter Williamson


12/06/12 – 08:59

3283 WB_lr

I thought you maybe interested in a colour shot of 3283 WB.

John Stringer


12/06/12 – 09:53

Neville/Peter: I stand corrected. Interesting though. Is this the same Frank Ford who went to Plaxtons, fell out with them and went to Duple to produce the Dominant – a "not quite" Elite copy? Rumour is he then ran Duple into the ground and was the architect of their demise. [A re-run of his Altricham Coachways asset stripping?]
The whole point, Les, was that SUT approached Burlingham who initially refused on practical grounds. They then went to Plaxtons, after their experience with the two Regals, who came up with the Panorama and sealed a long and happy relationship. Only NBC’s insistence on going to Duple in 1973 broke this relationship. Burlingham relented, too late, with the Seagull VII – but also proved their own point in that it was structurally suspect with every alternate pillar missing to provide panoramic windows. [Plaxtons used the same idea for the Panorama. Was it the straight window line that worked for Plaxtons and the curved line which did for Burlingham?]
The naming of SUT coaches started with Ben Goodfellow calling the Windover Regal IVs the "Gay" class, after his daughter Gaynor. [Another North Western connection. NWRCC had taken over the Goodfellow business and Ben moved over to be General Manager of SUT.] I believe the Elizabethans became the Elizabethen class (hoe original) and the Burlinghams were the Continental class.
It is also interesting to note the number of Burlinghams and early Panoramas used by SUT as experimental vehicles – trying out various types of air conditioning, air suspension and even turbo-chargers, long before these became accepted, standard fitments

Nice shot, John.

David Oldfield


12/06/12 – 11:39

Yes David, it’s the same Frank Ford, and I completely agree with your comments about his later career. For some reason he always reminded me of Freddie Laker, but I’d probably better not use the word "spiv"!

Neville Mercer


13/06/12 – 09:47

Aw, go on. There’s a picture somewhere of him giving a prize to Flight’s for their Bristol RELH6L/Plaxton at the coach rally. He just looks as you said.

David Oldfield


13/06/12 – 09:48

Some very interesting information there from Neville Mercer. The Huddersfield Passenger Transport Group site contains a section on Bus Adverts which has a picture of the Heaver design, to which I think Neville refers. It is registered PYA 578 and bears the name ‘Crown Tours’. I had wondered if it was a vehicle which ever existed or if it was simply a ‘doctored’ Burlingham photograph, such is the resemblance.
I wonder if anyone has a picture of it which could be posted on here because, as Neville says, it is 90% Burlingham Seagull!

Chris Barker


14/06/12 – 07:46

Here’s PYA 578 http://www.flickr.com/

Peter Williamson


14/06/12 – 14:22

But a cheap imitation nonetheless – none of the subtlety of the original.

David Oldfield


14/06/12 – 18:19

Well, David, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, imitations are seldom as good as the original, and having seen the picture I don’t think this is any exception.

Ronnie Hoye


17/06/12 – 09:09

1294 RE_lr

Here is last month’s front view of Harper Bros., Staffs, No. 90, a rare combination of 1959 Guy LUF with Gardner 6HLW engine and Burlingham Seagull body

Chris Hebbron


17/06/12 – 16:14

1294 RE_rear_lr
Copyright Albert S. Bite

And now a rear view shot thanks to Albert S. Bite

Chris Hebbron


27/06/12 – 06:56

Regarding the two Regal IV’s purchased by SUT from Altrincham Coachways in February 1954 (RMB 158 & JBU 164). Both entered service with SUT still in the blue & cream of their previous owner but after around six months, the blue was repainted red leaving the rest cream. It was due to RMB 158 having a smash near the Cat & Fiddle on the way to Macclesfield that the company decided to approach Plaxtons with a view to building what was to become the Panorama. Burlingham was initially contacted by the company in 1957 but they turned down the idea. The Panorama was designed by the GM of SUT, Ben Goodfellow and his Chief Engineer, Ron Burgin. The Panorama name was submitted by an employee electrician at SUT by the name of John Otter who won £5 for his idea. Incidentally, SUT paid the sum of £3.980 each for RMB & JBU.

Trev Weckert


27/06/12 – 10:03

Good to welcome Mr Weckert to the forum. I have a copy of his excellent SUT book in the Venture/Prestige series.

David Oldfield


28/06/12 – 07:49

Many thanks for your kind words David. It has been mentioned that some although not all of SUT’s Seagull’s had air conditioning. To clarify this, the first delivered in 1956 (VWE255-258) had no such fitment whilst VWE 259-266 had Key Leather units fitted in a ‘pod’ on the roof which was powered by paraffin. The 1957 batch (YWA 267-278)and the 1958 ones (3279 WB-3284 WB had Webasto units mounted beneath the floor. Incidentally, 266 became the official transport of the Joe Loss Orchestra and bore the legend "In The Mood" whilst SUT had this contract. This was the second coach to undertake this duty, the first being a Windover Kingsway bodied Regal IV (RWE 228). Hope this is of some interest.

Trev Weckert


17/07/12 – 18:00

VWE 266_lr

Trev Weckert mentions the "Joe Loss – In The Mood" vehicles. Herewith a picture of VWE 266 in that very mood. Note the clef symbol below the side-light
This one was MU3RV 791, Burlingham 6086, normally C41C, but C30C whilst on this contract.
This vehicle went to Murrellmills, Trafford Park in, or by 1967

Les Dickinson


26/10/12 – 07:00

I seem to have missed some of the later comments on this thread. I like the reference to the Joe Loss coach, and its clef symbol. One of my former colleagues was something of a musician in his spare time, being involved with a Bavarian-style band. His initials were PJG, which he always wrote as the clef.

Pete Davies


03/01/14 – 08:01

Interesting to read about SUT. I regularly travelled with them as a youngster. However they used to have a coach based on the Isle Of Man. Such was the size of their operation. I remember seeing it on Douglas promenade in the early sixties. I can’t remember what model it was but I believe it was an AEC. It also had an IOM registration.

Andrew T


03/01/14 – 09:52

Andrew, the IOM law at the time was that any vehicle so "outstationed" should have a local registration. Thus, each year, an SUT coach was re-registered for a stay on the IOM. It was only there for a season – less than a calendar year – and then returned home to Sheffield. It was not necessarily the same one in even consecutive years. Whether the same IOM mark was used I do not know. [Trevor Weckert, are you out there?]

David Oldfield


05/01/14 – 16:43

I have traced four SUT Reliances that carried Manx registrations:
1958 Burlingham 284 (3284 WB) carried "YMN 616" for the 2/59 to 04/62 seasons
1960 Plaxton 309 (6309 WJ) carried "5380 MN" for the 05/62 to 04/66 seasons
1961 Plaxton 321 (1321 WA) carried "69 FMN" for the 04/66 to 01/71 seasons
1970 Plaxton 409 (DWA 409H) carried "96XMN" for the 04/71 to 09/72 seasons

Dave Farrier


07/01/14 – 07:06

Slightly off topic, but related to registration plates. When I was at secondary school in Harrogate in the late ‘sixties, our brilliant art teacher Miss Daly had a beautiful ‘Old English White’ Morgan sports car. It had the customary black pressed alloy number plates with aluminium-coloured letters/numerals, which were noteworthy in having yellow-coloured surrounds front and rear. I later discovered this indicated that the vehicle was temporarily imported from abroad, which tied in nicely with our art teacher being from New Zealand. (From memory the car was registered in the HOX-E series). Probably a long shot, but I wonder if any PSV’s ever sported such plates.

Brendan Smith


07/01/14 – 13:38

Brendon,
Temporary reg no’s were QA-QT

Roger Broughton


10/01/14 – 18:32

Thanks for the info regarding the Q-series registrations Roger. Although I knew of them, probably from I-Spy books, I had obviously misunderstood the information I had read in my youth relating to yellow number plate surrounds, and wrongly linked the two. All these years I have been under the mis-apprehension that the white Morgan was a temporary import. Following further research on t’interweb, it transpires that between 1963 and 1972, vehicles purchased in the UK for subsequent export were given number plates with yellow edging (which was changed to red in 1973), indicating that purchase tax (or later, VAT) had not been paid. Fortunately this still ties in nicely with said Morgan, as Miss Daly left the school in 1968, presumably to return to New Zealand with her fine sports car. I hold my wrist out for a firm slap Roger, comforted by the fact that this website continues to contribute so admirably to lifelong learning.

Brendan Smith


YWA 273_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


20/01/14 – 08:08

Although the Kingsways of SUT were the first ‘official’ named coaches in the fleet, a number of unofficial namings took place. Half cab Regals from the KWA batch received the following KWA 707 Yorkshire Lad, KWA 712 Highland Monarch, KWA 717 Torquay Queen, KWA 721 Bournemouth Belle. KWA 723 was the first Sheffield Wednesday coach in the fleet. Originally it had a football mounted above the cab. A number of Kingsways had Thermotank forced air systems from new. Incidentally some of the VWE regd Seagull had air conditioning by Key-Leather mounted in a pod on the roof powered by Paraffin.

Trev Weckert


20/01/14 – 11:59

What did I start here??
What a great post this turned out to be, with some wonderful comments and information from a wide range of knowledgeable people.
Thanks Trev for this latest comment which confirmed to me that I was a tad less mad than I thought I was. I always thought that I had either seen, or seen a picture of, KWA 712 as "The Yorkshire Lad" when I was just that. I have never been able to find any such confirmation in print. I, for one, am never too old to learn something new and today’s lesson came courtesy of Mr. Weckert!

Les Dickinson


27/01/14 – 15:55

Hi Les, Just to put things straight, it was KWA 707 that wore Yorkshire Lad and it also bore a Tam O Shanta transfer on the bonnet side. In the early fifties a number of coaches were borrowed from Northern Roadways in Glasgow and upon return by SUT staff (including Jack Hancock and Jim Heenan) it was noted that their coaches had this transfer on them. The management was asked if they could spare a couple. Upon return to Sheffield, transfers were affixed to bonnets of KWA 706/707.

Trev Weckert


31/01/14 – 15:44

I have your book from the Library at present. As a boy I used to go & look at the SUT garage to marvel at the coaches & their destinations. You did a great job Trev.

Andy Fisher


 

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Northern General – AEC Reliance – EFT 551 – 2154

Northern General - AEC Reliance - EFT 551 - 2154
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

The Northern General Transport Company
1961
AEC Reliance 2MU3RV
Burlingham Seagull 70 C41F

On the subject of bus liveries that has been discussed on this site recently. Some operators seemed to adopt a one style fits all livery that hardly varied from one type of vehicle to another, and made little or no allowance for differences in body style or trim. This example from the NGT group is a rather sad looking AEC Burlingham Seagull that was once a rather attractive Wakefield’s coach number 251 based at Percy Main, the depot I worked at. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of one of these in coach livery, but in common with most other Northern group coaches ‘except Sunderland & District’ it would have been predominantly cream with maroon window surrounds and skirt, I cant remember if the roof was cream or maroon, but they did look rather splendid. This one seems to have had some other changes made, the centre roof window above the windscreen has been removed or painted out, and the seats appear to have been changed as the originals would have been red and didn’t have grab rails fitted. Sunderland & District had some Leyland Tiger Cub’s with identical bodies and they ended up in bog standard stage carriage livery.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

A full list of Reliance codes can be seen here.


30/10/11 – 15:02

Most regulars know that I am both an AEC and a Burlingham man. Whilst it is self evident and accepted that the original Seagull was a classic, unlike many others, I quite like the 60/70 models – even if they were not quite up to scratch with the original.
I never remember one of these in Manchester in the 70s but I only ever remember coaches in this livery, not the reversed cream version. Was the Tyne – Mersey service treated as a bus service for these purposes? This would still qualify as a quality livery by today’s standards.
One fascinating piece of trivia is that individual NGT group fleets were either AEC, Leyland or Guy fleets. So no standard corporate ordering there then.

David Oldfield


02/11/11 – 06:46

David, you are not on your own. Whilst, undeniably the Burlingham Seagull was the ‘Creme de la Creme’ I also had a soft spot for the 60/70 series.
My local operator Baddeley Bros. of Holmfirth had two original Seagulls on Royal Tiger chassis KWU 844 (1951) and LWY 653 (1953). They then had Bedford SBG/Burlingham RWY 277 in 1956, again still quite attractive. Then came four SB3’s in 1959 with the hugely curved windscreen Burlingham body (probably a coach version of the PA series Vauxhall Velox/Cresta cars of the period) Then in 1961 came Bedford SB1 2496 WY with the Burlingham 61 body. This body, I thought, suited the front engine Bedford better than the underfloor AEC/Leyland chassis. This coach was followed in 1962 by a Duple Gannet bodied SB5. Things were starting to slide Burlingham wise!
All these coaches served me as school buses between 1965/70 so perhaps I’m looking through rose tinted glasses.
I thought the 1959 petrol engined SB’s mundane, 2496 WY and it’s Gannet bodied sister 433 BWU, so-so but when we got the Royal Tigers with the classic Seagull body which was not that often, despite there age, that was the ‘Creme de la Creme’!

Eric


02/11/11 – 09:26

Couldn’t agree with you more, Eric. They were a superb coachbuilder but, towards the end, had more than their fare share of dogs – especially regarding design. Apart from the plastic roofs on Seagull 60s, I’m not aware of any considerable drop in quality and the Duple Continental and Firefly/Dragonfly were Burlinghams in everything but name and seemed to have a good reputation.
I’m a Sheffielder, who had relatives in the Barnsley and Huddersfield areas, and always thought Baddeley Brothers looked quite classy. I was only really aware of them as a student in the early 70s, passing through on the X19. By that time, the principal vehicles were Bedford YRQ/Plaxton Panorama Elite Express grant vehicles. They still looked smart, though.

David Oldfield


02/11/11 – 15:04

David, Your mention of plastic roofs on the 60’s has jogged my memory. I remember the cloth trim on the interior ceiling of both 2496 WY and 433 BWU being quite badly stained by the ingress of water when they would probably be only about five years old. Baddeley’s also had a Duple Alpine Continental on a Leopard chassis 474 EWW. Of course the other sizeable coach operator in the Huddersfield area was Hanson’s who had two batches of Firefly’s on Ford chassis in 1963/4

Eric


03/11/11 – 06:27

Strange, isn’t it, how many operators had heavy (or medium) weight service buses and lightweight coaches? Hanson and Booth and Fisher (recently posted) had AECs and Ford coaches, York Pullman was AEC/Bedford, the Doncaster indis went down a similar road and this was replicated around the country. Firms like Baddeley Bros were less common, but by no means unique, with their mix of heavy and light weight coaches.

David Oldfield


03/11/11 – 17:46

Hanson’s was rather a complex fleet in the fifties. The coaches were a mix of Regal III and Reliances and Bedfords and the buses were AEC with a smattering of Albions. Between 1956 and 1966 most of the AEC’s went on to be rebuilt as buses. The Bedfords were kept anything from 2 to about 5 years and from about 1959 all new coaches were Fords right to the demise of the Hanson business in 1974. This change of allegiance is thought to have being something to do with Hanson Haulage buying large numbers of Ford lorries.
Baddeley’s although being a smaller operator chose both Leyland and Bedford for new coaches in the fifties, many with Burlingham bodies, this policy continuing into the sixties. They also purchased quite a few secondhand coaches, including 2 that had been operated at one time or another with Hansons. Another feature of Baddeley’s was the hiring in for the summer season of coaches from local dealer Hughes and the Baddeley’s fleet name and number being applied. Several of these were in Wallace Arnold cream as the had be leased by WA for one or two seasons from Hughes when new. This led to Baddeley’s having quite an interesting and varied fleet. Wish I had owned a camera in those days.

Eric


04/11/11 – 07:04

I agree with you David. The last of what some would call ‘proper coaches’ to carry the Wakefields name were two Plaxton Embassy Bedfords ‘SB8’s I think’. The next Wakefields after that were Alexander ‘Y’ type DP’s on Leyland Leopard chassis, but I think that would have been a decision based on economics. Percy Main depot didn’t have any long distance or express routes, so the coach fleet was only used for private hires and excursions and most were de-Licensed at the end of Blackpool Illuminations, so apart from three double deckers the Wakefields name virtually disappeared from October until about Easter, where as the DP’s were used all year round and went onto stage carriage work in winter months. If memory serves, for the first couple of years some of them had the seats changed to ordinary bus type during the winter.

Ronnie Hoye


13/11/12 – 08:40

I remember going to the Lake District in the early 60s on one of these and it did indeed have the reversed coach livery the above is a later incarnation.

Malcolm Swaddle


18/04/13 – 17:40

EFT 550

Not in colour I’m afraid, but I’ve found this photo of one of EFT 551’s sisters in its original Wakefield’s livery. As I’ve said, Percy Main had four of these, EFT 550/3 – 250/3; and they remained in service as coaches until about 1970, they were then transferred to Northern and downgraded to D/P’s

Ronnie Hoye


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 23rd November 2014