Old Bus Photos

Leeds City Transport – AEC Swift – MUB 193F – 93

MUB 193F

Leeds City Transport
AEC Swift MP2R

Pictured in Leeds in April 1970 is Leeds City Transport No.93, MUB 193F, an AEC Swift MP2R bought in May 1968 with MCW B48D bodywork that emulated the forward sloping side pillars of contemporary Alexander designs. A curious feature was the narrow width of the centre exit door. I believe that here was a total of thirty such buses, which were intermixed with deliveries of Swifts with Roe bodywork, also of B48D pattern, some of which arrived in 1967. Swifts continued to feature in the Leeds purchasing programme until 1971. The Swift MP2R was powered by the AH505 8.2 litre engine, and the first Leeds batches, of which No.93 is an example, had the semi automatic Monocontrol transmission. Later examples were fitted with fully auto gearboxes. I am sure that other correspondents with much a greater knowledge than mine of the Leeds system can give details of these buses in service.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

26/06/19 – 09:48

The narrow exit door was also a feature of the Roe bodied Swifts delivered in 1967/68.
The biggest batch of Swifts were the 50 delivered in 1969 were bodied by Park Royal and had full size centre doors The last Swifts came in 1971 and had Roe bodywork. In addition to the Swifts Leeds also bought thirty single deck Fleetlines with Park Royal bodywork these were identical to the fifty Park Royal bodied Swifts

Chris Hough


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Lowestoft Corporation – AEC Swift – YRT 898H – 4

Lowestoft Corporation - AEC Swift - YRT 898H - 4

Lowestoft Corporation
AEC Swift 2MP2R

At Local Government Reorganisation in 1974, Lowestoft became part of the Borough of Waveney. The operations of the Transport Department were sold to Eastern Counties some years later, and Eastern Counties is now part of First. YRT 898H is a rare combination – a 1969 AEC Swift chassis of the 2MP2R variety, with an ECW B45D body, ECW were more usually associated with Tilling fleets. The reasoning is clear, of course – support the local firm, to help the economy of the town. It is seen at Wisley on 4 April 2004.

YRT 898H_2

The Municipal Crest and fleetname form this second view.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

29/12/16 – 07:05

I have always thought that the front end of these vehicles let them down. Without the more usual Bristol RE grille, the plain front needed some alternative feature.
The vertical trio of small air intake, authority crest and the winged AEC blue triangle badge just didn’t work. It would have been slightly better with the AEC badge at the top, together with a little bit of styling. The very low headlamps didn’t help, either.


29/12/16 – 09:58

I bet, also, that those near vertical front screens gave rise to some serious interior light reflections during darkness hours.

Roger Cox

30/12/16 – 07:03

YRT 896H_1

YRT 896H_2

One of the Swifts spent some time in Somerset with Brutonian. It seemed a strange purchase for rural services and had difficulty in negotiating some of the lanes. I understand it was not that reliable. Acquired in 1978 is was used for a couple of years and it did look attractive in the Company’s colours.

Keith Newton

30/12/16 – 11:42

TGH 769F

Who was SD and what is the coach in the background?
It looks a lot smaller than the Swift even allowing for perspective.

John Lomas

30/12/16 – 14:44

Well the close up seems to have given me part of the answer. Bedford VAM? Plaxton Panorama? But S. D. I don’t think the S&D railway (the old slow and dirty) ran coaches and they had disappeared by then anyway.

John Lomas

30/12/16 – 14:45

TGH 769F is a Reliance 2U3RA, new to Janes, Wembley in March 1968. It’s only a guess, but SD might be Shaftesbury & District.

Pete Davies

30/12/16 – 14:47

Shaftesbury & District
1968 AEC C51F new to Janes of Wembley BLOWT under More are 5 photo’s.

Alan Coulson

30/12/16 – 14:48

Shaftesbury and District who have provided bus services in the area for some years. The firm started in 1976 and is still going. The photo was taken in August 1979 in Shaftesbury.

Keith Newton

25/11/17 – 14:51

YRT 896H

A recent trawl found this photo of YRT 896H in depressing weather when it was a few months old. It shows a detail not mentioned above, that the rear end design was unlike the standard RELL bus with centre rear emergency exit, but like the RELH express bus body with an off-side emergency door and single piece rear window.

Geoff Pullin

24/01/19 – 07:03

Firstly the district council that took on the former Lowestoft borough area was Waveney (no r). Secondly the route licences were bought and three Bristol VRTs on order were diverted but the operation fleet wasn’t purchased. Thirdly, the advent of these Swifts in 1969 led to ECW designing the single pane rear window, previously bus-shelled dual purpose REs had three windows at the back.

Stephen Allcroft

25/01/19 – 06:49

With regard to Stephen’s third comment, I am not aware of any dual purpose REs that had a central rear emergency exit. Perhaps there were some that I missed that were bus-shelled vehicles with sloping floors (on RELL chassis) but DP style seats. So far as I am aware all high floor (on RELH chassis) flat floor DPs had a side emergency exit. If Stephen has inside knowledge from the time, it would be interesting to know which came first the Lowestoft Swifts or the bus framed RELH DPs (eg United Counties TBD278G of May 1969). Or was it a happy coincidence?

Geoff Pullin

25/01/19 – 06:50

I don’t think that is quite right about the bus shell bodied RELH DPs, as the G-suffix vehicles built for Bristol OC and United Counties also had a single piece rear window. http://bcv.robsly.com/tbd278g.html
I think the vehicles that Stephen is thinking of are the two RESH DPs built for Midland General (SRB66/7F).

Nigel Frampton


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Southampton Corporation – AEC Swift – MTR 420F – 2

Southampton Corporation - AEC Swift - MTR420F - 2

Southampton Corporation
AEC Swift MP2R
Strachans B47D

I thought a southern flavour was in order with another Southampton photo this one in service in early 1968 when the bus was quite new I am not sure of the exact location in the city.
No 2 MTR 420F was an AEC Swift MP2R with a Strachans B47D body delivered in February 1968 one of a batch of five which were some 9-10 months after No 1 JOW 499E with an identical body, the ways to tell them apart was that No 1 had a red roof and a cream skirt rather than that shown on No 2 it also had a route number box above the first near/side window. These were followed by four more Swifts in 1970 this time with East Lancs who by this time were confirmed as Southampton’s body builder of choice.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

05/06/14 – 07:38

It’s on the junction of Portsmouth Road and Victoria Road in Woolston, Dave. She’s come from Weston Estate and is going to City Centre via Bitterne and Northam.
The 8 and the 16 ran in opposite directions and the bus is turning right here because ahead of her is the bridge carrying the Southampton to Portsmouth railway line. Occasionally, drivers tried taking double deckers under the bridge, and failed to do anything other than cause the vehicle’s immediate withdrawal, hence the introduction of the compulsory right turn here. The road was lowered when the Itchen Bridge was built to replace the Floating Bridge in 1977.
Several "Corporation" services ended at either side of the Itchen, and Hants & Dorset had a couple which terminated in Woolston, along with a small depot.

Pete Davies

05/06/14 – 07:39

By the time I saw this bus it was in a rather sorry state – parked at the back of the Blackpool Corporation depot in April 1980 being used as a source of spares for their own fleet of Swifts.

Mike Morton

05/06/14 – 17:41

It’s nice to see this style of bodywork in a decent colour scheme. London Transport and Wolverhampton’s versions were both dreadful!

Neville Mercer

05/06/14 – 17:41

I recall seeing these vehicles on my occasional forays from Portsmouth to So’ton. They had attractive bodies, in my opinion, aided by the livery. I moved from the area in 1976, the same year that saw the demise of Strachans. Your comment, Mike, confirms my thoughts that they did not have long lives, like many Swifts. No idea of bodywork quality: do you DD?

Chris Hebbron

06/06/14 – 07:39

The six Strachans bodied Swifts lasted a maximum of eleven years in Southampton, but a couple of them went after a mere six years. The subsequent four Swifts with East Lancs bodies also stayed in the fleet for just eleven years, so I suspect that the modest lives of these buses was due more to the shortcomings of the Swift chassis than to inadequacies with the bodywork. In fact, the Strachans body on rear engined two door single deck chassis gained quite a reasonable reputation owing to the employment of underframing that reduced the flexing movement. The Strachans examples were rather less prone to roof structure failure in the region of the centre doorway than the efforts of some other manufacturers, as London Transport, for example, discovered to its cost.

Roger Cox

06/06/14 – 08:46

One peculiarity of the Swifts in Southampton – it may have applied to the Arab UF and Nimbus fleet as well but I never got to travel on any of them, and I suspect not – was a red stripe across the roof, to match the location of the step behind the centre door. Smoking downstairs had been prohibited for several years, but was still allowed upstairs. On the Swifts, the step and stripe designated where the ‘upstairs’ was!

Pete Davies

07/06/14 – 08:17

Roof? No, sorry! I meant ceiling!

Pete Davies

07/06/14 – 08:17

I had always wondered how cigarette smoke determined where to stop blowing. It was commonplace for Smokers to be requested to occupy the rear of the vehicle on single deck buses. But how to keep the smoke from wafting into the forward section?
Southampton clearly had the answer – paint a read line across the ceiling, the smoke won’t dare go beyond there. Obvious, or what !!


07/06/14 – 08:18

Thx, Roger, your thoughts about the chassis rather than the body being the problem matches mine.

Chris Hebbron

07/06/14 – 10:00

Slightly off topic but there used to be an airline that had smokers on one side of the aircraft, non smokers on the other and this was on narrow bodied aircraft. The joke was that this must be Aer Lingus. The truth was it was Lufthansa. Just how German efficiency prevented the smoke crossing the aisle on a B737 for instance has never been revealed.

Phil Blinkhorn


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