Old Bus Photos

Guernsey Railways – Albion Nimbus – 14626 – 72

Copyright Pete Davies

Guernsey Railways Co Ltd
Albion Nimbus NS3AN
Reading B35F

Here is a view of an Albion Nimbus, registration 14626. She is in the green and cream livery of the Guernsey Railways fleet and has a Reading body, with fleet number 72. The Guernsey Motors vehicles were a dark red (quite near the Northern General or Ribble "cherry") while Guernsey Railways vehicles were in this green and cream. She’s at Le Gouffre during a refreshment stop on a morning drive. At least, my ticket was for a morning drive, but the blind is set at Island Tour. Given the size of the island, I’ve never discovered the difference! Did the afternoon drive have a different route? The date is 15 September 1972.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


15/09/12 – 07:26

EBW 112B_lr

Here is its twin number 173 (14651) at the centenary rally in Usti-nad-Labem on 19/06/1999.
It had travelled from Wareham to the Czech Republic under its own power.
It was even blinded for the "Morning Drive".
What a superb event it was, we attended on ex North Western Road Car 413 (JMA 413L) a Bristol RE/ECW.

Dave Farrier


15/09/12 – 08:43

Am I being unrealistically demanding in thinking I’d have expected something a little more fancy than a stage carriage Albion Numbus for a scenic trip?

Roy Burke


16/09/12 – 07:19

No Roy. I would have baulked at the regular use, by Ribble, NWRRC (and friends) of service buses on their X2/X60 type services. I had a very enjoyable ride around the Isle of Wight last month on a B10M coach – and also later on open-topped Olympians! SUT, Yorkshire Services and the local indies always gave us coaches in Sheffield.

David Oldfield


16/09/12 – 07:20

So, MORNING DRIVE did exist on the blind, then? I suppose setting it for ISLAND TOUR covered most eventualities!!! I see that Dave’s note was posted 40 years to the day since I captured the scene.
Yes, Roy, most folk would expect something a little more grand for a tour, but I don’t recall seeing anything like that. This, after all, is somewhat more upmarket than the Albion CX or Bedford types elsewhere in the Guernsey fleets at that time.

Pete Davies


17/09/12 – 07:08

Until the advent of second hand Bristol SUs and LH in the eighties these were the last passenger chassis bought by Guernsey most of the Bedfords being based on lorry derived chassis The older Albion CXs had high backed coach type seats

Chris Hough


17/09/12 – 07:09

In response to Roy and David’s comments: Guernsey is quite small and distances short; and traffic very thin – I assume that economics dictated, and geography allowed, the use of buses on tour duties. Could Guernsey Railways/Motors have justified the purchase of special narrow-bodied coaches – and wasn’t the Guernsey width limit 7’4"? – which would have "laid up" out of season?. Its quite a different proposition to the use of buses for coaches on the mainland. Anyway, perhaps this was the Nimbus’s finest moment: tootling around impossibly narrow lanes, providing a "big bus" service where only truck-derived Bedfords followed . . . (until the Trafalger years).

Philip Rushworth

15/02/13 – 05:59

Not sure why people are referring to Albion ‘CX’ vehicles when they never operated on Guernsey. If they are referring to Victors (FT and earlier PH models), from 1950 the bodywork they carried (which was developed by Heaver and Guernsey Railways), was effective classed as ‘Service Coach’ standard, to be used on both stage carriage and island tours, etc. We would today classify this as Dual Purpose.
The Abion Victors (the chassis of which was also sold as the FT3 truck range) were followed by the Nimbus model, the style of body being adapted by Readings of Portsmouth), which was an underfloor engined Albion Claymore lorry chassis marketed under a different name for PSV use.
Guernsey’s final ‘standard’ vehicle to use this style of curved waistrail ‘Service Coach’ bodywork was the J4EZ1 model, which was derived from the Bedford truck range but popular for PSV and coach use between the OB going out of production and the VAS being developed.
Guernsey’s buses were no less inferior for their use of HGV derived chassis, nor were the many hundreds of Bedford J2 coaches used throughout the UK in the 60’s and 70’s. Of course the VAS chassis, designed for bus and coach use also ended up carrying truck bodies such as mobile library’s, etc. From an engineering point of view rural bus chassis and truck chassis were all but identical from the turn of the 20th century right up to the end of the 60’s, essentially being the same 3, 4 or 5 ton models, marketed under different names.


28/05/13 – 17:07

Contrary to misconception, all of Guernsey’s Albion Victors, Nimbus and Bedford J4 vehicles (delivered between 1950 and 1972), carried Service Coach bodywork for dual-purpose (stage carriage and tours) operation.
Their seating was identical throughout the classes being of the double-arched semi-high backed variety, well upholstered, though the moquette was updated over the years.
As far as the chassis were concerned, as John has pointed out above, the Albion Victor was derived from the FT3 truck series, the Nimbus was evolved from the Claymore underfloor-engined lorry and the J4EZ1 was Bedford’s long wheelbase 5-ton bonneted truck converted to forward control at the coach-builders under supervision from the local Bedford Agents.
In essence vehicle manufacturers frequently used engines, gearboxes, axles, cross members, braking and control systems, etc in common across their PSV and HGV ranges, only the chassis side frames for the former were specifically designed to ease the fitting of passenger bodywork, often being cranked over the axles to reduce step-heights. However, in terms of ride quality, comfort or reliability there was absolutely no appreciable difference between PSV or HGV chassis.
The width restrictions in Guernsey necessitated some diverse thinking with regards to chassis supply, often it was the axles that were over-width so it was more convenient, expedient and commercially acceptable to receive off-the-peg width-conforming 5-ton chassis rather than have a full blown PSV types converted to suit, which would have been a costly and often time-consuming exercise, where large volume manufacturers would need to take standard chassis off-line and effect bespoke modifications.
In pre-war days the maximum lawful vehicle width was restricted to 6′-6", this was changed to 7′-0" in 1945, then relaxed to 7′-4" after the last J4EZ5 / Pennine vehicles arrived in 1974. Due to restricted model availability, this was further relaxed to 7′-6" (for certain routes only)in 1979.
The 7′-4" vehicles that remained in the fleet after 1979 had their fleet numbers amended with an ‘A’ indicating they could serve ‘A’nywhere on the island’s route network.
The 7′-0" wide vehicles also received the ‘A’ suffix at the same time.

J Edward Rose

18/05/15 – 06:54

I have the privilege of owning Guernsey Railways 77 and have in the past owned several FT39 Albion Victors.
As has been previously mentioned the vehicle chassis is in principal Albion Chieftain FT37. On one occasion I purchased a life expired Chieftain for spares, the only difference I came across (to my cost) was that the truck road springs are shorter than the PSV springs, I assume to give the passengers a softer ride.
77 has now been in preservation for 35 years her operational life was just 23 years! whilst in preservation 77 has been "On the road" for at least 30 of the 35 years.
A good testament to Readings the body builder, Albion and her post Guernsey Railways owners.

Peter Davies

19/05/15 – 06:05

Well said, Peter, in your comments about Readings, Albion and 77’s owners in preservation. It makes one wonder how many Enviro 400s will still be around in 35 years time.
Incidentally, where I used to work, there were five of us named Peter Davies or Davis. We identified ourselves by using the Welsh system of ‘Davies the . . .’ The silly thing was that the one with the English spelling (no E for the uninitiated) was Welsh [Davis the Welfare, as he was in Social Services] and the four with the Welsh spelling were English, at least by birth although my grandfather WAS a Welshman! We were continually receiving each others post, and used to meet several times a week to exchange papers. No such troubles in your workplace, I hope!

Pete Davies

25/04/16 – 06:39

Guernsey Nimbus 75 16216, now carrying a UK reg JNP 590C, is also preserved and was out yesterday on the Cheshire Run, part of Drive it Day 2016.
Photo can be seen at www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/

John Lomas

30/04/17 – 07:50

And 175 will be out on the Cheshire Run again today.

Tim Smith


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Harveys (Mousehole) – Albion Nimbus – RJX 250

Harvey ( Mousehole) - Albion Nimbus - RJX 250
Copyright Ian Wild

Harveys, Mousehole, Cornwall
Albion Nimbus NS3AN
Weymann B31F

This former Halifax Nimbus found its way down to deepest Cornwall where local Operator Harveys operated it on their share of the Penzance to Mousehole service which was joint with Western National. The route negotiated narrow streets and sharp corners in Mousehole and this little bus must have been ideal for the service. The photograph was taken on 13th June 1974 so Harveys managed to run it despite all the shortcomings of the type. Mind you, Halifax is rather more hilly!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

27/04/12 – 07:30

Harveys certainly put it to good use as it was still in the fleet when they were taken over by Western National in 1988. It even operated for them although unfortunately when I visited Penzance in that year it was laid up with a defective gearbox. Spares were not that easy to come by by then!
It was subsequently preserved but I don’t think it’s been too active in recent years.

David Beilby

27/04/12 – 07:31

This bus survives in preservation and has been restored to Halifax colours.

Chris Hough

27/04/12 – 07:33

Halifax purchased these Albions for the route out to Hepstonstall where there was minimum clearance. At least two of the batch were painted in reverse livery for private hires.

Philip Carlton

27/04/12 – 08:41

Great to see this bus in Mowzell! Having taken a black & white photo of this in Penzance in the late 1960s, I’m pleased to see that it is in a blue livery as I had always wrongly remembered it as being green!

Paul Haywood

27/04/12 – 10:23

How attractive this wee bus looks in the very smart blue and white livery shown here. What a pity the Albion Nimbus was such a stinker in service – one lasting for 25 years, as David relates, must be a national record! My only personal knowledge of the Nimbus is the extremely unflattering remarks made about it by staff at Maidstone & District’s Central Works, where it was regarded as a joke in the worst possible taste.
This posting raises again, however, the subject of lightweight/small capacity vehicles, and the inability of major manufacturers ever to make one that proved itself in service to the satisfaction of of operators. I’ve re-read the postings on the Guy GS; there isn’t one on the Dennis Falcon which found some favour with Aldershot & District, (unsurprising), but with very few others. Why not?

Roy Burke

27/04/12 – 10:28

The Western National contingent was Bristol SUS’s, and before that Beadle re-bodied Bedford OB’s (or possibly OWB’s).

Stephen Ford

27/04/12 – 11:38

Bizarre, Roy. I was contemplating making a similar comment myself – so now I will! In earlier time Western National ran Dennis Aces (or was it Maces?) on the Mowzell. I’m certainly of the heavyweight fraternity and full-sized light and medium weights just not cut it. As you say, the problem is when you need something of small dimension. The Guy GS, and probably contemporary Falcon, were far better engineered than any Mercedes (the better end of the modern market) let alone an IVECO or Renault.
The Tranny is too small, but better engineered than most. [Against all the odds and expectations, Luton and District got over a millions miles of reliable service from their 16 seat Bread Vans.] Unfortunately, cutting a Bristol LH down – which in theory should have given you a "heavy" small bus – didn’t work either. Probably the worst thing I’ve ever driven was an LH/ECW 25 seater – ex Blue Saloon, Guildford.

David Oldfield

28/04/12 – 07:39

Funny David should mention the Bristol LH, shortly after I left Percy Main for pastures new with Armstrong Galley, we took delivery of a Bristol LHS-305 with Plaxton C35F body, which soon became known as the ‘Stotty Box’ (stott is a Geordie expression for bounce) it was bad enough in dry conditions, but in the wet it was like trying to drive a mobile trampoline on an ice rink

Ronnie Hoye

28/04/12 – 07:40

When I was a Traffic Clerk at HPTD, I spent quite a few hours in the Halifax Nimbuses when learning to drive psvs in January 1965, and I always liked them, a view not shared by the majority of the Halifax drivers, more used to the brute force technique required of the Leopards and Titans in the fleet. I often drove on the second half of late turns on the 46 Heptonstall route, which seemed always difficult to cover, probably because of the unpopularity of the Nimbus. Despite the midget proportions of the Nimbus, the 46 route was conductor operated to enable the unbelievably tight reversing point at Heptonstall to be negotiated without major restyling of the bodywork. Later, the route was extended further into the village on a loop terminal working that allowed the operation of full sized saloons, and the Nimbuses were no longer required for Heptonstall, though some were retained for a while for the very rural 60 and 61 services to Mill Bank and Beehive. Some five years later, I used to drive the almost identical ex Western Welsh Nimbuses at weekends for North Downs of Forest Green.

Roger Cox

28/04/12 – 07:41

Unfavourable comments about the Bristol LHS are something I thoroughly agree with my experience of the type came after I joined Lincolnshire Road Car in 1991 at that time they had two with ECW bodies ex LCBS and at least one with Marshall body ex Gash of Newark.
They were all very unpleasant to drive with heavy steering, if anything heavier than the longer LH, the gear change on both was horribly stiff and imprecise the brakes like most Bristols was their only saving grace. Later another one appeared this with a Plaxton coach body and joy oh joy power assisted steering which life somewhat easier, the ride on all was lively to say the least. Overall eminently forgettable vehicles.

Diesel Dave

28/04/12 – 08:59

Although Mr Hilditch was not a fan of the Nimbus the replacement vehicles were roughly the same size. These were a batch of very short AEC Reliances with Pennine bodywork which looked almost identical to the nimbuses. These AECs lasted until the advent of the PTE.

Chris Hough

28/04/12 – 17:07

During my time at E.C.O.C. in Cambridge (1972-75) there were several Bristol LH’s and one LHS. they were used on OMO route 139 from Histon/Impington to the New Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Every one had extremely heavy clutch pedal operation, and as in previous comments they were not at all popular with the drivers. The LHS was referred to as ‘The Baby Bouncer’ as part of the journey was along Mill Road past the Maternity Hospital. On a return visit to Cambridge in 1997, I noticed that they were using one of the LH’s as a driver training vehicle.

Norman Long

29/04/12 – 08:03

I drove a Bristol LHS/Plaxton 35 seater at J. J. Longstaff of Mirfield. I never liked the way the pedals came out of the floor as in a car. One Sunday we used it on the service from Mirfield to Dewsbury and my clippie Kathleen referred to it as the sardine can.

Philip Carlton

01/05/12 – 19:52

Thanks, Ronnie Hoye! Can’t get that wonderful expression Stotty Box out of my head: it’ll keep me in smiles for months to come!

Ian Thompson

03/05/12 – 07:58

In the companies where I worked, the LHS was known as the "Baby Bouncer".

Roger Cox

04/06/12 – 17:08

Well I passed my PSV test on this very bus and had the privilege of driving her between Mouzel and Penzance many times. I am Vincent Harveys son and I now live in Australia.
My dad and uncle ALWAYS kept her in top order. Glad to know she’s being cared for still.
By the way, the family business was sold to Grenville Motors of Camborne.

Nick Harvey

10/05/18 – 05:47

I now own this Nimbus and it has returned to Cornwall for the first time in twenty years. She has fallen on hard times but will hopefully be returning to the road next year. Can’t wait to take her home to Mousehole.

Steve Cocks

11/05/18 – 06:40

I visited Mousehole on Sunday 9 June 2013 travelling on the First Devon and Cornwall service 6 bus from Penzance.
At the time it was the Mercedes-Benz Vario type that was used on the service because of the tight turns and narrow streets of the village. On the morning of our visit there wasn’t a suitable bus available for the service and so an Optare Solo was used. However, this type wasn’t able to negotiate the full route as it was too wide/too long so had to terminate at the ‘The Old Coastguard’ a hotel a little way short of the normal terminus.
The Solo ran until the 1115 trip from Penzance/1143 from Mousehole after which a Vario became available commencing with the 1215 service from Penzance/1243 service from Mousehole.
I took a few photographs of the Vario as it made its journey in the narrow part of the village which show the challenge the buses and drivers have. I don’t know what vehicles they are using these days. www.ipernity.com/doc/

David Slater

14/05/18 – 07:16

Glad to know she’s in safe hands, Steve. Keep us posted on progress, won’t you/

Chris Hebbron

14/08/20 – 06:29

RJX 250 as she is now. Mechanical work is progressing well with the braking system overhauled gearbox removed to repair clutch. Blue undercoat has started to be applied. Hopefully back to Mousehole in 2021.

Steve Cocks


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Halifax Corporation – Albion Nimbus – RJX 251 – 251

 Halifax Corporation - Albion Nimbus NS3AN - RJX 251 - 251
Copyright Roger Cox

Halifax Corporation Transport and Joint Omnibus Committee
Albion Nimbus NS3AN
Weymann B31F

Here is a shot of Halifax Nimbus No. 251 in Elmwood Garage repainted for service with a new owner – I cannot now remember who that was. Despite its frailty and engine unreliability, I quite liked the little Nimbus.When I went to Halifax in 1964 I had only a motorcycle driving licence, and I learned to to drive on four (should that be six?) wheels during my lunch breaks. Initially I went out with the wonderful HPTD instructor, Arthur Brearley, in the old 1947 PD2 training bus, which, by then, had worn off most of its gearbox synchromesh, and I found this extremely heavy to drive. When this was not available one day, we had a Nimbus, and I took to this instantly. The six speed gearbox, apparently detested by most Halifax drivers, was easy to use with a light touch, which was essential if the middle gate was not to be missed. After passing my test, one of the routes I used to cover as a driver in the evenings was the 46 to Heptonstall, which, because of the unbelievably tight reversing point at the village – a narrow slot between two houses off an equally narrow road; even the mirrors had to be flattened against the bus to get in – a conductor was carried on the 31 seat Nimbus. The little Albion was certainly not up to the rigorous task of Yorkshire Pennine bus work, but it was a nice little thing to drive, and I renewed my acquaintance with the type some years later when I did a bit of moonlighting for North Downs Rural Transport.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

13/10/11 – 06:08

I know very little I’m afraid about the technicalities and operating realities of the Albion Nimbus – but I must say that this immaculate repaint to the order of a new owner says volumes about an operator who knows what a dignified livery is all about – its quite simply beautiful. If I didn’t know otherwise I’d say that it was heading for "The Garden of England" and the East Kent company in the good old days.

Chris Youhill

13/10/11 – 10:20

This vehicle was sold to Booth and Fisher, keen Albion Nimbus users. It survived to be taken over with that fleet by South Yorkshire PTE in 1976 and was even given PTE fleet number 1059.
253 of the batch was sold to Baddeley Brothers of Holmfirth and was still in the fleet when they were taken over by West Yorkshire PTE (as of course Halifax had been), although I don’t believe it was still in service.
258 was sold from a Joint Omnibus Committee to a municipality (Warrington), then to an Urban District Council (Ramsbottom) who in turn were absorbed into SELNEC PTE.
250 is still with us today, having spent many years working for Harvey’s at Mousehole. It survived long enough to be taken over by the post-deregulation Western National.
A batch of vehicles with a truly fascinating history!

David Beilby

13/10/11 – 11:39

256 also went to Baddeley Bros. Three others went to Wiles of (I think) Port Seton in E. Lothian but not sure which ones.


13/10/11 – 11:40

Another of the batch was sold to Wiles of Port Seaton near Edinburgh,I cannot remember what its number was.

Philip Carlton

13/10/11 – 11:42

Nimbus RJX 251 was sold to Booth & Fisher of Halfway near Sheffield. I believe it’s true to say that all or most of the Nimbuses were repainted by HPT for their new owners. For the record, they were disposed of as follows:
250: Harvey’s, Mousehole, Cornwall (now preserved).
251: Booth & Fisher, Halfway.
252: Wooliscroft (Silver Service), Darley Dale.
253/256: Baddeley Bros., Holmfirth.
254/257/259: Wiles, Port Seton.
255: Halifax Corporation Welfare Department (fitted with nearside wheelchair lift).
258: Warrington Corporation (later to Ramsbottom U.D.C, and then SELNEC)

I was still at junior school when these were delivered in 1963, and I well remember coming out of school after a school prize giving concert, and one turning up at the stop on the route 2 Northowram service. Not yet having discovered ‘Buses Illustrated’ I had no knowledge about what was happening in the bus world until I actually saw it, and the appearance of new buses was always unexpected and exciting.
I noted immediately the Albion badges, and the ultra modern curved windscreen – the first in the fleet and in total contrast to the earlier flat fronted Leopards and Worldmasters. Inside they were very tidy and bright, with flush light cream formica from floor to ceiling, instead of the usual MCW utilitarian painted metal.
As I took my seat, another Nimbus passed in the opposite direction, and as I got up to alight at Stump Cross another was turning into Kell Lane on the 33 to Shibden. They were everywhere !
Despite apparently having a four-cylinder version of the Tiger Cub engine, the sound effects were pure vintage Albion, sounding to me more like coal wagons. They had a characteristic nose down, tail up appearance, which seemed to increase with time.
Drivers always seemed to be struggling with them – especially the gearbox. They were hopelessly underpowered for the local mountainous terrain, though were capable of eventually getting up to a fair old speed on more level stretches. It was when they were at speed, especially coming down the hills and well loaded that the trouble really started. The brakes were apparently hopelessly inadequate and temperamental, and there were many heart stopping moments.
Although originally intended to provide feeder services from the various hilltop villages to the main road double deck routes, it just never really happened. They spent so much time in the workshops during the day being repaired and adjusted, that when they were released as available for service, usually during the afternoon peak, they just went out on to the next available duty, which would most likely have required something a bit more substantial. Consequently they were overloaded and thrashed unmercifully by drivers who hated them, and suffered as a result.
They were all sold off after three or four years and replaced by seven shortened, narrow Reliances with Pennine bodies.
I am surprised at Roger’s comments about enjoying driving Nimbuses, as all the older drivers I ever spoke to – without exception – detested them with a passion !
I also recall going on a transport society visit to Crich on a new Halifax Loline in 1967. We had arranged to call on Mr. Woolliscoft at Darley Dale to inspect his wonderful Silver Service fleet – including the withdrawn AEC Q-type. He had just acquired Nimbus 252 and it was parked in the back of his depot, nosed in towards the wall. We asked if it would be possible to bring it out to be photographed next to the Loline, and he agreed willingly. He climbed into its cab, started it up, and then attempted to select reverse. The bus lunged forwards towards the wall, and he hit the brakes – which fortunately worked on this occasion. He stirred the lever around and tried again – same result. And again, and again ! Finally, with the front panels almost touching the wall, and its owner red faced and cursing, it was decided that the only way would be for us all to push it out of the depot and across the road, and I think we then pushed it back !
I always found it difficult to believe that they had Weymann bodies. The were totally unlike anything the MCW companies had ever built, and one might have expected a sort of short, narrow version of the familiar ‘Hermes’ body similar to the Leopards and Worldmasters. Instead they were almost copies of the ones built by Harrington for Western Welsh. They were very neat looking vehicles.
I liked them though nonetheless, but then this was a few years before I became a driver, so I only experienced them as a enthusiastic passenger.

John Stringer

13/10/11 – 11:43

Albions – much neglected due to their early demise after their take over by Leyland in 1951. They should be remembered more fondly than perhaps they are, being side-lined into niches by Leyland. [The Aberdonian was a cheap light-weight version of a cheap light-weight version!!! ie of the Tiger Cub and was reviled as such.]
The Albion Victor VT21L was a Bedford SB13 clone with the Leyland 370 and a six speed gearbox. Generally regarded as much the superior beast, it was too expensive and too late to knock Bedford or Ford off their pedestals – and there were still Commer Avengers around. After this it was down hill all the way, although like the Leyland Panther, they still had success overseas where the home market didn’t work.
Booth and Fisher. A superb independent which ran by the end of my road on the Sheffield/Derbyshire border when I was a boy.

David Oldfield

13/10/11 – 17:05

When the Nimbuses were in service at Halifax, the bulk of the fleet consisted of Leylands, and changing gear with a PD2, even more so with a PD3, and exceedingly more so with the early Leopards, required the application of a certain degree of brute force. Also, it was not possible to miss the desired gate on the Leyland four speed synchromesh box. The six speed constant mesh Nimbus gearbox was the extreme opposite, and gear changing, which required double declutching, could be undertaken with the light pressure of a couple of fingers on the lever, and this was essential if the centre gate was to be detected. The gearstick did have rather long travel, and I have heard the characteristics of the Albion box described by unsympathetic persons as "stirring porridge with a knitting needle". The unpopularity of the Nimbuses was largely due to the total contrast of its light touch constant mesh gearbox with the heavier synchromesh boxes of the Leylands and AECs, or the even easier to drive AEC and Daimler preselectors.

Roger Cox

14/10/11 – 11:34

Was two of the batch painted in reverse livery and more comfortable seats for private hires.?

Philip Carlton

14/10/11 – 14:50

All the Nimbuses were delivered in conventional bus livery. The following year two Willowbrook-bodied Leopard DP’s arrived (269/270) which had the cream and orange areas reversed. Shortly after this Nimbuses 250 & 251 had their seats retrimmed with the same moquette as the Leopards and had headrests fitted. They were then repainted into the new DP livery. However, whereas the Leopards and later Reliance DP’s had polished metal trim above and below the central orange band, the Nimbuses had to have black lining painted on, as on the normal bus livery. On their withdrawal, some seats from both 250 & 251 were removed and fitted to new short Reliance replacement 252, though it was in bus livery. (The Nimbuses seated 31, but the Reliances seated 39). What was then used to reseat the Nimbuses for sale I do not know.

John Stringer

23/01/13 – 14:34

RJX 258_2

Sorry about the very late entry to this discussion about the Halifax Nimbi, but attached is a shot of 258 when it operated for Ramsbottam U.D.C.
I thought I had a shot of one of the other Halifax ones at Booth & Fisher, but it was one of the ex-Western Welsh ones.
Here in Australia the Nimbus was as successful as in UK, Rockhampton City Council in Central Queensland had six, 3 with Athol Hedges bodies and 3 bodied by Stewart & Sons of Bundaberg. They lasted into the mid-1970’s and a few saw further service with schools.
I’ll post a photo of the Ramsbottam one at the Stubbins Lane depot in 1969.

Ian Lynas

23/01/13 – 15:35

To see how unreliable these were just read the books by Geoffrey Hilditch who was responsible for them at Halifax. Aldershot and District borrowed one from Devon General and used it on their route 66 shadowed by one of their Falcons. They didn’t buy any!


25/01/13 – 06:43

"PAYE" signs . . . you don’t see those anymore, do you? Halifax’s must have been amongst the more elaborate: an internally-illuminated glass covered by a drop-down flap – or as here, a slide down insert. At the time I thought YWD buses were very inferior with their black-on-yellow perspex flip-up/down boards behind the nearside windscreen – I think the KHD-series Leopards might have also had an illuminated PAYE sign to the rear of the entrance. The first time I saw a Leyland National (I) it had both its PAYE displays – to the left of the destination, and to the rear of the door – lit: wow! such modernity . . . and that I think was the last time I ever saw them in use. So: were these things ever a legal requirement, or just a passing fad? and if they weren’t a legal requirement why did operators spend so much cash specifying illuminated signs that were never used?

Philip Rushworth

25/01/13 – 12:33

Well, I guess at a time when PAYE was not universal (in fact quite unusual in urban areas) operators thought that signs (elaborate or not)might speed up the process if intending passengers were alerted to have their (hopefully correct) money ready as they got on. As we all know, that was a lost cause. Many city operators went over to "no change given" to save the time spent faffing about with change. And we are all familiar with the tedious process as a row of people board, each in turn putting his/her shopping, buggy and parcels down and then ferreting in the wallet, purse or handbag for cash, collecting the ticket, putting the wallet, purse or handbag away again and then collecting their worldly possessions together so that the pantomime could start all over again with the next "customer". (The essential of a passenger is that he travels. The essential of a customer is that he pays.) Of course twerly passes have speeded things up a bit – but not much.

Stephen Ford

26/01/13 – 06:28

See the posting of PMT 130 here  PMT 130 for that Operator’s early design of Pay as you Enter sign on the front panel.

Ian Wild

RJX 251_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

11/02/16 – 09:04

RJX 251 ended up after the stint with SYPTE as the Chesterfield Cricket Club tour bus. We at the club have just obtained a picture for the club house in Queens Park. Does anybody know what happened to RJX after it left our ‘care’



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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Wednesday 17th August 2022