Old Bus Photos

Portsmouth Corporation – Bedford OWB – CTP 200 – 170

Portsmouth Corporation - Bedford OWB - CTP 200 - 170
Copyright Chris Youhill

Portsmouth Corporation
Bedford OWB
Duple B32F

Perhaps this old snap may be of interest as we have had a previous posting of a sister vehicle whist in service with the above fine municipal operator. It was taken at Robin Hood on the A61 between Wakefield and Leeds in early 1968. At that time I was involved with a group who were initially preserving the vehicle and I did quite a bit of work on it many weekends, one difficult job in particular was to rebuild the rotting destination box assembly which can be clearly seen here. Sadly, due to domestic difficulties, I had to part company with the Group before the vehicle eventually took to the road in fine order and so I never actually rode on it and it was sold on shortly after that.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Youhill

28/03/11 – 10:30

I recall you saying, Chris, that you’d put some hours in on this vehicle, and I also recalled I’d seen a photo of the finished article on the web somewhere. It’s here with the following caption:
“1944 Bedford OWB 170 (CTP 200), pictured in wartime grey livery. Sold in 1963, the remains of the original body were replaced in the early 1990s with a replica body partly built by Ulsterbus, who were restoring a similar vehicle. Photographed in Upper Drayton, Portsmouth April 1996. (Photo and text Malcolm Audsley)”
At least your efforts were to some avail in the end!
I was comparing my Mulliner-bodied example with your Duple example (and a few others). Superficially, both makes look the same, but the vents either side of the destination box are different, Mulliner having a cover over the apertures.
Thanks for posting it.
PS Is it you leaning nonchalantly on the front wing – what confidence that it would not collapse from rust corrosion!

Chris Hebbron

29/03/11 – 07:31

Yes Chris it is me leaning on the wing – my co- preservationist took the picture on my camera. You are right – it was indeed a risky pose to adopt, but I only weighed about "nine stone wet through" in those misguided heavy smoking days and so that no doubt saved me from an undignified descent into the mud !! We are amazed to hear of the subsequent rebuilding of the body and thanks very much for that additional information.

Chris Youhill

03/04/11 – 08:56

The bus itself, the mud, the dereliction in the background and the look of grim determination on Chris’s face all nicely sum up the early days of preservation, when finding covered accommodation was a nightmare and the transport "professionals" saw us as mad but harmless. Delighted that this project met with such success.

Ian Thompson

02/05/11 – 06:34

CTP 200 made the HCVS London to Brighton Run today Sunday 1st of May.
It is only the 2nd time out on a real run since we got it back on the road after a 10 year period of rest.
Apart from identifying a few little jobs to do she performed excellently.

Mike Elkin

02/05/11 – 12:53

Congratulations to Mike and friends on this achievement – my only surviving colleague from the original preservation group will be delighted to hear it. I’ve always been an ardent OWB/OB admirer, both in preservation and in full time public service, and the delightful lusty tones provided by these incredibly gutsy and totally honest little vehicles is music to the ear and comes into my mind very frequently.

Chris Youhill

02/05/11 – 12:56

Nice to hear from you Mike E and hear that she is in safe hands and putting in the occasional ‘public appearance’.
Perhaps you could fill in some of the gaps between Chris Y having to give up and near final completions, especially with regard to the Ulster part – how did this happen?

Chris Hebbron

04/05/11 – 06:56

Aside from the engine sounds, I always loved the sounds from Bedford gearboxes of that era – pure music!

Chris Hebbron

27/01/13 – 09:50

CTP 200_2

As I do from time to time I just randomly pick a page – often it helps me to at least try and understand what people are talking about. The posting of Portsmouth Corporation 170 registration CTP 200 has a mention of it attending the London to Brighton run in 2011. Above is picture taken by me as the vehicle passes Brighton pier.

Ken Jones

27/01/13 – 12:25

At the moment, she’s having some attention done to the engine and some repainting in the engine bay at the same time. Paintwork has been touched up, with some thought being given to something more extensive.

Chris Hebbron

30/05/13 – 06:00

CTP 200 is to shortly have some remedial work done to the front grille, front wings and bumper. A new rear registration plate is to be made up, the offside half-drop window replaced and the opening windscreen reinstated. Then she will be going away to be painted in the Portsmouth red and white livery, with grey roof.

Clive Wilkin

30/05/13 – 11:34

She’s also had to have the engine professionally rebuilt recently, essentially because of a badly scored cylinder bore. The engine bay has, concurrently, had a thorough clean and repaint and the body some touchups.
She should be really smart when repainted in maroon, white and grey roof, just as most folk would recall here in service.

Incidentally, nice seafront photo of her, Ken J.

Chris Hebbron

16/06/15 – 08:22

CTP 200

CTP 200_inner

As indicated earlier this restored little bus is now back in it’s true colours of Portsmouth red and white, with a grey roof. It appeared at the Southdown 100 centenary event at Southsea Common on June 7th. It looked very smart, and drew many admiring looks from both enthusiasts and general public. It’s good to compare this with the original picture on this posting, when it’s restoration was at an early stage. Many man-hours (ladies too?) have passed since then to bring it to it’s smart looks today. Well done to everyone.

Michael Hampton

16/08/15 – 08:47

CTP 200_03
Copyright Kevin Warrington

CTP 200_04
Copyright Kevin Warrington

To complete an all-round view, here are an offside and rear view of CTP 200 (170), taken on its first outing after a recent renovation. The photos were taken by Kevin Warrington, an active participant in CPPTD, who preserve Portsmouth Corporation vehicles. He allowed these photos to be posted here."

Chris Hebbron

CTP 200 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

26/10/15 – 06:53

CTP 200
Copyright Unknown

Voila! Another pre-restoration photo of CTP200 when first in the hands of CTTPD (City of Portsmouth Preserve Transport Depot): (renovation of the adjacent PD1 is well underway).

Chris Hebbron

27/10/15 – 06:41

Thank you Chris. I do remember seeing these two together somewhere near Waltham Chase in the early 1980’s, when taking my sons to band practice. There was never any opportunity to find out more. Now 170 is complete, and it’s good to know that the PD1 is also progressing.

Michael Hampton

28/10/15 – 06:58

What a tonic to see these two veterans side by side, and grand to know that the Bedford is already "better than new." I’m sure that the gorgeous PD1 will be equally appealing in its own class when completed, and this picture of them standing side by side "in recovery" is delightful.

Chris Youhill


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Portsmouth Corporation – Bedford OWB – CTP 41 – 163

CPPTD 1943 Bedford OWB/Mulliner Bus B32F (Withdrawn 1963)
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Portsmouth Corporation
Bedford OWB
Mulliner B32F

The earlier photo I posted, of a Portsmouth Leyland Cheetah, surrounded by Daimler CWA6/Duple double-deckers, were neatly bridged by the delivery of 10 Bedford OWB’s (1 in 1942, 7 in 1943 and 2 in 1944). All had Duple bodies, save 162 and 163, bodied by Mulliner, more aligned with bodying sleek, expensive Rolls-Royce’s and Bentleys!
I have to say that I never discovered any real reason for such little buses being allocated to CPPTD. Portsmouth’s bus services were already severely curtailed for the duration, with buses being kept away from the seafront and a greater reliance on trolleybuses than hitherto. They lent out double-deckers for periods. Upon delivery, at least some of them were painted grey, but whether this was through lack of maroon livery paint or the proximity of sensitive sites is debatable.
Whatever they did during the war, they led uneventful lives afterwards on quiet routes, although I have seen photos of them going along Commercial Road, the main shopping centre, which suggests that they were called out to perform on busy routes from time to time.
These small, but stout-hearted vehicles were all withdrawn in 1962-63, with 163 going in 1963. One (170 – CTP 200) survives in preservation.
One quirk unique to these buses were the number plates, which always had a tilde between the letters and numbers!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron


Super picture of that wonderful wartime bus, the OWB. Portsmouth must have been faced with extra wartime naval personnel transport duties to receive these, I would think, but they were regarded as "standard 32 seaters" in the wartime allocation system, being the only new single deckers available.
I well remember riding on Ledgards, and White Bus (Bridlington) OWBs, and the ring of their high pitched petrol engines and gear change lingers in my ears to this day.
Several other municipal fleets received OWBs, Bournemouth and Belfast coming to mind. Perhaps extra wartime duties were the common feature.

John Whitaker


What a lovely picture of the OWB! In the early post-war period, they were painted standard red/white, and with grey roofs. They were also given upholstered seats from withdrawn vehicles (probably the TSMs, Condors and TD1s, reducing to 27 seats.
One of their uses in the fifties was on mileage balancing with Southdown, and I have read that they were especially useful on the Havant / Hayling routes because they could safely use the Hayling Bridge.
Their use became much more intense in later life, as in September 1958 the Corporation introduced a PAYE route (22) between Lower Wymering and Upper Drayton. I well remember this as this was in my earliest days of bus enthusiasm, and the route was just one road away from my home! At peak periods they could be well-loaded, the supposed "eight" maximum often being exceeded. I remember squatting on a bodywork protrusion opposite the driver in the space in front of the front entrance, and the back of the bus was invisible due to the crowd on board! For this work, they were further down-seated to 26, to provide a luggage space for pushchairs.
The picture could probably be dated quite accurately by anyone who still has records. It has a white roof instead of grey, (repaints to white roofs for the fleet were carried out 1959-1961), but still has a semaphore trafficator (on the pillar behind the driver’s window). Later (c. 1962/63?) the fleet were given flashing trafficators, those on the OWB’s being fitted below the window line.
My class-mates and I who followed this interest used to keep detailed records of when we first saw a bus with a white roof instead of grey, flashing trafficators fitted, and re-seated vehicles (both single and double-deck vehicles). Unfortunately my own lists have long disappeared, probably consigned to a dustbin.

Michael Hampton


I was involved for quite a while in 1967/8 in work on the preservation in Leeds of CTP 200. One particular job that I remember doing was to reconstruct the destination blind box which had become badly corroded. Sadly, due to domestic circumstances at the time, I was no longer among the group who eventually put the splendid little vehicle back on the road. I need hardly remind those who know me that I am an ardent admirer of the Bedford OWB/OB – a model which is a modest and unpretentious but stout hearted little trooper if ever there was one.

Chris Youhill


30/04/11 – 15:30

Re OWB’s later life. Michael Hampton is quite right re their late use, but I remember their use for the start of the PAYE services between Wymering and Highbury Estate whilst the new Leyland single deck, twin entry/exit, buses were awaited for delivery and service. The doors were operated by a rod linkage between the driver and the doors!!

Bob Townsend


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