Old Bus Photos

Yorkshire Woollen District – Bristol K5G – OWT 204 – 154

Yorkshire Woollen District - Bristol K5G - OWT 204 - 154

Yorkshire Woollen District
Bristol K5G
ECW H28/28R (1955)

Aliens Land In Dewsbury.

Yorkshire Woollen District experienced a severe shortage of vehicles during 1969 and consequently was obliged to acquire some most untypical vehicle types which no doubt caused much displeasure to both engineering and road staff. Seen here at Savile Town depot, Dewsbury in 1970 are a selection.

From the left.

WCY 892 (160) was one of seven AEC/PRV Bridgemasters (H43/29F) that had come from South Wales Transport, this one being new in 1961.

UHN 642 (166) and WHN 54 (169) were two of six Bristol KSW6B’s with ECW H32/28R bodies, that had been new to United Automobile in 1954/55.

6162 WJ (141) was one of seven Leyland PD2/30’s with Roe H33/26RD bodies that had been new to the Sheffield ‘C’ (British Railways owned) fleet in 1960. From the same source had also come two PD2/20’s with ECW bodies, three Atlanteans and two Burlingham-bodied Leopards.

OWT 204 (154) was one of four Bristol K5G’s with ECW highbridge bodies that had been new to York West Yorkshire in 1939, then rebuilt with new chassis frames and rebodied in 1955. There was also a pair of lowbridge K6B’s from Keighley West Yorkshire.

All those in the photo were withdrawn in 1970 (6162 WJ in 1972) and sold to North’s, the dealer, at Sherburn-in-Elmet only the Bridgemaster seeing further use, being exported to Canada for use initially by a restaurant in Toronto, then by Gray Tours of Winnipeg.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

06/01/17 – 06:24

Hmm . . . varying shades of red! I’, assuming that Ks were placed in service in Tilling red, the Bridgemaster in SWT red, but the PD2 repainted into YWD red. I’ve seen a paint listing somewhere which refers to "BET red" and "BET crimson" as standard colours shared by BET companies: I’m sure YD used one of the two, and Hebble the other (and one of two was the same as Western Welsh) – I’ll have made a note somewhere, I’ll track it down.
It strikes me as odd that YWD went to the trouble of making "coach glasses" for the Bridgemaster and PD2, but not the UA Ks.

Philip Rushworth

06/01/17 – 10:51

Sorry to reveal my ignorance but what do you mean by "coach glasses"?

David Rawsthorn

06/01/17 – 10:52

I knew of the vehicle shortage at YWD but I’m surprised to find that such a variety of interesting vehicles were brought in to help. While I can understand the general displeasure among the work force, as an enthusiast driver I would have been over the moon at getting to know such vehicles.

Chris Youhill

06/01/17 – 10:53

Great photo John. Takes me back to when I started at YWD Head office at Savile Town Dewsbury in 1970. These buses made a welcome change to the MCW Regent Vs which seemed to be everywhere around Dewsbury. The Bridgemasters were christened Welsh Corgis.

J D Blackburn

07/01/17 – 06:44

Those glass panels with the operators names on below the rear windows of coaches, I couldn’t think of a better name for the glasses with "Yorkshire" in lieu of destination screens.

Philip Rushworth

08/01/17 – 06:21


David Rawsthorn

08/01/17 – 06:22

I guess the Ks, being considerably older, were considered to be "not long for this world"! I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for me the ECW body for the K (especially the high bridge KSW version) was the nicest and best balanced half-cab double decker of all time. By contrast, I always thought the Bridgemaster was the ugliest (with apologies to those who love them!)

Stephen Ford

08/01/17 – 06:23

OWT 204 was actually the fifth ex York-West Yorkshire K5G that Yorkshire used. They started with OWT 196/7/201/5 from 1 May 1969 and numbered these 155/4/2/3 respectively. However, OWT 197 was returned to West Yorkshire (for disposal) at the end of May and replaced by OWT 204, the subject of the photo, which took on OWT 197’s fleet number of 154.
At this stage all six West Yorkshire vehicles (4 x K5Gs and 2 x K6Bs) were only on hire and carried a "West Yorkshire Road Car" legal ownership panel and an "On Hire to Yorkshire Woollen District" sticker. They also had "West Yorkshire" fleetnames (i.e. without Keighley- or York- prefixes) and full Tilling red and cream livery with black wings and wheels. This hire situation continued until 18 August 1969, when all six vehicles were sold to Yorkshire Woollen District.
In January 1970, OWT 196/201/4 had their wings and wheels painted red (ex black) and gained Yorkshire fleetnames, but remained in Tilling red and cream.
They were used mainly on YWD routes A1/2/3/4 (Thornhill-Dewsbury-Birstall), for which special short destination blinds were made for the front only; they carried no rear destination or route number blinds. They worked mainly at peak hours, but we were told at the time that they "…are extremely popular with the Yorkshire drivers, who appreciate their reliability and sturdiness. Indeed, they are practically the only double deckers at Dewsbury that do not have to be "booked off" for one fault or another!"

Trevor Leach

08/01/17 – 06:24

I have read before about the "severe vehicle shortage" in 1969 which may have been shared with others. Why was this? Do I remember that they had problems with inspections? In days of uniform fleets it is strange to read that these five "begged" buses had four different makes of engine- a Youhill delight- what was the rest of the fleet then? Leyland? At least I think West Riding- around then- replaced Wulfrunians with buses with various Gardner engines.


10/01/17 – 06:17

From memory, local newspapers referred to a shortage of spare parts.
In 1969 Yorkshire Woollen’s fleet included:
6 x circa 1950 Leyland PS2s rebodied as double-deckers by Roe in 1962-63
44 x AEC Regent Vs dating from 1958-61
9 x Leyland PD3A built 1962
14 x Albion Lowlander built 1964
22 x Daimler Fleetline built 1965-67
12 x Leyland Atlantean built 1967
Between 1959-62 Yorkshire Woollen purchased 43 AEC Reliance single-deckers, but many of these had been withdrawn by 1969.
YWD purchased 50 bus-bodied Leyland Leopards between 1962-65.
I well remember wishing to travel to school and finding that what had previously been a 70-seat Regent V-operated service was frequently a coach-seated AEC Reliance, either with 39-seat Weymann Fanfare bodywork, or ex-Maidstone & District examples with centre-entrance 37-seat Harrington coachwork.
I regret to say that things got so bad with being unable to even board a vehicle – and consequently being late for school – I finally gave up on YWD and started walking to school.

Paul H

10/01/17 – 16:49

I was aware that Hebble was experiencing severe problems with its fleet around this time (1970) but did not realise YWD shared the same problems.
The former Sheffield buses came to YWD as a result of NBC taking over the former railway-owned C fleet and distributing them to its subsidiaries, but no doubt they helped with the vehicle shortage.

Geoff Kerr

03/03/17 – 10:23

I left Dewsbury in 1968, but I don’t think that the situation was much better for 2 or 3 years before this. I well remember 41 seater Reliance/Harringtons being used on the A group of services to Thornhill where the allocation was a 70 seat Regent V every 5 minutes, with queues from the Market stop almost to the end of the road, and no chance of boarding the bus opposite the Bus Station. I am not sure that the cause was the same as 1969 but the effect certainly was. As an 18 year old I had a Saturday afternoon job with a Market Trader (I had to go to school Saturday morning), and I always walked to the Bus Station and caught one of the other services (Whitley, Grange Moor or Thornhill Edge) which took me close to home – and they were always full with frustrated A service passengers.

Malcolm Hirst


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Keighley – West Yorkshire – Bristol K – CWX 671 – KDG26

CWX 671

Keighley – West Yorkshire
Bristol K5G
Roe L27/28R

This Roe L27/28R Bristol K5G was delivered to Keighley – West Yorkshire (as K383) in April 1950. Over sixty-one years later KDG26 is seen passing through the impressive arch of the Halifax Piece Hall when taking a very active part in the Heart of the Pennines Event in October 2011. Chassis number 47.023, body number GO3063.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

08/12/15 – 05:55

CWX 671 was in fact new in 1938 and rebodied by Roe in 1950.

Eric Bawden

08/12/15 – 13:57

This epic picture of what is still, today, a magnificent vehicle and in fine condition and brings back happy memories for me from the days in the early 1960s when I was a young conductor at WY’s Ilkley depot. At that time the staff position at Keighley was critical and we were often sent there to help out, on completely unfamiliar routes of course. On one occasion I was sent on route 19 to Hebden Bridge and, my word, what a wild and desolate, but beautiful nevertheless, route it is. In fact so desolate that some of the fare stages could only be described by "fourth milestone from Hebden Bridge" etc. and one of the stages mentions "Galstones" !! One of my most treasured possessions is my 1960 fare book which I often dip into with great pleasure. Regarding the 19 route I still shudder even now in the car at how they went on in the icy Winters – there is a "Swiss style" treacherous hill near to Hebden Bridge with minimal edge protection and a wicked sheer drop in the event of a mishap. A route not for the faint hearted and that’s for sure.

Chris Youhill

08/12/15 – 13:58

An unusual view, Les, and thanks for posting. For a more ‘traditional’ angle of viewing this specimen, please refer to my own posting of her in Fleetwood.

Pete Davies


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Keighley – West Yorkshire – Bristol K5G – CWX 671 – KDG 26

Keighley - West Yorkshire - Bristol K5G - CWX 671 - KDG 26

Keighley – West Yorkshire
Bristol K5G
Roe L27/28R

Keighley – West Yorkshire was established as a branch of West Yorkshire Road Car in 1930, if we believe the entry on Wikipedia. CWX 671 was new to KWY in 1938 and is a Bristol K5G, but the bodywork is not what one might expect, being by Roe rather than by ECW, and is to L27/28R layout being rebodied in 1950, it originally did have an ECW L27/26R body. We see her in North Albert Street, on the corner of Kent Street, Fleetwood, arriving to take her place for Tram Sunday on 20 July 2003.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

28/08/15 – 06:56

It was actually 1932 when Keighley Corporation "gave way" into Keighley West Yorkshire Services Ltd. Also, after the April 1954 renumbering, these DGs never had the fleet number on the front dash as shown here. Before the April 1954 renumbering, they DID carry fleet numbers here.
These Roe bodies were of exceptional quality and were ordered because ECW were unable to carry out the total rebody requirement for the K class pre war buses. It was part of a wider "ex Tilling Group" exercise with United Automobile also being involved.
Wonderful old Bristol buses, and firm favourites of mine as we were blessed with a good allocation at Bradford depot!
Thanks Pete for a super memory jogger!

John Whitaker

29/08/15 – 06:53

Thanks, John. I wasn’t aware of her original body details, and I suspect that Peter added this bit from his sources.

Pete Davies

29/08/15 – 06:54

Exceptionally good-looking body, the more so because it’s a low-bridged one, yet don’t obviously look it.
The blind display itself is very informative, if not presented well in the photo!
Thank goodness the re-build also included the lower PV radiator, otherwise the overall effect would have been greatly diminished!.

Chris Hebbron

01/09/15 – 07:18

As John points out, ECW at the time were at full stretch, with full order books and a backlog developing, hence the rebodying of sixteen of West Yorkshire’s Bristol K5G ‘rehab’ chassis by Roe in 1950. The vehicles concerned were Keighley-West Yorkshire K362/366 (BWY994/998) dating from 1937, and K381-384 (CWX669-672) from 1938. Main fleet vehicles so treated were 385-394 (CWX673-682) from 1939. In the 1954 renumbering K362/366 became KDG16/20, K381-384 became KDG24-27, and 385-394 became DG28-35. When delivered, they were unusual in having the beading edging the cream bands picked out in red, rather than the usual black, and I believe all sixteen retained this feature throughout their WY/KWY lives. A lovely shot of KDG26, and to my eyes bright sunshine always seemed to show the Tilling red at its best. Wonderful.

Brendan Smith

01/09/15 – 07:19

KDG26 was part of a batch of 16 buses supplied with Roe low-bridge bodies in 1950. 10 were owned by the West Yorkshire Road Car Company Ltd and 6 including KDG26 were owned by Keighley-West Yorkshire Services Ltd. My records for 1953 show all the 10 WYRCC buses were allocated to the Bradford depot and this confirms the comments from John W. They were lovely solid buses to ride on and sometimes appeared on the Bradford to Ilkley 63 service which was my home route.
I do recall United Automobile having some similar Bristol K5G/Roe re-bodies but I am not sure of the number they had. Can anybody supply more information?

Richard Fieldhouse

01/09/15 – 07:20

CWX 671_2

CWX 671_3

More shots of KDG 26 taken at a Gardner Engine Rally held in June 2005 at Castlefield Canal Basin in Manchester. As well as buses the event included lorries, narrowboats and static engines. Anything was welcome as long it had a Gardner engine. It was a very successful event but I am not aware that it was ever repeated although I moved away from the north west shortly after and lost touch with events in that area.

Philip Halstead

02/09/15 – 06:58

The fascinating thing about these Roe rebodied K5Gs is the body profile, which seemed to have more in common with the pre-war ECW bodies carried originally, than the contemporary ECW design!
The chassis overhaul was very thorough, including of course, the update to PV2 radiator.
I doubt that the original bodies were worn out either, as 5 were transferred to 707-711, the W sanction K6As originally with Strachan utility bodies, later to be K5Gs. Probably the whole exercise was the result of a calculation to maximise the life expectancy, an aim which was well fulfilled!
To cover this K rebodying programme, the G type buses mainly remained in service until 1951/2, and what memories they bring back!

PS. !! Just to echo Brendan`s comment about Tilling red! It was a classic livery . If only the modern image was so adorned !!

John Whitaker

02/09/15 – 06:59

Thank you for your thoughts, gents.

Pete Davies

03/09/15 – 07:15

Coincidentally First Leeds have just repainted a Volvo/Gemini double decker into WYRCC Tilling red with single cream band livery (or an approximation of it).

John Stringer

04/09/15 – 07:09

Interesting thought, John. It has to be better than the multiple shades of grey "camouflage" paint job.

Pete Davies

04/09/15 – 07:12

With reference to the comment on West Yorkshire RCC by Richard Fieldhouse, United rebodied 4 prewar buses with Roe lowbridge bodies;
LUT1 EHN 617 Bristol K5G 47.088 Roe 3058 L27/28R
LUT2 EHN 618 Bristol K5G 47.089 Roe 3062 L27/28R
LUT3 EHN 620 Bristol K5G 47.091 Roe 3067 L27/28R
LUT4 EHN 621 Bristol K5G 47.092 Roe 3071 L27/28R
BGL 17-18,20-21, later BDO 17,18,20 & 21. New in 1939 with ECW 5684/5/7/8 L24/24R series 1 bodies, Rebodied in 1950 as LUT 1-4.
EHN 619 was not rebodied.
United also bought two new Bristol L5G single deck buses bodied by Roe in 1952;
BG 13 PHN 408 Bristol L5G 73.177R Roe ? B35F 1952
BG 14 PHN 409 Bristol L5G 73.178R Roe ? B35F 1952

Ron Mesure

04/09/15 – 07:14

It’s probably not a coincidence that First Leeds have painted a Volvo in Tilling Red since one of the current owners of CWX 671 is a very senior member of management at First Bus.
I’ve just been lent some Omnibus Society Magazines dating from 1963 and there was some comment about the fact that this bus had been entered in the London – Brighton run and some people felt it was too modern. I bet nobody would complain if it was entered now.

Nigel Turner

04/09/15 – 07:14

Having seen it at the Sheffield running day last weekend, I don’t think the first bus Gemini is the correct shade of red.

Don McKeown

05/09/15 – 07:11

Many thanks Ron M for the detailed information on the United Bristol K5Gs.

Richard Fieldhouse

05/09/15 – 07:12

It’s a while since a topic has come up on which I can comment. Here are three photographs which I took of Keighley West Yorkshire K5Gs in 1961 and 1963. I grew up in Keighley and used these K5Gs every day because they were the mainstay of the cross town routes.


In this photo of BWY 999 (KDG21) with BWY 994 (KDG16) you can see the difference in them as they are parked side by side in Keighley depot, the ECW body on the left and the Roe on the right.


In this photo showing the entrance to Keighley garage, the ECW bodied CWX 668 (KDG223) is next to the famous CWX 671 (KDG26). This shot was taken in October 1961 on a Sunday morning. The buses are watering up ready for going into service. It’s a pity that we can’t see the fleet number on KDG 26, and that is because it was one of the handful which retained stamped metal number plates. I am not sure of the dates when these plates were fitted to the buses, but they were not very legible and so were replaced by transfers.


The third photo shows KDG26 just 3 months before it was withdrawn and it looks smart even then. The photo was taken 30/9/62.

David Rhodes

06/09/15 – 07:07

oooH! Nice, David, and very atmospheric! Thank you for posting.

Pete Davies

06/09/15 – 07:08

Lovely photos David and thank you for posting. The aluminium fleetnumber plates you mention were introduced in summer 1957. They were applied externally to 52 vehicles, but by the end of the year the idea had been dropped – the plates being difficult to read at a distance, as David points out. West Yorkshire had had two plates produced for every vehicle in the fleet, and it was decided that they would be fitted internally to each vehicle instead, rather than scrapping them altogether. (One was fitted in the cab and the other near the entrance door).

Brendan Smith

06/09/15 – 07:09

Was Ramsden’s "Yorkshire’s Most Popular Beer"? Ramsden’s brewery occupied the site in Halifax currently occupied by the HBoS offices. Tetley’s brewery, of Leeds, purchased Ramsden’s in 1964, the brewery was demolished in 1968 . . . the then Halifax Building Society’s head office rising from the site in 1973. History suggests perhaps that Ramsden’s might have been over-stating their popularity! Advertisements on buses provide a window into other aspects of social history, which I’m starting to appreciate more as I accelerate past middle age.

Philip Rushworth

06/09/15 – 07:10

In response to Philip Halstead, the Gardner Engine Rally is a two-day weekend event which takes place every two years at different locations on the canal network. Unfortunately there are usually few if any PSVs present. Details at http://gardnerengineforum.co.uk/Events.html

Peter Williamson


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