Old Bus Photos

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 //gardnerengineforum.co.uk/Events.html

Peter Williamson

16/11/19 – 13:12

Re the Philip Rushworth comment 06/09/15, advertising claims like "Most popular" or "best" (as in the Nottingham Area "Home Ales are best" probably fell foul of the Trades Description Act, as they are always open to question.

Terry Walker


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Maidstone & District – Bristol K6A – HKE 860 – DH 152

Maidstone & District - Bristol K6A - HKE 860 - DH 152

Maidstone & District Motor Services Ltd
Bristol K6A
Weymann H30/26R

In the years before the BAT-Tilling rift in 1942, the Maidstone & District company developed quite a liking for the Bristol double deck chassis. Initially, the GO5G type was tried, 12 going to the main fleet and 4 to the Chatham & District subsidiary in 1936. They did not impress. The bodies were removed in 1938 and the chassis were sold on to Bristol Tramways. Despite this inauspicious start, Chatham & District then took 41 with highbridge bodies and Maidstone & District 12 with lowbridge bodies of the new K5G type from the end of 1938 up to the outbreak of war in September 1939. When Tilling and BET split, Tilling group fleets retained the policy of standardising on Bristol/ECW machinery, whilst the BET companies sourced their vehicles from various manufacturers. However, the exigencies of wartime production did not grant the indulgence of much choice in such matters and operators largely had to take what they were given, though the Tilling companies preferred to minimise their intake of non Bristol double deck machinery. Nevertheless, Chatham and District managed to obtain 5 and Maidstone & District 7 examples of the total of 85 unfrozen K5G buses produced in 1942. Towards the end of the war, matters were relaxed to a certain degree, and, within the limitations on offer, operators were able to express a preference for the model that best fitted into the fleet profile, though this was not always heeded by the authorities. During and immediately after the war, the Bristol concern produced a limited number of utility K type buses in three sanctions, but these lost the 5LW engine in favour of the 6 cylinder AEC A202, a version of the 7.7 (actually of 7.58 litres) specifically designed to fit in place of the Gardner. The W1 sanction consisted of 150 chassis, the W2 of 100, and W3 of 200. The W1 and W2 sanctions were equipped with the earlier style of high mounted radiator, but the W3 buses had the new lower mounted PV2 bonnet and radiator. Maidstone and District became an enthusiastic operator, accepting 30 of W1, 19 of W2 and 5 of W3. After the war, Maidstone and District continued to take deliveries of the K6A until the sale of the Bristol company to the government led to the withdrawal of that make from the open market. In recognition of the qualities of the Bristol chassis, Maidstone & District embarked upon a rebodying programme for the unfrozen K5G and utility K6A fleet, but the pre war examples were sold out of service in the mid 1950s. The rebodied K5Gs retained their high mounted radiators, but the rebodied W1 and W2 sanctions of K6As were fitted with the low mounted PV2 radiator. In most cases, new H30/26R bodywork of very attractive design was supplied by Weymann, but the later rebuilds received the decidedly less appealing Orion type. Curiously, many of the later buses of 1946/7/8, which retained their original bodywork to the end, were sold out of service earlier than the rebodied wartime machines. The photograph above shows chassis number W2.038, DH 152, HKE 860 of 1945 with a PV2 radiator and Weymann H30/26R body that replaced the original high radiator and Duple H30/26R in May 1953. It is seen in Tonbridge in 1960 on its way to the village of East Peckham, once a major centre of the hop growing industry. This bus stayed in the Maidstone and District fleet until 1966.

MD Car

Sadly the limitations of the Comet S camera lens prevent me from identifying the splendid car following the bus.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

16/03/15 – 06:50

What a fantastic shot. The long since built over Tonbridge Garage had several examples of these old Bristols which seemed to have been used to cover just about anything (at Tunbridge Wells they had distinct allocations).
Route 88 was allocated OMO Reliances and provided a useful connection to the nearest major hospital at Pembery, and connected with route 33 at the East Peckham end of the route.
On the offside is the road taken by Tonbridges regular Bristol allocation, Route 100, a 20 minute frequency town service with LL6A single deckers.

Patrick Armstrong

17/03/15 – 16:51

Wonderful-looking decker, and I bet the reality was just as good as the appearance. I was momentarily fooled by the "East Peckham" destination and imagined that the bus was on hire to London Transport, but somehow the landscape seemed not to bear that out, so I googled E. Peckham and found it just to the west of the Paddock Wood–Maidstone railway line—the very line I hope to use to get to the SE Bus Festival on the 28th of March.
Has any of our members been to this event, and if so how d’you rate it? The list of vehicles expected to attend looks very impressive. Last time I went to Maidstone was to see the trolleybuses before they disappeared, so I’m a bit out of date.

Ian T

18/03/15 – 07:01

Lovely photo and attractive bus. It was a very sensible conversion job by M&D. However, it always looks odd to me to see Bristol K’s without ECW bodies!

Chris Hebbron

18/03/15 – 07:02

There can’t have been a world of difference between the Bristol K6A and the AEC Regent II. Presumably the Bristol gearbox and transmission produced a somewhat different sound but surely the performance would have been similar? Is there anyone who has experience of driving both?

Chris Barker

19/03/15 – 07:18

Ian T:
IMO, the South East Bus Festival is definitely worth attending. The site is huge and features a perimeter road used by some of the vehicles to give rides to the public.
The vehicles are not jammed in lines and there are good photographic opportunities.
There is spacious covered accommodation for sales stalls and displays such as models, slide shows and there are talks by professional busmen – Roger Davies of Classic Bus fame has appeared, for example.
Plenty of other vehicles such as lorries, tractors and classic cars are also on display.
You can find a list of bus entries on the Arriva website and will see sister vehicle HKE 867 has been entered. It usually is on the free rides circuit so you should be able to sample it!
One last bit of advice – wear warm clothing and bring your own refreshments! The site is on the top of the North Downs and can be breezy.

Malcolm Boyland

21/03/15 – 07:03

I would also agree that the South East Bus Festival is worth attending. Where else can you have a ride on a pre-war Leyland Titan and the latest hybrid?

Nigel Turner

21/03/15 – 15:44

Malcolm and Nigel: many thanks for you info and advice.
The event sounds too good to miss.
Chris B: I’ve never driven a K6A but I’ve been lucky enough to ride the very lively Thames Valley 446 (DBL 154). Bus engineer pal Graham Green of Reading reckons that the AEC 7.7 goes better in other makers’ vehicles than it does in AEC’s own. I’m sure the 5-speed gearbox in the Thames Valley K6A reinforces that impression. How does the Daimler CWA6 compare with the CWD6? My guess is that the Daimler engine’s 13% greater capacity gives little advantage in performance.

Ian T

22/03/15 – 06:43

There is a (very) short video of the sound of a restored Lincolnshire K6A at this site (scroll to the bottom):- www.lvvs.org.uk/dbe187.htm  
The engine was rigidly mounted in both the K6A and the Regent II, but the mellow sounding Bristol constant mesh gearbox contrasted with the scream of the AEC straight cut gear D124 crash gearbox. Both types employed the triple servo braking system, and both, again, were noted for relatively light steering characteristics.
The Daimler CD6 had a capacity of 8.6 litres and a nominal output of 100bhp at 1750 rpm, but the quality varied greatly between individual examples. Like the contemporary and even more problematical Crossley HOE7 engine of identical bore and stroke (copied from the pre war Leyland unit), it performed best in single deck chassis. However, OBP does have an expert who can give an informed opinion of the Daimler engine from personal experience. Please step forward Chris Youhill.

Roger Cox

22/03/15 – 06:43

Very interesting piece particularly as I once owned an ex Hants & Dorset 1945 K6A open topper fitted with an AEC engine (see my description under ‘Hants & Dorset 1945 Bristol K6A‘).
By the way, the touring car following the bus is almost certainly a Riley Nine from the early to mid 1930’s.

John Barringer

22/03/15 – 09:20

I am sure that you are right about the Riley, John. On the first Sunday in October each year I travel down from East Anglia to the old Croydon Airport building for an ATC reunion. A fellow "old cadet" brings his splendid open tourer Riley Nine in British Racing Green. I plan to get one when I win the Lottery – not this week, sadly (can you believe that the same thing happened last week as well?!).

Roger Cox

22/03/15 – 14:25

Well done, John B, for identifying the car as a Riley Nine – my frustrations are over! There was always something special (and quirky) about Rileys, before the advent of ‘badge engineering’!
Roger C – I’ve said before that I grew up in the Morden that was LTE’s Daimlerland post-war. I recall that on the front inside of the driver’s cab above the windscreen of D140 was the chalk message, "D140, the fastest D of them all". It was one of the dozen CWD’s in the 281-strong fleet. You could always tell the CWD’s from the CWA’s, because the inspection holes in the bonnet-sides of each type were in a different place. So there might have been some extra performance with them.
Of course, any advantage disappeared when the engines were replaced by more driver/maintenance-friendly ex-STL AEC engines, around 1950!

Chris Hebbron

23/03/15 – 07:08

Doncaster had some K6A’s and CVD6’s of similar post-war -1948- vintage. The Bristols seemed confined to the straight up and down former tram Highfields route whilst the Daimlers went further and served the more varied and longer Skellow routes. I am prompted to note this because Roger reminded me of the agonised sound of the AEC gearbox and the impression of great revs in a short time on starting off, without any great forward progress. The Daimlers on the other hand seemed much more refined and even speedy: unfortunately their smell of hot diesel at rest, especially with the special cooling device (engine side panel resting on mudguard) in use cannot be replicated on this site- roll on smellerama…


25/03/15 – 16:25

Just a note about the car identified above. It is a 1929/30 Riley Model 9 Tourer as you have recalled. It is an early car and is a desirable "Eligible" car for Vintage Sports Car Club membership events. In good condition they are a delight to drive as was/is my 1937 12/4 Falcon version!

Richard Leaman

10/10/18 – 05:15

What is also interesting is the different styles of Weymann body fitted. The post war KKK Bristols (apart from one) had what was the post war equivalent of the pre war five bay Weymann body (similar to the LT post war STLs). Some of the HKE rebodyings had the same style. There then followed the 1951/2 version (as above) which had deeper windows. This style was also fitted to the rebodied Guys (again except one) and Daimlers as well as the high radiator Chatham Traction K5Gs. There then followed the 1953 four bay style (as exemplified by the preserved K6A) and then finally the Orion. The last two body styles were only fitted to the low radiator Bristol K6As. The LKT lowbridge Bristol K6As also had a lowbridge version of this style of bodywork fitted from new. All the vehicles were 7 foot 6 inches wide requiring a special narrow version of the Orion body.

Gordon Mackley


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