Old Bus Photos

Potteries Motor Traction – Bristol FS6G – DPM67C – T2


Potteries Motor Traction
Bristol FS6G
ECW H33/27RD

New to Brighton Hove and District as fleet number 67 this was one of a pair of these Lodekkas acquired by PMT in NBC days as Driver Training vehicles. The yellow NBC style livery is rather attractive. Seems a strange vehicle type to transfer to an ex BET fleet with no previous experience of this model.
Photo taken at Woodhouse Street, Stoke outside the main works in July 1978

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

22/04/20 – 06:46

These two buses were added to the PMT fleet at the end of 1976 and if my memory serves me right one was received in NBC green whilst the other had traditional Southdown livery. These buses were newer than all of the Leyland Atlanteans and most of the Daimler Fleetlines still in operation at that time, but these were not suitable for Driver Traning duties by virtue of having semi-automatic transmission. At that time to obtain a licence to drive all type of PSV a driver had to have undertaken at least part of the PSV training on a bus with fully transmission.


23/04/20 – 06:40

Thanks for the comment. In 1976 PMT would still have Ford coaches with manual transmission (and maybe Reliances 986-991 and 1041 -1043, possibly some Reliance service buses still with manual transmission). Most BET fleets had gone over to forward entrances for their later half cab deliveries and rear entrance buses were easier (and cheaper) to adapt for driver training. An interesting interlude and interesting comment about liveries as received.

Ian Wild

23/04/20 – 08:27

I agree that the livery is quite attractive, probably aided by how impeccable the bus looks.
Is it still or no longer the case that PSV drivers must have some experience of manual transmission? The Stagecoach learner buses I see around locally (all single deckers, although the fleet has double deckers, too) are so old as to suggest that they have manual gearboxes. They are of the high-floored variety coach type with steep steps into the vehicles.

Chris Hebbron

24/04/20 – 06:08

In 1976 PMT still had a large number of Leyland Leopards and AEC Reliances from the batches delivered between 1962 and 1965 – 921 to 950, 976 to 985 and 1036 to 1040. One of 1963 Leopards (927) was converted to a Driver Trainer in 1977 and carried the same livery as the two Bristol FS6G. Unfortunately all of the heavy weight(some might say decent) coaches had been withdrawn by PMT in 1973 to be replaced by twenty Ford coaches with Duple Dominant Express bodywork. I have often wondered if the coaches were withdrawn prematurely to take advantage of the bus grant scheme or in order to improve the profile of the coach fleet. A further link between PMT and Southdown also took place in 1976 when six 1965 Leyland Leopards coaches were purchased and carried PMT fleet numbers 10 to 15.


24/04/20 – 06:09

Chris-so far as I am aware the use of high floor coaches is more to do with a requirement that buses used for PCV licence testing (and hence training) are fitted with ABS brakes. Modern coaches are so fitted (again by law) hence meet the required standard.

Ian Wild

25/04/20 – 06:29

Ian; When this came into force my local operator, First Eastern Counties, had to use the newest Volvo coaches (R reg) for driver training and the N&P reg ones for revenue earning services.
Shortly before the ABS requirement I had passed my class D driving test in a 26 year old Bedford YMT which obviously did not have ABS.

Nick Dasey

26/04/20 – 06:10

Even when delivered in 1966, the FS did not appear to be the bus for the future of the industry! Several of the last batch went to Tilling companies that already used FLF forward entrance deckers. So why revert? I recall United Counties had several of this last batch, with the reliable 6LW Gardner engine and without CBC radiators and thus engineering-wise were very reliable vehicles. But not much use when one man operation of double deckers came to the industry within two years of the delivery. United Counties carried out careful conversions of four of their last FS6G into Driver Trainers and, in at least one case, combined with tree lopping duties, complete with trailer for carrying the cuttings. They were out-shopped from Northampton similarly to the PMT version in an immaculate yellow version of the NBC livery. I think samples are still running and there are photos on Flickr. PS: I remember collecting Eastern Counties last FS5G from Lowestoft in 1966!

Geoff Pullin

26/04/20 – 06:12

Nick, I really admire your gall to go public on this site to say that you passed your test in a Bedford!
Perhaps our illustrious ‘blogmaster’ could start a separate topic heading, so that we might be able to regale tales of what we passed our PSV test with?
just an idea? (Tin hat time from our beloved Bedford fans, I fear )

Mike Norris

27/04/20 – 07:25

Mike, you think that admitting to passing a test in a Bedford is bad, it get’s worse. I also passed my class 3 & 1 HGV tests in Bedfords and worst of all, I still own the coach.

Nick Dasey

27/04/20 – 07:25

Well, I learned and passed my test in a magnificent (6 speed) 6U3ZR. Of course, purists might (justifiably?) say that learning and passing on a constant mesh decker is something of which to be more proud.

David Oldfield

27/04/20 – 07:27

I passed my PSV test on either DPM66C or DPM67C I don’t recall which one, having trained on both of these buses whilst at PMT in 1978. My assessment was undertaken on the aforementioned Leyland Leopard 927 (927 UVT).


28/04/20 – 06:27

I did my initial PSV training at PMT on dual control (and Metalastik toggle link suspension fitted) AEC Reliance 470 5596. I progressed to PD2 L466 (which suited me as it had a sliding cab door) and finally PD2 L337 which I wasn’t keen on. The Instructors were Gerry, Sam And George Clews who was the Examiner. He somewhat reluctantly advised me that I had passed my test. Something about being an Engineer, I wouldn’t have to drive a bus in anger!!! Happy days

Ian Wild

29/04/20 – 06:24

I recall that the primary use of T5596 was to train Conductors in order to obtain a Car licence.
George Clews took me on an assessment to drive a Company car but my PSV test was undertaken by a Ministry Examiner. The man in charge of the PMT car pool was an affable man, Bill Corden who I remember was also the Chauffeur to the General Manager. His initial greeting when encountering him was ‘haven’t we got good jobs’. Indeed happy days.
There is a link on the SCT’61 site regarding T5596.


30/04/20 – 05:54

I remember Bill Corden, great bloke in charge of the private car garage. Bill was very helpful and encouraging to me. His usual greeting to me was ‘How’s the fleet!"

Ian Wild


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Midland General – Bristol Lodekka – 972 ARA – 453

972 ARA

Midland General Omnibus Company
Bristol Lodekka LD6G
ECW H33/25RD

Photographed in Nottingham in August 1961 is Midland General 453, 972 ARA, a Bristol LD6G Lodekka with ECW H33/25RD bodywork, delivered to the operator in October 1956. This vehicle, together with other buses from across the NBC, went to West Riding in April 1970 to expedite the withdrawal of the troublesome Guy Wulfrunian fleet. Sadly, 453 didn’t last very long in the care of West Riding as it went to the scrapyard in December 1971 having, rather pointlessly, been renumbered No. 408 just one month earlier.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

09/04/18 – 07:39

Such a pity the BTC had such a rigid livery policy with most Loddekkas being in wall to wall red or green. We were denied the opportunity to see such attractive vehicles in attractive liveries such as this one on a wider scale. The Midland General livery seemed to slip through the livery police net somehow but the loophole was soon spotted by the dreaded NBC and the even more dreaded poppy red was soon inflicted.

Philip Halstead

10/04/18 – 05:39

I agree – the only other attractive exception was BH&D, who had cream roofs and a much deeper band of crew around the lower deck windows – oh, and I think that either Notts & Derby or Mansfield District did something similar with Tilling Green and cream. Pity as the ECW body was beautifully proportioned, although too Spartan inside for my taste.

David Wragg

10/04/18 – 05:40

Some Midland General vehicles were initially painted dark blue with a white band and the fleetname in NBC style.

Stephen Bloomfield

10/04/18 – 05:41

Midland General never was a Tilling company but throughout it’s existence as a BTC and THC operator, it’s vehicles were always immaculately turned out, regardless of age and always sported comprehensive, fully working blind displays with via points shown, right until the later FLFs and VRs which had provision for ultimate destination and service number only. It was strict company policy that they must be correctly set too, the word ‘SERVICE’ would never have been allowed, in fact it wasn’t even on the blinds as an option.

Chris Barker

11/04/18 – 06:00

What is often overlooked regarding the BTC’s standard red and cream/green and cream ‘Tilling’ liveries is that when they were first introduced, the Tilling Group was in private hands. For many years the Group had operated a policy of centralised control and one of its aims, post-World War II, was to standardise on its ‘in house’ Bristol-ECW products – namely the K type double-decker in highbridge or lowbridge form, and the L type single-decker in bus or express form. Standard liveries for its bus fleets were also being pursued. When the Tilling Group was nationalised in 1948, outwardly it would probably have looked like ‘business as usual’ to the general public, as the old Tilling liveries remained. Interestingly, when the Balfour Beatty Group came under state control, Midland General, Notts & Derby Traction and Mansfield District retained their original liveries. Later, when the Red & White Group was acquired, Cheltenham District continued with its dark red and cream livery, applied in its distinctive fashion. The BTC did not seem to be as obsessed with rigid standardisation as perhaps the privately owned Tilling Group had been.
Although many of the coaches in the BTC fleets donned cream with either green or red/maroon relief, some distinctive and well respected coach liveries continued – those of United, Royal Blue, South Midland, Bristol-Greyhound, and Crosville spring to mind. Presumably prestige and local good will still counted for something, even under state control.
When the THC and BET Group were combined to form the state owned NBC in 1969, with the well-intentioned objective of halting the decline in bus use, for the first few years it appeared once again to be ‘business as usual’ regarding liveries. Ironically, it was someone from the private sector – one Freddie Wood – at the behest of the Heath government, who was responsible for the corporate liveries inflicted on the constituent companies in 1972. The standardised poppy red and white, or leaf green and white liveries for buses and ‘local coaches’ and the allover white National coach livery were not a patch on the liveries they replaced. In fairness, the introduction of the ‘National white coach network’ did improve public awareness of express travel and business did increase as a result, but why such an impractical colour was chosen for such hard working vehicles operating over long distances in all weathers remains a mystery.

Brendan Smith

11/04/18 – 06:04

Midland General, together with Notts & Derby and Mansfield District, were Balfour Beatty companies. Balfour Beatty initially concentrated upon tramway operation in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, whence it then broadened its activities into electricity generation and supply in those counties. When the electricity supply industry was nationalised in 1948, that aspect of the Balfour Beatty operation was taken over by the government, but the three public transport components of the business, by then using trolleybuses and motor buses, did not automatically follow suit. The disposal of Midland General, Mansfield District and Notts & Derby was a decision taken by Balfour Beatty in the light of the then Labour government’s aspirations for public ownership of the bus industry. Tilling sold out at about the same time, but the BET resisted. I agree with Chris that the standards of Midland General were very high, endorsed by the splendid livery.

Roger Cox

19/04/18 – 06:35

The reason that the Midland General fleet could be so smart was that the services operated were extremely profitable compared with other operators such as Trent.

Nigel Turner

20/04/18 – 06:40

Indeed so Nigel, Midland General had some very lucrative routes and on weekdays they operated many works and colliery services which operated throughout the day to meet changing shift patterns. On Saturdays, when vehicles which had been used on such duties might otherwise have stood idle, many of their principal services were so busy with shoppers, they were doubled in frequency, so the fleet was fully utilised. A blue livery and a blue chip company!

Chris Barker

23/05/18 – 06:47

Roger, the shareholdings of MGOC/NDT/MDT were all held by the Balfour Beatty subsidiary "MIDESCO", the Midland Counties Electricity Supply Company – it was MIDESCO which was nationalised as part of the compulsory nationalisation of the electricity supply industry, becoming part of the British Electricity Authority (BEA). It was because Balfour Beatty chose not to separate out the accounts for MGOC/NDT/MDT from those of the parent (MIDESCO) that they were nationalised (as part of that electricity supply company). Initially the BEA negotiated with a management agreement with Balfour Beatty for "oversight" of MGOC/NDT/MDT, but this lasted only months until the BEA transferred MGOC/NDT/MDT to the BTC.
The Llanelly & District company ended up in state-owned hands for similar reasons, but the outcome then was quite different.

Philip Rushworth

24/05/18 – 07:29

Thanks for that clarification, Philip. An interesting website about the Midland General Group may be found here:- https://midlandgeneralomnibus.weebly.com

Roger Cox

31/08/20 – 06:21

The location of the photo is the old Mount St bus station in Nottingham, a place I was most familiar with, since I lived in Nottingham until 1964, and my bus home (either the Nottingham City Transport 63 or more usually the Midland General F5) left from there. It was a pretty basic facility, and I understand it was actually a genuine wartime utility bus station! Presumably the utility Guy Arabs in the Midland General and Barton fleets, which in the early 1960s were regulars there, felt at home in the place. I believe the place was built to ease overcrowding at Nottingham’s original Huntingdon St bus station, and would also save a bit of mileage for routes from the west,, probably an important consideration during the war. I always found the Midland General buses to be well presented and reliable, but it always seemed strange to me that travelling to and from school on the F5, usually on the same departures each day, you never knew what vehicle would turn up – anything from a utility Guy to a brand new Lodekka. The route was worked by Ilkeston Depot, and they seemed to have no consistency as to what was sent out on what duty. Mount St was replaced by a new smaller facility nearby after I left Nottingham, but that had a fairly short life before closure.

Chris Appleby


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Brighton, Hove & District – Bristol Lodekka – OPN 807 – 7

Brighton, Hove & District - Bristol Lodekka - OPN 807 - 7

Brighton, Hove & District
Bristol LDS6B
ECW H33/37R

Seen in Brighton in the summer of 1960 is Brighton, Hove & District OPN 807, fleet no. 7, an example of the rare LDS short version of the Bristol Lodekka with flat lower saloon floor, air suspension on the rear axle, and air (instead of vacuum) over hydraulic braking system. With some adjustments, the LDS model then went into volume production as the FS type. The prototype LDS, an LDS6G with Gardner 6LW engine, went to Crosville in 1958 as 285 HFM, fleet no. DLG 949. In May / June 1959, BH&D received LDS buses OPN 801 to 808, the company’s first Lodekkas, which were powered by the then newly introduced 8.9 litre Bristol BVW engine. OPN 804 to 808 had ECW H33/37R bodywork, but OPN 801 to 803 were CO33/37R convertible open toppers. www.flickr.com/
As delivered, these eight LDS6B buses had the Cave-Brown-Cave heating system installed and, as seen in the photograph, lacked a conventional radiator at the front of the engine bay. The deficiencies of this heating/cooling arrangement, especially apparent with the overheating prone BVW engine, led to its subsequent disconnection and the fitment of a normal radiator, though the cooler running Gardner powered Crosville prototype retained its Cave-Brown-Cave heating and blank front panel with winged motif to the end. OPN 807 served with BH&D until January 1969 when, under NBC “rationalisation”, it passed to Southdown ownership with all the BH&D operations. Withdrawn in 1972, it then went on to Brittain’s in Northampton http://bcv.robsly.com/ who sold it, ostensibly for preservation, in June 1979. Having since passed through a number of supposedly preservationist hands, it would seem that it still exists in the current ownership of a dealer, the London Bus Export Company of Lydney, though its current condition is uncertain. If it still retains its BVW engine then spares for that will be scarcer than hen’s teeth.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

18/02/18 – 17:05


Prodded by Roger’s item, I Googled LDX 003 and found Nigel Furness’ book mentioning LDX003 and LDX004 both of which had passed me by! His book also adds that BCV changed the designation of the six LDL 30′ chassis built in 1957 (eg Bristol L8450 – see http://www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=34464 to LLD after they were built which explains why I had come across this confusing reference at some time whilst at BCV.
Roger’s photo reminded me of one that I took at BCV in early 1964 showing no. 4 with two non-standard to Tilling Group features of these vehicles: the split step (making a ‘stepless’ entry into a stepped access!); and the side route no. indicator. The first feature is still extant in the photo-link of no. 7 in Brittain’s ownership.
When I took the photo I had just arrived back at the factory at Brislington after a long spell with BOC so was not aware why no. 4 was at BCV. It was the first of the eight LDS chassis built at the end of the 138th sanction for BH&D, although the last three with convertible open top bodies were given fleet nos. 1 -3. I also have a note to say that its BVW engine was fitted with a DPA (distributor) type fuel injection pump, instead of the original in-line fuel injection pumps of either CAV or Simms manufacture. I’m not aware that this cheaper component was adopted as a standard in later BVW engines.

Geoff Pullin

19/02/18 – 07:07

Whoops – got confused. This photo is of BH&D no. 54, not 4 and hence is an FS6B of the 214th sanction dating from 1964. The bit about DPA pumps definitely refers to 5no. 4!

Geoff Pullin

19/02/18 – 07:08

Thanks for the picture of the "stepless" door platform on these buses, Geoff. I had completely forgotten about these, but I now recall that they were held to create more platform stumbles than they sought to eradicate. Your reference to the use of DPA fuel pumps on these early BVW engines is notewothy. DPA pumps appeared in the mid to late fifties on smaller engines, but this must surely have been one of the pioneer applications on a relatively large commercial vehicle engine. Was it intended to thus equip the production BVW as standard? I am not an engineer, just an interested layman, but I can recognise the appeal of the DPA against the traditional, much more costly, in line pump. The DPA has to work harder serving all the injectors, but the advantages of cheaper and easier replacement together with simplified calibration must have been attractive. Was reliability a problem, and did these early Lodekkas keep these pumps?

Roger Cox

19/02/18 – 07:08

I remember these Lodekkas from my gap year conducting from Conway Street in 1969/70. The lowered rear platform step was said to be popular with all the old ladies of Hove but in rush hour with visitors and foreign students they were also what we now consider a trip hazard. Happy days!

Anthony H

20/02/18 – 06:03

As of Feb 12 it was still at Lydney. Gossip says it was possessed over an unpaid bill. I would have thought offering it for continued preservation would have attracted a buyer.

Roger Burdett

21/02/18 – 07:26


Reading Geoff Pullin’s post regarding Brighton & Hove APN 54B and its modified entrance step, it put me in mind of a similar design modification applied to a East Midland VR some 9 years later. PRR 121L and its low entrance step option was presented to the local press in Mansfield as a help to the aged and infirm. I don’t know how long it lasted but photos on the web show it had gone by the time Yelloway became the owners. I captured my picture when nearly new at Mansfield depot.

Berisford Jones

28/02/18 – 07:37

Berisford’s photograph of East Midland VRT PRR 121L’s step arrangement has reminded me that one of East Yorkshire’s 1973 VRTs (932) was similarly treated, but was converted to standard layout in later life. Maybe such experimental steps were more widespread than maybe first thought.

Brendan Smith

28/02/18 – 12:21

I seem to remember that ECW did about half a dozen VRTs with this step as an experiment in 1972/3 – another one was Trent 631 (RCH 631L), which was converted to normal within a year or so.

Bob Gell

03/03/18 – 06:40

Roger asks about the DPA fuel injection pump. To my knowledge it was never used on production BVW engines, but others may know differently! I can’t find any information about its introduction to other makes of engines but remember that it was used by Leyland on 680 engines in AN68 Atlanteans and later Leopards and probably Panthers. I can’t remember about the 500/510 series.
The DPA did have some reliability problems but the reduced initial cost and ease of replacement was probably thought to compensate in Leyland’s eyes. It was not suitable for increasing power outputs at a time that competition was pushing them up. The ‘Power Plus’ series of 680 engines used in trucks were fitted with in-line fuel injection pumps and that was the engine used in the Ribble / Standerwick VRL/LH coaches and why they were able to go ‘uphill at 70mph’ compared to 36ft Leopards, which were stuck with the DPA version because the in-line pump would foul the chassis frame. We had to wait for the Tiger before this power problem was sorted!

Geoff Pullin

04/03/18 – 06:50

From memory the later 680’s had an F&M Friedmann and Maier injection pump fitted.

Andrew Charles

05/03/18 – 08:02

Geoff, thank you for the fascinating information regarding BH&D 4 being fitted with a CAV DPA distributor type (sometimes known as rotary) fuel injection pump when new, as I had no idea of such an experiment. As you comment, the standard BVW engine was fitted with an in-line injection pump of either Simms (SPE type) or CAV (N type) manufacture, although I seem to recall that in later years the CAV pump became the norm. West Yorkshire’s 0.680-engined Bristol RELHs and Leyland Leopards were fitted with DPA pumps as standard, apart from a handful of WY’s last Leopards which had Austrian-built Friedmann & Maier (F&M) in-line pumps. F&M injection pumps were also used on Leyland-engined Leyland Tiger TR and National 2 models. The Leyland 510 engine fitted to the National 1 used the CAV NN-type pump, which was a development of the N-type, the immediate difference being that the NN had its oil supplied from the engine lubrication system, whereas the N was simply ‘splash fed’ by oil from its own small ‘sump’. Also, on the National engine the injection pump was laid on its side rather than being vertical.
As Roger says, the cheaper initial cost, ease of removal/replacement and simplified calibration were in the DPA pump’s favour, but I would tend to agree that the pumps would have had to work harder than a larger in-line pump on more powerful engines. The main problem WY had with DPA pumps related to fuel leaks, mainly although not solely, around the banjo bolts retaining the high pressure outlets to the injector pipes. I think Geoff is correct in thinking that the DPA pump was not suited to the steady increase in power outputs on large diesel engines in later years, although CAV did introduce the DPC (Distributor Pump, ‘C’ type) to help counter this, but I’m not sure as to its success. Going back to the DPA pumps, it came as something of a surprise when I first saw one on a 0.680 Atlantean engine. The pump looked so small on the side of such a large engine, especially when compared to the very large (but admittedly long-lived) injection pumps used by Messrs L Gardner & Sons on their range of engines!

Brendan Smith


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