Old Bus Photos

William Ivens and Sons – Crossley – LWE 669

William Ivens and Sons - Crossley - LWE 669

LWE 669_2

William Ivens and Sons
Crossley SD42/7
Yeates C35F

William Ivens and Sons (Timber Merchants) Limited of Rugby had in 1961 a works service from the Long Buckby, Northampton direction into Rugby and the bus was usually was parked up nightly in the Corporation Street car park. The two shades of blue Crossley SD42/7 with Yeates C35F body had been new to Hirst & Sweeting of Sheffield in 1949 (who were to sell out to Sheffield United Tours in 1967). LWE 669 also so spent some time with KW of Daventry after it left Sheffield; other than this, little else is known?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stuart Emmett

09/10/17 – 07:31

LWE 669 was new in 06/1949.
It was sold in 04/1954 to Oliver Luxicoaches Ltd of Loughborough. It then passed to KW Coaches Ltd of Daventry as number A4 in 01/1957.
It was withdrawn in 06/1959 and sold to Ivens & Sons of Rugby. Last licensed 12/1962.
Details from PSV Circlr publication PB27
Fleet History of S.U.T.

Dave Farrier

10/10/17 – 06:09

Thanks Dave
I was sure someone somewhere would know its history.

Stuart Emmett


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Lewis – Crossley SD42/7 – JP 7538

JP 7538

Lewis (Rhydlewis)
Crossley SD42/7
Duple C35F (1955)

JP 7538 appears to be another wonderful combination of Bedford SB chassis and Duple coach body, except that it isn’t! The Crossley SD42/7 chassis dates from 1949, when it was new to Liptrot of Bamfurlong, near Wigan. A new Duple C35F body, as seen here, was fitted in 1955. We see it at Duxford on 28 September 2008.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

11/12/16 – 14:06

One of Gerald and Simon Emerton’s fine collection at Nantwich, Cheshire.

Ian Thompson

11/12/16 – 17:07

Registration number should read JP 7538.
One of two (the other being JP 7537) new to Liptrot with Bellhouse Hartwell C33F bodies. Both rebodied by Duple as seen here whilst still with Liptrot. This one passed from Liptrot to Towler, Emneth 10/63, then to Lewis 7/65. Withdrawn 8/72 but still owned (unused) by Lewis in 4/81, subsequently to Emerton for preservation.
(Information from PSVC)

David Williamson

12/12/16 – 06:44

The frontal aspect of this Duple body differs from the Bedford version in the slightly shallower windscreens with greater downward curvature to match the level of the side window line, and winged motif set above the smaller, lower front grille, rather than incorporated as part of the top frame. This coach would have been delivered with the HOE7/4 version of the dubious 8.6 litre engine, the last wholly Crossley effort in remedying the shortcomings of this motor before AEC, exhausted of patience with the Errwood Park concern, came up with the HOE7/5 downdraught replacement. What engine does it now have, I wonder? According to Eyre, Heaps and Townsin, despite the poor reputation of the Crossley engine, Birmingham Corporation, who had substantial fleets of both types, rated the DD42 rather more highly than the Daimler CVD6 on performance and reliability grounds.

Roger Cox

12/12/16 – 12:58

The grille on the Crossley is actually the standard ‘early butterfly’ type with winged motif above a smaller grille with fine mesh, as used on the 1955 season Super Vega (body series 1055).
The previous 1954 season model (series 1050) was the same body but with the oval ‘fishmouth’ grille, then the 1956/7/8 season models (series 1060/1074/1090) were the classic 30ft. version with continuous (unstepped) waistline, three piece rear windows and the larger, flashier grille incorporating the motif and with a more open mesh.
Here is an example of the 1955 season Super Vega for comparison. www.sct61.org.uk/zz475ctw

John Stringer

13/12/16 – 07:18

Thanks for that correction, John. In the arrogance of youth, I tended to resent the overwhelming invasion during the 1950s of the Bedford SB into respectable fleets, where it invariably ousted ‘proper’ heavyweight coaches of far greater character to my senses as a juvenile transport enthusiast. Despite the fact that they were all around, I obviously didn’t take a proper look at Duple bodied SBs, beyond noting that the fish mouth grille was replaced by the (to my mind still) hideous butterfly style. (As Sherlock Holmes commented – "You see, Watson, but you do not observe.")

Roger Cox

14/12/16 – 16:33

We have 1956 and 1957 Duple Annuals in the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust archive and it does not seem to have a model name like Vega or Corinthian. It is just described as "the rebodying product from Duple"

Stephen Allcroft

15/12/16 – 06:49

The Vega model name and its derivatives (Super Vega, Bella Vega, Vega Major, and all others beginning with ‘V’ – Vista, Super Vista, Bella Vista, and Bella Venture) were used exclusively for Bedford chassis by agreement with Vauxhall Motors (which maybe not coincidentally began with ‘V’).
Super Vega-based designs for mounting on other makes of chassis – new Ford Thames and Commer Avengers, and rebodies on AEC Regal, Tiger PS, Daimler CVD6 and Maudslay Marathons though extremely similar were unnamed until the model names Yeoman (for Fords) and Corinthian (for Commers) were belatedly introduced for the three-piece screen version for the 1961/62 seasons.
Similarly during the early 1960’s bodies for Fords had to be given different names to the equivalent Bedfords. Bella Vegas became Troopers; Vega Majors became Marauders, then Mariners; Bella Ventures became Empresses. It was only with the introduction of the Viceroy at the 1966 Commercial Motor Show that the same name became applied to both Bedfords and Fords, then later to heavyweights as well.

John Stringer

19/12/16 – 07:09

I’ve personally heard Birmingham’s preference for Crossleys over CVD6s confirmed by someone who used to work there. However, I don’t think that either engine was anywhere near as "dubious" when powering a single-deck vehicle. A former contributor to this forum has described both double-deckers as "distress purchases" in times of vehicle shortage, but both CVD6 and SD42 had a positive following when it came to coach work.

Peter Williamson

19/12/16 – 13:53

According to "Happy Family", the story of Yellow Bus Services from Guildford, they had 2 Dennis Falcon P5s (VPA 261-2) with Duple Vega bodies.

John Lomas

19/12/16 – 15:19

An operator in Guildford, buying Dennis chassis? I wonder why that doesn’t surprise me!

Pete Davies

20/12/16 – 06:47

I brought up the Falcolns because of John S’s posting about V type bodies being Bedfords, I wondered if John’s comment meant that technically the book might be wroong to use the Vega name.
Re your comment: YBS over their 36yr life 1921 to 1957 appear to have had 66 vehicles: 33 Dennises, 24 Bedfords, 4 Fords, 2 Chevrolets, 2 Morrises and a Leyland. So they were quite loyal to Dennis but obviously favoured Bedfords as well.
17 of their Dennises and all the other makes predated their first Bedford in 1937 and the last of those earlier ones was gone in 1939.

John Lomas

20/12/16 – 06:49

The two Yellow Bus Dennis Falcons were of the forward control 30 ft. long L9 type, and both may be seen in these pictures:
Mercifully (to my mind) neither of these coaches has the butterfly front grille. These pictures were taken in Guildford’s Onslow Street bus station, and the building in the background is the former Dennis works built in 1901. The site was retained as a repair shop when Dennis production finally moved to the new factory at Woodbridge Hill, which opened in 1905 and expanded thereafter. The Onslow Street premises were sold to the Rodboro Boot and Shoe Company in 1917, and they still stand.

Roger Cox

20/12/16 – 11:22

When you look at the photos Roger has given links to, it’s in the mindset that they have Bedford chassis, such is the relationship between these bodies and Bedfords! It’s a surprise to me that we now know of at least Dennis and Crossley chassis being secreted underneath!

Chris Hebbron

21/12/16 – 06:17

TMV 986

And here’s another example of something hiding under a Duple body! It’s from a bought slide, of unknown copyright, but BLOTW has TMV 986 as a Leyland Tiger PS1/1 new in 1948 to another Lewis – the one in London SE10. In this view, the vehicle is with Express, Rhostryfan

Pete Davies

21/12/16 – 06:19

The Vega-style bodies went on the following lightweights besides the SB, Albion Victor FT39, Commer Avenger, Dennis Falcon, Ford Thames Trader PSV, Leyland Comet ECPO1/2T and Tilling Stevens L4MA8.
The rebodying product to my knowledge on AEC Regal III, Crossley SD42, Daimler CVD6, Maudslay Marathon III and Leyland Tiger PS1.

Stephen Allcroft

13/08/17 – 07:46

Isn’t TMV 986 with Silver Star rather than Express?


13/08/17 – 08:54

As I bought the copy slide, it was in the vendor’s listing as with Express. You may be correct and the vendor may have been wrong. I have no idea!

Pete Davies


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Sheffield Corporation – Crossley – JWJ 737 – 237 & KWA 776 – 576

Sheffield Corporation - Crossley - JWJ 737 - 237 & KWA 776 - 576

Sheffield Corporation - Crossley - JWJ 737 - 237 & KWA 776 - 576

Sheffield Corporation
Crossley SD42 & DD42
Crossley B32R & H56R

Following the end of the war, Sheffield Corporation A fleet took a small number of Crossleys (28 in all) over three years. First to arrive were six single-deckers 237-242 (JWJ 737 – 742) in 1947. In the same year eight double-deck vehicles were added, they were 573 – 580 (KWA 773 – 780). They were followed in 1948 by another ten and in 1949 by four more. The two pictures show examples of the earliest deliveries, but look at the different styling around the front ends. The doubledeck version is probably more typically Crossley with the window line dipping to meet the line of the windscreen. The singledeck version has a straight window line at the front but still meeting the line of the windscreen. Most Sheffield doubledeckers would have two route blinds, these one-liners were in a minority but taken at a time when getting new buses was a higher priority than "calling the shots".

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

20/06/13 – 16:44

I think all Crossleys were distress purchases, in time of great need, and that they were diverted orders. That explains the non-standard features. Certainly the four 1949 Crossleys were diverted from a Liverpool order, albeit they seemed to have Sheffield specification – down to destination blinds.

David Oldfield

PS: The 1948 ten were interesting in that they had NCB bodywork. Were they unique?

21/06/13 – 08:10

I believe the single deckers were a diverted order from Chesterfield Corporation and the batch of eight double deckers 573-580 diverted from a Lancaster order.
Numbers 573-580 seemed to spend most of their lives on the Inner Circle routes 8 and 9.

John Darwent

21/06/13 – 08:11

A picture of a former Lancaster City Transport SD42 showing the straight windscreen is on this site at the People’s League for the Defence of Freedom page.The straight lower line of the windscreen was standard on the single deck Crossley bus body (the Dutch Crossleys are a completely different species). This feature was maintained right up to the very last single deck SD42/7 Crossley bodies, two of which were delivered to Southport Corporation in 1951, though these lacked the stepped waistrail. Southport had earlier also specified the straight windscreen line on its pair of DD42/7s with downdraught engines supplied in 1950.

Roger Cox

21/06/13 – 08:11

Here’s one of the DD42/3’s with NCB bodywork you mentioned, David O. Certainly nothing I’ve ever seen before. www.sct61.org.uk/sh595

Chris Hebbron

21/06/13 – 16:45


Above is an advertisement put out by Crossley that is quite appropriate.

I was always intrigued how neighbouring Rotherham more or less kept their Crossleys hard at work on the flat terrain as much as possible, mainly on the joint service 69 to Sheffield, whereas STD seemed to deliberately seek out some of the fiercest hills, such as several encountered on the Inner Circle, on which to run theirs!
Division Street obviously had more faith in the Crossley’s climbing abilities than Frederick Street!

Dave Careless

22/06/13 – 07:55

The mention of the double deckers being diverted from a Lancaster order goes a long way to explaining the style of indicator display.

Pete Davies

22/06/13 – 07:56

I don’t think it is true to say that all Crossleys were distress purchases. AFAIK there were only two problems, the engine and the steering, neither of which were known about when the first ones were ordered. The engine problem only became serious under stress: I have never heard any complaints about it in single deckers, even in double deckers it was worse in hilly terrain than on the flat, and it was eventually fixed by AEC engineers. As for the steering, it too could be fixed (I don’t know if Manchester were alone in doing this) and although it sounds brutal, it was something that only affected drivers and not the balance sheet. So unless an operator actually cared about its staff, or had a strong trade union presence, the problem could be ignored.
Those two things apart, I seem to remember Geoffrey Hilditch being quite complimentary about Crossleys.

Peter Williamson

22/06/13 – 09:43

Depends what you mean by distress, Peter. Given a clear field, untrammelled by Government intervention, Sheffield would have continued to buy only Leyland and AEC – presumably continuing the pre-war body orders to Leyland, Weymann, Craven and Roberts. Like everyone else, they couldn’t get enough from their preferred suppliers and in times of "distress" went where they could to find sufficient vehicles. This included the said diverted orders of Crossleys but also included deliveries of Daimler CVD6s as well as going to unusual suppliers of bodywork – NCB; Cawood; Wilks and Meade. When things settled down in the ’50s, a simple dual sourcing policy returned – Leyland/AEC and Weymann/Roe.

David Oldfield

23/06/13 – 08:16

A further point of interest is that on receipt, the six SD42’s diverted to Sheffield had only a single destination aperture at the front (as found on similar Chesterfield vehicles) and this was not wide enough to incorporate a route number as well as a place name. Sheffield therefore effected their own modification and cut out a separate aperture alongside for the route number but presumably the restricted space for this exercise was only sufficient for a two digit display. I doubt this would have been a problem since, as far as I can remember, they spent the majority of their lives on such routes as 37 and 40 to Bakewell via Baslow and via Carver Sough.

John Darwent

23/06/13 – 08:17

Leeds had dual sourced AEC & Leyland pre war and were allocated utility Daimlers during hostilities. Such an impression did these make that Daimler continued to supply chassis for the next thirty years. They bought one Crossley which impressed enough to be followed by 20 odd others all of which lasted until the early sixties. Indeed they outlasted some of the postwar Daimlers which were far more standard than they were. Perhaps as Leeds was a major AEC customer they got help with the Crossleys from that quarter.

Chris Hough

23/06/13 – 08:17

As a small boy in Sheffield I remember being taken by my uncle on more than one occasion for a ride all the way round on the "Outer Circular" service. From memory and it is a long time ago, the bus was invariably a Crossley. Again, from memory, it was never very full so maybe "Division Street" did keep these buses to the lighter used routes?

Stan Zapiec

23/06/13 – 17:23

Like Stan, I also used Crossleys on the 2 / 3 Outer Circle. My trips were shorter, being from Gleadless Town End to Graves Park, or Abbeydale Road where we would get the tram to Millhouses Park. The Crossleys never seemed very happy on this run, especially on the uphill return journey, to my young mind.

Les Dickinson

25/06/13 – 17:04

I used the 8/9 regularly from Broadfield Road to Newbould Lane to get to school from 1964 – 1971. The Crossleys had gone by then. I only had cause to use the Outer Circle after some nit had changed it (and the route) to 2/59! [They were PDR2/1 Atlanteans. Actually quite good, but outside our purview.]

David Oldfield

03/07/13 – 15:13

The double-decker`s were used on the 8&9 routes, along with the 69 Rotherham. They would only have needed single destination blinds for these routes. Later PD2s on the 69 route also had 1 destination blind that had the route & number in one box, as you lads have explained to me before.

Andy Fisher


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