Old Bus Photos

Maidstone & District – Daimler Fleetline – 76 YKT – DL76

76 YKT

Maidstone & District
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Northern Counties H44/35F

Maidstone and District was an early user of the Leyland Atlantean, taking both normal and lowheight examples classified DH and DL respectively, from 1959 until 1963, when the Daimler Fleetline became the favoured choice. CRG6LX No.DL76, 76 YKT was delivered in September 1964. The Northern Counties body is shown as H44/35F on BLOTW but elsewhere is stated to be H44/33F. DL76 is seen in Tonbridge on 1st October 1967 by which time the BET was concluding negotiations with a view to the sale of its bus industry interests to the government. The imperfect state of the front panel of DL 76 indicates some prescience of the future world awaiting it under NBC.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

17/01/18 – 06:31

H44/33F seems more likely. The first Atlanteans of my local BET operator, Tynemouth and District had H44/34F seating, reduced on the next batch of Atlanteans, and the first batch of Daimler Fleetlines to H44/33F. This was achieved by reducing the inward facing seat over the front wheel arch from 3 to 2. 34 seems to be the maximum that could easily be fitted in downstairs, 35, although not impossible, would imply very cramped seating.

John Gibson

17/01/18 – 06:33

Roger, I would interpret the bent front panel another way – all was not perfect before National Bus company was formed whatever some fondly like to remember! Had it not been formed I would not have arrived at M&D from Eastern Counties in January 1970! It is perhaps an appropriate location to remind us of Mr Macawber: Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery! Perhaps the main reason BET were willing to sell out!
At that time all the M&D Fleetline DD were 77 seaters as indeed were the highbridge Atlanteans (according to the 1971 fleet list). DL 76 > 6076 was still at Tonbridge in 1971 having been converted to "OMB" as was the current expression. Tonbridge had no bodybuilders and had a small running shift, so it was no doubt waiting to go to Tunbridge Wells for repair – the dreadful split level garage that was eventually closed only in 2017!
See also www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/m_&_d_selected_memories.php

Geoff Pullin

17/01/18 – 06:33

Northern Counties made one of the best jobs of bodying the first generation rear engined buses. The engine shrouds hide the rear end bustle and the proportions look just right. In this instance the whole show was helped by a tasteful traditional livery that fitted the lines of the body. Although a bit boxy I thought the flat screens were better than the later versions where BET style curved windscreens were grafted on and never seemed to blend in right.

Philip Halstead

17/01/18 – 06:34

Nice looking bus, the livery helps. We had similar at PMT new in 1963. They were specified with a seating material called Replin which quickly became very soiled and were later retrimmed in very basic red vinyde. I prefer the M&D single headlamps to the twin headlamps fitted to the PMT batch. I like the Southern Region green Station nameboard!

Ian Wild

18/01/18 – 05:28

Not being familiar with the M&D fleet, I’m assuming that the prefixes DL and DH referred to the overall height rather than the upper-deck seating layout, hence the Fleetlines were DL as they had the drop-centre rear axle.

Geoff Kerr

21/01/18 – 06:22

The old M & D garage at Tunbridge Wells was originally operated by Autocar and was in existence prior to 1933 when London Transport expected to acquire it(they had to make do with the little garage in Whitefield Road which became the operating base for Greenline 704)The garage faced directly onto the main road and also Woodbury Park Road.Why do todays operators consider covered accommodation unnecessary?

Patrick Armstrong

24/03/18 – 06:17

A quick reply to Geoff Kerr; DH referred to ‘Diesel Highbridge’ and DL to ‘Diesel Lowbridge in the Maidstone & District fleet. I was not a lover of the Fleetline because, as a driver, I found the engine tended to resonate through the bodywork into the cab and would give me a severe headache after an hour! That is if the engine was not perfectly tuned and many ‘bus engine was not perfect! I also once had the misfortune to have an engine cowl corner fall away from the body and dragged it along road by the cables when returning to Maidstone from West Malling.

Freddie Weston

24/03/18 – 18:13

The ‘D’ stood for ‘Double Deck’, not ‘Diesel’, Freddie. The corresponding Single Deck code was ‘S’.

Roger Cox

07/06/18 – 05:27

Having known many M&D staff over the years I can say that TW was not very good at looking after vehicles. Many were the PD2s and Reliances that managed to mysteriously get to Brighton so that Edward Street fitters could do a brake reline or other maintenance task that TW didn’t want to do. It was very noticeable in old M&D days that the vehicles from GR & H would be very well looked after, whereas TWs looked like bumper cars.

Bob Cornford


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West Yorkshire PTE – Daimler Fleetline – 105 LNW – 105

105 LNW

West Yorkshire PTE (Calderdale District)
Daimler Fleetline CRG6
Roe H41/29F

New to Leeds City Transport, 105 (105 LNW) was one of ten (101-110) Daimler Fleetline CRG6’s with Roe H41/29F bodies delivered in late 1964, 101 differing from the rest in having a curved windscreen and having been exhibited at the Commercial Motor Show in the October.
Having passed to the Leeds District of the West Yorkshire PTE on 1st April 1974, 101-105 were transferred to the Calderdale District at Halifax in June 1979.
The Roe metal-framed bodies on Fleetlines and Atlanteans of this era were to Park Royal design, and many gained a poor reputation for body corrosion and weakness, but these always seemed to me at least to be very solidly built and rattle free, though they had the usual early Fleetline features of heavy steering and unpredictable brakes. 101’s heating and demisting system did not work at all though and during the winter of 1979 it would become freezing cold and was rarely out on the road for more than an hour or so before the windscreen would frost over both outside and in and be rung in for a changeover. It was also very slow and apparently troublesome in other ways and was consequently withdrawn fairly quickly. The other four with their flat fronts were quite decent buses though and carried on a while longer.
By February 1981 all but 105 had gone, but it remained, doggedly slogging on and outlasting the others by twenty months before being sold at Central Motor Auctions to Rollinson’s, the Barnsley breaker in September 1982.
Here it is seen in 1981 passing through King Cross en route for Cunning Corner.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer

19/01/17 – 07:17

John, Derby Corporation took their first Fleetlines in 1966 with Roe bodies virtually identical to these of Leeds. Now Derby were known for getting long service out of their buses, twenty years was the norm and that included some of the utilities. With the Fleetlines the service life was reduced to fourteen years and some only managed twelve. Like you say, they seemed to be substantially built and I’ve often wondered if there was a change of policy or if there was some inherent weakness which wasn’t readily apparent.
Derby’s neighbour, Trent, had some Roe bodied Atlanteans with the squarer type of Roe body as supplied to Hull, Sheffield and some NGT companies and although I liked them, the quality always seemed inferior to the one seen above.

Chris Barker

20/01/17 – 06:37

Chris, at NGT Percy Main depot (Tynemouth & District the Roe bodied Atlantean’s you refer to were known as ‘flat tops’.

Ronnie Hoye

20/01/17 – 06:38

Curiously, John, the driving turns I undertook on the 62 route (as it then was in 1964-66) terminated at Rishworth, and I never managed to drive a bus the short distance onward to Cunning Corner or Commons. On the subject of the Roe bodies to Park Royal design, I would suspect that the preparation and treatment of the framing at the Roe factory was somewhat superior to that applied at Park Royal, with consequent benefits in corrosion protection. On a parallel matter, I have just obtained and read my copy of "Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres, Vol 3" by Geoffrey Hilditch, and his account of life under the West Yorkshire PTE is highly revealing. The reckless profligacy and dearth of cost/revenue management information compares with London Transport at its worst. It would seem that those deemed to be "in charge" proceeded on the principle that the government would not allow its pet PTA/PTE transport policies to fail, so "Spend, spend, spend". Yes, the author’s view might be coloured because GGH himself was not enamoured of the PTE setup, and had been caught up in its entrails by accident rather than design, but the fact remains that West Yorkshire PTE became technically insolvent for some time.

Roger Cox


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Leeds City Transport – Daimler Fleetline – 101 LNW – 101

Leeds City Transport - Daimler Fleetline - 101 LNW - 101

Leeds City Transport (West Yorkshire PTE)
Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX
Roe H41/29F

In June 1978 West Yorkshire PTE transferred five Fleetlines 101 – 105 from Leeds to Calderdale. 101 was a 1964 Commercial Vehicle Motor Show exhibit which was unique amongst the batch with a single piece curved windscreen and twin headlamps. It is shown here at Skircoat Moor in Halifax shortly before entering service there. One or two points to note, a relatively low seating capacity of 70 when 77 was more normal for this size and layout; note apparently no opening windows in the lower deck (can’t remember this). I do remember the heavy steering and abysmal demisters – this could also affect many other early Fleetlines. The transfer was in the interests of standardisation but this batch had the original ‘heavyweight’ chassis whereas the Halifax buses had the later simplified rear sub frame hence different rear engine mountings – another problem area in early Fleetlines.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

14/01/16 – 16:30

The various early attempts made to ‘prettify’ the boxy shape of the Orion inspired body designs on the first generation Fleetlines and Atlanteans never seemed to come off. Here on this attempt by Roe the lower front panel and curved windscreen seem totally out of context to the remainder which is totally angular. Of the early rear-engined body designs only the Glasgow Alexander version seemed to be designed as a whole and didn’t look like a botch-up. The Bolton East Lancs Atlanteans were pretty good too where the body design seemed to be geared to suit the very attractive livery. It will certainly not be remembered as a high point in British bus bodywork design.

Philip Halstead

14/01/16 – 17:50

I remember 101 well, Ian. My work records show me as having driven it on three occasions at Halifax during 1979. The first was on the 5th January when my conductor Dave Maude and I had it for the first half of a split duty. It is recorded as having been booked off for "No Heaters, No Demisters, Heavy Steering and Slipping Flywheel".
I well remember this occasion as we had struggled to operate a trip to Sowerby with a full standing load of school children for Ryburn Valley High School who unfortunately all insisted on breathing throughout the journey, misting then frosting up our windscreen, Dave having to constantly reach over with bits of paper towel in a vain attempt to provide visibility ahead. Then on the next trip around the 517 Queens Road Circular it became so cold inside that the windscreen froze over on both sides and any attempts to scrape off the ice were thwarted by it immediately freezing over again. We had to finally stop and abandon any hope of continuing the journey for quite a while until I think eventually we were causing such an obstruction that a sympathetic motorist lent us the remains of his de-icer spray and we were just about able to find our way back to Garage in a series of starts and stops.
We also had four more of the batch (102-105), but these had the more conventional flat fronts. They too – like all early Fleetlines – had very heavy steering, but the bodies seemed to be very solid and rattle-free in comparison with the ex-Halifax Northern Counties-bodied Fleetlines, which I thoroughly disliked.

John Stringer

15/01/16 – 06:28

Reading the comments above, I am surprised that no one thought of specifying heated windscreens. I seem to recall them on Hants & Dorset Bristol MWs in the early sixties, which certainly did not have to cope with the more severe weather found in Yorkshire.

David Wragg

15/01/16 – 06:30

101 was the Roe exhibit at the 1964 Earls Court show. Originally finished in traditional Leeds livery plus gold lining out. It was originally fitted with forced ventilation on both decks but following complaints from the public opening windows were fitted in the upper deck.
Like many of LCTs rear engined fleet 101 wore at least three liveries The original the later one man reversed livery and the Metro livery seen here.

On the subject of seating capacity Leeds had no thirty footers with more than 70 seats the largest 33ft deckers only seated 78 The first 30ft types with more than 70 seats were ordered and delivered to the PTE.

Chris Hough

15/01/16 – 14:44

It is not strictly true to say that the first 30ft deckers delivered to Leeds with more than 70 seats were ordered by the P.T.E.
Leylands 221-291, 5221-5291 NW, Daimlers 502-531, 7502-7531 UA and A.E.C.s 910-923, 3910-3923 UB delivered between 1958 and 1960 seated H39/32R when they entered service.
They were altered to H38/32R between August and October 1960 following a National Agreement on standing capacity which meant that buses with more than 70 seats were restricted to a maximum of 5 standing passengers whilst those with not more than 70 could carry 8 standing passengers.

John Kaye

15/01/16 – 17:06

David, the earliest buses I came across with heated windscreens were the final (1969) batch of Plaxton/Roadliners at PMT where we certainly had problems with heaters and demisters (tell me an undertaking that didn’t). You can’t believe the difficulties in getting hot water to flow round 60 feet of pipework.

Ian Wild

16/01/16 – 06:07

Ian. Thought on Roadliners screens were prone to jumping out which only makes demisters the preferred option

Roger Burdett

16/01/16 – 06:12

In that case, Ian, I must have made a mistake. Certainly the Marshall-bodied AEC Reliances of Aldershot & District had such screens around that time, but as regards the Hants & Dorset MWs, put that down to old age!
I can imagine the difficulties in getting heat around vehicles as they grew longer and engines moved from end to the other. More a case of needing a plumber than a mechanic.

David Wragg

16/01/16 – 06:12

Roe never seemed to quite get the "hang of" being able (or could be bothered?) to match-up the top and side profiles of curved windscreens with adjacent body-work, whether single or double-beck – the impression, to me, is of something just cut into bodywork designed for something else. I hope the near-side windscreen wiper was re-fitted before it entered service. And, John, a double-deck on the 517/8 – that was a bit optimistic as regards loadings wasn’t it? with a conductor you must have outnumbered the passenger.

Philip Rushworth

17/01/16 – 06:33

Yes Philip, if I remember rightly there were occasions when we carried nobody at all for the whole round trip, and if not then there were never more than two or three. The service by then was interworked with other routes and this particular AM trip just happened to slot in nicely to a crew operated double-deck working.
Commencing on 9th November,1925 this fairly short circular route served a densely populated area and in its heyday(as the 25 Inner Circle – same number both ways)had been operated by double deckers on a 20 minute (three peaks)or 30 minute (off-peak) frequency, and running throughout the evening. Renumbered 7 (clockwise) or 8 (anti-clocwise) on 24th October 1955 the timetable remained pretty much the same throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. On 29th September 1968 it was combined with the Beechwood Road route becoming cross-town routes 17/18) and converted to OMO single deck operation. The evening service was withdrawn on 27th May 1970. From 20th November 1972 the Beechwood Road section was incorporated into the 3 Hungerhill Estate service, so the 17/18 now reverted to just a Queens Road circular again. On 4th December 1972 it was diverted to also serve Richmond Road, by which time it ran hourly each way. Renumbered 517/518 by WYPTE it was reduced to just four trips per weekday from 12th January 1981, and was withdrawn altogether from 26th October 1986 when the newly created Yorkshire Rider diverted alternate Wainstalls journeys via Queens Road as route 524.

John Stringer

17/01/16 – 06:34

Notably the first C H Roe customer to ask for an Alexander type double curvature windscreen was the then General Manger at Great Yarmouth.
By the time this bus was transferred to Halifax the same man was Engineering Director of the PTE and prior to that he had been General Manager of Halifax and Todmorden.

This shot shows how Roe didn’t put a taper in the front end, unlike Alexander who did: www.flickr.com/photos/johnmightycat/

Stephen Allcroft

17/01/16 – 12:22

That would be the late Geoffrey Hilditch then. A Bus Engineer through and through, the likes of which the Bus Industry will never see again.

Stephen Howarth

17/01/16 – 17:12

Lincoln also bought a batch of Atlanteans with this style of bodywork.

Chris Hough


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 16th February 2019