Old Bus Photos

Exeter Corporation – Guy Arab – UFJ 297 – 57

Exeter Corporation - Guy Arab - UFJ 297 - 57

Exeter Corporation
1957
Guy Arab IV
Park Royal H31/26R

Until 1956, Exeter Corporation’s only experience of the Gardner engine came with five Bristol GO5G buses of 1935. All had gone by 1948. Exeter did not accept any utility buses until 1944, but these were seven Daimler CWA6, and ten more of the same type followed in 1945. It appeared that the Corporation had set its face determinedly against the Guy Arab. In the years up to 1950, the Daimler CWD6/CVD6 rather than the Gardner powered alternative then became the favoured chassis, a total of thirty three entering service, apart from a batch of seventeen Leyland PD2/1 in 1947. After 1950, Exeter did not order any new buses until 1956, when the Corporation turned unexpectedly to the 6LW powered Guy Arab IV, variously with Massey, Park Royal and MCW bodywork. Guy Arab IV UFJ 297, No. 57 of 1957 is seen in Exeter Bus Station in the early summer of 1970, shortly after the sale of the Corporation’s passenger transport interests to the National Bus Company, which sadly occurred in April of that year. The supremely elegant H31/26R Park Royal body style with the deeper saloon windows is essentially similar to those being delivered to East Kent on tin fronted Arab IVs at that time, and it amply illustrates the catastrophic collapse in design standards from the sublime to the ridiculous that subsequently afflicted that formerly respected coachbuilder. Apart from a delivery of five Leyland PD2/40 in 1958, Exeter stayed with the Arab until 1960, when Guy, besotted with its new wonder Wulfrunian, withdrew the Arab from the market.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/06/17 – 06:39

I didn’t know Guy withdrew the Arab from the market in 1960. Its absence can’t have lasted long, as Lancashire United received Arab IVs in 1960, 1961 and 1962, and Arab Vs from 1963 onward.

Peter Williamson


13/06/17 – 09:12

Yes, Guy did take the Arab off the market, convinced that the Wulfrunian would conquer in its place. In 1960 the Guy company collapsed and Jaguar took over the Wolverhampton business. It was pressure from established aficionados of the marque, together with the almost universal rejection of the troublesome Wulfrunian that then quickly led to the reinstatement of the Arab.

Roger Cox


13/06/17 – 13:59

13-06-2017 at 07-42

The slightly earlier Massey bodied Arab (superbly maintained by Wyvern Omnibus Ltd) appeared at the GWR (Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway) 1940s weekend earlier in the year. The crest and name are particularly impressive. The photos were taken by Mr Ray Phillips aka "Ray the Spiv", sometimes seen on wanted posters at 1940s events!

Andrew Gosling


17/06/17 – 10:04

Magnificent bus, and what sound-effects! Colin Shears told me that when faced with the choice of which of the Massey-bodied batch to preserve he went straight for TFJ 808, as it had the most musical gearbox of the lot. What a pity, though, that none of the Park Royals survived. A question: was the Arab IV available to the end, or was it replaced by the Arab V?

Ian Thompson


18/06/17 – 06:52

Firstly, I should correct the date I gave in my comment above. Guy went into receivership and was bought by the Jaguar Group in 1961, not 1960 – apologies. Turning to Ian’s enquiry, the Arab V, which was introduced after the Jaguar takeover, was fundamentally a Mark IV with a chassis frame lowered by 2½ inches enabling the forward entrance to be accessed by just two steps instead of the three usual on conventional front engined chassis. Thus the Mark IV was simply supplanted by the Mark V in production until the last Mark Vs were delivered to Chester in 1969.

Roger Cox


19/06/17 – 07:18

Since this is a discussion emanating from a 27-foot Arab IV, it should be pointed out that at that length the Arab IV was actually supplanted by the Daimler CCG6 (Chesterfield at least having a Guy order transferred to Daimler), while Guy concentrated on 30-foot Arabs and dreamed of Wulfrunian orders. The 27-foot Arab V came into being eventually, but I understand only one batch were built – for Cardiff.

Peter Williamson


20/06/17 – 07:15

There is a bit more history behind the Daimler CCG6. From 1959, Daimler tried to get more of the ‘non preselector’ market by introducing the CSG6 with the David Brown synchromesh gearbox. The David Brown box proved to have reliability problems, and when Jaguar bought the Guy company, the indestructible Guy constant mesh gearbox replaced the troublesome David Brown unit in the CCG5/6 models, which, like the Arab V, were available from 1962.

Roger Cox


 

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LUT – Guy Arab IV – 534 RTB – 43

534 RTB

Lancashire United Transport
1961
Guy Arab IV 
MCCW H41/32R

534 RTB is a Guy Arab IV from the Lancashire United fleet, once considered by many to be the biggest of the Independents. Regular contributor to this site Neville Mercer, among others, disagrees. It has a Metropolitan Cammell body, to the H73R layout, and was new in 1961. We see it at Duxford on 29 September 1996.

534 RTB_2

Tis second view being of a close-up of the LUT Crest.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


26/01/17 – 10:30

Among my milder teenage dislikes were tin fronts, Orion bodies and (almost) all-over red liveries, but none of these three features detracts from the magnificence of this vehicle. The matchless reliability of this model and its sound-effects obviously also play a big part in its appeal. Sincere thanks to all that preserve and maintain Guy Arabs!

Ian Thompson


26/01/17 – 14:32

Thanks, Ian. The LUT fleet was something of an oddity in that the indicator layout – in the days I paid any attention to the fleet – was similar to Manchester’s while the livery was more or less in the style of London Transport: red and cream then, when LT went to red and a grey stripe, so did LUT. Finding that this has a MCCW body came as a bit of a surprise, too, because almost all the vehicles I’ve ever seen from their fleet (I know, someone’s going to correct me!) had Northern Counties bodies.

Pete Davies


27/01/17 – 06:27

Pete you are right, the majority of LUT’s Guy Arabs had Northern Counties bodies, both rear and forward entrance. I understand the copy Manchester destination arrangement was the result of a senior manager joining LUT from Manchester sometime in the 1950’s. The same gentleman brought preselect Daimlers into the fleet at the same time. The ‘squared off’ type of font was also used on the destination blinds just the same as Manchester. I always thought LUT was a ‘quality’ operation and although an independent had all the features of a big group company. Many of its routes were lengthy trunk services across what was then South Lancashire. Another operator sadly missed.

Philip Halstead


27/01/17 – 11:27

Thank you, Philip.

Pete Davies


27/01/17 – 11:29

Is this the same vehicle that was parked up in a garden at Greenodd, near Ulverston, Cumbria for quite while in the 1980s?

Larry B


30/01/17 – 07:19

Thanks Pete for posting this photograph.
43 was one of three of this batch allocated to Swinton Depot in the early 70’s (of the batch of ten) I have always thought that LUT gave this body order to MCW as a means of keeping NCME’s prices keen, as LUT were making yearly purchases of Arabs.
They were quite a problem to Guard on the heavier turns due to their total lack of handrails between the seat backs and the ceiling on both decks, when all NCME bodied Guys did have them. Later, when I became a Driver, I found them to be pretty much the same as all the other rear loading Guys, but by then, 43, 44 & 45 were on the part day only list, so were generally to be seen in Trafford Park on work services or peak hour duplicates, as their missing handrails proving unpopular at Swinton. Another of the batch at Atherton, 40 was involved in a pretty bad accident mid sixties and was rebodied by NCME as a front loader.
The unofficial notice in the cab read – dwarfs only! – as being an Arab Mk IV with a Mk V.
Style of body severely reduced head height in the cab!

Mike Norris


30/01/17 – 12:43

Thanks for your comments, Mike. As with any others of my photos on this site, if you’d like him to e-mail you a copy for your own records, our Editor has my permission to do so.

Pete Davies


01/02/17 – 17:03

I remember LUT single deckers running into Radcliffe Bus Station on the 25 service, I think it was. They were mostly Bristol REs with a few Seddons, some had Alexander bodywork with dual doors and all were in the red/grey colour scheme by that time (early 70s).

David Pomfret


02/02/17 – 06:24

As a follow-on the Peter D’s comments, Who vied with LUT as being considered the largest independent bus company at that time?

Chris Hebbron


02/02/17 – 08:23

Chris, I’d have said Barton or West Riding. Please note that Neville discounts West Riding as well, and for the same reasons: not owned by a family local to the area of operations (eg Fishwick) and with most directors based in London. On Neville’s reasoning, it’s Barton.

Pete Davies


02/02/17 – 13:37

I had always heard that Barton was second to LUT, but logically, I would suggest that "independent" had nothing to do with where the owners lived, but whether control was separate from the large groups – e.g. THC, BET. Obviously there was a large element of government control in these groups (and local government in municipal operators), but in today’s scenario I would also exclude the major groups like First, Stagecoach etc. as independents, even though they are free of government control.

Stephen Ford


03/02/17 – 06:12

Hello David,
You are correct about the 25 service to Radcliffe. The 25 and the 13 service to Whitefield were worked by Swinton depots RE,s in the main, both the Plaxton and the Alexander bodied Bristols were always first choice for these routes ( and the 11 and 17 too) their easy steering (in pre power steering made them so) they were just that little bit more nimble on the estate work around Harper Green. I enjoyed these routes as the stretch beyond Ringley was usually quiet and relatively scenic within the bounds of what scenery there was to see in South Lancashire ! Don’t get me wrong, I loved our Seddon RU,s but an RE was the master of these routes.

Mike Norris


03/02/17 – 14:12

Do I read this correctly, Mike? Someone claims to have LOVED the Seddon RU. I knew I shouldn’t have gone to that firm of opticians!!!!! It’s almost like one of the Hamble locals admitting to have watched ‘Howards Way’.

Pete Davies


04/02/17 – 07:15

Hello Pete,
Someone has not been keeping up with LUT and their Seddon RU,s!
Very definitely a great tool for us for on the hardest, longest, busiest one man route the 84. So highly considered that if one became faulty, the union had an understanding with management that if no other RU was available, a maximum of one round trip only was worked before another RU was found. Swinton depots were highly prized if you got one on any other route, great seat, great driving position, strong engine and good brakes.
LUT, were different from most others, with front radiator and full length cardan drive shaft hence their 31 foot six length. If you find a rear view, you will see the body extension. My particular favourite was 339, I would shunt others to gat that one out in the mornings! Yes there is lots in print, especially the Crosville ones, but ours were great.

Mike Norris


04/02/17 – 09:23

Well, as they say, one lives and learns!!! Thanks, Mike.

Pete Davies


05/02/17 – 07:40

Unfamiliar with all the variants on the Orion theme, I don’t know whether this example was significantly lighter than the NCME bodies and therefore chosen to help fuel consumption, as well as for the interesting reason Mike Norris gave: reminding NCME that they weren’t the only fish in the sea!
If the bodies were indeed true lightweights, the buses must have returned nearly 13 mpg.

Ian Thompson


05/02/17 – 09:31

Presumably this bus had the 6LX engine. The 6LW Dennis Lolines of Aldershot & District gave a fleet average of 13.5 mpg, and could turn in almost 16 mpg on the long rural runs, but A&D maintenance was of a very high standard. On the subject of the Orion body and its derivatives, I agree with Ian T – they’re horrible. The straight inward taper of the body sides gave the result a pin headed appearance exacerbated by the deep lower deck/shallow upper deck windows, and the crudity of the front/rear domes. The best examples by far were (again) the Aldershot & District examples which benefited from the lower build and the equal depth of the windows on both decks, and, unlike many (most?) Orions, the interior was equipped to a high standard. Nevertheless, MCW had earned a good reputation over the years for its metal bodywork framing, so presumably the Orion held together reasonably well in service.

Roger Cox


05/02/17 – 12:06

You raise an interesting point, Roger, with your comments. After Alder Valley was formed, from two opposite sides of the fence, one of which always ploughed its own furrow, which of the two management and maintenance regimes dominated?

Chris Hebbron


06/02/17 – 06:43

Chris, when Alder Valley was cobbled together by NBC in 1972, control and ‘management’ was concentrated at Reading. Thus, the worst and scruffiest of the Tilling operators, Thames Valley, subsumed the best of the BET companies, Aldershot & District. Standards didn’t just go downhill, they fell over a cliff. Mercifully, I moved away from Farnborough in 1975, and wasn’t present to witness the continued degeneration in the local public transport scene.

Roger Cox


06/02/17 – 06:44

This was the third and last order for Orion bodies by LUT. In 1955 Cyril Charles Oakham took over as General Manager. Coming from Manchester Corporation where he had been Chief Engineer, he was to make a number of changes, the first of which to order 24 Daimler CVG5s which arrived in 1956 with 61 seat Orion bodies. Obviously Oakham did not share his former boss’s antipathy to the Orion. These appeared in a revised livery of all over red apart from a single cream band above the lower deck windows, as was soon to appear at MCTD, and with the Manchester style number, via and destination box layout. His next change was to order PD3/4s and Daimler CSG6/30s as trolleybus replacements, the former with Orion, the latter with NCME bodies. The last Leyland, 657, was the highest fleet number used by LUT as the system started again at 1 with the first of six Plaxton bodied Reliances. The batch illustrated by the example above gave LUT a rare distinction of operating Orion bodies on chassis from three of the then major manufacturers. In between times, and thereafter, NCME continued to be favoured with orders for bodies and Guy predominated with Daimler later picking up some Fleetline orders which, had the Wulfrunian lived up to its billing, would not have been built. Why did Leyland, Daimler and MCW win the front engined vehicle orders from LUT? The evidence is that initially Oakham wanted a second string supplier for double decker chassis a la Manchester and NCME’s tenders were not always the most competitive.

Phil Blinkhorn


11/02/17 – 06:32

I like Seddon RUs so much I own one…
The LUT Arab at Greenodd was 166 I believe, it was painted as a Laurel and Hardy Museum bus and is stored at St Helens Transport Museum presently.

Paul Turner


 

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PMT – Guy Arab IV – SVT 942 – H542

PMT - Guy Arab IV - SVT 942 - H942

Potteries Motor Traction
1953
Guy Arab IV
Weymann H32/26R

These vehicles were ordered by Northern General and diverted to PMT. The destination blind boxes were quickly converted to PMT spec. A very poor bus in performance and ride quality having a Gardener 5cyl engine. Best part about them was light steering and in the summer you could drive with the cab door open. Although reliable they never strayed far from the depot. I managed to do 42 mph once in one.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Michael Crofts


09/12/13 – 09:26

These had all gone by the time I was at PMT. Being highbridge I would imagine they were allocated to Newcastle Depot. I well remember the poor performance of the 1956 Daimler CVG5s but those later fitted with a 6LW were a much better bus.

Ian Wild


09/12/13 – 14:40

I think the Orion looks better on a traditional-radiator Guy Arab IV than on any other chassis. Michael: when you spoke of poor ride quality, was that just the vibration from the 5LW, or did they give a choppy ride as well? I’m curious because Aldershot & District had Orion bodies on one batch of their Dennis K4s and found that the spring settings that suited the heavier East Lancs batch very well had to be modified for the Orions.
Good to know that you found the steering light. I’ve read elsewhere that some drivers found Arab IV steering heavy, which in view of the excellence of Guy design at that time surprised me. A maintenance issue? Or was the light steering of this Potteries batch attributable to the lightness of the 5LW+Orion combination?
42 mph sounds pretty spectacular, by the way. I wonder whether these machines had a high final-drive ratio, which would yield wonderful fuel consumption on long, flat runs, but would certainly contribute to the impression of sluggishness on start-stop work.

Ian Thompson


09/12/13 – 17:32

Ian, I’ve just seen the photo and your comment about how the Orion looks and couldn’t agree more. I remember seeing these in the Newcastle areas (both Tyneside and the Potteries) as a boy and they always looked impressive. Somehow the solid colour scheme helps.

Phil Blinkhorn


09/12/13 – 17:55

Just a thought: I have read elsewhere that differences in steering characteristics between buses of the same type with different operators were sometimes caused by the fitting of different tyres.

Peter Williamson


10/12/13 – 06:44

Peter, different tyres certainly would make some difference.

Phil Blinkhorn


10/12/13 – 06:44

At PMT a white steering wheel denoted a highbridge bus. Did the NGT buses of this type have normal black steering wheels?

Ian Wild


10/12/13 – 06:45

The harsh ride was down to the suspension. At the time I think we were running on Firestone tyres at Newcastle Depot.

Michael Crofts


10/12/13 – 15:18

Does anyone know the location in this picture? I think the destination blind reads Newcastle via Garner Street.

Chris Barker


10/12/13 – 15:21

The means of indicating height or width to drivers (and bus wash operators) is a subject in itself. Sheffield and Chesterfield buses carried a letter W on the dash to indicate 8 feet width, but for whose benefit? Preserved Chesterfield 225 has a yellow steering wheel, which I was told indicated highbridge. Some Southend vehicles carried a red one – was this to indicate height or width?
Bristol Tramways/Omnibus fitted white steering wheels to their 8-foot wide buses to warn drivers not to take one over a narrow bridge across the harbour. ECOC and several other Tilling Group companies did the same but it cannot have been general Group policy as Thames Valley KSWs had a black one.

Geoff Kerr


10/12/13 – 15:21

I disagree, Michael, in my opinion the harsh ride was due to the poor construction and extreme lightness of the early Orion bodies. The second batch we had a Percy Main, FT 9003/7 were an improvement on the first ones, FT 7893/6, however, the 1956 Park Royal bodied Arab IV was a superb vehicle in every sense bar one, NGT still specified the 5LW rather than opting for the 6LW. Having said that, they could scale the North face of the Eiger if asked to do so. As for speed, I think they must have had a high ratio diff, as they could get up to around the fifty mark. White steering wheels? The only ones I can remember at Percy Main were on the Daimler Fleetlines.

Ronnie Hoye


11/12/13 – 07:04

SVT 942_2

Here is a picture of the Guy H542 when brand new

SVT 942_3

and also a picture of same having had a bit of a hard life.
(I do not own either picture)

Michael Crofts


11/12/13 – 08:09

Michael’s second photo reminds me that PMT’s vehicles in the mid to late 1960s often had a care worn, shabby look.

Phil Blinkhorn


12/12/13 – 07:13

The red Steering Wheels at Southend was to warn that the bus was a highbridge and therefore banned from services 7/8 which had very low railway bridges.

Philip Carlton


09/12/15 – 06:04

Chris Barker asked about location. This image is Trinity St in Hanley, opposite the then Odean Cinema. I regularly travelled this route in late 50s/ early 60s. Little did I know that a decade later I’d be driving for PMT, though from Stoke Depot.

David Knight


 

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