Old Bus Photos

Whieldons (Green Bus Co) – Guy LUF – 500 URF

Whieldons (Green Bus Co) - Guy LUF - 500 URF

Whieldons (The Green Bus Co. Ltd)
Burlingham Seagull C37F

From the beginning of November 1973 Whieldons o/w The Green Bus Service was taken over by the National Bus Co with Midland Red continuing much of the network although three Uttoxeter services passed to PMT o/w the Potteries Motor Services. Mr C J Whieldon had commenced bus operation in May 1927. By chance, I had a few rides in the spring of 1972 by catching an early Saturday journey out of Rugeley for Uttoxeter via Drointon returning direct via Abbotts Bromley. I still have a faded Setright ticket which might have been a return. The latter service was always a newish Seddon Pennine IV bus which continued on to Cannock but the Drointon service was an older coach no doubt as it wandered the country lanes. On one occasion I caught a Ford 570E with Duple Yeoman body i.e. it looked and sounded like a Bedford SB with a seat next to the driver.
Once I enjoyed a ride on 500 URF, a Guy LUF with Burlingham Seagull coachwork which the company had bought new in 1958. The first passenger boarded somewhere in the lanes and the opportunity was taken for a photograph.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Keith Newton

24/06/16 – 05:58

Oh dear, Keith; the mention of the excellent Guy Arab LUF in the same paragraph as the Seddon Pennine IV illustrates the decline of Green Bus from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Pennine IV was an abomination. Guy offered an underfloor engined chassis, initially the Arab UF, and then from 1953, the the lighter LUF, between 1950 and 1959, after which date the manufacturer chose to place all its eggs in the one ill fated basket called the Wulfrunian. It is rather curious that the Tilling group depended heavily upon Gardner engined underfloor engined chassis, yet the BET, municipal and independent sectors had limited choices of Gardner powered UF models. Atkinson, Daimler and Guy all produced Gardner engined underfloor chassis, but orders were never large. Daimler offered epicyclic transmission as standard, which was an option with Guy, but otherwise the gearbox in Atkinson and Guy models was of the constant mesh variety. The decidedly heavy Daimler Freeline was additionally suspect by virtue of its high pressure hydraulics until an air pressure variant became available. North Western Road Car sought to recreate Bristol simplicity and reliability in the rugged Atkinson chassis, but the heavy hand of BET central control stopped this project in its tracks, and Atkinson never really made much of an impression thereafter. Guy were generally more successful, but the real problem lay in the availability of the AEC Reliance, which, with its light steering and excellent synchromesh gearbox, was a driver’s dream. Even when the shortcomings of the AEC wet liner engines began to emerge, the sales scenario did not alter materially, though Leyland picked up customers with the introduction of the Leopard. I have often wondered if the availability of a decent synchromesh gearbox to the smaller makers might have influenced the situation in their favour. Perhaps the ideal would have been a Gardner powered Reliance. One is surely allowed to dream!

Roger Cox

27/06/16 – 05:53

I get the impression that BET’s central purchasing policy was more about bulk discounts, and cost generally, than anything else. Guys were almost certainly more expensive than Leylands and AECs, and the company might not have been able to handle the quantities required to allow bulk discounts.

Peter Williamson

29/06/16 – 06:11

Perhaps it’s just the angles of the photo, or maybe 500 URF was simply way past her best by then, but this might just about be the ugliest and most downtrodden Seagull I have ever seen.
Were the glorious, beautiful Seagull bodies different for each type of chassis ?

Stuart C

29/06/16 – 16:11

I am not a Seagull expert but this I believe is the later version with the front entrance body and I believe has a higher waist line. IMHO the best derivative was the centre entrance version on the 8ft wide chassis as on Tiger Cubs and some Reliances.
I also had a soft spot for the Ribble/Standerwick domed versions as they looked like a purposeful express coach.

Roger Burdett

29/06/16 – 16:12

This is a very late example of a Seagull Mk V body, but incorporates many non-standard features, most notably the straight moulding at skirt panel level. Burlingham had already moved on to the Mk VI (with window pans as supplied to Ribble and others) and the Mk VII (with "panoramic windows"), so I suspect that these later Mk V bodies were made from whatever bits were left over. These "Meccano Kit" bodies (both from Burlingham and other body-builders) tended to end up on low-volume chassis at the end of their production runs.

Neville Mercer

12/03/21 – 06:00

When I was doing my eight weeks "square bashing" at Hednesford in November – December 1954 any leisure travel was by Green Bus Service (Rugeley and Uttoxeter) Ltd, whose double deckers were allowed just inside the Camp to start at the guardroom – ex Birmingham Corporation Daimler CVGs were the normal vehicles – absolutely oozing vintage "character" and seemingly well maintained.

Chris Youhill

13/03/21 – 06:40

Very good to see you on OBP again Chris. Your comments are always informed and illuminating.

Roger Cox


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Samuel Ledgard – Guy Arab LUF – DCN 834

Samuel Ledgard - Guy Arab LUF - DCN 834
Copyright John Boylett

Samuel Ledgard
Guy Arab LUF
Picktree C35F

DCN 834 was a Guy Arab LUF (chassis number 72143) with a Gardner 6HLW engine, bodied with a Picktree Continental C35F body.
Picktree were based at Bensham in Gateshead, near the Northern General headquarters, who had a financial stake in Picktree, these coaches being the last PSVs built by this concern before they turned over to the construction of commercial vehicles.
834 was part of a batch of 13 new to the Northern General Transport Company on 1st June 1954, and had fleet number 1534.
These vehicles had bold styling and had all the refinements required to undertake their principle duties of carrying 35 passengers in comfort on Continental Tours.
During their final days with Northern they undertook local tours to seaside resorts and on local Church and Club Private Hires, before being withdrawn in September 1962 and sold to W. North of Sherburn, who took all 13.
A total of 8* were bought by Ledgards, and taken in to stock in January 1963, these being DCN 831/ 834 – 840.
North’s put them through the MoT Certificate of Fitness test, before delivery to Ledgards, and obtained ‘tickets’ for 5 years for them.
They were painted by Ledgards at Armley Depot and all had entered service from there by April 1963.
The coach livery at that time consisted of black roof, cream window surrounds, black wings, and blue panel work, with cream wheels.
The final coach livery introduced by February 1964, was sky blue for the wings and window surrounds, with ivory panels, 834, along with 839 were the first to be released in these new colours, as shown in the picture.
The picture is taken on the roof of the Armley garage, where so many of Ledgard’s vehicles ended their lives.
Does anybody know the name of the Driver?
834 was withdrawn in April 1968 and went back to W. North (Dealer) at Sherburn, from where it was sold, along with 835/6/7 to Minster Homes (Contractor) in May 1968 for use as site offices.
*DCN 832 was additionally bought for spares from North’s (via Woods Coaches of Pollington, near Goole), in March 1966, and was dismantled on Armley garage roof, the remains going to Jackson (Bradford) for scrap in August 1967.
A picture of Northern General 1532 can be seen at this link.
For anybody interested in wanting to find out more about the History and Fleet of Samuel Ledgard they should read the book Samuel Ledgard Beer and Blue Buses by Don Bate. ISBN 095288499.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Howarth

18/08/13 – 06:40

Is the driver really Chris Youhill?


18/08/13 – 12:08

No Joe – that’s not me. We only had DCN 831 at Otley depot. However, now you mention my good friend Don’s book, there is a picture of me as a young conductor at the bottom of the front cover – this was as a token of appreciation for my assistance with photo captions and information on aspects of the operations side of the Company.

Chris Youhill

20/08/13 – 18:57

In the 50’s and 60’s, Northern General had a booking Office in Pilgrim Street Newcastle, which was just around the corner from Worswick Street Bus Station. Anyway, I remember that in the window of the shop they had a model of one of these in a glass case. I don’t know what the scale was, but to a young boy of about eight or nine it looked enormous. From other makers models I’ve seen, I would guess it would have probably been an inch to the foot, so about 30ins long. I wonder what happened to it?

Ronnie Hoye

10/11/14 – 06:48

There are some pictures of Ledgard buses, including one of these Guys, on the following site of Marc Parry (with whom I once worked at LCBS); scroll down a little from the top of the first page:- www.flickr.com/photos/

Roger Cox

12/02/15 – 06:35

The driver of DCN 834 is me John Jackson, taken in August 1967.

John Jackson

12/02/15 – 12:15

Nice to see you "in print" JJ – if only the good old firm was still around – the happiest days of my PSV career without a doubt !!

Chris Youhill

13/02/15 – 06:18

Chris, what made Ledgard’s such a good place to work? Were the T&Cs better than WYRCC? – I know from my time in Cambridge that Premier apparently had better terms and conditions than ECOC. Geography may have played a part, but surely Armley-based drivers could have found better terms with LCT up the road at Bramley or in the City Centre at Sovereign Street? But then again why drive for Ribble out of Bolton or Hebble, full-stop, when corporation operations in the same town(s) offered better salaries . . .? Did variety of work, or the opportunity of "top-link" work (and associated tips) play a part?

Philip Rushworth

22/02/15 – 16:26

Well Philip, any answer to your question is bound to be complex and to vary between individual employees of every grade. So perhaps its best put as a "list."
T & Cs – very favourable indeed, and the wage rates were good and generous. When I started there were no sick pay or pension schemes but many other advantages.
Duties – comprehensive and interesting with none of the soul destroying "one road and the same mate for ever" system of many of the municipalise and group concerns.
We had five depots, each with its own rota and ro9ute systems derived from its origin – built by SL or acquired. Well to be exact four depots, as Ilkley was a "running shed" administered totally from the larger Otley one – a seven week rota of local folks from nearby, while Otley had a twenty week rota – with a little twist !! All twenty drivers moved forward week by week while seventeen of the conductors moved "up the sheet" – the other three conductors were to all intents and purposes always on the Otley local cross town service from Bradford Road (Golf House) to Newall Estate – they all liked it and it suited them with their Ultimate ticket machines !!
Variety of work – plenty as most duties involved working on more than one route daily – not all, but most – and the mix of routes was considerable, varying widely between very very busy town services and almost always hectic longer interurban ones. Running times were generally pretty tight, especially with traditional live transmission vehicles and much hilly terrain with frequent stops and, despite the oft heard modern saying "Ah but there wasn’t the traffic around then" there was more than enough to contend with.
Rolling stock – now here was the real appeal, especially to anyone with even a trace of interest and enthusiasm. The mix was incredible, with representatives new and previously owned, of a wide array of chassis and body makes, ages and origins – and mainly distributed seemingly "willy nilly" around the depots. Larger concerns might view this as unsatisfactory and often had rigid allocation policies – fair enough if it suited them. Despite this way of working at Ledgard’s maintenance by skilled and dedicated staff was extremely good indeed – most of the heavy work being carried out at Otley and the huge Armley Leeds premises – resulting in the virtually 100% reliable service at all times and in all conditions which the Public have never enjoyed since and a "straw poll" on the streets would certainly confirm this. The local press after the October 1967 SL demise was full of justifiable venom against the new regime(s).
Its often forgotten, or perhaps not even known by younger people, that until Samuel himself died in April 1952 all vehicle purchases since 1912 had been brand new, other than those acquired with taken over Firms. When the necessity then arose for multiple reasons, Death duties chiefly, to buy second hand the Executors chose carefully and wisely and only rarely bought a lame duck or, as is the amusing term oft used in the motor trade, a "dog."

Chris Youhill

23/02/15 – 07:30

Chris, thanks for that reply. So was Yeadon a "full" depot then? I’d always assumed it was an Otley dormy shed, like Ilkley.
Samuel Ledgard is always presented as the archetypical shrewd Yorkshire businessman . . . but he wasn’t so shrewd as to take the necessary steps to protect his main business interests in the event of his death. That being said he did die at a relatively young age and might not have thought it necessary at that time – and I suppose there are disadvantages in forming limited liability companies.

Philip Rushworth

23/02/15 – 07:31

Chris Y – You certainly have a nice and relaxed writing style, which is easy to read, informative, and easy to understand.
I must admit (and I am sure others will agree) that I read every one of your contributions to this site because they are so full of knowledge and interest, not just on Samuel Ledgard, as above, but on all aspects of PSV (none of that PCV stuff on here) operations, and history.
Long may you continue to contribute and keep me, at least, educated and informed with your wealth of knowledge.
For those on here who want to know more about the History of Samuel Ledgard then I would recommend the book, BEER AND BLUE BUSES – by DON BATE (ISBN: 9780952388494), if you are able to find one for sale. Mr Y has contributed, and, (not for the faint hearted) there is even a picture of him on the front cover.

Stephen Howarth

23/02/15 – 08:45

Indeed Philip, Yeadon was to all intents and purposes a full independent depot, and was referred to right up to the end in 1967 as "The Moorfield" – officially and among the staff and passengers. The name was of course that of the Moorfield Bus Company taken over by SL in 1934. All essential maintenance and quite heavy intermediate work was carried out there, but major overhauls and recertification were done at Otley. or Armley. The crews at Yeadon, about fourteen if I recall correctly, were a lively set of loveable individual characters – no one more so than "the Reverend Candler" who very sadly passed away en route for a late turn aged only in his early forties. Only very occasionally did Yeadon have to exchange staff with Otley in extreme circumstances – like my Siberian Monday rest day on a split turn with the aforementioned Reverend. Otherwise on Summer Sundays it was routine for Moorfield staff and buses, if available, to be sent on standby to Otley, where literally huge crowds of Leeds (mainly) and Bradford city dwellers needed taking home after a nice day out – sometimes the queues were still large at nine and ten on Sunday evenings, and all were cleared without fail – such was the reliable SL service.

Stephen – thank you indeed for your kind remarks which leave me blushing here. I do find it easy to write about the subject, and I enjoy keeping the fading history of the old Firm, and the earlier industry in general, alive where I can. I had to chuckle at your warning to the unwary that my picture (late 1957) on the cover of Don’s book is not for the fainthearted – I’m afraid that a current view if published would have the A & E Departments on overtime !! Don was only saying last evening that its around ten years since the book was published – time flies.

Chris Youhill

23/02/15 – 14:28

There are currently 3 copies available on ABE Books website (other book searches are available) they range between £30 and £40 +p&p

John Lomas

24/02/15 – 06:14

I’m surprised no one has picked up on Philip Rushworth’s comment that Samuel Ledgard died relatively young.
Born in 1874 and dying in 1952 that made him 78 years of age.
I would have thought that a "good innings" for that era.

Eric Bawden

24/02/15 – 06:15

Six in total John, from the three outlets

Chris Youhill

27/02/15 – 06:59

Eric, you are right: I didn’t check my facts – in my defence, my books are currently packed away – and I’d confused the date at which he became licensee of The Nelson . . . which would have made him about ?14 when he put his first char-a-banc on the road! But, it just serves to underline my point: he’d have been 72 when Clement Atlee’s Labour government took power – over the next few years he’d have had plenty time to see which way the wind was blowing on Capital Transfer Tax . . . and yet he did nothing to protect his businesses, despite his age.

Philip Rushworth


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Black and White – AEC Reliance – 8222 AD – 222

Black and White - AEC Reliance - 8222 AD - 222
Copyright Bob Gell

Black and White Motorways
AEC Reliance 2MU3RV
Duple C37C

Seen at their base in Cheltenham Coach Station on Sunday 20 August 1967 on Associated Motorways services are two members of the Black and White Motorways fleet. 182 (PAD 182) is a Willowbrook bodied Guy Arab LUF, new in 1955 and 222 (8222 AD) is a Duple bodied AEC Reliance new in 1961. Both are 37 seaters, with a centre entrance, which was standard for Black and White at the time, apart from a batch of 5 Roe Dalesman bodied Reliances new in 1959, which had 41 seats and a front entrance. The somewhat flamboyant Duple body on 222 contrasts with the restrained, classic elegance of the ECW bodied Bristol MW in Royal Blue livery alongside, also on Associated Motorways work.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Bob Gell

05/09/12 – 08:45

Another gem! I never experienced Cheltenham Coach Station, but I had two years of coach travel between Birmingham and Lancaster in the 1966/68 era. A veritable rainbow on steroids.

Pete Davies

05/09/12 – 08:46

What a great pic. Things aint what they used to be. Thanks for sharing that.

Les Dickinson

06/09/12 – 06:53

As an AEC (and Bristol) man, it’s amazing how many Guy Arab UF/LUF coaches have pitched up on this forum in recent months. I never came across one personally, but it is significant how many of you hold them in high regard and great affection.

David Oldfield

07/09/12 – 07:17

On that subject, David, in 1955 Northern General took delivery of 16 Weymann Fanfare’s, 6 on AEC chassis went to Wakefield’s, the other 10 for Northern were on Guy Arab UF/LUF and had the almost indestructible Gardner 6HLW. They had quite long lives for coaches, they were re-trimmed an re-seated by Plaxton’s in 1964 and were still around in 1968. Sadly I don’t think any survived into preservation, but to my mind the Fanfare was timeless classic that wouldn’t look out of place now

Ronnie Hoye

07/09/12 – 07:19

I worked in and out of Cheltenham from Eastbourne in the summer during the early 70’s when working for Southdown arriving to connect with the 16:00 hrs mass departure and leaving the next day with the 14:00 hrs departure these mass departures were a sight to behold looking chaotic but in reality very well organised any late arrivals contacting the control office to advise of any onward connections so that only those services needing to be held back were.
I remember the Reliance/Duple coaches by that time relegated to mainly duplicate journeys and were not very popular and known to all Black & White drivers as "Bubblecars" usually given to first season drivers who were then told to follow the service car he then found the service driver with the well known request "don’t lose me as I’ve never done this run before". I never lost one and always felt sorry for them as I felt it was not a good way to learn any route especially one like ours which took around 7 hours. One of the station inspectors told me they could get around 140 coaches in the yard, to me it seemed they proved it on many summer Saturdays and as this was in the very early days of National white livery with many vehicles still in company colours it was a truly magnificent sight also of course there were many private company vehicles on relief journeys which added to the spectacle. Oh happy days.

Diesel Dave

08/09/12 – 07:31

I agree about the Weymann Fanfare, Ronnie.

David Oldfield

10/09/12 – 07:30

Ronnie and David, the Northern General Guy Arab LUFs with Weymann Fanfare bodies were my favourite coaches of all time – see half way down this page //sct61.org.uk

Peter Williamson

11/09/12 – 06:39

As you say on the other site, Peter, the Guy Weymann’s were extensively used on the Newcastle – Liverpool service and that was pre motorway era, so regardless of the route you took it involved a lot of up’s and downs on single carriageway roads, but it says a lot about the vehicles that they lasted as long as they did, reliability was never an issue but at times seating capacity was

Ronnie Hoye

27/05/14 – 14:00

I Remember it well driving my new 53 seater Ford with Plaxton body on dupe from Leicester to Cheltenham and ending up in Devon on service, Anyone out there remember the old Caff in Bridgewater open all night.

I Williams
Ex N & S Travel

07/03/20 – 07:25

During the late fifties to mid sixties my family travelled at least once every year from Eastbourne to Cheltenham to stay with my Aunt and family. A seven to eight hour journey through every town and village from south to north west. I, as a child thought the older coaches were very comfortable, probably Guy’s. They left Eastbourne Southdown depot in a queue, Black and White coaches being a highlight of the trip. I remember coach drivers changing places by a complex arm link dance on the move. Pretty common for those days on long trips.



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