Old Bus Photos

Southampton Corporation – Guy Arab UF – JOW 928 – 255

Southampton Corporation - Guy Arab UF - JOW 928 - 255

Southampton Corporation
Guy Arab UF 6HLW
Park Royal B39F

JOW 928 is a Guy Arab UF, dating from 1955. It has a Park Royal body and, in the first view it has been renumbered to 903 for duty with the Council’s Welfare Department. It is in the Southsea rally on 17 June 1984.

Southampton Corporation - Guy Arab UF - JOW 928 - 255

This second view shows it restored to its original fleet number, 255, in the yard at Portswood for an open day. 9 July 1988.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

08/05/17 – 08:05

Southampton had twelve of these Guy Arab UF buses, the chassis of which were purchased in 1952. The first six, 244 – 249, were bodied immediately, but the others did not receive bodywork until 1955. The date of 1955 shown in the heading is thus only half correct. It should be 1952/55. Originally, the first five bodies were of B26D dual doorway layout, but this was quickly changed to B36D, which is the form in which the later ones, 250 – 255, first appeared. Nos 244 – 249 were withdrawn in 1963, and the remaining five had their bodies altered to B39F form in 1964, though, strangely, 254 and 255 were withdrawn from service in that same year. 252 went in 1968, but 250/1/3 lasted until 1971. More pictures of these buses may be found on the OBP Southampton gallery.

Roger Cox

08/05/17 – 11:10

An underfloor of real character: uncompromisingly no-nonsense bodywork, a good solid chassis and wonderful sound-effects. My only ride on one of these was not in Southampton but with an independent in Lincolnshire.
Is JOW 928 the bus that is now under restoration by the Southampton group?
Another question: did any heavy UFs have the five-speed gearbox that was fitted to the LUF?

Ian Thompson

09/05/17 – 07:37

As I understand the position, Ian, the UF and later LUF models all had the same catalogued transmission options, i.e. four or five speed constant mesh or four speed preselector. Whether any UFs actually had the five speeder is another matter of which I am uncertain, but a few did have the preselective box.

Roger Cox

09/05/17 – 17:03

Do we know what the L in LUF stood for?

Chris Hebbron

09/05/17 – 17:33

Light, Chris? At least, that would be my guess.

Pete Davies

09/05/17 – 17:33

JOW 918

And here is one with Green Bus of Rugeley

Tony Martin

17/05/17 – 07:48

Yes, Lightweight Under Floor or the L.U.F. for short

Stuart Emmett

18/05/17 – 07:58

Thx, Pete/Stuart.

Chris Hebbron

21/02/22 – 06:15

Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust – a charity and company limited by guarantee owns JOW 928 n.255. It is kept securely under cover in Hampshire at some great expense. It will be restored in time but has had several attempts before which have not been completed. We hope that this will be done in the next couple of years.

David Hutchings


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Greyhound – Guy Arab UF – GVD 43 – 43

GVD 43_lr
Copyright Ian Wild

T D Alexander (Greyhound) Sheffield and Arbroath
Guy Arab UF
Alexander C41C

This coach was one of a batch of ten new to Central SMT in this case as their fleet number K43. Bob Alexander liked rugged reliability and from my conversations with the fitter at Greyhound, this vehicle fitted the bill being quoted as the most reliable vehicle in the fleet! It must have been a long drive between Sheffield and Arbroath in those mainly pre-motorway days. The coach is seen on 25 May 1968 amongst the typical junk in the depot yard at Surbiton Street in Sheffield. How I wish I had recorded (and kept) details of the wondrous collection of rolling stock to be seen there.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

29/06/12 – 11:27

Picking up a thread that has come and gone along the way. Alexander used to build a lot of vehicles either for, or to the designs of, other builders – particularly Leyland and Weymann. They had a coach which, fitted on the Royal Tiger, had a "a lot of" Leyland in it. Looking at this vehicle, it seems to have "a lot of" Weymann Fanfare in it – except that it pre-dates the Fanfare by some four years!

David Oldfield

30/06/12 – 05:31

Was Central SMT much of a coach operator? I’ve never tended to think of them as such. I believe these vehicles had bus type folding doors on the centre entrance. One of them found it’s way to Green Bus of Rugeley, Staffs and couldn’t have been any use at all for one man operation, the seating looks quite deep and comfortable though. Being a UF rather than an LUF, I imagine it would have been quite solid and rugged!

Chris Barker

30/06/12 – 05:32

Isn’t this the same body that "had a lot of" Leyland in it? It’s known as the Coronation style.

Peter Williamson

30/06/12 – 10:13

That’s what I thought Peter, but the "Fanfare" characteristics had only just dawned on me. Because I’m not over familiar with the Coronation, I couldn’t remember whether it had the Dutch lantern type windscreen of the Leyland coach.

David Oldfield

30/06/12 – 10:14

Like many of its underfloor contemporaries, it was over-engineered for British use, with a weight approaching, if not exceeding, at times, that of a double-decker, hence the lightweight LUF later. I think that all manufacturers subsequently produced lightweight versions, apart from Daimler. BMMO were definitely the front-runners in this sphere after the war.

Chris Hebbron

30/06/12 – 17:50

I think this view //www.flickr.com/  gives a more Leyland-like impression, but it is the same body.
I was a big fan of the Fanfare, and coincidentally my favourites of all were Northern General’s on Guy Arab LUF chassis.

Peter Williamson

30/06/12 – 17:51

Central SMT always had a few coaches, but mostly operated bus services in the Clyde Valley and along the north bank of the Clyde west of Glasgow.
They were the main profit making branch of the Scottish Bus Group in the post-war period and subsidised most of the other branches. They left coach operating to Alexander Bluebird, Western SMT and Eastern Scottish.

Jim Hepburn

01/07/12 – 08:23

Yes, Peter, add Fanfares to my list of favourites. I didn’t have much to do with the many Reliances but knew the Sheffield JOC Leopards very well.

David Oldfield

01/07/12 – 08:24

Central S.M.T. also had a fleet of "bald headed" Y type Albion Vikings which were quickly sold on to Highland. The Vikings were then replaced by Bedfords.
Oh to go back to Surbiton Street and see the Beverley Bar Guys and Leyland PD1’s. Also a fleet of ex Gateshead and District PD2’s. Even earlier they had a number of Bristol L types and possible older JO’s
Later they bought deckers from Aberdeen Corporation, Regent III’s and Regent V’s.

Stephen Bloomfield

01/07/12 – 08:25

As Chris says, most of the major manufacturers over engineered their early underfloor-engined models and had to introduce lighter models two or three years later – in some cases overreacting and going too far the other way. However, it seems to me that good old Bristol/ECW seemed to get it right from the start with their LS (Light Saloon). Just as with the BMMO’s, both manufacturers built what the operator wanted because the manufacturer and operator were closely related, and there was much more feedback flowing between them.

John Stringer

02/07/12 – 07:21

Like several of the other small fleets, Greyhound seems to have had a mixed fleet. It’s great for the observers, but I can imagine what it must have been like for the engineering stores people. It’s hardly surprising that so many fleets are standardised so heavily.
There’s comment above about the Leyland and Weymann similarities. I must say it looks rather more Weymann Fanfare than Leyland to me.

Pete Davies

02/07/12 – 18:00

I’m sure (or am I ?) that this particular coach GVD 43 used to operate on a works contract in and out of Halifax sometime during the mid to late 1960’s, but painted in a black and cream livery. Did it ever belong to Pemberton’s of Upton ? They did a works service to the Meredith & Drew biscuit factory from its home territory, later taken over (on a larger scale) by Halifax J.O.C.

John Stringer

03/07/12 – 07:19

Green Bus of Rugeley (Staffs) had identical machines GVD 41 and 44. I was lucky enough to ride on GVD 41 on their stage service from Stafford to Uttoxeter on one occasion, so yes they were used on bus work. The view from the front seat made a pleasant change, and the vehicle was an interesting contrast to the North Western Leopard/Alexander Y type which had taken me from Manchester LMS to Stafford!

Neville Mercer

03/07/12 – 07:22

So, were Pemberton’s the firm alluded to in Geoffrey Hilditch’s "biography" as having supplied a coach with " . . .a broken accelerator spring. A piece of string was secured to the pedal, and the free end given to the young lady sitting right behind the driver who was asked to provide the necessary tension . . ."? – which led, amongst other issues, to the contract being re-allocated to Calderdale JOC. I must admit that, given postings in another thread,and the timings, whether "GH’s" comments might have been aimed at Hebble – but seemingly not.

Philip Rushworth

04/07/12 – 05:38

Talking about Pembertons of Upton reminds me that when I drove for Stanley Gath at Dewsbury every year a large private hire job was for Thornhill Working Mens Club. This involved nearly all the fleet plus several other coaches hired in. On one occasion the destination was the inevitable Blackpool and one of the coaches was an elderly Bedford of Pembertons and as we loaded up at the club each coach took on pop and crisps for the children. When the driver of the Pemberton coach opened up his boot lid this fell off. Stanley himself was supervising loadings and he sent the driver and the coach back to his garage muttering that he would not use them again.

Philip Carlton

27/12/14 – 05:20

My dad went to Sheffield in late 1947 to re-letter Greyhound buses before they could be nationalised – he had a painters/sign writing business in Monifieth near Dundee, would anyone know the story behind this?

Jim Clark

06/01/15 – 17:30

Answer for Jim Clarke. I am the daughter of Geoff Alexander, his father was Thomas Daly Alexander the owner of Greyhound Coaches of Sheffield and Arbroath…I asked mum but she doesn’t know anything about that time as it was before she was married. But she remembers a house in Broughty Ferry that Thomas had and behind it they did sign writing, was that your dad?

Geoffs Daughter

22/02/15 – 07:38

Re Greyhound I distinctly remember it was winter 1947 he went to Sheffield as my mum was worried due to the bad winter of 47 – it was something to do with the nationalisation of coach services and to keep new coaches out of the hands of the government – I recall a holiday when we went all round England in the mid 50’s when we went down Snake Pass as Dad said this was the road he went to Sheffield in the snow of ’47 – my Grandad was also a signwriter and he probably stayed back in Monifieth to carry out more work to coaches there. This may be a mystery that will never be solved.

Jim Clark

GVD 43_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

08/06/19 – 07:55

Tom Alexander was Walter Alexander’s other Son. He worked for the Company pre-war and was Depot Engineer at Dundee during the war. He was against nationalisation so left Alexanders and set up as Greyhound in Sheffield. The type of business he set up there was not involved in the Nationalisation of Bus Companies.

Allan T Condie


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Highland Omnibuses Ltd – Guy Arab UF – KWO 37 – K47

Highland Omnibuses Ltd - Guy Arab UF - KWO 37 - K47

Highland Omnibuses Ltd
Guy Arab UF
Duple C37F

Back in the days of half-cabs, most coaches were distinguishable from single-deck buses by their window line. On buses this was straight and level, but on coaches it usually formed a gentle curve from the focal point of bonnet and cab down towards the rear. Later, when the engine of heavyweight coaches disappeared under the floor, there was no longer such a strong focal point, and at first the coach building industry was undecided as to whether to continue in the old tradition or to produce something as straight and symmetrical as the new chassis. Duple hedged its bets and did both, offering a choice between the curvy Ambassador and the straight-laced Roadmaster.
Nicknamed the Iron Duke by those who built it, the Roadmaster was famously much more successful as a Dinky Toy model than it was in the real world, but it did have one big fan in the Red & White group, which purchased 21 spacious 37-seaters on Guy Arab UF chassis as well as a lone Leyland Royal Tiger. After withdrawal, some of the Arab UFs were sold to Highland Omnibuses, an avid Guy user, for bus work, where they formed an unusually sumptuous form of local transport! This one was photographed in Inverness Bus Station in June 1968.

To view a shot of the Ambassador body style click here.

Photograph and copy contributed by Peter Williamson

23/06/12 – 05:54

I find it surprising that some of the really obscure "real" vehicles seem to have been incredibly popular when converted to toy or model form. The Roadmaster is a classis example, along with the Dinky Commer/Harrington in BOAC livery.
I suppose it must have depended on the original operators’ preferences, but these Roadmasters look considerably different from those which Standerwick had, and on which the Dinky seems to be based.

Pete Davies

KWO 37 is a Duple WORLDMASTER not a Roadmaster. Ex Red and White. Similarities with the ‘Roadmaster’ are obvious.



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