Old Bus Photos

Formby Coach Company – Karrier – MDU 14

Formby Coach Company - Karrier - MDU 14
Copyright Alan Murray-Rust

Formby Coach Company
1953
Karrier
Reading C14F

After the demise of the W-type trolleybus, the Karrier name remained dormant until the Rootes Group revived it for this compact little 14-seater coach. It was clearly based on Commer units, and according to John Gillham’s ‘Buses and Coaches 1945-1965’ used a 4-cylinder petrol engine. It appears to have been marketed as a complete vehicle with Reading bodywork from the outset. No chassis type is indicated.
This example was owned by the Formby Coach Company, although this was clearly not its original owner, as it has a Coventry CBC registration. I have no information about its previous owner(s); the name in the nearside destination opening is indistinct but could be either Bibbys or Kirbys.
The shot was taken in January 1967 at the corner of Lancaster Road and Church Street in Preston, known locally as Starkie’s Corner from the clothing store behind (these words can just be made out on the corner window above the prominent ‘SALE’ sign). Note also the three Preston Corporation deckers in the background, all in the older maroon livery. The building with the clock is the Transport Department offices.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Alan Murray-Rust


17/03/13 – 09:59

Thanks for posting, Alan. There is still a Formby Coaches (based in Formby) appearing on the web, although it probably isn’t the same one.
Looking at the background, don’t those Preston buses in the old livery look dismal? The blue and cream gave a much-needed boost to the impression. And a WONDERLOAF delivery van – remember???????

Pete Davies


17/03/13 – 15:48

This is lovely ‘action’ photo (leaning round the corner) of a Karrier Q25 chassis and an early Reading body of the type called Lilliput. It was exclusively built on Karrier chassis and ‘Karrier/Reading Lilliput’ was a registered trade mark. They were made throughout the fifties and sixties and sold to many well-known companies such as Frames Tours, these examples looking outstanding! The GPO ordered a lot of (modified) ones for outside broadcasting duties. I recall them well in this role. They were a nice little earner for Reading – the cost of them as luxury coaches at that time was around £1250!

Chris Hebbron


17/03/13 – 16:54

Many thanks for the very complete expansion of the details of this – in my opinion – rather neat little vehicle; I was a bit frustrated by the rather scanty info in JCG’s book, although at least there was something there to work on. I also have a photo of a similar combination, but clearly of later date, with the horizontal grille, with Safeway of South Petherton (600 GYC). Presumably that would have been marketed under the Lilliput brand as well?

Alan Murray-Rust


18/03/13 – 06:33

You’re right, Alan. Later on, Reading & Co put stylish Lilliput bodies on the Karrier BFD chassis. Here is an example of one such vehicle: http://tinyurl.com/bpr5tdp  
Reading was very much into producing bespoke bodies and Lilliputs came in all shapes.
Plaxton was another company who built bodies on the Karrier chassis, but I think that the Karrier/Reading partnership had a large market.

Chris Hebbron


18/03/13 – 11:27

The photograph of Karrier/Plaxton 2677 NW of T.H.Parkinson of Heckmondwike reminded me that the vehicle in question was painted lemon yellow and later it was replaced by a newer model painted blue. Besides running the coaches the firm ran taxis and were booking agents for West Riding for the daily service from Wakefield to Blackpool that passed through Heckmondwike.

Philip Carlton


18/03/13 – 13:10

Further to my earlier posting of 2677 NW. Bruerian mentions on his Flicker Postings that in fact the registration number was in fact 2677 WW. There is probably a grain of truth in this. NW was a Leeds registration and a vehicle registered in Heckmondwike would have been registered in the West Riding of Yorkshire which had their offices in Wakefield. It would appear Plaxton made a mistake on their official photograph.

Philip Carlton


 

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Huddersfield Corporation – Karrier E6 – AVH 497 – 497

 Huddersfield Corporation - Karrier E6 - AVH 497 - 497
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Huddersfield Corporation
1938
Karrier E6
Park Royal H?/?R – rebuilt 1950 Roe H36/30R

Karrier E6 497 is seen in the mid fifties in Huddersfield Town centre on a through service from Brackenhall to Lockwood. This trolleybus formerly had a Park Royal body and entered service in 1938 but was withdrawn for a new Roe body fitted in 1950. The Corporation Transport Works carried out an extensive refurbishment work on the Karrier E6 chassis, control equipment and traction motor. Roe supplied an external body shell which was then internally finished by Huddersfield.
Twenty eight pre-war Karrier E6 trolleybuses were rebuilt in this way over a period from 1950 to 1954. Trolleybus 497 was in the first group of seven and coded class J1(R) and also one of a few with a narrow cream line rather than a cream band below the upper deck windows. Huddersfield continued this process of fitting new bodies to older chassis with their post-war Sunbeam MS2s from 1955 onwards up to 1962.
By 1963 all the Karrier E6 rebuilds were gone as route conversions to motorbuses took a hold. This rebodying process was always referred to by Huddersfield as a rebuild which was true for the pre-war Karrier E6s but perhaps not so for the post-war Sunbeam MS2s that received new Roe and East Lancs bodies.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Richard Fieldhouse

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07/01/12 – 16:03

This comment less pic looks lonely. Could I set the ball rolling by querying the Roe-ness of this body? It seems to have a seam up the middle as if it was made like an Easter-egg. The driver’s corner looks Roe, but what about those bumps/vents above the full windows on the lower deck, and where’s the "familiar" trunking for the electrics between the upper deck windows.. and then there’s the bumpers. Must have been a hot day although they’re still wearing jackets….

Joe

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07/01/12 – 17:49

Definitely a Roe body Joe. A lot of people think that the beading up the middle of the front panel was a result of partial replacement of the panel due to accident damage but I’m not so sure. If you look at almost any picture of a post war bodied Huddersfield Trolley, be it Park Royal, Roe or East Lancs they all seem to have this seam up the middle, even on pictures of new buses therefore I think it was a specification of the corporation. The front (and rear) bumpers were also a specification of the corporation on most batches of postwar bodies with the exception of the final batch of new trolley’s, 1959 Sunbeam S7A’s with E/Lancs bodies which had a removable panel at the bottom for use with a swan neck tow bar. These bumpers had variations of between three and five polished strips along them as well as other minor variations, even among vehicles of the same batch. These bumpers were usually discarded at first body overhaul.
I think that on this batch of bodies the trunking for the electrics may have run down the middle pillar of the front windows. This could certainly explain the front dome being split by beading to facilitate maintenance. Many of Huddersfield’s Roe trolleybuses even had vents in the front dome, as did the batch of 1958 Roe bodied exposed radiator Regent V’s for the JOC.
As an aside, the locals of Huddersfield always referred to the Trolleybuses as "Trolley’s" and the diesel buses as "Petrol’s". I can well remember an aunt of mine still calling the buses Petrol’s well into the 1970’s long after the trolley’s had gone.

Eric

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07/01/12 – 17:56

Funny that Joe should say this. I hadn’t noticed any of those details, but what I did notice was that the upstairs rear emergency door window is divided in a manner that doesn’t look like contemporary Roe practice. I would have expected it to be either a single rectangular window, such as seen, for instance, on the internal shot of the “Ideal Service” Leyland PD2, or the earlier divided version in which the top frame of the two parts forms an arch, as seen on Ian Gibbs rear shot of the East Yorkshire (Beverley Bar) PD1. I guess there were many oddities with rebuilds. Does anyone have a rear view of one of these beasts?

Stephen Ford

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08/01/12 – 07:55

Geoff Lumb’s excellent Roe/Optare book confirms the Roeness of the body. The two piece window in the rear emergency door was rare but not unknown. I think it was a Huddersfield quirk.

David Oldfield

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08/01/12 – 07:56

Stephen, this is yet another oddity of Huddersfield. With very few early exceptions, ie: six NCB lowbridge Regent III’s delivered in 1949, almost all Huddersfield post war double deck bodies, be they trolleybus, motorbus, highbridge or lowbridge, Corporation or JOC, had divided rear windows on both decks until the advent of the first Fleetlines in 1967

Forgot to mention Stephen, whilst not of this particular batch of bodies there are a couple of rear views of the 1951 batch of Sunbeam MS2’s which had almost identical bodies when new, in the book ‘Huddersfield Trolleybuses’ by Stephen Lockwood published by Middelton Press in 2002

Eric

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08/01/12 – 07:57

Stephen, to answer your query about the upper-deck rear window being divided, this was a feature specified by Huddersfield for all their post-war Roe bodies for both their trolleybuses and motorbuses.

Richard Fieldhouse

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08/01/12 – 07:58

The twenty Rotherham Daimler single-deck trolleybuses that were rebodied as double deckers by Roe also had a divided emergency window, nothing like the standard single rectangular window that was fitted to three Roe motor bus bodies delivered to Rotherham around the same time, and which were followed later by many more.
What was most odd about the twenty trolleybus bodies, however, was the divided rear lower saloon window, definitely non-standard, but very eye catching all the same. I’ve often wondered who in the Crossgates drawing office dreamt that one up.

Dave Careless

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08/01/12 – 07:58

Yet another interesting feature of Huddersfield Trolley’s was that the rear platform was at the same level as the lower deck floor, accessed by two steps on the platform edge, rather than the more usual lower platform and riser step into the lower saloon. Another unusual feature (am I boring you?) of the JOC motorbuses of this period was that the handrails on the rear entrances were insulated in black plastic, as per the requirement on trolleybuses, rather than the more normal plain aluminium. Right! I’ll shut up for now, (unless I think of something else) and hope my snippets have been of interest to somebody, somewhere.

Eric

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08/01/12 – 16:35

When Wallace Arnold had the Daimler saloons acquired from Farsley Omnibus rebodied as double deckers they also had the large step flat floor to the platform layout.

Chris Hough

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08/01/12 – 16:52

Yes, Eric, they are! The steps-up-to-rear-platform flat-floor layout was also found on some Roe motorbuses- eg Doncaster- in the fifties. Must be good for clippies.

Joe

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09/01/12 – 07:28

3203

Here is a photograph of Huddersfield Daimler 431 at Holmbridge showing the two piece emergency exit. This was not unique to Huddersfield – Halifax’s Roe-bodied PD2s had this feature, in their case with each half containing a sliding ventilator.

David Beilby

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09/01/12 – 07:29

Well Joe, you certainly got the ball rolling, the pic doesn’t look quite as lonely now!

Eric

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10/01/12 – 07:15

I think you will find some reference to Halifax’s small batch of petrol engined AEC Regents in Geoffrey Hilditch’s excellent book Steel Wheels and Rubber Tyres Vol 2. They were delivered in April 1939 with Roe bodies and numbered 201-204, they were fitted with 9.6 litre twin carburettor petrol engines and proved more than capable of holding their own against the trolleybuses. A fuel consumption of around 3.5 mpg and war time restrictions saw them all receiving standard 8.8 litre diesels within a year of the outbreak of war. The above information is quoted from page 52 of the book mentioned initially.

Diesel Dave

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11/01/12 – 06:40

Further to Eric’s comment on the level of the rear platform, I have a vague memory that this was due to the design of the Karrier chassis. I cannot now remember where I read this. If this is true, did Karrier trolleybuses for other users (eg Doncaster) have this feature? And did Huddersfield perpetuate the design on other makes of trolleybus chassis in order to maintain consistent passenger awareness, even if other makes would have allowed the more usual rear platform level? Maybe someone with a clearer memory or knowledge can deny or confirm this.

Michael Hampton

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11/01/12 – 08:51

!cid_DSCN0214

In answer to Michael’s question, the Karrier E6 chassis operated at Huddersfield had spectacle frames at the rear end, so no drop frame was possible and a high platform was a necessary feature. Above is a photo of Huddersfield Karrier E6 frame ex 470 at Sandtoft which shows this spectacle feature. All Huddersfield’s post-war trolleybuses had a drop frame chassis but they continued to specify the high platform for continuity. The only trolleybus operated in Huddersfield with a low platform was the AEC 663T/EEC no 6 later renumbered 406 and delivered in December 1933. I do believe other Karrier E6 trolleybuses such as those at Doncaster had a double step rear platform.

Richard Fieldhouse

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15/01/12 – 07:14

Joe,
I’ve had another look at the photo of 497 and looking at the front dome I don’t think it has been divided. What looks at first to be beading down the middle appears, on closer inspection, to be a shadow cast in the strong sunlight, possibly by an overhead cable.

Eric

 

Leave it with me for a while will do some close ups

 

497 close up 2497 close up 1

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AVH 497_lr_2 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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15/01/12 – 16:32

I’m still thinking it’s a trunking or a moulding- very central- who knows?!
Going back to the step-up rear platform on motorbuses too- one example is the late Tony Peart’s Doncaster 122, an AEC/Roe with those funny cranked seats as well. I think there were other similar ones in the fleet around that time. Perhaps the idea came from necessity with these trolley rebodies.

Joe

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16/01/12 – 07:39

Joe I remember asking Tony Peart once about the unusual seating arrangement in Doncaster 122 and he was able to explain to me the reasoning behind it.
Unfortunately I can’t remember what he told me.

Eric

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16/01/12 – 07:42

West Riding’s Guy Arab IVs also had that platform layout – it was less obvious on the KHL-registered batch as they had folding doors which meant the platform step was set well inside and is very difficult to see on photographs. I have a theory as to why this layout was adopted and it relates to the combination of lowbridge layout and the safety staircase (which is why it only appears on Roe bodies). The problem with the safety staircase is that it tends to be longer as it’s largely straight. This is why early postwar Roe bodies have only 25 seats downstairs instead of the usual seat as the offside rear wheelarch seat was only for two.
This long staircase causes a problem with lowbridge bodies as you have difficulty getting to the rear seats. If the first step is incorporated in the platform, as with this design, that makes the staircase shorter and can help with the layout. As it was the penultimate row on the KHL Guy Arabs only seated two with the rear row seating three.

David Beilby


 

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Huddersfield Corporation – Karrier E6 – AVH 521 – 521

Huddersfield Corporation - Karrier E6 - AVH 521 - 521
Copyright C Carter

Huddersfield Corporation
1940
Karrier E6
Weymann H34/30R

One of the large group of Karrier E6 trolleybuses built to a similar style to the larger group of Park Royal trolleybuses to the unique design specified by Huddersfield. These ten Weymann built bodies were longer than the Park Royal ones and 521 also had English Electric motors and control equipment whereas the majority of the Karrier E6s had Metro-Vickers motors and equipment.
521 is seen in John William Street in Huddersfield on a cross-town route 60 from Birkby to Crosland Hill. This route had a steep hill section of Blackmoorfoot Road requiring the use of the coasting and run-back brake system, a statutory system laid down by the Ministry of Transport.
All Huddersfield trolleybuses from 431 to 640 were fitted with these special brakes, as there were several other routes with steep hills where Ministry Rules applied. The earlier trolleybuses 401 to 430 (1933/34) were not equipped with these coasting and run-back brakes and restricted to the flatter routes, which was possibly an understatement for Huddersfield as nearly every main road appears to have a slope. Huddersfield was the perfect town for trolleybuses but sadly all had gone by the 13 July 1968.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Richard Fieldhouse

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21/11/11 – 09:27

I only ever rode on a Huddersfield trolleybus once and I had the impression it was geared. This was in the mid fifties. Could this be possible?

Jim Hepburn

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21/11/11 – 11:29

I was always fascinated by this batch of Huddersfield E6s due to their longer front overhang and more "bulbous" fronts, due, I believe, to a mistake when the first dimensional measurements were taken.
Also, when Weymann were building to a design other than their own, a rare event in itself, there was usually some Weymann give away. Derby, for example, had an earlier batch of Guy BTXs with Weymann bodies to the usual Brush style, but they still had the standard Weymann shape of upper rear emergency window.
As Richard says, this batch had EEC equipment, this being replaced after the rebuilding and rebodying process by standard MV units (as far as rebuilding of this batch was concerned).
Absolutely superb trolleybuses, full of character, and a wonderfully nostalgic photograph.
As a Bradfordian, there was something truly atmospheric about the Huddersfield fleet, as it was so different to our own, but that is the magic of our interest is it not….the wide variations in "flavour" given off by different fleets: so different to the drab uniformity of the post 1970 period!

John Whitaker

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21/11/11 – 13:15

…..too true, John.

David Oldfield

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22/11/11 – 07:30

Jim,
Huddersfield’s Trolleybuses, and I would imagine all other trolleybuses weren’t geared. Assuming, from what you say you only rode on a Huddersfield Trolley once, that you weren’t familiar with trolleybuses in general I think what you would have experienced would have been the superb acceleration qualities of electrically propelled vehicle working up through the ‘notches’ under full power up one of the many steep hills on the Huddersfield system. Bradford was also endowed with similar hilly trolleybus routes. Indeed, when most of the hillier routes in Huddersfield were converted to diesel operation the timetable had to be adjusted to allow for the slower hill climbing abilities of the diesels.
The only other thing I can think of is that you experienced engagement of the coasting brake when descending a steep hill. This was a Ministry of Transport requirement whereby on certain sections of trolleybus route involving decent of steep hills the driver was required to engage the coasting brake by means of a lever in the cab between certain points on said decent and the speed of the trolley was held to around 15mph

Eric

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22/11/11 – 07:31

When I was a youngster trying to make sense of the bus world all by myself (thinking I was the only bus nut in the universe), upper deck rear emergency windows were something I always noted the shape of. This grounding later proved invaluable in identifying body makes when the overall design was unfamiliar or deceptive, and became a godsend when visiting Nottingham, where Atlanteans and Fleetlines were built to a standard design by several builders. Now, when preserved buses are lined up at a rally, I still like to go round the back of the line and look up fondly at those telltale windows.

Peter Williamson

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22/11/11 – 12:19

Coasting Brake Regulations were applied in Huddersfield on the following routes : –
Newsome South – Newsome Hill section.
Riddings – Woodhouse Hill section.
Crosland Hill – Blackmoorfoot Road section.
Longwood – Paddock Head and Quarmby Clough sections (relaxed 1949).
West Vale & Elland – The Ainleys section.
The steepest section on the Huddersfield system was Woodhouse Hill with a gradient of 1 in 8.9 and these regulations lasted in the Town until the closure of the Newsome and Riddings routes in July 1966.
I hope this might stir some memories for some who may have ridden on these routes and experienced the "groaning" descent of one of the hills on these routes. West Vale however was closed in 1961 and Crosland Hill in 1964 to be replaced by motor buses which were much slower.

Richard Fieldhouse

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22/11/11 – 16:03

I wonder why the Quarmby Clough and Paddock Head sections of the Longwood route were included in Coasting Brake regulations. I would have thought the descent from Longwood terminus (the famous turntable) through the village would have been steeper, it was certainly narrow, and has often been quoted as the reason all Huddersfield’s trolley’s were 7’6" wide.

Whilst on the subject of motor buses being slower Halifax JOC are supposed to have had some AEC Regents specially fitted with petrol engines to try and compete with Huddersfield’s trolleybuses on the climb up The Ainleys from Elland towards Huddersfield. As far as I know they still couldn’t keep up with the trolley’s and just about doubled fuel consumption into the bargain!

Eric


 

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