Old Bus Photos

Manchester Corporation – Leyland PDR1/1 – HVM 914F – 1014

Manchester Corporation - Leyland PDR1/1 - HVM 914F - 1014

Manchester Corporation
1968
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Park Royal H45/28D

One of the famous Mancunians which revolutionised the double deck bus in the late 60s is seen turning into Portland Street in May 1968 when just a couple of months old. The stunning livery brightened up Manchester – sad that they soon succumbed to SELNEC orange and white.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild


25/05/20 – 07:24

1014 was one of the vehicles delivered in the cream and red livery based on the scheme previously used on the Panther single deckers. It was displayed in Piccadilly along with 1001 which was in the white version of the livery and the public were asked to comment. The result was a majority in favour of white so 1014 and, I think, 1017 went back to the spray booth.

Phil Blinkhorn


26/05/20 – 06:54

Phil, you are too modest. Part Four of your expansive article, Manchester Buses – A Retrospective, gives the comprehensive story behind the Mancunian double deck design:- Manchester Buses a Retrospective – Article

HVM 903F

Here is another picture, showing the nearside, of one of the early Atlanteans, No. 1003 HVM 903F, taken in June 1970. In 1968 Ralph Bennet moved on to London Transport, later becoming first Deputy and then Chairman. There he came up against the exhibitionist and rabid Thatcherite leader of the GLC, Horace Cutler, who engineered his early removal from office in 1980 on the politically motivated, utterly preposterous grounds that he lacked the necessary managerial expertise. Cutler’s transport legacy of cost cutting, asset stripping and under investment is still felt in London to this day.

Roger Cox


26/05/20 – 06:55

I have a soft spot for these first Atlantean Mancunians. I travelled the 19 route regularly on my journeys from Work, when I was in digs at Debdale Park while working in Denton. Hyde Road also used these on the 169/170 services, to which there is a clue in the destination number box. The 1 has been left, the 6 or 7 wound to 9 and the last last digit the 9 or 0 wound off. Keen drivers would correctly have just used the second and third tracks only, far neater in my opinion. If I could not sit at the front upstairs my second choice was the rear offside seat over the engine to listen to it. The 19 was very convenient for me as the short walk from Victoria Station to Greengate would get me on a 12/31/38 to visit my parents at Little Hulton. To add to Phil’s comments about the colours, perhaps we can add that it was 1044 that later on, suffered a most catastrophic fire. Question to Phil, there was also the first demonstration of a Mancunian in Piccadilly, but that was to demonstrate it against two other operators new buses, neither came near to it.

Mike Norrios


26/05/20 – 06:55

Since my previous comment, I’ve found the record of the deliveries and repaints. There were 7 deliveries for entry into service in March 1968. 1001/03/04/05/10/14/24. Of these 1003/04/14 and 1024 were delivered in red and cream, the rest in red and white. On Saturday February 24 and Saturday March 2 two vehicles were displayed and free rides given in Piccadilly bus station. 1001 in white and 1024 in cream took part with 1014 substituting for 1024 the second Saturday. March deliveries for April entry into service included 1002 also in red and cream but as a result of both the public opinion surveys and previous comments about the cream yellowing on the Panthers – shades of problems to come with SELNEC’s sunglow orange – all five red and cream vehicles were resprayed within six weeks.

Phil Blinkhorn


26/05/20 – 10:53

A Sheffielder, I spent my student days in, and around, Manchester from 1971-1976 – and then stayed to work until December 1980. The Sheffield "standard" PRV body on the 163 Atlanteans and subsequent Fleetlines – and the later London Country/NBC version – is a favourite of mine. However, I always preferred the 33ft Mancunian by PRV/MCW/Roe, but I always felt it was better and more balanced in design as a 33footer rather than this original, shorter, version.

David Oldfield


26/05/20 – 10:55

Mike, the demonstration you refer to was after the 1968 Commercial Motor Show on October 26 when the show exhibit Mancunian, Fleetline 2048 which had been held back to be exhibited by Park Royal, was shown on Piccadilly alongside Sheffield Atlantean 293, also straight from the Park Royal stand at the show and Newcastle 601 an Alexander bodied Atlantean whose hitherto advanced styling was totally eclipsed by the other two with the Mancunian going on to be the template for future double deck design.
Roger, it’s interesting how a later London leader of the same political kidney and with no real experience in transport, wasted millions in removing vehicles found quite satisfactory in cities large and small around the globe and replacing them with a vanity project which could not be operated as designed, cooked the passengers in summer and were designed to look from the rear to fulfil all the meanings of "like the back end of a bus".

Phil Blinkhorn


27/05/20 – 07:04

Phil, My thanks to you.
My memory seems to recall the Newcastle one, have a reversed nearside staircase, or what the Sheffield one? There was something very peculiar about it, on one of them.

Mike Norris


27/05/20 – 07:05

Who on earth, and what bus, can Phil possibly be referring to?!

Stephen Ford


28/05/20 – 07:12

I guess that Phil Blinkhorn didn’t actually live along one of the routes that the London Bendys actually ran on. Their obstructive characteristics really became apparent where, as they tended to do far more than regular vehicles, they ended up running in tandem. I believe there was an instruction that they were not to overtake one another.
They also had a higher accident record than normal vehicles. I know it’s sometimes presented as no different, but these vehicles paid an additional rate and were only driven by experienced senior drivers who otherwise had a much lower than average accident rate.
Sir Peter Hendy stated there was no loss on the disposal of them because they were leased, and just handed back at a lease break point.
When it comes to "experience in transport", we can possibly start with a manufacturer who states the first one destroyed by fire was a "unique incident", the second one was a "extraordinary coincidence", and the third one was "er … we’re going to do a modification". I can still see where the classic trees on Park Lane were ruined by the 436 which caught fire there.

Bill


28/05/20 – 07:14

Mike, it was the Newcastle Atlantean that had the near side staircase – a bit of a Newcastle fad at the time.

Phil Blinkhorn


29/05/20 – 06:52

601 was a conversion by Newcastle Corporation of accident damaged 251(KBB 251D). One of the claimed advantages was that the layout gave the driver a better view of the exit door. I believe Newcastle took two batches of Alexander bodied Atlanteans to this layout. Tyneside PTE, and subsequently Tyne and Wear PTE, adopted this speciation. It appeared on Daimler Fleetline chassis, and Willowbrook built some bodies of this layout for the PTE on long Atlantean chassis.

Richard Slater


29/05/20 – 06:53

No Bill, I didn’t live on a bendy bus route but I have driven in cities on five continents where such vehicles operate and they are no more obstructive than any other long vehicle. Their removal was a toxic mixture of the old LT "not invented here" attitude, political reaction to an innovation by an opposing party and flag waving jingoism. Their very expensive replacements are unable to operate either safely or economically as designed. As for fires, 12 of the articulated vehicles were destroyed by fire and fire has also destroyed a number of the new Routemasters – as it has other hybrids and, going back in time, a good number of Atlanteans, Fleetlines, Panthers and other "conventional" buses.

Phil Blinkhorn


01/06/20 – 07:46

We had the very under powered Wright Ftrs in Leeds which were a bit of a disaster to put it mildly York also had some which the council pressurised First into moving to Leeds. York is also home to a number of Mercedes artics on park and ride service which have no problem in the narrow city centre streets.

Chris Hough


 

Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page

 


 

B.O.A.C. – Leyland Atlantean – LYF 304D

B.O.A.C. - Leyland Atlantean - LYF 304D

British Overseas Airways Corporation
1966
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
MCW CH38/16F

In 1940, with Britain at war and civilian air traffic barely existent, Croydon based Imperial Airways formally subsumed the privately owned (though nationally subsidised) British Airways at Heston and became BOAC, though this had been the de facto situation since September 1939. At the end of the war, with Heathrow becoming the major UK airport, the European air passenger traffic business was separated from BOAC in 1946 and named BEA. (British South American Airways, a short lived separate company formed at the same time for the South American air services, was reabsorbed into BOAC in 1949 after the disappearance of two Avro Tudor aircraft over the Atlantic.) To fulfil the road transport requirements between London and the developing Heathrow Airport, the Ministry of Supply allocated BEA and BOAC a number of Commer Q4 Commando 1½ deck observation coaches with Park Royal 20 seat bodywork that had 180 cubic ft of luggage space under the raised rear section. BOAC, operating from the former Imperial Airways building at Victoria, stayed with Commer for its replacement passenger road fleet and took Harrington bodied examples of the early petrol engined Avenger model between 1949 and 1952, though a solitary Harrington C37C bodied Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/13 came in 1950. The TS3 two stroke powered Harrington Contender then became the favoured choice, and BOAC became the Contender’s best customer taking a total of 28, of which 19 were employed in overseas locations. (Strangely, the Harrington Contender does not appear at all on BLOTW.) The last BOAC Contenders (the figure varies between one and three) reputedly had the Rolls Royce petrol engine (again, sources vary as to whether this was the straight eight B80 or the six cylinder B60) married to a torque converter, a power train concept surely inspired by a variant of the Dennis fire engine. One wonders, however, how this layout could have been accommodated like the flat TS3 engine under the floor of the Contender.

As air travel became more popular, both BEA and BOAC turned to the double decker for the airport links. BEA, whose road operations were overseen by London Transport, took the Routemaster, but BOAC preferred the Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1, purchasing fifteen in 1966, LYF 304D to LYF 318D inclusive, with “Alexander clone” MCW bodies that seated 38 passengers upstairs and 16 downstairs; the vacated space was used for luggage. Later, in 1971, these were supplemented by six PDR2/1, GML 846J to GML 851J inclusive, with Roe CH41/24F bodies. It is thought that all these Atlanteans were operated on behalf of BOAC by Halls Bros. at Hounslow. The picture shows examples of each type at the Victoria terminal building. PDR1/1 LYF 304D was delivered in October 1966, and PDR2/1 GML 847J arrived in July 1971. The BEA and BOAC London – Heathrow road services were taken over by the new British Airways from 1974 and had ceased by 1980, by which time air passengers had become accustomed to booking in directly at Heathrow, and the central London passenger facilities had become superfluous. One of the MCW bodied vehicles, LYF 307D, has been preserved.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


21/01/19 – 07:18

I remember riding in these Atlanteans out from Victoria to Heathrow. The BOAC departure point was the ground floor of their headquarters, which faces Victoria coach station across the road, although given the clientele of both BOAC and long distance coach at the time probably very few transferred between the two.
There have been many memories posted on the web about the buses out to Heathrow, a significant number of which seem to mix up BEA, BOAC and British Airways, the separate London departure points (BEA moved round several time over the years), and the vehicles, inevitably sometimes calling this BOAC fleet "Routemasters". After the merger of the two airlines, although the two bus fleets were painted in a common livery, separate operations were retained, from the different London points to the different Heathrow terminals the two halves of the airline continued to use.
Did Halls actually run the BOAC fleet ? A poster elsewhere on the web says they were employed by BOAC and drove them as part of their other airport driving duties. The vehicle base was in airport property on the north side of Heathrow, where the car parks are now. I saw the preserved Atlantean had been used in a nice British Airways TV ad with a historic theme a few hears ago.
Halls did own another Atlantean fleet, Roe bodied, for US airline TWA, likewise in their colours, used from their Piccadilly terminal, and also for other independent hires, they could be seen at various points around London. Pan Am also had their own road connections, with coaches, from a point in Kensington.

Bill


21/01/19 – 07:19

That was the last type of d/d bus I rode in at the start of my journey in May 1971 to Australia where I still reside.

David Revis


22/01/19 – 07:29

The operation of a bus fleet necessitates facilities for cleaning, washing, fuelling and maintenance. It is possible, perhaps, that the driving staff were BOAC employees, but did the airline really cover all the other essential requirements itself? It is surely more likely that a specialist contractor like Halls would have been used.

Roger Cox


23/01/19 – 06:36

An airline at its main base typically has a very large fleet of motor vehicles of all types, specialist and standard, and a Motor Transport maintenance department to suit. These would operate both airside and on the road. I would imagine the BOAC motor fleet of all types required at Heathrow would dwarf the Hall fleet, the numbers possibly into the hundreds, all of which would require the services described. Further buses were commonly owned for passenger transfer across the apron.
BOAC used to have some substantial articulated passenger trailers at Heathrow pulled by HGV tractor units which shuttled between the terminal and the aircraft. They lasted well into British Airways days. These were an interesting niche about which there is little information.

Bill


23/01/19 – 06:37

I don’t see why BOAC who had a large fleet of lorries and other vehicles as well as buses, would need a coach hire company to maintain their buses at Heathrow when they were perfectly capable of looking after their own buses at Prestwick.

Stephen Allcroft


25/01/19 – 06:55

These services must have had a road service licence, probably the old Express Licence, as they just charged fares, sold at a terminal counter, and anyone could go on them, not just air passengers. 7 shillings and 6 pence (7/6) seems to ring a bell. I don’t recall there being a published timetable (otherwise I would have taken one) but they were fairly turn up and go.
Both BOAC and successor British Airways also ran substantial fleets of regular coaches at Heathrow, Leopards and others, run both airside and landside, for trips such as shuttles to hotels, and I recall these coaches sometimes turned up on the BOAC Central London run as well. I presume the two fleets were kept separate so those used only within the airport could run on red diesel.

Bill


28/01/19 – 07:29

These were certainly operated by BOAC as I worked in the PSV section of the Metropolitan Traffic Area and, unusually, rather than use the post, on occasion a smartly uniformed BOAC employee would turn up with a batch of renewal forms. I seem to recall that the vehicle licences would have been stage, but I don’t doubt that the road service licences would have been express.
I wonder if airside lorries and coaches would have run on red diesel within the airport boundaries as ‘red diesel’ wasn’t available until later, and in any case, there was a lot of domestic air traffic.’Red diesel’ is for agricultural use.

David Wragg


31/01/19 – 06:03

Red diesel is for use by anything that does not run on a public road. Boats, trains, off-road industrial and construction vehicles and plant are allowed to use red diesel as well as agricultural use.

Philip Halstead


31/01/19 – 11:49

Linking in with Philip’s comments, West Yorkshire used red Diesel when running in overhauled engines on the two Heenan & Froude dynamometers in the engine test house at Central Works. A small brick building behind the test house housed a largish fuel tank marked ‘gas oil’ specifically for the red Diesel. The units would probably have been classed as stationary engines whilst on test.

Brendan Smith


04/03/19 – 06:30

Although I realise Roger’s posting is mainly regarding Leyland Atlanteans, perhaps I may be permitted a few words of clarification regarding the Harrington Contenders used by BOAC. Most of the Contenders were petrol powered using the Rootes "sloper" engine as featured in the contemporary Avenger chassis. In fact a number of the BOAC Contenders were in service two years before the TS3 diesel was announced. If the chassis codes are to be believed then only 6 of the fleet were TS3 powered and all of these were exported – as were many of the petrol versions. The petrol engines were front mounted but it seems likely that the TS3 versions were mid mounted in the same way as the coaches that were available for general purchase. The Rolls Royce Contenders were also mid-engine. Modifications were made to the intake system of the down draft carburettors to reduce height and a fabricated sump was made to allow the engine to sit lower in the frame. Two were built, both with B60 engines.

Nick Webster


05/03/19 – 06:51

Thanks for that clarification on the BOAC Contenders, Nick. Yours is the first definitive explanation concerning these remarkable vehicles that I have encountered. One can understand the preference for petrol engines in overseas locations, but why persist with them at home? Again, do we know where the Rolls Royce powered coaches were based, and why such idiosyncratic power trains were felt to be necessary? The expense of so adapting a mere two vehicles could not possibly have been cost effective.

Roger Cox


06/03/19 – 15:33

I made an embarrassing error in my previous post – there were in fact three B60 Rolls Royce Contenders for BOAC, not two as stated. They were JSD 851, KAG 783 and LCS 638, delivered in 1956, 57 and 58 respectively. All went to Prestwick airport, at that time an important hub in trans-Atlantic flight. There they stayed until individually returned to London during 1964-65. After a few months, LCS 638, the first to return was sent out for further use in Karachi. It is known that at least one Commer based coach was also in use there but whether this replaced or supplemented is not known. Never heard of again of course. The other two saw only months of service (or perhaps just stored) before they were disposed via dealer Four Point Garages, Feltham to A. C. Pond Coaches of Roydon. Both were scrapped before the end of three years. They were incidentally, together with an unknown number of the Commers, six inches narrower than the standard 8 ft. coach. I was fortunate enough to obtain drawings from Kirkstall axles, Leeds before they closed down.
In considering the logic of such vehicles, one has to remember that in the 1950s air travel was promoted in rivalry to travel by Luxury Liner and the then necessary coach transfer was no time to let the side down. Furthermore, although diesels reigned supreme in the service bus, many coach operators for private hire insisted on smooth petrol vehicles even after rationing, rising prices and supply problems resulting from the 1956 Suez crisis. For Harrington, even selling as they did to the "top" end of the market, the reason for using a Rolls Royce engine is slightly more prosaic: there was probably a sale on. In the mid 50s Rolls Royce were attempting to increase sales their "B" range of engines and made them available to a wider market. For Harrington this was a last determined attempt to make the various versions of the Contender attractive to all levels of their customers. It is generally considered that Suez killed the Rolls Royce Contender. Indeed, by 1958 the whole integral coach project was scrapped in favour of a new lightweight body later known as the Crusader which was intended to suit the most popular chassis of the day.

Nick Webster


08/05/20 – 06:28

Just a little comment. Opposite the terminal was Victoria Coach Station, where the Gay Hostess coaches operated. BOAC borrowed one for trials and that seemed to spur the idea. BEA used LT Routemasters with a baggage trailer.

David


13/05/20 – 06:58

As this topic has resurfaced I have a question for Nick Webster, please.
I had long wondered what the difference was between the BOAC Contenders with T48B series unit numbers and those with 48A. The T indicating the TS3 diesel engine makes perfect sense now.
It is well documented that Nick’s Contender JAP 698 has unit number 48A5018, which would imply it was petrol-engine originally. A Harrington advert from 9/54 showing JAP 698 states with some ambiguity that the Mk III version ‘now embodies the new Commer diesel engine’. So did JAP 698 briefly have a petrol engine or did Harrington perhaps swap in the diesel one when they were erecting the running units?

Mr Anon


 

Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page

 


 

Ribble – Leyland Atlantean – RRN 414 – 1814

RRN 414

Ribble Motor Services
1962
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1
Weymann L39/33F

Seen in August 1969 in less than pristine condition leaving Manchester’s Lower Mosley Street Bus Station (often confusing us slow witted southerners by appearing on bus destination blinds as “Manchester LMS”) is Ribble 1814, the last of a batch of fourteen Weymann bodied lowbridge Atlanteans on the original PDR1/1 chassis. This was fitted with a straight rear axle which required the lower deck to incorporate a step to gain access to the uplifted rear part of the saloon. The corresponding rear section of the upper saloon also had to be raised, so that a side gangway of the traditional lowbridge variety was employed in that area, though this was located on the nearside of the vehicle (front engined lowbridge double deckers had the gangway on the offside to avoid fouling the passenger entrance). The 1801 -1814 lowbridge Atlanteans were the last examples of the PDR1/1 chassis to be bought by Ribble.
Another OBP page showing one of these Atlanteans may be found here:- At this link
and a comprehensive article by Neville Mercer on Lower Mosley Street is here:- Lower Mosley Street – Article

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/03/18 – 06:06

I think by 1962, the bodywork on these lowbridge Atlanteans had improved somewhat on the original examples which came out in 1959. The single skinned fibreglass domes (which tended to crack) had been replaced by double skinned ones, the interior face being a sort of brilliant white plastic which seemed to resist yellowing very well. Other small improvements to the interior trim and panelling made the general ambience feel noticeably better and I quite liked to travel on the later ones. I believe both Ribble and PMT got very long service lives out of them in spite of the problems they were supposed to have had.

Chris Barker


17/03/18 – 07:15

Looks like someone tried to prize off the Ribble fleet nameplate on the front panel.
Perhaps her less than pristine condition is down to her being due her seven year Check/Overhaul.

Cyril Aston


18/03/18 – 06:47

Ribble got very good service from these some lasting into the eighties

Chris Hough


18/03/18 – 06:47

Quite a sad photo, I can’t remember which particular bus it was, but had a trip on one of this batch when brand new on the X23 from LMS. I suppose I haven’t worn any better than the bus! Personally I enjoyed riding on the lowbridge Atlanteans. PMT used them on the Stoke-Stafford service which like the Ribble services gave them a good chance to open up. Travelling in the rear upstairs was quite smooth, I suppose the lower height lowered the centre of gravity, resulting in a better ride.

Andrew Gosling


07/05/18 – 07:13

PMT certainly got their moneys worth out of their 105 lowbridge Atlanteans. A lot depended on the Depot. Frank Ling who was Resident Engineer at Longton Depot achieved phenomenal engine mileages out his Atlantean fleet by carefully and diligently looking after them. recollection is that he had 4 spare vehicles for a PVR of 58 so not a lot of spare capacity there. Mind you, Frank also managed to run quite successfully a sizeable fleet of Albion Aberdonian single deckers which again other Depots failed to do so. Memory fades but I’m sure that some batches of PMT’s Atlanteans also had a plastic finish to the inside of the front domes.

Ian Wild


19/07/18 – 07:13

Stafford garage had a duty on the 10 service which I occasionally worked for my rest day. The Atlantean would probably be 909 and occasional 910 these buses belonged to Hanley garage and were serviced by them. They were a pleasure to drive and were both quite fast. Happy days !!

Michael Crofts


27/11/19 – 08:47

With regards to PMT Stafford garage I would add that both 909 and 910 were the resident Atlanteans and they were serviced by Stoke garage, not Hanley. They were indeed fine buses.

Leekensian


 

Quick links to the  -  Comments Page  -  Contact Page  -  Home Page

 


 

All rights to the design and layout of this website are reserved     Old Bus Photos does not set or use Cookies but Google Analytics will set four see this

Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 27th November 2020