Old Bus Photos

Eastbourne Corporation – Leyland Lion – HC 8643 – 58

Eastbourne Corporation - Leyland Lion - HC 8643 - 58

Eastbourne Corporation
Leyland Lion PLSC3
Leyland B32R

HC 8643 is a Leyland Lion PLSC3 some sources omit the P prefix for 1930s Leyland single deckers, but I’ve no idea why, new to the County Borough Of Eastbourne in 1928. It has Leyland’s own B32R body – with door – and we see it arriving at Duxford on 28 September 2003.

Eastbourne Corporation - Leyland Lion - HC 8643 - 58

This second view shows the fleetname and crest.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

24/11/16 – 09:32

The Lion was a very successful model. The initial letter ‘P’ stood for pneumatic, indicating that it was devised from the outset to accept such tyres rather than being a conversion from solids. The 1926 vintage Lion was designed by J. G. Parry Thomas, who very soon afterwards turned his attention towards the car racing world. It was powered by an overhead valve four cylinder engine of 5.1 litres driving through a four speed crash gearbox, all mounted in a dropped frame chassis, though this was not as low as that on the Rackham designed six cylinder Tiger that appeared in the following year, 1927. According to G. G. Hilditch, who had one at Halifax for a time, the Lion had a top speed of about 25 mph, well above the legal limit of 12 mph that was then in force for buses.

Roger Cox

24/11/16 – 16:44

Thank you, Roger, for the explanation of why some had the P and some did not.

Pete Davies

27/11/16 – 07:36

The PLSC lion was replaced in 1929 by the Lion LT1, and at the same time the Lioness PLC was replaced by the Lioness-Six LTB. The Cub Passenger models (except the REC) carried a P as part of the designation, eg Cub SKPZ2, the first three Gnus were TEP1, although the later design with front end as the TEC1 Steer wagon was the TEC2.
P on post-war Leyland models from the Comet to the Titan meant Passenger.

Stephen Allcroft

27/11/16 – 09:30

I think that we’ve had this discussion about the PD/PS Leyland codes before, Stephen. The generally accepted view is that the ‘P’ stood for ‘post war’ in the passenger models, just as the Daimler ‘V’ in CVG/CVD stood for ‘victory’. Having initiated the ‘P’ classification in 1946, Leyland stuck with it for several years afterwards, by which time the understanding may well have changed to ‘passenger’.

Roger Cox

28/11/16 – 13:34

Roger, it was "generally accepted" for many years that the 27ft Leyland Titan body was the Farington: only it has now been found that was the final 26ft style. Doug Jack for one concludes that Passenger was intended. He had access to the Records. If post war was meant then surely it would have been applied to the freight range as well.

Stephen Allcroft

29/11/16 – 07:47

Stephen, this is a debate that, like the meaning of ‘RT’ and ‘SOS’ continues to run and run. The PD1 was originally designated the TD9 (the TD8 was the projected utility chassis that didn’t materialise), so the subsequent use of ‘P’ for ‘Passenger’ seems illogical, as, indeed does the classification ‘Passenger Double Decker/Passenger Single Decker’. The ‘P’ there is surely redundant, since lorries don’t fall into those categories. Unlike the haulage range, for which a variety of names was adopted, the bulk of the passenger range from Leyland in the early post war years consisted of Titans and Tigers, model names that were carried over from 1939. Given the general public and political mood if the time, I remain convinced that the ‘P’ stood for ‘post war. ‘Passenger Double Decker Type 1 makes no sense when seven versions of the Titan had preceded it. John Banks, for another, agrees with the ‘post war’ understanding, but I am sure that this debate will never be finally settled.

Roger Cox

30/11/16 – 06:57

The menmonics were designed, I’m sure you are aware Roger for the convenience firstly of Leyland production staff and secondly to enable the customers to order the right spare parts. In a way it is immaterial what the letters actually stood for, although we all want to know.
The first Leyland peacetime model was the 12.IB ‘Interim’ Beaver with the same drivetrain as the PD1/PS1 which could on your contention have been the ID1/IS1 as they were also intended as interim models until the "O600 TD9" and its single-deck version became available.
The major difference was the frame, which was dropped for a Passenger application, wheelbases and spring rates then determined the differences between the Tiger and the Titan, so if we disregard names they were always variants of the same passenger model.
If you are right then Leyland designated the Comet bus as Postwar and not the Comet Lorry, although both were launched in 1947, that would be bizarre.

Stephen Allcroft

30/11/16 – 15:49

I am afraid that I remain unconvinced, Stephen. In the cases of the Titan and Tiger, I believe that the change in the initial letter from T to P was intended to mean ‘post war’. The Comet was a haulage model that was adapted to passenger functions, and yes, the ‘P’ did signify ‘passenger in the designation CPO1 etc. However, I think you are reading a degree of consistency in model naming that was probably never there. If your theory is correct, the Comet bus/coach should have been called the PCO1. In the Comet, the letter ‘O’ stood for oil engine, but the same letter ‘O’ was used in export Tiger models such as OPS1 and OPS2, in which case it meant ‘overseas’.

Roger Cox

02/12/16 – 07:06

God Forbid I should accuse any manufacturer of consistency in nomenclature! The OPSU1, 2 and 3 were replaced by the ERT2 3 and 1, while the Leyland designed BUT ETB1 ran concurrent with both. The OPSU3 had been forgotten when the 36 foot Leopard became PSU3, and not L3, the RTC and L1/L2 being replaced by PSU4 in 1967 and PSU5 launched in 1968 which is 23 years after the end of World War two.
AEC is presumed to have chosen 2 for semi-automatic transmission and 3 for synchromesh based on the number of pedals, but when a constant mesh gearbox came from Thornycroft, that became 4 (still using three pedals) and the ZF torque converter option on Swift became 5 (still using two). It is more than probable the P used in Swift and Sabre stood for Panther.
Also as the PSUC1 designation came before the Tiger Cub name and that chassis used modified Comet running units rather than anything from the Cub discontinued 12 years earlier that the C originally stood for Comet.
As a purely passenger model, the Tiger Cub had a P at the front, but as demonstrated above, nobody was consistent, the last Comet buses were sold in the early 1970s; here’s a link to one:

Stephen Allcroft


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Hunters – Leyland Lion LT5 – JR 688 – 8

JR 688

H W Hunter and Sons
Leyland Lion LT5
Burlingham B32F

I recently bought this photo on Ebay, but the information on the back is somewhat limited. JR 688 is a B32F Burlingham bodied Leyland Lion LT5. There are no dates on the back, but the model was only in production from 1932 to 1934. From local knowledge I know that the photo was taken by the Victoria Hotel in Whitley Bay, my guess would be around the mid 40’s, the picture quality is not the best, but the vehicle looks a bit sad by Hunters usual very high standards.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

12/04/15 – 07:05

In an Omnibus Society newsletter for September 1952, I have found a fleet list for Hunters. Unfortunately, it doers not give dates new, but confirms that JR 688 was a Leyland LT5 with Burlingham B32F body. It was no. 8 in the Hunters fleet and was sent for scrap in July 1952.

John Gibson

13/04/15 – 07:38

As you have the actual photograph, use a magnifying glass on the headlights, I think they have wartime masks on them.

John Lomas


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East Yorkshire – Leyland Lion – WF 1170 – 97

East Yorkshire - Leyland Lion - WF 1170 - 97

East Yorkshire Motor Services
Leyland Lion PLSC3
Leyland B32R

Photograph shows an all-Leyland Lion PLSC3 which was new to East Yorkshire Motor Services as its fleet number 97 in 1928. It is seen here in a later life as a Mobile Canteen for Sheffield Transport Department crews. The Sheffield coat of arms can be seen on the side panel and the tea-making equipment can be seen inside.
Sheffield has a long history of giving withdrawn buses an extended life as gritters, tow-trucks, overhead works towers, mobile libraries, etc but it is unusual to have taken a vehicle from another operator for these purposes. My Sheffield records are very extensive and I can find no record of this having been used as a service bus and conclude that it was bought from EYMS for the job it can be seen doing so well.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

17/07/12 – 17:49

"Sheffield", Philip Battersby (Super Prestige) has a picture of Regent III/Roberts 122 on page 66. In the same picture, behind it, is "the Department’s mobile staff canteen which was in use from 1943 to 1958. VO7445 had been converted from the all Leyland Lion LT3 acquired from the War Department. (Never checked but there seem to be echoes of Underwood’s or East Midland in that number.) Whatever, it shows a track record of buying from outside for this sort of vehicle. [Come on, out there, someone knows the provenance of VO 7445.]

David Oldfield

17/07/12 – 17:49

This certainly seems to be an oddity, Les, as my records show WF to have been a Sheffield mark. East Yorkshire, being based in Hull (sorry, Kingston Upon Hull to give the correct title) would normally be expected to use marks from the local issuing Authority, not ones from elsewhere – even other areas within Yorkshire.

Pete Davies

17/07/12 – 18:28

Pete. WF was only a Sheffield mark after the 1974 re-allocations, when many local offices were closed. In 1928 Sheffield marks would have been W, WA, WB, WE, WJ, and would be until 1974.

David Oldfield

17/07/12 – 18:29

WF was only a Sheffield registration after 1974, before that it was East Yorkshire. An odd co-incidence really. WG also made the same move, this time from Stirlingshire.

David Beilby

17/07/12 – 20:56

I stand corrected! Thanks for the update.

Pete Davies

17/07/12 – 20:58

WF 1170 wasn’t a loner in the EYMS fleet but part of a batch starting, I think, somewhere about WF 1152 (fleet no 79 to WF 1171 (98). There were many other, unrelated WFs as well as these Lions.
VO was, as Dave Oldfield suggests a Mansfield, or Nottinghamshire reg, so maybe it was with one of the smaller operators in the East Midland area?

Les Dickinson

18/07/12 – 08:04

I’ve just realised one of the reasons the registration on the Lion feels odd is that it was an East Riding mark, whereas all the fleet I knew had Hull registrations.

David Beilby

18/07/12 – 10:01

According to the PSV/OS fleet history no. 97 (WF 1170) was withdrawn in 1939 and sold to the War Department in August 1940 and had passed to Sheffield by July 1945.
27 buses delivered in 1928 to EYMS had WF registrations, the first to have Hull registrations being sixteen Tilling -Stevens nos 104 to 119 (KH 6971 to 6986) also in 1928. Thereafter all new buses seemed to have Hull registration marks. 97 was one of several buses on hire to the South Staffordshire Regiment, Welton in June/July 1940 before being requisitioned by the War Department. It was last licensed by Sheffield in July 1955.

Malcolm Wells

18/07/12 – 10:02

Sorry to throw a spanner into the works over the registration letters WF, but, as David B points out, this was an East Riding mark, not Kingston Upon Hull. EYMS always used Hull registrations – AT, KH and RH. Some of their vehicles did have WF registrations, (along with BT, the other East Riding letters), but these came from acquired businesses such as Everinghanm Bros. Therefore, if this vehicle was indeed delivered new to East Yorkshire, its acquisition of WF letters, as well as the other vehicles Les mentions, would be a stark anomaly. It still just doesn’t sound right.
Changing the subject – I’m no expert on Lions or Leyland bodies, but doesn’t the driver’s door seem a bit far back for the steering wheel? Or is it just the angle of the photo?

Roy Burke

18/07/12 – 10:08

Keith Eastons excellent fleet list for East Yorkshire Motor Services Part 1 – 1926/1941 can be viewed at this link.


19/07/12 – 07:40

There is no anomaly. EYMS’s first buses that were ordered (other than acquired from former companies) in 1927 were 59-64, also Leyland PLSC3, which were registered WF 810/29/30/45/46. Also in 1927 nos 26-30 also PLSC3 had WF registrations but had been ordered by Lee and Beulah so it may be that whoever was in charge simply followed on using WF
Clearly EYMS did not always use Hull registrations – only with the arrival of 104 to 119 were Hull’s marks first used and of course continued to be used.
Remember that EYMS was newly formed in 1926 and had inherited several companies and premises and it is possible that it took time to sort out its approach to registrations. Several premises until 1929 were outside the city including the works and offices at Anlaby Common until Offices were opened in Hull in 1927.
See also pages 10 and 11 in the excellent John Banks book, page 16 in the Ian C Gibbs book and page 12 in the Keith Jenkinson book.

Malcolm Wells

19/07/12 – 07:41

East Yorkshire used East Riding registration marks (WF) during 1926/7 from then onwards Kingston upon Hull marks were normally used (RH, KH, AT)

Keith Easton

19/07/12 – 17:13

Thanks, Peter, Malcolm and Keith for putting me straight. I stand well and truly corrected – not for the first time, but, as my old Dad used to tell me, if you’re always frightened you might be wrong, you’ll never open your mouth.

Roy Burke

20/07/12 – 15:58

With respect to the above photograph of the former Sheffield mobile canteen bus, WF 1170, I wondered if the attached copy of the vehicle’s registration card might be of interest. It even records the unladen weight of 5-2-2, including benches, tea urns, and water tank etc!! Click this link to view 

Remember Ctrl+ to zoom in Ctrl0 (zero) to get back.

Dave Careless

21/07/12 – 07:40

That is a great posting, Dave Careless. Thanks for sharing it.

Les Dickinson

21/07/12 – 12:14

Superb piece of history, Dave C.
Love the Tons/Cwts/Qtrs/Lbs. What a nuisance metric calculations are, compared with simple Imperial!

Chris Hebbron

23/07/12 – 18:34

Glad you enjoyed it; I like your comment about Imperial vs Metric, Chris, quite funny. Hard to imagine that by the time this vehicle was finally withdrawn, tea was probably still only available in loose form; I wonder how many cwts of tea leaves it got through every week ?!!

Dave Careless

21/09/21 – 05:49

Further to my post of 19/7/12, (9 years ago!) concerning the registration of East Yorkshire buses, as has been correctly pointed out, both BT and WF were East Riding marks.
No 20, which is usually credited as a part of the Lee & Beulah fleet, was actually purchased by East Yorkshire, but due to L&B being situated at Brough in the East Riding, it acquired an East riding BT registration. It would appear that the new company, although being situated in Kingston upon Hull, still registered in the East Riding for a couple of years, subsequently registering future vehicles in Hull.
Part one of the PSV Circle history of East Yorkshire covering 1926 to 1987 (privatisation) was published in 2018, part 2 (1987 to 2018) is still awaiting further developments.

Keith Easton


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