Old Bus Photos

Birmingham City – Leyland Tiger – JOJ 245 – 2245

Birmingham City - Leyland Tiger - JOJ 245 - 2245

Birmingham City Transport
Leyland Tiger PS2
Weymann B34F

This superb combination of Leyland Tiger and classic Weymann single-deck body is further enhanced by the application of Birmingham City livery. 2245 is well-maintained by the Transport Museum, Wythall. Chassis number is 495582, body number M4624 and seating is B34F.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Les Dickinson

05/07/15 – 07:32

Don’t you just mourn the demise of municipal transport when you see vehicles like this, with their distinctive livery and civic coats of arms. And in the case of many of them, including Birmingham, never letting an advert blemish the bodywork!

Chris Hebbron

05/07/15 – 11:54

I agree wholeheartedly Chris H, and the beautiful vehicle in the picture is a exceptional example of "how things should be." I readily admit, in my dotage, to be horrified at many of today’s presentations of meaningless mobile artwork which totally destroy what could have been acceptable shapes of modern buses. For example, the latest craze from FirstBus in this area, as if the insipid white, lilac and purple wasn’t bad enough, is to plaster the top decks around the destination displays with gaudy purple offerings for "The Pulse" – services of better than ten minutes frequency. The effect of this gripping marketing wheeze is to render the electronic destinations and route numbers virtually unreadable, especially in bright sunlight. The cost ?? – I imagine that no-one dare publicise that figure and,far from increasing patronage, is simply a further annoyance to already disinterested passengers.

Chris Youhill

05/07/15 – 11:55

To be fair, Chris, even Birmingham had succumbed to the exterior adverts when I was there in my student days of the mid sixties, although I never saw a single decker in service with the ‘feature’, only the doubles.

Pete Davies

06/07/15 – 06:38

I agree entirely about the advertising. Bournemouth was another municipal operator that did not carry advertising. Worst of all today are those advertisements and so-called route branding that are actually carried over the windows – and I do like to be able to look out of the bus!

David Wragg

06/07/15 – 06:39

Birmingham’s civic pride would not countenance the idea of advertising on its buses for many years – although most of the trams carried them throughout their lives, resulting in a fair bit of extra revenue for the Transport Department.
However, once the trams were gone by 1953 this source of revenue was lost and the Transport Committee were reluctantly forced to accept advertising on the buses. After all, the next time the Department applied for a fares increase they might well have been refused on the grounds that while the buses had no adverts there was now an untapped source of income that the Transport Department should use first!

Larry B

06/07/15 – 06:40

Very fair comment Pete, and I suppose that "we outsiders" can’t condemn operators for making some revenue from commercial advertisements, those in the traditional tidy formations on double deckers particularly. My strong objection nowadays is to ludicrous extremes of expensive "in house" blurb plastered all over windows inside and out on already ghastly "liveries", and of no interest whatsoever to the travelling public who, to use those apt but well worn words, "only want a comfortable bus on time at a reasonable fare."

Chris Youhill

06/07/15 – 08:35

When the first of these ‘dot matrix’ adverts appeared on a Southampton Citybus vehicle, it was allegedly possible to see out, but not in – rather like the net curtains of old. Even outward vision is impaired, however. As for route branding, well, it works in some places, but not in many. The attitude seems to be one of ‘if it’s marked for the 3 and it appears on the 27, then its an advert for the folk along the 27 about the highlights of the 3’. Balderdash!

Pete Davies

06/07/15 – 11:07

It is possible from a passenger’s point of view to see through those Contravision adverts when they are looking out at 90 degrees to the glass, though there is a significant darkening effect.
However they can be a real problem and a safety hazard from the driver’s point of view. When emerging from a junction of the 90 degree variety the driver will look through the door windows to check for oncoming traffic, but there are very many others – especially on the routes that I drive – which are at an acute angle where the driver has to lean forward, twist round and look back through the first nearside window. This can already be difficult enough if there are standing passengers (because they always congregate at the front), the nearside luggage rack is stacked with pushchairs, or if the company has thoughtfully decided on siting a side route number/destination box right in your line of view, but looking through Contravision at 45 degrees you can see nothing at all. Those responsible for specifying it will not have even considered this aspect.
I also can not fathom the mentality of bus company managers who specify ‘stylish’ new vehicles with extremely large, heavy and expensive windows, then mask half their area with promotional vinyls.

John Stringer

07/07/15 – 06:54

Very valid comments John, and I’m very surprised that the folk from VOSA haven’t banned Contravision (Controversial vision?) on safety grounds for the reasons you cite. One wonders what the union view is on this too. I read recently that many women boarding buses in the evenings or at night do not like Contravision at all, as they cannot see if any potential nuisance passengers are on board before they get on. Also, many older people out at night are wary for the same reason. So much for certain operators’ duty of care to their passengers and staff.

Brendan Smith

07/07/15 – 06:55

This bus was one of nine hired by PMT at various times during 1969 and 1970 to cover vehicle shortages. Lovely buses, exceptional condition, well powered …… but pretty useless on services normally operated by 72 seat Atlanteans!! Although any bus was better than no bus at all.

Ian Wild

15/07/15 – 05:55

Having been brought up with BCT buses, although these Leylands, nor the AEC ever came my way, I do remember the furore that arose when it was announced that adverts were going to be carried. Even the bus crews themselves were against the idea and of course worst was to come, when the rear platform numbers already diminished from large shaded gold into a smaller gold style were lifted up to just under the registration number ‘to make room for further advertising. But whichever local bus company you favoured, all of them Birmingham, West Bromwich, Walsall (what an interesting fleet) and Wolverhampton all produced buses and crews that compared well with any in England..and then of course there was the ‘daddy’ and in their minds the leader in the field Midland Red. How uninteresting now when apart from the body shape, the only way of knowing what chassis/power unit is involved is by looking at the steering wheel badge. Why is at that the modern bus fleets don’t want anyone to know the make of bus or body?

R. G. Davis

15/07/15 – 15:27

You’re so right with your last point, RG, in that such coyness is in stark contrast to past chassis/body builders!

Chris Hebbron

16/07/15 – 05:35

To me, the (non) distinguishing feature about modern buses is the fact that they all look, sound and perform the same, with a total absence of individuality. Thus anonymity is entirely apt.

Roger Cox

17/07/15 – 12:35

RG Davis asks why we don’t know the make of bus or body these days….?
I wonder if it was always a bit like this…?
Until Fleetlines (when they went to the other extreme) you usually only knew a Daimler CVD by its fluted radiator or later, possibly a discreet radiator badge, or a Leyland by perhaps its hubs, especially if the fleet had plonked its own name on the radiator instead of theirs. This hardly improved with Atlanteans with just the badge on the back. Older Bristols had tiny little badges, although Guys had an easy name to promote. Did any bodybuilders have anything more than a little plate or transfer- except perhaps CH Roe with those lovely transmission covers?
Am I wrong? I suspect that proud municipalities didn’t want makers promoting themselves.
You do now see Alexander-Dennis or Wright on buses- but who makes what, especially which screaming engine- they all sound like old diesel buzz-boxes anyway, desperately hunting for a gear!


18/07/15 – 08:18

While I agree with all the previous comments re Advertising and Identification badges, oh and Joe’s observation about the "screamers", we lost touch with this beautiful machine that started the post! So, having followed the restoration of 2245 (and many others) at Wythall here are some additional views from frequent visits.

Nigel Edwards

JOJ 245_2

JOJ 245_3

JOJ 245_4

JOJ 245_5


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Ribble – Leyland Tiger – FV 5737 – 753

Ribble - Leyland Tiger - FV 5737 - 753

Ribble Motor Services
Leyland Tiger TS7
Duple C31F

FV 5737, Leyland Tiger TS7, was new to W C Standerwick of Blackpool in 1936. In the post-war years, she was transferred across to the Ribble fleet and given this Duple C31F body in 1950. In the renumbering system, she became 753. She’s seen at the Winkleigh Open Day on 7 October 2012.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

14/02/15 – 13:03

It would appear that the petrol engine was changed for an oil engine at the same time as the re-body. It still kept its starting handle but I doubt it was ever used I have heard you could do yourself some serious injury if you didn’t get it quite right.

Trevor Knowles

14/02/15 – 17:14

These had been rebodied with 8ft. wide bodies, resulting in a nice looking coach, just spoilt by having to retain the original 7ft 6in. wide axles and resulting in the wheels being set back inside the wings and wheelarches. I suppose since prewar chassis were never built to the greater width, the wider axles would not be available as they would be with postwar models.

John Stringer

14/02/15 – 18:21

Trevor, I have heard a similar story about fairly serious consequences arising if the user of the starting handle didn’t keep out of its way!
Yes, John, it does skew the appearance a bit, but I suppose the other side of the coin is that the wheels are further into the mudguards, so there’s less of a "splash factor" for other road users to suffer.

Pete Davies

16/02/15 – 06:48

I served a 6 year apprenticeship at Ribble main workshop Frenchwood Preston till about 1961. I do remember foreman Sid Liptrot using a heavy chain to start a diesel Tiger, must have been mad. The petrol engine Cheetah sounded like a Rolls Royce. Probably best company in UK.

Raymond Hollebone

24/09/19 – 04:22

New in 1935 and rebodied in 1948 (I should know I spent my childhood on 753 rallying every weekend).

Peter Robinson


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East Kent – Leyland Tiger – CFN 104

East Kent - Leyland Tiger - CFN 104

East Kent
Leyland Tiger PS1/1
Park Royal C32R

CFN 104 is a Tiger PS1/1 from the East Kent fleet. She has Park Royal body, listed as C32R. It has been discussed at length on these pages in the past, but I find it annoying that the vehicle clearly has a door, but the standard PSVC terminology doesn’t mention the feature. She is seen in the shot above at Amberley on 13 September 2009.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

02/07/14 – 11:02

To my eye the best-looking of all postwar coaches: straight waistline, restrained curvature elsewhere, radiator unashamed to be what it is, perfect choice of colours in simple livery. But I still wish that Leyland had offered a 5-speed box for the PD1/PS1; I’m not sure whether the advertised prewar 0.77:1 bolt-on overdrive (does anyone know of any actual examples?) was still available after the war. I suspect not.
Thanks for the posting, Pete.

Ian T

02/07/14 – 17:57

Quite simply, a glorious dignified classic vehicle – today’s designers and marketing gurus please note. What I would give to drive this wonderful vehicle for a good distance, or at all !! I must say that I was unaware of an optional overdrive (or "super top") being offered on the prewar range, and no doubt such a fitting would have given the vehicles a higher top speed with economy, but perhaps Company engineers had some fear of torque issues – just an uninformed thought !!

Chris Youhill

02/07/14 – 17:59

There was always something special about these East Kent coaches, although I only saw a few of them when living in London, with an occasional trip to Dartford.
I love the light paintwork where the side-board is. I seem to recall that the pre-war overdrive unit was not carried forward postwar, Ian. Did they offer two-speed or re-geared rear axle, perhaps?

Chris Hebbron

13/06/17 – 07:31

I was wondering why the writer was surprised that the vehicle in question should not have a rear passenger door.
Thanks for interesting site.

Garth Wyver

13/06/17 – 09:14

Like Ian T, I know of no Leyland Tigers or Titans with an overdrive fitment. I am sure that, had one been available for the PS1, East Kent would have tried it out. The Company had a sizeable fleet of Dennis Lancet buses and coaches, all with the five speed ‘O’ type gearbox, and these, even the pre war four cylinder O4 powered versions, could really fly on an open road.

Roger Cox

15/06/17 – 07:13

In response to Garth’s comment, I was not surprised that the coach has a door with a rear-entrance. I would expect one wherever the entrance is, as in CxxF, CxxC or CxxR. I have never understood the idea which came (I believe in the 1930s) from the PSV Circle and the Omnibus Society that only double deckers should have the RD or R suffix. If you’re doing it for a double, why not for a single? Never mind – I’ve mentioned before in these columns that I’m glad am I not and never have been a member of either group. If I had been, they’d have roasted me for heresy years ago!
Oh, and what a wonderful Captcha code on this RM54

Pete Davies

09/08/19 – 08:52

Please can you tell me why the seats are not side by side but slightly back by about 2 inches? The driver at Tinkers Park was not sure why


10/08/19 – 07:40

My understanding of the seat situation is that it emphasised the luxury coach aspect of these vehicles. The passenger nearest to the gangway could see past the passenger nearer to the body side more easily for the view out of the windows – "oh! look at that lovely valley / hill / church / pub" or whatever. Otherwise the inside passenger is always having to lean forward, instead of enjoying the luxury seating.
Re the PSV Circle designation of CxxR, without a D for the door; when the codes were drawn up in the 1940’s virtually all rear-entrance coaches would have had a door as standard, to ensure passenger comfort and safety. However vehicles on bus work with a rear entrance were nearly all open platform – doors were exceptional until the mid-fifties, and by no means universal from then. So presumably the PSVC experts decided to only draw attention to the exceptions rather than the regular understood usages of the day. Of course, fashions and designs in coaching and service buses change, so these designations are presumably reviewed by those who decide such things, while trying to be consistent with past practice. I’m not a committee member of PSVC, only just commenting on my observations over the years.

Michael Hampton

10/08/19 – 07:42

At a guess, the offside emergency exit at the front would make it desirable for the seats to be set further back to give sufficient clearance. In contrast the seats on the nearside will be constrained by the rear doorway.
There is no real reason for the seats to be in line and the seat pitches can vary as they are spread out to fit the available space which is likely to be different on each side.

David Beilby


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 21st January 2022