Old Bus Photos

Warrington Corporation – Leyland Titan – EED 8 – 24

Warrington Corporation - Leyland Titan - EED 8 - 24

Warrington Corporation
Leyland Titan PD1
Leyland H30/26R

EED 8 is a Leyland Titan PD1 and according to others on the web it is said to have a Leyland/Alexander H56R body new in 1947 to Warrington as their number 24. Maybe Leyland were busy at the time and it was a Leyland body assembled by Alexander.
It is at present owned by NWVRT and they have repainted it recently into Warrington colours. It was one of three half cabs in service during their 2014 rally at Kirkby.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones

06/10/14 – 07:05

How close to a Leyland body is that?

Jim Hepburn

06/10/14 – 07:06

Alexanders built numerous bodies under sub-contract to Leyland – although the detailing on the Ribble Titans betrayed their non-Leyland credentials. I seem to remember reading that there was at least one other sub-contractor (Santus?) – and was SMT involved in this as well? SMT certainly built their own "Duple Vista" bodies on Bedford OBs which were virtually indistinguishable. Alexanders certainly built a "Leyland" body on a PD2 prototype.

David Oldfield

06/10/14 – 09:10

David, in a similar manner to the Alexander sub contract PD1s were also bodied by Samlesbury Engineering in Lancashire.

Chris Youhill

06/10/14 – 10:02

Thanks, Chris. I think maybe that it was Samlesbury that I had in no.

David Oldfield

06/10/14 – 10:02

Warrington 24 (EED 8) has been in preservation for many years in Warrington colours, and has indeed been subject to a recent repaint. Although, as has been said, the body was indeed built by Alexander, it is still ‘officially’ a Leyland body, and has always been described as such, in the same fashion as East Lancs bodies built by Bruce and later Neepsend were initially described as East Lancs products, although latterly Bruce and Neepsend have been used to describe them, so Leyland or maybe Alexander, but please not Leyland/Alexander!

Philip Lamb

06/10/14 – 13:54

…..and, of course, there is the long Alexander tradition of building other’s designs – sometimes under subcontract, sometimes not. (Glasgow’s "Weymann" bodies). This was replied to by the likes of East Lands and their R type clones!

David Oldfield

06/10/14 – 13:55

These Alexander-built bodies (the ones for Warrington at least) had a single window in their upper rear emergency exit – as opposed to Leyland’s more usual two – making the back end tend to resemble the prewar Leyland body. It is just discernible in this view. The other distinguishing feature was that normally they had four small sets of ventilation slots along the top of the cab door, unlike the standard Leyland product which had just two horizontal ones, one above the other. However the one pictured has the latter, so I presume must have acquired a secondhand door from a Leyland body at some point during its restoration.

John Stringer

17/02/15 – 15:13

Can some help me, I worked for Walsall Corporation Transport in the early 60s I remember Walsall buying 2 Warrington buses, I think they were
EED 8/9 is this correct?

Bruce Johnson

18/02/15 – 06:42

Bruce J, I’m afraid that I can’t personally answer your question, but I wondered if you could yourself answer a query which has gone round a few websites without being satisfactorily answered. It concerns Walsall’s lightweight Leyland PD2, 823 (TDH 770). I have seen it referred to as being ‘semi-automatic’ but I wonder if you could say if it
1) was a preselect, like the ex-London RTLs;
2) had a direct air system, such as became normal on two-pedal Leyland PD2s, PD3s, Tiger Cubs and Leopards;
3) had an electric gear selector, such as on early Atlanteans, Fleetlines, etc.
If you fail to get a response to your own query here, can I suggest that you try the message board at the sct61 site, it’s always a good place to have questions answered.

David Call

18/02/15 – 08:31

I think Walsall bought a couple of East Lancs bodied PD1s from Warrington , about the same time as the RTLs.

Steve Milner

19/02/15 – 15:55

The two Warrington Corporation Titans sold to Walsall Corporation were 100/01 (EED 9/10).
They were Titan PD1A with Bruce L27/26R new in 1947 and sold to Walsall in July 1959 as numbers 198/99, lasting until being sold for scrap in 1963 and 1964 respectively.
They were Warrington Corporation’s only two lowbridge buses.

Dave Farrier

12/03/15 – 06:44

I have been the owner of ex-Warrington PD1 EED 5 (fleet no.24) for nearly 40 years! Like EED 8, it has bodywork designed and produced by Leyland but assembled by Alexander – I have a copy of the letter from Warrington confirming this. The body on EED 5 is original and classed as a Leyland metal framed type: this has a cab door with four vents near the top and rear emergency door on the top deck containing two windows.

Phil Clark

12/03/15 – 17:03

AWG 363

In distinguishing between the Leyland and Alexander product on the PD1 chassis I have always used the style of the front panel of the cab as the determining feature. On the Leyland body it always conceals the mudguard, usually with the horn inserted as on the Warrington bus. The Alexander version has a shorter and slightly more set back panel allowing the bottom of the mudguard to protrude, as can be seen in the attached picture. This actually shows both PD1 (right) and PD2/1 (left) versions of the ‘pure’ Alexander product.
There are also variations in the shape of the nearside canopy. The Leyland style on the Warrington PD1 is a continuous curve from top front corner to where it meets the mudguard, projecting in front of the bulkhead. This is echoed on the Alexander PD2, but on the PD1 it goes straight back from the front corner with quite a short valance with a basically angled profile. There is no projection of the side panel in front of the bulkhead.
A further question is whether Alexander actually produced a highbridge version of the Leyland clone (as opposed to assembling Leyland parts). There are certainly none that I can locate in any of the SBG fleets, although they might have delivered to other fleets. Nothing at this period was supplied to any of the Scottish municipal fleets.

Alan Murray-Rust

13/03/15 – 07:10

The photo of CRG and AWG also seems to show 2 other diagnostic differences. The gap between the 2 blind boxes and the design of the top of the upper deck front windows.

John Lomas

13/03/15 – 12:49

The points you mention are diagnostic between the versions of the Alexander body; I was aiming to highlight the differences between the Leyland and Alexander products.

Alan Murray-Rust

05/05/15 – 07:23

I’ve seen EED 8 mentioned on here and just to let you know it’s back in Warrington and privately owned I’m trying to set up a page on Facebook for my husband it his is bus.


03/03/18 – 06:47

I am sorry to inform you that EED 8, which was preserved in Warrington, was destroyed in a fire on Thursday 1st March 2018. A sad loss.

Paul Mason

03/03/18 – 06:50

Sad to say Warrington Corporation no 8 EED 8 is no more, destroyed in fire at Fairbrothers Bewsey Warrington.

Anthony Mcdonnell

04/03/18 – 06:46

It is unfortunate that it had gone back to Warrington. www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/

John Lomas

29/03/18 – 06:02

It was very sad to see the destruction of EED 8 by fire, a tragic accident that has destroyed all but the chassis, running gear, cab and the front, but it was remarkable to see the engine start and run straight away so that it could be driven out of the shed. I wish Ray and colleagues every good wish in their desire to rebuild the vehicle and hope that one day we can re-unite EED 8 with my bus EED 5.

Phil Clark

30/03/18 – 07:53

How sad, Phil. What actually happened?

Chris Hebbron

02/04/18 – 07:30

I saw the bus on BBC North West news and the vehicle was still recognisable but sadly I think the best thing for EED 8 is to be sold as spares for another Leyland PD1. The only other option, which would effectively mean building a new bus would be to follow the example of WW2 utility Guy Arab CDR 679, which lost its original body but was fitted with another utilitybody, but such matches are rare. I wish the owner well and I’m sorry about the fire.

Paul Mason


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Portsmouth Corporation – Leyland Titan PD1 – DTP 822 – 188

Portsmouth Corporation - Leland Titan PD1 - DTP 822 - 188
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Portsmouth Corporation
Leyland Titan PD1/1A
Weymann H30/26R

One of 19 identical PD1/1A’s delivered in 1948, 188 still looks very smart in its glossy maroon and white paint, with roof of grey, paint dipping at the corners à la London Transport’s post-war STL 18/20’s, which had identical bodies.
It has just entered Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, having just come down Commercial Road and under Portsmouth & Southsea’s High Level Station bridge, seen to the left of the bus. Behind, and to the right, is Brickwood’s Sussex Hotel, with its brown-tiled façade.  188 has come from Portchester and is en-route to the Floating Bridge, Old Portsmouth, not, literally, a floating bridge, but a vehicle ferry over to Gosport. Note the police telephone box and the holidaymakers, dad with suitcase, on what looks a lovely Summer’s day, by the look of 188’s open windows. The trolley wires would be used for another few months.
The photo was taken about 1962 and it’s nice to see one of these vehicles with a full blind display (perfectly set), since they were usually relegated to peak-hour working, with just a destination display, in this, the twilight of their lives. 188 was withdrawn in 1967, after 19 years service. Portsmouth Coat of Arms_lr
The city coat of arms on the side is in a separate photo. The motto’s in English; no fancy Latin for Pompey folk!
To the right of the main photo, just out of view, was the Taj-Mahal Indian Restaurant. In 1967, a colleague and I were invited to another colleague’s retirement lunch. He’d served in the Indian Army in the war and suggested we’d like a Madras Curry. It was our first curry and was so hot as be virtually inedible, but we couldn’t upset the man; so ate it! I never touched another curry for 20 years! For our host, however, it was not quite hot enough!

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

A full list of Titan codes can be seen here.

25/12/11 – 06:38

An early example of "Leyland Loonacy". Weymann’s classic post-war design marred by Leyland’s insistence on siting the Speedo unit in such a position and way that the windscreen had to be small and squared off. The logic was that the Leyland body had a far more attractive windscreen (it did) and therefore people wouldn’t buy bodies from anyone else (they did). Did they really believe their own argument in Lancashire?

David Oldfield

25/12/11 – 09:25

What an excellent picture and the highlighting of the City Coat of Arms. Perhaps others may be put on the site with the translation of the Latin inscription. Incidentally nowadays you never see suit cases being carried since the invention of the trolley case.

Philip Carlton

25/12/11 – 18:41

The early post-war Weymann body was certainly a classic but it always looked at its best on the AEC Regent chassis where the radiator, cab windscreen, and in fact the whole package came together just right.

Philip Halstead

26/12/11 – 07:05

I lived as a child in the Gosport area from 1949 to 1952, and well remember the Gosport – Portsmouth Point chain driven Floating Bridge, which opened in 1840 and finally closed in 1959. As so often with short term decisions based entirely upon capital renewal costs, the closure of this facility was misguided, and the result may be seen in the extreme traffic congestion that now plagues the Gosport peninsula. If this photo of No. 188 was taken in 1962, then the Floating Bridge was long gone by then. though the slipway at Portsmouth Point may still be seen today.

Roger Cox

26/12/11 – 07:06

The RT/RTL and RM were designed as a harmonious whole – and this is generally acknowledged – but there have also been unofficial collaborations.
Weymann always worked closely with AEC which probably explains why that combination seemed to work. [For a time, from 1933 to 1947, Sheffield Transport only had AEC and Weymann in that combination – their many Leylands always having other coachwork.] There was the Guy/Park Royal tie up – begun before Park Royal were taken over by AEC/ACV. Two others which, in Philip’s words "came together just right…" were the Bristol Lodekka (in all forms) and the BMMO D9.
It’s what I call balanced design. Bad and/or ugly design is not balanced, there is always at least one thing that "jarrs".

David Oldfield

26/12/11 – 11:21

Looking at a picture of preserved Sheffield 904, I realise that all of their Roe/PD2s from 1957 and the PD3s had exactly the same windscreen as the final Leyland bodies (1951 – 1954). Strangely, the Weymann and ECW PD2s had a different, smaller, windscreen (with similar profile) which Chesterfield also had on its Weymann PD2s.
The other collaboration which I forgot (above) was Leyland and Metro-Cammell (as opposed to Weymann). Roger Davies, in his Ribble book, is only one person to state that there was tacit agreement, after Leyland gave up building coachwork, for business to pass almost automatically to MCCW.

David Oldfield

26/12/11 – 17:49

Tynemouth and Wakefield’s ‘Northern General’ had some AEC’s with this type of Weymann body, and Northern’s first 8ft wide buses were GUY Arab’s with a very similar body but with sliding cab door. When I started at Percy Main I did my training on one of them, the fleet number was 189 FT? ?89. It had a crash box, and you needed a block and tackle to steer it. One of them went to Chester Le Street depot where it became a full fronted dual control vehicle.

Ronnie Hoye

26/12/11 – 17:50

FLOATING BRIDGE took quite a while to disappear from the bus blinds, and local speech, too. Undoubtedly, it was old and worn out, but it was a shame it wasn’t replaced with a larger version which would have carried more vehicles. It was a tourist attraction, too. It’s hard to believe that the A27 between Portsmouth and Southampton (Itchen) also had a floating bridge until supplanted by a bridge in 1977, even though bridge plans had existed since 1936!

Chris Hebbron

26/12/11 – 18:51

Thank you Ronnie for that magnificent description of the action necessary to deal with heavy steering – its tickled me and I’ll be chuckling all evening now !!

Chris Youhill

27/12/11 – 18:09

Further to the comments above concerning Weymann bodies on chassis other than AEC, it is not difficult to find other post war exceptions to this tendency, but I never knew that Leyland deliberately tried to "dissuade" customers from purchasing non Leyland bodywork, as David so vividly points out!
In the pre-war period, the Leyland/Weymann combination was perhaps more common, the Plymouth fleet coming to mind, as well as those handsome full front TD5s of Bournemouth.
I also recall some comment in "Buses" in 1954, when Leyland had announced the end of bus body building, that MCW was the natural successor, a fact perhaps born out in the integral developments such as the Olympic/Olympian, and some of the lead up to the Atlantean.
If anything, Park Royal would seem to have been more "in league" with AEC in the pre-war period, the balance shifting towards Weymann in the post war era.
Classic Weymann bodies look magnificent on any chassis really, and my mind is so easily led to the pre-war Bradford fleet, where Weymann bodied Daimler COG 6s were a common sight.
Of all the many coachbuilders which we remember, Weymann must rank as the all time "classic", as they kept their basic trade mark shape and profile from 1932, with the original Rackham inspired design, until the Aurora styles of the mid 1950s, which, for a time, ran concurrently with the newly introduced "Orion"

John Whitaker

27/12/11 – 20:53

John. Source for the "squared off" Leyland comment is Doug Jack’s "Leyland Bus" and for AEC/Weymann cooperation "Weymann Story Part 1" (Senior, Townsin and Banks). This book also quotes a tendency, in the immediate pre-war period, for senior staff to move jobs freely between Addlestone and West London.
Park Royal emerged from the ashes of Hall Lewis in 1931 but were only acquired by AEC/ACV in 1949. Weymann produced a one off, none to handsome, body for the prototype Regent which was exhibited at the Motor Show.
This became Sheffield Transport 66. It was after this that the first version of the classic Weymann design emerged – the first of many for Sheffield, but only on AEC until 1953, after which Leylands were also bodied for STD.
The Leyland /MCCW link was only really broken after Leyland "merged" with ACV in 1962 – after which Leyland/Park Royal-Roe was the preferred one stop choice.

David Oldfield

28/12/11 – 15:49

To add to the very knowledgeable comments made by John and David on the Weymann classical body of the thirties, forties and early fifties. a good livery such as Portsmouth Corporation was the "icing-on-the-cake" to show this body style at its best.
Sadly Weymann lost the plot in the mid fifties when their Orion body appeared, and despite some good liveries applied by some operators, this body was never in the same league as the their earlier classical-style body.
The Portsmouth Leyland PD1/1A Weymann was a gem, exuded quality and was very long lasting. In modern day language, it was a "value for money" bus.

Richard Fieldhouse

28/12/11 – 17:16

Just as a postscript to David,s comments on Leyland,s strategy to supply the all Leyland product, there is evidence to suggest that bodybuilding and chassis production were never of equal capacity, which is what surprised me about the undoubted truth which David has highlighted in this matter.
Regarding the relationship between AEC, Weymann, and Park Royal before the post war mergers, I would be interested to learn whether this was any more than just a friendly association. I have been counting up the bodies on AEC demonstrators pre-war, and Park Royal seems to have a lead there, if that is anything to go by.
All very "interesting stuff", and, as Richard says, what magnificent vehicles (Weymanns) were, especially when adorned by a livery as attractive as that of PCT.

John Whitaker

28/12/11 – 18:17

More to the point, why did Leyland not have confidence in what was universally regarded as one of the best bodies around (style AND quality).
The Weymann book and the Hall Lewis/Park Royal web-site show the fascinating and labyrinthine connections between each other and AEC – let alone the ECW, Roe and Roberts connections (nearly forty years before British Leyland).

David Oldfield

30/12/11 – 07:39

Maybe the alliances and associations were purely pragmatic. Imagine Blankchester Corporation saying EITHER (1) "we want 30 standard 56-seat deckers, and the all-important criterion is that they are delivered by 30 June next year." OR (2) "we want 30 PD2s (or Regent IIIs or whatever). We are not in a great hurry but we insist on the bodies being provided by XYZ in order to support local industry." Sensible manufacturers reply (1) "We can do it, provided you are happy to accept bodies from JKL or QRS, who are the only manufacturers who can supply bodies within your timescale." or (2) "We are happy to fit XYZ bodies in order to secure your business." The daft ones say "It is our corporate policy only to associate with our own chosen partners, so we can’t meet your delivery schedule/we are not prepared to fit XYZ bodies – and you can like it or lump it!" Sooner or later they go (or went!) out of business.

Stephen Ford

30/12/11 – 08:55

…..but Stephen. That sounds just like the barmy idea of current coachbuilders (especially COACH builders) hitching their waggons to just one chassis – thus depriving twice as many people of their preferred vehicles.

David Oldfield

30/12/11 – 14:05

Adopting a ‘take it or leave it’ policy Eg the Leyland National, and giving the customer little or no choice in the matter proved to be the eventual downfall of the British commercial vehicle industry. For example, did you know that when AEC became part of British Leyland, they had a design on the drawing board for a totally new lorry but it was rejected because the new Ergomatic cab was being introduced more or less across the board, and Leyland wanted to standardise production, so the design was sold to SAAB, it became the SCANIA 80 and 100, and later the 111, the rest as they say is history.

Ronnie Hoye

30/12/11 – 17:08

You’re absolutely correct, Ronnie. British Leyland, as distinct from Leyland Motors, went a long way to destroy local industry – helped by the National Bus Company and then, ironically, by Baroness Thatcher when she broke up NBC with privatisation and deregulation.
There was a LOT of good in the Leyland Leopard but the AEC Reliance, particularly AH691/760s, was vastly superior. The AN68 Atlantean was an excellent bus but the consensus is that it would have had a run for its money had the FRM gone into production.
Then, of course, both Scania and DAF had licences to build the 0.600/0.680 engines – but ended up doing it so much better. DAF/PACCAR’s MX engine, originally based on the Leyland, is a world beater.
There are even more examples in the private car sector.

David Oldfield

31/12/11 – 07:32

I, too, have often thought that the FRM could well have dominated the rear-engined bus scene, had it gone into production. Dearer though it might have been, the fact that it was only a slightly modified RM, with a reliable pedigree, gave it the chance to sweep the board. Sadly, there were vested interests at work. Yet another might-have-been!

Chris Hebbron

11/01/12 – 06:50

Lovely to see this view of No 188 passing through the Guildhall Square, also the Cravens bodied trolleybus in another contribution here. I suggest that the picture date is a bit before 1962, nearer 1959/60. The bus still has a grey roof, and does not have flashing trafficators as far as I can see. The Corporation gave the motorbus fleet white roofs on repaint from late 1959/early 1960, and the exercise was completed by 1963 (apart from the odd older vehicle due for withdrawal, like vee-fronted Leyland TD4 No 129 (ex-127), withdrawn with grey roof in 1964). All the trolleybuses remained grey roofed until the end in July 1963. The simple lining out on the red paintwork, and the chromed radiator make the vehicle a proud sight. Some of the batch had painted radiators. When I was a young enthusiast, and read Buses Illustrated, there were several letters and contributions c.1958-60 about PD1 versus PD2 engines and performance – the PD1 always came off worst! In the early 1980’s (c.1985?) one member of the batch survived in a corner of a field with some other ex-CPPTD stock at Waltham Chase, on the Wickham / Bishops Waltham road B2177. I have no idea whether any of these survived or who was keeping them.

Michael Hampton

02/02/12 – 07:06

I was brought up in Portsmouth in the 60s and have clear recollections of this batch regularly taking us to the football grounds off of Eastern Road from Northern Grammar school for PE lessons. I remember seeing many of them delicensed in the side shed at Gladys Avenue Depot. interestingly one of the batch became a trainer bus at North End and was nicknamed Gladys! The bus referred to at Waltham Chase happily survives under the care of CPPTD.

Mark Southgate

07/05/12 – 09:26

I used to get the 145 bus each day from North End to Old Portsmouth. Cost 3d (three pence) from 1961 to 1971. The destination was Floating Bridge, although I never knew what that was, changed to "Point, Old Portsmouth". Some buses in the early sixties also had letters. The A and B route along Commercial Rd for example, then became 1 and 2. Same route, different directions! Late night buses, "North End only", would go to the Gladys Ave depot. Also Fratton Park specials from North End to "Football Ground".


DTP 822_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

05/07/17 – 06:52

DTP 814

I’ve just come across a wonderful colour photo of a sister vehicle to 188, taken at North End Depot in 1966, on the cusp of being withdrawn the same year. It says so much of Portsmouth Corporation’s high standards that it could turn out a vehicle almost 20 years old, almost as good as new to look at. Note the white roof, which the corporation restored after WWII, in the early ’60’s.

Chris Hebbron

06/07/17 – 07:29

The steam powered vehicle transporting floating bridge ran between Gosport Ferry and Portsmouth Point, where the old landing stage can still be seen. Like the still running Sandbanks ferry in Dorset, it functioned by winding itself across by engaging chains laid on the floor of the harbour. It began operating in 1840 and received a new vessel, the Alexandra, in 1864, and she lingered on, spasmodically in the last years, until 1959. I lived near Gosport during the years 1949 to 1952, and remember it well, though I never actually travelled on it. Nowadays the Gosport peninsula is a traffic nightmare, and a vehicle crossing facility would surely be useful.

Roger Cox


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Hants and Sussex – Leyland Titan PD1 – FCG 526 – LO55

Hants and Sussex - Leyland Titan PD1 - FCG 526 - LO55
Copyright John Turner

Hants and Sussex
Leyland Titan PD1
Northern Coachbuilders L55R

The above shot of the Silentnight (Barnoldswick) works bus appeared for identification on this websites DYK page from John Turner. Pat Jennings did correctly identify it as FCG 526, it was one of nine Leyland PD1s bought new by Basil Williams in 1947 for his Hants and Sussex fleet. FCG 523/4/5 had Northern Coachbuilders H56R bodies, FCG 526/7 and FOR 837 had Northern Coachbuilders L55R bodies, and GAA 179/180/181 had Leyland H56R bodies. Interestingly, the fleet numbers LO52/3/4/5/6/8/9/60/1 were applied to these vehicles in sequence, which raises the question – what happened to number LO57? I remember seeing examples of the NCB highbridge PD1s in Fareham as a child in 1949 (though possibly it was always the same bus – a picture of FCG 523 on the Fareham service may be found in Alan Lambert’s definitive book on this operator, which is the source of much of my note here), when I assumed, as Basil Williams always intended the public to believe, that Hants and Sussex were another of the large territorial companies. I do not know what financial arrangement Mr. Williams entered into when purchasing these buses, but they all arrived new in 1947 and were all gone by 1949, several having been on loan to other operators within those two years. It seems very likely that the outturn finances of the Hants and Sussex group did not meet its proprietor’s optimistic expectations by 1949, and, indeed, the greater part of the business collapsed at the end of 1954.

Copy contributed by Roger Cox

There are three good sources of information available on Hants and Sussex, Alan Lambert’s book, PSV Circle PK14, and Alan’s article in the 2009 issue of the Leyland Journal on the company’s post war Leyland double deckers.
FCG 528 [LO57] was registered to Basil Williams personally, and thereby remained with him after the demise of the various limited companies in 1954/55. It was originally bought for the Midhurst group of routes, but after the "crash" it was used on the Thorney Island route. It was also used on the Sunday afternoon run to the Alton hospitals. It was sold for scrap in 1960 when the Tiger Cub, and Bedford SB1 were bought.

Pat Jennings

27/11/11 – 15:29

Of the ten PDIs delivered new in 1947, seven with NCB and three with Leyland H56R bodies, this is the only one that remained in the personal ownership of Basil Williams. The other nine were sold elsewhere in 1949 after only two years with Hants and Sussex, well before the 1954 collapse of the group.

Roger Cox

19/12/11 – 06:19

On the following website devoted to Bere Regis & District may be seen a photo of this very bus in 1953, which, with its fellow PD1/NCB L55R FCG 527, remained in the service of Bere Regis until 1960. It is the third picture down from the top. http://www.countrybus.co.uk/

Roger Cox

19/12/11 – 11:01

It looks very proud, garlanded up for the 1953 Coronation. This is an old tradition which has sadly died out, too!

Chris Hebbron

24/10/12 – 12:40

You mean, having Coronations?

David Call

24/10/12 – 17:45

You’re as bad a pendant as me, David. But even we pedants can slip up sometimes, as I did here! I should OF known better!

Chris Hebbron

01/07/13 – 10:55

I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I’m immune from making ‘dopey’ comments myself – check out my one about tram wires in Hebden Bridge on the Todmorden Titan dated 18/09/12 – 07:31

David Call

02/07/13 – 07:29

Er, quite!

Chris Hebbron

03/07/13 – 06:48

I appreciate that this question has probably been adequately answered by one or more of the above sources of information, but these, unfortunately, I do not possess. I wonder if anyone has subsequent ownership details for
FCG 523/4? I can come up with at least one subsequent owner, in some instances two, for all the other Hants & Sussex PD1s (except FCG 528, of course).

David Call

21/02/15 – 07:08

FCG 524 was acquired 10/49 by the Griffin Motor Co, thence to Red & White and was disposed of in 1961. GAA 179-181 went to United Welsh in 1949 and also lasted until 1960/1.

Richard Smith

31/08/17 – 05:04

With absolutely NO knowledge pre-1970, the name of Basil Williams was still one that surfaced from time to time in our corridor of Southdown House, which we shared with Fares & Licensing. I recall that there was a bank of filing cabinets for all the companies Southdown dealt with on licensing matters – but Basil had a complete drawer to himself! Henry Frier, that Roger Cox mentions in the article on Bere Regis, sat just across the corridor from me. Did the notorious Basil continue post-1954 in another guise?

Nick Turner

01/09/17 – 05:40

Richard Smith’s post of 21/2/15 must have passed me by at the time. When I tried in 2013 no subsequent owner details for FCG523/4 would come up for me, but there are plentiful references now. In respect of FCG 524, there are at least four relevant photos accessible on the web. three of it when with Red & White, and one of it subsequently with Contract Bus Services of Llanwern. Here’s a shot of it with Red & White, together with other ex-Griffin double-deckers. http://richardsmith.webplus.net/
There are at least two shots available of FCG 523, when with Stonier’s of Goldenhill.

David Call

01/09/17 – 05:42

Yes, Nick. Basil most certainly did continue beyond his 1954 cataclysm. After one distressing experience in which the transfer of road service licences from an acquired operator to his own business was refused, Williams always retained the company names of acquired operators, resulting in a bewildering profusion of separate companies that collectively operated under the Hants and Sussex name. Some services, however, were licensed to Williams in his own name as sole proprietor, and were technically not a component of the Hants and Sussex group, although they operated under that banner. By the mid 1950s, rural bus services were in terminal decline, and independent operators who were largely dependent upon such mileage began to experience financial pressures. In December 1954 the company’s bank and other creditors, who collectively were owed some £74,000 (around £650,000 today) applied for the liquidation and asset sale of Hants and Sussex. The Midhurst area services personally licensed to B.S. Williams remained in operation under his control, together with the Blake’s Tours business at Plymouth. From this somewhat shaky basis he gradually built up an operation that, from 1962,he named Southern Motorways, based mainly at his Emsworth depot. The implementation of the NBC local companies MAP (Market Analysis Project) route economies saw Williams picking up work that NBC reduced or abandoned, a curious reversal of the 1940s/1950s scenario in which Aldershot & District, Southdown and London Transport had (in collaboration) fought every expansionist move by the former Hants and Sussex business. Basil kept going right up to the end until he sold his Southern Motorways operations to Solent Blue Line in late September 1987. He died during the 1990s. The definitive book on this fascinating operator is "Hants & Sussex" by Alan Lambert. On a personal note, when, on leaving school in 1960, I took up a clerical position with London Transport (Country Buses & Coaches) at Reigate, I discovered some pretty fat files on Hants and Sussex in the attic, and gleaned much from their perusal. Sadly, I didn’t make off with them, and they undoubtedly perished under subsequent "tidying up".

Roger Cox

01/09/17 – 06:52

Thanks for that, Roger. I’d forgotten the Southern Motorways name but, sitting in the next office to Southdown’s Fares and Licensing Officer, Len Cole, with paper thin walls, I heard a lot. Road service licensing was something of a minefield, took up loads of time and money, and ultimately showed that it could be done without. I recall sitting through two whole days of a Met enquiry, waiting to be called as a witness opposing an Asian application for a Southall – Smethwick service. The applicant suddenly said he’d moved his depot up the road and the whole process had to start again. Like you and LCBS, I wonder what happened to all those SMS files in the end?

Nick Turner

01/09/17 – 15:17

Roger, may I query the date you offer for Basil Williams’ sale of his operations, which you state to be September 1987 to Solent Blue Line? I have a note copied from Bus & Coach Preservation magazine April 2012 issue which shows the last bus to carry the Hants & Sussex name. This is a Leyland National AAE 653V, and it was pictured at Havant in 1997, "just after H&S sold out to Southampton City Bus, and not long before SCB became part of First Group". Also, in Buses magazine Jan 2002 issue, there was a fleet focus on Emsworth & District (founded 1977). This article states that E&D ran Hants & Sussex for a few weeks in 1998, but found it to be beyond saving. Another Bus & Coach Preservation magazine photo in March 2016 issue shows ex-London Transport AML605H, and the caption includes the note that this ran for Basil Williams’ Hants & Sussex in 1993-94, before going to scrap in 1994. Was there a slip of the finger (1987/1997) in your input, or is there another explanation? With the history of Basil Williams fleets, anything is possible! I agree that Alan Lambert’s book on H&S is a marvellous piece. Published in 1983, it would be great if someone could write and publish the remaining history from 1983 to the end, with all the developments during the deregulation era which would also be fascinating reading.

Michael Hampton

02/09/17 – 06:26

I think Michael Hampton is right about the end of Basil William’s operations. When I was on holiday in Bognor Regis in the late 80’s or early 90’s I went to Emsworth and rode on an ex LT Swift. I also went looking for the Head Office at Hollybank House, Emsworth which turning out to be Williams’ house, well more of a mansion than a house. His son Vivian now runs it as an upmarket B & B, see www.hollybankhouse.com
The Williams family still own Glider & Blue Motor Services Limited although it hasn’t traded as an operator for many years.
I think Basil Williams died in 1999.

Nigel Turner

06/09/17 – 06:16

Michael and Nick, I yield entirely to your greater knowledge about the latter days of Southern Motorways. I haven’t ventured back to the Hampshire area from my East Anglian retreat for many years, and I can’t now recall where I acquired the idea that the end of Southern Motorways came about in the late ’80s. Thanks for the correction.

Roger Cox

06/09/17 – 06:18

There is a certain irony that the delightful Hollybank House boasts that all its rooms have flat screen TVs/DVDs, when one remembers that Basil Williams once claimed that Television was the single biggest cause of the collapse in bus use.


08/09/17 – 06:33

My apologies to Richard Smith, I hadn’t realised that the Red & White fleet list was on his own website.

David Call

24/09/17 – 14:30

In my contribution back on 01/09/17, I said it would be great if Alan Lambert and Sussex of 1983 could be updated. What do I find? In an e-mail bulletin from a publisher of transport books, there is just that book, by A Lambert! The brief review calls the author Adam Lambert, but from the script, it looks like it is Alan himself who has written this, and is published by Bowden Publishing at £40. Apparently there’s no fleet list, but I shall nevertheless be an eager purchaser as cash flow permits. So it’s good news that we will have the complete story to study and enjoy, and congratulations to author and publisher.

Michael Hampton

23/10/17 – 06:00

Having sold a few vital organs to finance the purchase of Alan Lambert’s new book, I can say that it is well worth the cost. Hard backed, with over 200 pages, it contains the detailed history of around a dozen companies who formed the group together with details of their predecessors.
I imagine that it has been a lifetimes work for Alan Lambert to write this book and I would say that it is a job well done.

Nigel Turner

16/11/17 – 06:52

I’ve just ploughed my way through Alan Lambert’s tome on Hants & Sussex, and it really is riveting read: it’s the financial side of things which I found interesting – hardly any part of the group made a profit and the whole organisation seemed to be kept afloat on a raft of bank loans, personal loans from Basil, and loans between companies. My understanding was that the group was sunk by a combination of interest charges on new vehicles at a time when passenger numbers started to fall and fuel duty rose sharply – but truth seemed to be that he kept on buying "pig-in-a-poke" companies from all-too-willing sellers, and then wasted money in battles in the Traffic Courts and appeals to the Ministry in an effort to expand their licenses. Even if you’re not particularly interested in H&S or bus operations in that area, it really is a fantastic read: I must admit though that I found keeping a copy of Alan’s earlier work close to hand quite useful – because of the amount of detail the latest book treats each strand of the business separately, and its useful to have the chronological text of the earlier book available to be able keep happenings within the perspective of the rest of the group.

Philip Rushworth

17/11/17 – 07:39

Phiip, my reactions on reading Alan Lambert’s new volume mirror yours exactly. To your list of curious "business decisions" may be added Basil’s over eagerness to grab wartime and postwar contract work seemingly without any concept whatsoever of costing, so that massive contracts requiring much hiring in from other operators, who assuredly got their pound of flesh, ended up earning him little more than pocket money. The Hants & Sussex conglomerate was a classic example of a precarious business run by the seat of the pants, totally lacking any proper commercial costing system. In 1988, after leaving Kentish Bus when Proudmutual (aka Northumbria) got its paws on it, I was asked to undertake a survey of the Southern Motorways Midhurst operations. I found these to be of decidedly marginal value and made a number of recommendations, all of which were subsequently ignored. Right through from 1937 to the end the B.S. Williams saga was one of extreme financial fragility, yet the proprietor continued to plough his lonely furrow regardless of reality.

Roger Cox

18/11/17 – 07:35

Am I alone in seeing a parallel between Basil Williams and Colonel Stephens of light railway fame.

Malcolm Hirst

25/11/17 – 08:05

Malcolm. Ref your mention of Col Stephens I can claim no knowledge of Basil Williams other than what I have read in this thread. From that limited base I would say the two are worlds apart. Stephens knew the value of everything to the last penny and never spent a penny where a ha’penny would do. By dint of very strict financial control, he ran his empire of very marginal railways for around 30 years and noticeably, once he was gone, the empire disintegrated, which is not to say that it would not have done had he still been there. I can’t imagine any undertaking run by Holman Fred Stephens buying 8 brand new double deckers – it would have been 20 year old TD5s or surplus trolleybus bodies fitted to old chassis like Silcox did. I can’t imagine him going for expansion at all cost without having a very good idea of the costs and likely income to be had or quoting for work without knowing the costs to the last penny.

Peter Cook

25/11/17 – 14:54

I wasn’t referring to business sense but more the general penury of running a widespread operation with no money.
Also common to both is the attempt to continue to operate when any sensible person would have thrown in the towel considerably earlier.

Malcolm Hirst

04/07/20 – 07:29

As a child in the early 1950’s use to catch a Hants and Sussex Coach at it’s Portsmouth depot located at Cosham on Saturdays and Sundays for a visit to the Trelords Hospital at Alton. I remember one trip where the bus broke down at Fareham and the Driver was threatened by the passengers that if he didn’t carry on they would drive the coach. There fleet was not in very good condition. I believe Glider Coaches of Bishops Waltham had a connection to Hant’s and Sussex.

Keith Ray


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