Old Bus Photos

Lytham St Annes Corporation – Leyland Titan TD – BTF 25 – 45

Lytham St Annes Corporation - Leyland Titan TD - BTF 25 - 45

Lytham St Annes Corporation
Leyland Titan TD4c
Leyland FH30/24R

The Leyland Titan TD4 replaced the TD3 in production from 1935, differing from its predecessor fundamentally only in the replacement of the three servo vacuum braking system by vacuum/hydraulic operation. The Lysholm Smith torque converter, designed in 1928, was quite popular in the TD3c ‘Gearless Bus’ chassis, the ‘c’ suffix denoting the converter, and remained a transmission option for the TD4. In 1935 Lytham St Annes Corporation took three Leyland Lion LT7c vehicles with torque converters, and all the 1936/37 deliveries, totalling 22 buses, of Lions and Titans, had the converter transmission. These, however, were the last torque converter buses to be received by Lytham St Annes. BTF 25, No. 45, is a Leyland Titan TD4c delivered in March 1937 with a Leyland full fronted FH30/24R body. Unlike the full fronted centre entrance Titans in the fleet of its near neighbour to the north, Blackpool, the Lytham St Annes buses had exposed radiators and rear entrances. In later years some were converted to open top, but number 45 survived intact into preservation. It is pictured at South Croydon on its way to Brighton during the May 1972 HCVC Rally. It is currently undergoing extensive restoration. This is one of only two surviving ’Gearless Buses’, the other being BTB 928, Lytham St Annes No. 34, a 1936 Leyland Lion LT7c.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

13/04/22 – 08:07

Interesting post, Roger. I imagine that the sudden burst of interest in buying Leyland Gearless buses was the closure of their tramway system between 1936 and 1937, thereby easing the tram drivers’ transfer to buses. Many a municipal transport entity did this, but Portsmouth Corporation was late in doing so, buying Crossleys so fitted post-war, when the trams had gone in 1937! They so liked them, that they were converted with Leyland TD4 engines and gearboxes late in their lives! The Crossleys had, if memory serves, Brockhouse converters, which involved the engines rising to their governors to pull away and accelerate and coasting along to the next bus stop!

Chris Hebbron

13/04/22 – 12:58

As you say, Chris, all of Portsmouth’s 31 post-war Crossleys had turbo-transmitters from new, until the late 1950’s when the engines and transmissions from withdrawn TD4s were substituted. Interestingly, though, only two of Portsmouth’s 46 pre-war Leyland TD4s were delivered with torque convertors, both new in 1935. Therese were Nos 126 [EEC body] and 130 [Leyland vee-front body]. Both had this transmission replaced with normal gearbox transmission in 1947. It’s possible Leyland had a replacement programme in place at about that time, as I have read of various municipalities and companies who replaced torque convertor transmission with standard gearbox in the period 1946-47.

Michael Hampton

14/04/22 – 08:17

You have to wonder why they converted 126 and 130 from turbo converters to normal gearboxes in 1947, then purchased a whole batch of Crossleys with turbo converters in 1948/49. Was it around that time that there was a change of General Manager, a thought in the back of my head?

Chris Hebbron

16/04/22 – 08:05

Chris Hebbron mentions the change of Manager at Lytham.
Here are the dates
J.C. Fairchild 1929 – 1946
W. Ashton 1946 – 1954
I hope that helps?

Stephen Howarth

19/04/22 – 06:16

There was no change of Portsmouth manager until 1951, when H C Simmonds took over from Ben Hall. Mr Hall had been manager for many years, and would have been in charge of the ordering of all the pre-war Leyland Titans, and the post-war Leylands and Crossleys. He would also have dealt with the replacement transmissions of the TD4c’s 126/130.
Mr Hall was very pleased with the pre-war Crossley Condors, and I have seen a photo of a visit made by a Crossley rep to Portsmouth c.1945 to receive his congratulations on the lengthy service of these diesel-engined vehicles. Perhaps the reputation and sales pitch was sufficient for the post-war order to be placed. After all, Crossley’s war-time demonstrator had been well received in several places [although it’s not recorded to have visited Portsmouth], and it was only later that the Crossley company messed things up by not proceeding with the patent rights on the engine design.

Michael Hampton


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East Kent – Leyland Titan TD4 – JG 7017

East Kent - Leyland Titan TD4 - JG 7017

East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd.
Leyland Titan TD4
ECW L27/28R

In 1936, East Kent received twenty examples of the Leyland TD4, JG 7010-29, all fitted with Brush L27/26R bodywork with curiously outmoded piano front destination displays (though these were rebuilt with conventional destination indicators before the outbreak of WW2). They were immediately followed by a further TD4 batch of fifty, but these had Park Royal L27/26R bodies, before deliveries switched to the newer TD5 model, sixty five of which arrived before the outbreak of war. In the post war period, East Kent extended the lives of many of these reliable machines by a rebodying programme using the products of Eastern Coach Works and Park Royal. In the picture above, taken in Canterbury Bus Station in 1961, TD4 JG 7017 with 1948 ECW L27/28R body (East Kent did not use fleet numbers, but took care to avoid the duplication of the number element of the registration) stands alongside two Guy Arabs. EFN 185 was one of a batch of forty Arab IIIs, EFN 170-209, with 6LW engines and Park Royal L27/26R bodies delivered in 1950. This was the style of body fitted to some of the rebodied TD Titans. The 1950 batch of Arabs comprised the last lowbridge double deckers to enter the East Kent fleet. At the far end of the line up, GFN 909 of 1953 was East Kent’s first example of the Arab IV with Park Royal H30/26RD bodywork, though GFN 908, the very first Arab IV in the East Kent fleet had a Guy built body of 1950 without platform doors that had been originally intended for an Arab III of Newport Corporation; when Newport cancelled that order, the body was transferred to the East Kent Arab IV chassis.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

09/07/18 – 05:58

Does Roger Cox mean Bible destination displays?

Stephen Howarth

10/07/18 – 07:24

Are these the "Bible" destination blinds shown on the EYMS Beverley Bar Titan on this site?


10/07/18 – 07:25

No, the roller blind destination box on these original Brush bodies projected forward from the front bodywork above the cab. A picture may be found on page 10 of the book "Glory Days – East Kent" by Glyn Kraemer-Johnson and John Bishop.

Roger Cox

10/07/18 – 07:27

The following web page of Leicester City Transport vehicles illustrates some examples of the Brush bodywork style fitted to the 1936 East Kent TD4s. https://books.google.co.uk/books

Search for AEC Regent 53, JF 1529, and Leyland Titans 54/57, JF 1530/33, which appear fairly near the top of the page. The fitment of this 1931 style of bodywork to the 1936 batch of East Kent TD4 Titans seems to have been a curiously retrograde policy.

Roger Cox


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Cumberland – Leyland Titan – BRM 596 – 291

Cumberland - Leyland Titan - BRM 596 - 291

Cumberland Motor Services
Leyland Titan TD4
ECW L27/28R (1950)

Before the advent of the Tilling Group era, and the inevitable Bristol/ECW combination for most vehicles, Cumberland had a large fleet of Leyland chassis, and the Royal Tigers seem to have been the last. BRM 596 is a Leyland Titan TD4 with the chassis dating from 1936. The present ECW L55R body dates from 1950. I understand it spent some time with Barton after leaving the north west. We see it on Itchen Bridge, on 6 May 1979, while taking part in the Southampton City Transport Centenary rally.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

15/11/16 – 11:10

Perfect combination! The straight vertical radiator suits the body ideally. Leyland’s slightly curved, rearward-sloping postwar radiator committed the bodybuilder to a continuation of the same shape and direction, so that it looked out of place with an upright-front body, whereas the prewar design seen here looked good with any body shape.

Ian Thompson

16/11/16 – 07:07

Bartons actually acquired four of these from Cumberland but two were 1938 TD5s, all of them had these 1950 ECW bodies. They were purchased in 1959 and served until 1964/5. Quite a good bargain to get bodies which were only nine years old. They also bought four very similar vehicles from Crosville but on the PD1 chassis.

Chris Barker

16/11/16 – 11:39

I always found that the combination of postwar ECW bodies on Leyland TD chassis produced handsome vehicles very pleasing to the eyes and ears – in particular the glorious East Yorkshire Motor Services "Beverley Bar" examples. The same must be said of the PD1/ECW match, though of course these were brand new from the start.

Chris Youhill


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