Old Bus Photos

Stocker’s – Morris Commercial – AJD 959

Stocker’s - Morris Commercial - AJD 959

Stocker’s of St Margarets
Morris Commercial CV11/40
Stocker C16F

AJD 959 is a Morris Commercial CV11/40 new in 1945. She started life with a van body, which was replaced by Mr Harry Stocker in 1959. The capacity is given as C16F, but should it be FC16F? She’s on Southampton Common, arriving to take part in the Southampton City Transport Centenary Rally on 7 May 1979.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

15/06/15 – 06:12

This is an interesting vehicle, not the only conversion done by this operator who was also a coal merchant. One other similar vehicle also survives, if memory serves. It was quite a challenge for him to build the coach body, I’d hazard, but the result is quite attractive, with, as ever, rear wheel spats improving the look immensely. The lower body front bears some resemblance to some Provincial bus/coach bodies built by Reading & Co.
I view the narrow width of the front axle with some trepidation, recalling the rare times I had to drive one of BT’s Commer/Dodge PB Spacewagons, which dug into the road at every conceivable opportunity, when deviating from the straight and narrow! Dreadful, underpowered vans, which had to be driven, foot to the floor, to even reach 50…… eventually! Driving a desk was more fun!

Chris Hebbron

15/06/15 – 06:12

The F for full front is only used for chassis which were usually bodied as halfcabs. Those which were always full-fronted. e.g. Bedford SB, Albion Victor, are simply C.

Peter Williamson

16/06/15 – 06:54

A handsome vehicle, in sharp contrast to some of the dreadful van-derived minibuses. It seems very long for the seating capacity, was it 2+1 seating?

David Wragg

16/06/15 – 08:19

AJD 959_2

Thank you, Chris and Peter, for your thoughts. I have found a shot of AJD 959 in later life she’s seen at Duxford for Showbus in the markings of Felix, Long Melford. The date is 28 September 2003.

Pete Davies

16/06/15 – 16:33

I can’t answer your question, David. The figure is as given in the PSVC listing for 2012. There could be a typing error in there (26?) because the back row looks to have 5 seats.

Pete Davies

17/06/15 – 06:53

I am a bit puzzled by the chassis designation of this vehicle. The CV11/40 was a goods model generally of normal control layout, though a similar design, classified CVF, had semi forward control. A few CV11/40 chassis were bodied as small buses/coaches like the example seen in this link:- www.sct61.org.uk/zzlyh285 Was AJD 959 rebuilt to forward control? The normal control machine shown in the SCT link had a 17 seater body, so 26 seats in the Stocker coach would seem to be unlikely.

Roger Cox

18/06/15 – 16:47

This lovely little vehicle visited the Manchester MoT at Boyle St last year (and was at St Helens before that) so I had a chance to inspect its interior. It definitely has 16 seats – I counted them! Does anybody know its current whereabouts? Given its bijoux dimensions it could well be kept at its new owner’s home.

Neville Mercer

20/06/15 – 05:55

Zooming in on //tinyurl.com/pfknpa8 reveals that there are just four headrests showing at the rear, but they are so wide that it must be 2+1 seating. So I suggest (2+1)x4 + 4 = 16.

Peter Williamson

26/11/21 – 06:26

Just come upon this thread. Harry Stocker built 4 coaches on Morris Commercial van/lorry chassis. AJD 959, KAR 20C also a survivor unrestored with Richard Bennett of Dodinghurst, Essex, LNK 304 and DRO 542. all except DRO were forward control. AJD 959 was restored by Stephen Golynia of Felix Taxis, Long Melford and sold to John Crankshaw of Holmfirth in 2010. To my knowledge he is still the owner

John Wakefield


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Morris Works Band – Morris Commercial FF – 14 LFC

Morris Motors Band - Morris Commercial FF - 14 LFC

Morris Works Band
Morris Commercial FF

14 LFC is another of those peculiar vehicles which was never a PSV. She is a Morris Commercial FF, new in 1961 with a Wadham RC27F body for use as the Morris Works Band transport. I suppose this explains the raised rear part of the saloon – popularly called the ‘half deck’ concept, though I understand that is a different species altogether. She’s seen on 4 July 2012 in one of the sheds at Long Hanborough.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

01/08/14 – 16:35

I had a short ride on this a few weeks ago at the Hertfordshire showground in Redbourn.
The word that springs to mind is "basic". I hope the band didn’t have to travel too far afield from Oxford!
Nice unique preserved vehicle though.

Andrew Goodwin

01/08/14 – 17:15

(tongue in cheek!) Maybe the raised portion was to allow the trombones to practice without injuring the rest of the band…

John Hodkinson

02/08/14 – 09:06

Thanks for your thoughts. Well, John, one never knows – "many a true word", and all that!

Pete Davies

03/08/14 – 07:53

…..especially if there were 76 of them!
The chassis would have been cheap, since it was made by Morris themselves, but one wonders how much Wadhams charged for a one-off body like this, probably Wadhams only attempt at such a body!

Chris Hebbron

12/09/14 – 06:15

Wadham had previously done a 35 seat bus on Morris FF for Liss and District. That was the only FF sold as a PSV in the UK although it did sell in Australasia and in Singapore.

Stephen Allcroft

13/09/14 – 06:33

Interesting, Stephen. I’ve never seen any mention of Basil Williams’ empire having such an unusual vehicle.

Chris Hebbron

14/09/14 – 07:23

Chris, I think we should remember that Liss and District had a life both before and after Basil Williams’ involvement era. Later, it was involved with Creamline of Bordon. I don’t know where the Morris FF/Wadham bus that Stephen mentions fits into this, though.

Michael Hampton

14/09/14 – 11:1114/09/14 – 11:11

Thx, Michael. Knew of its former life , but not its afterlife! Everything that Basil did was complex; I wonder if he, himself, ever kept fully au fait with his manoeuvrings! One of life’s characters, though, keeping the world from being a duller place, especially for the likes of us!

Chris Hebbron

14/09/14 – 17:23

Stephen’s reference to a Morris FF in the Liss and District fleet is of interest, but more information about his bus is proving rather elusive. Basil Williams’ interest in Liss and District ceased on 21 December 1954 when his Hants and Sussex empire collapsed. Liss and District was then sold to Empress Coaches of Stockbridge, another of Basil Williams’ former companies, though who owned that operator at that time is unclear. Liss and District later came into the hands of Creamline of Bordon who retained it until the proprietors, Charles and Margaret Wilkins, retired in 1967. The Morris FF of 1961 must have been purchased by them. Straying off the subject somewhat (do we ever?) Stephen has contributed an illuminating piece about British Leyland, particularly engine development, and sometimes the lack of it, at the following site:- //middx.net/aec/board/viewtopic.php

Roger Cox

15/09/14 – 07:00

The other vehicle in question was TOU 157. It was new in 1958 and I understand it was purchased by Creamline. There is a photograph of it somewhere on flickr.

Chris Barker

15/09/14 – 12:00

That Flickr photograph Chris mentions is www.flickr.com/photos/roadtransportphotos

Stephen Howarth

15/09/14 – 12:00

Thanks to Roger Cox for unscrambling the Liss and District history post Basil Williams. The Empress (Stockbridge) operation had gone to Holland Tours (Patrick & Brown, Oldbury) at first, and then sold to Buddens of West Tytherley. From the PSVC history I looked at it seems that Liss and District became a subsidiary of Empress when this was still owned by Hollands, and remained a subsidiary when Buddens came on the scene. Buddens then sold Liss and District to Creamline of Bordon as a subsidiary of that group. The sale to Hollands was in Dec 1954, the sale to Buddens in Apr 1955, and to Creamline Oct 1955. And we thought the deregulation era had quick sales! The Morris Commercial TOU 157 is pictured as indicated by Chris Barker, and this shows it to be an "ordinary" saloon, i.e. not with a half deck at the rear for the 76 trombonists(!).

Michael Hampton

16/09/14 – 09:52

The history of Liss & District, post-Basil, is as complex as Basil’s Empire (well, almost!). Being at Bordon, I imagine that Creamline benefited from the army weekend work in the way that Silver Star did, until the end of National Service and contraction/civilianisation at least.

Chris Hebbron

01/05/15 – 12:57

Chris Hebbron about Creamlines participation in weekend Forces leave services. They ran from camps in the Bordon/Aldershot area to London, Warwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield (at least) and bought mainly AEC Reliances with Duple bodies seating 43 for this work. They usually kept them for 2 years and replaced them with new coaches. flickr has a group devoted to forces leave services with several Creamline photos.

Paul Statham

02/05/15 – 06:53

Thx, Paul. This work, nationally, must have been a lucrative source of income, since poverty-stricken National Serviceman, anxious to get home to girlfriends/families would use them to the full, until it dried up around 1962. Strangely enough, even though I was based at RAF Stafford, a large Maintenance Unit, in the late 1950’s, and one or two other camps, I never saw/noticed any coaches on these services. I always went home by train, passing through Liss Station on my way home to Portsmouth. I’ll look up Flickr.

Chris Hebbron

20/07/15 – 09:56

14 LFC_1

14 LFC_2

This vehicle was at the Alton Bus Rally Sunday 19th, and I attach two more views of this interesting vehicle.

Pete Davies

20/07/15 – 16:41

Thx, Pete, for the new photos, giving a much more rounded idea of the bodywork. This complex body design, must have been quite an interesting challenge for Morris employees, building just the one-off. It’s certainly not unattractive.

Chris Hebbron

21/07/15 – 06:16

Thanks, Chris. I can’t help but feel the folk in the back (raised) portion wouldn’t have had much forward vision. Was that to help them concentrate on their music?

Pete Davies

21/07/15 – 06:17

The body was built by Wadhams of Waterloovlle, a long-time favoured partner for Morris-Commercial PSV chassis

Philip Lamb

26/03/19 – 06:49

The large boot was for the percussion instruments and the larger brass instruments. Lord Nuffield loved his band.

Peter Hewis

27/03/19 – 06:45

Looking at the two above photos, I can’t help thinking that the narrow front wheel track was not a great help in cornering? I recall driving a Karrier/Commer Spacevan once or twice, which, with a narrow front axle compared with the rear one, had appalling cornering ability, digging in at the front, even at modest speed, which, on reflection, was the only speed it ever achieved! Even for the 1980’s, it was a dreadful vehicle!

Chris Hebbron

28/03/19 – 07:25

I dont think the track on the Morris FF was any narrower that on similar vehicles of the day such as the Bedford SB. The Commer FC ‘Spacevan’ was a much smaller vehicle.

John Wakefield


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Horndean – Morris Commercial – DS 7422

Horndean - Morris Commercial - DS 7422
Copyright Pete Davies

Horndean Private Hire
Morris Commercial 1 Ton
Harris B10D

DS 7422 is shown in the PSVC listing for 2012 as being a 1926 Morris Commercial 1 Ton vehicle, with B10D body by Harris of Clanfield. She’s seen here in the Southsea Rally of 8 June 1986, in the markings of Horndean Private Hire. The listing says this is the original body, but rebuilt, rather than a replica.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

19/04/13 – 06:51

Cute little motor but it would also be nice to see a Viceroy, Dictator or Imperial. Yet another set of might have beens outrun by the big four (AEC, Bristol, Daimler and Leyland).

David Oldfield

19/04/13 – 11:05

I wonder how this quirky vehicle survived?
How I mourn the loss of Horndean’s Gales Ales Brewery. The sad-looking building was still there when I last passed it a couple of years ago.

Chris Hebbron

19/04/13 – 12:12

David, an Imperial survives at Wythall, as does a Dictator. I don’t know of a Viceroy in preservation, though I sure someone will correct me if there is!

Yes, Chris. The brewery tours were very good, always ending in a ‘sample’ or three!

Pete Davies

19/04/13 – 14:04

David: Probably not much of a ‘might have been’ in practice. Nuffield surely had the resources to have gone into large passenger vehicle construction in a large way if he had felt it worthwhile. However, the Morris Commercial brand was clearly doing very nicely with its near monopoly of vehicles for the GPO, so they probably never tried too much for sales outside this field. The post-war production was very much on the back of goods chassis, in an area where of course the OB had cornered the market.

Alan Murray-Rust

20/04/13 – 07:22

On 4th February 1924, William Morris bought the former factory of E. Wrigley and Co., tool makers, automotive component manufacturers and gear cutters, in Soho, Birmingham. He later relocated to the old Wolseley works at Adderley Park in 1932. Morris was intent upon an assault upon the bus and haulage vehicle markets, and initially offered ranges of mass produced light vehicles employing considerable engineering content from his private car models. The true psv Morris Commercial range from 1929 onwards, comprising the Director, Viceroy, Dictator and Imperial models, was designed by Charles Kearns Edwards, the one time Chief Engineer of the Associated Equipment Company who left when G.J.Rackham was appointed in 1929. He is credited with the early adoption in Britain of the dropped frame for psvs in the form of the Nulli Secundus or NS type, and also with the design of the first (wholly experimental) AEC diesel engine, which employed Acro indirect injection combustion chambers and followed German design philosophy very closely indeed. From AEC he moved on to Morris Commercial, where the light haulage range was quite successful, but the buses had limited appeal in the depressed pre war period. Edwards appears to have moved on again by 1932, this time to Guy Motors, Wolverhampton, and then again in 1936 to Shelvoke and Drewry at Letchworth and its associated company Hands Trailers, where he seems to have remained until retirement. The specifications of the Viceroy, Dictator and Imperial models may be found here www.moreg.org.au/  and some Dictator and Imperial pictures are shown on this site (scroll down to the bottom):- www.search.digitalhandsworth.org.uk  Finally, here are two clips of an Imperial being recovered (hopefully) for preservation, though the task looks pretty daunting to me:- www.flickr.com/1  www.flickr.com/2

Roger Cox

20/04/13 – 08:46

Thanks for that, Roger. I have every respect for those of us who lovingly restore and conserve these vehicles but, as you say, with some you wonder whether the outcome will be happy. And yet they do it.

David Oldfield

20/04/13 – 17:07

Thx, Roger, for the background information about MC and CK Edwards. Strangely enough, in my RAF days, I had under my charge, about thirty Hands trailers, a make I never saw before of since.
And, to bring the Imperial story further up to date, here it is safely under cover at Wythall. I notice there’s a radiator shell there, something missing from the short clips, unless they were stored elsewhere on that site www.flickr.com/

Chris Hebbron

21/04/13 – 07:29

It really is a small world, isn’t it? I’ve mentioned elsewhere in these pages about my student days in Birmingham. To be precise, I was at St Peter’s College in Saltley, NEXT DOOR to the Adderley Park works Roger mentions. They were either on strike or making Post Office vans. All those I saw were red, but I’m sure they must have done some of the Post Office Telephones green ones as well!

Pete Davies

27/04/13 – 09:54

I love the upright windscreen on that little Morris-Commercial, and the livery couldn’t be bettered, as Midland General knew.
I’m grateful for Roger’s technical pages: details like that are otherwise very hard to come by.
Chris H: I hadn’t realised that Gales of Horndean had sadly closed down, but a quick search reveals that the tower is thankfully to be kept as part of the new housing scheme.
I occasionally drove through Horndean with Smith’s and felt that the brewery gave the town real character. On cycle rides in the fifties I used to wonder why three pubs between Reading and Woodcote belonged to a brewery nearly fifty miles south, but my grandma (born on a nearby farm) explained that a Gale had married a Miss Blount, from a S. Oxfordshire family, a connection that enabled Gales to buy the pubs.

Ian Thompson

27/04/13 – 13:17

Glad to learn the the tower will be kept, Ian, a real landmark in an otherwise rather nondescript town. Your mention of non-standard clutches of pubs reminds me of, in the Seventies. a clutch of Charrington’s Pubs (a London brewery) on the edges of Fareham and several Marston’s pubs on the Portsmouth-Winchester road. As for PO Telephone vans, Pete, go to the link and halfway down is a photo of some at Adderley Park – //tinyurl.com/

Chris Hebbron

30/04/13 – 10:55

I’m surprised that no-one has commented on the registration no. of this vehicle, DS 7422, which cannot be the original. DS was issued to Peebles-shire and its registration series had reached only as far as DS 6396 when the "year letter" series began in the 1960s. I assume the original was sold as a "cherished" plate and replaced. Unused numbers from small Scottish counties were normally used in this way as so few had been issued prior to 1964.

Geoff Kerr

21/12/14 – 06:56

With regards to the original number for DS 7422 it may have been lost prior to John Harris ‘rebuilding’ the body. From what I have been given to understand it was built from a lorry chassis, as were many of Mr Harris’s creations. I knew the last owner of DS 7422 the late Richard Payne well & viewed the vehicle whilst it was with him. Aspects of it led me to believe it to be a replica, including moulded rubber Lucas King of the Road ‘vintage rear lights. Mr Harris built several similar bodies on Morris 1 ton chassis & a Bedford WLG RVS 305 (another ‘age related number) but with shed like freelance vintage body for promotional use.
DS 7422 was recently sold in Richard Payne’s sale for £14,200 (hammer price) to a Mr Maskell of Wilstead Bedfordshire.

John Wakefield


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