Old Bus Photos

Demonstrator – Seddon Pennine IV – RBU 502F

Demonstrator - Seddon Pennine IV - RBU 902F

Demonstrator - Seddon Pennine IV - RBU 902F

Demonstrator
1968
Seddon Pennine IV
Pennine B45F

Something to give Roger Cox the shudders ! In late 1968 Halifax Corporation borrowed the prototype Seddon Pennine IV demonstrator, though I wonder if the intention was simply to give the manufacturer some operational experience of their new model. Surely manager Geoff Hilditch could never have been serious about the department acquiring any. I believe this body design remained unique, as shortly afterwards the model was offered as a complete item with a more distinctive style. Hilditch later collaborated with Seddon in the introduction of the heavier duty rear-engined Pennine RU model, and the prototype of that soon appeared in Halifax on trial.

In the first photo it is seen passing along Waterhouse Street in the town centre. In the second, rather snatched and blurry shot, it is seen at speed on the A58 between Stump Cross and Hipperholme whilst operating the dreaded Meredith & Drew private hire return journey.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


25/08/13 – 11:32

Good to see this bus in reasonable condition. It later became Seddon’s own works bus, used to bring staff to the factory off Shaw Road in Oldham. In this role it replaced the earlier Seddon that ran as West Riding 738 (EHL 500). Both of these vehicles were clearly non-PSVs as shown by their deteriorating condition. RBU 502F I don’t believe ever got repainted and ended up with several plywood "windows". It was still there when I was in the late seventies.

David Beilby


25/08/13 – 14:53

How right you are, John. I consider the Pennine IV to have been the most horrible vehicle of my experience, though the Cummins engined Leyland Lynx runs very close in second place. It was basically a crude, fragile, lorry derived design with primitive suspension and decidedly wayward steering characteristics. The ear splitting din from the Perkins 6.354 engine mounted in the front overhang made the Regent V sound like a trolleybus by comparison. I cannot believe that, having inspected this Emett inspired aberration, Geoff Hilditch even remotely considered it suitable for the taxing topography of the Halifax bus network. Robert Seddon had been very supportive towards GGH at an early stage of his engineering career, and it is fully understandable that he, GGH, would have wished to assist in the development of Seddon’s more determined incursion into the main bus manufacturing market. Though the Pennine IV sold reasonably well as a lightweight, medium duty coach, those who acquired the thing as an inexpensive bus soon found that it was not up to the job. Seddon then went on, with GGH’s encouragement, to produce the RU, and this, also, ultimately proved to be something of a broken reed. Only the heavier weight Pennine VII produced for the Scottish Bus Group showed that the firm could make a fully robust psv. I recall that my very first experience of a Seddon coach was in 1958, when, as an ATC cadet on summer camp at RAF Colerne, near Bath, I went on a chartered trip with the rest of the squadron to Wookey Hole. The vehicle that took us was a Seddon, probably the R6 powered Mark 11, as it had the engine mounted under a rather high floor of a front entrance coach body. My main recollection of the ride is the seemingly continual gearchanging (it had a two speed axle into the bargain) required of the torqueless, screaming engine that kept the driver fully employed throughout. I did take a picture of this machine with my Brownie 127, but the negative fell somewhere by the wayside during parental home removals when I worked elsewhere in the land. I wonder if anyone now can identify this beast or the operator.

Roger Cox


25/08/13 – 19:52

RBU 902F_3

Here is a photo of RBU 502F, which I photographed in Fred Winters scrapyard at North Cave in East Yorkshire, taken in 1982, still carries Seddon names on the side, but none standard windows.

Mike Davies


26/08/13 – 17:12

It is interesting to note that the front wheels in particular are inboard of the body sides by quite a margin. With the weight of the engine in the front overhang, a relatively narrow track and presumably 8ft wide bodywork, does anyone know what it handled like?

Brendan Smith


27/08/13 – 05:39

Yes, Brendan. The Pennine IV handled like a pig. I drove one from Gomshall in Surrey to Loughborough, and the steering needed constant correction to keep the thing in a straight line, not helped by the bouncy suspension which could barely cope with the weight of the overhung engine. It had the worst road behaviour of any vehicle I have ever driven.

Roger Cox


27/08/13 – 05:40

Didn’t KMB take 100 Pennine IVs with pretty-much off-the-peg Pennine bodywork around 1970? I think the only concession to Hong Kong conditions were full-depth sliding windows, whilst drivers sweltered behind BET windscreens, and the Perkins (V6?) engines sweltered behind grilles designed for temperate climates . . . I think nearly all were rebuilt with in-house fronts incorporating flat/opening windscreens and larger radiator grilles within a few years.
Halifax JOC’s [sic] Pennine RUs had a high/flat floor (they were kitted-out as DPs): did they have a high chassis frame or did Plaxton support the body floor in some way? and did any other RU operator opt for this high floor line? They also had narrow two-piece glider doors – in short, non of the advantages offered by the RU, but all the engineering problems . . . surely, Halifax’s usual Leopard/Reliance chassis choice would have done the job better. What struck me when they were introduced – and I was 5/6 at the time, so memory might be fading a bit here – was the way the lower back panels stepped out and that they didn’t have "modern" rear lights but the "old" two-piece/oblong units sort-of set into the rear panel . . . is anybody getting the gist here? I’m wondering now, I think they’d be 10 metre, so the step-out couldn’t have compromised length, but was it necessary to inset the rear lights into the body to accommodate the length of the rear overhang? (presumably the RU, squeezing everything behind the rear axle, had a longish overhang?). I think they may also have had coach-glasses below the rear window containing the registration and, either side, the Halifax coat of arms . . . I’m sure that’s the case, because it stuck in my young mind as being "inappropriate" for a bus (as opposed to a coach).
I guess that if I could be bothered to trawl flickr etc then the answers might be there, but I can’t, and anyway its much more interesting to see what this site might come up with . . . or not!

Philip Rushworth


27/08/13 – 11:40

There is a photo of mine posted on ‘another website’ showing a rear view of one of the Halifax RU’s – complete with the stepped out panel. Here’s the link.

John Stringer


28/08/13 – 06:07

I didn’t move to Huddersfield until 1972 but I can’t recall the three Halifax Seddons having this unusual rear end arrangement at that time. At the time of the PTE takeover (yes, 1974 and outside the strict remit of this site), Huddersfield had two further Seddon RUs on order to be bodied by Pennine. We were instructed by Geoffrey Hilditch as PTE Engineering Director Designate to transfer the body order to Plaxtons who produced bodies similar to those recently delivered to Rotherham Corporation also on RU chassis. Whilst I can’t recall the floor layout, I am certain that those buses did not have the protruding rear panels as shown on Halifax 315. Could these have been to create a small luggage boot?? Engine access would have been restricted.

Ian Wild


28/08/13 – 06:09

Thanks for that, John – well, thanks for both sign-posting your photograph and for having the fore-sight to photograph the rear-end, anticipating my musings of 40+ years later. In my mind, the coach-glass just had the crests either side of the registration, but can I make out Halifax in Gothic script above the registration? (the glass is deeper than I remembered); neither do I remember the reversing lights, nor the removable centre panel, nor the squared-off-compared-to-BET-standard rear window – but I think my memories were pretty accurate . . . . now, if only my mother would have given-in to my entreaties to ‘ride on one of the "white buses" to Huddersfield’ I might be able to recall what the interiors were like. The final "Halifax Passenger Transport" timetable (pre-WYPTE) contained a "glossy" colour section illustrating/detailing Halifax buses over the years: one of the Seddons was illustrated, and the description included the phrase (or similar) " . . . the design is still regarded as experimental . . ." – sadly, by 1974, I think the experiment was largely over as regards the Pennine RU drive-train.

Provincial took quite a number of Pennine IVs to replace its re-built Guy Arabs. Anyway, when I was trawling on-line to satisfy my curiosity as to how many, I discovered that the model had been offered with 3 choices of engine: Perkins V8 (eg., KMB); Perkins in-line 6 (eg., Provincial); and Deutz 6-cylinder (a sop to win the Provincial order?) – were any Pennine IVs actually built with the Deutz option?

Philip Rushworth


28/08/13 – 15:07

The reign of the Deutz engine at the Gosport and Fareham (aka Provincial) company came to an end with the retirement of Mr H Orme White in 1967 at the age of 81. His successor, Mr Woolford, looked to get rid of the elderly AEC and Guy crew operated buses, several of which had been rebuilt with Deutz air cooled engines, and introduce a replacement fleet of one person operated single deckers. The Seddon Pennine IV/Perkins 6.354 was chosen, presumably because it was relatively cheap, and no doubt, it was felt that Seddon machinery would be more durable than the offerings from Bedford (history would prove otherwise). When these vehicles were delivered, the Deutz era at Hoeford was well past, so it is unlikely that a Deutz engined option for the Pennine IV would have enticed the then management of Gosport and Fareham. In the event, the G&F undertaking was swallowed up by the Wiles Group in 1969, and, thanks to Nigel Turner’s researches (see his comment on the ‘Gosport and Fareham (Provincial)’ gallery on this site) we now know that the Wiles (later the Swain) Group was one of the identities of the asset stripping Hanson Trust. Less than a year later, on 1st January 1970, G&F was sold to NBC. The possibility of a Pennine IV being offered with a Deutz air cooled engine utterly beggars belief. The racket given out by these engines became legendary. The Perkins engined version was deafening enough. A Deutz engined version would have required the entire passenger complement to wear industrial ear protection.

Roger Cox


29/08/13 – 06:36

Mention of the Deutz engine being fitted to Seddons rang a distant bell from the time years ago when I used to read the weekly ‘Motor Transport’ newspaper and took a bit more of an interest in trucks than I do these days. I recall a variant of the 13:4 truck chassis (to which the Pennine IV was probably related) which was sold under the Seddon-Deutz identity and was clearly aimed at wooing overseas customers, so it seems likely that it could have been offered in the Pennine IV also. I have found a link to a website showing an item of literature about the truck version (though unfortunately it reveals little else) here: http://www.commercialmotor.com/big-lorry-blog/that-maggie-was-a-seddonanothe

John Stringer


29/08/13 – 06:37

Roger, I just want to be clear about this – you don’t think that a Deutz-engined Pennine IV would have been the most refined vehicle on the market? In one of the wonderful ways of this site, I hadn’t realised that the Wiles Group was the acorn from which Hanson Trust grew. At its peak Hanson Trust included Courage Brewery, Golden Wonder snacks, hotels, and much more, on both sides of the Atlantic – but they over-reached themselves with a bid for ICI in which some shady business practices were exposed, and I now understand that they’ve contracted to be a largely UK-based supplier of brick/concrete/aggregate to the construction industry.
The Hanson family’s bus/coach operations, petrol stations, car/PSV driving school, travel agencies, and road haulage operations (principally based around Huddersfield) all remained family-owned businesses outwith the Hanson Trust. JET petroleum, one of the first discounted petrol retailers, was started by a consortium including the Hanson family but was disposed of when it had grown to a size where substantial investment in refining capability would have been required.
Anyway, back to the Pennine RU (if not the Pennine IV): according to Vol2 of Duncan Roberts’s history of Crosville (TPC/NBC) problems with the short drive shaft inherent in the RU’s design led to Crosville’s specimens being modified by having the engine set back by 8-10in to accommodate a slightly longer drive-shaft, which resulted in a slight bustle effect in the bodywork . . . could this have been a late modification to Halifax’s RU’s pre-delivery? something that was incorporated into the overall body-work design/dimensions in the later vehicles to which Ian refers?

Philip Rushworth


29/08/13 – 19:15

Crosville had the largest fleet of Pennine RUs at 100 some of which were dual purpose Crosville did not go back and quickly disposed of the ones they owned The next largest fleet was the 49 owned by Lancs United These had Plaxton bodywork with a very old fashioned front with a two piece separate wind screen Prior to this LUT had bought both REs and LHs so the choice was somewhat surprising At the time the RU was seen as a version of the RE which would replace the expected model cull by Leyland to make room for the National which was just off the drawing board

Chris Hough

29/08/13 – 19:16

Philip, I suspect that any operator that bought a Deutz engined Pennine IV would have gone bankrupt within a week; nobody would have ventured to take a second trip on such a raucous machine. Seddon did offer a version of the Pennine IV with the engine, a turbocharged Perkins 6.354, set lower at the front beneath a high floor level, and called it the Pennine 6 (reverting to Arabic numerals), but I believe that few were sold in the UK. A picture of a Willowbrook bodied example may be seen here:- www.flickr.com/
It is noteworthy that a more substantial/wider track front axle seems to have been fitted to this model. The Wikipedia entry for the RU confirms that the Crosville examples were modified as you describe. I think that they just about managed to get a ten year life out of them. It is surprising that, given Seddon’s decidedly chequered history as psv manufacturers, the Scottish Bus Group entrusted the firm with the design and manufacture of a Gardner engined "Leopard clone". In the event, the Pennine 7 proved to be a robust and reliable model. Turning to the subject of Hanson, my initial encounter with this name came when, as a Traffic Clerk at Halifax in the mid ‘sixties, I came across it as a bus operator and haulage contractor in Huddersfield. Much later, in 1984, Hanson bought out the old London Brick Company, famous for its fleet of red AEC lorries, for a song when the share value fell below its asset value (notably the land). Now the vast acreage of former brick clay workings between Yaxley and Peterborough is the location of a horrible, high density, new town development named ‘Hampton’ (whoever dreamed up that name should get out a bit more.) Brick making remains only on a very reduced scale at Kings Dyke near Whittlesey.

Roger Cox


01/09/13 – 14:08

Roger, giving some thought to things, just how much of a Seddon product was the Pennine VII? When did the first Pennine VIIs enter service – 1973/4? Seddon had acquired Atkinson in 1970 . . . and presumably the designs to the Atkinson Alpha. SBG wanted an underfloor saloon with manual gearbox following withdrawal of the Leopard PSU3/3R in 1970/71 – Seddon wouldn’t have been required to design de novo, just polish-up (eg. get rid of the vacuum brakes) the old Alpha design (last built 1962/3 for Sunderland). Does anybody out there know just how much – if anything, I stand to be corrected – the Seddon Pennine VII owes to the Atkinson Alpha? Did any of this factor in SBG’s thinking? . . .
Again an aside, generated by trawls initiated by this site: I hadn’t known that, until Atkinson’s takeover by Seddon in 1970, Leyland had held 15% of the shares – presumably since the time of Atkinson’s reconstitution in 1933.

Philip Rushworth


02/09/13 – 08:00

Philip, thanks for that idea about the Atkinson pedigree of the Pennine 7. I am sure that you are correct, though the thought had not struck me before. Seddon had never built a traditional heavy duty psv chassis, nor one with a horizontal underfloor engine, yet the Pennine 7 went into service quickly, had no teething troubles of significance, and gave years of reliable service, a situation utterly at variance with the history of unpredictable psvs of genuine Oldham origin. The service record of the Pennine 7 has more in keeping with the Atkinson legacy of rugged dependability than the Seddon saga of underwhelming engineering design. Certainly, the Atkinson board fought strongly against the hostile takeover bid by Seddon in 1970, sadly to no avail. Earlier attempts to take over Atkinson by ERF and Foden were successfully resisted. Some sources quote the Leyland shareholding figure in Atkinson as 20%, and it was Leyland’s acceptance of the Seddon offer that allowed the splendid Preston firm to fall into the dubiously capable clutches of the Oldham upstart. This page makes interesting reading:- web.warwick.ac.uk/services/ The malign influence of the Stokes era at Leyland spread far and wide. Perhaps Leyland detected the underlying weaknesses at Seddon, took the money, and anticipated an early demise of its enlarged, over ambitious, Oldham competitor. As it turned out, the independent Seddon-Atkinson company lasted only a further four years before selling out to International Harvester of the USA in 1974.

Roger Cox


02/09/13 – 08:00

Your thoughts regarding Atkinson’s possible input into the Seddon Pennine VII design are fascinating Philip, and maybe the Atkinson Alpha just could have been updated by Seddon-Atkinson, you never know. After all, Leyland Leopard and AEC Reliance chassis evolved steadily throughout their long production lives, with various modifications to engines, brakes, gearboxes, axles etc, as vehicle lengths (and weights) increased over time. Your aside re Leyland’s 15% shareholding in Atkinson reminded me that Gardner had a small shareholding in ERF for many years. Also, following the Foden brothers split in the early ‘thirties, Gardner supported Edwin Richard Foden when he founded ERF in 1933, by supplying engines to him on credit terms. This was not offered to other Gardner customers at the time, but Gardner presumably realised the potential of ERF’s strong commitment to the development of Diesel-engined lorries. The link up was to prove beneficial to both parties for many years.

Brendan Smith


03/09/13 – 09:00

I believe that the Pennine 7 was purely a Seddon product. I worked there at the later stages of its production and they were all built at Oldham, whereas the Gardner-engined 400-series lorries were always built at Preston (then, at least). I even designed a spring packer for the Pennine 7 to help balance one batch which were proving troublesome – I can’t remember with certainty which but it may have been the Plaxton-bodied version.
Apart from the fact that they were underfloor-engined chassis with a Gardner engine, there was little in common between the Alpha and the Pennine 7. The frame was completely different on the Pennine as it was cranked to accommodate the wide 6HLXB engine. Alphas had either Atkinson’s own gearbox, a weird and wonderful contraption but very compact, or a David Brown box. The Pennine 7 had a ZF box. Late versions of both had semi-automatic boxes which I think were self-changing gears.
I think, but can’t confirm, that the front axle was a Seddon-designed one on the Pennine, with an Eaton rear axle. The Alpha had Kirkstall axles.

David Beilby


03/09/13 – 16:30

David, thanks for that detailed response – my curiosity is satisfied!

Philip Rushworth


RBU 902F_2 Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


02/07/14 – 06:33

While it may at first seem strange that the SBG ‘entrusted’ Seddon with the task of producing an underfloor engined single decker to their requirements, one has to remember that they probably didn’t have a lot of choice at that time. Leyland clearly weren’t interested, while the other established British manufacturers didn’t have a ready made heavy duty UFE chassis – I’m thinking Bedford and Ford there, neither of whom (I guess) would have wanted to build something with a Gardner engine. Other than that, they would have had to go to a foreign, or foreign-owned, manufacturer – or there was Seddon. I don’t think there would have been anyone else at that time. I suppose one other possibility might have been ERF, who did build buses, but not for the British market.
The SBG had already become involved with one foreign-owned manufacturer in such a project (the Ailsa), and probably didn’t want to be seen buying too much foreign produce at that time – SBG was, after all, a state-owned body. Volvo wouldn’t have built a version of the B58 with a Gardner, or Leyland, engine, although that chassis might, at first sight, seem to have met SBG’s requirements. A few years later, Dennis were actively looking for opportunities in the UK bus market, but there didn’t seem to be any sign of that in the early 1970s.

Nigel Frampton


 

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Lancaster Corporation – Seddon RU – TBU 598G – 598

Lancaster Corporation - Seddon RU - TBU 598G - 598
Copyright Pete Davies

Lancaster Corporation
1969
Seddon RU
Pennine B??F

Much has been written, on this website and elsewhere, about the Seddon Pennine. Most of such text is not complimentary. Southampton City Transport had several, with bids for their Gardner engines being far higher than bids for the complete vehicle when they were withdrawn.
TBU 598G was the demonstrator, which Lancaster acquired via Midland Red after that operator had taken over Green Bus of Rugeley. The wife of one of my office colleagues could not get out of her mind the thought that Rugelli [as she pronounced it] was in Wales so, whenever they went from Winchester to York, she would ask "Why are we going via Wales?" I digress!
It is clear that 598, to give her the Lancaster nomenclature, is in no condition for service in this view inside Heysham Road garage on 20 May 1975. Note the missing door for the engine compartment, and the cleaner’s broom, which is having a rest.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

———

28/10/12 – 10:14

Perhaps the broom was propping the body up!
I had a ride from Huddersfield to Stocksmoor on it (the bus, not the broom) when it was on demonstration to Huddersfield Corporation.

Eric Bawden

———

28/10/12 – 11:40

An apropriate time of the year to be talking about the broom.

Ken Jones

———

28/10/12 – 11:41

Glad you clarified the means of transport Eric, given the time of year!!! As far as the RU goes, I had a connection with these as I sold some internal panelling to Seddon Pennine for the Crosville order which meant a good deal of shuttling between Crane Wharf Chester and Oldham. I worked for Huntley Boorne and Stevens of Reading and they, apart from making tin boxes for Huntley and Palmers – of which they were an offshoot, had a product range of decorative PVC finishes laminated to a variety of metals. Most ECW bodies from around 1967 had some interior panels in this material (as was the "wood" finish to the glove box on some Mk 3 Ford Cortinas and the "wood" embellishment on the side of the Mini Countryman) and Crosville wanted certain interior panels on their RUs to match as the material was easy to clean and impervious to tobacco.

There were great expectations for the RU. Those with Seddon Pennine (or to be exact Pennine Coachcraft) bodies fared worse than those from other bodybuilders though mechanical problems far outweighed those of the bodywork.

Phil Blinkhorn

———

28/10/12 – 17:05

Indeed, Ken. My mother in law still rides hers, at 92!

Pete Davies

———

29/10/12 – 07:14

What!!??
Pete, are you saying your 92 year old mother in law still has a 1969 Seddon Pennine RU?

Eric Bawden

———

29/10/12 – 11:03

No, Eric! Just a broom.

Pete Davies

———

29/10/12 – 11:03

Seddon seemed to drop the ‘Pennine Coachcraft’ name sometime in the late ’60s/early ’70s. Morecambe & Heysham AEC Swifts 1-7 (new in 1967) arrived with ‘Pennine Coachcraft’ bodies, but the bodies on Seddon RUs 11-6 (new c1972/3) were known as simply ‘Seddon’, as were those on similar-vintage Lancaster Leopards 116-21.

David Call

———

The history of Pennine Coachcraft is, as far as I can make out from published information and my own records, as follows:
Seddon was producing its own cabs and later bodies for trucks and vans from the 1940s and throughout the 1950s.
It started to build bus bodies in penny numbers in the late 1940s and this grew during the 1950s, most going for export.
Pennine Coachcraft was registered as a company in 1960 and, for accounting and management purposes, was treated as a separate company in the group, though sharing Seddon’s truck and bus chassis site, building commercial vehicle cabs and bodies and bus/coach bodies.
From 1966 Seddon simplified its type names. Bus/coach production was based on chassis known as Seddon Pennines of various marques, of which the RU was just one. So a Seddon Pennine RU bodied by Pennine Coachcraft would be a Seddon Pennine RU/Pennine whilst one bodied by Plaxton would be a Seddon Pennine RU/Plaxton. Other chassis were bodied, for instance, an AEC Swift would become an AEC/Pennine.
When the RU was launched it was originally marketed as the Seddon Pennine RU/Pennine and certainly the Crosville order was couched in those terms but as orders came in for the type and other bodybuilders were specified, Seddon decided that the Pennine name would be linked only to the bus and coach chassis so sometime in the period 1970-1972 the Pennine Coachcraft badging was replaced by Seddon though the legal entity was maintained and Huntley Boorne and Stevens were still invoicing Pennine Coachcraft when I left in June 1971.

Phil Blinkhorn

———

31/10/12 – 14:47

The Seddon Pennine RU was a grave disappointment to a bus operating industry utterly fed up with the take it or leave it attitude of the Stokes era British Leyland. Operators hoped that the RU would become a real challenger to the dubious Panther/Swift offerings, and become a vehicle comparable with the superb Bristol RE, which Leyland was determined to kill off to enhance the market prospects of the National. Unfortunately, the RU had serious design deficiencies, particularly the exceedingly short prop shaft between the gearbox output and the rear axle, which led to regular failures. Unlike all its other contemporary competitors, the RE took the drive forward to the gearbox set ahead of the rear axle, and then back again to the differential. Actually, this principle had been pioneered some years earlier by a tiny firm in New Addington, Croydon, called Motor Traction, which produced the Rutland Clipper in the mid 1950s. This had a Perkins R6 mounted vertically in line at the rear, and the drive was taken forward to an amidships mounted transfer gearbox that drove the prop shaft back to the rear axle. Only two were made, both with Whitson bodies, but, lacking a camera back in the days of my long gone impoverished youth (the youth is long gone, not the impoverishment), I have no pictures, though I remember seeing one about the Croydon area quite regularly at the time. There is currently a picture of the Clipper at this site:- www.ebay.co.uk/  but it may not be around for much longer.

Roger Cox

———

31/10/12 – 17:38

The "take it or leave it" attitude Roger mentions led to the demise of Leyland’s trucks as well as their buses. Hauliers noticed that certain European manufacturers were producing lorry cabs with sleeping accommodation, but the BL attitude was that "British truck drivers don’t sleep in their cabs" and didn’t respond. My brother in law is a retired long-distance truck driver. Guess what makes he would normally be expected to drive, and sleep aboard, from about the mid 1970s . . . They weren’t UK-built!

Pete Davies

———

01/11/12 – 07:05

Rutland Clipper_lr

I have endeavoured to copy the Rutland Clipper advert, and I attach it here. It isn’t very good, but it is possibly better than nothing. Pictures of this very rare machine are equally rare.

Roger Cox

———

01/11/12 – 10:03

It looks as if the photo was taken at Northolt airfield. Whilst London Airport (Heathrow) was active at the time of the photo Northolt was the "home" of the BEA Viking and one is in the background. BEA eventually closed its Northolt base in 1954

Phil Blinkhorn

———

01/11/12 – 11:29

I assume, Phil, that this was unrelated to RAF Northolt, or did they share or the RAF take over later?

Chris Hebbron

———

01/11/12 – 16:50

I believe Northolt is still a joint civil and RAF field.

David Oldfield

———

01/11/12 – 16:50

When London Airport (Heathrow) opened in May 1946 it was just a collection of runways, prefabs and tents. BOAC and other airlines moved in.
BEA was formed out of BOAC in January 1946 and was initially based at Croydon. With there being little room at the new London Airport and Croydon being seen as too restricted for expansion, the airline moved its base to Northolt in March 1946.
In 1950 BEA operated the world’s first turboprop service with one of the Viscount prototypes from Northolt to Paris Le Bourget.
Alitalia, Aer Lingus, SAS and Swissair all used Northolt before moving to Heathrow.
In 1952 Northolt was the busiest airport in Europe with over 50,000 movements
In April 1950 BEA operated its first service from what is now Heathrow and over the next four years gradually transferred its services there, the last routes at Northolt being domestic flights with DC3s and Vikings. The last BEA flight out of Northolt was a DC3 in October 1954.
Northolt was opened in May 1915 and the RFC/RAF has operated from there ever since, making it the RAF station with the longest continuous use. It was a fighter base in WW2 and fighters appeared again in 2012 as part of the exclusion patrol arrangements for the Olympics.
Currently the airfield houses RAF communications aircraft and helicopters as well as a range of admin sections. It also has civilian traffic again as a number of business flights operate to/from there.

Phil Blinkhorn

———

02/11/12 – 07:26

Thx, Phil – very interesting.

Chris Hebbron

———

TBU 985G_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

———

26/11/12 – 08:34

In 1975, when the photo was taken the undertaking’s title was "Lancaster City Council Transport Department. The change took place after the Lancaster and Morecambe & Heysham fleets amalgamated in 1974.

Jim Davies

———

11/12/12 – 11:38

TBU 598G_02

Here’s a view of the bus while it was still a demonstrator for Seddon, at the Rugeley premises of Green Bus on 20 December 1970. Alongside it is one of the operator’s pair of Seddon Pennine 4 buses (20, YRF 136H) bought the previous year.

Alan Murray-Rust


 

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Oldham Corporation – Seddon MK17 L – 203 FBU

Oldham Corporation - Seddon MK17 L - 203 FBU
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Oldham Corporation
1963
Seddon MK17L
Seddon B36F

Another shot from the ‘Do You Know’ page and it appears this is not strictly a PSV, but as Peter Williamson, Stephen Howarth and Les Ronan made the effort to solve the mystery I think it only fair that their information is posted in the usual way.
The above vehicle was actually operated by the Oldham Education Committee and not the Transport Department. It had a two tone Green livery instead of the usual Crimson and Cream of the Passenger Transport Department but it was garaged in their Bus Depot in Wallshaw Street. It was used mainly to transport children to and from school but during the day it would take children to the local swimming baths for swimming lessons. The vehicle was sold by Oldham Corporation in 1972 and appeared in quite a few dealers before being scrapped in 1981 I suppose if it was not classed as a PSV then there would not be many buyers for it. On a personal note I was in the fortunate position of being transported to and from the swimming baths on a Maudslay half cab coach owned by Glenways of Ripponden, I can see that big ‘M’ on the radiator now, no photos I am afraid and I doubt if anyone has, but you never know!!!
(You know where I am if you have)


21/02/12 – 08:06

Oldham Corporation - Seddon MK17 L - 203 FBU

I thought you may like to see a front near side view of 203 FBU school bus.

Stephen Howarth


21/02/12 – 16:37

Was the bodywork unique? I don’t recall seeing another like it.

Chris Hebbron


10/01/13 – 09:32

Hi I am now resident in South Africa, Pennine was a brilliant place to work, after serving my coach building apprenticeship of 5 years at Star Bodies, Pennine was the first company to pay one pound an hour in the area so we all flocked to Pennine to work, anyway just a bit of info.

Eric Chapman


14/01/13 – 13:27

Great photo of 203 FBU. I belonged to the Buckley Wells enthusiast group and later the Crossley Omnibus Society led by Stan Fitton and we had Oldham 368 kept in the Wallshaw St depot, often as not next to 203 FBU which I always remember, but being young, didn’t record any info on it, like chassis number. If anybody has it, could you post a reply please. 203 FBU was often out during the day with school parties and I remember being taken for a run around Glodwick in it by a mechanic checking that some work had been done properly. I’ve lived in Australia for over 40 years but remember this bus with its beautiful livery. No, I haven’t seen any Seddons around the world with this style of body. A few Seddons did come to Australia and a lot of Seddon Pennine 4’s went to Fiji and Malaysia but not with Seddon bodies. There are still some in service in Fiji, greatly modified, most with Leyland engines from Albion Vikings, but Seddons underneath.
Of course didn’t dare attempt a photograph of 203 FBU in the depth of Oldham’s depot, that was left for professional to do with good cameras, not my crappy Bencini. So thanks to Stephen Howarth for the photos.

Ian Lynas


28/02/13 – 17:14

Some Oldham buses had a distinctive "exhaust" roar 437/443/452/460 plus various M.C.T.D 3555/3557 etc, was this something to do with "Leyland Motors" as it was supplied or down to corporations experiments on power/economy measures. I lived on the "59" route at Mills Hill going up to Oldham it was a hard slog [especially on a Crossley!] regular boiling/steaming engines, often to include 433/440 /437/455.

David Bell


01/03/13 – 05:51

Stockport’s PD2/30 333-342 of 1958 all had a similar "bark" whilst the 1960 deliveries if the same chassis (343-352) didn’t.

Phil Blinkhorn


11/09/13 – 08:30

In the early 1970’s my interest in buses and coaches was started by riding daily on one of two Pennine IV vehicles with Plaxton Panorama Elite II bodies owned by Knightswood of Watford. One of the pair was on show for Plaxtons at the commercial motor show prior to delivery. Those Perkins engine coaches were fine vehicles in my recollection although I was only a kid at the time. Later they bought another Pennine IV with a Perkins V8 engine and Van Hool Vistadome coachwork. It was a noisy beast even though the floor was almost flat. These days they would require industrial ear defenders. After a couple of years the whine of the rear axle was excessive and resonated with the roar of the V8 as it wound it’s way home along the B462…

Julian


23/05/14 – 13:07

This unusual Seddon ran for the "230th Johnson-Hewlett Manchester Boy Scout Group" with a large roof rack, still in two-tone green.
This group also owned ex Western National Bristol L5G 1743 (RTT 953) in 1976.
They appear to have deregistered as a charity in 2009.

Dave Farrier


30/09/14 – 18:30

I remember the chassis being tested at the Shaw Road works and when Chief Engineer RW told the driver to go, it did a wheelie down the shop. The test driver wasn’t too pleased, neither was RW but it didn’t stop them producing. This would explain the wooly steering.

Trevor Gough


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Thursday 23rd October 2014