Rochdale Regent Vs

Rochdale Regent Vs

Lancashire in the fifties and sixties. All that variety! Well, that is perhaps what most enthusiasts will think, but as one who was there at the time, I can tell you that it was merely a variety of Leyland Titans. Of the 27 pre-1968 municipal bus fleets in Lancashire, all but one operated PD-series Titans, over half of the fleets being completely dominated by the model.
The one exception was Rochdale Corporation, whose post war double-deck intake consisted of 110 AEC's and 52 Daimlers. Coincidentally, the AEC's were equally divided between the Regent Mark III and Mark V models. This article is about the latter, which were definitely not typical examples of the Regent V.

More than half of the eventual total were contained in the first batch. 268 - 297 (NDK 968 - 997) were delivered in the spring of 1956. This was the largest single batch of buses ever bought by Rochdale Corporation; they were model D2RA6G, a variant unique to Rochdale. The 6G at the end denoted that they were fitted with Gardener 6LW engines, an option which was available for a short while in the mid-fifties. The engine wasn't the only unusual feature, as this batch were also fitted with air operated preselector gearboxes of the type which had been fitted to the Regent III. This unit was by now nominally obscelete. Coincidentally, the only other operators of Gardener engined Regent V's, Glasgow and Aberdeen, also used preselector gearboxes, although not the same unit.
The next batch, 298 - 307 (ODK 698-707) were delivered in December 1956. These were also type D2RA6G, but this batch had the semi-automatic gearbox (AEC called it " Monocontrol") which had superseded the preselector gearbox on the Regent V model. Thus it can be seen that Rochdale Corporation was one of the first operators to specify semi-automatic gearboxes as a matter of policy, rather than experiment.
308 - 318 (RDK 408 - 418) were delivered in the autumn of 1957, and these introduced the D2RA model. This version had the AEC AV590 engine, coupled with the semi-automatic gearbox, although when new, 318 had a fully-automatic gearbox (automonocontrol.)
The final quartet came in the autumn of 1958. These were 319 - 322 (TDK 319 - 322) and were again model D2RA. These differed from the previous batch in having platform doors.
All of these 55 new vehicles had Weymann bodies (H33/28R or H33/28RD) of the elegant 4-bay design which was developed from the classic post-war Weymann design already familiar on the Regent III model. This design is sometimes referred to (incorrectly I believe) as the Aurora. The design was enhanced by Rochdale's magnificent royal blue and cream "streamlined" livery, complete with a lack of external advertising.
Naturally the delivery of 55 new buses (about a third of the fleet) resulted in these buses taking over most of Rochdale's busiest routes. The TDK batch, with their platform doors, were an obvious case of keeping up with the next-door neighbours. They took over Rochdale's share of service 21 to Bury via Heywood, operating jointly with Bury Corporation's Leyland Titan PD3's which had doors! The ODK's and RDK's were used on the other long, out of town routes such as the 9 (Ashton-Under-Lyne) and 16 (Bacup). In particular, the RDK batch took over Rochdale's share of the very busy joint service 17 to Manchester via Middleton. Surprisingly, these buses ruled the roost on the 17 for twelve years; apart from one peak hour working associated with the express service 8, 308 - 318 monopolised Rochdale's four workings on this route day in and day out! As I lived in Middleton I saw these buses every day, they really summed up the Rochdale fleet for me!
The first change to affect the Regent V's was the appearance of external advertising on Rochdale's buses, and for a while it seemed that every Rochdale bus I saw was telling me that People love Players.
In 1961, 277 (NDK 977) was repainted in an experimental livery of cream with a single royal blue band at upper-deck floor level. A couple of other buses (of different types) were repainted in a similar scheme, but with a lighter shade of blue, and this scheme was initially adopted by the Corporation; new AEC Reliances 16-20 (3116 - 20 DK) were delivered in this scheme. However, it was soon decided to adopt the scheme worn by 277. Once this had been decided, the Regent V's were, surprisingly, repainted in reverse numerical order, starting with 322 and working downwards.
In 1963, Rochdale's first batch of Daimler Fleetlines (323 - 327: 6323-7 DK) were delivered. Not surprisingly they entered service on the 21, on which Bury Corporation was already using Leyland Atlanteans! This obviously displaced the TDK batch, which no longer had a natural home; one was used most days on Rochdale's share of service 24 to Manchester via Chadderton, which was limited stop for part of its length. The others were often to be found on the Bacup route, and sometimes on the 19 to Bury via Jericho.
During the 1960's Rochdale bought a number of small batches of buses. By another coincidence, these consisted of 22 single-deckers, used for one man operation, and 22 double-deckers. The latter were all Daimler Fleetlines, and they displaced the Regent V's from some other busy routes.
At some point during the sixties, 307(ODK 707) had its Gardner engine replaced by a non-standard AEC engine which had, I believe, been removed from a withdrawn Regent III.
In 1969, Rochdale's buses were taken over by Selnec PTE. The first noticeable change was to the fleet numbers. I was surprised to find that the PTE's new system did not take account of the different types of bus, but rather their origin; all of the ex-Rochdale double-deckers had 5900 added to their fleet numbers, so that the Regents became 6168 - 6222. Eventually the Mark V's were repainted in Selnec's white and orange livery, 6204 - 6 and 6215 being among the first recipients.

The next change resulted from the renumbering of Selnec's routes into a common series, at the beginning of 1973. Rochdale's stage services were numbered in the series 440 - 471, with special services (schools, works and hospital) from 876 to 894. Since Rochdale's buses had single-track service number blinds, new blinds were fitted to these buses. Unfortunately the new blinds were smaller than the Corporation blinds they replaced, and the glass screens were masked down along the top and one side, giving a very unfortunate appearance. At the same time, Selnec replaced the destination blinds with new blinds which again were smaller than the old blinds, and again a lop sided look was adopted.

In the period 1970 - 1972 I spent many a Saturday afternoon riding on Rochdale's Regents and Reliances. As with several other Pennine towns, Rochdale had several routes which took on a fairly rural outlook towards their outer ends. I developed several favourites, in particular 6168,6184 and 6202, which had superb Gardner engine sounds, coupled with the melodic contralto voice of the epicyclic gearboxes. Rochdale's Regent V's did not have that two-tone whine so typical of Regent V's with the usual manual gearbox.
The first withdrawals of the type were of 6194 and 6199 early in 1973. 6187 became a driver training vehicle at this time. Regent V's continued to be taken out of service in ones and twos, but it wasn't until 1975 that withdrawals started in earnest, by which time many of the fleet had served for nineteen years.
One day in early 1975, I was amazed to see one of Rochdale's Regent V's working from Oldham Depot. At least four examples, 6178, 6184,6204 and 6216 were transferred to Oldham as a stop gap measure. Two months later, "Buses" reported that the first two of these, together with 6206, were working from the former Manchester Corporation Depot at Hyde Road. However, these vehicles were soon withdrawn, along with many of their sisters in Rochdale. One example, 6181 ended its career in spectacular manner by hitting the low bridge near Rochdale Station.
In 1975 my employers suffered financial difficulty and this, to cut a long story short, resulted in me joining the staff of what was now Greater Manchester Transport's Rochdale Depot as a conductor. By this time there were only twenty Regent V's in service at Rochdale, and one of these, my old favourite 6168, was withdrawn during my first week, before I had a chance to work on it.
Rochdale did not have the usual system of some buses working all day, and others just in the peak hours. In Rochdale in the mid-seventies, buses which had stayed in service during the daytime off-peak returned to the depot after the evening peak, and buses which had worked the morning and afternoon peak hours stayed out in the evenings. This resulted in older buses (i.e. Regent V's) working until late at night.
On Saturdays there were no peak hours in the same way. One particularly interesting result of this was on service 24 to Manchester via Chadderton; if one Fleetline had stayed on the service for the full nine round trips on Saturday, it would have run out of fuel. Accordingly, at 1800 hours this bus changed places with a Regent which had spent the day on the very short service 442 to Spotland. Thus, the 24 was operated by Fleetlines all week except for the last three trips on Saturday evening which were operated by a Regent V! Not surprisingly, most of the crews hated this arrangement, but I couldn't wait for my turn!
By now the RDK batch had lost its monopoly of service 17 workings, and any type of bus could appear on the route. On Monday - Friday evenings, the 1730,1930 and 2130 departures from Rochdale were regularly operated by a Regent V. However the 1910 and 2110 journeys were normally worked by a Selnec/GMT standard Fleetline, and the other two Rochdale buses on the route were older Fleetlines. I never understood this, but it happened regularly during my time on the Rochdale buses.
While working on the buses is a dream come true for enthusiasts, it also had its frustrations; very often I would see Regents working the same duties day after day, but on the day I was on that duty it would often turn out to be a Fleetline!!
During my training period I conducted several Regents under supervision. Usually my instructor watched the platform while I collected the fares. On my first "solo" trip on a Regent V I was busy collecting fares when I suddenly realised that the bus was standing still; the driver was waiting at a stop for me to ring the bell! All of the Regent V's had strip bells, which certainly made life easier for the conductor, and on a nice day what could be better than watching the world go by from the open platform!
In Rochdale, unlike some other locations, drivers and conductors were paired off together permanently, and my mate hated the "back loaders" with a passion, especially the "pedal buses", ie the NDK batch with their preselector gearboxes. He would find any excuse to send a Regent into the garage with any minor defect, and on one or two occasions he lit a match and held it under a fuse, the result being a chance to ask for a changeover bus.
After five months I took the opportunity to change my mate, to work with a driver who was also an enthusiast. However, on the day I should have started to work with my new driver, I was called into the driving school. After a fortnight on en ex-Bolton PD2 (now in the Manchester museum of transport,) I passed the test. A few days later, as part of my "all types training", I had a spell, with an instructor, on 6196. Naturally this was a thrill, after all the anticipation, I was finally driving a preselector Regent. We drove along the Bacup route, then, to my surprise, we continued over the moors to Burnley. The journey back, with my fellow trainee at the wheel, was an anti-climax!
There was a few weeks' pause before I got a place on the drivers' rota, and during this period it was permitted for the driver and conductor to exchange places. The first time I drove a Regent on service 17, I got stuck behind a very slow moving van towing another van. Every time I got in front, the vans would overtake me at the next bus stop. On arrival at Rochdale, seven minutes late, a stern-faced inspector told me I would have to do better when I went driving full time.
By the time I was driving, there were only 12 Regent V's in service, including five of the NDK's. The preselector gearbox was a fascinating feature, I couldn't get enough. In the cab, the Regents sounded very different; the gearbox sound was inaudible, and you just had the sound of the engine; on the Gardner versions this was really music to my ears. There was one poor Regent V to me, 6180, which ironically is the sole member of the NDK batch to be preserved (as Rochdale 280). The problem was that when you took your foot off the accelerator, the engine continued to rev for a few seconds, which made it difficult to change gear without a jerk. On the other hand, 6172 was magnificent, light steering, perfect gearchange and a lively performance too.
I remember one late turn which started on the cross-town service 440 (Turf Hill - Syke.) On one occasion I had 6172 and thoroughly enjoyed myself. After the meal break, we had two trips to Manchester on service 24. The Fleetline on this service was faulty (honestly) and so I asked for a changeover for the 2200 departure. A fitter arrived from the garage with 6172, grinning from ear to ear at the thought of punishing me for requesting a changeover at that late hour. Needless to say I had a whale of a time on that final trip, although my conductor was not impressed!
Some drivers complained about heavy steering on the Regents, but this was certainly no worse than a fully loaded Fleetline. The survivors were gradually withdrawn, and all too soon 6198 was the last survivor; it was finally withdrawn in the spring of 1977, a mere 21 years old. Only three months later, I left Rochdale to take up my dream job, driving Crosville Bristols in North Wales.
Two examples of the breed survive in preservation, both restored to the original streamlined livery, despite having been in the mainly cream livery for most of their lives. Thus they can be seen again in their former glory, to remind us of the unique fleet of buses which served the town of Rochdale in years gone by.

Donald McKeown

06/12/13 - 11:55

Donald's very interesting piece raises memories and a number of comments. The first Regent Vs appeared on the #9 from Rochdale to Ashton a few short months before we moved from the bottom of Oldham Rd., Ashton to Stockport so I had little chance to ride on them when new. They looked very modern, imposing and extremely smart in Rochdale's blue and cream.
The #9 had been well served by Rochdale's Regent IIIs which were totally different in every visual and aural respect to the Oldham and Ashton Leylands and Crossleys which were the other regular offerings on the route, not to mention the Rochdale and Oldham Daimlers which were rarer performers and the Ashton Guys (some austerity in original form, some rebodied) which operated the short workings to Hathershaw. If there was a route in the North West to offer a variety beyond the Leyland PD dominance, this was it. Throw in the mix of body builders the chassis carried in 1956 - Leyland, Crossley, Weymann, Roe, MCW, East Lancs and Massey - and there was a good cross section of British bus manufacture on just one route.
AECs were not exactly rare with North West operators, just less common compared with the preponderance of Leylands - the purchase of which most Councils saw as supporting local industry. North Western (single deck), Mayne (double deck), Salford (double deck), Leigh (double deck), Bury (double deck), Chester (single deck), St Helens (single and double deck), Liverpool (double deck) and, of course, that other Rochdale operator, Yelloway.
Just what set Rochdale Council so firmly against Leyland post war I've never found out. Only 47 Leylands were ordered prewar and one was inherited from Yelloway with the Manchester route. Even prewar there was a preponderance of orders for Dennis and Crossley. Presumably most of the Regent Vs received Gardner engines for commonality with the Daimlers in the fleet and for the engine's undoubted power and reliability. Just why they couldn't persuade AEC to fit the engine to the last deliveries is an interesting question.
The Regent Vs gave great service and were distinctive enough (though less so with the spray painted livery) to be a significant part of the character of Rochdale for many years and help make the town different to its neighbours.

Phil Blinkhorn

06/12/13 - 11:56

Donald. Thanks for your fly on the wall experience of these beautiful vehicles but, two points of correction and clarification.
The D2RA (as well as all other AEC engined heavies) had the AEC A218 engine (carried over from the Regent III). The AV590 was a different, new, wet liner engine which was fitted after 1959 to the series 2 versions - ie 2D2RA, 2D3RA etc. [See Regent V, Stewart J Brown, Ian Allan).]
The body was correctly called the Aurora. [See The Weymann Story Part 2, John A Senior, Venture Publications.]

David Oldfield

06/12/13 - 11:57

Thank you Donald for a most fascinating article about one of the most glorious of the numerous captivating and colourful Lancashire municipal fleets. In what I promise will be only a brief digression from the Mark V I'll just say that my only working contact with Rochdale buses was when Samuel Ledgard bought five Mark 3s with east Lancashire bodies, GDK 401 - 405 (201 - 205). I drove them all, four only occasionally as they were at Leeds depot, but at Otley our GDK 401 which I took with joy whenever I could get my hands on it - majestic, comfortable, and very lively in a dignified way, and in a nice little touch Ledgard's had left the gold fleet numbers in both saloons.

Here is a picture of a very happy me with GDK 401 returning to Otley from one of the local estates, having just crossed the River Wharfe bridge - oh, to do the same again today !!

Chris Youhill

09/12/13 - 09:19

Many thanks to Donald for his account of the Rochdale Regent Vs, which were always my favourite way of getting into Manchester, as I lived just a couple of miles south of him until 1968. In terms of vehicle policy I think of Rochdale as an honorary Yorkshire operator, counterbalancing Todmorden which was an honorary Lancashire one!
Just a couple of small points. Firstly, although David is correct in saying that the A218 was the standard engine in the D2RA, information displayed with 322 at the South Yorkshire Transport Museum says it has an A208. Was there ever such an engine, or is this an error? Secondly, I'm less convinced than John Senior that this style of body was ever officially called Aurora. The odd thing is that by the time of the 1954 Commercial Motor Show there were quite a lot of them in service in various places, and yet MCW were still promoting the original 1952 Aurora, a completely different design of which only one was ever built.

Peter Williamson

09/12/13 - 11:49

The original 9.6 litre engine fitted to the Regent III was the A208. Apparently it was found that some so fitted were tending to overheat when driven hard due to coolant not reaching the rearmost cylinder, so an external pipe was fitted to feed coolant to the back of the cylinder head, and this variant became the A218, becoming standard from around 1949. (This information is from Alan Townsin's 'Best of British Buses - Postwar Regents')
By the time the Rochdale Mk. V's were built they would have been fitted with the A218, but it's possible that an older engine may have been fitted to the preserved one at some point.
There was also an A204 variant for the London RT, an A213 which I think had a different means of attaching the cylinder head and used mainly in goods chassis, and the A219 was a horizontal version of the A218 for the Regal IV.

John Stringer

09/12/13 - 11:53

A slight amendment to my previous comment. The very original AEC 9.6 litre engine was actually the A185 'pot cavity' unit as used in the prewar (okay, actually early wartime) LT RT.

John Stringer

10/12/13 - 06:41

I was once told by a non-enthusiast friend (who had lived in Heywood for most of his life) that Rochdale 'couldn't buy Leylands'. I took this to mean that there had been, at some stage, a terminal 'falling-out'. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

David Call

10/12/13 - 12:15

Whilst I know of instances of operators falling out with suppliers and the odd instance of suppliers refusing to supply (normally bad credit risk) operators, I know of no instance of Leyland Motors refusing to supply a municipal operator so any refusal is almost certain to be Rochdale's.

Phil Blinkhorn

11/12/13 - 06:35

It often happens that people hear things and repeat them out of context, so that a one-time problem can be portrayed as a permanent prohibition. Postwar Rochdale had, for double-deckers, a policy of buying vehicles with fluid transmission. Until I checked, I had assumed that, in common with many other operators, they did this to facilitate retraining of tram drivers, but since it appears that Rochdale's tramway system ceased in 1932 that cannot be the case. However, whatever the reason, it is a fact, and it means that for a while, Rochdale "couldn't buy Leylands", because Leylands came with only manual gearboxes.
Another possible explanation is a difference of opinion between the management and the Transport Committee. This was certainly true the other way round in Manchester, where the management "couldn't buy AECs" because the Transport Committee said so!

Peter Williamson

11/12/13 - 08:49

Like Peter W (comment 09/12/13 - 09:19), I was under the impression that the "Aurora" was a one off design. Devon General 679 (NTT 679) was an AEC Regent III built in 1952. According to the first edition of "British Bus Fleets 8" published in 1964, "This vehicle was exhibited at the 1952 commercial motor show and has a prototype body given the type name 'Aurora' which did not go into production."

Don McKeown

11/12/13 - 14:48

I had thought of mentioning Stuart Pilcher's desire to obtain AECs when I listed the North West AEC operators.
Whatever the reason for Rochdale's choice it made the Rochdale townscape distinctly different.

Phil Blinkhorn

11/12/13 - 14:49

The Aurora name was revived in 1957 for a forward entrance version of the Orion-style body, appearing as such on brochures and in adverts - I have a 1959 copy depicting a Halifax JOC PD3 which is described as an Auraora - but this name seemed to fizzle out after a couple of years or so.
The naming of MCW Group double deck products appears to be rather confusing, and I've never quite followed it. I have seen references to Orion-style bodies that were not actually called Orions, but I think Mk. IV's. Though the Orion was introduced in 1952 as a super lightweight body, not all of them were lightweights.
In my very first bus book - Ian Allan's 'ABC of Buses and Coaches' (1956)- there is an MCW official photo of my local operator Halifax JOC's Daimler CVG6 DCP 851. This is described as having a 'more substantial' version of the Orion body. The actual unladen weight of these was 7tons 2cwt 3qtrs, which I reckon was still quite light for a CVG6 with epicyclic gearbox (the contemporary Roe teak framed ones weighed 7.17.2). The super-lightweight Orion was popular at first, many of them weighing in at only 6 tons odd, but then it appears that operators realised they had taken weight saving a little too far, and by the late 1950's most seemed to be of the more substantial type.
MCW do not seem to me to have used the Orion name as much (if at all) from then on and I wonder if the name was intended only for the original lightweight version, and the Mk.IV was the eventually more common heavier one. Halifax's forward entrance PD2's of 1960-66 weighed around 8 tons, their 1959 PD3's were 8.9.0, the 1960 Regent V 30-footers were 8.7.0, and the 1963 PD3's were 8.6.0, so they had put a lot of weight on by then.
It also leads me to wonder what Mk's I, II & III had been, and since there went on to be four-bay versions and other variants whether there were other 'Mk.' numbers we don't know about. Does anyone have MCW brochures from the late 1950's and 1960's where they still use the Orion name, or is it a case of enthusiasts perpetuating the name wrongly until they believe they are right - rather like happened with the Leyland Farington ?

John Stringer

12/12/13 - 07:10

There were always two versions of the Orion body structure. What changed over the years is that the lightweight version varied in just how lightweight it was. Manchester tried both original super-lightweight and heavy versions in 1955-6, and then settled on a beefed-up lightweight from 1958. Salford, starting in 1962, only ever bought heavies.
Returning to Rochdale Regent Vs, I see that 280 is currently being advertised for sale. I am very surprised at this, as I always assumed it was owned by the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport rather than an individual.

Peter Williamson

12/12/13 - 12:22

Whilst Salford bought "heavy" Orions, they also bought far more forward entrance Auroras - if that name is correct. Just what was it about the construction of these - which were basically Orion lookalikes, that necessitated the extra thick upper deck pillars around the window over the door?

Phil Blinkhorn

13/12/13 - 07:13

Salford's forward entrance PD2s had an extra wide bay in the body structure to accommodate the doors. The upper deck window in this bay is standard width, and therefore requires extra thick pillars to make it fit.
Apologies for incorrect information about 280. It is in fact one of the ODKs that is for sale. Owing to a typo the number isn't given, and I assumed it was 280 because I didn't know any other Gardners had survived.

Peter Williamson

13/12/13 - 07:23

Just for clarification, as far as I know it's only 305 that's for sale, not 280. 305 has never been very active on the preservation scene and what is left of the paintwork is still orange.
Also this is my opportunity to thank Donald for an excellent article which not only covered a neglected fleet but dealt with aspects which in themselves are not well documented even for the better-known fleets.

David Beilby

13/12/13 - 16:51

To avoid digressing too much from the subject I'm going to post a new topic regarding the MCW Aurora - the forward entrance version on the Any Other Thing page.

Phil Blinkhorn

18/12/13 - 06:27

John Stringer made mention of Met-Cam bodies known as Mark IVs and wonders if there were any other mark numbers.
In 1958/9 Nottingham City Transport took delivery of 44 Leyland PD2/40s with MCCW bodies. The 1958 deliveries fleet numbers 2 to 33 (2 ATO to 33 ATO) had steel framed bodies of four bay construction with an additional short bay at the back of the lower deck. These buses were of 'Orion' style but had flush interiors (i.e. there was no inset around the window, this was to be found on the outside). These bodies were known as Mark Vs. The 1959 deliveries, fleet numbers 34 to 45 (34 ATO to 45 ATO), had alloy frames and again were of 'Orion' style and of four bay construction, with the additional small bay on the lower deck and flush interiors as the 1958 deliveries. These bodies were known as Mark IVs.

Michael Elliott

02/01/14 - 17:54

This photo of Nottingham 27 shows very well the inset windows that Michael refers to, except at the front of the upper deck, where the windows are part of the frameless dome structure. However, the same does not seem to be true at the rear.

Peter Williamson

31/01/14 - 09:00

It's interesting that Peter says that Rochdale's aversion to Leylands could be due to the lack of a fluid transmission variant - because Leyland could be persuaded to provide fluid transmission if the operator was important enough. London Transport being the obvious example, but there was the less well-known batch of pre-selector PD2s supplied to Leeds in the early 50s, possibly in an attempt to remain a third alternative to AEC and Daimler. It must have worked because from then on Leeds purchased a sizable fleet of semi-auto PD3s. Possibly Rochdale was seen as less important - it would be interesting to see if the tenders specified fluid transmission and whether Leyland submitted bids. There was an article in "Buses Extra" several years ago on my local operator, Stockport Corporation and the fact that so many tenders were received from different suppliers - had Stockport not been so wedded to the PD2/PD3 one can only conjecture what might have been.

Michael Keeley

01/02/14 - 17:47

Very informative article and comments; as a schoolboy in the late 50s and early 60s. I travelled to school from Heywood to Manchester via Manchester's routes 4 or 63. I understand that route 4, Manchester Cannon Street to Bamford was technically a joint service between Manchester and Rochdale corporations but Rochdale never operated their vehicles on this route, does anyone know why? (How I would have enjoyed travelling on one of those immaculately turned out Regent Vs; especially in the original livery.)

John Davies

02/02/14 - 06:48

The #4 to Norden was a vestige of the original 1928 #1 express service from Gatley to Norden. A joint Rochdale/Manchester operation this may have been in name only as I have never seen any photographic evidence of a Rochdale vehicle at Gatley. After WW2 the route was definitely only operated by MCTD, probably as part of a balancing arrangement with Rochdale regarding input into routes 4, 8 and 17

Phil Blinkhorn

02/02/14 - 11:31

It is correct that MCTD service #4 was a joint service with Rochdale from the outset until the cessation of MCTD in 1969 but it was always operated by Manchester vehicles, latterly mainly by the Daimler CCG6's foisted on Queens Rd garage.
It was a common feature of MCTD joint services for only one party to operate the service. Out of nearly 90 joint service routes in 1969 no less than 25 services were provided by only one operator though there were occasional instances of the other operator(s) fielding a bus as a revenue sharing ploy or to cover breakdowns etc.
I would have loved to have seen a Rochdale Regent making it's way to Gatley via Kingsway or Wilmslow Rd had the 1920's arrangements persisted.

Orla Nutting



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