Showmans Vehicles

Showmans Vehicles

I don't know whether we've touched on this topic before, but I thought I may as well send these pictures in to be used in a gallery. They were all taken by me in 1961, except three, Bristol L EHN 547, West Yorkshire CWY 964 and DWW 586 which were given to me by the late Tony Peart many years ago. There are one or two obscure vehicles in here which no doubt will be cleared up by our clever enthusiasts on Old Bus Photos. The L type registration JHN 358 was a puzzle because the body was obviously ex West Yorkshire. You could read the old transfers under the paint. I used to look forward to the fair arriving, but not for the same reason as the majority - I used to listen to the Gardners revving away as generators. Also, tactfully, I would get into the far corners to find more interesting ex-buses. This is a phenomenon that has completely vanished.

David Rhodes

Registration - AAO 574

Registration - AWW 28

Registration - CWY 964

Registration - DKY 467

Registration - DWW 586

Registration - EHN 547

Registration - FAX 321

Registration - HUA 846

Registration - JHN 358

Registration - ??? 783

Registration - RC 7935

Registration - VH 2851


20/06/14 - 09:42

What an amazing variety! Thanks for posting.
Gardner engines STILL seem to be in great demand in this sector, though I suspect the fairground operators might soon be looking towards another make. How long, exactly, can a Gardner be kept going???

Pete Davies

21/06/14 - 06:33

A wonderful collection of photos, reminding me of the times I also went looking for old buses rather than the funfair attractions, expecially as the only things I could enjoy were the Ferrris Wheel and the dodgems, my stomach being too sensitive for things going round and round like waltzers! Throwing up was not my scene!
The PMT SOS, being non-standard, was an unusual choice for a fairground operator.

Chris Hebbron

21/06/14 - 06:34

David - what a superb selection of buses.
The only one I can help with is AAO 574 with this link to a photo I took of it.
The rest I must leave to other WY and United fans, but I'm sure Chris Y will soon be on hand to help with HUA 846 which I believe is ex-Samuel Ledgard.

Paul Haywood

The Bristol L5G bearing the registration JHN 358 was ex West Yorkshire SG156 GWX 139 and was owned by P Fleming of Bradford by 5/63. JHN 358 was originally United BG272 and passed to "a showman" in 1962. The registration plates would be the only thing in the picture that came from the original JHN 358.
AWW 28 was ex York-WYRCC Y323 and was with Mr Emerson of Kendal from 1953 to 1967

David Hick

21/06/14 - 08:57

Wonderful collection David. My family still tease me about the annual Loughborough Fair, when I was always more concerned with the power supply than the power recipient!
The United/WYRCC questions are largely answered, but DKY 467 is, or was, a Strachan lowbridge "Arab 1" of Bradford Corporation , which had latterly been used as a tuition bus before disposal in 1957. A "one off" for BCT, but part of a larger batch originally intended for London, but rejected by them.

John Whitaker

21/06/14 - 15:24

HUA 846 was new to Ledgards Cream bus Service Ltd in 1939. It was with showman G Manley of Leeds from 1956 to 1962.
CWY 964 Was new to WYRCC, last fleet number SG25 passing to an unknown showman in April 1958.
DWW 586 Was new to WYRCC, last fleet number SG72 passing to an Hobson (showman), of Barnsley in June 1959 and last licenced 4/64.
EHN 547 Was new to United, last fleet number BG61, and passed to a showman in September 1959.
??? 783 has what appears to be a United fleet number plate on the bonnet side, was it a Durham District vehicle? Its number plate does not look very firmly attached-is it carrying another vehicles plates?

David Hick

21/06/14 - 18:37

FAX 321 was ex Red and White and was the Former London Transport T Class GH 8090, rebodied with a Burlingham bus body after the war.
VH 2851 was a Leyland LT1 new to Hanson, Huddersfield.

David Hick

22/06/14 - 13:06

FAX 321 has a complex history worth outlining in greater detail:
10/30 - New to Green Line as T198 (GH 8090) fitted with Hall Lewis C27R body
7/33 - To LPTB
1/39 - To Arlington (dealer), London
6/39 - S.T.S. Maidlow (M & B Coaches), London NW4
?/?? - To Ministry of Transport/War Transport No M1261984
8-12/46 - Fitted with Gardner 5LW engine and Burlingham B34F body, Red & White 717 (FAX 321)
1951 - Renumberd S131
1953 - Withdrawn
9/53 - C. Ville (showman) Barry

David Beilby

22/06/14 - 13:06

I am beginning to realise that the photographs which I took must have been in 1962 and not '61, as I previously thought, because some of the details people are sending in confirm that. Sorry, old age must be creeping in! The registration of one of the Bristol half-cabs is not clear in the photo, but I can decipher OD and some numbers which contain 783. I strongly suspect it's ex-Southern/Western National. AWW 28 Emerson's GO5G was a regular and it seems that quite a number of the ex-West Yorkshire Gs were bought up by showmen and converted. I particularly liked Emerson's because he obviously kept the vehicle in good order and even went to the trouble of turning it into a full front version. I understand Mr. Emerson died suddenly and his vehicle was summarily broken up. Thanks for all the other comments and information.

David Rhodes

30/06/14 - 07:06

Robert E Jowitt, the well known contributor to Buses Annual/Buses Yearbook, produced a well illustrated book on this subject in 1993 entitled 'Buses on the old fairground or The Bristols and the Rest'. He states the newest vehicle featured in the book was new in 1952.

David Slater

30/06/14 - 11:24

Not only an amazing set of pictures, but I find out that there was a book published on such vehicles. I've just ordered a copy.

Ken Jones

30/06/14 - 11:40

Regarding the eighth picture in this splendid gallery, here is a view of Samuel Ledgard's TD5 HUA 846 in happier days on one of the Otley local cross town services between the Westbourne Estate and Newall.
Since those difficult days a pedestrian footpath has been added to the outside of the river bridge but it still remains very narrow for two way traffic - I did plenty of "breathing in" when driving on that busy route which crossed the bridge twice within a quarter of an hour.
Photo : the late Robert F. Mack.

Chris Youhill

01/07/14 - 14:43

Well the book has arrived and although published in 1993 my copy is in mint condition. I think the one listed as ??? 783 is OD 7833 a 1934 Bristol H WN/SN 148 owned by Fairground operator Penfold and recorded as last seen in May 1961.
I'm tempted to work my way through the other pictures above.

Ken Jones

02/07/14 - 17:48

RC 7935 is a 1940 BMMO SON with Willowbrook B34F body built for Trent as their number 425. Withdrawn in 1954 and acquired by unknown fairground operator. Last reported at Ripon in 1961. It was the last of a batch of 13 vehicles RC 7922-7935 built by BMMO for Trent all of which are said to have passed to showmen.

Ken Jones

14/08/15 - 09:02

I missed this superb posting but am glad to have found it now. Like Chris Hebbron, I too was more interested in the old buses (and trucks) that found a second life as fairground vehicles. Sheffield used to have the 'Star' Gala each year near Granville Road. This was a coming-together of several travelling fairs, mostly based in South Yorkshire I think. Sadly, I never recorded what I saw and didn't own a camera at that young age either but the buses and trucks were much more interesting than the fair itself. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

Les Dickinson

14/08/15 - 15:12

I, too, seem to have missed this wonderful collection of views!
For a "real" fairground although, sadly, without the contemporary buses and lorries, I can recommend the Hollycombe collection near Liphook, Hampshire, if you happen to be in striking distance. Plenty of traction engines and steam rollers, and even a caravan.
My parents used to tell me that, back in my pushchair days of the late 1940's, I could detect the presence of a steam roller (they were of course mostly STEAM rollers in those days) before anyone else in the family, and urge them to better efforts so I could gaze at the device. Happy days!

Pete Davies

14/08/15 - 16:57

I too seem to have missed this thread, which is unusual, as my nose generally gravitates to anything West Yorkshire, Bristol, ECW or Gardner related. The photos are just wonderful, and evocative of a lovely era now long gone. Just to add to the comments already made regarding the WYRCC vehicles:
AWW 28 was a Bristol GO5G with Eastern Counties H30/28R body new to York-West Yorkshire in 1935 as Y323.
CWY 964 was a Bristol L5G with ECW B32F body new to West Yorkshire in 1939 as 134 (renumbered SG25 in 1954).
DWW 586 was a Bristol L5G with ECW B32F body new to West Yorkshire in 1940 as 181 (renumbered SG72 in 1954).
GWX 139 (masquerading as United JHN 358) was a Bristol L5G with ECW DP31R body new in 1949 as West Yorkshire 254 (renumbered EG6 in 1954). The 'express' body mouldings can still be seen quite clearly in the photo.
It is also interesting to note that the Bristol H OD 7833 has a bonnet side with no less than three access holes in it for some reason. When introduced in 1931, the Bristol H was the 4-cylinder version of the 6-cylinder Bristol J, and would have sported a louvred bonnet side when new.
The only vehicle without an identity now seems to be VH 2851. First thoughts were that it would have been ex-Huddersfield, but the registration does not feature in the fleet list in Peter Cardno & Stephen Harling's book 'Huddersfield - The Corporation Motor Bus Story'. Could it have been ex-Hanson perhaps?

Brendan Smith

15/08/15 - 06:09

VH 2851 was a Leyland LT1 new to Hanson, Huddersfield Brendan. (see my post above).

David Hick

15/08/15 - 06:11

Brendan, David Hick in his posting of 21/06/14 at 18:37 correctly identifies VH 2851 as being new to Hanson's.
I can add a little bit but not much more info. It was one of two Leyland B30F bodied Lion LT1's new in 1930 VH 2851/2 with fleet numbers 27 and 26 respectively. 27 was withdrawn in 1939 and it has been suggested it worked for Boddy, Bridlington before becoming a showmans vehicle.
I have read that the other LT1 26 wasn't withdrawn by Hanson's until 1947. If so that would make it some sort of record as very few Hanson PSV's served more than ten years without some major rebuild of one sort or other.

Eric Bawden

17/08/15 - 06:03

Thanks Eric, and so sorry David for missing your comments re. VH2851 on 21/6/15. I've since given my glasses a good clean in an attempt to improve matters!

Brendan Smith



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