Enjoyable Weekend

Enjoyable Weekend

I've just had a very enjoyable weekend: Saturday, North West Museum of Road Transport at St Helens; Sunday, Dewsbury Running Day. I wish I could have squeezed in Aldwarke too, but that's for another time DV.

This magnificent Albion was running between the Museum at Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury bus station. I first saw it in the 60s but had never ridden on it. The 9.9-litre engine really does sound "heavier" than the Venturer's 9.1, the gearbox has the same loud whine, somewhere between a Regent and a TD1. The owner drove with great style, treating us to first-gear pull-aways, and although he felt she wasn't pulling well at low revs she seemed to cover the ground pretty well, especially for a vehicle that sat idle between 1981 and 2010.

The bodywork is typically Roe in that every detail is meticulously thought out, something particularly important in a lowbridge body. The back seat upstairs is set as far back as over-staircase headroom allows, and the front seat is set well forward. Result: a generous 36" seat-pitch for the 7 rows, with even more between the rearmost and the next, affording the conductor a hop-up space without treading on passengers' toes! The shallow roof gives first-rate visibility.

I was lucky enough to find Roy Marshall's "Chas Roe Coachbuilders, Vol 1" on a stall, and reading it on the homeward train confirmed my view that until that regrettable amalgamation (?) with Park Royal their magic touch never wavered.

Ian Thompson
03/2011


Vehicle deatails:
South Yorkshire Motors Ltd - TWY 8 - 81
1950 Albion Valiant CX39N
Roe L27/26R


19/03/11

Thanks, Ian for these pictures. This is the first time I have seen the interior of TWY 8 since I used to ride it from Leeds to Doncaster in the 1960s. I had forgotten about the staggered seats upstairs. A delightful bus, full of character.

Paul Haywood


19/03/11

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with you about the Roe bodies, it has to be said that some of their very best were built under Park Royal ownership. It is also true that some of the ugliest and most ungainly offerings from Leeds were metal framed and designed in West London.
As has been said before regarding another subject, if Roe had remained independent of Park Royal would they have survived? If they had, would they have remained the quality outfit we are privileged to remember? Mergers and the politicians ruined the good name of Leyland, not to mention actually killing of AEC. The last Roe bodies in the early eighties (albeit Park Royal designed) were of good, if not excellent, quality in comparison with many contemporaries. What is true is that, although we only have our memories, they will undoubtedly be better than those who can only remember modern D***** dust carts and their like.

David Oldfield


20/03/11

Would it be possible to add the following to Ians feature.
On behalf of Dewsbury Bus Museum we would just like to say that we are really pleased Ian enjoyed his time onboard TWY 8. It is now powered by and Albion EN243 9.9 litre serial number 522. This engine was initially used to power an ex-Glasgow Corporation CX37. Unfortunately we don't know why or when it was deemed necessary to re-engine TWY 8.

Andrew Beever


20/03/11

Andrew, its a pity I didn't know of this engine query when I worked at South Yorkshire Road Transport because, even between 1987 and 2001, there were craftsmen still employed who would no doubt have been involved in the procedure, if indeed it was done during Pontefract ownership. The boss Mr. J.M.McCloy will certainly have known, and I can only imagine that it may have been installed with a view to providing the chassis with more power for its rather heavier double deck body and up to sixty plus passengers, and of course many more stops per mile on service work.

Chris Youhill


23/03/11

Sorry, David: I'd forgottten that the Roe-Park Royal tie-up was so long ago. I forgive Southall!
Chris: I believe that the original engine would also have been a 9.9, so it was a like-for-like transplant. That engine was also used in the handsome HD57 8-wheel lorry, and I learnt today that it was known as the Whispering Giant, presumably because there's relatively little combustion noise. The 9-litre engine in the CX19 Venturer certainly has a sound recalling the petrol engines of the early thirties, and that was one of the features that endeared me to the Venturer on a short trip in West Wales in the early 60s: it brought back TD1 memories!
Andrew: thanks again for the fine Running Day.

Ian Thompson


23/03/11

Thanks Ian for that clarification and I know exactly what you mean about the quiet running Albion engines. Just to digress very briefly - when I worked at Samuel Ledgard's we had five ex Red and White Valkyrie/BBW saloons and every time I drove or travelled on one I was quite amazed at the "petrol like" smooth running diesel engines - and, for good measure, the dulcet tones of the gearboxes.

Chris Youhill


12/07/11

I recall that Alan Townsin, in a series of detailed articles on Albion buses he wrote for Classic Bus, tells us that Sydney Guy, fearing that he was missing out on the big engine bus market, asked Albion in 1947 if they would supply him with the 9.9 engine for the Arab III. Albion refused his request, possibly because they were already in talks with Leyland about a takeover. From 1948, Guy then took the 6DC630 10.35 litre engine from Henry Meadows, but the vagaries of this power unit resulted in very few Arab IIIs being so fitted, and almost all were subsequently converted to alternative engines.

Roger Cox


 


 

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