Payne's of Harrogate

Payne's of Harrogate

In Leeds in the late 1950s, I vividly remember seeing half-cab Daimler coaches in a beautiful purple and off-white livery operated by what I think was Payne's (Paine's?) of Harrogate. Try as I might, I can't find any photos of these. I would love to see them again - particularly in colour. Any ideas where I can find some please?

Paul Haywood

Paul, the firm was W.Pyne and Sons of Starbeck - a very reputable and proud concern. I have actually DRIVEN one of their coaches (well, ex) for one day. While working at Ledgard's in Otley I once worked a rest day for Edgar Beecroft of Fewston because he was really stuck for a driver that day - it involved picking up in Otley too, and I was very foolish because detection would have meant instant dismissal from SL, but the temptation was too great !! The coach was still in Pyne's lilac and cream/white livery and was a prewar Bedford WTB with later Plaxton body - I have searched every avenue, metaphorically, for a picture but without success - even visiting the Beecroft family who sadly have no view of the vehicle.

Chris Youhill

Many thanks, Chris for your swift response. It's yet another example of time playing tricks on me - lilac Pyne not purple Payne! It would be a shame if there are no colour photos of the Daimlers as they were so distinctive and smart (unless my memory fails me yet again)!

Paul Haywood

Well hidden, I'm afraid, but if you use the link and scroll down a little, there is a Pyne Bedford OB type at this link.

Chris Hebbron

Thank you for that Chris H - the visible part of the number plate seems to show "FW* 3**" which would be around 1948. The body is not the usual Duple, but is a small version of the superb Plaxton bodies. The Pyne's vehicle that I drove somewhat illicitly for one day only while Edgar Beecroft of Fewston owned it was registered DWT 150 and had the same late 1940s body - but was actually a prewar WTB. Every search for a picture of that grand little motor has drawn a blank - even the Beecroft family cannot trace one.

Chris Youhill

This posting brought back happy memories of two field trips from St John Fisher's School (when it was on Ainsty Road) to Aysgarth in 1968. Both outings were on one of Pyne's engaging little Bedford VAS/Plaxtons with the famous 'whistling' air brakes. Aysgarth was a favourite haunt of our geography teacher, Mr Cowley. However, it was a double bonus for me, with the pleasure of watching beautiful scenery from the window of a most comfortable coach, coupled to delightful sound effects. Some years later I was once again entertained on a Pyne's excursion to Chester, where the driver of the Bedford VAL/Duple Viceroy 'coasted' down some of the inclines on the motorway to build a little more speed up! (Bet Chris Y would give him a black mark or two for that little misdemeanour!). Although known more for their white and purple coaches, in the 1970's Pyne's also operated an ex-Bristol O.C. Bristol Lodekka FSF on local contracts for a while. Initially put into service in Bristol green and white, it soon acquired a 'reversed' Pyne's livery of purple with a white band above the lower deck windows and looked very smart. Pyne's depot was on Camwal Road in Starbeck, which is on the Knaresborough side of Harrogate. (The road incidentally, takes its name from 'CAMWAL', the trading name of CArbonated Mineral WAters Limited, which had a large bottling plant at the end of the street for many years).


W Pyne & Sons Bedford OB seen at Wetherby Race course on 03/04/61

John Turner

When I drove for Stanley Gath Coaches of Dewsbury I saw Pynes coaches a lot. I seem to recall that they sometimes displayed the destination blind On Hire to West Yorkshire as did the coaches of Longsters of Patley Bridge another company who sadly is no more.

Philip Carlton

Thank you Bren for those fascinating memories. You are absolutely right in that I would give any driver "coasting" a black mark or two, and the Police or the Commissioners would give him something more severe than that !! It is an extremely dangerous habit and takes away much essential control of the vehicle - not just the risk arising from brake failure.
Incidentally for my money the Bedford VAL was one of the most delightful of modern vehicles for the enthusiast to drive and I loved them. From the passengers' point of view the suspension was incredibly comfortable too - even if accidentally encountering bad trenches, grates etc in the road there was no shock at all, just a competent quiet little "plup plup" as the twin front wheels skipped across the offending feature. Despite being well familiar with Camwal "pop" I had no idea about the fascinating origin of the road name.

Chris Youhill

It was reported to me 3 years back when in the Pantry Garage Camwal road Starbeck that Pyne's also had an outstation for coaches in Dacre Banks in fact just off the Railway station yard area. R H Pantry and his son used to drop engines out for servicing or changing in their large Garage Camwal Road opposite to Pyne's place I believe the Ackril press local paper had a picture of a Pyne's coach in one of those Yesterday type columns possibly a Mr Neesam about 7 years ago.

Ian Gibbs

W Pyne and Sons was a joint operator on the J16 service from Harrogate to Blackpool for some years. The 'J' series Yorkshire-Blackpool services were operated by the big companies Ribble, West Yorkshire, Yorkshire Traction, Yorkshire Woollen and Hebble. In the 5th edition of the Ian Allan ABC Ribble fleet book (May 1959) service J16 was shown as a Pool service which was jointly operated with Pyne's in the summer period and jointly operated with Pyne's and Wallace Arnold during the winter period. In the summer 1964 edition of the Ribble express service timetable service J16 comprised one run seven days a week at 0930 from Harrogate to Blackpool (arriving at 1315). The return service from Blackpool was at 1400 on Saturdays and 1700 Sundays to Fridays. The route was via Skipton, Gisburn (where a 15 minute stop was made in both directions), Clitheroe, Whalley, Preston, Lytham and St Annes. In the summer 1949 edition of the Ribble express service timetable Pyne's is not shown as a joint operator. The service was the same except that the Saturday service from Blackpool departed one hour later at 1500.

David Slater

David's mention of the fifteen minute refreshment break in each direction on the Blackpool services brings back happy and vivid memories for me. The hostelry was the Commercial pub which had a very large tea room attached to its eastern side. A fair description would be "rough and ready" and when busy (it always was) it was a bit of a battlefield both at the counter and when looking for a table. Fortunately we drivers were spared this melee and had our own little room at the other side of the pub. We were given generous free refreshments and a packet of cigarettes if we had provided passengers for the cafe - if we were running "private" we were kindly allowed a free tea or coffee and a sandwich - as always it was spoilt for the honest majority by a minority of drivers who took the full treat even if they had no passengers - quite naturally the proprietors got tired of this, and instituted a "signing in" book with vehicle details etc. The cafe remained open until well after Midnight to cater for parties returning from a "tour of the lights" in the Autumn. "The Commercial" at Gisburn was a legendary and essential feature of the services from Yorkshire to Blackpool and is fondly remembered

Chris Youhill

17/11/11 - 07:25

Actually, if the date of the photograph of FWY 311 is correct, then it does show the body of the coach that Chris Youhill drove in 1962, as The PSV circle records indicate that this body was transferred to DWT 250 in 1951.(It was DWT 250, not 150, and was with Beecrofts during the summer of 1962).

David Hick

20/11/11 - 09:57

Many thanks to David Hick for this extra research but I'm afraid I'm a little baffled still. My picture of Murgatroyd's FWY 311 was definitely taken around April/May 1961 and although I've no idea how long they'd owned it the livery was their ivory and pale blue. When I drove for a day the ex Pyne one (DWT 250) in about 1962 for Beecrofts it was still in Pyne's white and lilac and had not been painted recently at the time - so that is a mystery indeed, and surely it can't be the same body - if I'm missing something obvious (not uncommon for me) I'd be glad to be put right.

Chris Youhill

08/03/13 - 14:00

I worked for West Yorkshire in the mid 60s and in early 1966 was transferred to the excursions and tours office in Montpelier Parade, Low Harrogate. It was an extremely smart premises and we competed with Pynes selling day excursions which went from the Stray opposite our office which was by the large roundabout at the bottom of Coldbath Road. I remember these purple and white Pynes coaches well. I always regarded them as inferior in my teenage mind because they were lightweight Bedfords etc. We had the latest new coaches bought by WY with their very smart, quality coachwork which the WY drivers lavished much care and attention on. I have attached a few pictures which I took in 1966.

As a slight aside, the back office of our premises was visually obscured by a two-way mirror wall so that we could see when any clients were coming in to be served. Mrs. Tuff, the general manager's wife, was a formidable character and she knew what the mirror wall was. Every time she came in she would walk up to the mirror and rap it with her knuckles saying "I know you're in there"! Most of our clients were elderly, typically Harrogate spinsters and widows, and their favourite question was "I don't want a seat over a wheel and I don't want a seat with the sun in my eyes". We tried to explain the problems with the latter, but they never grasped the fact that the coaches' journeys twisted and turned in many directions.

David Rhodes

08/03/13 - 16:07

Thank you David for those splendid pictures, the second one in particular being especially notable. The coach concerned was one of, I think, four which were bought second hand by WYRCC - one or all being from Tillings Transport of London.
The saga of the mirror is wonderful, and of course the lady mentioned was almost obliged to be formidable with a name like "Tuff." I wonder if she summoned her husband in an affectionate manner behind the scenes or if he was also bawled out as "HNT" or something similar ??

Chris Youhill

08/03/13 - 16:08

Not half-cabs, probably not purple, but they were with Pyne. They are XWX 911/2 and 399 YG.

Les Dickinson

09/03/13 - 11:49

I've just found these pictures of the West Yorkshire tours office which I referred to in my last contribution to this topic. You'll see why I was impressed by this set-up. WY certainly put on a good show when anything was done in Harrogate.

David Rhodes



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