Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Leyland Titan PD1 – GUF 669 – 269

Southdown - Leyland Titan PD1 - GUF 669 - 269

Southdown Motor Services
1946
Leyland Titan PD1
Park Royal H26/26R

Taken with my rather primitive Comet S camera in Brighton in 1960, this picture is not one of my best. There were twenty five of these PD1s delivered between June and September 1946, and 269, GUF 669, arrived with Southdown in July. 269 was withdrawn in 1963 and sold to Mexborough and Swinton who upseated it to H32/26R, but withdrew it for scrap just three years later. The PD1, with its 100 bhp 7.4 litre E181 engine and slow gearchange, was never a lively performer, and would have found some of the hills around Brighton to have been a bit of of a challenge, but several were based at Worthing depot, and in the picture 269 is operating along the relatively easy coastal route 9 from Arundel to Brighton.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


01/05/22 – 07:37

Poor photo you might feel, Roger, but photos of immediate post-war buses are often fascinating. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Park Royal bodied one before, still five-bay. Weymann ones are seemingly more common. I agree with the painfully slow gearchanges on these vehicles; you could drink a cup of tea between gears, at least you could with London Transport’s austerity TD4 STDs, which sometimes would appear at Raynes Park, on the 77A route! Why they were given challenging routes in Central London and not allocated to Country services, I don’t know. But that’s London Transport for you!

Chris Hebbron


22/05/22 – 06:47

I went on a family holiday to Worthing in 1959, our first Southern holiday. I remember these PD1s from that holiday and this particular bus from its days with Mexborough and Swinton as I worked as an apprentice at Parkgate at that time just along the road from the M&S depot. I don’t recall ever travelling on it or its sibling. They have a certain rugged attraction to the bodywork and certainly dissimilar to any other buses that I came across. Thanks for the memories!!

Ian Wild


24/05/22 – 05:46

Chris, the utility London Transport STD class of 1941/2 comprised eleven ‘unfrozen’ buses of the Leyland TD7 variety, a type that was introduced in succession to the TD5 in 1939. The TD6 was a special Birmingham only gearless version of the TD7, the model number being changed by Leyland for the wider market. In addition to being higher geared than the TD5, a significant change was the adoption of flexible engine mountings, and, to reduce rock, the engine was equipped with a heavier flywheel than before. This, however, resulted in the engine revs taking a long time to die between upward gear changes, which, added to the high gearing, made the TD7 painfully slow on intensive town services. Perversely, the London TD7s were all allocated to Victoria garage where they were regarded with an attitude bordering on hatred, and STD 101-111 were the very first utility buses to be withdrawn from front line service by London Transport. They all went unlamented for scrap. In practice, several provincial operators found that the flexible engine mountings of the TD7 weakened the chassis frame at the back of the engine and restored their examples to the solid mountings of the TD5, so was it all worth it, one wonders. The wartime bus industry is reported to have been utterly dismayed when the Leyland TD8 utility bus option was cancelled by the Ministry of War Transport, leaving only the suspiciously unknown quantity called the Guy Arab available to operators. Perhaps the heavy flywheel TD8 might not have proved popular in practice, whereas the Arab went on to earn a reputation as a truly dependable workhorse. Despite having a rigidly mounted engine the PD1 also precluded remotely speedy gear changes, and Geoffrey Hilditch declared that this model had the slowest gear change he ever encountered, though it seems that he didn’t come across the equally ponderous TD7. Strangely, the single deck PS1 of identical mechanical specification did not seem to earn a similar reputation. No doubt the lighter vehicle weight permitted better forward progress through the gears.

Roger Cox


 

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Southdown – Dennis Falcon – FUF 181 – 181

FUF 181

Southdown Motor Services
1939
Dennis Falcon P4
Harrington B30C

In 1938, Dennis replaced its multiplicity of of small buses for lightly trafficked routes – Dart, Pike, Arrow Minor, Ace and Mace – with one model, the Falcon. This was offered with normal or forward control, the engine options being Dennis 3.77 side valve petrol, or Gardner 4LK or Perkins P6 diesel. In 1938 Southdown took over the Worthing Tramocar business and began replacing the original Shelvoke and Drewry Freighters, at first with new Freighters. More about the Tramocar business may be found on OBP here:- //www.old-bus-photos.co.uk/?p=19218 
In April/May 1939 Southdown moved towards conventional buses for the Tramocar services, and purchased FUF 180/1, fleet nos. 80/1, two forward control Dennis Falcon P4s with Harrington B30C bodies offering easy access to the elderly clientele of Worthing. A third similar chassis, JUF 82, no. 82, but with Dennis B30R bodywork, arrived later that year in December after war had broken out, by which time only about 50 Falcons in total had been been produced by Dennis. In 1949 Southdown again turned to the lightweight Falcon P4, buying a further nine with Dennis B30R bodies, JUF 83-91 with matching fleet nos., for its service between Havant and Hayling Island which crossed a frail, elderly wooden bridge over the Langstone Channel built in 1824, on which a toll applied. Even then the bus went over tentatively and unladen, the passengers having to alight and walk across to rejoin it on the far side. The two ex Tramocar Falcons were transferred to the Hayling Island service to complement the ten later arrivals. The Langstone Bridge was replaced by a new structure in 1956, but the crossing toll remained until 1960. None of the Dennis bodied Falcons seems to have survived, but Harrington bodied FUF 181 of 1939 was once extant on the preservation scene. It is seen above at Brighton on the HCVC Rally in May 1970. Currently it is recorded as undergoing further restorative work. The prominent starting handles on all the Southdown Falcons suggests that they were powered by the robust 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine rather than the Gardner 4LK, but confirmation would be welcome.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


13/11/21 – 06:24

Hello Roger, I have just checked in Colin Druce’s excellent book ‘Southdown in Austerity’, and he confirms that these buses were indeed fitted with the Dennis 3.77 litre side valve petrol engine.

Roy Nicholson


01/03/22 – 06:47

I read with interest the notes on the captioned. I had been looking for any information regarding its present state, to date, to no avail. However despite my not being fully computer literate I managed to get the following, it is/was with Seaford & District who I understand have been taken over by 7 Sisters Bus & Coach whatever they might be in 01-2021. On the Seaford web site under Vintage Bus there is a Flickr Photopool, under Group Pool, Paul Goldsmith there is a shot of said bus, headed DCS_0105, dated 08/2017. It looks to be a VERY comprehensive works in progress, to say the least!. I should add that I have several times in the past sent E-mails to S&D regarding this vehicle but on no occasion did I get any reply, customer service?.

John Adrian Pearce


 

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Southdown – Leyland Titan – UF 4813

Southdown - Leyland Titan - UF 4813

Southdown Motor Services
1929
Leyland Titan TD1
Brush O27/24RO

Seen at the Southgate roundabout on the A23 Crawley By Pass during the 3rd May 1970 HCVC Rally is UF 4813, a 1929 Leyland Titan TD1 with the Brush open top O27/24RO open staircase body that it carried from new – it is not a conversion. It was restored by Southdown who ran it on the Brighton seafront service for some years, and it currently remains with the Stagecoach heritage fleet. The TD1 model, very advanced when it appeared in 1927, had a six cylinder 6.8 litre overhead camshaft petrol engine of up to 98 bhp driving through a four speed sliding mesh gearbox. Most examples were bodied with the Leyland lowbridge body, the firm initially holding the UK royalty rights for the single offside gangway upper deck layout. Until these patent rights expired in the mid ‘thirties, other manufacturers employed the twin gangway form of the upper deck for lowbridge orders. AEC initially used the ‘camel roof’ design on its highbridge Regent buses purely for cosmetic effect to give a low height appearance from street level, but this was soon abandoned as public acceptance grew of the stability of double deck buses. UF 4813 carries the radiator design of 1929 that then became familiar on all subsequent TD1 and the later TD2 machines. Earlier production retained the radiator shape of the Leviathan.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 12th August 2022