Old Bus Photos

Llandudno UDC – Foden PVSC6 – AJC 91

Llandudno UDC - Foden PVSC6 - AJC 91

Llandudno Urban District Council
Foden PVSC6
Metalcraft C35F

Llandudno operated two of these single deckers on the route from the Town Centre to St Tudnos Church on the Great Orme. This was a continual climb with the steepest section of 1 in 4. The buses were fitted with a ratchet brake to prevent the bus running back down the hill if the engine stalled or the brakes failed. This was operated by a lever in the cab and was activated by the driver at the foot of the steepest section of the climb. My notes made at the time (September 1967) make reference to the clock fitted above the windscreens ‘which is always accurate’. Also, ‘the conductor is responsible for the smart interior condition of the vehicle’. The driver ‘had collected the bus from Fodens Works at Sandbach in May 1951 and had driven it each summer season since’. These two buses were replaced by very rare Dennis Pax single deckers in 1968 allegedly because of the non availability of the 9.00 x 22 tyres fitted to the Fodens.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild

18/09/15 – 06:00

Was the ratchet brake of the same type as fitted to the Foden used on the Bargoed Hill route by West Mon (HWO 590)? And did any other operators use it?

Geoff Kerr

18/09/15 – 06:00

Well into the period when 20" wheels were standard for lorries, Foden continued fitting 22" wheels to some of their heavies, but if AJC 91 had been built on a goods chassis I don’t think the downswept body would have been possible, so could the larger wheels have been fitted for ground clearance?

Ian T

05/10/15 – 06:14

Is this confusion does not the ratchet brake refer to the actual handbrake.On goods chassis ratchet hand brakes worked upon the rear wheels only and when correctly adjusted one and a half pulls brought the brakes on,it was the emergency brake on air brake systems without spring brake chambers.Run back brakes or sprag brakes in their early form actually operated by dropping a bar onto the road!
When I worked for a haulage company who operated farm milk collection tanker one of the drivers picked up from about fifteen farms about 1800 gallons entirely on the ratchet handbrake around the hilly Sussex Weald

Patrick Armstrong


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Transglobe Tours – Foden PVRF6 – KUY 536

Transglobe Tours - Foden PVR - KUY 536
Copyright N Edwards.

Transglobe Tours - Foden PVR - KUY 536 - Rear
Copyright N Edwards.

Transglobe Tours
Foden PVRF6
Metalcraft C41C

The above two shots of a Foden PVR with Fodens own two-stroke engine were taken in my ‘Transglobe’ driving days. I had taken it to the Foden works at Sandbach Cheshire for an annoying fuel pump fault – as I remember, apart from being noisy animals, these were very temperamental – constant adjustments to fuel delivery points (pump and injectors) being the order of the day. Although I never did a continental trip with this coach, I had one continental trip with a Bedford SBG Seagull that gave me quite a hard time ending with its brakes finally burning out on a very steep section in the Austrian Alps. The Church party and myself being returned to the French coast by a superior German coach, a ‘Satra’, as I recall. 
My thanks to Mike Beamish/www.mikesbuspages.co uk for allowing me to use a couple of his photos so that you can see offside views of a similar Metalcraft Foden PVR to the above.

NTU 125
Mike Beamish.

NTU 125_rear_lr
Mike Beamish.

According to Mike NTU 125 had been repainted in deeper Cream with a brighter Red relief than the first time he took a shot of it. The last of these two shots shows it at the Buses 60 Rally at Wroughton when it was being used to transport visitors to the various hangars and exhibition areas.

Photographs and Copy contributed by Nigel Edwards

Perhaps returned to the coast by a Kassborer-SETRA – now just Setra: and still very good. Rear engine…. quiet, comfortable: why isn’t it Foden?


Why isn’t it Foden? Setra have spent the last 50 years developing into the leading coach builder of Europe – if not the world. Foden chose to abandon PSVs and concentrate on HGVs – especially specialist applications.
Given a different history, who knows? Foden quality was never in doubt. Foden and AEC could both have become as well regarded today as Setra – they simply didn’t survive (for historical reasons that most of us already know).

David Oldfield

03/02/11 – 10:36

Nigel Edwards’ recollections of driving this coach to Fodens for adjustments are fascinating. Transglobe operated the coach between February 1958 and September 1959, if my records are correct. I can confirm that it definitely had a Metalcraft body. The Foden two-stoke engine was, I believe, fairly complex – and probably misunderstood. Some companies seemed to like them, others just did not get on with them. Cook’s Coaches from Lyneham in Wiltshire at one point had three two-stroke engined Fodens ….. in their fleet of three! The Whenuapai Bus Company and City Bus Services in New Zealand, however, had no end of troubles with their quintet, but once Hawkes’ Bay Bus Company bought up the bankrupt City B S along with the Fodens and had them properly overhauled, they found that the engine fan had been repositioned to accommodate the bodywork. Once the fans were correctly positioned, and also once they had a Foden-trained mechanic looking after them, they went on to give many years of reliable service. The last one wasn’t taken out of service until June 1980, later than some Leyland Royal Tigers in the same fleet. All five went on to serve as movans (mobile homes) and two still exist in such a capacity even now, though one is effectively immobile.

Peter Tulloch

16/01/13 – 13:40

NTU 125
Copyright Ian Lynas

I (and probably 50 or so other enthusiasts) took this shot of NTU 125, a rear-engined Foden with Metalcraft coachwork belonging to Hollinsheads of Scholar Green in Cheshire during a PSV Circle Manchester tour on 13th April 1969. Fantastic tour which brought out Fodens from every nook and cranny. I think the tour was organised by the late Peter Roberts.

Ian Lynas

17/01/13 – 05:24

As far as I know Peter Roberts is still with us! Hardly any bus enthusiasts in the Manchester area doesn’t know of him, remembering with affection the PSV Circle meetings which still continue today, but I particularly remember the halcyon days of the late ‘sixties/early seventies (when Ian was there too!). They were in the Briton’s Protection hotel overlooking Lower Mosley Street and always very popular.

David Beilby

17/01/13 – 11:50

Can anybody lend me some photographs from this visit to Hollinshead’s (or scan them for me at 300 dpi or better)? I’m currently working on a book about Northwest independents and prints of their (pre 1970) vehicles have proven surprisingly hard to find. Weirdly, I’ve never knowingly met Peter Roberts although for several years I lived on Dane Road in Sale – virtually around the corner! I am of course familiar with his reputation as an outstanding photographer. Help?

Neville Mercer

23/01/13 – 13:16

My apologies to Peter Roberts. Good to hear he is still around and if you keep contact with him, thank him for the meetings which had a good smattering of everything, an ability to talk to like-minded enthusiasts, a quick formal part, great slide presentation and lots of info about what was going on in the local bus world. Thanks also David, I might have to reward you with a picture of your good self and others with Southport Crossley 116.
to Neville Mercer, I only took one other shot at Hollinsheads of a fairly new Duple Dominant, GTU 119G. It is already scanned at 300 dpi at 3008 x 2000. Any good Neville.

Ian Lynas

24/01/13 – 11:08

The Dominant is a bit new for my tastes, Ian, and would have been delivered after Hollinshead’s stage service ended. I would like a scan of your shot of NTU 125 though – I already have several, but all taken after it entered preservation. Anybody else got any photographs of Hollinshead’s half-cab Fodens or Bedford OWB bus?

Neville Mercer

24/01/13 – 12:20

Mind you, GTU 119G is either a mistake or a re-registration as the Dominant was introduced for the 1973 (L suffix) registration year. [Duple quality (almost) at its worst – how were the mighty fallen.]

David Oldfield

KUY 536_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

13/03/14 – 16:51

The Hollinshead Leopard referred to was actually a Duple Commander. It was reputedly bought outright off the Duple stand by family members visiting the 1968 Commercial Motor Show and was in effect a ‘new generation’ vehicle. Previous purchases for over 10 years had been Bedford SB (petrol and diesel)and latterly all second hand. The off white/tangerine band livery on GTU became the fleet standard. Although unconfirmed, at the time of its arrival some 18 months later usually reliable sources stated that second hand (and similarly liveried)OOP 173G had been the Bedford/Viceroy counterpart of GTU 119G at he 1968 show.

Keith Wood


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 14th August 2022