Any Other Thing



Cream Bus Service



I hope someone can assist me. I am trying to locate information and if possible drawings of the two buses in the attached images. They are both of the Cream Bus Service Ltd. from West Yorkshire, UK which was owned by my Grandfather before a transfer to Samuel Ledgard. I believe one is a Carrier CY and the other a Ford.
I actually make model airplanes but would like to make a couple of models in remembrance of my Grandfather – hence my reach out for this help.

Adrian Rathmell


Trying to Find the Owner of this Coach – NKN 650 ‘Knightrider’

NKN 650

This picture shows the fantastic coach NKN 650 named ‘Knighrider’ in 1953 and it was maintained and on occasions driven by a member of my family (Mr A D Southby – in the white coat). I have seen posts about this luxury coach and I would like the opportunity to meet the owner and see this stunning coach in person. I own my own luxury coach company in Dorset called Heathside Travel. I would like to see what Mr Southby drove all those years ago. Does anyone know who owns this coach please? Please help me make contact or ask them to contact me, thank you.

Tim Southby

19/09/18 – 06:05

There might be someone who posts on SCT61 who doesn’t come here, so it might be worth asking there as well.

John Lomas

22/09/18 – 06:55

The only Knightider I know of was owned by Maidstone and District ( and the registration number would be relevant, but I actually don’t know the number of the specific vehicle). This was used for special private hires (and for the Director’s tours of inspection ?). It is a Commer, and I am sure the M&D coach was a Commer, but I have in my mind that it was a 16 seater while with M&D, or at least when it was new, but it could have been reseated either by M&D or a subsequent owner.

Further to my previous post, it looks to be a standard Maidstone and District destination layout.
It may even by a Director’s or other official outing – judging by the suits ( or perhaps a staff wedding ).
It is a long time since I read about this, but I think the bodywork may be by Harrington, and I am almost sure that it had a petrol engine at a time when most big operators were 100% diesel.

Malcolm Hirst

23/09/18 – 06:01

Five minutes on the internet found all that is known about this coach. Bus Lists on the Web came up with this:
Owner Maidstone & District Fleetnumber LC1 Type Commer Avenger chassis 23A0682 Seating C16F Delivery April 1951.
Further searches revealed that it was named Knightrider from the name of M and D’s HQ, Knightrider House.
The DVLA website shows the vehicle is taxed until July 1 2019. It has a 4752cc petrol engine but the colour is listed as blue – which may well be midnight blue.
Various articles state that the coach was purpose designed by M and D’s chief engineer. To get the owner’s details officially would require a written request to the DVLA but a listing in 2016 has it owned by the Harrington Society at Worthing though I can’t trace an address.

Phil Blinkhorn

02/10/18 – 07:12

The owning group appear to be in Worthing but I remember the vehicle operating at Hastings area events in recent times surprised no one else has said this

Roger Burdett

03/10/18 – 07:48

The Knightrider was built for use by the directors of Maidstone & District & is a very dark blue. Its a very refined coach & the epitome of luxury. It lives here in Worthing in West Sussex & is owned by Dave Hurley along with a fine pair of Surrey Motors AECs.

Malcolm Pelling

03/10/18 – 07:49

I have managed to make contact with Tim Southby and given him Dave Hurley’s contact details so hopefully Tim can make contact.
You may like to add a comment to this effect thus stopping further posters making guesses as to who The Harrington Society is.

John Wakefield

04/10/18 – 07:50

Long entry about Harrington on Wikipedia including a para on Harrington Society- is there a mystery about this?


06/10/18 – 07:37

The Harrington Society, they are concerned with Harrington Alpine bodied cars, not buses & coaches
They have no connection with the ownership of NKN 650, which (as has already been stated) is owned by Dave Hurley. Not sure why the PSV Circle have listed it with ‘Harrington Society, Worthing’

John Wakefield

12/10/18 – 06:45

I recently contacted the curator of the Amberley Museum and received this reply:

"Dear Chris, you are not the first to ask the Museum if they have contact details for Harringtons / the Harrington Society. We don’t have any recorded, but you could try the Vintage Carriage Trust   or you could ask for help from the Coach and Bus weekly magazine. Sorry we can’t be of more help."

Chris Hebbron


A Weekend in Glasgow (1962)

Having to explain to Martin Jenkins that I could not attend the splendid arrangements to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Liverpool University Public Transport Society (LUPTS) in October (2018), I reminisced by looking out my rather poor slides taken on the dismal weekend in 1962 when the society had a weekend in Glasgow during the final months of Glasgow’s trams.
Our hired Ribble coach had to battle around the back roads to avoid the snow blocked A6 at Shap. The society was well exercised on preserving ex Liverpool Green Goddess tram 869 then operating in Glasgow as 1055, and it eventually got to Crich. Being from Bristol, trams disappeared even before I was born, so they did not interest me much!
In penance, I submit three buses that I snapped on the trip. These are three digitally cleaned up scans so far as possible of the buses that got into my lens on 10/3/1962.

FYS 344

The first was FYS 344 a 1948 Daimler CVD6 with Glasgow Corporation Transport B33D body, GCT no. DS39 in Govan. This looked so very old then compared to…

TBS 21

…only six years newer 35ft long trolley buses, like FYS 996, BUT chassis with Burlingham B50F GCT no. TBS 21, seen in Admiral Street.

747 EUS

The third was the new Albion LR1 747 EUS with Alexander LD72F body in Albion’s ownership but Glasgow’s colours. It wouldn’t have crossed my mind then that the Lowlander and I would meet up again while we both worked for Ribble!

Geoff Pullin


Three Maidstone & District

DKT 14

Clearing out some old photos and found this photo I took of three Maidstone & District (l think!) single deckers – numbers DKT 14, KKK 829 & JKM 437. The actual b&w photo is very small (probably a box brownie) but if anyone would like the original, I’m very happy to post it to anyone interested.
I’d be interested to know if anyone would have a stab at exact date.

David Bairstow


RT Driving

I’m sorry to email out of the blue, but I’m trying to arrange a unique gift for my dad who turns 70 this year. He grew up in South London and has fond memories of the buses (and trolley buses) from his youth. I am hoping to make a boyhood dream of his come true by arranging for him to drive an RT bus, but I’m struggling to find anyone who offers such an experience. I wonder whether you might know of anyone who does, and if so, I’d be delighted to hear from you. We are based in Somerset, but would be quite prepared to travel anywhere in the South of England to make it happen.

Simon Frackiewicz

12/07/18 – 07:24

Hello Simon,
I hope this reply is not too late but I have been struggling to find anything which fits your request. Driving an RT may be difficult nowadays due to their comparative scarcity other than in museums which may not allow un-qualified driving. Maybe you know of them, but these people offer a driving experience with a Routemaster (not the same, I agree, but close).
Also, if your Dad remembers the South London trolleybuses, you can arrange a driving experience at the National Trolleybus Museum in Lincolnshire. They have a couple of London trolleybuses but I don’t think they will be available to drive as they are 6-wheel, therefore longer. Unfortunately, I note that their Driving Days are now full for 2018. Maybe next year?

Paul Haywood


Daimler Freeline Photos


I am expanding my collection of Daimler Freeline photos by digital representation. I have found a B&W pic of SOB 49 with Newtons of Birmingham and trying to find out the shade of blue they used.
They are listed in 1962 Passenger Transport Yearbook with address at 40, Franchise St., Perry Barr.
The attached collage shows the standard to which these images can be achieved by a professional!

Jim Neale


TIM Ticket Machine

I have an old TIM ticket machine which I bought at a collectors fair over 40 years ago.
It is in working order but the ink pad needs refilling. I read on your Old Bus Ticket site Q&A that oil based ink should be used, but I cannot find instructions on how.

Alan Faulkner

12/04/18 – 07:11

Bradford or Newcastle .. ?

12-04-2018 at 06-56

You may have an interest in the old photo on a page of my website. As a young boy, with Dad in the RAF, we lived in a converted trolleybus at two RAF stations, Watton in Norfolk, and Wellesbourne in Warwicks. My info was my dad and grandfather bought it from a dealer in Ipswich, already converted. We lived in it from our return from Malta in 1952, until he got a married quarter in 1955. It was in a wired compound on base, with mains elec provided, along with a lot of caravans, and at least two other buses as I recall. More of the story here:   
Use the pic if you wish. My tentative colouration, it was green.

Rob Haywood

12/04/18 – 08:49

This trolleybus was part of a batch of 12, new to Bradford in 1931 and numbered 584 to 595. Under an MOWT directive, 7 were sold to Newcastle in 1942, the remainder running with Bradford until 1945, apart from 588, which was accident wrecked in 1934. 590 was sold to South Shields in 1945, and the Bradford remainder were sold to "Dismantlers and Autowreckers" in February 1946, so it is possible that this caravan trolleybus could be any of the batch apart from 588, although I suspect its origin to be Newcastle. I would be delighted to learn more!

PS. 584 to 595 were 100% English Electric built vehicles, both chassis and body.

John Whitaker

13/04/18 – 05:40

With regard the sale of Bradford trolleybuses to Newcastle in 1942, the following may be of interest. Bradford received 10 Sunbeam MF2s in 1942, from a wartime diverted South Africa order. I understand that part of this allocation involved Bradford in disposing of 10 older vehicles, and 10 1929 to 1931 six wheeler EE trolleys went to Newcastle. These were from 2 batches, 572 – 583, and 584-595. 573, 9/80 were from the earlier batch, with an earlier type of control equipment, and were nominally numbered 306, 309, 308 in the NCT fleet. I believe that NCT did not place these 3 in service but am open to correction. The other 7, BCT numbers 584, 5, 6, 91, 2, 4, 5, became NCT numbers 303,4, 5, 307, 301, 2, and ran until 1948, but again, some NCT expert could well correct me. BCT 595 was not allocated an NCT number, as it was immediately broken up for spares.
It is fascinating to speculate on the number of the bus in the photo, but someone with NCT knowledge may well know more about their fate than I do, although 590, from South Shields is a possibility, and it is known that several buses sold to breakers became "caravans" in the early post war years, so possibly it is one which was not sold by BCT !

John Whitaker

14/04/18 – 05:39

I have met Mr Haywood and corresponded with him about this. It is almost certainly former Bradford 590 KW 9459 which went to South Shields. All of the Newcastle ones are accounted for subsequently. The three that went to South Shields were all different in that there was a flat fronted one KW6658, a round fronted one KW 9459 and the former demonstrator KY 1360. There is a picture of all three lined up after withdrawal on page 41 of the South Shields book published by Trolleybooks and this can be clearly seen. KW 9459 has no subsequent history and given that the bus was secreted on air bases it pretty much confirms the lack of subsequent disposal information. On the original black and white photo Mr Haywood sent me the registration does appear to have the look of KW 9459 albeit indistinct.

Ken Aveyard

14/04/18 – 05:39

Thanks for that clarification Ken, and most interesting!
The other 2 vehicles which went to South Shields in 1945 apart from 590, were 596, and 582.
582 was from the earlier batch, 572 – 583, but had been fitted with the later type equipment from withdrawn 588 in 1934. 596 was a demonstration vehicle with later type equipment but a "transitional" body type, with a sloping front to the top deck. South Shields therefore received 3 vehicles with identical control systems but with 3 distinct body styles!
The photo in "Trolleybuses of South Shields" says it all.
Any copies of that photo anywhere ? My records show 2 liveries too, in that 596 and 590 had both received the pale blue livery (Southend "new blue") whereas 582 was in original dark blue, and they ran as such in South Shields. SCT Numbers 237 – 239.

John Whitaker


Morecambe Number 73

Well here is some good news after two and a half years Darren Hunt and John Hewitt with help from Ken Wade Morecambe no 73 is back on the road. And will be going to Morecambe this may 2018, it has taken lots of hard work and money. The upper and lower decks still need work, the bus had a road test and passed with flying colours. I must say its a good feeling.

John Hewitt

20/03/18 – 07:03

Well done and look forward to seeing it.

Roger Burdett

20/03/18 – 07:04

Good news indeed, John. 73 is a fabulous bus, oozing character and style and I know that any vehicle Darren has had anything to do with will be a job well done. One thing – when I was involved with the Mersey & Calder group back in the 1970’s Tony Blackman owned 77 from the same batch. Later I believe that he thinned his collection down and 77 moved on and I haven’t seen or heard of it since. Does anyone one know whether it is still around ? Also at the same time that Tony purchased 77 another bid for the Park Royal-bodied Regent III former 1950 Show exhibit number 72 was unsuccessful, and it passed to an owner who I believe kept it at Carnforth. I would be interested to know what became of 72 also.

John Stringer

20/03/18 – 07:04

Great news! This slide shows her in Heysham Road depot in 1976, after sale and awaiting collection.

Pete Davies

18/08/18 – 06:55

Re. John Stringer’s enquiry about Morecambe Regent 72, it is owned by a member of the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust and is currently being worked on, having had a thorough body strip down.

Anyway, attached are 2 shots, taken 3 days ago within the confines of the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust depot. One is Morecambe 72, the Regent that was the subject of the query. It has progressed significantly in the last year.

The other is Ribble Leyland bodied Royal Tiger 377. We have been working on this bus for several years and hope to have it finished to take part in our celebrations of the Ribble Centenary next year.
As far as we are aware it will be the only Leyland bus bodied Royal Tiger on the road in the UK. There is an IOMRS model in the museum at Jurby, IOM, and another of the same batch in store at the Merseyside Transport Trust premises.

Jonathan Cadwallader


Robinson’s Charabanc


I thought you may be interested in this old photograph of a family excursion on a Robinson’s ‘charabanc’ bus dated August 1925.
The journey was from Scarborough to Whitby according to the info on the back.
It would be interesting to know where this was taken.

Deirdre O’Neill

14/03/18 – 06:29

Deirdre, this photo was taken in the Scarborough railway station yard, parallel to Valley Bridge Road. Robinson’s head office was based at the station, hence the large advert board which reads "Motor with Robinsons to all pleasure drives from the Railway Station". It was typical of the period that passengers were photographed prior to the excursion (as seen). On their return, the photographs would be available for purchase.

Paul Haywood

14/03/18 – 06:29

Robinson’ were based in Scarborough and traded as White Bus. The photograph would have been taken in the vicinity of Scarborough Railway Station-the post in the background looks to be carrying tramway wiring.

David Hick

14/03/18 – 06:30

I note from Google Maps that the coastal road from Scarborough to Whitby is 19.3 miles long and takes 33 mins today. Hard to believe that at the vehicle’s legal speed limit of 12mph, that journey then would have taken nearer two hours!

Chris Hebbron

15/03/18 – 17:26

The building in the background was part of the Waverley Temperance Hotel that was located in Westborough facing the main frontage of Scarborough Central railway station.
Two historical photographs the building may be seen via these links:

The hotel stood between Hanover Road and Alma Parade on a site redeveloped in the 1930s with the construction of Northway and related buildings including the famous art-deco Odeon Cinema.
A map prior to the redevelopment #

David Slater


Ribble 377 – Leyland Royal Tiger Bus


I am involved in the restoration of Ribble 377, ERN 700, a Leyland PSU1/13 Royal Tiger with Leyland B44F bodywork. The bus has been thoroughly stripped down and is now being rebuilt by the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust. When finished it will be, I believe, the only restored example of its type. Although we do have a donor vehicle, Ribble 386, we are lacking interior photographs to aid us in our task and are looking for anything that would assist, particularly of the driver’s cab.The bus was extensively altered by Ribble when they rebuilt it on behalf of the subsequent owner, Leonard Cheshire Homes and we are hoping to restore it to as original a condition as possible. Any help would be appreciated.
The attached photo was taken on 28/11/17.

Jonathan Cadwallader


Eastern Counties’ K Types Awaiting Disposal

12 K5G

Taken in Summer 1967, 12 K5G types awaiting disposal at the Silver Road, Norwich garage. The highbridge vehicles were around 19 years old. The lowbridge vehicles were 8ft wide rebodied older chassis, now replete with white steering wheels to remind drivers of the extra 6in width. This garage was used to keep surplus vehicles and was under the control of the company’s Rolling Stock Inspector at the time.

Geoff Pullin

14/02/18 – 07:39

Despite being a student in Norwich from 1971 to 1974 I think I only ever went near the Silver Road garage once or twice.
One does wonder whether the cost of having a garage for storage of old buses was really worthwhile particularly when the overflow of active vehicles from Surrey Street lead to them being parked on the site of the old Victoria Station opposite the Bus Station.

Nigel Turner


Blue Ensign Bedford

Can anyone help please, I am looking for a photo from the immaculate Yorkshire company Blue Ensign a Bedford SB registered YDT 417 acquired by Buggy’s Bus company in Castlecomer Co Kilkenny as I only have a rear view of it when with them.

Derek Parsons


Veazey’s Bedford CALZ

JMN 607G

A Bedford CALZ Martin Walter C11F mini coach has recently ‘surfaced’ on the IoM having been converted to a camper.
The Bedford GBC 638D chassis number 6313258 Chassis UB22456.6.73 was new 3/66 with D M Veazey, Winwick nr Peterborough then passing to D V Watkins, Peterborough 4/70 and to B W & J F D Goodman, Peterborough 6/74 sold c5/76 when a newer minibus was acquired and no further owners known. Looks like a subsequent owner swapped the ID to REW 565M a CA Van registered to Franks Bros of Helpston, Peterborough 6/94, but which was manufactured in 1967, possibly an ex military van re registered. Why the Martin Walter was ‘ringed’ to the van ID beggers belief.
Apparently the Martin Walter went to the IoM in 10/84 and then surfaced with Trish McDonough on IoM as a caravan 2/10 registered JMN 607G.
It recently passed to IoM fireman Ben Wilson, who is planning to restore it again as a motor home.
Does anyone have any photo’s of it when with Veazey, Watkins or Goodman as GBC 638D or later as a caravan as REW 565M?
Photo of it on IoM as JMN 607G

John Wakefeld


New Bodies for Old

In the 1950 s. many pre-war vehicles owned by Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company were re-bodied with new bodies by Eastern Coach Works. Does anyone know if these buses were driven from Bristol to Lowestoft (either still with the old bodies or as chassis) to have the new bodies fitted? I suspect that the old bodies may have been removed in Bristol, as several of them ended up as holiday chalets at Severn Beach, near Bristol. I do not think that they remained in this guise for more than a few years before being scrapped. The other possibility is that the new ECW bodies may have been delivered in kit-form to Bristol.
A further interesting twist to the story is that several of these new bodies were fitted a few years later to war-time chassis, and the pre-war chassis scrapped. Some war-time Guys, originally fitted with ‘Utility’ bodies eventually emerged disguised as Bristols with second-hand ECW bodies!

Patrick Murrell


Archived Bus Photos

A recently found this web site l 2391 bus related pics, many never been published before.

John Wakefield

19/01/18 – 05:14

Many thanks, John. What a treasure trove of images. Difficult to trawl through but worth the effort. Many views of Earls Court Show buses and many from the equivalent overseas exhibitions.

Paul Haywood

20/01/18 – 05:42

Yes, these are great pix indeed taken for Commercial Motor magazine and are now owned by a company selling commercial trucks. The monthly magazine Vintage Roadscene has good access and regularly feature these pix.
However, the website is not the most accessible and the index is not the best. Additionally, if you want to buy them-the prices are frankly silly. It is a shame it is not run more commercially and market orientated-one day perhaps, I hope?

Stuart Emmett

20/01/18 – 09:50

Index not the best I agree with this Stuart.
I have interest in 1st photo re coach rear view, showing "Returns" Newcastle phone numbers. Index states Plaxton. I have photo with full company logo showing Glorious Runs & Safe Returns to Scott Grey’s of Darlington albeit on an AEC coach new to them in 1962 . I’m unaware of them having a Newcastle office can anyone confirm they did, or can anyone recall another company using same slogan Glorious Runs & Safe Returns.

Alan Coulson

21/01/18 – 06:47

Alan Coulson mentions Scotts Grey’s of Darlington.
A book published at the end of last year entitled Scotts Greys Darlington ‘Glorious Runs and safe Returns’ by Keith Kitching covers the History of this company. It is self published by Keith and is available from him by contacting him at an email address available on request or on 07949 408472.

Stephen Howarth

22/01/18 – 03:52

As others have stated, these photos were taken for Commercial Motor. The good news is that it includes the photos taken but not used by the magazine. CM published an article in 1948 on my local operator (not that I was around then!) and the website has about a dozen additional photos.
The bad news is the pricing structure which means few of us are ever going to buy copies.

Nigel Turner


FUF 63

I am looking to contact the owner of FUF 63, a Brighton Corporation AEC Regent featured on this website. You show his name as Gary Brace. The reason for my interest is that I am looking to organise a school reunion in Brighton and would really like to hire or show this vehicle which was a regular performer on our school bus from Varndean school.

Bob Howells
(Ex Varndean student and retired senior executive from the bus industry)

28/11/17 – 07:42

The last owner recorded by PSV Circle in March 2015 edition of their Preserved Buses was Pye & Nicholson of West Drayton who looked to have been the owners for several years previous. According to a car check web site there was a keeper change in Jan 2015. Looking at Flickr there does not appear to be any pics of it since 2014 when it went on the HCVS London to Brighton Run. although its still showing as taxed.

John Wakefield

28/11/17 – 07:44

I was just responding to a comment left on your site by Bob Howells regarding Brighton Corporation AEC Regent FUF63.
I own the vehicle and he can contact me on this email address if he so desires.

Jon Pye


Silcox Fleet List

I am on the hunt for any fleet list for Silcox of Pembrokeshire, preferably all-time, but even partial would be useful in conjunction with the extensive list of my own. Does anyone have one for disposal or know where I might obtain one please?

Les Dickinson

21/10/17 – 10:55

Take a look at this site, Les:-

Roger Cox

22/10/17 – 10:30

Thanks for the link Roger. Just what I was looking for though Flickr seems an odd place to find it. I am now cross-checking and integrating with my own lists. This was always a fascinating fleet, even more-so during the building of refineries at Milford Haven when literally thousands of workmen had to be moved daily. Lots of smaller operators had contracts too. In addition Western Welsh moved a lot of vehicles to the area for a big share.

Les Dickinson

07/10/18 – 07:33

Since I first posted this Vernon Morgan has published an excellent account of this operator with a detailed fleet list and copious photographs. A recommended read especially as Silcox have since gone the way of so many operators recently.

Les Dickinson


AEC Renown 1926 at Auction

Ex Stondon museum and now going to auction at the end of September.

Paul Canty

10/09/17 – 06:43

Just out of interest, on scanning through the auction catalogue there is also a REO Speedwagon charabanc ex Black Country Museum for sale as well at the same sale.

Andrew Charles


Eastern National Service in Luton

Does anyone know much about the Eastern National service in Luton as my Great Grandfather Clarence Still worked for them. He is in a newspaper clipping in 1950 for winning silver award for from the Eastern Bus company and the Royal Society of prevention of accidents. I think I understand that the Eastern comp and the Luton corp were different services?

Barry Still

19/07/17 – 10:53

On 1 May 1952 the Midland Area of the Eastern National Omnibus Company Limited was transferred to the United Counties Omnibus Company – both these companies were part of the nationalised British Transport Commission.
According to John Bank’s book on United Counties (Venture Publications ‘Prestige Series’) this gave United Counties an additional 121 routes, 8 depots and 247 vehicles.
Eastern National, United Counties and Luton Corporation were separate bus operators.
The book also tells that Eastern National had had a working agreement with Luton Corporation since 1932 (the Luton and District Transport Agreement). This agreement was transferred to United Counties on 1 May 1952.
When the agreement was due to expire in January 1970, Luton Council put forward the idea that United Counties might take over their transport department which was losing money.
On January 4 1970 United Counties, by then part of the National Bus Company, took over Luton Corporation’s bus services.

David Slater

20/07/17 – 07:14

David S, do you happen to know what the size of the United Counties fleet was before the transfer? With 247 vehicles and 121 routes, it must have at least doubled the size of their operations.

Chris Barker

20/07/17 – 06:56

Chris, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your poser.
The only bit of further information I can offer is that the 1956/1957 issue of the ‘Little Red Book’ shows United Counties as having a fleet of 486 buses. If one deducts the figure of 247 that came from from Eastern National it gives 239 – so your point about doubling the fleet would certainly be the case.

David Slater

23/07/17 – 06:56

An Illustrated History of the United Counties Omnibus Company Limited: Part 6 Acquisition of Midland Area of Eastern NAtional Omnibus Company Limited – May 1952 Paperback – 1 1982 by Roger M. Warwick (Author) describes this period in great detail. (Probably available on Amazon) On May 1, 1952 239 buses and coaches were transferred. The United Counties fleet of 297 vehicles had been renumbered on March 1, 1952 allowing for the insertion in the appropriate chronology of the transferees!

Geoff Pullin


Newcastle Haymarket Bus Station


Here’s a little gem I picked up recently, no other details other than those on the front of the photo.
Newcastle Haymarket Bus Station, probably around the mid 30’s. From what I can make out, we have a Newcastle, or possibly a Gateshead & District tram heading North East along Percy Street towards Barras Bridge, and a bus going in the opposite direction just creeping into the photo.
On the other side of the South African War Memorial is a D/D tram on Northumberland Street passing St Thomas’s Church. On this side there is the rear of a Newcastle Corporation bus, then we have two United D/D’ s, in all probability they are all Leyland Titans, then finally two unidentified single buses.
I’ve ruled out Newcastle Corporation, because at that time their livery was dark blue, and these are far to light for that. Its possible they’ re both United, but I would lean more towards T&D and/or Wakefields. I base that assumption on the fact that they’re both forward entrance, and at that time United favoured a rear entrance on it single deck buses. Behind the railing to the right were the underground toilets
It would be interesting to hear what conclusions others draw

Ronnie Hoye

13/07/17 – 16:17

A good find.
Could the vehicle nearest the camera be a Bristol B-type belonging to United? United had 130 of this type, manufactured in 1929. They had forward entrances.   
The livery appears to be similar to that of the United double-decker, though the shadows make it difficult to be sure. Possible there is a part of the letter U of the fleet name, visible to the left of the person walking in the road. The front-end shape of the vehicle seems similar to the shape of a B-type.
(See one of the photos here )

Paul Robson

15/07/17 – 06:51

Paul, I’ve only ever seen photos of United’s Bristol ‘B’ types, and they always seemed to be in an all over red livery with cream centre band.
That said, liveries change, as can be seen in the photo, the United D/D pre war livery was very different to the post war layout that I remember.

Ronnie Hoye

24/07/17 – 06:53

Rather a jump from this thread, but mention of Bristol B type sent me through my slides and I came across this one taken at the Clapham Transport Museum on 31/3/1962. My notes describe it as Bristol 009.0303. The museum has moved twice since then and I don’t know whether this chassis has found a new resting place.
I also have some of my old hand-typed lists apparently listing Bristol 7th sanction chassis from no. 1609 (Supplied to J Martin Ltd, Kirkintillock 19.2.24 through to 12th sanction 1719 (supplied to MMD – which I think was Motor Maintenance Department, ie Bristol Tramways operational fleet – 21.1.26 bodied by BBW). I cannot remember where I got this information from! The list includes chassis supplied to BP for tankers and buses for Sunderland, Manchester, Rhondda, Doncaster, Wakefield and Chesterfield. The list does not include sanction 9 and chassis 0303!

Geoff Pullin

25/07/17 – 06:44

The photo submitted by Geoff Pullin of the Bristol B chassis 0303 reminded me of reading Buses Illustrated in my teens. There was a feature on this bus in an issue c.1962/63/64. Sorry to be vague on the year! The bus had been rescued complete, but the bodywork was in such poor condition that the decision was taken to restore the bus as a chassis only. A vague memory hints that it had an "HW" series registration, which, if true, would mean it was new to the Bristol company itself. I do not know if the chassis still exists.

Michael Hampton

25/07/17 – 16:27

Buses Illustrated for June 1962 has the story. Bristol Tramways HU 6618 was found in a derelict state and the chassis was saved and renovated by a group of West Yorkshire R.C.C. apprentices. On completion, a home was found at the BTC Museum in Clapham.

Mike Grant

26/07/17 – 15:54

Looking at the bus on the right, there appear to be struts across the windows a few inches from the top, suggesting that the top part opens. This makes me doubt whether it is a United Bristol B because pictures of those that I have seen show a one piece window with a slightly arched top. The style of window seen here more resembles those on earlier ADCs but the body shape is not right for those either.

John Gibson

27/07/17 – 16:47

Well chaps, regarding the preserved Bristol 2-ton chassis, fuller details are available on this very website. Click on ‘Best Bits’ and scroll approximately halfway down the right hand column of headings and click on ‘Grove Park Depot’ by David Rhodes. Partway through the comments section is a photo of the 2-tonner ‘piggy-backing’ on a Bristol RELL6G chassis. Comments below the photos give details of how the the 2-ton chassis came into preservation.

Brendan Smith


Bedford J2 Plaxton EXS 569F

EXS 569F

I am trying to trace any photos and history of my 1967 Bedford J2 Plaxton Embassy EXS 569F.
It was new to SMT as a demonstrator and was shown at the Scottish Motor Show, before being sold to Pattison in Paisley.
Its been with Wilkinson, Gateshead, Sowerby, Gisland, Abcan, Gisland, Tom Jackson in Balckpool & G-Line in St Annes.
If anyone knows about the early operators or can help with pictures its much appreciated!

Stephen Dine


Lost Bedford J2

DAO 315K

DAO 315K a Bedford J2SZ10 chassis No 1T122033 Plaxton C20F body No 728001 which was new Feb. 1972 to Thomas, Dearham, Cumbria. has recently been discovered in a garage & purchased by a Mr Gray for preservation. Whats its subsequent history? It was not known to survive & not listed as preserved by PSVC. Its been untaxed since 01 October 1984.

John Wakefield

09/06/17 – 13:19

It was with Hunter of Edinburgh c1981.

Dave Farrier

10/06/17 – 06:56

Thanks David. I have now heard from Rob Gray the new owner, he got it from Corrigan Coaches, Glasgow where it had been stored for over 33 years, was taken off road in 1984. They must have had it some years earlier so Hunter may have had it earlier than 1981 or maybe did not keep it long.

John Wakefield

13/06/17 – 07:30

Some more owners have come to light from s PSVC member
2/72 new to Thomas, Dearham, Cumbria.
date unknown private owner, Edinburgh
4/75 Eric Hunter, t/a ABC, Edinburgh
c/82 T Dickson, Glasgow
12/84 W Y Pickering, Glenboig
Does not look as though Pickering ran it & look to have sold it onto Corrigan, although PSVC have no record of it going to Corrigan

John Wakefield


Silver Star

I am Eddie Shergolds grandson and I would like to take his great grandson to see his buses at rallies around the south coast. If anyone could let me know the dates that they are going to appear I would be very grateful.

Kevin Shergold

03/06/17 – 13:05

At least 2 Silver Star vehicles a Leyland Tiger Cub and a Leyland Atlantean with a most unusual upper-deck seating layout are regular attenders at the Friends of King Alfred Buses (FoKAB) Running Day held in early May every year. The website shows what’s on when and where, and many of the organisations running events list vehicles that are expected to turn up though last-minute problems with 45-85 year-old buses can occasionally mean a dropout.

Ian Thompson


Trent PD2

I have a photo of every Leyland PD2 that was operated by Trent Motor Traction except one! KCH 104 fleet number 1004 later renumbered to 761. New in 1957. PD2 with MCW Orion body. If any could help with a photo I am eternally grateful. Willing to swap any other Trent photos if required

Alan Hiley


Mystery Swiss Bus


This strange looking Swiss FBW bus registered SG-13934 has recently been seen in France, obviously now a motor home. But what is its history? Is the ‘upper deck’ at the front original, or been built on subsequently? It looks like the driving position is in the upper deck. Looks like it may have been built for a special purpose
(Photo courtesy of Steve Gray)

John Wakefield

19/05/17 – 07:16

This is one of Zurich’s "Hochlenker" (giraffe) buses dating from 1959. FBW were hoping this design was a breakthrough but only 12 were built, and all ran in Zurich. Although slightly impracticable in operation, they proved reliable and lasted in service for some 20 years. Some were sold for use as mobile homes, as seen, but one (239) is preserved in its original Zurich condition.
This is a link to a photo of Zurich 239.

Paul Haywood

19/05/17 – 07:17

There are pictures and plans of these in bus form on:
It is quite a long page and will need some scrolling down to find them as they are not all together.

John Lomas

19/05/17 – 07:18

The vehicle is an FBW type B71UH with bodywork by Tuscher, new to VBZ Zurich (fleet number 244). The batch comprised 239-50, new 1959-62, and several have survived, in varying condition. I don’t know what particular duties they had in Zurich; the driver’s position is certainly at high level.

David Call

19/05/17 – 11:00

Many thanks gents for the info, any idea why the driving position was at the higher level?

John Wakefield

21/05/17 – 07:17

Seeing the picture of the preserved bus, it does raise the question "Why?". The most scenic view would have been enjoyed by the driver alone. All the passengers sitting behind would have been denied the view ahead, traditionally over the driver’s shoulder, as it would have been replaced by a blank panel for his legs and the extended controls down to the chassis.
In suggesting a possible answer to the question, I have enjoyed top deck rides on double deckers through the narrow, winding lanes of Cornwall and have been able to see approaching cars far sooner than the driver, as his delayed application of the brakes have attested. But,’up there’, one is rather removed from the road surface and the prospect of pulling into the kerb, is perhaps akin to the captain of a cruise liner coming in to port, looking way down from the bridge.


23/05/17 – 05:16

The idea behind the design was to accommodate around 100 passengers in a 12 metre long rigid vehicle. At the time this was seen as a cost effective alternative to the more expensive articulated models. By elevating the driver the total floor space was available for passengers.
Zurich’s bus number 239 (now preserved) was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in 1959 but, like lots of other innovations, it didn’t catch on.

David Slater

24/05/17 – 07:11

Thanks for that explanation, David, but the repositioning aloft of the driver could surely have increased the "ground floor" capacity by only two seats or so, a benefit so paltry that the entire exercise could hardly have justified the increased construction and maintenance costs, quite apart from the inevitably odd handling characteristics.

Roger Cox

25/05/17 – 06:47

I have to agree with Roger: it qualifies for the uglybus page and also for the Guy Wulfrunian award for persistence.
Sense appears when some are described on other pages as airport buses: you can then have two front entrances and good visibility?



London Transport Bell Punch Bus Ticket


"Here is a London Transport Bell Punch ticket dating from about 1955-56. It only shews numbers representing route stages, rather than earlier versions which were route-specific and showed details of where the stage point was, a very expensive system!
To my best recollection, Gibson machines took over from Bell Punch ones about 1959-60, although Green Line used Setright machines.
However, I bow to those with superior knowledge!"

Chris Hebbron

21/11/17 – 07:27

Related to this picture, does anyone know the origin of the famous triangular fare stage charts once carried conspicuously on all LT buses?
My memory of them from the 1950’s and 1960’s is that they were works of great design in at least three colours and with proper borders to identify the various pieces of information, but deteriorated into the more utilitarian single colour versions.
Who knows when they were first used, were they a LGOC innovations or like route numbers, did it come from an independent?

Grant Mackenzie

22/11/17 – 07:19

I have a recollection that it was once a ‘Ministry’ requirement that a fare table had to be carried on all regular bus services.
It may be that London Transport did this in a more professional way than other undertakings having them on display in frames etc. Others may have covered the requirement by having the conductor carry a fare table or set of fare tables in his/her ticket machine box. The small to medium sized municipalities had dedicated fare table booklets that covered all their services.

David Slater


Ernie Wise, Sheffield Bedford

In early 1953, comedian Ernie Wise and his new wife drove a Bedford bus from Peterborough to Sheffield where he and Eric Morecambe were appearing in pantomime. The bus was parked in a field behind the Sandygate Service Station, and there it remained for the ten week duration of the panto. It was the home of newly wed Ernie and Doreen for that bitter winter and when the panto was over the bus was sold and replaced by a Triumph Renown. Reports vary but the bus was certainly a single decker Bedford originally with 25 or 35 seats that had been converted to living accommodation. I have seen a photograph of the bus parked, with snow drifted up to the wheeltops and it is this photograph I’m appealing for now. If anyone has seen a copy or can point me in the direction of a copy I would be immensely grateful.

Michael Dolby

06/05/17 – 11:17

A long shot Michael but as you know the year and duration of stay it might be worth asking the Sheffield Star & Telegraph if they have it in their archives?

Les Dickinson

07/05/17 – 07:47

I have come across a reference fleet to a vehicle of this type being owned by E. Wiseman, Leeds as a caravan in one one of the PSVC fleet histories, but I cannot recall which one (I have a few of these!). I am not at home at the moment, but when I get back I will try to find it. I am pretty sure that it was a 20-seater type.

David Hick

08/05/17 – 07:55

Found the entry I was referring to in my last post:
The vehicle was a Bedford WLB/Duple B20F AWR 315, New to Edward Brothers, Rothwell, then Rose, Glasshoughton, West Riding, Balme of Otley. Recorded as passing to E.Wiseman, Leeds, as caravan in January 1952.

David Hick


Anglo – Scots Motorways

CO 5850

Here is a picture of my families bus in 1927. Imported from America I believe it is a Reo bus make and model I do not know. The company was run by Hugh Marley and John Marley originally as the Ideal Bus Company and then Anglo – Scots Motorways. Traveling from Glasgow to Liverpool till around 1935 when Swords and SMT put them out of business.

Bernard Marley


Dodge AYV 93B


This Dodge coach AYV 93B was used by Indigo Overland to take all kinds of people, including myself, overland from London to Kathmandu from August to November 1973. I came back my air but I believe that the coach did make the return trip to the U.K. and arrived back in time for Christmas 1973.

Les Kirkland

18/03/17 – 16:18

AYV 93B new to Rickards of Brentford 6/1964, a further history is to Uxbridge date unknown from Rickards then in 1970 acquired by T.G. &. T.G. Jones of Oakengates who used AYU 93B on stage carriage services, before acquired by Indigo pre 1973.

Alan Coulson

20/03/17 – 05:56

This coach was one of six delivered to Rickards, of which there is a posting of a photo of sister vehicle AYV 94B in original livery, plus a lot more information – SEE

Chris Hebbron


Burlingham ‘Baby’ Seagull OB

FFS 867

FFS 867_2

This Burlingham ‘Baby’ Seagull bodied Bedford OB has just been acquired from a preservationist in Scotland by Lodge’s Coaches of High Easter, Essex for use in their working heritage fleet after renovation. FFS 867 was one of 19 Bedford OB’s & 4 OWB’s rebodied by Burlingham in 1953. Its one of only 2 survivors, the other being FFS 871. Its been in store since 1998.

John Wakefield

06/03/17 – 17:14

SSV 814

Interesting views! I would like to think that Lodge’s would keep the vehicle in SMT markings, complete with the diamond, but almost everything else I’ve seen in their fleet has been blue and cream, so I don’t hold out much hope. I have a view of a coach with a similar outline – SSV 814 – which is lurking in Peter’s file of my contributions, and I had thought it was an early SB. Perhaps not! I’ve attached it for admiration or ridicule, as members see fit!

Pete Davies

07/03/17 – 06:22

Peter. SSV 814 was new in 1955 to Humphreys of Pontypridd with registration RTG 749, its a Bedford SBG Chassis No 36789 with Burlingham C36F bodywork. Body No 5877 It does look shorter though in your pic but wider front axle sets it apart from an OB. It appears to have survived up until October 1986.
Lodge’s will be restoring FFS 867 in their own Blue & Cream livery.

John Wakefield

07/03/17 – 11:25

Thanks, John. My photo was taken at the Southsea rally in June 1986, so SSV must have gone not long afterwards.

Pete Davies

18/08/18 – 06:30

Can anyone please explain to me why, when Burlingham built their full-front Baby Seagulls onto existing Bedford OB chassis, the seating capacity was reduced to, I believe, C24F, even though there was apparently slightly more space for seating. The Plaxton full-front Bedford OBs (and others) were increased to C30F.

Rob Falconer

18/08/18 – 09:19


Rob Falconer asks why Burlingham down seated the ‘Baby Seagull’ OB’s to 24. I think this was because (a) They were intended to be used on sight seeing tours so more leg room was required, and (b) the Burlingham seats were some what larger than the Duple ones, there were only 4 across the back, and none beside the driver (see my pics taken of the interior of FFS 867)

John Wakefield


Full Front Bedford OB

FHP 782

FHP 782 was a Plaxton FC30F full front Bedford OB, chassis No 29629, body No 14, new to R. Bolton (Red House Coaches) Coventry 9/46 then going to A. E. Brown, Caistor c1952; Rayner, Great Bircham 10/57; Abel, Wells-next-the-Sea 5/61 withdrawn 11/63.
PSV Circle OB Chassis Lists (publication C1252) record this at one point having a Ford front panel & GMC engine. This modification looks to have taken place after it was with A E Brown (see attached photo courtesy Colin Martin’s collection). Has anyone a pic of it with the Ford (believed to be from a Thames Trader) front?

John Wakefield


Western SMT London service in the 1960’s


Above is a photo I took at Golders Green in N London circa’ 1962, it is not the best quality picture it was taken with a Kodak Brownie Cresta, quite unusual.
It shows the Western SMT overnight service to Glasgow at about 7.30 pm having left Victoria Coach Station at 7.00pm. The service continued to Finchley (Tally Ho Corner) and Barnet. These were all pickup and drop down points before stopping later at Baldock at the Country Café for a half hour supper stop. When the journey resumed it was non stop up the ADDRESS: Great North Road, Stamford, Grantham, Newark, Doncaster on to Scotch Corner,west on the A66 to Penrith and A6 to Carlisle.I was an occasional user of this service and would disembark at Carlisle. The last time I did this in 1967 it arrived at 04:20. The coach would not officially stop until breakfast stop north of Carlisle before arriving at Glasgow at 8.00am. I did this journey a number of times between 1955 and 1967 (my last time) and in the early days we passed through all the towns mentioned above. In those days there were no motorways and virtually no dual carriageway but as the years progressed the towns were by-passed and the A1 upgraded to dual carriageway so journey times improved. The M6 was extended to Carlisle in 1971 and the ‘M’ types were introduced and journey times reduced dramatically. Currently 8 hours from Glasgow to London. In those days the Eastern and Western SMT coaches were of a high standard and featured toilet/washroom, reclining seats and a tartan rug. I recall the early coaches were Guy Arabs and then Leyland Leopards. The two drivers changed every couple of hours. I have read accounts of drivers changing ‘on the roll’ but I only witnessed this once and the road was very quiet and the coach almost came to a stop. Even in those days I imagine the management would take a dim view of this happening. Normally they would stop for a few seconds at least. The average speed would be 40 mph and they kept good time even in atrocious winter conditions on the A66 high ground north of Scotch Corner and the A74 north of Carlisle. These were the longest coach journeys at that time and the drivers regarded themselves as the crème de la crème. Only the most experienced drivers worked this route which would involve a days rest in London before the return trip.

Peter Bell

25/02/17 – 15:15

This is an interesting one. I well remember it from my student days in Birmingham – the daytime version, that is. I used the Standerwick Kendal and Keswick service. The drivers would get into the outside lane as quickly as they could on joining the M6, and sit there until about a mile out from Knutsford services. No speed limits in those days and they would move over only for blue lights and the Scottish coaches. I have no idea if this was true or not, but I have been told several times that the Glasgow London and the Edinburgh London runs were completed ‘out and back’ within the shift. I suspect untrue for the drivers but the vehicles might have done it.

One of my office colleagues had to attend a funeral in Workington and went up on the coach. Southampton to Victoria by Shamrock & Rambler and then changing on to the WSMT "overnight". He was told he would be put off at Carlisle. He boarded the coach, showed the driver his ticket and was told there was no stop in Carlisle. WSMT driver checked with Inspector. The driver did the (unscheduled) Carlisle stop and was asked in the office why he had stopped there. Inspector at Victoria had told him to. Telephone call to Victoria. Yes, the customer had been given an inaccurate ticket. Sham & Ram were sent a bill.

Pete Davies

25/02/17 – 15:45

Here are two pictures, both taken in 1960 at Victoria Coach Station, of vehicles on the Western SMT London service.

EAG 893
Guy Arab UF, Alexander C41C, EAG 893, fleet no. 979 of 1952.

OCS 737
Leyland Leopard L1, Alexander C30F, OCS 737, fleet no. 1615 of 1960.

Roger Cox

01/03/17 – 12:13

After reading of the experience of the Pete Davis’s colleague booked for a London to Carlisle journey on Western SMT I scratched my head and thought back to my beliefs from past years that the only operator for such a direct journey was in fact Western SMT. Looking at the ABC Coach and Bus Guide for the Summer of 1951 and also the National Bus Company Coach Guide for the Summer of 1972, both publications confirmed my assumption. The 1972 index shows two tables. Table number 49:4 shows journeys requiring a change of coach in Kendal using the Standerwick London-Keswick services with a connection to the Lancashire-Carlisle services of Ribble at Kendal. (On the overnight services outside the main summer period a change of coach was also necessary in Preston). The second table is 59:1 shows the London to Glasgow service of Western SMT. Both the regular day and night services ran a full ‘˜all points served’ service which included Carlisle. (There was also a London-Glasgow motorway express summer day service which featured Carlisle as the only other calling point). The fare on Western SMT was £3.00 single and £6.00 return (all return fares were double the single fare on this service). The fare on the Standerwick/Ribble route was £2.75 single/£4.60 return increased to £3.25/£5.15 on summer weekends. In the Summer 1951 guide the Western SMT service is again the primary one, a regular overnight service supplemented with a day service in the height of summer. Single fare 27 shillings (£1.35), return fare double. There is no reference to London-Carlisle with Standerwick/Ribble and even a London-Kendal journey refers one to the Standerwick/Ribble/Scout London-Blackpool service timetable with a notation ‘service by connecting bus’. There is actually another service listed in the 1951 index but that was probably outside the scope of regular travellers. It was the ‘˜two day’ London-Edinburgh service of Scottish Omnibuses that stayed overnight in Chester in each direction. This was a tourist related service that travelled via the Thames Valley passing through Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Warwick and Lichfield arriving in Chester for the night. The next day it continued via Lancaster, Kendal, Ambleside, Keswick, Carlisle, Gretna Green and Moffat. The southbound facility called at the same places in reverse. The company also ran a similar ‘˜two day’ with an overnight stay in York.

David Slater

02/03/17 – 07:08

David’s comment about the single fare being £3 in 1972 made me check on the current price by National Express. The current value of £3 in 1972 is £38. I randomly picked the 21st March and noted that the overnight single fare is just £10 and the journey time is 6.75 hours. So the overnight fare is wonderful value today.

Chris Hebbron

22/03/17 – 06:03

On one Sunday night in the sixties I needed to get back to London from Carlisle so thought I would turn up around 10pm on spec for the Western SMT service. The drivers had a chin wag and eventually said I could use their rest seat by the toilet at the back of the bus. I handed over my £3 fare and was told they would return with a ticket, I’m still waiting for the ticket but the poor guys spent their rest period sitting on the front step. I didn’t have the heart to push for the ticket – it must have been very uncomfortable for them but they got £1.50 each for their trouble.

Peter Bell

26/07/17 – 06:29

From 1965 until late ’70’s I used to drive part time for a road haulage pal of mine during the pea season – (June-late July)overnight, hauling freshly vined peas from Cambridge to Bachelors at Worksop at the start of the season and then Sheffield when the season was in full swing. I well remember being passed by these coaches, at speed, on the A1. There were also cracking AEC coaches which seemed to alternate nightly between Eastern and Western Scottish, these had sloping windows "a la" American Greyhound style. Anyone know any more?

Richard Watson

Melbourne Motor Omnibus Company Daimler CC




This vehicle has been restored by Nixons Engineering and is a 1912 Daimler CC Bus. Its origins were as a vehicle imported to Australia by the Melbourne Motor Omnibus Company.
The Daimler company built approximately 560 units of the CC bus chassis between 1912 to 1914. This restored vehicle is chassis number CC-9. There are only two known Daimler CC buses in the world. This one located in Wagga Wagga, Australia and one in England that is missing its engine.
Production of the CC chassis stopped when war was declared with the Daimler factory ramping up production of the CB model which had a 13 ft wheelbase and heavier chassis for 4 tonne truck.
Features of the Daimler CC bus include:
– Timber frame chassis with steel flitch plates each side, hot riveted.
– Daimler 4 cylinder sleeve valve engine
– Daimler 3 speed rolla chain drive (which reduced noise for bus passengers)
– Front Tyres 34" x 4" single solid rubber
– Rear Tyres 36" x 9" dual solid rubber
In Australia, this is the oldest restored British built commercial vehicle on the road.

Malcolm Nixon

24/02/17 – 17:37

What a wonderful restoration of an almost unique vehicle, Malcolm, a credit to the folk who got it into such pristine condition. Love the very British ‘Pears Soap’ advert on the side. I wonder who built the body? Do you have the story of how it managed to survive?

Chris Hebbron


1957 Bus Plans

plan 01

plan 02

My partner and I found some interesting Plans for a bus under some lino in our house the other day and I was hoping you could tell me more about them?


21/02/17 – 16:22

This type of coach bodywork was made by Duple at their works in Hendon from late 1956 until the end of 1958, and was easily the best-seller for fitment to Bedford SB chassis throughout its production. Introduced at the Earls Court Commercial Motor Show in October 1956, the "FS56" version of the Vega/Super Vega (a Super Vega had a higher interior spec) replaced a similar design which debuted at the 1954 Show, the main difference being a tidied up front end which omitted the overlaid "feathered wings" motif of the earlier version. The FS56 Vega was superseded by a much more bulbous design in early 1959. From that point on all Vegas were Super Vegas regardless of interior furnishings, but they were considerably less super than this version which most would rate as a design classic equal to the original Vega of 1950 or (dare I say it?) the legendary Duple Vista.

Neville Mercer

22/02/17 – 07:07

If you go to the bottom photo on the link below, there is an example of one of these coaches in service, except that this one has the ‘feathered overlay’ over the grill which Neville mentions.

Chris Hebbron

23/02/17 – 12:57

A slip between brain and keyboard led me to describe this as an "FS56" rather than an "FS56/11", and I should probably have made it clearer that the earlier version referred to (introduced in 10/54) was also known by the same designation. The original "FS56" was actually the "fish-mouth" grille model manufactured for one year from 10/53 to 10/54, although some were first registered at a later date having sat on dealers’ forecourts after potential customers opted for the far more attractive Plaxton Venturer II. Weirdly, as Duple’s styling improved with the butterfly front Plaxton’s took a nosedive with the introduction of the Consort Mk I – not a looker on underfloor engined chassis but downright ugly on a Bedford SB.

Neville Mercer

14/03/17 – 06:55

Further to previous comments, there is a two-part article in the "Model Collector" magazine, in issues dated March and April 2017 respectively. While concentrating on models of the Bedford SB with "butterfly" front, there is also some comment on the full scale originals. I’m only a subscriber to that magazine, no professional interest, but thought that the info might interest some.

Michael Hampton


Trojan Bus

OVB 345

Here is a photo of Trojan Bus taken at Towyn, North Wales a few years back. This bus once belonged to London Transport and was often seen at Stamford Hill, North London.

John Plumb

04/02/17 – 15:13

OVB 345_2

A Trojan DT OVB 345 last recorded as in preservation with MacDougall, East Devon. But looks like its fallen on bad times as this pic by ‘Sidmouth Ian’ shows

John Wakefield

04/02/17 – 15:14

This is a Brooke Bond Tea Van, stretched upwards! Pre-war models had some bizarre engines but presumably this is post 1946 with a Perkins diesel- and pneumatic tyres. What would LT do with this?


04/02/17 – 15:15

What looks to be the same shot as the above is already on Flickr where it is stated the shot was taken at the St Albans Bus Rally, 31/7/88.
There are quite a few references to this vehicle on the web, and nowhere (other than above) is there any suggestion of a link to London Transport.
The vehicle was apparently last taxed in January 1997; its current status/existence is not known.

05/02/17 – 07:43

I’ll check with the Trojan Owners’ Club, of which I’ve been a member since 1959, having once run a prewar van with the "odd engine", as Joe so rightly puts it! Other endearing features were chain drive, friction "diff", no front-wheel brakes, 2-speed epicyclic gearbox…

Ian Thompson

05/02/17 – 09:22

Napier were of course the makers of quality cars and then some splendid engines for land and sea. Eventually English Electric took them over and had the idea of putting the magnificent Deltic marine diesel into a railway engine. The rest is history… Why did they need a minibus?


05/02/17 – 09:22

BLOW has OVB 345 new to English Electric Co, Stafford


06/02/17 – 06:49

I think the Trojan was used as staff transport. The Trojan Owners Club & Trojan Trust are aware of the vehicle & its status. More about it here  

John Wakefield


Another Car with a very Slight Bus Connection

Y 1568

This is a picture of my grandfather not long before outbreak of World War I, I believe. Unfortunately, he was gassed during the war, developed epileptic fits and was unable to drive again. I think he worked for Bristol Omnibus Co working out of the City Centre, Bristol. What vehicle was this, do you think? Any information would be much appreciated.

Keith Derrett

03/02/17 – 06:18

Keith – I am out of my comfort zone on this, but I feel sure this a Renault AG Fiacre (4-wheel handsome cab). It had an enclosed two-seat section (behind the driver) and an open 2-seat section at the back (with a bad weather canopy). They were built in large numbers from 1905 to 1910, almost solely for taxi use, particularly in Paris and London. The Paris taxis were famously known as the “Taxis of Marne” which transported French troops to the front in 1914. Can I suggest your grandfather was then employed as an up-market taxi driver or chauffeur and was seen waiting for business outside a Bristol station?

Paul Haywood

03/02/17 – 14:15

The car is definitely a taxi-the taximeter and a "For Hire" sign can be seen above the drivers hand.

David Hick

03/02/17 – 15:21

Paul H, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but are you sure you didn’t mean to refer to the above as a ‘hansom’ cab? Strictly speaking, a hansom cab came on two wheels with a horse at the front, but the above has obvious similarities.

David Call

03/02/17 – 17:11

Yes, David, you are correct about my stupid mis-spelling of "hansom" (or was it my spell-checker automatically defaulting to "handsome"?). Of course, a hansom cab was indeed a 2-wheeler, but the Fiacre was a four-wheeler. I deferred from calling it a hackney cab because this opens the door as to whether the name is derived from Hackney (London) or the French word "haquenée" being a small horse for use by ladies.
Do any Bristollians recognise this station. It doesn’t look like Temple Meads.

Paul Haywood

04/02/17 – 07:10

Paul’s details of the model brings to mind a chart topping record I have – Its called "Le Fiacre" – "The cab" and is by Jean Sablon. It was in the hit list for a good while and is full of French "Je ne sais quoi" atmosphere.

Chris Youhill

04/02/17 – 07:11

Although I have no access to the registration system which would give the year of registration from the numerals, I can say that ‘Y’ was a Somerset registration.

Chris Hebbron

04/02/17 – 09:26

If Somerset got it’s first registration No in 1903 (when they became a requirement) their 9999 available single letter Y regs lasted until 1921.
See top of page 9 in this doc.

John Lomas

04/02/17 – 09:26

According to the Les Newall book, the registration dates from early 1912.

David Call

05/02/17 – 07:47

It should be remembered that Bristol was much smaller in those days and the borders of Somerset and Gloucester met each side of Bristol. Until the 1973 changes which created the locally-hated Avonmouth, Keynsham was in Gloucestershire. So, a Somerset-registered vehicle would be registered barely out of Bristol.

Chris Hebbron

05/02/17 – 09:28

Chris Hebron’s statement that the 1973 changes created the locally-hated Avonmouth, will come as a surprise to those locals, many of who will know the name has been used and the locality acknowledged since at least the 1870s when the work on the docks, to extend the port of Bristol, commenced.
What he meant to say was the creation of the non metropolitan council of Avon which existed from 1974 to 1996.

Phil Blinkhorn

06/02/17 – 06:48

I omitted to put the intended "local authority" after 1973 and I’d only visited Avonmouth the day before writing the post, so it was still fresh in my mind, Phil! Thx for clarifying.

Chris Hebbron


Eastern National Austin Ruby

Not sure if anyone can assist me or not in my research. I own an Austin Ruby, registration mark EVW 85, registered in 1937. There is some suggestion it was first registered to the Eastern National Bus Company.

EVW 85

Can anyone assist in providing more info for this notion or point me to someone who may be able to?

Dave Price

28/01/17 – 10:57

Sorry that I can’t help with the initial owner of the Ruby, but what a beautiful example and I’m so envious. The cat appears to be heading purposefully to make an under chassis examination of the car.

Chris Youhill

28/01/17 – 12:06

PSV Circle fleet history of Eastern National 2PF4 gives this as owned by them 4/37 and sold 4/38.

Derek Wilkinson

31/01/17 – 06:37

Do make sure to check the postings on SCT ’61 where they have some useful details about your car. May I say your Austin looks in very fine condition!

Richard Leaman

31/01/17 – 06:39

There are some further comments on this question on the SCT’61 site – further staff cars are mentioned.

Michael Hampton

01/02/17 – 07:42

Dave, in case you are not familiar with the SCT61 site, this is the link to your question.

Paul Haywood

01/02/17 – 07:43

The Austin Chummy/Seven/Eight/Reliant Robin side-valve engine had a long life. First produced in 1922 and used by Austin until 1948, the tooling was then given to Reliant for its Robin, who continued to use it until they eventually produced their own, OHV, engine.

Chris Hebbron

1890 Horse Bus


This is a "three light" (from the number of side windows) "garden seat" (transverse seating upstairs) 26 seater horse bus, circa 1890. It was normally a two horsepower vehicle, but a third horse – the “cock horse” – could be added for rough terrain and gradients (similar in principle to a banking engine). It was probably constructed by Solomon Andrews, proprietor of the Star Omnibus Company of Cardiff, and later also of London. It is very similar (though differing in some details) to the Star Omnibus Company three light vehicle of the London Bus Museum, but that one was sold by its then owner in 1967 to Chicago, USA, where it remained until its return to the UK in 1989. The one shown in this picture was operated in Surrey for publicity purposes in 1983 to celebrate 100 years of trading by the local haberdashery shop, Knight’s of Reigate, outside whose premises in Bell Street it is seen. At that time this bus was owned by A. E. Drewitt, a horse carriage hire company based in Epsom, with whom I believe it still resides.

Roger Cox

27/01/17 – 06:21

Lovely photo, Roger. The last recorded horse bus service running in London, run by Thomas Tilling, ran the day WWI broke out, 4th August 1914. The last urban one was in Gateshead, in 1931 and the last rural one, in East Anglia, ran in 1932.

Chris Hebbron


Villa Park Buses

I am looking for bus photographs from the days when the football special used to run from Birmingham City centre and the ones in question were marked Villa Park.
I am blind and remember as a child going to Villa Park with my Dad and the excitement of seeing that long line of buses, I think in Steelhouse Lane.
In May I am publishing a book of my football memories and such a photograph would be a great addition.
Can anyone help at all please?

John Flanner MBE

Tuesday 24th

236 DOC

Re the request for photos of Villa Park buses, I can offer the attached photo.
I’m not too sure of the exact location, central Birmingham, possibly near to the temporary car park at the Hall of Memory.
Date is Autumn 1969, when it was still BCT. rather than WMPTE.
The vehicle is 3236 (236 DOC), one of the 10 Atlanteans. (looks like it has acquired a Fleetline bonnet).

Bob Gell

27/01/17 – 06:23

Bob, the bonnet/engine cover assembly is that fitted to the earlier Atlanteans. The three ‘ribs’ ran along the bottom edge either side and around the back of the vehicle. That fitted to the Fleetline did look somewhat similar, but sported only two ‘ribs’. A revised three-piece engine cover for the Atlantean made its appearance I seem to think around 1963, which did away with the ‘ribs’.

Brendan Smith

27/01/17 – 11:25

Brendan Looking more closely,yes you are quite right – sorry, my mistake.Bob

Bob Gell

27/01/17 – 16:23

Though not pictured in Birmingham, here is a 1950 Crossley carrying a Villa Park destination blind.

John Lomas


Bedford VAS2 1491


This Bedford VAS2 (Chassis No 1491) with Jennings library van body, has recently appeared on eBay. It is believed to be AEY 11B & supplied to Anglesey County Council Library Service in April 1964 It was last known as a caravan at Glasson, Lancashire in 8/97. Has anyone any pics of it when in service on Anglesey?

John Wakefield


Old Bus Sounds

I have found some of the photos very useful for getting accurate livery details for some model bus kits; thanks for this.
I also enjoyed some of the links to Old Bus Sounds. I regret I never had the facilities to record various semi- and fully auto Brisbane City Council buses in the 15 years I lived and worked there; they had many AEC and Leyland chassis, including Regal IV and VI (one with a 2-speed auto), Reliance 590 (noisy but tuneful), Leopards (bouncy), and Panthers (with 4 and 2 speed boxes). For the latter, there are a couple of YouTube clips which may be of interest to you at with one standard and one refurbished Panther.
These are not mine so may require permission, but I am sure the QOCS would appreciate a link to boost their publicity anyway.

Jeff Lynn


Sammy Ledgard AUM 414C

My father in law Jack Knapton used to drive a Sammy Ledgards bus AUM 414C.
I need a picture of it to recreate it as a cake for his 80th birthday, can anyone help.

Andrea Knapton

06/12/16 – 07:15

John Lomas

06/12/16 – 07:16

AUM 414C

Andrea – here is a picture of the vehicle in West Busk Lane, Otley with Jack Spencer driving – your father in law will no doubt know him. Sorry its monochrome (photographer unknown) but the simple colours were ivory and pale blue.

Chris Youhill

06/12/16 – 07:17

Atlas Editions do a model of the very coach.

David Call

06/12/16 – 07:18

Here’s a photo of its twin, AUM413C.  

David Call

06/12/16 – 14:07

Thank you so much for your help, cake now in progress.



A Meeting of Otters

Below are two poor Instamatic photos of a historic occasion when the two Llandudno Otters met the demonstrator Otter at a rally. The demonstrator was owned by myself and was in a stripped paint condition as I was about to paint it in its demon livery, it was a rare event to get all three together. There is also a print of it when new, I hope they are of interest.

Ken Wragg

NTB 403_1

NTB 403_2

NTB 403_3


Classic Catering Units

OSJ 512

804 FUF

These two Jersey buses, Morris Commercial CVF 13/5 Wadham FB27F OSJ 512 (J 11429) and Albion Victor FT39AN Reading B35F 804 FUF (J 15213) have both recently been sold for ‘classic catering units’. The Morris to Dubai where it will be a ‘feature’ in a restaurant, and the Albion nearer home to Gatwick as a ‘fine wine bar’. Both were bought from the auction of the late Richard Payne’s collection at Gt Sampford, Essex in 2014 by a catering company, Caterfest of Leicester. Whilst they did not convert the vehicles themselves, they decided to sell them earlier this year on eBay with asking prices of £20k for the Morris & £12k for the Albion (they paid £14.6K for the Morris & £6.2k for the Albion) Obviously well over the price enthusiasts would pay. Sadly this seems a sign of the times with old vehicles being cut up for mobile catering units and ‘glampers’. I blame George Clarke & his ‘Amazing Spaces’ TV programme. Apparently no one on Jersey, including The Pallot Steam, Motor & General Museum was interested in them.

John Wakefield


Information Required on Converted Vehicles

OWJ 353A

DMS 359C

TWE 411L


I am writing my second truck book and I wish to include the above vehicles now converted to commercial usage.
I wonder if anyone could help with a few short lines of what, when new, who to etc, so that I can impress my readers with my all round knowledge!

Roy Dodsworth

31/10/16 – 15:16

OWJ 353A is a Leyland Titan PD3/4 (621017), new in December 1962 with a Roe H40/32F body to Doncaster Corporation as number 175 registered 475 HDT.
It passed to South Yorkshire PTE as number 1175.
Became a Driver Training Vehicle (M3) in October 1977.
Converted to a breakdown tender in ….
Re-registered to OWJ 353A in April 1986, when its original plate passed to Dennis Dorchester coach 75.
DMS 359C is a Leyland Leopard PSU3/3R, new in July 1965 with an Alexander C49F body to Alexander (Midland) as number MPE73.
It became breakdown tender ML309 before the company became Midland Scottish in June 1985.
TWE 411L is a Commer TS3, new to the National Blood Transfusion Service with a Duple body.
Seen here as a caravan.
FVO 67D is an AEC Reliance (2U3RA6450), new in July 1966 with a Plaxton C51F body to Barton of Chilwell as number 1067.
It passed to Station Road Coaches of Hednesford in September 1974 then to Middleton’s of Rugeley in August 1977.
It was acquired by Elwell of Rugeley in January 1980 as a transporter.

Dave Farrier

01/11/16 – 17:10

Thanks for details sent.

Roy Dodsworth

02/11/16 – 05:50

A surprise to see this Doncaster 175 again disguised as HEM3: if memory functions, very often worked the Doncaster-Sheffield route, called by some the 77: easily the Corporation’s longest route. These few (eight?) front-entrance half-cab Leylands and Daimlers were their concession to modernity, whilst still swapping bodies on Leyland chassis 25 years older. Still, such thrift meant that you could afford the fares!
When this bus was new, I reckon the Doncaster-Sheffield fare was around 25p.


02/11/16 – 16:57

Before the split in 1961 Alexanders painted its recovery vehicles red and afterwards Midland continued to do so. DMS 359C is based at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum at Lathalmond in Fife.
The National Blood Transfusion Service had large numbers of Commer lorry chassis with Half-bus half lorry bodies designed to carry nurses and equipment to blood donor sessions. I recall some with Plaxton fronts though whether they were entirely Plaxton Products I do not know. One of Duple’s later products was A923 CSG a Caribbean-bodied Leyland Tiger fitted with beds for blood donation. It was replaced early this century by a Mercedes Lorry towing a semi-trailer.

Stephen Allcroft

21/02/17 – 07:20

Re TWE 411L the Commer TS3 ex Blood Transfusion vehicle chassis No CEZV1615620172 body is Lex Tillotson (Duple Vega 31 front) C17F + van, new to NBTS, Sheffield (11) 3/73, then to W. Hill, Ripley (Welsh Mountain Ponies), Bryn Parc Stud, -?- as horsebox, last used circa 1992; then to K & R Walsh, Manchester for motor home conversion then to owner unknown 11/09. Recently (2/17) acquired by Eric Graveling, Bourne, Lincs

John Wakefield

14/03/17 – 07:10

I recall that John Hillam 229 from Cleckheaton, Brisca F1 stockcars ran a converted Bedford VAL 14 6 wheel coach in the 1970s as his transporter, and if my memory is correct it was a professional coach conversion. I seem to remember it had a mock aerofoil over the rear loading door, copied off the one on the rear of his stockcar inside the coach.

David Newton


Bedford OB GED 797 surfaces in Aspul

GED 797

Bedford OB Duple Vista GED 797, Chassis No 144976 Body No 56530 was new to J P & M Bell, Warrington supplied by Peake Leadbetter & Povey Bedford dealers 10/50. Although owned by Bell it was operated by J Fairhurst till 10/51. It has recently been pulled out of ‘hiding’ in a yard at Aspull near Wigan & apparently recently sold a new owner as yet unknown.
> From Bell it went to Eddie Callan, Warrington 3/66; Topping Super Coaches, Liverpool 7/67; John Tomkinson, Huyton 5/72 who used it as a non PSV with Skelmersdale Spastics Society before going into preservation with Malcolm Groarke, Stockton Heath, Warrington 7/74. It then passed to the Rev D Long, Great Sankey -/88 & in 1995 to Michael Shepherd t/a Premier Auto Trim Aspull, Wigan in who’s yard it has remained unrestored for around 20 years. It was seen on Saturday 23rd October on a recovery vehicle travelling south on the M61 near Horwich.

I would like to contact the new owner as I have some other important information regarding the coach.

John Wakefield

01/11/16 – 05:52

Latest news is that GED 797 has been spotted in a haulage yard in Winsford, Cheshire, so not a million miles from its old stomping ground in Warrington.

John Wakefield

03/11/16 – 06:24

Apparently now with a new owner Stephen Rumbelow of Northwich.

John Wakefield


From a Glass Slide

WB 5106

Found this on a 4 x 4 inch glass slide that I thought you might be interested in. I think it’s Sheffield.

Paul Cackett

18/10/16 – 16:44

A great picture Paul – thanks for posting.
WB 5106 was an AEC 507 with Short Bros body built in 1926 and seating 52 in total. Fleet number 96. Route number 97 would be to Southey Green at that time I think though there are some on here far better versed than I, indeed someone will be able to tell us exactly where this shot was taken.

Les Dickinson


East Yorkshire Motor Services 90 Years

Copyright Unknown

I’m sure Peter will allow a little ‘photographic’ licence with this EYMS Gemini/Volvo painted to depict the East Yorkshire liveries over 90 years in celebration of the anniversary.

John Darwent

17/10/16 – 11:05

Interesting arrangement to show the livery changes over the years. I can understand the change from blue to ‘poppy red’ under NBC guidance – what a pity they didn’t leave it on poppies! – but, after NBC, why did EYMS go to maroon and not back to blue?

Pete Davies

18/10/16 – 07:30

A most tastefully executed tribute to successive EYMS liveries. I’ve no idea why there wasn’t a return to blue after NBC, but in all fairness the maroon and cream is also a beautiful scheme in its own right, and at least the Company didn’t succumb to any of the indescribable "image" presentations that others have done, no doubt at enormous and unjustified expense. EYMS for ever I say.

Chris Youhill

18/10/16 – 07:30

From the back, the good, the bad, and quite smart by today’s standards.

Ronnie Hoye

18/10/16 – 16:37

I’d say, that, exceptionally, the bad is ‘not bad’ in this case, glossy and not faded, as it usually seemed to be! In that era, it was dreadful, especially National Welsh/Cymru Cenedlaethol (they didn’t even use the correct word for Welsh!) whose buses always had that air of neglect, a far cry from Red & White days.

Chris Hebbron

22/11/16 – 15:48

Missing is the short lived blue and white livery complete with NBC logo.

Malcolm J Wells

24/11/16 – 07:21

Re the choice of burgundy (maroon) and cream; apparently after the uninspiring "reddy bus" livery, which was a slightly darker shade than the NBC poppy red, Peter Shipp has been quoted as saying that he would have liked to return to indigo & primrose livery, but it was to similar to the Stagecoach in Hull livery and he wanted East Yorkshire buses to stand out from the opposition in Hull. Personally I think that the burgundy & cream is as good (if not better – heresy!) than the indigo & primrose

Keith Easton

24/11/16 – 16:43


East Yorkshire’s current livery. This is 904 ex hybrid now diesel powered repainted 11/16

Mike Davies

25/11/16 – 07:22

Can’t say that I’m unduly impressed by that current livery. The thing looks as if it’s got a daft grin on its face.

Roger Cox

25/11/16 – 10:36

I know what you mean Roger, but I think I’d say it was a friendly pleasing welcoming smile rather than daft grin. I hope though that the cream skirt at road dirt level doesn’t quickly deteriorate to spoil the overall impression.

Chris Youhill

26/11/16 – 08:30


The Gemini’s are not as friendly!

Mike Davies


Hollis, Shotton, North Wales

An uncle of mine used to live at an address in Welsh Road, Queessferry, between Sealand airfield and the steelworks. A few doors away were the premises of Hollis who was, I seem to remember, both an operator and a preservationist. A recent look at aerial photographs suggests the business is now elsewhere, if not defunct.
Any thoughts from anyone, please?

Pete Davies


Yopa Online Estate Agent Advert

Has anybody else noticed the Yopa TV advertisement in which there is a single deck bus shown about 12 seconds into the advert which appears to have its doors on the right hand side? The advert appears to have been filmed in the UK and it doesn’t seem that the video has been reversed as everything else in the scene is the correct way round
Does anyone know the type of bus or why the doors are on the offside

Tony Mason

26/08/16 – 10:27

Yes, Tony, this is a puzzle. Some adverts use Australian or South African scenes (with their left-hand rule of the road) to pretend to be UK, but this clearly looks to be a British location shot. However, film producers are notorious for doctoring film to help their finished product. Perhaps the correct angle of the street scene was not quite right and they decided to mirror-image the shot for some aesthetic reason. Note the car registration which looks to have been altered. It is also possible that Yopa intend to use this advert overseas so they amended it to be dual-purpose?

Paul Haywood

26/08/16 – 10:30

Further to my earlier comments, I now also suggest that the 20mph sign would normally be on the left hand side of the road. If the film has been reversed, it has been photo-shopped back to "20" for continental advert usage. A reversed film would also explain why the car is park on the "wrong" side of the road with the doctored registration plate. Finally, is there also a hint of a driver sitting in the left-hand seat?
Anyone with access to (perhaps) Dutch TV might like to tell us when this advert goes out with a Dutch soundtrack.
It could, of course, be that this is a one-way street and a continental bus just happened to pass the road end!

Paul Haywood

26/08/16 – 19:33

I noticed this a few weeks ago and thought it strange as the landscape looked very English. The parked car, a 2011 Mercedes A Class gives the game away as being picture reversed, it’s exhaust is shown on the wrong side. That aside, I wonder why the ‘ad’ people decided to reverse image the take and then photoshop rather than just going with the original?

Berisford Jones

27/08/16 – 05:32

Would be interesting to know what it looked like the right way round. Yes, the driver of the Merc is sitting on the left and his number plate is illegal! The 20 sign makes no sense as it is just before the main road with no 30 evident… Perhaps they wanted to disguise or fictionalise the location or the bus looked better travelling this way! Sometimes the wizardry has forgotten “why”…. and…the fee sounds a bit dear to me, too, for what sounds like a stripped-out service…..


27/08/16 – 10:23

The 40 seconds long advert can be seen on You Tube or here:   
The single decker bus in question appears at about 11 seconds in and looks like an ADL Enviro perhaps in London red. A double decker appears later at 22 seconds.

David Slater

27/08/16 – 10:25

Not wanting to labour this one, but I grabbed the picture and flipped it. It seems to lose perspective, right way round!



Crosville in a Tight Squeeze


I used to drive for Crosville Wales/Crosville Cymru at Rhyl Depot and Denbigh outstation in the 1990’s It involved driving some big buses down some narrow lanes, which although normally operated off peak by 20 or 25 seat minibuses required larger capacity at schooltimes.
This particular trip, photographed by me, hence there’s no driver grinning or gesticulating at the photographer as the case may be(!)
The bus is 1986 Leyland Lynx 1 /B49F SLL 32 (D32 RWC) ex Colchester Borough Transport on the 08:00 service 76 Denbigh to Ruthin service which called in at Ruthin, Brynhyfryd school en route to Ruthin. Timings were tight, as indeed most bus services since de-regulation have been! and then performed the 08:45 return to Denbigh, which was invariably 5-10 mins. late departing, due to being caught up in the school grounds traffic.
That particular morning was probably a holiday or even a Saturday as there were hardly any passengers on. Normally there would be a good load of schoolkids all animatedly chatting away in English and Welsh.
The location is Groes Fawr between the hamlets of Llangwyfan (formerly of Sanatorium fame, including that long X63 service from Caernarfon in Crosville Days!) and Llangynhafal, which is on the inner route between Denbigh and Ruthin, along the lower slopes of the Clwydian hills.
As a regular driver, most car drivers you encountered were local and they all knew you and what times they would be likely to encounter a bus in a narrow bit, and would often hold back in a passing place until we powered through, and they would give a cheery wave. I shouldn’t imagine that happens much anywhere these days. Problem of course could be when unfamiliar visitors in summer rounded a narrow bend, usually at speed, to find themselves nose to nose with a big green Leyland Lynx grille-and then expected you to reverse! No way! although you did usually direct them back to a passing place. It’s all the bus’s fault you know, for being there!
I’ve also frequently taken a high-floor Leyland Tiger/Duple C53F coach (CTL 94, ex Luton -London commuter coach C250 SPC) on the schooldays 61 Denbigh-Nantglyn -Denbigh/St. Asaph schools service, an hour and a half’s marathon up into the hills with a long coach including crossing a bridge between Nantglyn and Bryn Glas with 2" either side, and an awkward reversing manoeuvre down a lane in Meifod, an old Crosville route (M68) not served since 1966, and normally the province of an SC4LK in those Crosville days!
In snowy winter conditions we would know to travel only as far as Nantglyn, and wait there until all the kids were brought down from the various villages normally served by the bus, by the Mums, Dads and farmers in their 4 x 4’s.
Interesting days, and gave me a lot of confidence when I later drove in London.

David J. Smith

16/08/16 – 14:15

D32 RWC_2

An additional photo taken during 1998 at Denbigh outstation. The photo depicts Tiger coach CTL 94 (FAZ 3194, ex 250 SPC) which I often drove on the Nantglyn service as mentioned in my post.
Denbigh Depot itself had closed in 1990, and operations transferred to Rhyl. However a much reduced service allocation of four vehicles were later reinstated at a new outstation down in Townsend in a yard near Kwiksave. This proved too small and the outstation was transferred to this new spacious site on the Colomendy Industrial Estate.
The photo was taken before the first run-out at 06:30 on the 51 to Rhyl (MMM 351).
The vehicles in the photo are :-
MMM 351 (G151 FJC) 1989 M.Benz 709D/Reebur DP25F
CTL 94 (FAZ 3194) ex C250 SPC 1986 Leyland Tiger/Duple C53F
MMM 712 (M712 YJC) 1994 M.Benz 709D/Marshall B25F
SMM 504 (M504 AJC) 1995 MAN11.90/ Optare Vecta B43F
The allocation of SMM 504 was not typical, it normally being another 25 seat minibus,but on this occasion it was probably the only vehicle available at Rhyl during the normal minibus’s evening ‘change-over’ at Rhyl for servicing, inspection etc
These four Optare Vectas were branded for and used on the A1 Rhyl –Chester service initially, but were in the process of being sent within the Arriva group to the North East in exchange for some Lynxes, which happened a few months later. A pity really because they were nice to drive and an ideal midibus size and capacity for those rural Denbigh routes. But then,management always know best, don’t they!

David J. Smith

17/08/16 – 06:32

David, my admiration knows no bounds. I thought I’d driven in some tight places, and indeed I have, but this really beats the lot !!

Chris Youhill

17/08/16 – 06:35

I think the Yorkshire-based Guy Warrior referred to was this Mulliner-bodied one, owned by Phillips of Shiptonthorpe:   
It was at one point repainted into pseudo-United Automobile livery to feature in the ‘Heartbeat’ television series, until a more appropriate vehicle was found for later episodes. It is still in preservation as far as I know.

John Stringer


Old Bus Found

Found, in a local copse, one very derelict SHMD Board bus (I came home & googled it) just thought I’d let you know, don’t know if you renovate them or want to pass info on. Can’t describe it beyond is a double decker, entry / exit open door at rear (like old London Routemaster), in pretty bad condition. goodness knows how it ended up in there!! Let me know if further info required e.g. Oh, location: Wilts


07/08/16 – 06:58
The registration would be very useful because it could then be identified and then people could decide whether they would like to save it. A picture would be nice too, if you care to send one in.
Stephen Allcroft

09/08/16 – 06:21

My money would be on OMB 161, a 1952 Daimler CVD6 Northern Counties, which ten years ago was recorded as being in preservation with "Chatterton, Foxham".

Peter Williamson

15/08/16 – 06:31

OMB 161

This is a pic of OMB 161 taken in 1975

John Wakefiled

15/08/16 – 09:24

Mr Chatterton lives near Foxham lock & if you look on google maps there are what look to be two buses in a wood just south of the lock basin. Presumably one being the one in question.

John Wakefield 

16/08/16 – 09:21

Chatterton is also recorded as having PRN 911 an ex Preston Leyland PD3/4 but the number from this is now on a Suzuki Wagon R. So is this in the copse as well? Maybe the second bus seen on Google!

John Wakefield

17/08/16 – 06:40

PRN 911 was re registered as MVS 972 – 11/92

John Wakefield

26/08/16 – 14:08

Celia, have you managed to go back & get a photo of the bus?

John Wakefield

20/09/16 – 07:12

Sorry for my absence! I’m amazed at the response to my original post. Peter Williamson you are quite correct it is OMB 161. John Wakefield I’m sorry I have not got a photo I don’t have a clue as to how to upload them, I’m a technophobe. It is definitely on its own in there, no sign of another bus. That photo of the bus in 1975 makes me very sad for the derelict wreck it is now. Not sure what "under preservation" means? I had another look this morning & I’m afraid it’s probably beyond saving, it’s in even worse condition than I remembered. I know the Chattertons so have no wish to stir up trouble by interfering, just feel sorry for the bus.


17/10/16 – 07:22

Sad to hear about SHMD 61. It was a wreck when Ian Chatterton acquired it, having been stood outside in a partially stripped condition. He came to see me just after buying 61 over twenty years ago, and showed me pictures of it driving across a field, so it was certainly a runner then. I believe the plan was to put scaffolding and sheeting round it to protect it while restoration was done, as he had no indoor storage, but it sounds like he’s run out of time, money or energy. There are only seven known SHMD survivors so it will be a real loss if it doesn’t survive.

David Jones

18/10/16 – 17:03

Many thanks Celia for checking back on the Daimler OBM 161. Sad that Mr Chatterton has let it get to this state without trying to find another owner for it. Looks like the Leyland PRN 911 may have been scrapped.

John Wakefield

19/10/16 – 06:08

Forgot to say that OMB 161, a 1952 CVD6, had the distinction of being the oldest bus to pass to SELNEC at its formation, and was the last Daimler-engined bus operated by them. It had recently been re-certified, and was a minor celebrity at the time, representing SHMD when displays of vehicles from the constituent fleets were staged. NCME bodies of the period are rare now, but were built like tanks so it may not be beyond saving.

David Jones

19/10/16 – 08:05

I’m sorry David, but OMB 161 was far from being the oldest bus inherited by SELNEC – that distinction belongs to Oldham PD1/3 246 (DBU 246) a 1947 bus that was actually repainted by the PTE, albeit into Oldham pommard and cream as the orange and white livery hadn’t even been determined at that time. There were also many older Manchester and Salford buses. It was, however, the oldest ex-SHMD bus still in service, although earlier 35 (by now renumbered 135 and latterly a driver trainer) was still languishing in Tame Street yard into 1970.
As for the celebrity status, 61’s first public showing at an event was the Daw Bank open day in 1971. By this time it was in preservation (although only just), having been withdrawn at the end of 1970.
There was a plan to extract 61 but this hasn’t come to pass. I need to contact the person planning this to understand what prevented it happening (which may well have been 61’s condition although he was well aware of its situation).
It would be a shame to lose 61, it was the most musical of CVD6s I ever encountered.

David Beilby

26/10/16 – 06:13

David, sorry I wasn’t very explicit, but that’s what I meant: 61 was the oldest SHMD bus still in service at the SELNEC takeover.
I do remember sometime about 1990 driving down from Woodhead and seeing 61 below in the far distance, but never got round to going for a look; now I wish I had! Let’s hope a rescue can be effected….

David Jones

01/07/17 – 07:41

According to a posting 30/06/17 on Flickr pic   OMB 161 is now at Keighley Bus Museum after snapping in half on way back

John Wakefield

02/07/17 – 07:32

The said vehicle has been the subject of an Epic rescue and has been taken to the Keighley bus museum during the last week in June.

Gerald Anthony

30/07/17 – 06:59

OMB 161 is actually owned by Martin Lomax & just stored at the Keighley Bus Museum.

John Wakefield


Albion Victor Workshop Manual

Just a quick question. I am trying to find a workshop manual for a 1954 Albion Victor. It is for one of the old greys which is now back in Guernsey.
She is running and being used as a tour bus, but requires some attention to the engine.
Your help in tracking one down would be gratefully received.

Colin Quesnel

30/07/16 – 08:09

There is something currently advertised on ebay that might be of use, Colin.

Roger Cox

16/08/16 – 10:53

Another source may be Henry Thorne t/a Margaret Motors Kings Meadow The Street Bessingham Norwich NR11 7JR tel 01263 577366. He & his wife used to run a stall at vehicle rallies (maybe still do) & specialise in car bus & lorry manuals. Worth a call.

John Wakefield


Leyland Royal Tiger Bus Body

Does anyone have a clear, sharp, side-on photo of a Leyland Royal Tiger with a bus body, preferably a Ribble example? Most tend to be head on or 3/4 views. This is to assist in the restoration of Ribble 377, ERN 700. The panelling and mudguards were subject to considerable alteration later in its life and we wish to reverse matters.

Jonathan Cadwallader

28/07/16 – 08:47

As Jonathan says, most views are head-on or 3/4 views. As I suspect many others on this site will say, "Mine are all like that!" I have among my collection OSF and NSF Ribble or Millburn Motors ex Ribble, OSF Baxter’s of Airdrie, OSF Cumberland, OSF Pennine, and NSF/NSR Isle Of Man Road Services. All except the Isle Of Man NSR are bought ones, and the exception caught me by surprise (in Blackpool!) so it isn’t very clear.

Pete Davies

28/07/16 – 17:15

At the time these were common photography was relatively expensive and as a result te feew pictures that were taken tended to be the front 3/4 ‘record shot’ recommended by Buses Illustrated, the only enthusiasts I know of who took any profile shots at the time these were new are GHF Atkins and RC Sayers. The OS and PSVC have pictures for sale but I do not think they are sorted by aspect.
A google image search using the terms leyland bus bodies royal tiger only produced one profile, a computer drawing of a Leyland Bodied Royal Tiger _Coach_.
Searching the British COmmercial Vehicle Museum Photo Archive using the terms Royal Tiger Bus produced five images all 3/4 vies although one is a pre delivery line up of Ribble saloons.   
That’s two lines of enquiry anyway…

Stephen Allcroft

28/07/16 – 17:16

I don’t know if this photo of 1951 Ribble 725 in 1962 is of any use, Jonathan: it might be too recent, of course.
It’s well down the page at:

Chris Hebbron

30/07/16 – 08:13

Had me puzzled there – in the early 1960s Ribble 725 would have been a pre-war Tiger with a post-war Duple coach body. Not sure if it would have lasted until 1962, though. Seems the vehicle depicted is actually 402 (ERN 725). Mistake in the caption, not in Chris’s reporting, I hasten to add.
The relevant shot is just short of half-way down the page – there are a few Ribble views together, and they are themselves in the ‘BET’ section, so you may be able to scroll rapidly to the required area.

David Call


Grandfathers First Coach

KO 273

I have just made a start on cataloguing a whole load of photos which I have inherited since my parents deaths in 2011/2.
I thought it may be of interest to others to see the earliest photo I have of my grandfathers first coach. The fleet ever increased until its demise in the 1970’s. I will try and put some more on as time allows.
The picture is taken in Hythe, Kent in Douglas Avenue and it is thought to have been taken about 1928.

Roger Newman

23/07/16 – 13:22

According to the PSV Circle East Kent history, the Hythe – Ashford service of Newman and Sons (Hythe) Limited was transferred to East Kent on May 6th 1963 but no vehicles were acquired.

Nigel Turner

19/02/17 – 16:43

This photo rang a bell and I find I have a copy in my collection, together with a front near side view, both being copyright of the M&D and EK Bus Club. Neither view enables me to confirm make of chassis or reg. no. which may be KO (1?)273. The other photo referred to above was taken on a different occasion as the roof route info. boards are missing.

Chris Ellis


Modern Drivers?????

I know it isn’t ‘old’ but we must have some former drivers on here. Dare I suggest that some drivers aren’t like they used to be.

John Lomas

14/07/16 – 06:24

This fellow shouldn’t be in charge of a supermarket trolley!

Pete Davies

14/07/16 – 08:39

A modern phenomenon is the slavish obedience to SatNavs! A local example was the female driver who left Bristol with a coachload of pensioners headed for the Forest of Dean and finished up in a narrowing lane with high banks each side and grinding (literally) to a halt. The occupants couldn’t get out from either side. The driver rang in (lucky she had a signal in the F of D) and a spare coach was sent out and the police were sent to hand out bottled water to the imprisoned! In the end, the coach was pulled out from the rear by a recovery vehicle and the passengers released some five hours later and swiftly transferred to a nearby pub to relieve themselves! A mystery tour worth forgetting! methinks!

Chris Hebbron

14/07/16 – 16:36

What a good local paper- is it print or online (online I imagine)? You can spend a while trying to envisage the driver’s thought processes: did he think he had all-wheel steer? Did pride intervene when a passenger made suggestions? I wonder what his employer thought? Had he never experienced hedges striking back or practised between two walls? Was he used to something shorter? I am frequently impressed by the skill of modern coach drivers… the old days meant wrestling with power assisted nothing and becoming a friend of your brakes, whilst today it is squeezing tall wide saloons through- in Italy say- tunnels or arches through which there is only one line of approach. However the best bit here if you follow the comments in the paper are the views of a Mr Chris Youhill who takes the citizens of Guildford on a journey to Selby! A very pleasant surprise for us- probably for Chris, too!


14/07/16 – 16:39


Copyright not known. This incident took place in West Wales sometime in 2014 I think. A double hairpin on a narrow country road. The local operator uses bread vans, can’t imagine why?

Les Dickinson

Joe, it is an online only paper, though one of the editors previously worked for a local printed paper.
Guildford was my childhood hunting ground and I like to keep in touch.
I noticed that Chris Youhill, of this parish, had commented directly.

John Lomas

16/07/16 – 05:26

Hmmm! Least said, soonest mended! Just to redress the balance, there is a clip on YouTube showing an Arriva single-decker braving the elements in Saltburn. It can be viewed here .

Brendan Smith

16/07/16 – 08:55

Indeed Brendan, that is a stunning piece of film, and that driver had some courage and skill. Knowing "The Bank" as I do I think I might have got B & B at the seafront until the weather improved !!

Chris Youhill


‘London’s Cast-off Buses’

Does anyone on OBP have access to the book named above and published by Autobus Review Publications Ltd around 1989? I am still struggling to find a batch of ten (probably London Country) AECs that came to west Wales. Prepared to buy if there is a copy for sale.

Les Dickinson

12/07/16 – 07:24

"London’s Cast-Off Buses 1945-1989" Paperback – 1 Jan 1989 by Keith A Jenkinson is available via Amazon in used form from £3. the website, Abe Books also has some for around £12.99.

Chris Hebbron

12/07/16 – 08:28

Thanks Chris, why didn’t I think to look there. Book now ordered and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the answers I’m looking for.

Les Dickinson


Bedford VAS1 CUM 330C

Has anyone a photo or any info about a Bedford VAS1 fitted with a Spendborough C15F body & supplied new to Rovacoach of Leeds in October 1965. Listing from BLotW shown below:-
CUM 330C Bd VAS1 1987 Spenborough 5241 C15F 10/1965 Rovacoach, Leeds

John Wakefield

15/07/16 – 07:56

Have you tried the bodybuilder? I presume it was Spenborough Engineering. Although the company became defunct in 1985 and was restarted in 1986, the current owner is the grandson of the founder, so there is continuity of sorts.

David Call

18/07/16 – 06:56

James Taylor’s A-Z of British Bus Bodies says: ‘In 1965, a single coach body is known to have come from Spen Coachworks Ltd of Station Road in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire. It seems that the Spenborough Engineering Co. Ltd of Valley Works, Union Road, in the same town was also involved in its construction’.
The vehicle referred to is presumably CUM 330C, but I haven’t managed to find any other reference to ‘Spen Coachworks’.

David Call

21/07/16 – 08:55

David. I have emailed Spenborough Engineering & asked them if they have details & to send me a photo from their archive if they have one, but as yet no reply!

John Wakefield

28/07/16 – 17:13

I have now heard back from Spendborough Engineering & the current owners have no records or photos of CUM 330C.

John Wakefield