BUSES ~ Model and prototype...

Discussion in 'Talk' started by LarryG, 3 March 2020.

  1. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Before moving on and travelling through Dukinfield to Ashton-Under-Lyne, I forgot to show the EFE wartime Daimler. I repainted it to represent SHMD Fleet No.197. For some reason it's Brush body did not suffer the problems than the later peacetime Brush bodies suffered and in fact ran until 1960. It had an AEC engine bolted directly to the frame and was by no means a quiet bus. I remember the raunchy growl of these Daimler CWA's and even the normally pleasant epicyclic gearbox whine was magnified in volume....
    WEB Bus 46.jpg

    This EFE wartime Guy Arab I with short bonnet and original wings was given the full Ashton red. white & blue treatment some years ago. FTC17 recieved a Crossley body in January 1951...
    WEB Bus 47.jpg

    By the time Ashton recieved more Guy's, the Ministry of war Transport had been persuaded to permit extra length at the front to take the Gardner 6LW engine. The front wings were also extended forward with a distinctive turned-up edge. Thereafter, all wartime Arab's were built with extended bonnet regardless of 5-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine. FTE 891 was rebodied by Roe in September 1955....
    WEB Bus 48.jpg

    This is FTE 889 with its new Crossley body fitted in October 1952 is shown outside Ashton market hall in the town square where most of the services terminated in pre-bus station days. The Leyland PD2 in the background carries a Crossley 8' wide body....
    WEB Bus 50.jpg

    The second of the post-war buses was GTJ 522, a Crossley bodied Crosssley DD42/3 delivered in February 1947. I don't think Corgi has done their model in Ashton colours.....
    WEB Bus 49.jpg

    I built one from Plastikard in the late 1960's....
    WEB Bus 49B.jpg

    They looked quite different in later years with flush-mounted rubber-surround window pans and of course the post-1955 light blue livery. Ashton was the first operator in the Manchester area to adopt a simpler colour scheme. GTJ 521 was withdrawn in July 1965 and sold to Auto Spares, Bingley. Almost all the bodies in this view are by Crossley, the odd one out (extreme right) being by Charles Roe....
    WEB Bus 51.jpg

    Ashton also had a trolleybus system. LTC 772 was a Crossley Empire delivered in January 1950 with Manchester design body. The dark blue was difficult to patch paint and tended to highlight the scars of daily life.
    WEB Bus 52.jpg
    Last edited: 31 March 2020
  2. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Ashton-U-Lyne had some neat all-Leyland PD2's, which the operator must have regarded as it's finest seeing as they were often to be found on the joint route No.9 from Ashton to Rochdale via Oldham. I made some alterations to the EFE models upper deck windows before painting in the original dark blue livery. It carries one of my radiators...
    WEB Bus 53.jpg

    The real thing beside Ashton market square. Trouble was, post-war Leylands were as common as Black Fives and so it was small wonder that enthusiasts looked out for wartime and pre-war buses...
    WEB Bus 54.jpg

    Oldham Corporation buses also terminated in Ashton on the shared No.9, but this operator had no wartime Guys or Daimlers, in fact it had no wartime buses at all. This was because Oldham placed an order for 47 Leyland TD5's with Roe in 1939, which were to comprise almost the whole output of the works for the three months after the outbreak of war....
    WEB Bus 55.jpg

    When Oldham received Leyland PD1 buses soon after war ended, the Roe body was basically the pre-war design with a more upright front. They were always known as "Utilities" because they had leather instead of moquette seats and no heaters. They were to be the corporations last new 7' 6" wide buses and their gaunt appearance is evident in the view below. I worked on them regularly even on all-day service. They had were good climbers despite their unrefined small engine....
    WEB Bus 56.jpg

    Oldham was prepared to wait until it could buy 8' wide buses. The Roe body was to basically the same design but with detail differences and a later example is shwon below on the more refined PD2 chassis with larger engine. Pictures in Ashton, the blind should have displayed a "9" as far as the Oldham boundary at Hathershaw because "M" meant nothing within Ashton territory and was technically illegal....
    WEB Bus 57.jpg
  3. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    It's odd seeing the small destination blinds after the large informative ones carried by LT buses.

    The Leyland PD1 with the GARAGE X destination is interesting period photo - 1960's? Did Oldham Corporation use letters for their routes rather than numbers or did they use both?
  4. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Oldham's trams carried route numbers so when buses were purchased they used route letters. Some route numbers never had been tram routes though. For instance the express/limited-stop routes 2, 10, 13, 14, 90 and 153 jointly worked with other operators. The whole of my time on Oldham buses was spent in G-group, which was responsible for these routes. But as there weren't enough duties to fill a 31-week cycle, we worked every other route in Oldham as well, the only group to do so. The photo of the Utility PD1 was taken circa 1964 beside the ex-tram depot.
    Yorkshire Dave likes this.
  5. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Yes, agreed, I believe it was the Met Traffic Commissioner who insisted on lots of information on LT blinds. Times have changed and now all TfL buses only show the destination with a little more detail when required. To be honest, now that so much information is available on your phone, you only need the destination now in London.
  6. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Oldham new manager spec'd larger blinds on his PD3's in 1964, but the lettering was lower-case and much smaller than passengers had been used to. Platform doors, new liveries and above all, gutless buses with poor brakes, did not go down well either.
    Last edited: 22 March 2020
  7. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I did this drawing for Model Railway Constructor in the late 1960's. It's an 8' wide Crossley DD42 as delivered to Oldham in 1950......

    WEB Bus 58.jpg

    Tony Colbeck phoned to say he was proposing to use the drawing for his next Anbrico kit. I still have two kits. This one is still un-opened since he sent it 50 years ago! Photographed this morning....
    WEB Bus 59.jpg

    The real thing. Oldham's fleet No.368 was from the second batch delivered in 1950 with the new 'Downdraught' engine, which was a sight better than the earlier HOE7 engine. AEC had acquired Crossley in 1949 and the new 'influence' included the elimination of the Maltese Cross on the radiator, a deeper top ~ in Oldhams case a chrome radiator shell, and straight-bottom front mudguards in place of the rounded ones. FBU 827 appears to be brand new when seen on the stand at Manchester's Stevenson Square (Lever Street actually). But its trips to Greenfield would be short lived due to the very steep hill at Greenfield Station. I worked on them during the rush hour after telling my reluctant driver which ones were the Downdraught Crossleys.....
    WEB Bus 60.jpg

    Oldham Crossley 368 under restoration at Greenfield in 1975. For historians, it left traffic with maroon mudguards. There were times when black was the colour...
    WEB Bus Oldham 368.jpg
    Last edited: 3 April 2020
  8. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Very informative about the Oldham buses. It makes you wonder if the operators actually specified gearbox ratios with a suitable engine when ordering their buses for use on the Pennine routes.

    Even today buses still serve Greenfield.
  9. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I'm very much enjoying this thread reminding me as it does of the variety in design and livery of the buses of my youth. Thank you for kicking it off, Larry. My main interest being railways I rarely photographed buses but I have about 30 images I'd be happy to put up. Some have been shown on here previously but I don't think the whole collection has yet been seen. Most of these are Southern Vectis or Maidstone and District (the M & D ones are in colour too) with a smattering of others and of a slightly later vintage than most of yours and certainly from a different part of the country.

    If there's interest in me adding to this thread please let me know. I'll not be in the least offended if our readers are "bussed out"!

    76043 likes this.
  10. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I have kept to the operators in the greater Manchester area that I personally knew as a young man. It's a talk thread Brian, so anything you add that expands discussion should go down well. I drove ex.Maidstone & District Leyland PD2's on school runs in the early 1970's.
    Last edited: 22 March 2020
    Brian Wainwright likes this.
  11. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I took my old folding camera to work one afternoon when we were doing a round trip (tea relief) on the saloons to Middleton Junction. Winding up route 10 Manchester Stevenson Square, a route these single deckers had never worked, also wound the passengers up a bit. This picture is probably unique....
    WEB Bus 62.jpg

    There was a preserved Bolton Corporation Crossley SD42 stored at our Crossley Omnibus Society building in Greenfield. It fell to me to drive it back from Harrogate around 1974 on the Trans-Pennine Commercial Vehicle Rally while the lads played cards. A lovely gearbox like driving a car. Pictured at Harrogate....
    WEB Bus 61.jpg
  12. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    These drawing were prepared for the Oldham 7' 6" wide Leyland PD1 with Roe bodywork. I have not located the side view...
    WEB Bus 63.jpg
    Peter Cross and P A D like this.
  13. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Larry,
    Fantastic thread, really enjoying it.

    It would be nice to see the Anbrico parts or better still, are you going to build it?

  14. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I did back at the time. It differs from the Corgi rtr model in being for an 8' wide Crossley body. When chatting with Tony Colbeck, I didn't know at that time that many operators bought 7' 6" wide bodies.
  15. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Oldham's first Diesel engine buses were Leyland TD2's with English Electric bodies. This photo taken inside Oldhams Garage shows them in mid June 1937. I had thought of converting an EFE TD1, but there was more to changing a Leyland body to an EE body than meets the eye...

    WEB bus 64.jpg

    A drawing of a Leyland TD2 with English Electric body that I completed in 1995. Note how far back the front bulkhead is behind the leading wheels. Crossley and Daimler chassis remained like this, but Leyland moved the engine and front bulkhead further forward on its TD3 chassis to leave more space in the lower saloon. AEC was ahead of the game though, as it was in several other areas....
    WEB Bus 65.jpg
    Last edited: 24 March 2020
  16. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Oldham purchased Leyland TD3, TD 4 and TD 5's in the 1930's and while a good number carried Roe bodies, English Electric was No.2 supplier. I saw the drawings that accompanied English Electric Tenders to Oldham and they looked decidedly Roe in outline with smooth front profile! What was actually delivered in 1937 was the usual 6-bay body with 'V-piano upper deck front and steeply sloping back windscreen ~ as previously! I wondered if Oldham was offered these outdated bodies at a discount with prompt delivery. Below is one of the 1936 delivery on TD4 chassis.....
    WEB Bus 67B.jpg

    The bodysides tapered in at the back and stuck out the back below the lower deck cantrail like a bustle. I was utterly fascinated as a boy and rode on them as much as I could during the evening rush hour. The guards got to know this young enthusiast and rarely took a fare off me. Some TD5's lasted just long enough to work to the new Holts Estate, were I lived. After that, I chased the TD5's with Roe bodies....
    WEB Bus 67C.jpg

    WEB Bus 66.jpg

    Some of my scale drawings are too large to completely scan, but I think there is sufficient here to assist a keen model bus builder ...
    WEB Bus 67.jpg
    Yorkshire Dave and P A D like this.
  17. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Roe also had its own 'piano-front' design but by 1936 it had evolved into the production curved profile double deck body following a number of special examples produced in the previous two years. Oldham's first examples of the curved front design appeared in October 1936 on Leyland TD4 chassis, but they retained the half-landing staircase. They lasted in traffic over twenty years. The bodies on TD5 chassis incorporated the Roe straight staircase and half-moon window as shown below...
    WEB Bus 68C.jpg
    The back end also differed in having no tumblehome. CBU 214 was pictured leaving the depot on a workmans service. The guard had yet to set the route number, as it was unlikely it would work the long 59 service to Manchester. Note the lack of rear end illumination, Two reflectors were an afterthought so the only other lighting was provided by interior lighting, destination box, rear numberplate and the half-moon thing below the number plate which displayed STOP and arrows depending on the semaphore indicators...
    WEB Bus 68D.jpg

    A subtlety that helped to give the distinctive Roe look was the slightly arced waist rail below the upper deck front windows seen on the front end elevation...
    WEB Bus 68.jpg

    Oldham's streets saw the last of these pre-war buses in 1958 although two remained as tow-wagons minus their top decks. I last heard the TD5 'music' wafting across the hilly countryside near Dobcross, Delph, as one of the tow wagons droned to our rescue after our PD1 broke a prop-shaft in 1962....
    WEB bus 68B.jpg
    Last edited: 26 March 2020
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  18. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    While in Oldham, it is worth mentioning the North Western Road Car Company which ran some services jointly with Corporation Transport departments within the greater Manchester area. Their growling Bristol K5G's from the late 1930's were a familiar sight long after other pre-war chassis had gone to the scrap line. This was because a good many received new Willowbrook bodies between 1951 and 1952, but the retention of the old high radiator made them look pretty ancient by the 1960's.......
    WEB Bus 69.jpg

    This scale drawing of the post-war Willowbrook body (on AEC Regent II chassis) might assist modellers....
    WEB Bus 101.jpg

    Below is HVT 915 (ex.Potteries) showing a pre-war ECW body similar to the North Western's. It was withdrawn in this condition in 1956.
    WEB Bus 69B.jpg
    Last edited: 1 April 2020
  19. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Between 1954 and 1959, Oldham stocked up with Leyand PD"/20 ad PD2/30 buses carrying Metro-Cammell, Crossley, Northern Counties and of course Roe bodies. All had the fashionable 'tin-front'. I remember the smell of a brand new bus as the first ones entered traffic, but these Met-Camm lightweights were about as austere as it comes. This one in new condition and resembles a loaf tin...

    WEB Bus 70.jpg

    The Met-Camm's delivered five years later were a different ball game and much more substantial. Whereas the bouncy lightweights were often left at the back of the garage for use as 'change-overs', the 'PBU's' were looked after and were often on limited stop services. This is a repainted EFE model....
    WEB Bus 60B.jpg

    The pod under the canopy was part of the heating system. The maroon band under the top deck windows was restored at the first repaint on all buses that were delivered without it....
    WEB Bus 60C.jpg

    KBU 382 represents one of the earlier Roe bodies with a more sloping upper deck front. I think it was the final survivor when I photographed it at the terminus in Greenfield in the early 1970's. Note the after-market fiberglass grill. Harry Taylor's Pommard & Cream had replaced Oldham's lake in 1966...
    WEB Bus 75C.jpg

    The NBU's followed with a more upright front. This preserved example was seen at the Llandudno Transport Extravaganza...
    WEB Bus 77.jpg

    Oldham's final Roe bodied deliveries of PD2's did not have the half-moon staircase window. Seen in fully lined out livery outside Ferranti's works in Hollinwood on the Oldham-Manchester boundary circa 1961....
    WEB Bus 74.jpg

    I used the Anbrico 4mm Leeds AEC/Roe bus kit below to make several of Oldham's buses by replacing the bonnet and nearside wing with Brackenborough castings...
    WEB Bus 75.jpg WEB Bus 75B.jpg

    I think EFE produces a similar Roe body on a Daimler chassis, but it is a 7' 6" wide version.
    Last edited: 28 March 2020
  20. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    After the PD2's. no new buses arrived until 1964 as Leyland PD3/5's with Roe bodies. General Manager Harry Taylor reverted to exposed radiators to assist the mechanics, but nothing else about them pleased the crews or the travelling public. Platform doors prevented passenger jumping on and off and slowed down loading and unloading, and the O.600 engine was under-powered for these 30' long buses. The route blind had to be changed upstairs but this could only be done if no one was on the front seats! These ten buses were tried on all the local routes that 'stopped at every lamp-post' and always lost time, so they ended up in E and G groups on limited stop services. Seen in Rochdale on limited stop route 24 .....

    WEB Bus 71.jpg

    The last buses I worked on were the Atlantean PDR1/2's with Roe bodies delivered some weeks before I left. Manager Harry Taylor asked me to make a sketch of his new bus while someone covered my late turn, so I did the preliminary work at the back of the garage, while finishing it at home the following morning. The drawing accompanied the bus on exhibition. My long-time friend John J Holmes had the privilege of taking the first bus out to take official photographs. The shot below is one of his. We both did very well by being put into E and G Groups straight from 3-weeks probationary service learning the ropes.......It paid to be enthusiastic about ones work ;););)
    WEB Bus 72.jpg

    This takes me neatly onto the next operator at ROCHDALE.