With Stagecoach Megabus trialling bendybuses in advance of starting sleeper services on the London-Glasgow route, here is a newspaper photo of a 1929 sleeper bus working the last time such services operated. Does anyone have any information on these services? And does anyone know what make of vehicle this is? The radiator does bear some resemblance to a contemporary Guy.
01/09/11 – 07:36
Definitely a Guy FCX. The book “80 Years of Guy Motors” by Robin Hannay and Stuart Broatch tells us that, in 1928, a firm called Land Liners Ltd inaugurated a service between Liverpool/Manchester and London using two such vehicles, which had bodywork by Strachan & Brown. How long this service lasted is not stated, but the Guy six wheelers were not noted for reliability (though they were less lethal than their Karrier market competitors) and the roads of the time were not really suitable for such ventures.
Cobham Museum and back to Brooklands: RMA1 and RML898 antiques bus. London bus has a red color and antiques for a collection or a collection of the state museum in london, from very classic and elegant shape. The rain did not encourage standing around in the open. I climbed back aboard RMA1 for the return trip to the Cobham Bus Museum. There I crossed the road to sample a long Routemaster: RML898 was just departing for Brooklands again. countrybus.org
Other Post Buslovers :
Brooklands to Weybridge Station: RMC1461 At Brooklands I hopped off the RML and onto Greenline RMC1461, which was going on to Weybridge Station. The light was fading, and I had collected my set of rides on different Routemasters. The RMC took me in relative luxury to the station for me to begin my train/bus/tram trip back to Croydon. countrybus.org
Quite by chance I came across the Old Bus Photos website and was quite interested in the information given for RT 4742 on Victor Brumbys RT posting and I thought perhaps you might like chapter and verse on that particular bonnet number so here goes.
The original RT 4742 was indeed one of a batch of Country buses stored out of use at Loughton & Garston from delivery in 1954, some of them not entering service until 1958. RT 4742 was stored first at Garston, having been delivered there from Aldenham on 28th April 1954. At that time it was running on slave tyres but from its movement to Loughton as ‘serviceable vehicle stored’ (SVS for short) on 18th August the wheels were removed. All these RTs in long term storage were without wheels as LT did not buy tyres but rented them on mileage contracts which were adminstered by the tyre companies’ staff themselves. Some vehicles were lowered on to wooden blocks (probably chunks of old railway sleepers) placed under the chassis frames but most were lowered to rest on the brake drums. During the time that these RTs and RTLs were stored new legislation regarding vehicle lighting was passing through Parliament and this required all vehicles first licensed after (I think) 1st January 1955 to have two red rear lights. Rather than modify a relatively small number of RTs to comply with the new regulations, LT decided to license each vehicle for one day so as to obviate the need to do so. It would appear that while this was happening, representation was being made to the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation, as it then was, and a dispensation was given so that the remainder of the stored RTs and RTLS were exempted. With the withdrawal of a large number of earlier RTs after the service cuts of 1958, RT 4742 was transferred to Garston on 21st February in order to prepare it for entry into public service and to Hitchin on 27th February 1958 where the finishing touches were given and it was first licensed from 1st March and allocated to Stevenage. During this period the first Certificate of Fitness (for 5 years) expired and it was re-certified for seven years, probably while it was at Garston. On Friday 26th January 1962 the original RT 4742 was called into works for overhaul and the chassis was given the cu number 5622 which finished its days as part of RT 3173 which is, or was, preserved carrying the body of RT 4743. Another RT was waiting to take over the bonnet number RT 4742 and this consisted of cu 5618 with body 8993 and these came together in works on 22nd January. The replacement took over the bonnet number RT 4742 wef Monday 29th January and was allocated to Stevenage. This chassis came from RT 4753 and the body from RT 4751.
On 6th January 1966 RT 4742 was again due for overhaul but due to a requirement for extra works float vehicles to cover Country bus RT overhauls, it was delicensed and the bonnet number did not re-appear until 21st October 1966 when it was applied to cu 3043 carrying body 4724. It was delivered to Garston unlicensed (SVS), probably for re-certification, and on 31st it was delivered to East Grinstead where it was licensed for service from 1st November. This chassis started life as RT 3183 and had also carried the bonnet number RT 3191. Body 4724 was originally part of SRT 70 but was re-painted green and fitted to a new RT chassis at Aldenham on 23rd March 1954. Despite the colour, it was allocated to Twickenham from 14th April until 19th May when it took up its rightful place in the Country area at Staines. It was at overhaul in 1962 that cu3043 & body 4724 came together as RT 3191and they stayed together until withdrawn through two overhauls as RT 4742. After passing to LCBS on 1/1/70, RT 4742 was finally withdrawn from service and delicensed on 3rd July 1971 and it was sold to Chris Hoyle of Wombwell Diesels wef 19th August, though it may have actually departed from LCBS premises before or after this date.
Full details of Certificate of Fitness dates for LCBS RTs are not available due to the record cards which passed to them having been thrown in a skip when the last RTs and RFs left LCBS service.
I hope you find this of some interest.
Aldenham & ‘CU’ numbers
Identity swapping between vehicles of identical make and model went on from the time that the LGOC moved its overhaul systems to the new Chiswick works in 1922. This meant that as a vehicle went into works for overhaul its identity was taken over by a freshly overhauled vehicle. The system operated through the London Transport era until the mid eighties when rules were changed in the run up to privatisation of the bus industry. During the war, the normal system of overhauls was suspended and afterwards, the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation (as it as then known) decided that they would tighten up on vehicle testing regimes and in order for LT to carry on with the pre war system they had to be able to identify each chassis so as to trace its history. The system was created by a Mr Charles at Chiswick and was initially known as the ‘Charlesian’ system. It came into operation part way through the first cycle overhauls of RTs in 1951 but pre war vehicles were not affected as there were no plans to extend the ‘works float’ system to them due to their being life expired and due for withdrawal. This meant that the majority of STLs and earlier classes did not receive ‘chassis unit’ numbers (cu for short). It was later extended to cover the last two batches of the T class, T769 – 798 (14T12 & 15T13), the 131 TDs, STD 112 – 176 (the 4STD3s) and the GSs, RLHs and RFWs and this despite the fact that each of these classes was not involved in works float identity swapping. Specifically excluded because of their date of origin being 1940/41 were the 2RT2s and the Utilities which dated from 1942 – 46.
The first chassis to receive a cu number was that of RT 426 which received the number 1001 when it went in for overhaul on 11th April 1951 (the chassis was sent to Chiswick for overhaul on the 18th, a common practice with RT family vehicles until well into 1954). As vehicles arrived for overhaul, the chassis’ were allocated their cu numbers and these are, therefore not in sequence with any of the other identifcation numbers i.e bonnet no, chassis no, body no etc. They are, however, for the most part in sequence with the date of first but, in the case of some RTs, their second overhaul. This resulted in some RTs with low chassis or bonnet numbers being given cu numbers in the 3xxx range as they did not receive their next overhaul until 1954. When the full blown works float system started in early 1955, Aldenham began working on the principle of ‘a bus in today goes today’, perhaps an over simplification of the system as it didn’t always happen but it meant that the licences were in use for the maximum amount of time. The RTWs, RTLs and RFs had their cu numbers applied in almost the exact sequence of their date of first overhaul, the only exceptions being where a vehicle went into works late for some reason. There are, however, two exceptions to the above general rule and the first was the SRT class, which was, for some reason, allocated a series of cu numbers which commenced at 101 for SRT 1 and ran in sequence with the bonnet numbers with SRT 160 being allocated the cu number 260. Most SRTs were not overhauled but evidence suggests that these cu numbers were not actually applied to any of the SRT chassis. The other exception to the rule concerns the 160 RT chassis (RT 4397 – 4556) which were purchased to take the bodies from the SRTs when they were withdrawn. These were allocated the cu numbers 2401 – 2560 and they were the only RT family chassis’ to carry cu numbers from new as they were affixed when the vehicles were delivered to Aldenham or Chiswick for fitting of the bodies. The cu numbers ran in four separate sequences within this batch but within each sequence they are in the correct order with the bonnet numbers. Paradoxically, this is the only batch of RTs where the body numbers are not in sequence with the bonnet numbers as delivered new. Very fortunately for us, meticulous records were kept of both chassis and body changes on the rolling stock record cards so that we can not only trace the full history of every RT body but also each chassis as well. These were not the only records that LT kept as each major component of a vehicle carried its own identifying number on a plate which also gave the date of last overhaul of that component. This covered engines, gearboxes, dynamos, compressors, radiators, front & rear axles, cardan (prop) shafts, springs and even wheels. When a vehicle was sent out after overhaul it carried a card with details of all the major units and any changes would be noted by the garage staff on this card. Unfortunately, very few of these cards survive or we would be able to trace this history of every major component of every London RT family bus. The one item that has survived are the original LT engine numbers which are shown on the rolling stock record cards and also on the daily variation sheets and from these we can ascertain the origin of many of the surviving engines, always supposing that their identity plates still survive.
I have attached a facsimilie of the front of the rolling stock record card for NS 144 which shows that for the most part NS 144 went in and out of works for overhaul in a maximum of four days throughout its life with the LGOC. The same principle applied to the vast majority of London bus overhauls from 1922 until the mid 1980s. source old-bus-photos.co.uk
Western National Omnibus Co Ltd
In 2009 preserved Western National LTA 813 visited the Plymouth Rally travelling under it’s own power there and back from it’s base in Coventry. One of the people travelling back with it was Ken Jones originally from Taunton in Somerset. He managed a photographic stop in the rain at The Parade in Taunton recreating a scene for the 274 service to Roman Road which he used to catch in his youth.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Ken Jones
tag : plymouth rally travelling bristol ks5g, lta 813
Other Post :
Harveys, Mousehole, Cornwall
Albion Nimbus NS3AN
This former Halifax Nimbus found its way down to deepest Cornwall where local Operator Harveys operated it on their share of the Penzance to Mousehole service which was joint with Western National. The route negotiated narrow streets and sharp corners in Mousehole and this little bus must have been ideal for the service. The photograph was taken on 13th June 1974 so Harveys managed to run it despite all the shortcomings of the type. Mind you, Halifax is rather more hilly!
Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild