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Inspector Morose

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Everything posted by Inspector Morose

  1. It's quite possible that the mystery disk in the RT is a certificate of insurance. Larger bus companies used to insure themselves and used a disk like this to show that the vehicle in question is in fact insured for use on the road. If you look at a number of preserved buses, you'd see that there was three disk holders, one for tax, one for operators licence and a third for insurance 'certificate'.
  2. It's an ultra-low height VR, built to 13' 5" height. There were three variants of the body. The full height at 14' 6", the normal low height at 13' 8" and this one. You can tell by the way the beading buts up against the windscreen frame - in NBC days that was where the white stripe was, on full heights the stripe was full width above the screen, on low heights there was just a thin white band and these had no room for any white stripe at all. Although it's only by 8cm, this is still above the normal bridge height for double deckers in most of Europe. A VR was exported new but ran on low profile tyres to bring it under the 4m height rule.
  3. Dennis bought this Daimler and fitted it with the Gardner 6LXB engine and Voith automatic gearbox they were intending to use for their upcoming Dominator double deck chassis. It's basically a bus sized test mule. Apparently it went rather well.
  4. Wow, a very early 311, that one. See the badge? Was in colour for the first 12 months or so, if that.
  5. Scanning my prints into the compu-ter has brought back some memories back of some of the weird and wonderful rescues I was involved in, over the years. Let me tell you a tale... Way back in 1991, a younger me was an active volunteer at the Black Country Museum, working on the trolleybus system amongst other things. One of the other volunteers had a day job of stores officer for Nottingham City Transport. Now in 1991, NCT took over the long established firm of South Notts, an independent who had been operating since 1926. Their garage at Gotham was a treasure trove of all manner of decrepit buses and coaches as they seemed to have a policy of when the bus was too old or knackered, it was parked up at the back and simply left because, well, you never know, do you? "Do you want help to rescue an old bus because I think there's something really old around the back?" I was aked by my mate. Of course I did and we set off (with others) to see what could be liberated for the museum (I had my hands full with numerous buses and cars at the time so really couldn't afford any more). We found our prize around the back and to liberate it, not only did we have to dismantle the remains of the body but cut down a fairly mature tree that was growing through the chassis - yeah, this had been here a very long time. Soon it was in a state to be loaded onto a transporter for the move back to the museum. The chassis was pretty complete with engine and a good base for something to be built upon it. So what did we find and rescue? This: That is the remains of South Notts No.1, a 1926 Guy BB and the very first bus that South Notts bought for operation. It had been sitting at the back of the yard for a very, very long time with the intentions that something should be done with it for the company but sadly time ran out for both the comany and it. It was simply a rescue mission; we had no intentions to do anything other than save it (we were in the process of repatriating a Wolverhampton Guy BTX trolleybus that was found in Ireland) and so it was put into safe storage at the museum until time would allow to actually do something about it. Fast forward to 2000 and I left the group with the GUY still in the same condition but safe. I do wonder what its actual fate was. Did somebody take it on? is it still inexistance? Who knows but at least I knew that I'd played my part in trying to save it over 30 years ago.
  6. Yes, they used Gruss air springs, manufactured by Pneumatic tools Ltd, Glasgow.
  7. Towards the end of 1974, Leyland and the National Bus Company at the request of the Department of Environment converted the solitary Ribble 10.3-metre Leyland National (OTF 354M) to battery/electric. Approximately 7-tons of batteries were carried in a specially built two-axle Dyson trailer permanently coupled to the bus. In order to conserve the maximum amount of electrical energy for traction, a diesel heating system was installed and a regenerative braking system was incorporated in the normal braking system. The bus had a top speed of 39mph and had a range of 50 miles on a 8 hour charge, the batteries had a four year operational life. The overall length of the bus and trailer was nearly 45 feet which made it about longer than legally permitted on UK roads. This caused problems on re-certification and so special permission was granted to allow the bus to operate but not on public roads. The only roads it therefore could operate on was the Runcorn Busway in Cheshire which was part of the Runcorn New Town housing development as it consisted almost of exclusive roads only used by buses and nothing else. After completion, the battery-electric Leyland National was transferred to Crosville's Runcorn depot but it retained the Poppy Red livery with just the Ribble fleet names replaced with Crosville ones. Due to the limited range it spent a lot of time out of service while the batteries were charged, but it was a worthwhile experimental exercise. The special dispensation granted to the NBC to operate the bus originally ended on 31st October 1976 but was extended until some time in 1978. After the trial, it was concluded that a battery-electric bus was not practicable. Rather than converting the National back to standard it was dismantled by Crosville to provide body components to repair a badly damaged fellow.
  8. The only two built of the snappily named Albion KP71NW. Powered by an 8 cylinder boxer engine made up from two four cylinder blocks, joined at the crank. Remarkably, the one in the upper picture is thought to stil exist in a private collection in Scotland, the Glasgow bus below was repurchased by Albion to supply spares for the first. But the tale doesn't end there. The body was sold on to Blair and Palmer who built their own coach chassis using commer parts and powered by a TS3 engine and used the ex Albion body as the basis for a coach body for their new chassis.
  9. 1931 Gilford single deck bus powered by a Junkers opposed piston engine and front wheel drive. Amazingly, nobody wanted to buy one so the double deck version (yup, the built two of the things) was converted into a front wheel drive trolleybus making it the only one of its kind ever to run in the UK (at Wolverhampton). Unsurprisngly, it wasn't a success.
  10. Nah, this was my daily from about 2016 for a year or two. Used to do the Birmingham-Scotland run fairly regularly for dinner.
  11. Some of those early Weymann bodied Leopards ended up with BMMO after service in Sheffield with at least one of those ending up with well known independent, Stevensons of Spath. Always thought it amusing that the earliest user of underfloor engined buses (admittedly home built) ended up also operating the earliest examples of one of the UKs most successful commercially available underfloor engined bus/coach chassis. I didn’t get out much when I was younger.
  12. and the gap on the front of the tin fronts were there so a BMMO badge could be mounted as they were the original customers for said front and assisted in the design to match their own home built buses. <adenoidal mode off>
  13. Viceroy on lighter weight chassis and Commander on heavyweight chassis. Duple being Duple, most features of both bodies could appear on each other.
  14. I knew I'd got a photo of that very Polo. Taken at the Zwickau museum around 1995 when it was in its infancy.
  15. Just scanning a couple of pics that might be of interest to some. The early '90s saw the last dregs of Bristol RE operation around the country, apart from one well known massochist up north. A tip off found us heading off to Oswestry to track down two running for Tanat Valley coaches alongside various other rammel that small independents seemed to thrive on at the time. We ventured to the nearby yard to find another RE, KTX244L sitting there, a vehicle I knew well as we operated it around Dudley for a while. I think it did make service making it the only ex-Metrowest RE that dodged the scrapman (albeit only breifly) after our use.
  16. Sounds similar to what my 06 TiD used to do. That was going through a regen. Mpg drops through the floor and occasionally there’s white smoke from the exhaust. There’s a distinct smell to it too, not quite fuel but that sort of thing. edit: It wasn’t until I took it on some really long runs at a good speed that they became less frequent, a drop of dpf cleaner through the system sometimes helps.
  17. Bristol Lodekka FLF, one of many that crossed the Atlantic after UK service.
  18. https://www.aronline.co.uk/concepts-and-prototypes/sports-car-projects-mg-ex234/
  19. Ooh, a Hull SAG! (for that was the registration) Nice bonus Autofare 1 ticket machine too. I can still hear the noise they made when the driver changed the fare stage. Jesus Christ, that’s sad even for me.
  20. It's one time Reading WJB68T, a Leyland Titan B15. Wondered if it was still around/clinging on to life. Edit: the bus behind is FKM718L, an ex-Maidstone and District Leyland Atlantean/MCW with coach(ish) seating, by the way.
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