Jump to content

Recommended Posts

18 hours ago, busmansholiday said:

Collected a few myself, worn them all, hence the 'food' stains I've still not been arsed to remove.


Ooh good! Are we doing ties now? Here's my little collection. 


Top one is a genuine Wandle District that I was pleased to find at a rally in the days when bus rally stalls sold interesting stuff and not just models, books and photos. I was particularly pleased as my own bus was ex Wandle 



The middle four all came from Alperton garage whose garage code is ON hence them having ON ON ON ON ON... all over them. The plain one is a 50 years of Alperton one. The next says Challenger within a Centre West flash. Challenger was was Centre Wests mini and midi bus sub brand. The next two are variations on the same ON theme with Alperton at the bottom. This is all pre First Bus takeover so not a big F in sight. 

There's a story to these. My friend had a small Routemaster private hire company. On December 30th one year, I think 1994, he had a phone call from one of his ex LT contacts (he used to work in timetables and scheduling) asking if he'd like to drive for them tomorrow night (i.e. New years eve, always a busy night in London). Colin replies 'only if I can drive my own bus'. Bloke on the phone says he'll have to speak to somebody then rings back and says 'can we have two buses?' And so it was I found myself at Alperton garage the following night and was given these ties. Even better, the bus I was working, that is conducting not driving, was still in Routemaster Bournemouth green and cream from its previous long term hire job. Starting at midnight from Tottenham Court Road complete with N89 blinds we ran two short rounders to Ealing Broadway and back and the last westbound trip all the way to Uxbridge finishing at 05.30. Obviously public transport in London is free in London on new year's eve so all I had to do was ring bells and stop people falling off and as everybody was in party mood anyway it didn't feel like work. 

The  bottom tie is 90s Stagecoach. The same friend set up a Christmas day bus route in London in 1992. LT couldn't object because they ran nothing themselves at Christmas. This went on for seven years, firstly on Colins own operators license then using one of his contacts at Stagecoach East London (by this time he sensibly realised it was much easier to drive for somebody else than run your own bus company) which is where this tie came from. 



Slightly off topic but they were in the same bag. When did you last see a postman wearing a tie? IMG_20210328_135300.thumb.jpg.ff18e2fbafb1554206cc489470720baa.jpg


The one with the AEC badge on is my original tie and the other is the last one before they were abandoned. When I started a tie was compulsory in winter. They had already been abandoned in summer though I'm sure at some point they would have been compulsory all year. Standards have slipped somewhat since then. You couldn't even accidentally forget it as they had a big box of spares in the office. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had several ties but got rid of most of them last year. If I find any more I'll post them up, they'll all be for sale apart from a pair of Midland Red ones.

The last time I used a bus operators tie it was in 2014. It was a Western Greyhound tie, I soaked it in diesel and used it as a wick to light the fire I'd just built in a Beyer-Garratt. All the rags were WG shirts. I'd just resigned and left the bus industry and it felt like an enormous release to get shot of uniform from a job that I hated.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found out the South Notts garage at Gotham (pronounced Goat-um, not Goth-um) was closed last Saturday. Real part of my life, as I regularly used to travel on the South Notts number 1 service from Loughborough (where I lived for about 9 years) to Nottingham.

It was a real old school bus garage. Indeed when I first started travelling on the 1, there'd often be conductors still, even on the allegedly OMO Atlanteans they used to have on the route. They switched over to Olympians (pulled one out of retirement for the last day), before the company was sold to Nottingham City Transport.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove one that was basically that but with a Paramount body on it...no idea what it based based on other than Volvo as it had a late B58 style dash.  Knowing the company who owned it, wouldn't surprise me if it was a Heinz 57 by that stage in life to be honest.  Two things I remember being that it went like the clappers...if you dared as the suspension was about as softly sprung as normal for a 70s/80s coach...but without making any allowances for the comically short wheelbase.  The see-saw bouncing was truly comical.  Heaven forbid they ever had passengers onboard who were seasick.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/04/2021 at 13:37, sierraman said:

Bristol LE in Cleethorpes 


reminds me of a more modern version of a Plaxton peanut I love these really short versions of otherwise fairly full size buses/coaches, something almost comedic about them, but I also think, bet they would be awesome for someone who wants a bus or a coach but does not have a 30ft parking space for one!

On 17/05/2020 at 13:56, quicksilver said:

It's a Bedford J2 with a Plaxton Embassy IV body, nicknamed the Plaxton Peanut. That one was new to a hospital in Ely and is unusual in having a wheelchair lift in the main doorway. I used to see it a fair bit when owned by Eric Flack but he sold it a few years ago.


Tower Hospital MVE 400H by Adam Floyd, on Flickr


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

reminds me of a more modern version of a Plaxton peanut I love these really short versions of full size buses/coaches something almost comedic about them, but I also think, bet they would be awesome for someone who wants a bus or a coach but does not have a 30ft parking space for one!


They're probably* no longer than your average Qashqai tbh. Apart from a few less MPG, it's definitely a better choice for a modern family 🤘

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Vantman said:

Empress in Hastings still operate a couple of these---


As LBF mentioned, there's definitely something almost comedic about their proportions. Kudos to any operator running any semblance of a heritage fleet. I still don't get why old coaches don't have much following, general interest or indeed value in this country. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the remaining Routemasters are finally being ousted from London Town. Inevitable I guess, but still a shame to a Westcountry fella such as I. It was always part of the experience of visiting the place regularly over the years to see the old girls trundling past. What are the Chinese going to print on the London postcards now? 


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a shame, I've only been to London a couple of times in the last few years but it's always nice to see the RMs bumbling about, even if they were the bastardised ones with Iv*co engines...

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dick Longbridge said:

I see the remaining Routemasters are finally being ousted from London Town. Inevitable I guess, but still a shame to a Westcountry fella such as I. It was always part of the experience of visiting the place regularly over the years to see the old girls trundling past. What are the Chinese going to print on the London postcards now? 


indeed, here are some of my thoughts on the subject from the grumpy thread, as you can probably tell im not very pleased about it! I do hope someday something returns 

Routemasters are not just buses but they are also a Land mark in their own right, its a bit like knocking down big ben because it was slightly expensive to keep ticking!

11 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

the fuckers!

I had heard rumblings they might, but I had really hoped they would not :( 


I also feel bad, as I have not had the chance to ride on one in many years now, and Had hoped to rectify that at some point and see who was still there

Mandy the driver and big paul the conductor are 2 people who where very nice to me and put up with me, as I would hop on and then spend the next 6 hours chatting away with Paul (and mandy at rest stops)

then ride back to the garage with them with my hi-vis donned :) and I feel bad for just vanishing one day to never return!

I do hope they are well! the Garage staff at Both Bow and West Ham where also very nice, the main manager at West ham even gave me a bit of a guided tour once :) (I must have pulled quite the face going by his reaction when I saw a Modern at the time Enviro 200 wearing a Routemaster plate VLT14! I was not very pleased about that, thankfully VLT14 has since been reunited with the Routemaster it was stolen from)


it is also very sad to see Routemaster operation come to an end in London in general :( 


7 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

thats the thing, apart from adverts on the side of the last Routemasters in normal service during 2005

I have never seen it advertised anywhere, the nearest thing to an advert you would see is on the bus stops that the routes served it would say "Heritage route 15 from such and such time"

even I only found out about them after a chance encounter in 2006!


so yeah a lot of us do wonder if they actually advertised the fact they exist, if they would have done better!


I also hate the excuses they give, especially the not accessible part, one of the stipulations for when the 2 Routes where setup was that they simply ran along part of the same Route as regular buses did

so no one would be disadvantaged sitting a wheel chair at a bus stop where only Routemasters served (ie they never went anywhere a regular bus of the same route number did not go)

so I feel that excuse is a bit moot! since there will always be regular buses serving the same route so no ones at a disadvantage 


and then the Emissions things, well all the heritage RMs where sadly Dartmaster-ed examples with horrible Cummings engines and Hopper windows already so no one would scream bloody murder if they stuck some more modern engines in

which has already been done!



Link to post
Share on other sites

While we are at it let’s knock down the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, they can’t be very environmentally friendly. Buckingham Palace, that could be demolished to build a scheme of leasehold flats for the hippies to live alongside the tramps in. Think of all the people you could house there. In fact while we are at it let’s pedestrianise the entire Centre of London from the M25 inwards. Soho, that’s a bit sexist these days with its Sex shops, let’s turn it into a scheme of flats. The Thames, that’s quite polluted, let’s turn it into a wildlife sanctuary. If we can get all this done all these people who are supposedly choking to death in London every day will be cured. 

Moving further out Stonehenge isn’t very accessible, let’s bulldoze it.  Build some flats there instead. Call it Stonehenge Mews. That will do. Eventually we’ll get as far as The Giants Causeway, the access to thats pretty poor so we’ll smash it to bits and build some affordable flats there as well. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't even realised the heritage route had gone seasonal. I only used it twice but Dartmasters are just too depressing. I got used to the 1990s refurbs eventually, it's just a lorry engine replacing the original. But the Dartmaster has a whole new drive train and doesn't even move like an RM so I'm not that upset and to be honest I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did. I admit it was nice to see them from a distance but that's it. 

So forget euro 6, why not go full electric. There are companies that will convert any classic car to electric so can't we scale it up a bit. There's plenty of room under that ultra high, non DDA compliant floor? But as mentioned in the articles above this is purely a financial move anyway so that's not going to happen. 

Fortunately there are several private hire companies operating reasonably large fleets in the London area so I usually see at least one every time I'm up there. Admittedly I have no idea what the ULEZ means for them. I know they are exempt in themselves as private vehicles but I don't know if it's different for commercial use (like tax and MOT). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This was (pics from the web) the first coach I drove carrying passengers (driving test for the company was a Duple Dominant II bodied Bedford) back in 1978.


This,474, was our only semi auto Reliance, all the rest were a mix of synchro (both ZF and AEC's own), or crash box. I only got this on my first day because the traffic dept cocked up and had allocated me this,


424, the last Reliance delivered in the old SUT red and grey, but it was away on tour (I did get to drive it before it went to LCBS).

Seems like yesterday, but it's actually 43 years since I was chucking these around for a living !!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Right, lets have some more of my shite B&W pics from the early 70's, and back to God's favorite city. As always, I've chosen pics with chod in them where possible.

The early seventies saw a fair few new deckers enter service, both single and dual door examples. As we're working through the fleet incrementally, we'll start with the single door Fleetlines.

There were two batches of these, one with Park Royal bodies (on the left), and one with Alexander bodies (on the right). The Alexander ones caused quite a stir with enthusiasts as Sheffield had only had 21 Alexander bodied deckers (and 4 Y Type singles) before, twenty were on AEC Regent V chassis as part of the tramway replacement scheme, and a lone Leyland PDR1 Atlantean. Of course these days, you cannot move for Alexander, or rather ADL deckers.

The single deck to the left is a Willowbrook bodied Ford of Eagre's of Gainsborough.


The next couple are of the inside of newly delivered 240, lets start with the cab.

The master panel on the bottom left, top row START (pull to turn on the main switch), FOG, main beam warning light, S & T (side and tail lights), HEAD.

Bottom row, START button, oil pressure warning light, charging warning light and STOP button. The box to the right is an automatic counter to tell the driver how many seats are left upstairs. It worked on two pressure plates on the staircase, depending on which one activated first it ether reduced or increased the numbers. Of course, students didn't* deliberately miss steps then press the floor plates to cock up the system.  The left hand pedal is the door opening and closing device.


Lower saloon of 240, women wearing scarfs, men wearing hats, and Kennings (through the front window) flogging BL's finest Marinas.


East Lancs provided a batch of AN68's in 1973 (I cannot find a B&W of the Alexander bodied Atlanteans before these), amazingly, several were exported to Australia when withdrawn and one has returned and is preserved. A former B fleet Park Royal Atlantean on the right.


The 1964 Commercial Motor Show, like so many, contained a Sheffield vehicle, in this case 340. It was easily distinguishable at a distance by the Atlantean badge above the cab window and "LEYLAND" on the engine bustle.


You'll get used to this location, it was a couple of minutes walk from where we lived, and the 13/4 (operated by Greenland Road garage) and 18 (operated by Herries Road garage) bus routes were rife with a variety of the corporations finest* buses.


Working up the fleet numbers, there were then a batch (well two reg sequences) of Neepsends finest* local creations on PDR1/2 chassis.


Typical N/S wiper location on these fine* beasts.


Same location, different day and a Weymann bodied PDR1. Just how much would that VW van be worth these days, although I'd prefer the Farina MG or the landcrab myself.


I've mentioned 369, the sole Alexander bodied PDR1 above, here it is at Low Bradfield, surrounded by Fords,  on Sunday December 12th, 1971.


Why do I know it's that exact date?, because we were on an enthusiasts tour using 1957 Roe bodied Leyland Titan PD2 835, that was due for withdrawal.

Here we all are, note the petrol station in the distance.







Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/11/2021 at 8:36 AM, busmansholiday said:


Cracking chod not to mention the buses.


The then new Leyland appears a lot in this video. I've just spoken to a colleague who remembers them in service. 

They struggled with the Tropical weather so overheating was a regular occurrence... 👍 👍 👍 😎 😎 😎 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just came across my uncle's stash of late 1970's to late 80's bus pornography on his Flickr account, and instantly thought this stuff would be right at home here:

Premier Travel RVE297S

That's him driving over a particularly humpy bridge in rural Essex in 1982, his passengers stood in the cold to shed some weight for better ground clearance.

Here are a few other pics, a lot more on his Flickr account for those interested:

United WHN592MSussex Bus XPD127NLondon Country SPK114MPremier Travel JVE373PThamesdown Transport AMR138BSafeguard UGB14R


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...