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Website launched in August 1996, and this page was last updated on 28 June 2019.


*** STAR PICTURE ***

Jonathan Miller kindly sent me this fine view of his glorious Belfast Corporation Guy Arab III No.286 (MZ 7384) which has recently emerged from a seven-year restoration. One of a batch of 25 delivered in 1950 (along with 45 double deckers) with fleet numbers 280 to 304, its body was made by local coachbuilder Harkness who had a fine reputation for quality workmanship. The bus wears its original colour scheme but was later repainted in a predominently cream livery (with a cream roof) for special duties, private hire and city tours.

Jonathan said "When converted for special events in 1960, this work was actually initially undertaken to create a committee coach for the Councillors of Belfast Corporation. It had the side and rear destination boxes removed at that time. Reinstating the destination boxes, plus fitting a new roof, were just some of the jobs I completed over the 7 years. I do all my own work except paint - I leave that to the experts!"

"It was hijacked and used as a street barricade during riots in Belfast around 1970. I have photos of it pulled across a street with the tyres deflated. It was recovered and repaired. Unfortunately shortly after this event it was extensively damaged by fire when the yard in which it was stored was petrol-bombed. This destroyed much of the nearside of the vehicle. It was poorly repaired, using plastic panels and plastic windows and served the Belfast Corporation Anglers Club for a couple of years, before being sold into preservation, although only dry stored. It wasn't until 1985 that worked started on its restoration. I actually helped the original owner restore it between 1985 and 1986 so I've now been associated with it for 34 years!"

Similar No.298 survives with the National Transport Museum of Ireland at Howth and the body of No.304 was used for many years as a painting studio but was acquired by another owner a few years ago. Anyway many thanks to Jonathan for the photo and the information; I'm sure you will agree that it looks terrific.


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?? MYSTERY PICTURE ??

Michael Wright sent me this picture in April 2019 to ask if I could throw any light on the bus and the operator. His Grandad (Ernest Ward, on the right with the cleanest boots!) worked for the firm but that's about all Michael knows, apart from still having his driver's badge ("City of Wakefield No.948"), although it's the chap on the left who seems to be the driver in this picture.

Well, the route - Leeds to Wakefield on an easterly diversion through Rothwell and Stanley - later became West Riding route 92. It must have been in demand because West Riding were running it every 20 minutes by the 1950s! But what sort of bus is it, and who were "N & W Motor Service"? Perhaps they were absorbed into West Riding eventually.

Please email me if you can ddd more information. Thanks.

Peter Delaney came back very quickly with a torrent of useful information! Here's what he wrote;

"N & W would be Newton and Ward Ltd, a company formed in August 1928 to 'acquire and carry on the motor omnibus business heretobefore carried on at Rothwell, Yorkshire, by Messrs Newton and Ward in partnership', and had its registered office at Oulton Lane Garage in Rothwell (although neither Mr Newton nor Mr Ward were directors of the company).
"Leeds City Council noted in December 1925 that several firms from outside the city had agreed to conditions to be included on their licences, and amongst those firms was Newton & Ward, who were running from Lee Moor into Leeds. Six months later in June 1926 the Leeds Watch Committee approved a proposal for Newton & Ward to acquire the motor omnibus service between Leeds and Swillington previously run by Burks Brothers. The firm was also listed in the March 1928 issue of Commercial Motor magazine as having bought some (unspecified) Leylands.
"At a meeting on 31 August 1932 the company was formally put into voluntary liquidation, with the winding-up meeting held in Leeds on 29 November that year. The location of the first meeting at Belle Isle, Wakefield may be 'relevant'? The directors of Newton & Ward Ltd were H England, G H Margrave, A Corker, R Harkey, A Carrington and J Stonehouse. H England was the first General Manager of West Riding, and he was succeeded by G H Margrave with H England becoming Managing Director. It looks as if there was a connection with West Riding, although whether this was a formal one (such as West Riding buying Newton & Ward) I have not been able to find. I wonder if the Ernest Ward in the picture is related to the Ward of Newton & Ward?"

Well that's a good question at the end there, and it also makes you wonder if the other chap is Mr Newton! Michael Wright then asked his Mum (who is Ernest Ward’s daughter) about it, but unfortunately she said that his Grandad was not related to the owners of N&W services. Anyway thanks very much to Peter for his comprehensive response, and any further information would be most welcome.

John Bennett recognised the type of bus. He said "The bus in the picture is an ADC. I've tried to read the reg number in the back window, but cannot get the image sharp enough. It is either WW 2383, an ADC 416, chassis number 416016 (body maker not known) B32F, new in 6/27
or WW 1839, an ADC 417, chassis number 417060, Taylor (Barnsley) B32F, new in 5/27
or WW 5369, an ADC 416, chassis number 416640, (body maker not known) B32F, new in 3/28.
Newton & Ward also had three Leyland Lion PLSC and a Maudslay ML3B when they sold out to West Riding in September 1932."

Many thanks John.

LAST MYSTERY

The series of bus rallies that took place in London during the 1970s and 80s were organised by Mike Kay.


Welcome to the home of classic buses and coaches on the net - I'm Dick Gilbert. This site is all about nostalgia for British passenger transport vehicles from the 1920s to the 1960s, with an unashamed bias towards 'halfcabs'.

Each page has a different colour scheme which is supposed to be reminiscent of some bus or coach company from the era, and this one is meant to represent Western / Southern National. As a result of this arrangement, some of the pages are hard to read, and some will scramble your brain. I'm sure you'll manage.

My interest in British buses began in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the buses and coaches that were around then are all 'classics' now. It was an interesting period, when there were still pre-war and wartime 'utility' machines about (although mostly on the point of retirement), and a large number of halfcab vehicles that had been built immediately after the war. At the same time, new products like the Leyland Atlantean, AEC Regent V, and a host of 'modern' coach designs (Plaxton Panorama, Harrington Cavalier, Weymann Fanfare etc.) were appearing. It was a transitional period when vehicles from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s could all be seen in use at the same time.

Having been born in south London, London Transport was the first operator that I lived with, then we moved to Sussex and I grew up with Southdown, Maidstone & District, East Kent, and the municipal fleets of Eastbourne and Brighton, as well as the large number of excursion coaches that used to visit the south coast every summer.

In the early 1960s I used to make trips to London to visit Victoria Coach Station, or see the last of the London Transport trolleybuses, or the last halfcab single deckers (TDs). Unfortunately, although I saw what I went to see, most of the photographs I took are not particularly brilliant, or have been lost. However I do have some black & white pictures taken at Victoria Coach Station, London, and in Sussex between 1960 and 1962 which are barely reasonable, and some of them appear around this site. Here's one;

Lincolnshire Leyland Cub

This was taken at 'The Crumbles', Eastbourne, in the summer of 1962, where Claude Lane was running the narrow gauge Eastbourne Tramway (now moved to Seaton, Devon). He had used this ex Lincolnshire Road Car Leyland KPZ01 Cub as a lorry in the past, and it was left to rot outside his depot. New in May 1937 it was FW 8855, originally fleet number LC502, one of thirty delivered that year with Brush B20F bodies. I guess someone might rescue it these days.

I attend a few rallies around the country, and like to see the old machines that people have restored. Reviews and/or pictures of some of the shows I attend appear on the pages here, although it can take a while before I get round to it. The whole idea of the site is to entertain the sad souls (like me !) who have a soft spot for old PSVs, and also be a sorting office for information on the subject.

It's all for fun, so relax and have a wistful rummage through the scrapbook. If you weren't around in the 1960s (and they say that, if you were, you won't remember it) then these pages might provide an insight into the variety of glamorous machines that could be seen on British streets at the time.

Incidentally, this site has no connection whatsoever with Classic Bus magazine, but I thoroughly, absolutely, unreservedly and totally recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject. It is published 6 times a year, and regular readers all wish it was 12 times a year. You can order it through your local newsagent or go to this website. When it falls on your doorstep it's like when the delivery guy has brought you a really good pizza.

Please call back from time to time, as changes are taking place here all the time, and let me know if you spot a mistake somewhere - I do try to keep things pretty accurate. I know that there are some real boffins out there, and I need you to tell me when something is inaccurate. So welcome to the site, browse around and make yourself at home.


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