Classic Buses Profiles

DUNDEE CORPORATION TRANSPORT - (4) The Single Deckers


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Last updated 21 July 2017

This page is a profile of the Dundee Corporation single deck buses, delivered up to the end of the 1950s. All the pictures on this page were kindly supplied by George Bett, most having been taken by him, although he obtained some from other sources, including Dundee Corporation official pictures. I'm very grateful to George for sending them to me, and I hope you will enjoy the fine quality of his submissions.

For more Dundee pictures, see the Dundee photo album page, The pre-war Double Deckers, Post-war Double Deckers, and The Miscellaneous Page.

If you spot any mistakes, please let me know and I'll try and put them right. A special tribute must be paid to Iain Drummond who kindly supplied much background material to help me get the facts straight, but who sadly passed away in Australia in September 2004.

A collection of Dundee single deckers

A selection of Dundee single deckers around 1966.

David Craig says "Although the photograph is in colour, it must have been taken much earlier than 1966 as apart from all the vehicles being in pre-1961 livery, the second vehicle from the left is an AEC Regal III that was withdrawn in 1960. That bus plus two others had been working on route 2 which was a double decked worked route from 24.8.1958."


Dundee Corporation Transport Department ('DCT') traced its origins to a horse tramcar service in 1877, with steam trams following in 1887, and electrification shortly afterwards. After an experimental period of trolleybus operation from 1912 to 1914 (Scotland's first trolleybuses), motorbuses appeared in 1921 with four Thornycroft single deckers. Double deckers first appeared in 1931, and from 1935 the Corporation standardised on vehicles of AEC and Daimler manufacture only. This included the acquisition in 1955-56 of forty ex London Transport STLs and RTs, which were to replace the last trams in 1956. In 1961 Dundee became the first municipality to order significant deliveries of 36-foot single deckers (AEC Reliances). Dundee Corporation Transport was absorbed into the control of the new Scottish regions in 1975, and became "Tayside", changing their livery from the familiar green to a striking blue and white.

Renumbering of vehicles took place on several occasions, and this has frequently led me into confusion ! So the batches listed below are in date order of delivery, rather than in fleet number sequence.

My thanks again to George Bett for letting me use his unique collection of pictures.


THORNYCROFT J  -   no fleet numbers issued (Total 4)

Built: 1921

Chassis: Thornycroft J

Body: Two with Lindsay (Dundee) 32-seat Charabanc-style bodies, and two with Lindsay B32R single-deck bus bodies.

Notes: Dundee's first motorbuses, acquired for Broughty Ferry services.


LEYLAND PLSC1 LION  -   1-10 (Total 10)   -   Later renumbered 70-76, 84-85

Built: 1926-27 (1-7 were registered in Dec 1926 but did not enter service until 1927)

Chassis: Leyland PLSC1 Lion

Body: Leyland 29 seat dual-entrance bus body.


LEYLAND PLSC1 LION   -   11-20 (Total 10)  -   Later renumbered 86-95

Dundee Leyland Lion No.20

No.20 (TS 7527), later to be renumbered as 95.

David Craig says "The photo of No.20 with the modified destination display has the new coat of arms on the side panel introduced in 1933 but photographed before it was renumbered in 1937."

Built: 1927-28 but did not enter service until 1928

Chassis: Leyland PLSC1 Lion

Body: Leyland 29 seat dual-entrance bus body.


LEYLAND LION LT1   -   21-28 (Total 8)

Built: 1929

Chassis: Leyland Lion LT1

Body: Leyland 32-seat dual-entrance bus body (except 27 and 28 which were built by Dickson).


LEYLAND TIGER TS1   -   29 & 31 (Total 2)

Dundee Leyland Tiger No.29

One of Dundee's two glorious Leyland Tigers, this is No.29 (TS 9114).

Built: 1931

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS1

Body: Dickson B31D.

Notes: Purchased as vehicles on trial.


DAIMLER CP6  -  30 & 32 (Total 2)

Built: 1931

Chassis: Daimler CP6

Body: Dickson B31D.


MAUDSLAY ML6A6   -   33-34 (Total 2)

Built: 1931

Chassis: Maudslay ML6A6

Body: Dickson B31D.


DAIMLER CH6   -   64 (Total 1) - Later renumbered 7, then 82

Built: 1931, on hire from May 1931 to Jan 1933, then purchased

Chassis: Daimler CH6

Body: Hoyal B29D.

Notes: On trial as demonstrator, but subsequently purchased.


THORNYCROFT CYGNET   -   65 (Total 1)   -   Later renumbered 8

Dundee Thornycroft No.8

Dundee's sole Thornycroft Cygnet No.65, after renumbering as No.8.

Built: 1933

Chassis: Thornycroft Cygnet

Body: Pickering DP29F (had sliding roof an was used as a coach).


AEC Q   -   1-3 (Total 3)

Dundee AEC Q No.2

A wonderful photo of AEC Q No.2, probably taken when new in late 1935.

David Craig says; "AEC Q No.1. the 38 seater, had a sliding door and entered service on 20.8.1935. Nos. 2 and 3, the 37 seaters, had an open entrance as shown in the photograph but did not enter service, according to D.C.T. records, until 1.9.1936."

Built: August 1935

Chassis: AEC Q

Body: Weymann B37C.

Notes: No.1 (YJ 2803) was built as an AEC demonstrator, and was on loan to Dundee from Aug 1935 until purchased by them in the September.


DAIMLER COG5   -   4-6 (Total 3)

Built: 1936

Chassis: Daimler COG5

Body: English Electric B36C.


DAIMLER COG5   -   7-21 (Total 15) - several later renumbered

Built: 1937

Chassis: Daimler COG5

Body: Cowieson B36C.


DAIMLER COG5   -   84-91 (Total 8)   -   Later renumbered 24-31

Dundee Daimler No.24

1938 Daimler No.24 (YJ 5891), seen here in Dock Street bus park about 1957, had originally been No.84.

In service: Sept-Dec 1938

Chassis: Daimler COG5

Body: English Electric B36C.

Notes: The first Dundee buses to have the registration numbers painted under the windscreen. All withdrawn in 1958.


DAIMLER COG5   -   92-95 (Total 4)   -   Later renumbered 32-34 & 23

Dundee Daimler No.23

Daimler No.23 (YJ 5902), previously No.95, seen in Constitution Road, Dundee around 1957.

William Coupar writes: "A rare picture is bus No.23, the pre war Daimler SD with central entrance body. I have never seen such a late shot of one of these buses. The rubber window surrounds suggest that it was rebuilt in the mid fifties. It also has a post 1954 livery application."

Malcolm McCrow confirms that No.23 was indeed rebuilt.

David Craig points out that the bus is in Barrack Rd., not Constitution Rd.

In service: Nov 1938

Chassis: Daimler COG5

Body: Dickson B36C.


AEC REGAL   -   1-2 (Total 2)

Dundee No.1

AEC Regal No.1 (YJ 9124) in City Square, Dundee, more or less where Desperate Dan's statue now stands! Photo by kind permission of the Dundee Buses Past & Present Flickr collection.

Dundee AEC Regal No.2

AEC Regal No.2 (YJ 9125) parked at Dock Street, Dundee in the 1950s.

In service: March 1947

Chassis: AEC Regal O662, 7.7 litre engines with crash gearboxes, later fitted with fluid-flywheel transmissions from other vehicles.

Body: Weymann B35R.


DAIMLER CVD6   -   3-7 (Total 5)

Dundee No.3

Daimler CVD6 No.3 (YJ 9126). Photo by kind permission of the Dundee Buses Past & Present Flickr collection.

Dundee Daimler No.4

Daimler CVD6 No.4 (YJ 9127) at Dock Street bus park in the mid 1950s.

Built: Dec 1947 to Jan 1948

Chassis: Daimler CVD6/SD

Body: Weymann B35R.


DAIMLER CVD6   -   8-17 (Total 10)

Dundee No.8

Daimler CVD6 No.8 (BTS 488) looking very smart in the early post-war livery at the former central central bus depot at Lochee Road / Bell Street, now demolished. Photo by kind permission of the Dundee Buses Past & Present Flickr collection.

Dundee Daimler No.10

No.10 (BTS 490) in Dock Street bus park in the mid 1960s. (Photo: George Bett)

David Craig says "The photo was taken before the mid 1960s. By the mid 1960s, this area beside the docks was taken over by the new Tay Road Bridge approaches. The parking area at the docks was only used until the new Marchbanks garage was opened in 1961."

The first and last of the batch - No.8 (left) and No. 17 (BTS 497) wait in Crichton Street to take alternative routes to Johnson Avenue, mid 1960s. (Photo: unknown)

In service: Apr-May 1951

Chassis: Daimler CVD6/SD

Body: Brush B39R.

Notes: All withdrawn in 1968.


AEC REGAL IV   -   18-21 (Total 4)

AEC Regal IV No.19

No.19 (CTS 528) at Riverside Drive, Dundee in 1957. George says that L driver instruction on Sunday mornings was common.

AEC Regal IV No.20

No.20 (CTS 529) in 1973, relegated to school duties. Photo by kind permission of John Hendy.

In service: March 1953

Chassis: AEC Regal IV, 9821E.

Body: Weymann B44F. Dundee's first 8 ft wide (and 30 ft long) buses.


AEC REGAL IV   -   22 (Total 1)

AEC Regal No.22

AEC Regal No.22 (CYJ 315) in Dock Street on driver trainer duties around 1957.

Built: 1954

Chassis: AEC Regal IV, 9822E.

Body: Alexander B39D.

Notes: Damaged in a fire 24 April 1970, but repaired.

Iain Drummond wrote; "AEC Regal IV No.22 was built as a one man bus from new. It was fitted with an American Johnson fare box and was to operate an express service in the peak hours on, I think, the 9 route. It was to have a flat fare of 3d, this when the ordinary fare was 2 1/2d. Needless to say it was not well patronised. There was also a union requirement that it carry a conductor, which kind of defeated the purpose. I think the experiment only lasted a couple of months and the vehicle languished in the garage in Lochee Road for some time after that. The two doors also caused union trouble. The Corporation suffered from militant shop stewards."

Malcolm McCrow added "For a while, in the early 60s, this vehicle ran with the rear/middle door panelled over and gave the vehicle a most unkempt appearance.".

David Craig said "The '3d' bus, as it was known, also ran on the 1A, 1B routes. According to D.C.T. records it went into service on 25.3.1954 and would therefore have to have been built before April 1954."

William Coupar said "Bus 22, the one-off 1954 AEC Regal SD, was often used as an excursion bus - Dundee Corporation had no coaches until Tayside Region took over in the 1970s. I have a photgraph of 22 with a couple of the 1953 Weymann Regals at Pitlochry around 1955, taking the Transport Department's own staff and families on their annual summer pleasure drive."

"The other interesting question is, why did Dundee Corporation Transport order this bus? It was a one-off aberration in thirty years of a very conservative vehicle ordering policy. Given the strong trade unions amongst the 'street men', a radical idea like One Man Operation was almost impossible to deliver (as the Department found out later on in the 1960s when there was a prolonged strike against the idea.) Was the bus ordered by the outgoing general manager Robert Taylor who retired around 1953 or the new manager Willie Russell? Russell was an engineer and his vehicle buying policy - mainly CVG6 Daimlers with MCW bodies in the fifties, and Alexander bodied Fleetlines in the 1960s - was hardly radical."

Jim Wilson wrote; "I used to know a Mr. Thomas of Broughty Ferry who specialised in the export of diesel engines, usually to Africa. I knew him in the 1980s when he was buying engines, often out of Bedford TK and Ford D series trucks from a friend of mine who had a scrapyard just outside Dundee. As far as I recall Mr. Thomas had no premises where he could store vehicles. For a few years at the back of the scrapyard lay a very derelict ex DCT Regal IV. I think this may well be the same vehicle, as all the other Regal IVs seem to have their fate accounted for. Having a quick look around the website, the only other vehicles he seems to have bought were 135 and 140. All the vehicles are AECs and all were sold in 1974. This would fit in well with the way Mr. Thomas worked, as he would have had a buyer either for the engines or the vehicles (or both)."


TOTAL 95  ( with no survivors )

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For more Dundee pictures, see the Dundee photo album page, The pre-war Double Deckers, Post-war Double Deckers, and The Miscellaneous Page.

For many other buses, have a look at all the other profiles on the Classic Buses menu page.


SOME QUICK LINKS WITHIN THIS WEBSITE;  Home   Email   Links   THE COMPLETE WEBSITE MENU   Events Diary   Halfcab list   Small-Ads   Classic Irish Buses


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