Classic Buses Profiles

Southdown Leyland Tigers - Part 1, Pre-War Coaches


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Last updated 15 January 2016

This series of pages is dedicated to a very special group of vehicles, the glorious and extensive fleet of Leyland Tiger single-decker buses and coaches that Southdown operated both before and after the war. This first page looks at the large pre-war coach fleet. These links will take you to pre-war buses and all post-war vehicles.

Southdown Tiger 1179

Described by the legendary Tony Peart as "..one of the most beautiful and original late 1930s Leyland Tigers in existence", this is 1937 Southdown Tiger TS7 No.1179 (DUF 179), seen here at Wisley airfield during the Cobham Open Day event in April 2004. Photo: Dick Gilbert


INTRODUCTION AND CREDITS

The charismatic Southdown Motor Services purchased a total of 442 Leyland Tigers (plus 50 Beadle Rebuilds) over two decades. Although they appeared as buses and coaches, and in many forms and styles, the largest number - and the most instantly recogniseable - were those whose bodies were built by the local company, Harringtons of Hove.

What follows is an attempt to create a brief history of the type, in the form of records and images designed to give even the casual reader some impression of the development and classic styling of this extensive fleet. In order to make the listing manageable, I have divided the pages up into (1) pre-war coaches, (2) pre-war buses, and (3) all post-war vehicles including the Beadle Rebuilds.

The Southdown Enthusiasts Club has a huge amount of data regarding Southdown buses, and I recommend that you visit their page. They have also been kind enough to let me use some of their photographs and other information, for which I am most grateful. Owners of other pictures, when known, are also credited. However the photographers of some pictures on this page are not shown on the original photograph, and therefore are not known to me. Whoever they were I thank them, and if they contact me with their names they will of course be credited. If a rightful owner wishes me to remove any hitherto anonymous image, it will be done forthwith.

My particular thanks go to Adrian Clarke for providing a large quantity of information, which was a great help in getting this list created. Many others have helped with valuable data - too many to name I'm afraid - but thanks to you all.

The format for the listing is as follows;

Fleet No., (Regn.No.), Tiger model, Chassis number (when known), / Body manufacturer, manufacturer's body No. (when known), Southdown body No. ('Bxxx'), body configuration (except when the entire batch is the same), delivery date, subsequent modifications, withdrawal date and other notes.

As with my other lists, mistakes are bound to creep in, and some relevant information may be missing so, in order to make it as accurate a reference as possible, I would of course welcome any additions or corrections.


FLEET LIST

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LEYLAND TIGER TS2  -    1000 (Total 1)

Built 1930

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS2 (6.8 litre petrol), 26' long.

Body: Duple C28R. New Park Royal C32R body {3834} fitted in 1935.

Notes: Ex-Southern Glideway, Eastbourne. Acquired by Southdown 3/32.


LEYLAND TIGER TS2  -  1001-1015 (Total 15)

The first Tiger coach bought new by Southdown, 1001

Here is the first Leyland Tiger coach bought new by Southdown, No.1001 (UF 5741). This fine picture appears to have been taken on Ecclestone Bridge, Victoria around 1950. Behind it would seem to be two London Transport STLs, the first in the standard post-war livery with cream surround to the upper deck (and a roof number box which, as was common, is blanked out), and the one behind clearly having been recently overhauled at Chiswick and received its new livery of all-over red (or green?) with cream lining. The policeman seems to be wondering why 1001 has been parked (and apparently abandoned) in such a daft position. (Photo: Roy Marshall collection via Trans Pennine Transport Group).

Delivered 1930

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS2 (6.8 litre six cylinder petrol) 26' long.

Body: Leyland Lorries or Harrington C26C or C26D

Notes: The first batch of Leyland Tiger express coaches bought by Southdown.


LEYLAND TIGER TS2  -  1016-1021 (Total 6)

Delivered late 1930

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS2 (6.8 litre petrol), 26' long.

Body: Harrington C26D


LEYLAND TIGER TS2  -  1022-1028 (Total 7)

Southdown Tiger No.1023

No.1023 (UF 6923) clearly had further duties after disposal by Southdown. The 1930 Tiger TS2 is shown working for J.W.Hutchinson & Son of Ramsbottom, and the wartime 'blackout' mask over one headlamp suggests a date in the early 1940s. Photographer unknown, but picture supplied by Andrew Porter, 5 Tregony Rd., Orpington, Kent BR6 9XA. Ref.No. 40020.

Delivered 1930

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS2 (6.8 litre petrol), 26' long.

Body: Harrington C26R with folding canvas roof


LEYLAND TIGER TS2  -  1029-1055 (Total 27)

Delivered 1931

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS2 (6.8 litre petrol), 26' long.

Body: Harrington or Hoyal C30R. All converted to C31R in 1933, and to C32R in 1934.


LEYLAND TIGER TS1  -  1056-1060 (Total 5)

Delivered 1931

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS1 (6.8 litre petrol), 27' 6" long.

Body: Hoyal C30R

Notes: Transferred to East Kent in March 1932 as part of an arrangement to rationalise the South Coast Express service.


LEYLAND TIGER TS2  -    1061 (Total 1)

Built 1930

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS2 (6.8 litre petrol), 26' long.

Body: Duple C28R

Notes: Ex-Southern Glideway, Eastbourne. Acquired by Southdown 3/32.


LEYLAND TIGER TS4  -  1062-1073 (Total 12)

Leyland Tiger TS4 No.1067 (UF 8837). The building on the left seems to be called the Swan Hotel - I suspect this is East Grinstead - and the coach claims to be on "Service 28" to Brighton. Photo from the Roy Marshall collection via the East Pennine Transport Group.

Delivered 1932

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS4 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R

Notes: Used on express and limited-stop services.


LEYLAND TIGER TS4  -  1074-1085 (Total 12)

1085 acting as a relief coach on the 'South Coast Express' service, probably in the 1950s. Photo: unknown.

Delivered 1933

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS4 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R


LEYLAND TIGER TS6  -  1086-1088 (Total 3)

1086 at Pool Valley, Brighton. From the TS6 model onwards, the radiator grille was rectangular, but the basic body design for Southdown remained unchanged for many years. Photo: unknown.

Delivered 1934

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS6, 27' 6"' long. Originally with 8.6 litre petrol engines, but converted to diesel in 1950-51.

Body: Harrington C32R

Notes: The only three coaches acquired in 1934.


LEYLAND TIGER TS7  -  1089-1100 (Total 12)

Southdown No.1099

Tiger TS7 No.1099 is clearly heading purposefully up to town in this view, as the destination board on the side says "Express London - Hindhead - Portsmouth - Isle of Wight Service". Does anyone recognise the location? Later it would be relegated to excursion (rather than express) work, and is just visible towards the end of its career, waiting on Brighton sea front in the 1950s view of similar coach No.1107 below. This photograph is reproduced by kind permission of The Omnibus Society (# 100 176).

Delivered April-May 1935

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS7 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R with roof luggage pannier and folding sun roof


LEYLAND TIGER TS7  -  1101-1106 (Total 6)

Delivered June-July 1935

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS7 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Park Royal C32R with roof luggage pannier and folding sun roof


LEYLAND TIGER TS7  -  1107-1112 (Total 6)

Southdown Tiger No.1107

No.1107 (BUF 407) awaits work on Brighton sea front, probably in the early 1950s, with similar No.1099 (BCD 899) in the queue behind. This photograph is reproduced by kind permission of The Omnibus Society (# 100 182).

Delivered in July 1935

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS7 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R with folding roof


LEYLAND TIGER TS7  -  1113-1150 (Total 38)

A classic example of the typical pre-war Southdown coach, a 1936 Tiger TS7 No.1133 with Harrington bodywork in original condition with glass quarterlights, probably at Portsmouth (Thanks to Photobus for the picture). For an example of the Portsmouth Aviation post-war rebuild of some of this batch, see 1113 below.

1113 in Worthing in the 1950s. The original Harrington bodywork had been rebuilt by Portsmouth Aviation in 1948. For an example in original condition see photo of 1133 above. (Thanks to Photobus for the picture). Bill Armstrong thinks the coach is turning right out of Steyne Gardens into Marine Parade, Worthing.

Delivered between October 1935 and June 1936

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS7 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington or Beadle C32R all built with half-length canvas folding roof. Some rebuilt pre-war by Park Royal, or post-war by Portsmouth Aviation, Lancashire Aircraft or Willowbrook.


LEYLAND TIGER TS7  -  1151-1159 (Total 9)

Delivered July-August 1936

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS7, 27' 6"' long. Nos.1151-53 were 7.6 litre petrol (but converted to diesel in 1950); the remainder were delivered as 8.6 litre diesel (although these were later converted to petrol, and then reconverted to diesel again in 1950).

Body: Burlingham C32R, with "Walman" half-length sliding roof. For express services.


LEYLAND TIGER TS7  -  1160-1179 (Total 20)

No.1179 is seen after its sale by Southdown - it has an AA badge on the front ! Fortunately it still survives (see top of page). Gordon Dinnage informs me that the location is the official coach park, Wilson Avenue, Whitehawk, Brighton "when it had prefab housing". The photographer is unknown.

Delivered from December 1936 to June 1937

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS7 (7.6 litre petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R all with half-length folding canvas roof


LEYLAND TIGER TS8  -  1180-1181 (Total 2)

No.1180 on the 'South Coast Express' service heading for Folkestone. Photo: unknown.

Ion Castro from the Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group says; "This may be the entrance to Hastings Station with the 'Railway Hotel' in the background (now demolished and replaced with Queensbury House) - the real clue is "HUFFEY" the newsagent - they moved to the top of Havelock Road when the station approach was remodelled."

Delivered July 1937

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS8 (petrol), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R with half-length sliding sunroof.


LEYLAND TIGER TS8  -  1182-1205 (Total 24)

Southdown Leyland Tiger No.1191

No.1191 and its driver take a rest in the sunshine during an excursion to Windsor Castle around 1950. It's difficult to make out what the driver's doing - maybe eating a sandwich, rolling a cigarette or perhaps playing the mouth organ ! The coach behind is clearly much older. (Photo: Roy Marshall collection via East Pennine Transport Group)

Delivered from February to May 1938

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS8 (8.6 litre oil engine), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Harrington C32R with half-length folding roofs.

Notes: This was Southdown's first batch of oil-engined coaches, but a decision in the early 1940s to convert all bus saloons to diesel resulted in an engine swap between this batch of coaches and 7.6 litre petrol buses Nos.1400-1429. Most were converted back to diesel again around 1950.


LEYLAND TIGER TS8  -  1206-1210 (Total 5)

Delivered May-June 1938

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS8 (8.6 litre oil engine), 27' 6"' long.

Body: Park Royal C32R with sliding sunshine roofs and no luggage racks.

Notes: A decision in the early 1940s to convert all bus saloons to diesel resulted in an engine swap between four of this batch of coaches and 7.6 litre petrol buses from batch 1400-1429. All were converted back to diesel again in 1950.


LEYLAND TIGER TS8  -  1211-1226 (Total 16)

An interesting view of 1216 in immaculate condition (typical of Southdown) taken around 1950, and clearly showing the Harrington glass roof quarterlights. Photo: Photobus.

Delivered between July 1938 and July 1939

Chassis: Leyland Tiger TS8 with 8.6 litre oil engines. During 1939-40 (sometimes even before delivery) they swapped engines with the 1935-36 petrol TS7 buses, converting back to oil again in 1949-50.

Body: Harrington C32R, with "Walman" half-length sliding roof, no luggage rack, and glass roof quarterlights

Notes: The final pre-war batch of TS8 coaches. Nine (1218-1226?) were converted to 21-seater touring coaches in 1949-50.


TOTAL 227  ( with 2 survivors - 1067 and 1179 )

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For more Southdown buses see;

Southdown Leyland Tigers (2) - pre-war buses

Southdown Leyland Tigers (3) - all post-war vehicles

Southdown Guy Open-toppers

Southdown coaches 1951-1961

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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