Leicester City Transport -
back to the old days.

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Photo 29  Numbers 173 and 163 in Abbey Park Road in the early 1960s, were Leyland PD3/1s with tin fronts. These two examples exactly personified that Scotsman's description I mentioned earlier, "nine-and-a-half tons of shivering tin!" How true, oh how true. For those that disagree and feel that a cruel description, I conducted them for 4 years when they were about halfway through their working lives. I should know. At full tilt, shivering tin wasn't in it! They were akin to being astride a mobile earthquake.

Photo 30  AEC No 400 in Abbey Park Depot yard, between the wars. Another of the many photos I picked up at some rally or fair somewhere. For years, I thought this to be a picture of a model, but the clear impression of the depot entrance behind, including the SLOW warning sign hanging from the roof, belies that. The bodywork, especially upstairs, is distinctly heavy-handed and looks almost amateurish. Just look at the tread on those tyres - I used to have some Corgi buses with wheels like that when I was a lad!

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Photo 31  Elderly AEC Regal No.195 on Bread Street, circa 1955. I get the impression this bus had just entered service, hence the interest in it by the suited gentlemen - possibly councillors or LCT Head Office bods. I understand this small series of these Regals came from Devon General, hence the non-Leicester registration marks they held.

Photo 32  AEC Renown No.345 at the General Hospital, the 55 terminus. A popular spot, it seems, for bus photography, no doubt because of the clear views and angles afforded by the wide turn-round and the lack of distracting objects behind. It seems quite rural, and indeed, when the hospital was first built, it was out in the fresh air of the countryside. Even in my time, the fields were not so far away. Now, the LGH is massive, and covers several more acres than it used to do. And the much-expanded city today is all around it.

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Photo 33  And lastly, two of the earliest omnibuses, still with Leicester City Tramways legal lettering. Firstly, Guy No.49. LCT seemed to have a thing about three-axle buses. Tyres must have been cheap in those days, but then, the construction and weight regulations at the time stipulated three-axles for vehicles over certain lengths. Chassis strength and construction improved later, making the need for a third axle obsolete. LCT operated about twenty-three of what must have seemed to be monsters at one time in the late 1920s. But we should remember, they still carried far fewer passengers than a standard PD2 of the 1950s. Older people riding these in the 1920s must have marvelled at how far we had come, for their childhood in the days of Queen Victoria was the time of Shillibeer's Omnibus when horses were still kings of the road - ten inside and ten 'outside', in other words, on top!

Photo 34  A fine view of Tilling-Stevens petrol electric, No.6. Is it not strange how history seems to turn almost full circle. It would seem that the ideal bus system of the future will be a hybrid with a gas or low-sulphur diesel engine, supplemented by an electric motor, able to pick up power from overhead lines on some parts of a route, and be guided in a dedicated reserved busway on others. For some areas, a combination of overhead for power and reserved lanes or track for 'guided-bus' may well be the answer. We once designed and built buses for the whole world - now the continental and far eastern engineer leads the way and shows us how it's done! Witness the buses to be seen today in Singapore, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

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Page 5 is a few pics of a day at Markfield in 2003
viewing Nos 40 and 190 then under restoration.

Rob and Val's Home Page

Early Bus Memories
a separate page of text,
a child's-eye view of memories of
the Midland Red and LCT buses in the 50s
and then on to memories of the
Corporation Driving & Conducting School
at Abbey Park Road in 1968.

Conducting - how it was done
Another separate page solely on conducting a bus,
more exactly, how it was done on LCT in the late-60s, early-70s,
and in particular by me, and my memories of it.
Duties, shifts, ticket machines, athletic passengers and much more.
Be warned - it is a long treatise.

A few more memories of a different type of bus are in this box below.
No, this little beast was not a
Leicester Corporation Bus -
But it had been new to Newcastle Corporation before that. Though it was years and years before I ever found that out, thanks to the internet and Ashley Bruce of trolleybus preservation fame.

I lived in this bus as a child, when it was sited in the "NCO married quarters" compound, first at RAF Watton in Norfolk, and then at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford in Warwickshire.

There was a bathroom and two bedrooms upstairs, and the lower saloon had a kitchenette at the back, over the twin wheels, and the rest of the lower saloon was a lounge-cum-diner. The sani-loo was in the front, at the side of the driver's cab! It was fitted with the same loo as those fitted in Lancaster bombers.
For the serious minded,
it's one of Bradford's 584-595 class,
built by English Electric, around 1929
and scrapped around 1948.

The faint photo tinting is mine, as it was a dirty green colour, presumably painted in camouflage livery to ward off any pre-emptive Soviet strike in mistake for it being a new-type of missile launcher!

Well, it could have been a
Green Streak!! Very Dangerous.

Note the trolley bar assembly left on the roof; that got us into no end of bother on the tow from Watton to Wellesbourne when the RAF towing crew got us stuck under a brick-arched railway bridge, somewhere near Kettering, Rushden or Wellingborough at a guess, around 1954.

We got out by the simple expedient of letting all the tyres down, but not before the town's lunch-time rush hour traffic had been somewhat inconvenienced for over an hour.

But most of the trouble was caused when I let the dog out, our whopping great alsatian and former RAF guard dog. Well, I was only 3! And it was scratching at the door. My mother and I weren't supposed to be riding inside it under tow, and the police 'took a very dim view.' It took some time to get the dog back, it went shopping up the town. And I got a good hiding.

Somehow, I think I was always meant to be a busman.

of photos being restored?

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Perhaps after flood or other accidental damage.
Don't throw them away - they can be restored.

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military - naval - transport genre photos a speciality

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