Vintage Postbag, August 1962

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Sir,

As a boy I lived in London for most of the period 1927 to 1939, and the variety of ‘buses to be seen in those days was really fascinating. There were, of course, vast numbers of scarlet “General” ‘buses (mostly NS, ST, or LT types), but also many independents, with attractive colour schemes and pleasant names: “City,” “Premier,” “Red Rover,” “Pro Bono Publico,” “Westminster,” etc. These small companies (I believe few had more than 12 vehicles, and most only two or three) had a numerous collection of chassis types and I used to keep a notebook in which I tried to record the chassis type, fleet number, route number, etc., of all the vehicles I saw—I wish I had kept it.

Incidentally, I have an excellent photo of the Lewis A.E.C. “Regent ” – mentioned in Mr. Tucker’s letter – as running, when new, in 1929, and another photo taken some years later, in L.P.T.B. colours.

I wonder whether any of your readers can recall the following interesting vehicles, and if they know of any photos of them:

LONDON “GENERAL.,” LS (“London Six”) type, Nos. LS 1. 2. 3 & 4. These were the first 6-wheel ‘buses to run its London (1927) with modern enclosed stairway bodies, but the Police objected to them as being too large and so old-fashioned open staircases were substituted. I think they still rank as the largest ‘buses ever to run in London. I have several official photos of these vehicles, but have never yet seen one of them, as running in actual service with the original body.

BIRKENHEAD: In 1927 Birkenhead Corporation took delivery of some Leyland “Leviathan” double-decker ‘buses, which I believe were unique in that they had modern-looking bodies with enclosed staircase, yet ran on solid tyres! I have a photo of one, when new (No. 56); in 1933 they were converted to pneumatic tyres. and I have never seen a photo of one as converted.

A. H. PROCTER. Exmouth.

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