The 500 Group - for Teesside Bus Enthusiasts
Our preserved buses
The years activities 2010 - 2012
Annual Teesside Running Day
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A brief history of Middlesbrough Corporation No.99
The Teesside Fleetlines
Teessides transport history
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Picture Gallery - Introduction
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Picture Gallery - T.R.T.B.
Picture Gallery - Middlesbrough
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Are you interested in buses
Middlesbrough Trams in the 1920's
| Trams survived into the early 1930s, the Norton to North ormesby route, whih used double deck vehicles survived till December 31st 1931.
The Linthorpe to the Transporter line lasted tillJune 1934.
Middlesbrough Tram Depot
|The new depot was opened in 1921 in Parliament Road, its opening followed a disasterous fire at the previous depot in Linthorpe.|
A bus taken over from Imperial Tramways Co. Ltd
|In 1921, Middlesbrough Corporation took over the services operated by Imperial Tramways Co. in the councils area. The buses and trams were transfered to the new owners
DC 439 was one of five Bristols takenover from Imperial Tramways during 1921
The first new Middlesbrough Bus
|Middlesbrough didn't have long to wait for its first bus
DC 800 was one of four A.E.C. 'YC' models supplied in 1921. It had a dodson 29 seat body.
1926 and a pair of nice Guys
|Buses were relatively slow to develop in the 1920s, solid tyres and oil lamps prevailed till 1924|
A Leyland of 1930
|A Leyland Lion in the early 1930s |
1929 - The first double-deck bus
|The Corporation was keen to experiment with double deck buses, the regulations had been changed but to get the maximum nuimber of seats, a three axle layout had to be adopted.
DC 8928 was No. 62 and was new in 1929. It was a Guy
A Royal celebration
There was a tradition of decorating trams and buses for Royal occasions
A double deck bus with advertising material
|The body paneling of Middlesbrough Corporation buses was left unpainted except for the blue band and front panel. This was an economy measure to save painting costs. It ws eventually abandoned as the unpainted metal soon oxydised inthe Teesside industrial atmosphere.|
1936 - The Leyland TD4s
|By 1936, the bus had started to be developed into a more modern vehicle than had previously been possible. Oil engines were becoming standard, giving more usable power and better economy. The Leyland TD4 was a milestone and quite a few were purchased in the late 1930s |
The Second World War - Austerity
|During the Second World War, (1939 - 1945) the bus manufaturing industry in the United Kingdom was much disrupted.
Only four chassis manufaturers were allowed to operate, the others turning to war equipment manufature.
The same system applied to body manufacturers and only a small number were allowed to supply relatively standard and simple designs.
A pair of single deck service buses
|Middlesbrough Corporation operated the service from Middlesbrough to Seamer, via Stainton, having taken it over from Mr. Franklin (Panther Services)in 1939. In 1946 they bought two single deck buses for the service.
The authur of this website lived as a youth in Stainton and these handsome vehicles fired his enthusiasm for Middlesbrough Corporation buses.
1949 - The ADC Leylands
|In 1949 the construction and use regulations changed and buses became larger, they grew from 7'6" wide to 8' wide and as a result became heavier.
The ADC batch of Leyland PD1s were fitted with bodies built by Eastern Coachworks. They had five windows to the lower deck and seven to the upper, this gave them a quite distinctive look
1950 - The AXG Guy Arabs
|Fifteen of these vehicles were obtained in 1950. A shortage of Leyland chassis necessitated a change to the Guy Arab, with Gardner 5LW engines. No. 75 had a Gardner 6LW engine fitted as an experiment
The bodies were similar to those of the 1947 batch but had much deeper windows, which made them even more elegant
1952 - The CDC Guy Arabs -Tin Fronts
|After the wartime austerity, style was creaping in to bus design again. These Guys had their radiators concealed behind a metal pressing, giving them the name of "Tin fronts"
This is the first colour picture of a Middlebrough bus that we know of The photographer is unknown
1958- The search for a standard bus
|Middlesbrough had a problem with low railway bridges, for many years some buses had to be bought that were "low bridge"
This was to get an overall height of less than 13'6" that would enable the vehicles to pass safely under Albert Road rail bridge and also the rail bridge at Ormesby Station.
These buses were unsatisfactory, in that to reduce the overall height, a side gangeway had to be put into the upper deck, this gave about 5'10 headroom. The passenger then had to crouch to reach the four seater bench seats that ran across the vehicle. Similarly, the lower deck had the gangway protruding downwards over the offside seats, requiring the fitting of a notice which said"will passengers please lower their heads when leaving their seats"
The Corporation decided to find a bus that was of a low height with a conventional layour to enable all buses to use all routes.
Bristol built such a bus, but because it was part of the British Transport Commission (State owned) it was not allowed to supply to any operater that was not part of the Group.
However, in 1958 Dennis Bros. of Guildford, obtained a licence to build to the Bristol design.
The Coporation arranged to purchase one of these vehicles for evaluation, a suitable Northern Counties body was fitted and after being exhibited at the 1958 Earl's Court Motor Show, the bus entered service in Middlesbrough on November 5th 1958.
JDC599 operates a North Bank "11" in the 1960's
1960 - The Dennis Loline IIs
|The pace of change in the bus industry was accelerating, front entrances were becoming the norm for safety reasons, whilst the Loline I had been built to the new 30ft. length allowed from 1959, the Mk IIs took the process further and had a front entrance with an air operated door, which the driver supervised.
The buses were stylish, with their low height and a small window on both decks to allow for the increased length. They also had full width cabs, which gave them a very modern look, but earned them the name of "sweaty Bettys" because of the heat that built up in the cab area on a hot summers day.
1962 - The coming of the Daimler Fleetline
|1962 was a very significant year in the process of the evolution of the bus.
Leyland had produced their rear engined Atlantean in 1959, but Daimler came into the market in 1961 with a low floor equivelent, the Fleetline.
Middlesbrough were one of the first local authority undertakings to order the vehicles and they proved an instant sucess with passengers, if not with the operating departments.
These chassis were eventually to become the standard vehicle in Middlesbrough, a practice carried on by Teesside Municipal Transport in 1968 and Transit in 1974.
The two illustratiomns are of Middlesbrough Daimler Fleetlines.
The left one is of PDC 111 (No.111) when brand new, it is an official Northern Counties picture and illustrates the "rear engine" and "air brake" caution labels, necessary because the public were not used to these features on buses.
The right hand picture is of PDC 119 No. 119) picking up at a stop, the low front entrance was totally new for passengers
(courtesy P. Battersby collection)