Photo By D J Norton

Buses and Trams In Colour 

It was a real surprise to find that we had boxes of full colour slides as well as all the prints.  There aren't a huge amount of bus and tram photo's, but there are a few of interest.  Sadly, there are no pictures of Birmingham trams in their primrose and cobalt blue livery as my father didn't start taking slides until 1955.  By that time the network had been shut down.

Old colour pictures really make an impact on me.  With black and white it's easy differentiate between the past and the present.  A fifty year old colour picture starts to blur the distinction...

Bus Terminus Haunch Lane - 22/5/55

Haunch Lane Terminus
The bus terminus at Haunch Lane.  Yardley Wood Road disappears into the distance while an 18A, complete with an advert for Old Charlie Rum, sits at the stop.

I happened to be driving past this site on my way to a friends 40th birthday BBQ and I couldn't resist stopping to capture this shot of the scene today.

Bus HOV 928 - 27/5/56

HOV 928 Cotteridge
HOV 928 at Cotteridge.  Numbered 45, the sign on the front says, "West Heath Alvechurch Road", although it is facing the into city direction.  Thanks to Mike for pointing out that it was Birmingham City Transport practice to show the outer terminus destination all the time.  A chap downstairs in having a nap in the sunshine!

Wilts & Dorset Bus 518 K.N. - 7/8/55

Wilts & Dorset Buses
Two Wilts & Dorset buses parked up at Kings Norton railway station.  The registration number is HWV 946.

The sign in the front window of bus 518 says, "Birmingham", but who hired them remains a mystery.  However,  an anonymous emailer said this, "The Wilts and Dorsets used to bring troops to Bham (I think on a friday night) from Salisbury Plain, returning Sunday evening. They parked up on Saturday.........usually  by Bingley Hall in Broad Street.....I bet these are the same.".  Since the photo was taken on a Sunday he could well be correct!

To back this up, Nigel got in touch to say, "Those are the same buses that used to bring me home for the weekend when I was in the RAF at Middle Wallop".  Seems pretty conclusive to me...

Colin also got in touch with some technical info:-
"Wilts & Dorset bus HWV946 was a Bristol LS6G, built in 1952. The body, by ECW is of the dual-purpose type, being a bus body with coach seats."

981 UHW at Ledbury Station - Date unknown

981 UHW at Ledbury Station
This picture was among the last my father took so he never catalogued it in his normal, thorough way.  All I can say is that is was taken somewhere between August 1964 and August 1965.  Although the station building has now gone the ornate wall survives as this picture from April 2007 shows.

An otherwise idyllic rural scene is spoilt by the incongrous intrusion of a very 1960's style concrete lamppost!

The bus is a Bristol and there is lots of useful information about these on the Classic Bristol Buses website.

Trolleybus Nr Cardiff Castle - 10/6/64

Trolleybus near Cardiff Castle
When I found this picture of a trolleybus in Cardiff, I assumed my father was capturing the last days of a doomed system as he had done with the trams of Birmingham.  I was amazed to discover that trolleybuses continued operating in Cardiff until January 1970!  This site has some more photo's.

My modern view shows little has changed close to the castle.  I'm not sure if it was my imagination but the lampposts in High Street seemed to pay homage to the days of the trolleybus as this picture shows.  Can anyone confirm if this is indeed the case?

Trolleybus Nr Cardiff (Gen) Stn - 10/6/64

Trolleybus near Cardiff General Station
Trolleybus DUH 725 photographed close to Cardiff General Station.  Note the Royal Hotel behind.

When taking my modern view in March 2012, I was sad to find all the nice old buildings to the left of the picture had been lost.

Tram 202 Fleetwood - 1/4/56

Tram 202 Fleetwood
An Easter break in Blackpool provided my father with the opportunity to capture a few shots of the town's iconic tram system.  I doubt he would have imagined that it would still be in operation over 50 years later!

Note the North Euston Hotel in the background.

Colin got in touch with the following information:-
"Tram 202 at Fleetwood was one of the 1933/1934 English Electric railcoaches. The whole tram fleet was renumbered in 1968 to cope with the demands of a new computer. The Manager (Walter Luff) is reported to have said it couldn't be a very clever machine if it couldn't tell the difference between a bus and a tram! Being scrapped in 1963, 202 was never renumbered."

Tram 244 Talbot Sq - 3/4/56

Tram 244 Talbot Square
Colin got in touch with the following information about this tram:-
"Tram 244 at Talbot Square is one of the double deck versions of the Railcoach. It dates from 1934 and was originally an open-topper. This series received roofs in 1941/1942 to enable them to be used in winter in wartime conditions. 244 was renumbered 707 in 1968 and was the first tram to succumb to the craze for overall advertising liveries in 1975. I'm not sure whether she remains in service or if she has gone for preservation or breaking."

Tram 317 Talbot Sq - 3/4/56

Tram 317 Talbot Square
Colin got in touch with the following information about this tram:-
"Tram 317 at Talbot Square was one of the 1952 Coronation trams built by Charles Roberts of Wakefield. She was renumbered 653 in 1968 and scrapped in 1970."