This is a quick one (sorry, been a bit busy elsewhere for the last couple of days). Earlier in the week bus expert and local history stalwart Tony Martin sent me a couple of pictures of busses running the 51 route, mentioned in the remarkable David Oakley article about Darlaston.
It was Tony’s wonderful donation of the scans of the town planning leaflet that kicked this thread off, remember. Thanks so much, Tony!
These are cracking images, and capture the period well. Thanks to Tony for sending them – he really has made some cracking contributions to the blog.
Here are a couple of photos of Walsall buses on the Darlaston-Bentley route, back then the 51.
119 was a 1951 Leyland, which with sisters 118, 120 and 125 had extra seats squeezed in for use on the 51. It is seen in Victoria Road Darlaston.
838 is a Daimler CVG6 seen in the Crescent, Darlaston. The peculiar transmission on these buses earned them the name Jumping Jacks!
Tony also took a cracking shot of the sunset on Sunday which he shared with me, as well as one a bit earlier which disproves my assertion. I’ve popped them at the bottom of the post. It really was a fantastic thing to witness.
A big thank you to Tony Martin for the ‘Bentley Bus’ pictures. Brings back so many memories. The full-fronted Leyland PD2, featured in the first photo, was a nice bus to drive, but after the half-cab ‘Guy Arabs’ in which the side window could be opened to see the kerb, in foggy weather, the full-fronted buses kept a glimpse of the kerb at least twelve feet away.
The Daimler CVG/6 series was well named the ‘jumping jack’. This was an early attempt to dispense with the traditional clutch, through a ‘separator pedal’ A gear was selected through a mechanism on the steering column, but could only be applied if the separator pedal was pushed vigorously to the floor by the left foot. Failure to do this properly would result in the separator pedal springing out its full length and fetching you a sharp crack on the shin. Each change of gear gave a sickening lurch to the bus when the separator pedal was pressed. Needless to say, conductors hated them
Walsall Corporation had a variegated fleet in those days, personally, I liked the old crash box, half-cab Guys, although if you missed a gear, the whole street knew. Happy days !