The first Leyland National

Discussions about the vehicles operated by Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO — Midland "Red" Motor Services).
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bmmoboy
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The first Leyland National

Post by bmmoboy » 20:26 Sunday 29th November 2020

Has anyone noticed that the photo of 101 HHA101L, when new, appears to have Worcester destination blinds even though it went originally to Leicester. 102-119 were allocated to BIrmingham area depots, so why would it have such blinds?

TimBrown
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Location: Worcester

Re: The first Leyland National

Post by TimBrown » 05:46 Thursday 3rd December 2020

bmmoboy wrote:
20:26 Sunday 29th November 2020
Has anyone noticed that the photo of 101 HHA101L, when new, appears to have Worcester destination blinds even though it went originally to Leicester. 102-119 were allocated to BIrmingham area depots, so why would it have such blinds?
It is a curiousity! I have been waiting to here from those who know why it carries Worcester blinds and in the absence of an answer I wonder if the date is February 1973 and the bus was based temporarily in Worcester as a driver training / familiarisation vehicle in advance of delivery of that garage's intake of brand new Nationals in March 1973?

bmmoboy
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by bmmoboy » 18:45 Thursday 3rd December 2020

It's a long time ago, but I don't remember 101 being at Worcester for training duties. I can recall going to Padmore Street and seeing 120-122 newly arrived in the garage, with all the engineers looking all over them.

TimBrown
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by TimBrown » 05:58 Friday 4th December 2020

Destination blinds on a National were always problematic when I was driving, needed to carry a box of plasters to cover bleeding knuckles snagged on jagged metal when that 'in-out' handle that wound round both destination and numeral blinds jumped back or forward. Also had to unravel the blinds which had doubled over and creased at half width leaving unreadable destination, this lead to dirty black hands from dust and print ink particles!

It begs a couple of questions; did Carlyle Works produce the blinds or were they made by a speciallist company, and was the blind fitted to BMMO built buses the same width as, and compatible with, the National set-up. If yes to both questions, it may be that a spare blind was fitted to 101 at the Carlyle Works to enable drivers to experience those battered knuckles first hand before it took them by surprise in service where the travelling public don't appreciate being given change by a hand covered in blood!

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AdamH
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by AdamH » 09:02 Friday 4th December 2020

I remember "helping" to change the destination blind on 544 at Wythall a few years ago. It was a real pig of a job and you have to wonder if Leyland expected their customers to update blinds over time, or did they just assume the same blind would stay in the vehicle for life! For this reason I doubt it was changed just for fun... unless it was a training exercise for the engineers.

TimBrown
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by TimBrown » 05:49 Saturday 5th December 2020

bmmoboy wrote:
18:45 Thursday 3rd December 2020
It's a long time ago, but I don't remember 101 being at Worcester for training duties. I can recall going to Padmore Street and seeing 120-122 newly arrived in the garage, with all the engineers looking all over them.
Yesterday I spoke to a retired Midland Red maintenance engineer who remembers the Nationals arriving at Worcester in 1973 and he agrees with bmmoboy that 101 didn't appear at Worcester Padmore Street garage between December 1972 and March 1973 and wasn't transferred to Midland Red West from the Leicester area until January 1985. As far as he can recall, all the driver training and familiarisation was done using 120. He also stated that Leyland National blinds were different to those fitted to BMMO built buses, so the reason for 101 running around Birmingham area with Worcester blinds remains a mystery!

ChrisS
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by ChrisS » 19:54 Sunday 6th December 2020

I do remember the blind box being very very dirty as the overhead heating used to blow all sorts of sheite in to the destination area too.

TimBrown
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by TimBrown » 11:18 Monday 7th December 2020

ChrisS wrote:
19:54 Sunday 6th December 2020
I do remember the blind box being very very dirty as the overhead heating used to blow all sorts of sheite in to the destination area too.
Not to mention the fag ash that used to blow up into your face if you switched the cab heater blower on, which used to be a 'Heath-Robinson' retrofitted plastic drainpipe running from ceiling down to the floor stirring up all sorts of lethal detritus! Some drivers used the cash trays to deposit fag ash, so first job in the morning was to wipe the grease off steering wheel, handbrake and gear lever (kindly gifted by late turn mechanic) and swill out said cash trays with water and a wad of giant sized tissues - golden days.

In those days, it was the driver's responsibility to put the bus through the wash at the end of shift returning to garage, most did but there was a hard core who avoided this duty like the plague. I never liked a dirty bus, so if possible manoeuvered it on to the wash before going out on early turns, always liked clean mirrors especially the nearside one (to see bikes and passengers sneaking alongside in dangerous spots), and hated taking over a bus with filthy mirrors. It always pxxxed off the passengers if you went through a cleaning ritual with mutterings and expletives about late running (which continued throughout their journey), even though they had observed you waiting 10 minutes for a changeover!

bmmoboy
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Re: The first Leyland National

Post by bmmoboy » 12:37 Monday 7th December 2020

Nothing Changes. Passengers still complain, "this bus is always late and then the driver has to change". Don't they realise that buses change drivers at the same time and place each day - that's the way bus companies work.

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