I hope you enjoy looking round and would welcome any comments and further information you have.  This blog is to help you find your way around the gallery by telling you what's new and giving you tips on using the gallery.  I will continue to expand it and if there's any topic you think needs clarifying, please let me know.

Pontypridd major update

February 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Although it might have appeared that little was going on in the gallery for some time, in fact a major update has been in progress on the Pontypridd gallery.  Whilst things like this are never complete, there are no further planned updates to this gallery although if suitable new material becomes available it will be added.

This new update comprises approximately 450 new images covering all aspects of Pontypridd UDC and Taff-Ely BC operation.  The trolleybus fleet is now included and the coverage of the route network has been improved, both in geographical coverage and in outlining the evolution of the network.

I should like to thank again the many photographers who have supported the gallery with some truly excellent images, it has been a delight to work with much of the material made available.

After many months of working on this I have lost the ability to read through the captions critically and so there are bound to be errors and omissions.  Please feel free to point them out as I want the gallery to be as accurate as possible.

Work will now proceed on updating several other galleries and moving on to other aspects of bus operation in South Wales, with the emphasis being on operation in the Valleys.  The next new gallery will be on Rhondda Transport but I'm not making any promises when!

93949394Subject: Pontypridd UDC 12 (TG 1954)
Chassis: Bristol B
Body: Eastwood and Kenning B32R
Location: Pontypridd, Taff Street
Date: c.1948

Bristol B 12 is poised to operate Pontypridd’s hilliest route to Penycoedcae. It is carrying the pre-war lined-out livery, probably a legacy of its rather inactive war period. It was converted to producer gas in August 1940 and reduced to B29R. It was then laid up from December 1941 to February 1947. It was withdrawn in 1949, not long after this photograph.

The billboards behind display a range of once-famous names including Claude Rains, Betty Grable and David Niven. “Bonnie Prince Charlie” was in Technicolour but that seems to be its one redeeming feature. “Mother Wore Tights” was better-received, winning an Oscar for the score and being nominated for two others.

From an original negative in the David Beilby collection, photographer unknown.

Saddleworth update complete

May 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

When I started this latest Saddleworth update I little thought it would take me six months to complete, but here we are after six months, finished with 567 photos added.  In addition a lot of updating has taken place, with particular attention paid to the keywords - see the earlier blog entry.

The latest photographs were taken only yesterday, as I'd realised one or two gaps in coverage which could be easily rectified and some other opportunities arose in the process.  The last galleries to be done were those for the South Pennine Community Transport services from Holmfirth which, despite initial scepticism, seem to have become sustainable and hopefully will be with us for some time.  They are now using this Ford Transit and have just taken delivery of another, although that is intended for some new services around Marsden:

352102_36157352102_36157Subject: South Pennine Community Transport HY15 NZK
Chassis: Ford Transit
Body: Ford Transit B15F
Location: Greenfield, Chew Valley Road
Date: 14-May-2016

Ford Transit HY15 NZK takes the bend on the hill at Greenfield station on the first day of the enhanced 2016 service. This vehicle is able to negotiate this corner a bit more easily than full size buses!
There have been also historical photos added, one of my favourites being at almost the same place but over sixty years earlier:

180201_9413180201_9413Subject: Manchester 3207 (JND 608)
Chassis: Leyland Titan PD2/3
Body: Metro-Cammell H32/26R
Location: Greenfield, Chew Valley Road
Date: 14-Nov-1954

These PD2s were the last batch of buses to the traditional Manchester design and featured on the service in the early days until operation was moved to Rochdale Road garage from Queens Road.

In the low late afternoon sun 3207 seems to be taking a somewhat odd line through the hairpin bend and it is to be hoped nothing was coming down!

Photograph courtesy of Chris Heaps.
I hope you've enjoyed the additions.  I shall carry on recording the current scene and hopefully there will be new historical photographs to add as well and there will be another update at some point in the future.

The next update is to the Pontypridd/Taff-Ely gallery and there is quite a lot of additional material to come.

A note on keywords

March 27, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

For two reasons it's a topical time to add a note about the way keywords are used in this gallery.  The first is that a long-standing issue with the Zenfolio search function was fixed not too long ago and the second is that I have been spending a lot of time updating them in the Saddleworth gallery.  Keywords are helpful when searching for something by giving a standardised form of wording that is used for each relevant photograph.  The keywords section on each page includes hyperlinks such that clicking on a keyword will lead to a gallery search for that word (or combination of words).

The keywords follow some standard rules but end up a little idiosyncratic as you have to develop your own rules - sometimes time tells you the rule wasn't quite right but it isn't practical to go back and change everything.  It's useful to give an idea about the way keywords are assigned so you know how they can help you in a search.  Keywords are normally assigned for registration, chassis, body, operator, previous operators and location:


This is always shown without the spaces as this gives a more effective text string for searching, for example "FBU827".


The chassis make and model are assigned separately, for example "AEC" and "Reliance".  In some cases the top-level model variant is shown, for example "Titan PD1" and "Titan PD2" but sometimes the specific variant has to be used as there is no logical other way.  With Bristol, for example, they hardly ever gave models a name and "RE" would be a useless search string as it occurs in too many words.  Here I use the full designation, for example "RESL6G".


The make and model name are again used, but here model names are less common.  I don't normally go for sub-variants, for example the different versions of Panorama Elite, but you will find exceptions!  I have also not used the MCW "Orion", something I only realised lately and it was too late to correct.  Where abbreviations are commonly used for coach builders I will use that as well - two common examples are "MCW" and "NCME".  MCW may not always be used accurately as technically it referred to the sales organisation for Metro-Cammell and Weymann but I have used it more for Metro-Cammell products.


This is the most idiosyncratic part.  I try to reflect the operator name in a way that will be searched for, but I realised that just putting "Oldham" would find all photographs taken in Oldham as well as Oldham Corporation buses, so I put "Oldham Corporation" and for municipalities I generally put the same, even for Manchester where Manchester City Transport was a later name.  UDCs will have the name and UDC, for example "Pontypridd UDC" but sometimes in addition the initials like "PUDC".  Other operators have the fleet name and where there are familiar abbreviations they are also used, for example "BMMO". "NWRCC" and "WWOC".  PTEs have the full name and also initials (e.g. "WMPTE") except for SELNEC which appears on its own along with the division like "Southern" when appropriate.

Previous operators

This follows the same rule as for Operator but includes any operators who had operated the vehicle before the date of the photo.  This includes examples that were ordered by one operator but were delivered to another (due to takeover or diversion).  It is only ever retrospective and doesn't look into the future after the date of the photo.


This is more self-explanatory and will generally just be the place where the photograph is taken.  Sometimes there is more than one name, to give a place and a more specific location.  Three such examples are "Oldham" and "Mumps", "Delph" and "Carrcote" and also "Greenfield" and "Greenfield station"


It's complicated to explain but much simpler to use, remember that if you want more photos like one seen, pick the appropriate keyword(s) from those displayed.  Remember also that I'm human and errors and omissions are more than likely!

Saddleworth Update

November 06, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The first part of what is planned to be a major update of the Saddleworth Buses has been uploaded, a relatively small batch of photos showing buses from Greenfield to Manchester on the 180 and also the X80 which has come and gone since the last update.  These photos are incorporated in the gallery but also in a separate "latest photos" gallery so that you can easily see just the new additions.  You can find the gallery at http://davidbeilby.zenfolio.com/p720481477.

One or two scans have been improved (well that's my view...) and I have changed the watermark to a new design to be used on all pages in the Saddleworth Buses gallery.  Feedback on that change is welcome.  I have also updated all the keywords and I will add another blog entry soon to set out the policy on keywords to help you make use of them.

180076_35460180076_35460Subject: First Manchester 35102 (SN64 CSO)
Chassis: Wright Streetdeck
Body: Wright H45/29F
Location: Greenfield, Chew Valley Road
Date: 2-May-2015

The Streetdeck trial vehicle passes the King Bill in Greenfield. Unfortunately all its modern technology doesn’t prevent the driver forgetting to change the display for its return journey to Manchester.

Pontypridd update

August 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I've recently completed a major update of the gallery on Pontypridd and Taff-Ely. This just concentrates on the motorbuses for now but most vehicles ever owned are there, many several times and in different liveries. There are almost 500 Pontypridd UDC/Taff-Ely photos there! In addition there are photographs of other operators on joint routes.

This comprehensive gallery would not have been possible without the willing support of quite a lot of photographers who are acknowledged against all their contributions. They have provided a diversity of both period and location that I could never have achieved.

I have also covered the evolution of the route network, but there is a lot of work to do on the route histories and they must be considered "best guesses" at the moment. There is good geographical coverage of most routes.

There will be another update in time and I would welcome any further contributions of original photographs to fill gaps in the gallery. Comprehensive it may be, but there are many gaps yet! Please contact me if you are willing to help.

I'm trying to make it an accurate reference source so please let me know when you find mistakes (as you surely will) - I welcome corrections.

I hope to gradually extend the route coverage to other parts of the Valleys, but this will take time!

90279027Subject: Pontypridd UDC 27 (FNY 422)
Chassis: Guy Arab II
Body: Park Royal UH30/26R
Location: Porth, Pontypridd Road
Date: 1950s

27 looks pristine as it waits for departure time in Porth. It is stood outside the Empire Cinema, next to which was the Lewis Merthyr Collieries Workmen’s Hall and Institute. All that is left of these two buildings now are the distinctive brick columns for the fence in front of the Hall.

From an original negative in the David Beilby collection, photographer unknown


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