Southend Corporation Bus Fleet
Daimler CWA6, built 1944-6, from London Transport 1953/4 and rebodied in 1954 by Massey L27/28R. The former LT fleet number is shown after the registration.
(ex LT D52)
(ex LT D53)
A major influx of vehicles was required to replace the trolleybuses in 1954. At this time London Transport had been replacing their non-standard wartime deliveries with new RT's and as a result a large number of Daimler CW's came onto the second-hand market. 97 went to Belfast, 23 to independent operator Samuel Ledgard in Leeds, 83 overseas to Ceylon and Southend decided to acquire 18 chassis and fit them with new Massey bodies. However when they were inspected at Norths of Leeds, the dealer who bought all but one of the 281 LT D class Daimlers, only 13 were found to be suitable and new Leyland chassis were ordered for the other 5 bodies (they became 276-280). The 13 took Southend numbers 263-75 with an assortment of registrations in the GLX, GYE, GXV, HGC and HGF series.
They had been new to LT in 1944 (263), 1945 (270/272-274) and 1946 (the rest) and all were fitted with AEC engines apart from D95 which originally had a Daimler engine (making it a CWD6) but this was later replaced with an AEC engine. When originally delivered to LT, they had a mixture of bodies - 263, 264, 268 and 271 had Duple bodies, 270 and 272-4 had Brush bodies while the others, the last to be delivered, had Park Royal bodies.
Most were based at either Merton or Sutton garages but four, 264 (LT D149), 268 (LT D159), 270 (LT D71) and 271 (LT D136) were based at Romford garage and worked on the famous Romford Road Green Line routes out of Aldgate until replaced by RTs in August 1950, when they were painted red and joined the others at Merton.
D136, later SCT 271, in St Helier in September 1953
D228, later SCT 275, in Sutton, also in 1953
They were withdrawn by LT in 1953 or early 1954, bought by SCT in 1953 (263-268) or 1954 (269-275) and were returned with their new Massey bodies between February and June 1954.
The chassis of 263 stored at the SCT Garage in September 1953
The body of D71 dumped at Shoeburyness in October 1954
... and that of D95
They were the first buses to be fitted from new with large 3 part destination screens ready for the co-ordinated services, but initially these were masked down and old style blinds used.
263 was the first of this class to be withdrawn in June 1962 and was transferred to the Southend on Sea County Borough Constabulary, fitted with platform doors and converted as a mobile road safety exhibition unit (visiting schools, etc). It then passed to Essex Police in April 1969 and was sold in 1974 for preservation. Initially restored back in SCT livery as 263, it has recently appeared in the Police livery, albeit still fitted out internally as when a bus rather than as the training unit. It has also appeared in a pseudo Derby Corporation livery whilst in preservation.
263 at a rally in Canvey in 1999
... and in Southend colours
264/270-275 were withdrawn in 1963 when 323-332 were delivered, 265 in 1964 after an accident and finally 266-9 in 1965 after 333-344 had entered service.
11 went straight to the breakers yard but 270 was used for many years as an engineless store and conductor training school in the new London Road garage. It was cannibalised in 1979 to assist in the restoration of 263 and was then broken up.
Many thanks to Richard Delahoy for his kind permission to include extracts from his book in this page and also to Richard, Peter Green, Ian Banks and Brian Pask for supplying some of the pictures and to Chris Stewart for providing further information.