Southend Corporation Bus Fleet
Leyland Titan PD3/6 with bodywork by Massey L35/33R, new in 1958.
The legal length for two-axle double deckers had been relaxed to 30' for buses entering service from the start of July 1956 but it was not until 1958 that Southend took six Titans to the new length, 311-6 (PHJ 950-5). Leyland designated this chassis as the PD3/6, and the Massey bodies accommodated 68 seats.
314 when brand new
As the highest capacity buses of the time, they were usually employed on the Rayleigh routes 1,7 & 8. 311-6 were the first Southend buses with flashing trafficators - progress indeed! Usually known by their nickname 'long Leylands', these 6 buses were the favourites of many crews over the years.
Over the winter of 1970/1 four of batch were modified to replace the Daimlers as open-toppers. Internally, 311-4 had a somewhat curious appearance. The sunken gangway was covered over but not removed so that the lower saloon retained its lowbridge character, while on top in went the wooden slatted seats that had graced their predecessors, only of course the Daimlers were 7'6" wide and the Leylands 8', resulting in a much wider gangway than demanded by the C & U Regulations! The photos show the livery adopted when they were first converted, all cream save for a narrow blue band just below the top and then the final livery. They lasted until 1980, 311 being the last to run in July 1980.
316 in April 1975
... and again a month later on driver training duties
The other two in the batch, 315/6, lingered on to be Southend's last lowbridge buses, 316 making the farewell trip on April 8th 1978.
315 in Harrogate
Oil check before the journey home
A slight diversion
315 was taken by a group of drivers and conductors to the 1974 Trans Pennine Rally
Surprisingly, all of this batch of PD3s are still in existence. 311, 312 and 316 are in Germany, 313 is with the London Bus Export Company, 314 is preserved in the care of Dave Atkins of Classic Omnibus, Folkestone and 315 is preserved at the Castle Point Transport Museum.
Many thanks to Richard Delahoy for his kind permission to include extracts from his book in this page and also to Richard, Paul Harrison, Ian Banks, Brian Pask, John Kaye and Stephen Rees for supplying pictures.