Buses that Barry would have known
Our friend & fellow SCT61er Barry Spence passed away in January 2016. This is a look at Buses Barry would have known in his home area of the North East. I hope he would have enjoyed it.

On our journey to the North East, we make a stop in Hull to see this magnificent Coronation trolleybus. These were among Barry's favourite vehicles & he nominated one of these as his first choice in The Ones That Got Away gallery. Its very easy to see why.

We arrive in Barry's native Sunderland to find another of his favourite buses. The Sunderland District Burlingham bodied PD3s were quite stunning buses & it is very easy to see why Barry held them in such esteem, as of course, do many others.

Sunderland, of course, had its own municipal fleet & until the 1950s had a large tram fleet. Barry would have been a lad when they last graced the streets, but I know he had memories of them. This quite exquisite vehicle is at the wonderful Beamish Museum in County Durham & Barry visited the attraction more than once.

Sunderland went on to be an early user of the Daimler Fleetline. This 1963 example having a Roe body. Sunderland did try and break away from the shoe box appearance of earlier rear engine double deckers & Barry would have known these vehicles well.

Sunderland swung to OMO standee single deckers in a big way as the 60s progressed. This example has a Strachans body and they were a good idea. In most cases it was the chassis that let them down. I think all of us would love to ride on one today.

Leaving Sunderland, we travel to Newcastle for a view of one of the lovely MCW bodied BUT trolleybuses built to London style. I'm sure Barry wouldn't mind me using one of his own photographs to show this wonderful street scene.

Another bus that Barry held in very high regard was the quite magnificent Northern Coachbuilders bodied AEC Regents of Newcastle Corporation. These buses bore a very strong resemblance to the ECW bodies being built at that time. The bright Newcastle livery suited them admirably.

South Shields also ran trolleybuses & they looked super in this livery. Barry had a particular love of Trolleybuses & this Karrier dating from 1937 is thankfully preserved for folk to enjoy.

Gateshead & District was another operator that Barry would have known well. This all Leyand Titan PD2 is typical of their fleet before being an early convert to rear engine Double deckers. I think the Titan was a better bet.

One of the aforementioned Atlanteans, with Alexander body, looking a bit drab in this view. Gateshead built up a sizeable fleet of such buses & this one shows off the boxy look of early Atlanteans.

Barry held Tynemouth in high esteem and this superb Park Royal bodied Guy Arab shows why. Despite being one of the smaller fleets in the North East, there was a very loyal following among enthusiasts & many still miss this company.

The Tilling company that Barry would have known was the much respected United Automobile Services. This classic Bristol seen in Bishop Auckland is typical of many such vehicles that Barry would have seen regularly.

United had a large fleet of Bristol Lodekkas, as shown by this LD6B. Barry would have seen these buses almost daily & would have made more than the odd journey on one. It would be easy to imagine a young Barry waiting for one of these buses to pull up & take him to meet Auriel.

Another great favourite of Barry, was the wonderful Picktree bodied Guy Arab UFs of Northern General. There may not have been that many of them, but they were held in high regard by many enthusiasts & some found their way into the Ledgard fleet in later years.

Northern was the only company outside of London to take the Routemaster. As with the majority of buses in this gallery, it urges us to Shop at Binns. Im sure that Barry would have frequented Binns on numerous occasions.

One of the best known independents in the Nort East was Venture, whose distinctive fleet graced the area for many years. This Willowbrook bodied Atkinson is a typical delivery of the 1950s & looks a treat.

No visit to the North East would be complete without the legend that was OK Motor Services. Barry had great admiration for this fleet & admiring this superb creation, its easy to see why. One of our most missed operators.

A second look at OKMS finds this former Southdown Leyland Titan PD2/12, displaying the wonderful livery to its best. I'm sure Barry would have seen this bus & many others depicted in this gallery as he travelled around the area recording these superb vehicles.

Another company Barry held dear was Lockeys and this former Ribble Leyland PD3 with Burlingham body shows why. The fleet was always beautifully turned out and the livery was a treat.

Barry was lucky to live in an area with some very famous independent operators as shown here by this Gillett Brothers AEC Reliance with Plaxton body. Looking superb in the long lost livery, another company much missed by all.

One of Barry's local coach companies was Hall Brothers of South Shields, as shown here by this Harrington Grenadier bodied Leyland Leopard. Another highly regarded North East independent remembered with great affection.

This Yeates Pegasus bodied Bedford SB1 belonged to Saltburn Motor Services. For some reason their vehicles always appeared a little down at heel, but you could always rely on them turning up. Barry was truly spoilt for choice.

Stanhope Motor Services, was another independent held in great esteem & this bus was very well known. It had started its life as a coach before receiving this attractive Roe body. Another vehicle that looks to be very well looked after.

Looking quite resplendent in Weardale livery is this former Wigan Leyland PD2. Another operator Barry held in high regard Weardale had a fleet of Queen Marys and I have resisted the temptation, to lessen the blow to some folk, though one has crept into the shot.

The Eden was another of those operators that are still mentioned in hushed tones. The fleet was utterly immaculate & this is demonstrated by this Plaxton bodied Bedford. A lovely looking bus.

Shaw Brothers were another local company & did use a number of former Tilling fleet Bristols, both K types & Lodekkas. This is a former Lincolnshire K type, looking smart, is a little dented on the front dome.

As our trip around the North East comes to an end, I do hope that Barry would have enjoyed this gallery, even if my knowledge of the area is a tad limited.

I can imagine Barry is riding around the streets of a far better place on a never ending stream of Trolleybuses. RIP my Friend.

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