171- in castle street garage-united counties
160-outside Luton libruary
Following the takeover of Luton Corporation in January 1970 United Counties took on a large number of non-standard vehicles including a number of Albion Lowlanders as seen here. They were all renumbered into the UCOC fleet numbering system, 177 HTM seen here became 837. Although United Counties attempted to keep these vehicles centred on Luton Depot, where knowledge of their problems could be pooled, several eventually passed to other depots as seen here with 177 HTM parked at Northampton in the company of more standard UCOC fayre in the shape of Bristol LD / ECW TRP 563. Although it still wears it's brown Luton Garage allocation plate it has clearly seen service at Northampton given the blinds it wears.
Seen in Castle Street Depot yard in June 1971 is ex-Luton Corporation Albion Lowlanders 166 EMJ and 167 EMJ. Following the takeover of the Corporation fleet in January 1970 the Albions stayed at Luton as much as possible although some later strayed to other garages. 166 EMJ later operated for SBG company Highland whilst 167 EMJ operated for the Godfrey Abbott contract subsidiary of Greater Manchester PTE, but was withdrawn by 1978.
|129 with northern bus |
UXD 129G is a Bristol RELL6L with Eastern Coach Works dual door bodywork. Ordered by Luton Corporation, it entered service in January 1970 after that operation had been had been taken over by United Counties.
Northern Bus acquired it from Morgan, Sutton Vallence, in 1989 but retained it only 6 months before selling it on. When photographed it still carried United Counties fleet number plate 389.
Many Municipal operators surrounding Britain's major cities were lost when they became integrated into the Area PTE's but in 1970 two more sold out to the NBC, Exeter to Western National's smaller Devon General unit and Luton to United Counties. Luton ran seventy-five buses from a modern garage in Park Street and it's double-deckers were all of the unpopular lowbridge or later lowheight variety. Most were Leylands but there were eight Dennis Lolines too and sixteen Albion Lowlanders like attractive 1962 East-Lancs bodied No.174. Actually outside Scotland these buses were marketed as Leyland's but in this shot one can still see there was an Albion Badge at the top of the radiator grill to show it's true Scottish pedigree. Sadly some of my photographic prints have yellowed with age like this print of 1968 but I'm sure many will still want to see some fine old buses of Yesterday.
January 1970 saw United Counties acquire the route network and fleet of Luton Corporation, leading to some vehicles appearing unusually in Tilling Green & Cream.
Former Luton East Lancs H27/28R bodied Leyland Titan PD2/30, photographed in Luton in September 1970, represents these oddities, which also included Dennis Lolines and Albion Lowlander LR7's with East Lancs bodies.