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What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Dennis96 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:45 am

Some more gen on the Scarborough Bus Service Crossley....

I spoke with the mechanic, George Barker and he said he thought its original 4 cylinder Crossley engine may have been a crude oil engine. (We need RK215 with his gen on bus model numbers and catalogues!) The engine and gearbox had been replaced with a Gardner 5LW and 4 speed Dennis gearbox in George's time. The bus was used on the St Brigids Terrace run in the 1950's and driven by two employees only. Because the brakes were poor, its speeds were limited on the busy sections of the route such as Mount Hawthorn where is passed through a major strip shopping area - remember this was the era before dedicated suburban shopping centres were built. The mechanics wanted to put two PBR brake boosters to solve the problem of ineffectual braking, but this wasn't done. The first George heard of its pending disposal was on a Saturday morning when he and another mecahnic were told to fix up a gearbox oil leak and check the bus over. The buyer was coming around to pick it up at 2pm that day, which duly occurred.

George is still in contact with the son of the owner of Scarborough Bus Service and will ask if he recalls who the purchaser was. On the question of the whereabouts of Scarborough's Dennis and Daimlers, we may try and get a photo of the Crossley inserted into the "Can You Help" section of "The West Australian" newspaper. This weekly feature may produce a positive lead.

Very few old Perth buses pre the underfloor era saw long lives with subsequent owners after withdrawal from service in Perth. Mechanically and body wise they were generally buggered and the logistics of keeping them on the road insurmountable. I suppose there is always the dream that SBS 5 and some other gems are sitting quietly at the back of a shearing shed awaiting discovery. We can live in hope.

George is the Vice President of BPSWA, is as sharp as a tack memory wise, so along with some of the other older BPSWA members who were in the bus industry in the early 1950's, morning tea and lunch times on the Tuesday work days are a wallowing in nostalgia of the "good old days" talking about the vehicles and personalities of the time. Even the environment is right - the lunch room is Carlisle 15 - a post war full fronted Daimler CVG5.

Hopefully this thread has more to run - watch this space as they say .....
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Dave Wilson » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:59 am

Well all I can say is if the LT1 Lion and the Thornycroft A2 could turn up, then anything is possible..... ?
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby ALBION1881 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:01 am

Scarbrough number 5 had a 9 litre crossley diesel engine chassis number 91102 as I have a email from malcom asquith the same bloke that herbert got his information.
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Guy_Arab » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:47 pm

Dave Wilson wrote:Well all I can say is if the LT1 Lion and the Thornycroft A2 could turn up, then anything is possible..... ?

Only reason the Lion turned up was because it went from Metro to Eastern Goldfields Transport Board thence sold to Southern Cross farmer for use, Spotted by a number of early members and tranported to Perth
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby GM » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:13 pm

The bus with the Kinder standing in front of appears to be a Reo Speedwagon? GM
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby GM » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:05 pm

Somebody suggested Scarborough Bus Service bus was an International. Any other offers?
Dave Wilson I would like to see a Gilford, any type? GM
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Herbert » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:39 pm

GM wrote:The bus with the Kinder standing in front of appears to be a Reo Speedwagon? GM

Having had a closer look at the line-up photo, it is registered 21704 (ie No 4) which is listed as a REO Gold Crown - does that sound right?
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby panther998 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:36 pm

Guy_Arab wrote:
Dave Wilson wrote:Well all I can say is if the LT1 Lion and the Thornycroft A2 could turn up, then anything is possible ..... ?

Only reason the Lion turned up was because it went from Metro to Eastern Goldfields Transport Board, then was sold to a Southern Cross farmer for use, where it was spotted by a number of early members and transported to Perth.

And that was well over 30 years ago (1975) when the (1929) Lion was a bit under 50 years old (yes, it turns 80 this year), thus increasing (slightly!) the chances of it still being around instead of broken up.

According to what I was told by 2 (presumably 'early', whatever that means) members of WAETA involved in its recovery from Southern Cross, the Lion was used to cart bags of super-phosphate (fertiliser) around the paddocks, the procedure being for the 2 'muck spreading' hands to take turns dragging a bag to the open rear emergency doorway, slitting the bag then allowing the 'super' to pour out over the back bumper onto the ground, to be ploughed into the soil by a following tractor with appropriate implement attached. Unfortunately, 22's diesel engine had failed (later found to be due to a dropped / fractured valve), so the work weary old bus had been, or was about to be (I confess that, after 30 plus years, my memory is slightly hazy on that specific distinction), bulldozed into the depths of an abandoned open cut mine being used as a land-fill tip - I think my informants said the tip was run by the local Shire, but it might have been on private land near the farm.

The 1927 Thornycroft A2 was discovered in 1979, aged almost 52 !! It had been parked in a shed on a farm near Meenaar, a few kms west of Northam, in 1948 after returning from an extensive trip around WA as a mobile home - the farmer and his then new wife had had a memorable honeymoon in it, apparently! It was occasionally used as a playroom and sleep-out by their own and visiting kids during the 1950s, so the family attached a lot of sentimental value to the old bus, hence its survival until 1979. By then, the farmer wished to retire from farming, the kids had taken up other careers, so the farm and all upon it was up for sale.

A WATM member who worked for BP and travelled to service stations around WA happened to notice the auction sign and dropped in for a 'sticky-beak'. He saw the Thornycroft in the shed (which was not visible from the public road) and, after a friendly chat with the farmer, arranged for its donation to WATM. The stipulation was that it had to be removed from the property some days before the (almost imminent) auction, or else it would be sold, which gave us something like 6 days to organise a low-loader! Fortunately, all went well, apart from the white ant riddled wooden framing on the offside collapsing with the vibration during transport. The rest of the body was in quite poor condition, so it was removed in the weeks after arrival in Perth, leaving the bare chassis.

If it still exists, the SBS Crossley would now be over 75 years old. Realistically, the chances that it (or the SBS Thornycroft) has survived this long and will be found by preservationists have to be akin to the chances of winning Lotto. I'll volunteer to play 'Devil's Advocate' for a moment here, and point out there is also the vexing question of - why expend already scarce resources on preserving a 'one-off' that, while undoubtedly important to some section of the WA community in its day, and of great interest to bus historians, was of relatively minor significance in the 'grander scheme' of public transport in WA?

Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist (or allows themselves to feel outraged) over what I just said, please read a bit further -
Relevant points to bear in mind include :

    This forum exists as a platform for fair and reasoned debate on transport related topics, including preservation of bus history. I am giving a point of view which, although possibly unpopular, deserves due consideration.

    A past committee of BPSWA chose to sell off a particular preserved bus, citing grounds along the lines that it did not represent any significant portion of WA bus history. The bus had been in WA from 1969 (decision to sell made in 2000), ran on TC plates for quite some time, and was used over many years around Perth and the town of York to raise much needed funds for BMWA (previous name of BPSWA). It probably carried as many West Aussies as the SBS Crossley over a 20 year period.

    At least one ATDB member closely involved with BPSWA has indicated that, with some 30+ buses already in the collection, the Society is struggling to house / maintain / restore the vehicles, both financially and physically.

For those who might have trouble realising it, my point is simply that the agonising question of "which bus should / will get saved, which one shouldn't / won't" has been around since before I became a bus enthusiast circa 1961. Reality (nearly always) bites! Limited availability of key elements such as money and commitment in the bus preservation world tends to mandate that projects with more romantic, 'warm and fuzzy' connotations fall by the wayside. It's nice to conjecture on what might be found and possibly restored - but also very advisable to avoid getting ones hopes too high .. ..
Intrigued by how some enthusiasts are selective in remembering, or forgetting - maybe blinding them to reality http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=42961
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Guy_Arab » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:46 pm

it is very refreshing to here things are back on track,realising some mistakes had been made, this is why some old members, went there own way in preservation. but we all have the same interest in saving our old buses for the future.
Keep up the good work Panther998
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Dennis96 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:28 am

The matter of preserving one-offs versus putting the resources into preserving a vehicle which may be more representative of the fleet is an interesting one and each potential acquisition should be judged on its merits. Certainly if SBS 5 the Crossley became available, it would pose an interesting question. I guess that given the paucity of Scarborough Bus Service vehicles in the BPSWA collection and the eclectic nature of the collection with some comparatively rare birds like the WAGR Leyland Lion and Daimler Freelines, then perhaps the opportunity to have a Crossley would be somewthing not to be passed over.

If, for instance the opportunity came to preserving a Stulb fronted Mercedes Benz 0305 came about and the choices were 444 the unique Alusuisse bodied example or an "ordinary" locally bodied bus, then my preference would be for the more common and representative version. But other enthusiasts feel differently and 44 attracted a sort of following in its later years.

As far as those previously in the hot seat in BPSWA selling ex London Transport RTL 547 to a non preservationalist for conversion to a mobile restaurant, that was an apalling decision for which the proponents must be eternally condemned. There may be some validity for a case that it was a foreign vehicle of which examples may be preserved elsewhere in the world. There may have been merit in an argument that the proceeds from its sale could be better employed in preserving the indigenous buses. But to pass the opportunity to sell it to local enthusiasts who were willing to preserve it properly was inexcusable and cost the organisation a lot of goodwill and valuable members. Fortunately those days now appear to be in the past and the bus is secure at Tempe.
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby panther998 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:51 pm

Dennis96 wrote:The matter of preserving one-offs versus putting the resources into preserving a vehicle which may be more representative of the fleet is an interesting one and each potential acquisition should be judged on its merits. Certainly if SBS 5, the Crossley, became available, it would pose an interesting question. I guess that given the paucity of Scarborough Bus Service vehicles in the BPSWA collection and the eclectic nature of the collection with some comparatively rare birds like the WAGR Leyland Lion and Daimler Freelines, then perhaps the opportunity to have a Crossley would be something not to be passed over.

If, for instance the opportunity came to preserving a Stulb fronted Mercedes Benz 0305 came about and the choices were 444 the unique Alusuisse bodied example or an "ordinary" locally bodied bus, then my preference would be for the more common and representative version. But other enthusiasts feel differently and 44 attracted a sort of following in its later years.

As far as those previously in the hot seat in BPSWA selling ex London Transport RTL 547 to a non preservationalist for conversion to a mobile restaurant, that was an apalling decision for which the proponents must be eternally condemned. There may be some validity for a case that it was a foreign vehicle of which examples may be preserved elsewhere in the world. There may have been merit in an argument that the proceeds from its sale could be better employed in preserving the indigenous buses. But to pass the opportunity to sell it to local enthusiasts who were willing to preserve it properly was inexcusable and cost the organisation a lot of goodwill and valuable members. Fortunately those days now appear to be in the past and the bus is secure at Tempe.

Can you please clarify whether your last statement about being 'secure at Tempe' was, or remains, accurate ?

Last I heard, RTL547 was owned by a firm called Britstop based in Cronulla, NSW (http://perthbus.info/report.php?vid=RTL547), but was not 'preserved' by Sydney Bus Museum or a similar organisation based in Tempe (since moved to Leichardt, I know). Are you aware of some update, Dennis96, that has not been recorded on perthbus.info, or elsewhere?
Or might this be a 'mistaken identity' with much newer RM1708 (http://perthbus.info/report.php?vid=RM1708), which did see brief service in Perth before ([i]thankfully[/i]) passing to the HCVA collection in Sydney in late 1998?
Intrigued by how some enthusiasts are selective in remembering, or forgetting - maybe blinding them to reality http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=42961
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby Fleet Lists » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:12 pm

See http://fleetlists.busaustralia.com/indb ... ype=TV5020
Last I knew a couple of years ago it was actually based at Grays Point right at the southern end of North West Arm Road.

website http://www.thebritstop.com.au/
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Re: What is this bus - is it a Crossley ?

Postby VIKing » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:29 pm

Many times this year I have seen TV5020 parked in the front yard of a house in South Street Rydalemre.
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