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BUNDY CLOCKS
THE "BUS" SCHOOL
DRIVING THE ALBION ‘VENTURER’ B92
THE LEYAND ROYAL TIGER 'WORLDMASTER' SINGLE DECKERS
VEHICLE PERFORMANCES

AN ESSAY ON DRIVING GLASGOW CORPORATION TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT SERVICE BUSES BETWEEN 1960 AND 1974

by George Rountree

THE LEYAND ROYAL TIGER 'WORLDMASTER' SINGLE DECKERS

There were three routes around the city suburbs with low bridges, for which a number of single-deck Daimler and Leyland vehicles were required. Before WWII, Hillington Road between Paisley Road West and Renfrew Road was a narrow country road, and even after Hillington Industrial Estate opened and Hillington housing scheme was constructed, up to the early 1960s it remained as a single carriageway over its whole length. Up to the mid 1960s there was a long low narrow over-bridge in Hillington Road which carried the Glasgow/Paisley railway line. It was long because the bridge originally carried four tracks, but in its cramped dimensions it resembled and was more than twice as long as, the present rail bridge in Boydstone Road. If overhead clearances had permitted it, the corporation would not have needed any single-deckers. Three garages had them, one of which was Newlands and they were used on the number 40 service. The Newlands allocation was all Royal Tigers, fleet numbers LS6, 12/24 & 30, a total of 14.

     Just before the start of WWII, at Hillington, Sandwood Road was laid out southward as a dual carriageway from its junction with Hillington Road, but it came to a dead end, stopping short behind the row of houses on Paisley Road West, probably because wartime restrictions cancelled non-essential work before the construction was finished. c1965 two of the villas were demolished to make the connection through to line up with Crookston Road, and it used to intrigue me to see such a lovely stretch of about a third of a mile of ultra-modern dual carriageway, but with wartime economy concrete lamp posts, lying unused, with weeds sprouting from the margins of its concrete sections and pavements. Buses were not routed along it until these improvements took place in the 1960s. Before the reconstruction, on its outward journey to Hillington the number 40 service turned right from Crookston Road into Paisley Road West, and then left into Hillington Road which today is Hillington Road South. Sandwood Road became a continuation of Hillington Road from where today there is a roundabout.

     The narrow road was further restricted at the railway bridge, almost to one lane in both directions where two cars might pass with care, but if one was a larger vehicle it meant there was insufficient room. (See photo p100 in my copy of the book GLASGOW'S TRAMS & BUSES by Robert Grieves). To make sufficient clearance for the highest vehicles to pass under the bridge the road then dipped, but not as much as at the present one. In those days there were no pumps installed to cope with flooding as there is today and the lowest part was prone to becoming waterlogged. Two bus services ran into the estate through this bridge, while others came in from the Renfrew Road end. The number 25 ran to Hillington Estate from Govan Cross via Pennilee, and the 40 ran from Cathcart as a peak period only service beyond Peat Road.

     Ibrox Garage in Helen Street covered the 25 service with Daimler DS single deckers, but Newlands supplied all the buses for the 40 service. Out of the total of 30 delivered during 1956/7/8, as mentioned before, 14 of the Royal Tigers were based at Newlands. All Leyland vehicles had the same epicyclic gearbox as the Daimler semi-automatics, but with a different shift control. The latest double deck CVG6 Daimlers with similar gearboxes, D217 to 267 had an electro-manumatic control in the form of a small switch laid out like a miniature gearbox mounted on a stalk attached to the left side of the steering column under the steering wheel. But the Leyland buses had pnumo-cyclic gear change controls with a large cast metal air-valve, floor-mounted on a pillar located on the left of the driver’s seat. These single deckers had the reputation of being greyhounds, and drivers naturally were keen get to drive them, so I could hardly believe my luck when my first time on the road was on the number 40 service.