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Dual Control Training Buses

Fireman Sam

knowlegable brummie
Does anyone else remember the dual control Guy double decker buses that operated out of Yardley Wood Garage in the 50's/60's for driver training? The instructor sat immediately behind the pupil and had his own steering wheel and, I think, controls.

I remember the buses parked up on Swanshurst Lane when the team were taking a break. I think the buses were numbered 95 and 96. They looked quite old by then.

They always fascinated me and I wish I'd had a good look inside to see exactly what controls were duplicated. Did the instructor have a gearstick, a clutch and footbrake as well? I'll never know.
 

badpenny

Deleted Upon Request
Interesting post, i never realised that BCT had dual control vehicles, do you what their fleet numbers were?
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Does anyone else remember the dual control Guy double decker buses that operated out of Yardley Wood Garage in the 50's/60's for driver training? The instructor sat immediately behind the pupil and had his own steering wheel and, I think, controls.

I remember the buses parked up on Swanshurst Lane when the team were taking a break. I think the buses were numbered 95 and 96. They looked quite old by then.

They always fascinated me and I wish I'd had a good look inside to see exactly what controls were duplicated. Did the instructor have a gearstick, a clutch and footbrake as well? I'll never know.
The buses were the wartime utiIity Guys FOP regjstered, which had very short lives. I am sure that in one of the books by David Harvey or Malcolm Keeley there is a picture, if there is, is it legal to scan it and then put on the FORUM? I understand they were dual control in every way. The instructor certainly had his own rear view mirror

Bob
 

Radiorails

master brummie
As far as I can make out these buses, which became dual controlled driver training service vehicles, were, as the previous post mentioned all FOP registered 383, 384,396,401,433 and 434. To ascertain the fleet number just add a figure 1 i.e. 1383 etc. It seems that they were, during the post war period numbered 93 - 98 but were all recipients of other wartime bodies which had been fitted on older pre-war buses due to their poor condition and were, in themselves, service vehicles rather than passenger ones. As driver training vehicles their lives were far longer than their stable mates most of which had been withdrawn by the early 1950's. Some of the trainers lasted until the advent of the PTE era. Those with long memories may well remember the early wartime utility buses with their bone shaker wooden seats - usually on the upper deck and some without glazing. Luckily for the citizens of Birmingham - who it seems were quite particular about their buses - these hardships were not long lasting.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
A few pics of the Wartime Guy training buses. Former 1396 (FOP 396) was trainee 96 and had its roof taken off deliberately, to be used for tree lopping duty as well. You can see the instructor's steering wheel through the window!
93, formerly 1401 (FOP 401) has the instructor's mirror visible behind the cab door, and FOP 384 has the second steering wheel visible too.





1396  FOP 396  training bus, treelopper.jpg 1401  FOP 401 as training bus 93.jpg 1384  FOP 384 as Trainee 95.jpg
 

Fireman Sam

knowlegable brummie
Many thanks for the phots Lloyd. It brought back many memories although I never saw the tree lopper version.

I remember the instructors had a badge at the top of their sleeve saying, appropriately, "DRIVING INSTRUCTOR" and they would often do a service turn at rush hour. If you were lucky to ride on their bus, you would be sure of a very smooth journey as they were masters of the pre selector gearboxes that were fitted to the Daimler's and Guy's in my day. There were still a few with conventional gearshift mechanisms too - all with half cabs.
 

Fireman Sam

knowlegable brummie
Just outside the Birmingham boundary, but I think I recall Midland Red having a dual control bus/coach operating out of Bearwood. It was a single decker, based on a coach body with a centre door. The striking thing was that the instructor sat in the nearside front seat with a duplicate steering wheel. It looked rather alarming to see the vehicle coming towards you with two drivers!

I've never seen a photo of these special vehicles that would have operated in the 50's/60's. Is my memory playing tricks?
 

Radiorails

master brummie
If memory served me well - it doesn't always especially over a sixty year span - I saw a Midland Red training bus once or twice and I am sure it was one of the former coaches - probably a CHA XXX registration.
Addendum:
There is a picture of this vehicle, actually it is in the background as the main vehicle is a BCT bus or tram and I believe the picture is in the Navigation Street area.
I have found a pictures of other vehicles, both single cab, which type I do recall seeing. ONE is HA6242 (1312) which was a 1931 saloon bus and the other CHA 512. However, it would appear that CHA 512 was not a dual purpose bus as it lasted until 1958 but was used as a trainer for a specific period of time. It lasted until around 1952. However, given the size of Midland Read I am sure they had a few driver training vehicles.
 
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maypolebaz

master brummie
While I don't remember the "tree lopper" I do remember the Gritter at Yardley Wood, it was also used to take the bags of coins to the bank.
 
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Radiorails

master brummie
Most bus large bus companies had tree loppers. They were usually around at the quieter parts of the day to avoid delays to other road users. These days a strong metal bar attached to the nearside upper deck seems to be the answer. :D
 

Lloyd

master brummie
Just outside the Birmingham boundary, but I think I recall Midland Red having a dual control bus/coach operating out of Bearwood. It was a single decker, based on a coach body with a centre door. The striking thing was that the instructor sat in the nearside front seat with a duplicate steering wheel. It looked rather alarming to see the vehicle coming towards you with two drivers!

I've never seen a photo of these special vehicles that would have operated in the 50's/60's. Is my memory playing tricks?
No, there were a few of these dual-control trainers. They could be driven from either side, which scared a few car drivers coming the other way if a training officer decided to "have a bit of fun" with nobody in the 'real' driving seat!
3327  KHA 327  Trainee bus.JPG
 

Fireman Sam

knowlegable brummie
No, there were a few of these dual-control trainers. They could be driven from either side, which scared a few car drivers coming the other way if a training officer decided to "have a bit of fun" with nobody in the 'real' driving seat!
View attachment 116602
Thanks Lloyd, that's a fine photo and it settles my mind that the Midland Red DID have dual control training vehicles with the instructor sitting alongside the novice. My friends began to doubt my memory!

As I worked in the commercial vehicle world, I'd have liked to have seen the linkage/set up for the dual controls as electronics were not very advanced in those days. It would almost certainly have been by a series of rods and linkages which for the steering and gearshift, would have needed constant checking and adjusting.
 

Lloyd

master brummie
The steering was very simple - another column & box, with a drag link to the nearside wheel hub, a mirror image of the 'real' set-up. Brake, clutch and accelerator were rods and arms across to the driver's controls, and the one gear lever could be reached from either seat.
 
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