It does look like Oakworth to me, and like others I've never heard of anywhere by that name on the 12 route. (My Nan used to live in California.) But the blurring makes me wonder whether the letters have been added in afterwards somehow by the film processor as a way of signing his work!I haven't tried to sharpen the image but the way the letters are blurred into one another it could quite easily be California as we would expect to find on a no. 12.
Did anybody ever put the query to Malcolm Keeler. Yes (phil) it looks like Oakworth, but having read Radiorails and all my Birmingham Transport Books I have to agree with Post 34 and assume the blind has twisted slightly and it does say Harborne, although when you write Oakworth and then take out the top half of the letters and do the same with Harborne, the only glitch is the last letter all the others could be Harborn, but that last letter an h does not make an e (unless as they say someone knows better (and I am sure and I bow to the expertise I see on this forum, someone out there has the answer and thus does know better). Do the lower deck vents look peculiar to any one else? Or is it just light distortion? Strangely enough Google throws up Oakworth at No 7 Twatling Road Barnt Green.This issue does not seem to have been solved!
Reference to the book mentioned in post 32 suggests that the blind is a little to high in the destination box and actually, whilst it does appear to read Oakworth, it is in fact Harborne. (same number of letters)
Some buses just used the wording Harborne or Bartley Green, but others went to California. Pictures shows the early post war style BCT buses, passing Chamberlain's statue in June 1962 with a blind stating: Harborne and Bartley Green 12. The other picture, October 1957 shows a bus in Harborne Road with a blind saying Harborne and California 12D.