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1939 Leyland TD5 - Weymann Dual Door/Dual Staircase
Bournemouth Corporation Transport


This model represents the sixteen Leyland TD5s with Weymann 48 seat (FH27/21D) metal framed bodies, which entered service with Bournemouth Corporation Transport in the summer of 1939. Their basic shape generally followed the style introduced by Weymann in 1938 (the windscreens were slightly more angled), but the combination of features, which made them unique to Bournemouth - albeit that these features were not on their own unique - were:

·          The separate rear entrance and front exit, together with separate staircases, - already a standard feature since 1929 on Bournemouth's motor buses and trolleybuses;
·          The full width cab front - no doubt to enhance the similarity with the trolleybuses;
The sliding sunshine roof - a feature introduced on the 1937 Bedford single deckers.
Although it is probably of not much significance to modellers in 1/76 scale, I would add that these buses were also petrol engined, converted to diesel engines between 1953 and 1956.

Six of these buses were converted to open toppers between 1958 and 1962 and at the same time the forward exit and staircase were removed, increasing seating capacity to FO32/26R. These lasted in service until 1965.

The remaining ten buses, which were not converted, were withdrawn between 1960 and 1964.

1939 Bournemouth Corporation Transport Leyland TD5 - Weymann FH27/21D

Regn No

Fleet No

Date new


Regn No

Fleet No

Date new


FEL 200




FEL 205




FEL 201




FEL 206




FEL 202




FEL 207




FEL 203




FEL 208




FEL 204




FEL 209





FEL 210



12/1958 converted to FO32/26R - renumbered 10


FEL 211



2/1960 converted to FO32/26R - renumbered 11


FEL 212



5/1959 converted to FO32/26R - renumbered 12


FEL 213



12/1960 converted to FO32/26R - renumbered 13


FEL 214



3/1959 converted to FO32/26R - renumbered 14


FEL 215



6/1962 converted to FO32/26R - renumbered 15


Background and History

Bournemouth Corporation commenced operating electric trams in 1902 and the system reached its maximum length in 1906 of about 16 route miles of 3' 6" gauge track. In addition the Corporation operated trams over a further 5 miles of track leased from the neighbouring Borough of Poole. The core route, the "Main Line", followed the coastal urban development from Christchurch (Hampshire) in the east, through the County Borough of Bournemouth to Poole (Dorset) in the west. The main inland route ran northwards from Bournemouth Square along the Wimborne Road to Moordown,

At the time, and through to the end of the 'twenties, the Corporation had little interest in motor buses and their use was confined to small buses to feed the tramway system and to "runabouts" along the seafront.

Two factors were to change this in about 1930.
Firstly the boundaries of the County Borough were expanded northwards, taking over parishes from Hampshire and Dorset, approximately to the line of the River Stour. This resulted in a large area, which was remote from the tramway system and which required public transport.
Secondly, as Bournemouth expanded, travelling times to its extremities increased and the Council wished to introduce express motor buses, which could overtake the trams.

To meet these requirements Bournemouth Corporation purchased some thirty large single deckers in 1929-1930, all with separate rear entrances and front exits to speed loading time. These were followed in 1932 by the first double deckers - six AEC Regents with English Electric bodies - with separate front and rear staircases. Thus a configuration was set, which lasted until Bournemouth's last new trolleybuses and almost to its last front engined double deck motorbuses (the last ten Leyland PD3s, delivered in 1963, had only a forward doorway and staircase).

The next significant stage in the development of Bournemouth's transport was the introduction of trolleybuses to replace the trams and to extend trolleybus operation beyond the limits of the original tram network. A pilot scheme was introduced in 1933 to evaluate trolleybus operation between the Square and Westbourne and replacement of the Bournemouth and Christchurch trams by trolleybuses was undertaken between 1934 and 1936. The Borough of Poole replaced its own part of the tramway system by motor buses operated by Hants & Dorset.

Expansion of the trolleybus network continued until 1951, by which time it had risen to a total of 29 route miles. However the economics of trolleybus operation and the need to adapt to altered road networks eventually took their toll and the trolleybuses were withdrawn between 1964 and 1969.

To revert to the history of motor bus operation, the expansion of the trolleybus system had removed the requirement for some motor bus services and the increased speed of the trolleybuses had reduced the need for express motor buses, but no new motorbuses had been purchased since 1932, apart from some small Bedford saloons to replace the seafront "runabouts" and for private hire. This was thus the scenario into which the sixteen new TD5s were introduced in 1939.

Subsequent double deck motorbuses included the delivery of eight utility bodied Guy Arabs during World War II and the purchase of a few second hand buses. Thirty Leyland PD2s were delivered in 1950, enabling the withdrawal of the remaining pre 1939 buses and a further thirty PD3s, delivered between 1959 and 1963, enabled the withdrawal of the 1939 TD5s and a start to trolleybus replacement. 1964 saw the arrival of the first rear engined Daimler Fleetlines and the delivery of convertible open top Fleetlines in 1965 enabled the withdrawal of the open top TD5s.

That is probably as far as I need to go in respect of history, but, suffice it to say, the undertaking remained in Council ownership after deregulation in 1986 as Bournemouth Transport Ltd, trading as Bournemouth Yellow` Buses. In 2005 the Council sold the undertaking to the French Transdev Group. In 2011, following a redistribution of Transdev's shareholdings, it passed into the hands of the French RATP Group (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), the operator of the Paris Métro.

Modelling Notes

There is very little for me to add here. Apart from the eventual conversion to open toppers, there was very little change to the TD5s. The main change to be watched is the nearside front windscreen, which was originally a single fixed pane with a wiper attached at the bottom. This was replaced in the late '40s by a divided screen, similar to the driver's screen, but without a windscreen wiper.

On the open toppers the semaphore "trafficators" were replaced by flashing indicators but I have found no photographs to indicate that this modification was made to the ten unconverted buses.

In respect of the window glazing, there should be "pull in" ventilators, about 2.5 mm deep, in the upper deck front windows. Half drop windows were provided on both sides in bays 2 and 3 of the lower deck (that is the two bays behind the entrance/staircase) and in nearside bays 1, 3 and 5 and offside bays 2, 3 and 4 of the upper deck.

The sliding roof consists of a separate casting. To represent the roof in open position, the rear part of the main roof needs to be cut away in line with the rebate on the inside and the opening part repositioned. Alternatively the sliding roof casting can be discarded and replaced by a piece of 30 thou styrene, curved to shape. In either case the guiderails for the roof need to be reinstated.

For added realism the guardrails at the foot of the skirts can be opened out (on the master these were built up on a backing of 10 thou styrene). First drill through the corners adjacent to the mounting brackets with a small drillo and then carve away the backing, using a very sharp knife. The handrails on the rear platform could be treated similarly, or could be cut off and replaced by wire.

The Open Toppers

The open top TD5s were used to replace open top Guy Arabs on summer season Service 12, which had been extended in 1959 to run between Alum Chine and Hengistbury Head.

First be warned that this is not a simple conversion. Taking off the top is the easy bit and the hard bit is to convert the body of the bus to single doorway/single staircase configuration.

The first step is to cut off the roof and window pillars level with the beading below the windows and to increase the height of the sides by about 2 mm, rising in a curve to about 3 mm at the centre of the front.

An additional window needs to be cut in the staircase panel on the offside and a new panel needs to be built in place of the door, this panel being curved to follow the flare of the original body, The two additional windows are slightly shorter than the original side windows, as the panel supporting the trafficators needs to be retained, although the semaphore arms were replaced by new tear drop shaped flashing indicators located on the waist band.

The lower deck seating needs to be reconfigured to 26 seats, with a longitudinal seat for three above each wheel arch and five rows of double transverse seats each side of the gangway. The upper deck seating needs to be reconfigured to 32, the triple and two singles at the front being replaced by double seats and two double seats being added in place of the staircase. The upper deck seating would, no doubt, have been covered in waterproof material. The open top Guy Arabs and Bedford OWBs retained their wartime wood-slatted seats and wood-slatted seats were also used on the three open top trolleybus conversions, so the same may well have been used on the TD5s.


The basic livery is overall pale primrose yellow. This is lighter than the yellow latterly used by Yellow Buses in Council ownership and more akin to the lighter yellow introduced by Transdev.

The base yellow livery is relieved by two maroon bands under the side windows, 4" deep on the upper deck and 6" deep on the lower deck. These have olive green edging, which needs to be aligned with the beading. The shade of maroon needs to be a chestnut colour, often referred to as "Deep Indian Red", the shade used on London bus wheels.

Further relief came in the form of two thin olive green lines, one painted on the thin beading at the bottom of the upper deck and the second painted on the thin beading above the lower deck windows and extending above the driver's cab and round the valances above the entrance and exit doorways. However this latter green lining was discontinued in about 1958.

Wheel centres were maroon and mudguards and chassis components, such as the dumb irons, guardrails and edge of the rear platform were black. The radiator shell, the kick panels beneath the cab doors and the raised strip at the bottom rear of the lower deck need to be painted aluminium, and details such as windscreen frames, rear bumper bar, head and side light rims, doorhandles etc. need to be painted silver to represent chrome plating. The handrails on the back platform need to be painted satin black, to represent "Doverite", with chromed fixing brackets.

The cab interior should be painted chocolate brown below the waist and primrose above, while the two staircases should be painted chocolate brown with aluminium kick panels. However the interior panelling of the saloons is mainly covered in rexine, requiring a matt finish, mid brown for the side lining panels, including the back panel of the rear platform, a lighter shade of brown above waist level and cream for the ceilings. All window cappings are polished wood, as are the decorative strips on the ceilings. The seats are upholstered in a brown floral pattern moquette with brown leather trim on the seat cushions and mid brown rexine on the rear of the seat backs.

Transfer Lettering etc.

The transfer sheet covers most variations up to the mid 1950s. Application should be as per the following notes, however the dates of changes are approximate as changes would have been made as and when buses became due for repaint.

BOURNEMOUTH CORPORATION fleet name. This was painted on the buses when new on the lower deck waistband, centrally aligned with the four side windows. Its use was discontinued in the 1940s as a wartime security measure and was never reinstated.

BOROUGH COAT OF ARMS. These were painted centrally on the upper and lower deck side panels (in bay 3) and centrally on the lower deck panel. In about 1958 this was reduced to two coats of arms only, on the upper deck side panels.

REGISTRATION NUMBERS. Front - on plate below radiator. Rear - in recess in lower deck waist band.

FLEET NUMBERS. Front - on the off side lower deck waist band between the side light and the radiator. Rear - on the lower deck rear panel above the coat of arms. Side - fleet numbers were initially painted on the lower deck near side above the coat of arms and on the lower deck off side waistband, centrally below the front staircase panel. When the full fleet name was discontinued, the side fleet numbers were moved to a central position in Bay 3 of the lower deck waistband. Application of fleet numbers on the side of the buses was discontinued circa 1950, leaving fleet numbers on the front and rear only. Note that the fleet numbers became slightly smaller in the late '50s and that these smaller numbers are not included on the transfer sheet.

SMALLER LETTERING - Registered address at the foot of the nearside lower deck panel in Bay 2. Use the Wootton Gardens address with Duncan Morrison's name prior to 1/4/1940 and the Southcote Road address without GM's name from 1/4/1940. Licensed seating capacity - in bottom left hand corner of lower rear, adjacent to the platform. EMERGENCY EXIT - at the foot of the upper deck emergency exit, next to the opening handle. OUT ONLY - above the lower deck side window in Bay 2, immediately adjacent to the exit door. IN ONLY - above the lower deck side window in Bay 5, immediately adjacent to the back platform opening.

Destination Blinds

The transfer sheet includes a set of blank apertures and blinds for six services. The principal blind was displayed in a 30" x 15" aperture and could display up to four lines of information. The bottom line showed the ultimate destination and the others showed intermediate points. The blinds were so designed that they could be wound up or down as necessary so that an intermediate point was displayed at the bottom to covers short workings. This display was provided at the front and rear and over the back platform. A separate narrow blind was provided at front and rear only and was used, if required, to indicate special events or additional route information. A small 8" x 8" blind at front and rear only was used for the service number.

Service 1 was one of the first express services, introduced in 1931 between Bournemouth Square and Purewell via Iford Bridge. Purewell is the part of Christchurch east of the River Avon. The service was further extended eastwards to Somerford in 1952. The section of this route east of Pokesdown was not covered by the tram system. Trolleybuses reached the County Borough boundary at Iford Bridge in 1935 and were extended through to Christchurch in 1943. Observed permutations of this blind, which can be made up from the transfers, are:

·          Blank/BOSCOMBE/CHRISTCHURCH/PUREWELL - TD5 No 18 - late '40s. Ref Buses Illustrated Issue 4

·          JUMPERS/CHRISTCHURCH/PUREWELL/SOMERFORD - on a PD2 - early '50s - Ref Glory Days

·          Blank/JUMPERS/BOSCOMBE/SQUARE - several TD5s - mid '50s - Ref photos provided by David Bowler.

Service 3 was another express service, introduced in 1931 between Bournemouth Square and Bear Cross, which paralleled the tram and later the trolleybus service between the Square and Moordown. TD5 No 20 - mid '50s - Ref photo provided by David Bowler.

An "alternative route" blind is provided for "to and from CRICKET" as this service passed the Cricket Ground at Dean Park. In pre Rose Bowl days this ground was used by Hampshire for two first class matches every year during "Bournemouth Cricket Week", which, if my memory serves me right, was August Bank Holiday week.

Service 4 was also introduced in the 1930s and ran from Malvern Road, latterly terminating short of the town centre at The Lansdowne. A photograph of TD5 No 24 in 1939, published in Buses Illustrated Issue 9, shows a short working to Bennett Road:  - Blank/LANSDOWNE/CENTRAL STN/BENNETT ROAD. This transfer could also be adapted to show the service in the inbound direction and KINGS ROAD could be substituted for BENNETT ROAD.

Service 7 was a cross-regional service between Columbia Road and Boscombe Pier and was one of the few routes, which did not serve Central Bournemouth. This transfer is based on a photograph in the Centenary Book of TD5 No 24 at Boscombe Pier in 1940. The alternative route blind shows "via ASHLEY ROAD". Although it has masked headlamps and white blackout markings on the dumb irons and mudguards, the bus is otherwise in full pre-war livery, still with yellow roof and Bournemouth Corporation fleet name. This transfer could be adapted to show the Boscombe bound direction, but without the extension to Boscombe Pier.

Service 11 was a summer seasonal service between Kings Road and Bournemouth Pier, which basically covered the same route as Service 4 between Kings Road and the Lansdowne. Tony Asquith used to travel on it during his holidays many years ago and tells me that it did not run if it was raining!  TD5 No 32 - mid '50s - Ref Oakwood Press Book.

Service 12 was a summer seasonal service between Bournemouth Pier, Boscombe Pier and Hengistbury Head, which was later extended to/from Alum Chine. The transfer is based on a 1954 photograph of TD5 No 28, published on the SCT61 website. At that time the service was normally operated by open top Guy Arabs.

References and Acknowledgments

The model has been based on photographs from numerous sources. The principle references were:

·          Bournemouth Trams and Buses - C. G. Roberts - Oakwood Press 1972

·          Bournemouth Trolleybuses - David Bowler - Trolleybooks 2001

·          Glory Days Bournemouth Transport - Colin Morris - Ian Allan 2002
Bournemouth Transport Centenary Brochure - David Chalk - Bournemouth Transport 2002

And finally a special word of thanks to David Bowler for his help, particularly in reference to the liveries and service blinds.
Happy modelling

Master for model © Tony Swift, Kirribilli, NSW 2061 Australia, September 2013.


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