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AHN 451B
1964 Daimler CCG5 double decker, new to Darlington Corporation Transport.


Former Darlington Corporation logo

Darlington's number 7 was delivered in 1964, one of a batch of twelve purchased by the Corporation.

The bus has a conventional chassis and separate, built-on double-deck body.

The chassis was built by Daimler, with type designation CCG5.

All post-war Daimlers had model designations beginning with a 'C'; normally the next letter was a 'V' but others - as here 'C' - were used to indicate variations from the basic pattern. A Daimler CVxx had a front-engine, usually with an epicyclic gearbox (mostly pre-selector but sometimes later direct-acting) but always with no manual clutch. Where the designation is CCxx, as with number 7, the second 'C' indicated that a Guy drive-line with manual clutch and four speed constant-mesh gearbox was fitted. That option came to be offered since by that time both Daimler and Guy marques were part of the Jaguar group.

The last two digits - here 'G5' - indicate the engine make and type, so here a Gardner 5-cylinder (7.0 litre) diesel is fitted. That was very unusual by that date, since the trend since the war had been towards much larger engines: the standard of the London Routemaster, for example, was 9.6 litres. By 1964 Daimler's established standard was the corresponding Gardner 6-cylinder (8.4 litre) unit; an example of that type, CCG6, from the South Shields' fleet is also preserved, but by another group.

The power output for the Gardner 5-cylinder engine was quoted as 94 bhp at 1 700 rpm. Its performance is limited to 38 mph (about 61 kph) with the four speed gearbox. This was ideal in its day for urban routes. Nevertheless a driving shift would have been very hard work, with neither power-assisted steering nor synchronised gears. The lack of power and very slow gear change meant that the bus would be a poor performer on hilly terrain, but then Darlington is not known for steep hills!

The body was built by the firm of Charles H Roe of Leeds to its standard double-deck pattern, with open rear platform. It seats 61; 63 or 65 would have been more normal by 1964, so the smaller total gives both more leg room for passengers and less challenge to the engine. It has the high step from the platform to the lower saloon to surmount the transmission and rear axle, so it falls well short of the modern accessible standard. With the open platform, too, it assumes a two-person crew, with the conductor's role divided between supervision of the platform and roaming of both decks to collect fares and sell tickets. The only means of communication between driver and conductor was the bell signal.

The batch lasted until 1980, when the buses were replaced by single deckers. Most of them were sold by auction, but number 7 was retained for a short period longer until sale in January 1981 to a London busman's kidney machine appeal - the appeal raised over 10 000.

The vehicle was purchased by the Society in May 1981, with funds donated by local firms. It was then restored over a period of fifteen months to its original livery on delivery.

It is now on the way to fifty years old. It represents the end of the era of the half-cab double decker, with its two person crew and open rear platform. It is always very popular at rallies and is invariably well laden when it goes into service.


Portrait view AHN 451B

At Seaton Delaval Hall

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Aycliffe and District Bus Preservation Society is registered charity number 1 158 142. Its VAT registration number is 809 3809 11.

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