|As I didn't publish any photos during March I am catching up with recent views today, meaning that there is only one 'archive' shot in this batch. I will pick-up the 1980s retrospective with some D-prefix vehicles next time. So, this is a really old photo (almost certainly the oldest on LTSV so far), and it is not even of a service vehicle. But there is a connection...
Leyland LB5 bus MH2484 was photographed outside the house of its owners in Hornsey in about 1925. Edwin and Ernest Webber bought the Dodson-bodied bus that January and branded it as Empire's Best, believed to derive from the slogan of the Canadian Club Whisky, for which the bus carried exclusive advertising. Rather surprisingly, Empire's Best only ran one bus, using it on route 294 (related to present-day route 29). The Webber brothers sold out to City Omnibus in March 1928, the bus being numbered A35 and was soon fitted with pneumatic tyres to replace the solid originals. The Webbers then started Empire's Best Coaches, using new Leyland Tiger coaches from a base in Commerce Road, Wood Green. That company survived until 1961 when the brothers retired. The Leyland LB5 meanwhile passed to the newly formed London Transport in November 1934 and was renumbered L63, although it was immediately withdrawn. During 1935 the bus body was removed and a new tower wagon body was fitted, the vehicle then being used by the Tramways department from Rye Lane as fleetnumber 145. Under the 1939 service vehicle renumbering scheme it was allocated new fleetnumber 214L and it was eventually sold in 1946. Unfortunately there don't seem to be any photographs of this vehicle as a tower wagon, though there are some of similar vehicles 212L, 213L, 215L and 218L in various books (refer to notes on the respective vehicle detail pages for details).
Many thanks to Richard Currie (the nephew of one of the Webber brothers) for sharing this photo and the background information.
|Photo date:||c.1925||Size:||Extra Large. View regular size|