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Given the constant all day, daily use to which both authorities put these vehicles for almost all their lives, it says a great deal about the workmanship that went into manufacture of the chassis and bodies and the standards of maintenance carried out by their owners.When SELNEC eventually withdrew the remaining vehicles a bit of the post war character of the twin cities went with them.
You had to know it was a Manchester bus to know it was going to Manchester.The last six of the type delivered to Salford FRJ 555-FRJ 560 (555-560) were fitted with heaters and were much pursued by the enthusiast fraternity as for the first nine years of their lives they operated almost solely on all night services, retreating to the depot as the sun appeared.Both Salford and Manchester passed substantial numbers of these vehicles to SELNEC.As long as the joint operation was on an equal shared income basis the practice, though officially frowned on, did not work to the financial detriment of the employers of the "lazy" crew.Another trick was to load the bus at the first few stops so that the three bells code was given and, in rush hours, the crews would have an easy time with few stops, few fares to collect after the first trip around the bus and they could still dawdle as they had to keep to timings, yet could legitimately drive in a stately fashion past lines waiting for a bus with room.Having suffered these buses on the joint service 95/96 for many years I certainly wouldn’t be able to describe the way they were driven as ‘spirited.
Salfords Daimlers were the slowest buses on Kingsway, Manchester by far, even slower than Birchfield Rd’s Crossleys.
Whilst not looking as smart as the original scheme of green with three cream bands, black wheels and silver roof, the vehicle in the picture belies its age, especially as it is one of the first batch.
The second Salford batch was delivered in 1951 and should have been registered in then FBA series of Salford registrations but Charles Baroth persuaded the Salford City Police, who issued registration marks at the time, to issue FRJ some months early so all the vehicles he ordered would have RJ sequence marks.
Salford buses bound for the dock gates in Salford neither recognised the Manchester part of the title, nor tried to claim the docks for their city, stubbornly just showing DOCKS in block capitals as a destination.
Salford buses heading for the inner areas of Trafford Park, which was in Stretford, would display the destination as a road name, such as Tenax Rd, whereas Manchester would display both Trafford Park and the point in the Park to which they were going.
He and Manchester’s Albert Neal never really seemed to get along – an antipathy that lasted from the mid 1940s to the early 1960s.