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Author Topic: Chatham & District Traction Company  (Read 60502 times)

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Offline smiffy

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #112 on: September 09, 2017, 16:32:41 »
I had trouble placing this at first but now I'm pretty confident that this is Luton Road, with the junction of York Hill visible on the left. No idea of the date (possibly 1930's), the number plate on the bus looks like KR 8141.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #111 on: February 04, 2016, 20:17:48 »
Information supplied by Richard Bourne, of ‘Friends of Chatham Traction’.

Proof that Service 6 did exist. Had it been from a summer timetable we would have discovered how often it ran!

Also some fare tables, showing the cost of bus travel in those days – in old pence, of course.
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Offline Megapack162

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #110 on: December 02, 2015, 13:40:54 »
See also the Lowloader and Atlantean of 1956.
The Lowloader was the initial vehicle that Leyland developed in the early to mid 1950s to demonstrate the concept of a rear engine double deck bus although it still had a rear entrance and the appearance of a front engine bus.
The Atlantean prototype of 1956 looked more like those that M&D operated from 1959 onwards although it was some way from entering production due to noise from the engine which was inside the passenger cabin, under the bench rear seat and a number of overly complex mechanical components.
4 pre-production Atlanteans were delivered in December 1958 and January 1959 including M&D's DL43 which was exhibited at the 1958 Earls Court Motor show from late October 1958, before the main production run began to be delivered in May 1959.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #109 on: November 17, 2015, 21:38:10 »
Information courtesy of Richard Bourne, of Friends of Chatham Traction:

A C&D Service 6 between the Strand and Rainham was shown in the 1947 timetable, although its existence is thought to have been for only two or three years and it is unlikely to have survived into the 1950’s. Fare from Rainham to the Strand was 5d.

A detail point was that destination blinds were never altered to include it, the buses showing “5 Strand” on their way from Rainham and “2 Rainham” coming back.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #108 on: November 13, 2015, 16:24:23 »
Oops again! In case any motor engineers are wondering, what I called a clutch stop would have been better called a clutch brake, to distinguish it from a new fangled device that can be retro-fitted to reduce clutch pedal travel. With a clutch brake, extra travel of the pedal applies a brake to the gearbox input shaft to slow it quicker when in neutral, so that the next upward gear can be engaged sooner.

While we may not have finalised exactly how the C&D and M&D ‘hanging’ stops were arranged, at least I know I wasn’t imagining them, thanks to Smiffy and Mikeb :).

So to another fact or figment of my imagination. Does anyone remember C&D running a Service 6 between Rainham and the Strand at summer weekends? The route was as for Service 2 between Webster Road and the Jezreels, then as for Service 5/5A - Canterbury Street, James Street, etc. It would have been sometime between the end of the war and the absorption of C&D by M&D, and may have only run for just one year.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #107 on: November 12, 2015, 17:14:03 »
That’s a terrific find, Mikeb. It is more as I remember the bus stops, with the central rectangle projecting at each end. It is specifically a Chatham & District sign, and I’m wondering if it was placed on routes covered only by C&D, and stops used by both them and M&D were plainer, like the ones in Smiffy’s photo, which appear to have no text at all on them.

Most of the services terminating at ‘Chatham, Town Hall’ – as it was shown on the destination blinds – from Medway Street or Railway Street terminated in Military Road then turned, without reversing, at the junction with the Brook, to go to their starting point in Military Road, unless they were on a long layover, when they were parked up the road next to the Town Hall for C&D buses (see first post of this thread), or in Globe Lane for both companies. An exception seems to have been Service 29 – the time table shows it to terminate in Globe Lane and start from Military Road. Those buses parked in Globe Lane couldn’t start their passenger service from there because there was no pavement on that side of the road.

The 1951 timetable shows services between Chatham and Rochester specifically via Medway Street and High Street, or just as via Medway Street, as 17, 19, 20, 32, 65, 66A, 112 and 120  Not specified were 23, 26, 29 (which ran to Gillingham, so the question of where it terminated in Chatham, mentioned above. did not arise), 70 and 113.

By 1957 it had become: Via Medway Street were 17, 20, 29, (now terminating at Chatham), 112, 120, 144 (C&D Service 4 replacement), 147 (C&D Service 3A replacement). Via New Road were 19, 65, 145 and 146 (C&D Service 5 and 5A replacement). Not specified were 23, 26, 70 and 113.

One thing I’m sure of is that the K5G’s, if not others, usually started in 2nd.(Admittedly I never drove one myself, but one couldn’t help ‘monitoring what the driver was doing).

The Bristols with Gardner engines (K5G’s) had a clutch stop – I’m not sure about the other Gardner engined vehicles (Guy Arabs) – which meant that if the clutch was pushed right down for an up-change the engine was slowed quickly and the gear lever could be moved straight from one gear to the next. With AEC engined Bristols (K6A’s) and Leylands the driver had to wait for the engine (or more correctly, the gearbox input shaft) to slow to the correct speed to engage the gear (no synchromesh).

For a down-change the gearbox input shaft had to be speeded up, which could only be done by double declutching and revving the engine (pedal only part way down if a clutch stop was fitted!).

 To show the electrifying performance of the K5G, here, so far as I remember, was the gear needed for the various hills : Star Hill = 2nd. Railway Street = 3rd. Bottom of Chatham Maidstone Road = 2nd. Chatham Hill = 2nd to Windmill Road and 3rd to Rock Avenue. Governed speeds were 1st = about 6mph, 2nd = 12mph, 3rd = 20mph, 4th = 33mph.
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KeithJG

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #106 on: November 12, 2015, 13:02:56 »
Military road had to dictate where the bus stops were for routing as Medway Street was damn nigh bang in the middle so buses that used Medway St. the stop had to be before the turning, i think that must be obvious?

It did not dictate to that degree as although 140,141,142 etc. went along Medway St., 146 and 145 etc. went via New Road and those buses stopped at the first and second bus stops by the Town Hall (Barnards Shop).

No. 17 Cliffe & 70 Upnor were at the same stop going by Waltons Surgical Wear shop (I was always embarrased waiting for my bus) but when 70 returned it set down in Globe Lane then went around the Paddock to the stop again in Military Road for its next journey, these were Medway St. routes, it was the opposite to what mikeb said about no.29

No. 19 & 65 stops were just after the Naval & Military Arms pub so of course had to go via New Road as they were past the turning for Medway St., No. 1 Maidstone & 26 Gravesend were the longer routes so out on there own past all these stops.

Routes which went in the same direction almost nearly always had their stops near one another as if your bus was full it was no good running up the end of the road to catch a similar routed bus that was empty and about to leave!


Offline mikeb

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #105 on: November 12, 2015, 10:05:27 »
Thinking about it, and reading subsequent posts, I got confused re stops strategically placed for routing purposes as opposed to separating C&D / M&D passengers. My memory was that there were several examples of of different stops for buses going, eventually, to the same place, as has been highlighted. Certainly it seems in Military Road at least they were separated into "local" and "rural / long distance" services.
I think PC could be right about bus stops in Military Road dictating routing. I recall ser. 29 (it keeps cropping up) operated via High Street and on arrival at Chatham terminated at the Gillingham bound stop then ran around the Paddock to depart for Maidstone from Globe Lane.

Attached is a photo, courtesy FOCT of a time worn plate. Is this a memory jerker PC?

KeithJG

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #104 on: November 12, 2015, 09:14:28 »
I can remember at the top of Canterbury Street the bus did not stop at the Ash Tree upon turning right as this stop was for bus traffic coming along from the Rainham end.

I lived in Copenhagen Road and was always on this route to Chatham

Offline AlanH

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #103 on: November 12, 2015, 09:02:13 »
Hi Peterchall. I noticed that you said the Bristols were started in 2nd gear but I'm not sure that's correct. When I started with M&D in 1967 at Gillingham depot I was taught that all the old manuals including the Bristols were first put into 3rd and then quickly back over to 1st as this eliminated the big lurch from side to side if 1st was selected when starting off from the kerb.
Why the buses did this I'm unsure after all this time but it was a distinct movement. Some thing to do with passenger comfort. :)
The bottom of Chatham Hill going up required a different approach...into 1st then bang crash straight back into 2nd or you'd come to a shuddering standstill, and don't worry about what the passengers think. :-)))
AlanH.

 

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #102 on: November 11, 2015, 22:18:09 »
Oops! My excuse is that M&D didn’t get their first Atlanteans until 1959 :).

But it’s oops again here:
Thinking about my last post it might look as if I’ve ignored KeithJG’s photo of 1947 when I said I don’t remember when the concrete post bus stops were introduced. What I meant was I don’t remember if it was pre-war or post war – Smiffy’s photo in response to my question is just pre-war. But as the memories return I think the hanging metal  ones were quite vulnerable and occasionally one could be seen hanging by a single chain, so I wonder if they were replaced progressively during the war by those that needed virtually no maintenance.

Further thoughts on those M&D services that might have gone via New Road:
To go via Medway Street the bus stops in Military Road would have to have been at the Town Hall end, already largely occupied by C&D stops. So was it the case that some of M&D’s ‘Rochester bound’ stops were forced towards the other end of Military Road and therefore had to go via New Road?

Another feature was how close together some of the stops were. For example, C&D Service 3, coming from Brompton direction, stopped at the passenger shelter in Dock Road, next to the Town Hall, often to change crews, then again in Military Road. Similarly, Services 2 and 5, coming from Luton Arches direction, stopped in The Brook just before Military Road, and again round the corner in Military Road. The Fare Stage was Military Road, so getting on at those early stops would cost an extra half-penny, but perhaps a way of jumping the queue at busy times!

There was a similar situation in Gillingham High Street. Each way Service 5 buses stopped at the bottom of Canterbury Street and at the top of James Street, little more than 100 yards apart. Coming from the Strand, Service 5 stopped outside the newsagents at the top of Canterbury Street and again round the corner in Rainham Road, just past Ash Tree Lane, which was the Fare Stage. If you were at the top of Canterbury Street and a bus came along it might be worth the extra ha’penny to get on there rather than risk not being able to cross the road to the other stop in time.
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #101 on: November 11, 2015, 21:20:15 »
See also the Lowloader and Atlantean of 1956.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #100 on: November 11, 2015, 18:37:15 »
Oops again!  The M&D timetable referred to in my previous post was 1951, before C&D was absorbed by M&D.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #99 on: November 11, 2015, 17:51:13 »
I have no recollection of separate stops for the two companies where they shared a route, except where there were many services, such as in Military Road. I’m not sure if the service numbers were shown in the yellow rectangle where there were multiple stops. I can’t remember when the present system of the bus stop sign bolted onto a concrete post, as in KeithJG's photo, was introduced.

M&D and C&D shared the office in Military Road. While it was designated an M&D office – it was where you pre-booked tickets for the express services – conductors of both companies paid in their takings in a room at the back. So I now think the bus stop poles were black and white, avoiding the 'conflict' between the two companies colour schemes..

While all C&D services between Chatham and Rochester ran via New Road, the 1957 M&D timetable shows 13 services between the two towns. In the headings to 7 of them it states “via Medway Street and High Street”, but the other 6 show only the times at Military Road and Star Hill. However, my (possibly incorrect) memory tells me that Service 23 to Cobham, Service 26 to Gravesend and Servce113 to Lower Higham (all those that used Strood Hill) ran via New Road. Service 113 is memorable for being one of the few single decker services in the Medway Towns.

I have found a copy in a booklet of the Fare Table for C&D Service 3 (Gillingham Green to Frindsbury) It is undated but is interesting because it adds to the information on the bus stop locations in my previous post.
Fare stages from Chatham to Star Hill were: Military Road, Chatham Station (the stops in Smiffy’s photo), Boundary (Fort Pitt Hill), Star Hill Bottom. So fare stages were not equal in length.
Fares from Military Road were (old pence): Star Hill Bottom = 1d; Strood, Angel = 1&1/2d; Gun Lane= 2d (another very short stage); Frindsbury = 2&1/2d (What is the single adult fare from Chatham to Star Hill today?)

Pre-selective and Pneumocyclic gearboxes were the same type of gearbox (epicyclic) operated by different systems.

With the former the gear was selected by a lever on the steering column but not engaged until the gear pedal (in place of the clutch pedal) was depressed and released – actually the previous gear was disengaged when it was depressed and the next one engaged when it was released. The M&D vehicles fitted with it were Daimler CWG5’s and CWA6’s, 22 in total, introduced from 1943 to 1945.

The Pneumcyclic system was introduced with the Leyland Atlantean in 1959, and which, with its successors, has become the ‘standard' layout for double-deck buses ever since, with the front entrance and rear engine. There was no clutch or gear-change pedal, gear changing being effected simply by movement  of a small lever in a gate attached to the steering column. (Having been retired for 23 years I am now a bit out of touch, so even that system may now be obsolete)
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KeithJG

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Re: Chatham & District Traction Company
« Reply #98 on: November 11, 2015, 14:19:45 »
I believe Bust Stops were shared when both companies on the same routes also they shared the rent of each stop but of course each company had there own routes and so there own Bus Stops on that route. Picture shows 1947 and concrete post then and no M&D or C&D written on the stop sign.

I always remember my Father telling me (as he was an M&D driver at Gillingham from 1946 to 1952) about the Pneumocyclic gearbox.

This was not a manual box and was used sometime from the early 1930`s it was used in heavy vehicles because of the constant need for changing gears especially in towns.

This type of gearbox had other names like Semi Automatic or Pre-select Box but i think the Pnuemocylic Gearbox was it`s proper name.

While in one gear the next gear could be selected but it did not change up until the gear foot pedal was pushed.


 

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