A nostalgic look
at an iconic bus
We all know about the Routemaster, but I am more impressed by the buses that I grew up with in Birmingham in the 1950s. The picture at the top shows two of them in Chapel Lane, Selly Oak. They are both 'Birmingham Standards'.
I remember sitting in one at the very same spot, next to the Bundy clock. I was with my Dad and I must have been about ten years old. He explained to me why the lights went out when the driver started the bus. He knew a lot did my Dad. I've loved these buses ever since...
There was no such thing as the 'Birmingham Standard'. The title referred to the double deck body which was specially designed for Birmingham Corporation Transport (BCT). Based on pre-war versions, it was used on several types of bus when the entire fleet was replaced after World War II. Mainly produced by Metro-Cammell, other manufacturers included Brush and Crossley.
Even this standard body had variations. The original body, built to high coachwork standards in two main sections, was eventually built in one section from sheet metal, and grew a foot longer.
The 'tin front' was not the standard bus either. I prefer the title 'New Look' as more stylish and modern. Other manufacturers provided chassis such as Leyland, Guy, Daimler. You can still see a few of these buses at the transport museums in Wythall and Aldridge (Aston Manor RIP).
There are ten diecast scale models of these iconic being made by Forward Models. Two models are Premium Museum Editions sold with a premium to provide a donation for bus preservation. Click on 'Buy a bus' for details.