The LONDON TRANSPORT D classThis page created 29th November 1999, by Ian Smith
The early Duple highbridge Daimlers: D7-D34, D1/1D2The highbridge Duples were very similar to the lowbridge variety in design. (Apart from the obvious, of course). They started to arrive two months after completion of the lowbridge order, in July 1944: the contiguity of their registrations with the lowbridge batch points up the dearth of bus supplies at this period. But that two months had allowed some moves towards peace-time standards; for instance the rear number plate was a proper assembly. Another feature was the continuous rainstrip rather than short strips above the openers.
Arriving from July 1944 at Chiswick, they had to be painted, Duple having delivered them in primer. The paint scheme was similar to that used for D1-6, except that the black cheat line between the decks was omitted. The taller sides also allowed straight-forward use of adverts, with the Duple bodyside moulding acting as a top edge.
They went into service at Merton, alongside STLs that also had the AEC 8.8 litre engine and a preselector gearbox. Route 88 was the first to see them, from August 1944 onwards. As the influx of Daimlers to Merton continued they took over on other routes from the garage, including the 77/77A, 156, 118, 152, 157, 49 and 137:
These routes gave the Daimlers a relatively high profile among the utilities, with the 77 group, 88 and 137 taking them up through the West End.
Fairly soon after the war ended they were given extra opening windows.
Their first overhauls started in January 1948. The repaints were similar to those on the lowbridge buses, giving them a white window surround at the rear upstairs, and revised lobster-back treatment. They too received the white below the saloon windows, down to the top moulding.
Internally, they had the wooden seating replaced with an upholstered version.
They soldiered on at Merton until replacements started to arrived in the shape of
and then RTs.
Bodywork deterioration caused a steady stream of withdrawals between October 1952 and October 1953.
Most of them went for further service via North's of Leeds,
to Belfast Corporation (where they received new Harkness bodies before working until 1969);
to South Western omnibus in Ceylon; to Trimdon Motor Services near Sedgefield;
to Southend Corporation and to other independent bus companies.