This page created 11th January 2002 using Notepad, by Ian Smith.

Overground DL drawing

The Overground Lances, DL1-25

In 1931 the General ordered twenty-five Dennis Lance double-deckers for use by their subsidiary Overground, which operated from Potters Bar. Bodywork was by Metro-Cammell, to a style similar to that of the unique Metro-Cammell metal-framed ST body. But because the wheelbase was 16ft 6in on the Lance, compared with 15ft 6.5in on the Regent, the body was set back by almost a foot, with this amount taken out of the last bay, narrowing the platform entrance. The cab roof was deeper than on the STs, which meant that when they were later fitted with larger front indicator boxes these were slightly too high, and had a reverse slope on their top.
Livery was red with white window surrounds and red roof, with Overground fleetnames. Fleetnumbers were D1-25, with non-sequential registration numbers.

Into service

Overground DL drawing They went into service from Potters Bar from October 1931, displacing the five Regents (ST 822-826) that had been borrowed from LGOC for the 285 (Victoria - Arkley Hotel), and about twenty-seven Leyland LBs on the 629 (Victoria - Potters Bar) and 284 (Victoria - Hadley Highstone).

In July 1933 the Overground fleet was taken over by London Transport, and gradually adopted standard livery with silver roofs. They were renumbered as DL1-25. They continued in service at Potters Bar, where they were joined by the ex-Independents DL26-33. By now the services had been renumbered to 134/135.

But in November and December 1936 they were sent south to Sutton garage to displace ancient NS types on the 80 and 156. Why their stay at Sutton was so brief is not obvious, as they were still young, but after just a year, in November 1937, they were all withdrawn and sold, at the start of the purge of non-standard petrol buses.

The Independent Lances, DL26-33

ex-Cardinal DL26 drawing The eight Lances from London Independents were a mixed bunch, with bodies by Dodson or Birch very similar to the mixture on the Leyland TDs:
  • DL 26, from Cardinal, carried an old-fashioned 1930 Dodson body with open staircase.
  • DL 27, from Daisy, also carried an old-fashioned 1930 Dodson body with open staircase.
  • DL 28, from Red Rover, carried a modern 1932 roofbox body by Birch.
  • DL 29, from Ambassador, carried a 1930 Birch body.
  • DL 30, from Ambassador, had a modern 1932 roofbox Dodson body
  • DL 31, from Sphere, had a 1930 Dodson body
  • DL 32 and 33, from Reliance, had 1930 Dodson bodies
After takeover by London Transport they were sent to Potters Bar to join the others. They too went later to Sutton before withdrawal in late 1937.
ex-Red Rover DL28 drawing

Ian's Bus Stop Lance text. DL histories DL photo refs Lancets, Arrows.