The LONDON TRANSPORT Thornycroft Buses

This page created 1st December 2013 using Wordpad, by Ian Smith.

London Transport did not buy new Thornycrofts as buses, but did inherit some at its formation. These were mainly either twenty-seater Nippys, from People's of Ware and Woking and District, larger Thornycroft BCs from the Great Western Railway and Woking & District, or Cygnets, also from Peoples. London Transport must have liked the Nippys, for the 1934 fleet renewal proposals suggested another twenty be ordered. In the event the order was transmuted to Leyland Cubs in 1935, no doubt because they had oil engines.

Nippy / Thurgood drawing: rear conjectural

Thornycroft Nippy

People's of Ware brought nine of these little twenty seaters, based on the Thornycroft A12 or A2L chassis. They were bodied by Peoples' parent, Thurgood of Ware, with good-looking sturdy little bodies, and were used on the company's network of deeply rural routes around Hertford and Ware. These nine came to LT's Country Area in December 1933, and most survived until 1936 or 1938, becoming NY1-9 in the LT fleet once the Country buses were given fleetnumbers by Chiswick in 1935. Chiswick made their mark on them, repanelling beside the driver's cab to remove the spare wheel alcove, and removing light shades from the interior.
Thurgood-bodied Nippy: rear view entirely conjectural: does anyone have a photo?

Nippy /Challands Ross drawing Woking & District were another Nippy user, with bodies by Challands Ross on A2L chassis. Five were taken over in January 1931, when the company was bought out by East Surrey and Aldershot & District and divided up. These acquired LGCS red and white livery, before the London Transport takeover saw them go into Country Area green with black band. They did not stay in the Woking area under their new managements, examples being seen at Dunton Green for the Knockholt routes and at Chelsham.
Whether they were not as sturdy as the Thurgood examples, or for some other reason, they did not survive so long, succumbing to Cubs in 1936.

West Kent Motors, continuing to operate in the fringes of the LT area around Sevenoaks until October 1939, also had two small Thornycrofts, an elderly Nippy (1928) and a newer (1938) Dainty. The Nippy, with 20-seater body by Vincent of Reading, was used with a pair of Dennis Gs on services from Sevenoaks to Seal, Kemsing and thence either Otford or Heaverham. The Thurgood-bodied Dainty was used for Private Hire and for the Sevenoaks - Fawke Common route. When taken over at the start of the war they were by now well outside LT's standard types, and were quickly disposed of without further service.

Thornycroft BC

Thorneycraft BC drawing Three Thornycroft BCs (Boadiceas) with 22-seater coach bodies by Vickers were acquired from the Great Western Railway in April 1932, and were put to work on Green Line services. They had a good reputation as powerful, running fast and tackling hills with vigour. They were numbered TH1-3, and worked from Slough (Alpha Street). They survived until 1934.
The other two BCs were buses, with rear-entrance thirty-two seat bodies by Challands Ross for Woking & District. They too came to East Surrey in January 1931, and thence to LGCS and LPTB. They were used on Windsor / Slough services, until replacement in 1936 by
4Q4s. They did not receive London Transport fleet numbers.

Thornycroft LB

A precursor to the BC, OT7822 was a 1928 Thornycroft LB, a twenty-nine seater bus for Woking & District. It too made its way to London Transport, being sold as non-standard in 1936.

Thornycroft Cygnet

Thorneycraft Cygnet drawing Following on from the BC as a large saloon was the Thornycroft Cygnet. People's of Ware had three, bought in 1932, which were bodied, naturally, by Thurgood. Two had thirty-two seater front entrance forward control bus bodies, in different styles, the third a normal-control twenty-six seater. Although still relatively new, they fell foul of fleet standardisation, and were sold for further service elsewhere in 1936, when the Country Qs took over their work.

Service vehicles

Thorneycraft Cygnet lorry drawing Peoples had actually ordered a further Cygnet chassis, as had St.Albans & District. These were taken on by London Transport at the takeover in December 1933, but were given dropside lorry bodies and quarter tilts by Chalmers of Reigate, setting a trend for bus-based lorries for the service department. They were initially numbered NY11 and NY12, but then became 334T and 335T, surviving until 1950.

Ian's Bus Stop NY main text. NY histories NY photo refs