Ralph Bennett: His Life in the Company of Buses

Our tribute to the man who revolutionised modern bus operation

1001 Leyland Atlantean HVM 901F (Mancunian style, Ralph Bennett, 1968), Manchester City Transport
For many bus enthusiasts and Mancunians of a certain age, Leyland Atlantean 1001 is Ralph Bennett’s best known legacy.

Cast your mind back to 1968: Greater Manchester’s bus network was on the verge of radical change. In a year’s time, the greens and creams of Salford Corporation and SHMD Joint Board, and the reds and creams of Manchester and Stockport corporations’ undertakings would be replaced by SELNEC’s neutral livery. Its 3 million inhabitants would soon receive modern buses in an orange and white livery. Continue reading “Ralph Bennett: His Life in the Company of Buses”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 08 December 2011

8. One and two halves to the Octagon, please…

Bolton Transport 232

Displaying Bolton’s flagship bus route is Leyland Atlantean 232. This example is among the fruits of Ralph Bennett’s labours in overhauling the image of Bolton Corporation. It is hard to imagine the fact this bus was built in 1965, when thousands of Leyland Atlanteans for other operators entered service with the peaks and domes which Ralph Bennett despised. She still looks well today. Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 08 December 2011”

The Collected Works of Ken Mortimer: A Not So Perfect Ten Special

A pictorial journey of the Stalybridge based industrial designer and transport artist’s creations

Though known to nobody else other than bus enthusiasts, Mancunians would be most familiar with his handiwork. Even to this day, examples of his work are seen in bus museums and rallies or in regular service. The creative genius behind SELNEC and GMPTE’s image was Ken Mortimer. In recent times he has started selling watercolour prints of 1950s and 1960s transport scenes. Some of which are available as postcards and greetings cards. Continue reading “The Collected Works of Ken Mortimer: A Not So Perfect Ten Special”

What Would Ralph Bennett Do?

A Mancunian viewpoint on Transport for London’s Routemaster prototype

This morning, I saw on BBCi pictures of the new Routemaster prototype. On initial reaction, I thought it was a quirky little double decker filed under ‘lovely to look at, but will it work?’ I was in two minds as to whether it would be as successful as the first Routemaster built in Southall, or a 21st century equivalent of the Guy Wulfrunian. Continue reading “What Would Ralph Bennett Do?”