T: Country Area (early livery)
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Notes About This Vehicle

The ancestry of London Transport (LT) single-deck buses from the late 1920s shows many quite different designs sharing the fleet designation prefixed ‘T’ and based on AEC’s Regal chassis. The last of these, T718–768 (delivered 1946) were in Central area red, and T769–798 (delivered 1948) in Country area green.
At the time Metropolitan Police requirements dictated that no doors be fitted to crew-operated Central area buses, but this did not affect those in the Country area. As such, the final batch of Country area Ts had a sliding door.
As depicted in new condition, these Country area Ts had white window surrounds on both sides and no rear wheel covers. Photographs suggest that the wartime rear white disks were fitted (possibly only to T769) even though hostilities had ended. Though a route number stencil holder was provided on the nearside, in Country area service these were not used and the panel painted white.
The photographic record shows that some Ts had the front registration plate mounted immediately above the bottom of the radiator, whereas others had it slung below. Also of some interest are the rather unusual ‘slip board’ brackets below the nearside front window.
At overhaul, from 1950 to 1951, an all-over green was adopted, with cream relief for the mouldings above and below the windows, though some contemporary photographs show the moulding above the windows to be green. Though more plain the revised livery suited the buses better, and indeed they remained in this guise for the rest of their service lives, also receiving rear wheel covers.
LT had experimented with ‘elephant ear’ front indicators on RM1 and on some RTs from 1956. They were generally fitted across the LT fleet from 1959, and therefore omitted here. Rear reflectors, which were to become a legal requirement from 1954, are also therefore omitted.
Despite LT’s intention in 1951 to retain them until 1960, withdrawals started in 1953. This coincided with the widespread introduction of new green RFs. By the mid-1950s one-man operation of RFs in the Country area was becoming the norm and further threatening the crew-operated Ts, some of which had very short lives as a result.
Three were transferred to Kingston in the central area, T785 being one of them, but remained green and with the sliding door secured in the open position. Their visit was short lived and they quickly moved on to Norbiton. By the end of 1959 twenty-one of the thirty had been sold and five more by 1960.
T787 was the last to run in passenger service in April 1962 and was sold in August 1963. T792 survives in beautifully restored condition.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on Chiswick Works general arrangement drawing ‘2565’ of a later TD-type, itself based on Metro Cammell Weymann’s drawing ‘design no.V.2330/1’ revised to 24th April 1956. This type of black & white sketch drawing, as implied by the name, is not intended to define detail but as a specification guide to builders.
All the fine detail has been interpreted from a very few black & white and colour photographs of sufficient quality that could be found of TDs with the later Mann Egerton body. Owing to the age of the photographs, some fine detail has had to be gleaned from restored TD89, TD95 and T792, all of which have the same Mann Egerton body. None of the detail can be regarded as definitive.
It should be understood that all four elevations are seen here as one would see each part of the vehicle at a truly perpendicular angle. In real life this is of course impossible.
drawing copyright Douglas Rose July 2021
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