The Southdown Omnibus Trust has acquired a 1929 open-top Leyland Titan TD1 that was among 11 heritage vehicles recently advertised for sale by Stagecoach (Preservation Update, January).
Always an open-topper, Brush-bodied 813 (UF 4813) was one of a batch of 23, the first Titans that Southdown bought. Although their low-frame chassis represented the cutting edge of bus design at the time, the operator’s choice of bodywork did not, as covered top decks were commonplace elsewhere and these also were specified with an upper deck that stopped short behind the engine and driver’s cab. They were fitted with canvas tops for the duration of World War Two. Their lack of a roof made them the obvious choice of vehicle to operate on leisure service 27 between Brighton and Devil’s Dyke. After further service postwar, 813 became an ancillary vehicle which ensured that it survived long enough to be preserved.