Buses on Screen > Television > Television G > Gangsters (BBC crime series, 1976-8)

Gangsters (BBC crime series, 1976-8)
Brutal but brilliant TV series set in multicultural Birmingham began as a 1975 Play For Today, and for convenience I've included that here. Season 1 aired in 1976, and was followed by an increasingly surreal second season in 1978.
Play For Today: Gangsters
Sadly we see no more than this of a West Midlands PTE Daimler Fleetline on route 14:
....a similar bus follows a newer Fleetline also on 14 during a car chase:
Seen in the same sequence this Fleetline however is more distinctive - it's one of a pair of Eastern Coachworks-bodied buses supplied in 1973 to Harper Brothers of Heath Hayes, so it's either 33 or 34 (TRE948L or TRE949L):
I originally suggested there would be little chance of an id on this Plaxton-bodied coach, but Allan Haynes provides this (to be read in conjunction with his comments on the last screenshot of a Van Hool coach): "The shot with the Austin Maxi foreground - this is one of Frank Patterson's, fairly sure they were all Fords, as most of the smaller West Midlands operators of the day wouldn't touch Bedfords and couldn't afford Leylands. (Apart from Castleways (Bedfords) and Black and White of Harvington - AECs.) This coach has some green trim on the white - definitely Frank, who was Irish. So - a choice of about two, as the others were the two van Hools and 'my' turboless Viceroy. Close inspection shows rows of 'frocks' hanging from the luggage racks, so this one was on duty as the unit wardrobe vehicle. And finally - the grey car parked between the two blue ones is a BBC Hillman Hunter camera car, complete with the camera platform on the roof:"

Incident 1:
Opening credits of the series that followed included more WMPTE Fleetlines, this time followed by a Daimler CVG6:
In this episode, the central character, John Kline, played by the very watchable Maurice Colbourne, shakes off the policeman Khan by NOT going into a ladies lavatory (!), instead exiting the gents and catching a bus. The first Fleetline is unidentifiable, the second is WMPTE Park Royal-bodied 4251 (EOF251L):
Birmingham Corporation, whose fleet made up a large part of WMPTE when it was formed, had a small batch of 1965 single deck Fleetlines bodied by Marshall, and one is glimpsed in traffic at the Bull Ring:
Soon after this we see one of the Midland Red Alexander-bodied Daimler Fleetlines transferred into WMPTE ownership in 1973, followed by a halfcab which appears to be another Daimler CVG6. A rarer find is one of Midland Red's own-built BMMO D9s in WMPTE ownership:
Incident 4:
Has a glimpse of one of the red white and blue Leyland-Nationals used to transport visitors to Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, also this Midland Red Daimler Fleetline/Alexander in an allover advertising livery for the Birmingham Midshires building society. Allan Haynes adds "Midland Red Leopard YHA 414J carried the same advert, on an all-over white base, and the Fleetline was presumably part of the same contract.":
Episode 2.1
Caught in heavy traffic, these WMPTE Fleetlines are not clearly seen:
Episode 2.2
Another ex-Midland Red Daimler Fleetline/Alexander with WMPTE is followed by a Midland Red Leyland Leopard:
Episode 2.6
For once this West Midland Daimler Fleetline/Park Royal, 4045 (XON45J) is almost seen clearly:
Allan Haynes comments on this scene:"The coach seen in the last screenshot belonged to Patterson's, Birmingham coach operators based in Selly Oak. It is a Van Hool on a Ford (turbo) chassis." He notes there were two of these, from which I believe this is SRB284K, a Ford R226/Van Hool new in 1972, the other being SRB285K. Allan continues, "The colour is actually dark green, as Frank Patterson was Irish! The BBC used to hire coaches from Patterson's regularly; this one is parked on a meter and the curtains are pulled, so it was evidently being used as the wardrobe/dressing room for the production. The police traffic boys in Birmingham were always very helpful with parking and closing streets for filming. Frank's bread and butter income was largely derived from taking the Birmingham Irish ex-pats to the ferry at Holyhead for their trips back to the Old Country. This writer took part in many of these trips, often a convoy of 4 or 5 coaches, all Fords, including this one. Five hours each way, up the A5 via Betws-y-Coed. Wouldn't like to do it now, driver's hours would be a problem as well."
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