The Motor Omnibus World.
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Members of the Society of Motor Omnibus Engineers will pay a visit to Olympia this (Thursday) afternoon. The directors of the Great Eastern Railway Company have been requested by the local inhabitants to institute a motor service between Hempstead, Sampford, and Saffron Walden. The Ryknield omnibuses, which were recently supplied to the Leeds Corporation, have been going through their trial trips in that city, and a number of tramcar drivers have been trained to take charge of them. The driver of a Birmingham motor omnibus has been fined 5s. and costs for failing to silence his engine while waiting outside the local Grammar School. Some London drivers, who unnecessarily race their engines, should take the hint and be more considerate.
The Drightington Council has appointed a deputation to wait upon the tramways committee of the Bradford Corporation, in order to obtain a reduction of fares. The council has also resolved to ask the tramways committee of the Leeds Corporation to run the proposed service of Ryknield omnibuses forward to Drighling,ton from Earnley. An influential deputation of merchants and others recently waited upon the district superintendent of the West Highland Railway, at Oban, to support a demand for a motor omnibus service between Fort William and North Ballachulish. It is intimated that the railway company has now signified its intention of acceding to the request of the townspeople, and that a road service for passengers, merchandise and mails will shortly be instituted.
Messrs. Moss and Woodd, of Banister Road, Kensal Rise, NW., were good enough recently to furnish us with two interesting photographs of an Orion bus being tested up Elstree Hill. These vehicles are on order for the Victoria Omnibus Company, and they must not be confused with any vehicle belonging to the London General Omnibus Cornpany, whose motor superintendent and engineer, Mr. W. Spitler, has also made use of the same testing ground at times.
The Durham and District Motor Omnibus Company, Limited, has been registered with an authorised capital of ,4"3,000 in Li shares, to carry on in Durham and the surrounding district the business of motor omnibus and carriage proprietors, carriers of passengers and goods, garage proprietors, engineers, etc. One of the most active directors is Mr. T. Colpitts, jun., The Criterion, Durham. The qualifications of the directors is only five shares, but all the members of the board are genuinely interested in the trade of the city, and intend to work for the company's success.
What we want to know is why Mr, J. Clifton Robinson, the managing director of the London United Tramways Company, Limited, is so fond of saying that motor omnibuses are no good when he has a number on order for use by the Bristol Tramways and Omnibus Company, Limited, ot which he is a director? Mr. Clifton Robinson may be desirous to keep his real opinions from the general public, but the people in Bristol think he is very smart indeed to have taken up the motor omnibus question as he now has done. Other vehicles, perhaps, will follow for London?
The effect of motor omnibus takings is becoming more and more apparent, week by week, in the returns of the London companies. For example, the London Road Car Company is more than L,t,000 to the good in its receipts since July 1st, but the London General Omnibus Company's receipts are practically £io,000 less than last year for the same period. It does not require much perception to realise that, were any company to adhere to horse-drawn omnibuses for many years longer, financial difficulties could not be avoided. The Road Car Company is ahead at present. The directors of the London Motor Omnibus Company, Limited (the Vanguard services) have declared an interim dividend at the rate of to per cent, per annum for the six months ending October 31st last, and this will be payable on the 8th prox. The " Daily Express " comments as follows on the motor omnibus position generally :—" The shares of the various motor omnibus companies formed within the past year or so are growing in favour, more particularly those of the London Motor Omnibus Company, which display an exceptional degree of strength, being now quoted at 4. There can be no doubt that the mechanical vehicle has come to stay, though whether the present design anyway approaches the limit of perfection is another matter. ln any case, we are inclined to believe that the shares are very interesting speculatively, but they cannot as yet be regarded as an investment like those of the General Omnibus Company or the Road Car Company. But these concerns are moving with the times, and constantly increasing the number of motor omnibuses in employment, and the former stock can be bought to give a return of about 6i per cent., while Road Car shares yield fractionally less. They seem to merit some attention at the hands of the speculative investor." We believe that the profits of the London Motor Omnibus Company were sufficient to pay a very much higher dividend, had it not been that the directors desired to see a substantial sum held back for contingencies, a very desirable and even necessary course to adopt. J. T. Williams and Company, Limited, has been registered with a capital of £10,000 in ,4.1 shares (5,o-oo preference), to acquire the business carried on by I. .... H. Ross, J. at 344, Newtown Row, Birmingham, as J. T. ‘Villiams and Co., to adopt an agreement with the said vendor.
The works committee of the Kensington Borough Council reported on Saturay that on October 12th last a motor omnibus belonging to the London Road Car Company was driven on to the footway in Holland Park Avenue in order to avoid, or in consequence of, a collision with another vehicle proceeding along the same thoroughfare, and that a sum of La 45. 5d. had been expended in making good the kerb and paving. An account for the payment of this sum had been rendered to the company's manager, who, however, had returned the same and repudiated liability for the damage referred to. The town clerk is to take such steps as may be necessary for the recovery of the cost of repairing the damage named. We announced in our issue of September 14th that a line of motor omnibuses was contemplated between the Stephans_ platz and the South Railway Station in Vienna. it is now reported that the line will not be in working order until next year, and the so-called motor omnibus which was recently referred to in " The Financial Times " is a vehicle with a seating capacity for five persons only. There is no question that an authoritative decision has been taken by the Vienna General Omnibus Company completely to re-organise its services on a motor basis, in the course of the next few years, but none of the 28-seated vehicles which will be used have yet been put on the streets of the Austrian capital.
Proceedings of the Society of Motor Omnibus Engineers.
Three meetings in connection with the Society of Motor Omnibus Engineers took place last week. The first was a conference between representatives of the oil trade, manufacturers of motor omnibuses, and a sub-committee of the council of the Society. Mr. F. C. A. Coventry (Great Western Railway Company), chairman, presided over a joint meeting at which Messrs. J. Veitch Wilson (Price's Patent Candle Company), R. B. B. Newton (Vacuum Oil Company), and Mr. Walter H. Willcox, represented the lubricating interests; Mr. L. R. L. Squire (Messrs. Straker and Squire), and Mr. Henry Spurrier, jun. (Lancashire Steam Moto: Company), the manufacturers of vehicles; and Messrs. R. Bell (London Motor Omnibus Company), and P. Frost Smith (Thomas Tilling, Limited), the council of the Society. The honorary vice-president, Mr. E. Shrapnel! Smith, was also present by invitation, and a message of apology was received from Mr. H. G. Burford (Milnes-Dalinler, Limited). After a prolonged discussion, directed to the determining of lines of investigation which might be usefully taken up in connection with the conditions of work under which lubricants are employed in internal combustion engines generally, it was resolved that Messrs. Coventry, Bell, and Frost Smith should draw up a scheme and submit it for s:onsiderat'on at a further meeting of the joint committee to be held in December, about the nth of that month.
The sixth meeting of council for the first year of the Society was held immediately after the conclusion of the conference on lubrication, when the additional attendance ineluded Messrs. W. M. Hodges (Londor and District Motor Bus Company), and W. Spiller (London General Omnibus Company). The business transacted included the following :
Olympia Show.The secretary reported that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders had invited all members to attend the exhibition at Olympia on Thursday, the 23rd instant, when free admission would be given on presentation of a card of membership. In addition, the Societ of Motor Manufacturers and Traders had placed its committee room at the disposal of the Society between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. on this date.
Membership.—Mr. E. L. Greenhough, engineer in charge of the London and North-Western Railway omnibus department, was duly admitted a member of the society and elected to a seat on the council.
Associates.—John Marston, Limited, of Wolverhampton, was approved for enrolment as an associate of the Society, and the nomination of Mr. Leo Harris, to represent this Company at meetings, was approved.
Correspondence and other routine matters were dealt 'with, and letters of apology were submitted from Messrs. K. H. Buchanan (London Power Omnibus Company) and W. Flex manFrench (Sussex Motor Road Car Company).
The second meeting of the Society, open to members and associates, was held the same night, beginning at 8 o'clock p.m., in the Chapter Suite of the Hotel Cecil, when the chair was taken by the honorary vice-president, Mr. E. Shrapnel" : Smith. The attendance included those who had been present at the preceding meetings (except Messrs. Veitch Wilson, and Newton), and the following additional members or associates: Messrs. H. P. G. Brakenridge -(London Road Ca? Company); E. W. Hart ; Bernard Metz (FalconnetPerodeaud Tyres); A. J. D. Smellie (Meade-King, Robinson and Company); J. H. MacLulich (Sirdar Rubber Company); A. Grey (General Petroleum Company); A. Oakley-Cook (Albany Manufacturing Company, Limited); H. G. Burford (Milnes-Daimler, Limited); F. W. Vadat (James and Browne, Limited); Arthur J. Liversidge (J. Liversidge and Sons, Limited); H. Hora ; W. Turner Smith (Motor Omnibus Construction Company, Limited); Ernest J. Mitchell (The Palmer Tyre, Limited); and H. Darby.
A discussion on the subiect of" Ignition " was introduced by Mr. Brakenridge (London Road Car Company), and the subsequent debate was contributed to by f9urteen of those present. The general conclusion to be drawn from the discussion appeared to be that low-tension magneto ignition was the type which most generally commended itself for omnibus work. A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Brakenridge, on the motion of the chairman, and thii , secretary announced that the next subject for discussion, to be taken at the meeting on December r ith, would be "The driver question, including the possible organisation of a Training School." The meeting terminated shortly after 10 o'clock.