the Midland General ONUs

In 1950, Midland General was owned by the British Transport Commission. An order for 30 Weymann lowbridge bodied, AEC Regent III chassis double deckers was outstanding; but only 10 of these were required and delivered (the remaining 20 were offered to London Transport, thus forming the first batch of RLHs). These became UK Registration Numbers ONU 630-639, delivered in 1950.

The ONUs were generally garaged at Mansfield (Sutton Road), which was extended in 1952. On occasion, they visited Langley Mill garage (Station Road) for repairs. However, it is thought that 421 to 426 were the only vehicles allocated to Mansfield initially, with the remaining vehicles 427 to 430 coming later.

ONU on route B8

The bridge that necessitated use of lowbridge vehicles was just south of Bestwood village. It carried a railway branch line, from Nottingham (Midland) to Mansfield and Worksop line, into Bestwood colliery (grid reference SK549472).

The ONUs were withdrawn in 1968, probably being replaced by Bristol Lodekkas.


It is known that these lowbridge buses ran on at least the following routes:

The buses also ran on other routes, but these were also served by highbridge vehicles.

Fleet Info

See the following pages:

Differences to RLHs


From recollections, interior differences of the 'ONU's compared to the first batch RLHs were:


From photographs and recollections, exterior differences were:

The following exterior changes were made after a few years service to some (if not all) vehicles:

Other Similar Buses New to Midland General Group

The following two batches were also on the AEC Regent III chassis, but had Weymann highbridge (instead of lowbridge) bodies:

Qty UK Reg No. Operator and fleet no. Weymann body no. AEC Chassis no. Seating config Date new
15 MRB 29- 43 Midland General 27, 28, 86-91, 108, 109, 116-120 M3679- M3693 9612E 3725- 3739 H30/ 26R 1948
18 JVO 931- 936, 938- 946, 948, 949, 951 Mansfield & District 135-140, 142-150, 152, 153, 155 M3694- M3711 9612E 3705- 3710, 3712- 3720, 3722, 3723, 3747 H30/ 26R 1948, 1949

An earlier AEC Regent II (0661 type) chassis was also fitted with both lowbridge (but with a smaller cab window than the RLH) and highbridge Weymann bodies as follows:

Qty UK Reg No. Operator and fleet no. Weymann body no. AEC Chassis no. Seating config Date new
10 GRR 337- 346 Mansfield & District 115-124 M2696, M2697, M2699- M2701, M2726- M2728, M2748, M2749 0661/ 7451- 7460 H30/ 26R 1946
15 GRR 347- 361 Mansfield & District 61-75 M2792- M2806 0661/ 7593- 7607 H30/ 26R 1946
8 KNU 601- 608 Midland General 60, 63, 64, 70, 71, 75-77 M2908- M2915 0661/ 7733- 7740 H30/ 26R 1946
15 HVO 931- 945 Mansfield & District 120-134 M3337- M3351 0661/ 7994- 8008 H30/ 26R 1947
10 KRB 71- 80 Midland General 121-125, 157, 159, 160, 162, 168 M3352- M3361 0661/ 8014- 8023 H30/ 26R 1947
5 KRB 81- 85 Midland General 416-420 M3362- M3366 0661/ 8009- 8013 L27/ 26R 1947

NB There were also various other Regents acquired from independent companies, but they did not have Weymann bodies.

History of the Midland General Group

The Midland General Omnibus Company (MGOC) was formed in 1920 as a subsidiary of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Tramway Co., and began operating bus services two years later. It operated in an area within and surrounding Derbyshire. Within 7 years, it had become the largest operator within the Midland General Group, after which it continued to expand.

The Midland General Group was owned by the Balfour Beatty group (an important member of the electricity supply industry). The Group composed of three operators:

MGOC and N&D buses were liveried in blue and cream whilst M&D buses wore green and white.

When the electricity industry was mostly nationalised in 1948, Balfour Beatty sold the Midland General Group also, to the British Transport Commission. The ONU buses were in fact the last buses ordered by Balfour Beatty, although they were not delivered until 1950 when the BTC was in charge. The three operators then became known as part of the Tilling group. There were no more new buses delivered to MGOC or N&D until 1953.

After the formation of the National Bus Company the Group was split up between Trent Motor Services (taking N&D) and East Midland Motor Services (taking M&D) at the start of 1969. However, the Midland General fleet were allowed to continue to run in their blue colour scheme, which was unusual as most NBC companies took the corporate livery.

Soon afterwards, at the end of 1971, MGOC was also absorbed: this time into Trent Motor Services.

The trading name Midland General has been used since.


Book cover

the Prestige Series No. 21: Midland General

by John Banks

1st Edition - June 2003

Publisher: Venture Publications Ltd

ISBN 1898432899

17cm x 24cm, softback, 64 pages, 80 B&W illustrations

Book cover

Midland General: with Notts & Derby

by Alan Oxley

1st Edition - December 1999

Publisher: Robin Hood Publishing

ISBN 094885412X

26cm x 22cm, hardback, 138 pages, B&W illustrations


Many thanks to the following for their contributions towards this page:

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