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Salford buses operating from within their city boundaries displayed Victoria, in itself totally misleading and an oddity the bus station so named was closer to Exchange Station than Manchester Victoria Station.
For ten years, therefore, the Phoenixes acted as the backbone of the fleet, and outside the rush hour they would most likely be the only Salford buses to be seen by a casual visitor to the city.
To me, they – and the spirited manner in which they were usually driven – were the very essence of Salford.
Salford buses bound for the dock gates in Salford neither recognised the Manchester part of the title, nor tried to claim the docks for their city, stubbornly just showing DOCKS in block capitals as a destination.
Salford buses heading for the inner areas of Trafford Park, which was in Stretford, would display the destination as a road name, such as Tenax Rd, whereas Manchester would display both Trafford Park and the point in the Park to which they were going.
I think the worst example of this I ever came across was much more recently, when I saw a GM Buses North vehicle somewhere between Bury and Ramsbottom showing "Arndale" (Arndale being the name of a Manchester bus station at that time, never mind the fact that there were Arndale shopping centres in other locations as well).
The city of Manchester, unlike many other cities, was surrounded by a large number of historically older authorities (the Hundred of Salford outdates Manchester as an area of local government by 900 or so years and once incorporated the whole of Manchester) and these have always fought against being subsumed into what became the leading industrial, financial and legislative authority in the area whilst in many ways being dependant on the city for the provision of regionally useful services and places of employment.
These Daimlers look decidedly odd with their short radiators, something I never was aware of until today.
I used to think that LT’s STL’s looked smart, until I saw photos of some ‘unfrozen’ ones that had been given AEC’s longer radiator, which incorporated the number plate, as were the immediate pre-war Green Line T’s. With regard to Geoff’s comment about destination displays, Salford does not have a city centre.
Here 417, dating from 1950, is seen in Victoria Bus Station in 1968, by the end of which there were still almost 70 survivors, the last 48 being passed on to SELNEC the following year.