Northern General Transport

The Northern General Transport Company began in 1913 at Chester-le-Street, County Durham. 

See (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_General_Transport_Company) for the Wikipedia article on Northern General.

NGTs claim-to-fame on this site is that it was the only company, other than London Transport, to purchase new Routemasters.

Whilst these Routmasters were based on the RML (lengthened RM) they differed to all other standard Routemasters in that they were front entrance and thus given the designation RMF; retaining the front mounted engine, these buses had no open platform to the rear and the staircase was moved to just behind the driver's cabin.  NGT ordered 50 RMFs in two separate batches; the first 18 buses were built by PRV between April & May 1964 and given body numbers B49978-95 and NGT fleet numbers 2085-2102, followed by a second batch of 32 built between October '64 & June '65 with body numbers B51609-40 and NGT fleet numbers 2103-2131.

(Note: These RMFs are not the same as the one-off FRM [Front Entrance Routemaster] that was rear-engined and fundamentally different.)

See (http://www.countrybus.org/RMF/RMF.html#top) for an excellent explanation of the RMF.

See (http://www.northernroutemaster.co.uk/) for an interesting site dedicated to these Northen General Routemasters.

The Wearsider
One of the NGT Routemasters, in fact the first (2085) suffered an accident and during the repair work it was decided to carry out an experiment with OPO (One Person Operation) as the nature of the front entrance enabled such a trial.  However, this involved repositioning the driver's cabin further back to near parallel with the entrance.  This gave the vehicle a very strange appearance as the upper deck then overhung the driver's cabin as can be seen from Basil Hancock's images below taken at Washington Bus Station, Tyne & Wear in 1976.  Then known as the Wearsider the bus entered service with its original fleet number which was later changed to 3069.

The Wearsider taken at Washington Bus Station in 1976 (Images Basil Hancock)

See (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/lewisham/northern/2085.html) for more information on the Wearsider.