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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

All content is copyright The SELNEC Preservation Society.


ACQUISITION FOR PRESERVATION THE LAST ORIGINAL GREATER MANCHESTER VEHICLE TO OPERATE FOR STAGECOACH MANCHESTER AND THE LAST OF THE FIVE SCANIA N113s - 1467 (15317 - H467 GVM)

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After SELNEC (South East Lancashire/North East Cheshire) Passenger Transport Executive was formed on 1st November 1969 and incorporated the fleets of the 11 local council operations in the North West towns surrounding Manchester, being Ashton, Bolton, Bury, Leigh, Manchester, Oldham, Ramsbottom, Rochdale, Salford, SHMD (Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley & Dukinfield) and Stockport, they clearly appreciated there was difficulty in any exchange of body or chassis parts.

Consequently they embarked upon designing and adapting and having delivered a Standard double deck vehicle for the whole region and the first prototype was built in 1970, being EX1 (PNF 941J) which is preserved by the SELNEC Preservation Society.  This is a Northern Counties bodied Leyland Atlantean PD1A/1R and was shortly followed by five others of similar designation, EX2 - EX6.  Then Northern Counties bodied 15 Daimler Fleetlines, 10 with single door layout and five with dual door layout, being CRG6LXB chassis and these were numbered EX7 - EX21.

The EX fleet number represented the word “Experimental” and once trials of these vehicles had concluded then production double deck Standard vehicles commenced in a new fleet number series, 7001 which ran right the way through to 7960 with further vehicles commencing at 8001 onwards, eventually concluding at 8765.  When the time came for the experimental vehicles EX1 - EX21 to be integrated into the ordinary fleet they were going to be renumbered 9001 to 9021 but eventually they were slotted into fleet number series of the areas in which they ended up, EX1 - EX6 becoming 5466 to 5471 in the Ashton series, EX7 - EX16 becoming 6245 to 6249 in the Rochdale series and 6395 to 6399 in the Bury series and EX17 - EX21, the five dual door vehicles, becoming 6250 to 6254 in the Rochdale series.

As the SELNEC PTE developed and they considered other vehicle acquisitions, in particular single deck vehicles of which there was not bespoke standard being built specifically for the company, they took on board a number of vehicles designated in the EX experimental series as follows.

EX22 – EX29

Not used

 

 

 

 

 

EX30 – EX37

1330 – 1337

TXJ 507-514K

Leyland National 1151/2R

-

B46D

1972

EX38 – EX41

1338 – 1341

VVM 601-604L

Leyland National 1051/2R

-

B40D

1973

EX42 – EX49

1342 – 1349

TXJ 515-522K

Metro-Scania BR111MH

--

B44D

1972

EX50 – EX53

VVM 605-608L

Metro-Scania BR110MH

--

B40D

1973

EX54 – EX55

WVM 668-669L

Mercedes Benz O 3055

Northern Counties

B43D

1973

EX56 – EX58

YDB 453 – 455L

Seddon Pennine IV 2366

Seddon

DP25F

1972

EX59

XBN 976l

Seddon Pennine IV2366

Seddon

DP25F

1972

EX60

VVM 609L

Metro-Scania BR110

-

B40D

1973

EX61

1361

XVU 387M

Seddon-Chloridee

Seddon

B43D

1973

EX62

GNC 276N

Seddon-Lucas

Seddonn

B19F

1975

EX100

CWO 600K

Leyland – Crompton

Willowbrook

B19FF

By the time Greater Manchester Transport was formed on 1st April 1974 the fleet profile had and continued changing.  The Northern Western Road Car Company had been added or the majority of it had on 4th March 1972 and that upon formation of Greater Manchester Transport the Wigan fleet was also absorbed on 1st April 1974 and thereafter on 1st January 1976 LUT was acquired and fully integrated on 1st April 1981. 

Greater Manchester Transport from 1st April 1974 remained loyal to the standard vehicle although by then it was in Mark 1A form with a redesigned front and curved windscreen and the interest in dual door vehicles had been abandoned with all double deckers being single door layout.  However, it was clear that the Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline would not be available forever.   Indeed they had been in production in early form since 1959 and 1962 respectively and the technology with rear engined and under floor chassis was progressing.  Although in 1979 and 1980 it looked as if separate chassis production with independent body builders might come to end with all vehicles being of integral or semi integral off the peg designs as are cars, lorries and other vehicles, with the introduction of the Leyland Titan and MCW Metrobus, this did not happen. GMT did buy small quantities of these vehicles, being 15 Leyland Titans, 4001 to 4015, and 190 MCW Metrobuses, 5001 to 5190.  These were placed in main fleet series as they were intended to be operational vehicles and originally it was intended they would be delivered in larger numbers had it not been for supply problems, particularly with the Titan. 

That development aside however, Greater Manchester Transport were conscious that they would need to look at developing their standard body to fit newly developed rear engined or mid engine chassis and embarked upon a fleet number series in which to put these which very much mirrored the original EX experimental series used by their predecessors SELNEC.

The fleet number series chosen was the 14XX series.  This series started off when the Bristol VRT’s ordered by North Western delivered to SELNEC Cheshire had been renumbered.  They were delivered as 400 to 424 but were numbered shortly after to 1400 to 1424.

Thereafter in 1974 Greater Manchester Transport had taken a proving quantity of ten of the new experimental Metropolitan Double Deckers and numbered these in the series 1425 to 1434 as no further Bristol VRTs were ordered by Greater Manchester Transport.  No further double deck Metropolitan BR111s were ordered as these in fact proved very costly to run and very unreliable and were disposed of within seven years.  However, when Greater Manchester Transport looked at adapting its Northern Counties standard body to fit some of the new chassis that were being developed they continued to use the 1400 series and the first two vehicles to be delivered were an experimental arrangement between Foden and Northern Counties producing the Foden NC.

In fact in total after a half vehicle experiment was built only six of these vehicles were ever put into production, two of which were delivered to Greater Manchester Transport and were numbered 1435 and 1436

A seventh Foden chassis was built but this was bodied by East Lancs for South Yorkshire.  These Foden NCs did not prove popular and 1435 and 1436 were withdrawn before their normal vehicle life of 13 years expired.

Next Greater Manchester Transport turned its attention to the Dennis Dominator chassis and purchased two of these under DD110 configuration in 1980, 1437 and 1438 and a further two in 1981 under DDA136 configuration, 1439 and 1440.  This experiment of prototype vehicles did lend themselves to an order for production vehicles being an initial order of 30, 2001 to 2030, in 1984 followed by a further ten, 2031 to 2040 in 1990.  It was intended to increase the proving quantity of Dennis Dominators before production vehicles were ordered which was to run to eight up to 1445, hence why the next fleet number that was used was 1446 with a one off Volvo Ailsa B 55 secured in 1980.  Also this year a prototype Bristol Olympian chassis, the fifth made was secured by Greater Manchester Transport and Northern Counties adapted its standard body to fit it which required a considerable amount of work as the length of the chassis meant having to use different bays, different style windows and an entirely different approach and 1451 really does not look at all like other Standards built before or after.  Number 1451 was used because it was intended that there would be five Volvo Ailsas taken as a proving quantity in total.

In fact 1451, along with 1446 appeared at the Earls Court Commercial Vehicle Motor Show in 1980, along with recently delivered MCW Metrobus 5031.  In 1981 two further Volvo Ailsa were delivered, 1447 and 1448, but the expected additional two did not appear therefore leaving a gap in the fleet numbers 1449 and 1450.  Also Greater Manchester Transport did not secure any further prototype Leyland Olympians other than the single vehicle 1451 but they had decided this was the way forward.  Daimler Fleetline production had come to an end as had Leyland Fleetline production beyond it.  Leyland Atlanteans were not in keeping with European specifications and were eventually phased out and replaced by the Leyland Olympian.  Consequently, after just two years with one prototype, 1451, orders started to be placed for Leyland Olympians to be delivered in main production batches starting a new fleet number sequence of 3001 with ANA 1Y being the first vehicle appearing at the Commercial Vehicle Motor Show in 1982.

This eventually led to 304 further production Leyland Olympians being built and delivered to Greater Manchester Transport and its successor Greater Manchester Buses over the years.  In fact the last 60 Leyland Atlanteans, 8766 to 8835, were cancelled in favour of more Olympians.

When Greater Manchester Transport turned its attention again to other potential chassis developments not wanting to be constrained just to the Leyland Olympian they did so by looking again at the Scania chassis which had now moved on and was available as a freestanding chassis as opposed to a semi-integral unit as had been the case with the Metropolitans 1425 to 1434.  Also it had become obvious from previous allocation of fleet numbers that Greater Manchester Transport were unsure as to what number of proving quantities the might need hence why they had gaps between 1441 and 1445 and 1449 and 1450.  They decided therefore as it was unlikely they would take more than ten of a proving quantity thereafter to start each new experimental batch of 1400 vehicles at the appropriate ‘one’ hence why Leyland Olympians started at 1451 and now having turned their attention back to Scanias these started at 1461.  In the event only two were delivered in 1983, 1461 – 14622, although, curiously, in 1990 this did not lead to an order for production vehicles in a main fleet series but a further five experimental vehicles carrying on where the earlier fleet numbers had left off, 1463 to 1467.  In 1984 Greater Manchester Transport took delivery of three of the experimental Dennis Falcon Vs, 1471 to 1473

Finally, in terms of experimental vehicles in the 1400 series Greater Manchester Transport turned its attention to the Volvo Citybus, having a proving quantity of three of these delivered in 1986, 1481 to 1483.

Hence the last three experimental vehicles in the 1400 series were 1481 to 1483.  Now matters were moving on in that after deregulation on 266th October 1986 an entirely different approach to public transport has developed in the private sector which would not see the research and development of bespoke bus design that had been prevalent over the previous 16 years since the formation of SELNEC on 1st November 1969.

 The full list of the 1400 series is shown below.

1400-1424 Chassis Bristol VRT/SL2/6LX   Built 1973  
Bodywork Eastern Coachworks H43/32F Number in Stock 25
1400 AJA 400L 1405 AJA 405L 1410 AJA 410L 1415 AJA 415L 1420 AJA 420L
1401 AJA 401L 1406 AJA 406L 1411 AJA 411L 1416 AJA 416L 1421 AJA 421L
1402 AJA 402L 1407 AJA 407L 1412 AJA 412L 1417 AJA 417L 1422 AJA 422L
1403 AJA 403L 1408 AJA 408L 1413 AJA 413L 1418 AJA 418L 1423 AJA 423L
1404 AJA 404L 1409 AJA 409L 1414 AJA 414L 1419 AJA 419L 1424 AJA 424L
1425-1434 Chassis Metropolitan BR111DH Built 1974
Bodywork Metro-Cammell Weymann H44/29F Number in Stock 10
1425 GNC 277N 1427 GNC 279N 1429 GNC 281N 1431 GNC 283N 1433 GNC 285N
1426 GNC 278N 1428 GNC 280N 1430 GNC 282N 1432 GNC 284N 1434 GNC 286N
1435-1436 Chassis Foden NC Built 1976
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 2

1435

LNA 258P

1436

PNE 358R            
1437-1440 Chassis Dennis Dominator DD110(1439/40:DDA136) Built 1980/1
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 4
1437 HDB 438V 1438 HDB 438V 1439 TND 439X 1440 TND 440X    
1446-1448 Chassis Volvo Ailsa B55-10 Built 1980/2
Bodywork Northern Counties H44/35F Number in Stock 3
NNA 134W 14477 WRJ 447X 1448 WRJ 448X        
1451 Chassis Leyland (Bristol) Olympian B45 TL11/1R Built 1980
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/30F Number in Stock 1
1451 NJA 568W                
1461-1462 Chassis Scania BR112DH Built On order for 1983
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 2
1461 FWH 471Y 1462 FWH 462Y            
1463-1467 Chassis Scania N113 DRB Built 1991
Bodywork Northern Counties H47/28F Number in Stock 5
1463 H463 GVM H464 GVM 14655 H465 GVM 1466 H466 GVM 1467 H467 GVM
1471-1473 Chassis Dennis Falcon V DD405 Built 1984
Bodywork Northern Counties H47/37F Number in Stock 3
1471 A471 HNC 1472 A472 HNC 1473 A473 HNC      
1481-1483 Chassis Volvo Citybus B10M-50 Built 1986
Bodywork Northern Counties H46/33F Number in Stock 3
1481 C481 CBU C483 CBU 1483 C483 CBU        

We have the only remaining Bristol VR (408) – 1408 (AJA 408L) from the first batch of vehicles renumbered in the series 1400-1424.  No Metropolitans from the batch 1425-1434 exist.  No Fodens from the batch 1435-1434 exist and neither do any of the Dominators from the batch 1437-1440.  Of the other batches we have secured for preservation one example of each as follows:

Chassis Fleet Number Series Preserved Example Date Acquired
Volvo Ailsa 1446-1448 1448 (WRJ 448X) 28th November 2004
Bristol Olympian 1451 1451 (NJA 568W) 28th June 2000
Scania BR112 1461-1462 1461 (FWH 461Y) 30th June 2004
Dennis Falcon V 1471-1473 1472 (A472 HNC) 13th October 2002
Volvo Citybus 1481-1483 1481 (C481 CBU) 23rd October 2006

Of the remaining batch of vehicles that just left 1463-1467.  All had received Stagecoach corporate ‘Beach Ball’ white, blue, orange and red livery but two were subsequently painted in ‘Magic Bus’ blue and yellow colours.  This meant that the other three 1463, 1464 & 1467 were to come out of service in Stagecoach corporate colours which is very rare as normally vehicles go through the ‘Magic Bus’ phase at the end of their operating lives before withdrawal.  1464 never got a chance to be repainted in Magic Bus colours as it was burnt out about five years ago.  The reason why 1463 and 1467 stayed in beach ball colours may be because of their location in Glossop where there were not any/many Magic Bus services.  By 24th January 2009 when its base depot, Glossop, closed, 1467 the last of the batch, was the only one still in service, and it still operated for a couple of weeks after being transferred to the new Stagecoach depot in Ashton Under Lyne before being withdrawn.  At the time, we were negotiating with Stagecoach Manchester’s Head Office in order to purchase the bus for preservation, which we did on 13th February 2009. It has Northern Counties body number 4177 and Scania chassis number 1818895.  It originally received C1F (Certificate of Initial Fitness) on 31st May 1991 and entered service on 4th June 1991.  We attempted to collect it from Ashton Under Lyne Depot on Saturday 14thh

On working day Sunday 15th March 2009 we sent a working party to East Manchester to clean up the bus; including the windows, both inside and out.  We also put destination route numbers and blinds back in it borrowed from 3225 (C225 CBU).  As it still had a current MOT and tax up to May 2009, we took it to the Spring Transport Festival at the Museum of Transport on Sunday 29th March 2009, where it joined 4116 (HDB 116V) being launched in Birkenhead blue and cream livery.  1467 (H467 GVM) or Stagecoach 15317 is the last of the ‘Standard’ buses built in the GMT/GMB era to run for one of the derivatives of these companies in Manchester, i.e. Stagecoach.

1467

BATCH:

1463 - 1467

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(H467 GVM)

BODY:

Northern Counties H47/28F

 

CHASSIS:

Scania N113 DRB

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

4th June 1991

 

PURCHASED:

13th February 2009

 

DETAILS:

The last Greater Manchester Scania.

Stagecoach Manchester also inherited some very similar Scania N113 vehicles with Northern Counties bodywork.  As a result of the moving of vehicles around the country as part of its national fleet, almost all of the following batches ran in Manchester in Magic Bus blue at some point in time:

15332-15345 (J132 HMT – J145 HMT)

15346-15371 (K846 LMK – K871 LMK) 

In addition, Stagecoach Manchester also acquired some Scania N113s with Northern Counties bodywork when they took over the Maynes fleet:-

15376-15377 (F112 HNC – F113 HNC)

15378 – 15380 (G115 SBA – G117 SBA)

In all the total batches of Scania N113s including bodywork by other builders, Alexander and East Lancs, were allocated to the series 15301-15375, with the GM Bus batch 1463-1467 being 15313-15317,


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