THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY
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1700-1703 - DP25F AND PRESERVED EXAMPLE 1700 ORIGINALLY EX56 (YDB 453L)
In choosing a vehicle from this batch to preserve, The SELNEC Preservation Society concentrated on 1700, as this was the first of this batch, and effectively, was SELNEC/GMT's first ever Minibus, delivered new to the SELNEC PTE on 1st November 1972. Along with three other vehicles, 1703, 1705 and 1707, 1700 after being sold to Greater Glasgow on 29th April 1978 ran for some time for this organisation. Its legal ownership changed to Strathclyde PTE on 4th June 1982 on the renaming of Greater Glasgow, until being withdrawn in 1986 before being sold to Strathclyde Social Services Department. The SELNEC Preservation Society managed to purchase 1700 for preservation on 1st July 1989. Arrangements went on for some time, but it was eventually brought back to Manchester, for the first time after 13 years of absence, on 29th March 1991.
|1700 - 1703|
|Seddon Pennine Mk IV/236|
|1st November 1972|
|1st July 1989|
|SELNEC/GMT's first ever minibus, which has small windows and a single wheel rear axle.|
Some time ago, one of our members and self-employed body builder, Jason Hartley had stored in our premises in Wigan a vehicle of similar design to 1700 being the last of the ten of these vehicles delivered to Edinburgh in 1972, some of which ran on loan to SELNEC in Bolton with Northern flashes. The batch was 102-105 (BWS 102L - BWS 105L) and 106-111 (CFS 106L to CFS 111L). 111 had been returned from Scotland in a particularly poor condition some years ago by Jason Hartley who had undertaken some work stripping away damaged bodywork and had started to undertake structural repairs to the front end of the vehicle over recent years, but had made little progress due to other activities having a greater call upon his time. Therefore he decided to abandon the project. We initially felt that we ought to offer this vehicle to a preservation group in Edinburgh but we were conscious that its condition would be such that it would be very difficult to move and because one of the batch is already in preservation, number 105 (BWS 105L), we decided instead to cannibalise the bus for spare parts which is the process which is ongoing. We understand the engine in the bus is in particular good condition and it may therefore be a useful spare for 1700 should there be a need to replace the engine. Consequently 111 was donated to us by Jason Hartley with effect from 1st January 2006.
Over the years whilst we have restored Standard ex-SELNEC/GMT Atleanteans and Fleetlines depicting both Northern Counties and Park Royal bodywork and gone on to restore ex-SELNEC/Cheshire VR (408 - AJA 408L), two Metrobuses, conventional MCW Metrobus 5001 (GBU 1V) and coach seated Northern Counties bodied Metrobus 5320 (D320 LNB) along with two open toppers 7032 and 7077, Olympian 3001 (ANA 1Y), Leyland National 105 (HNB24N) and even Dennis Domino 1751 (C751 YBA), we had not made any attempt to restore one of the Seddon Minibuses despite the fact that we have five of them (1700, 1711, 1733, 1735, 1737).
The latter four Seddon Minibuses 1711, 1733, 1735 and 1737 all depict the conventional body designed for them by SELNEC/GMT; having large windows, twin rear axles and 24 volt electrical circuits. Also the Museum of Transport has restored one of this batch being 1722 (XVU 352M) into the orange and white minibus livery used by GMT on the Pic-Vic Centreline Service. Therefore, if we were to restore one of our five Seddon Minibuses our attention clearly had to centre on 1700, the first of the batch, bearing in mind we have owned it for nearly 17 years, having acquired it on 1st July 1989. There were a number of reasons why this would make an excellent choice of the first pf our five Seddon Minibuses to restore and why we concentrated on it. Not only is it the one we have had the longest, but in keeping with our rectification of firsts and lasts of relevant batches of vehicles, it was the first of the 43 Seddon Minibuses delivered to SELNEC/GMT. In addition it and its counterparts 1701 to 1703 were delivered in the original Seddon style with small windows, single rear axles and 12 volt electrical systems. They were originally delivered as EX56 to EX59, although for a time EX59 ran as 6059 before eventually becoming 1703. Unfortunately, 1700 (EX56) was not the vehicle chosen for the Commercial Motor Show in September 1972 for the Seddon Stand, that was EX58 (1702) but still 1700 represents a significantly different variation to all but three of the other vehicles in the batch. It also was delivered in SELNEC orange, white and orange livery used prior to the vehicles starting, with 1715 that were used on the Centreline Pic-Vic route in a half orange/half white livery designed for that purpose. 1700 also carried a green Southern SELNEC flash which is not a symbol that is depicted on any other of our other restorations (other than promotional vehicle 7232) which featured the other flashes as follows:
|Orange SELNEC flash||EX1 (PNF 941J)|
|Blue Central flash||7206 (VNB 177L)|
|Red Northern flash||7185 (WWH 43L)|
|Brown Cheshire flash||408 (AJA 408L)|
By choosing 1700 as the Seddon Minibus to restore we reflect the first of a relevant batch, the rare original Seddon design, the SELNEC Sunglow Orange and Mancunian White colour scheme and it will complete the set of vehicles restored by reflecting the Green Southern flash. Also this bus was one of the few Seddon Minibuses that depicted the high backed orange moquette dual purposed coach style seats.
Consequently having selected this vehicle for rectification during 2006 the first task was to have it fully examined and attended to mechanically as it is the only vehicle we have ever secured (which totals over 70 including spares) that has never actually been run or driven now that this problem has recently been overcome with the Leyland Lynx 501 (D501 LNA). We were also conscious that the vehicle since we acquired it some 17 years ago has been stored in a number of places, outside in Scotland for some time, and outside in Altrincham before being moved to internal storage first of all in Leigh and then in Wigan. It was therefore towed on Friday 3rd March 2006 from our premises in Wigan to Whittakers Coach Travel in Penwortham where a full assessment of the vehicle and full mechanical and bodywork restoration were undertaken. Within the first fortnight the radiator had been taken off, sent away for repair and returned; the driver's seat had been sent away for re-covering and returned; a new exhaust tailpipe was fitted; the fuel talk was sent away for rectification and returned and the whole of the bus had all it's lower skirt panels replaced with new aluminium sheets cut specifically for the purpose.
Some of the other panels which were dented were filled and sanded down and the front end had a lot of damaged fibreglass work painstakingly repaired, filled and sanded to bring back the correct profile. Missing filler strips from several of the windows was sourced and fitted and the vehicle was then put on the High Weamers for mechanical inspection. This involved freeing off the jammed footbrake and handbrake and replacing the two rear brake activator units and all diaphragms. Whilst this work was being undertaken the chassis was steam cleaned and sprayed in anti-corrosive grey paint. Also whilst the mechanical work was being undertaken the vehicle was fully sanded down in preparation for re-painting which commenced with undercoat in white and orange on Tuesday 28th March 2006.
New and original wing mirrors and arms, front, side and rear lights, wiper arms and wiper blades had been secured as had a new number blinds and a full set of vinyls, including the green Southern flash, legal lettering and all other vinyls which were identified from photographs including matching the Seddon style wording at the front of the emergency engine stop and the battery isolation switch.
The steering wheel was sent away for re-covering and was sent back in all over white which was the design depicted by 1702 and looks quite striking, making this original Seddon style design minibus distinctive along with its SELNEC orange and white livery.
Ribblesdale Electrics were called in to test all electrical systems on the bus which involved replacing the fuse box and two new tyres were sourced and fitted. A considerable number of air pipes underneath the vehicle had to be replaced having blown once the vehicle had been started and run with its new radiator and fuel tank in place. Repainting on the vehicle was concluded by Sunday 23rd April 2006 but there was still mechanical work to be undertaken and this was all but finalised except for a few small snagging jobs by Saturday 6th May 2006 when the vehicle passed its Class V MOT, which was the first MOT it has been subjected to for well over 20 years. The vehicle was returned to Whittakers Coach Travel in Penwortham for a few final jobs to be undertaken before being collected and returned to our premises in Wigan on Saturday 3rd June 2006.
We have reproduced below the work undertaken on 1700 at Whittakers Coach Travel, which has been substantial because it had been kept outside once coming out of service in Strathclyde and then stored for many years in poor conditions.
Fuel Tank overhaul - removed and replace;
overhaul straps and make secure;
replaced damaged fuel piping to lift pump;
bleed fuel system;
run engine - overhaul injectors;
service - fuel, oil and air filters
overhaul alternator - refit to bus;
overhaul water radiator - clean, check and refit to bus;
replace hoses and part of the heater hose system;
foot brake - remove, overhaul and replace;
handbrake valve - remove, overhaul and replace;
actuator x 2;
door control - remove, free off and replace (slight air leak);
replace all four tyres;
paint and spray chassis;
bodywork - replace lower panels and make up battery boxes;
brake shoes - check, free and adjust;
brake chambers - leaking, replace actuator units and diaphragm;
overhaul brake hoses to rear axle;
numerous brake pipes replaced;
chassis prep for new brake pipe fittings;
headlamps - both replaced and adjusted;
exhaust - manufacture exhaust to fit piping;
grease chassis, steering, springs, etc;
steering wheel re-covered;
Ribblesdale Auto - overhaul ignition system, etc;
making up pipes;
oil pressure gauge.
Because of the return of 1700 to our premises in Wigan we decided to split the working days between Wigan and Leigh leading up to the Trans-Lancs Historical Vehicle Rally on 3rd September 2006. This was so that work could continue principally bringing up to appropriate condition the inside of 1700, undertaking a bit of snagging work on 1751 at Wigan, whilst taking care of rectification items and further work on 7960 at Leigh.
In this respect on Sunday 2nd July 2006 a party of members was despatched to our Wigan premises to commence the internal rectification work on 1700 this requiring all the aluminium frames on the windows to be cleaned along with the glass, all the melamine to be cleaned and all aluminium surfaces to be sanded down and painted. The seat frames needed sanding down, red oxiding and painting black. The whole of the cab area needed considerable attention and surfaces needed painting in black and white. Externally new wing morrors and chrome windscreen wipers were fitted along with new side indicator units. Also on 2nd July 2006 Chem-Dry visited to give all the original dual purpose orange moquette/PVC trim seats a thorough clean. The full set of external vinyls made for 1700, most of which are in SELNEC style with two in Seddon style were fitted to the bus on this day. Further progress was made on subsequent working days to all the necessary internal rectification. Route number blinds were fitted and on Sunday 20th August 2006 member Greg Taylor fitted a temporary destination display from artwork made in the correct typeface. Some internal transfers were also fitted on this day.
Final snagging work took place over the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday to Monday 26th-28th August 2006, and 1700 was launched as a new restoration at the Trans-Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally from Museum of Transport to Heaton Park on Sunday 3rd September 2006.