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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

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STAGECOACH GROUP DONATE FIRST PRODUCTION STANDARD DENNIS DOMINATOR 2001 (B901 TVR) TO THE SELNEC EDUCATIONAL TRUST

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In Newsletter Number 20 of September 2002 we published an article on the 14XX series of prototype experimental vehicles in respect of the fact that Greater Manchester Transport had been conscious of the need to look at developing the Standard body to fit the second generation of rear engined bus chassis and in this regard amongst a whole range of variations tried in the 14XX series were four Dennis Dominators bodied by Northern Counties.  The first two experimental/prototype vehicles on the Dennis Dominator chassis were 1437 and 1438, HDB 437V and HDB 438V, being Dennis Dominator DD110 chassis with Northern Counties bodies H43/32F.  These still had the metal framed bodies and were delivered in orange and white with all over orange moquette. 

After trials with these two vehicles two further prototype/experimental vehicles were ordered, being 1439 and 1440 (TND 439X and TND 440X).  These were based on the DDA 136 Dennis Dominator chassis with similar H43/32F Northern Counties bodywork but were delivered in the then livery of white, orange and brown with all over salt and pepper moquette.  Trials of these four vehicles resulted in a order being placed for a production batch of 30 buses 2001 to 2030.  They were only the second production batch of vehicles ordered following trials with experimental chassis, the others being 305 production Leyland Olympians being ordered after the trials with the one prototype, 1451.  At the time 2001-2030 were delivered in 1985 there was a block on the issuing of licence plate numbers 1 to 20.  Consequently the lowest number available was 21 and therefore the first 20 in the batch were registered B901 TVR to B920 TVR, the remaining ten B21 TVU to B30 TVU.  These 30 had the later DDA 1003 chassis with H43/32F combination but by now depicted the light alloy construction and were also delivered in the white, orange and brown as had the last two prototypes, 1439 to 1440, albeit they had had the Mark 1A metal frame body.

The bodywork applied to the production Dominators in the batch 2001 to 2030 was very similar to that applied to the production Standards from 3001 onwards being the light alloy adaptation of the Standard body with the sides very similar to that applied to the Atlanteans and Fleetlines and the front end adapted with the new destination display and new lower fibreglass front panel as used on 3001 onwards.  However, the rear end was adapted to cope with the new second generation type chassis with slight variations between the back end of an Olympian and the Dominator because of the variations in the chassis configuration.  These vehicles entered service in batches of five as follows:

2001-2005 Rochdale 2016-2020 Oldham
2006-2010 Bolton 2021-2025 Rochdale
2011-2015 Northenden 2026-2030 Bolton

Although 305 production Olympians were delivered, only 30 Dennis Dominators were built in this one batch in 1985 for Greater Manchester Transport.  However, quite surprisingly in 1990 a repeat order of ten further production Dennis Dominators was made by the then Greater Manchester Buses Company, being 2031 to 2040 on chassis DDA 2003.  These had reduced seating H43/29F and reflected the final development of the GMT Standard Body.  Along with 1463 to 1467 (Scania N113s) and 7001 to 7010 (Volvo B10Ms), they were delivered in Diptac format with painted entrance steps, edges, coloured bars, etc., and with the revised exterior appearance with peaked roof dome, redesigned front end, different application of black and white melamine, bus stopping signs and the extra window behind the entrance door.  They were also delivered in the later GM Buses livery of white, orange and whortleberry and they were the final 25 vehicles developed from the GMT Standard body.

The SELNEC Preservation Society was hoping to secure 7001 (H701 GVM) to represent one of the last 25 Standard Northern Counties bodies and hence the batch 2031 to 2040 is only of passing interest. Sadly, this was not possible as 7001 was scrapped in Scotland in May 2009.
In line with our policy of representing where we can significant firsts and lasts our attention has fallen to the first production Standard Dennis Dominator 2001 (B901 TVR).  This was delivered with the remainder of the 30 vehicles in the original batch in white, orange and brown Greater Manchester Transport livery and has carried subsequent liveries since.

After the split between North and South of Greater Manchester Buses on 1st April 1994 and then the move into privatisation its latest livery was that of Stagecoach White with red, orange and blue stripes.  It in fact carried a total of four liveries being original Greater Manchester Transport white, orange and brown; Greater Manchester Buses all over orange “People on the Move”; Greater Manchester Buses South’s white, orange and whortleberry and Stagecoach Stripes. 

In its latter years it has been based at the Princess Road Depot where all the Dennis Dominators 2001 to 2040 were moved during 1991, just after the delivery of 2031 to 2040.  In fact it and several other Dominators were taken out of service in the Summer of 2001 and stored in a reserve fleet at Hyde Road Depot.  Unfortunately, several parts were taken off 2001 in order to keep the remainder of the fleet going and when this fact became known to the Senior Management of the Stagecoach Group this practice ceased.  Some work was then undertaken to repairing an engine fault which caused its withdrawal in the first instance during the Winter of 2001 and the Spring of 2002.

In August 2002 because of the knowledge that we had been promised this vehicle for preservation, it was taken from Hyde Road Depot to Princess Road where all the parts that had been removed from it were restored to it from other Dennis Dominators, principally 2025, and the Stagecoach Group even were so kind as to have it repainted in Stagecoach White livery with red, orange and blue stripes.  This was particularly helpful bearing in mind it’d had some scorch marks on it created when a fire broke out on Mercedes Minibus 561 (P561 PNE) at Hyde Road yard some time earlier. 

The SELNEC Preservation Society is therefore delighted to report on our acquisition of this vehicle.  We were very pleased when the Stagecoach Group were able to allocate the first production Standard Olympian 3001 (ANA 1Y) to us on 29th November 2001 after they had gone to the extraordinary lengths of returning it from Stagecoach Ribble to prevent it passing to Blazefield Holdings upon their acquisition of part of Ribble by swapping it in April 2001 for 3006 (ANA 6Y).  We are again indebted to the Senior Management for allocating to us, with effect from 24th November 2002, 2001 (B901 TVR), the first production Standard Dennis Dominator which we collected from their Hyde Road Depot on this day.  This bus featured in our attendance at the Museum of Transport Christmas Cracker Event on 1st December 2002 as reported elsewhere in this newsletter and thereafter it has been put into storage for a while until such time as it is rallied again in its Stagecoach White Striped livery before eventually being restored to its original Greater Manchester white, orange and brown livery.

After collecting the bus from Hyde Road, freshly painted, on Sunday 24th November 2002, it developed problems with its gears, water system and air doors so we took it to Princess Road where all was put right ready for collection the following Wednesday, 27th November 2002.  Thereafter we were given the choice of removing spare parts from either scrap Dennis Dominator 2005 or 2013 at Hyde Road on 15th December 2002 and chose some windows and the whole fiberglass back end, unique to the Northern Counties Dominator design from 2013. 

The status of the first 30 Dennis Dominators as at 31st December 2002 was as follows:

2001 SELNEC Preservation Society
2002-2004/2007-2009 Stagecoach East Midlands (Grimsby-Cleethorpes)
2005/2013/2025 Withdrawn/scrapped – Stagecoach Manchester
2006 Previously scrapped (PVS Barnsley)
2010-2011/2014-2017/2027 Withdrawn at Stagecoach Manchester
2018 Stagecoach East Midlands (Grimsby-Cleethorpes) for spares
2012/2019-2022/2024/2026-2030 In service, Stagecoach Manchester
2023 Training vehicle, Stagecoach Manchester
 

2001

BATCH:

2001 - 2030

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(B901 TVR)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/32F

 

CHASSIS:

Dennis Dominator DDA 1003

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st March 1985

 

PURCHASED:

24th November 2002

 

DETAILS:

After four prototypes, this is the first of 40 production standard Dennis Dominators delivered to GMT (x30) and GMB (x10).


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