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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

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ACQUISITION OF GREATER MANCHESTER'S LAST DENNIS DOMINATOR - 2040 (H140 GVM)

  

In keeping with our policy of securing firsts and lasts from the SELNEC and  GMT fleets we had approached matters as follows:- 

Leyland Olympian - We had secured 3001 (ANA 1Y) as the first and had secured 3305 (F305 DRJ) as the last, but as indicated above because of the condition of 3305 in having a severely damaged upper deck due to the fire on 25th February 2005, we have secured 3301 (F301 DRJ) as an alternative. 

Dennis Dominator - we have the first production Dennis Dominator 2001 (B901 TVR) and as indicated below we have now secured the last Dennis Dominator 2040 (H140 GVM). 

Scania - we have secured both the first Scania 1461 (FWH 461Y) and the last Scania 1467 (H467 GVM) for preservation. 

After the prototype Leyland Olympian 1451 (NJA 568W), this was followed by production Olympians in the series 3001-3305 and the same happened with the Dominators.  There were four prototype Dominators 1437 to 1440 with the production vehicles in the series 2001-2030.  There were two prototype Scanias 1461 and 1462, built in 1983, but when five further Scanias were ordered as part of 25 new vehicles ordered by GM Buses Ltd in 1991 (2031-2040 Dominator and 7001-7010 Volvo Citibus) the five Scanias were  numbered again in the prototype series as 1463 to 1467 rather than a main batch series which had been widely expected to commence at 9001.

Turning now to the Dennis Dominators, after the four prototypes 1437 to 1440 (HDB 437V-HDB 438V and TND 439X - TND 440X) production commenced in 1985 on the production batch 2001 to 2030, being Northern Counties H43/32F bodywork applied to the Dennis Dominator DDA1003 chassis.

Once GM Buses Limited had taken on a major proportion of the GMT fleet at deregulation on 26th October 1986, they were not keen to secure new vehicles and cancelled altogether the order of 28 outstanding Leyland Olympians as indicated above 3278 to 3305 which were E-Reg vehicles which went into service to Bexley Bus.  They changed their minds and placed a new order for 28 Leyland Olympians as indicated earlier as 3278 to 3305, the F-Reg variants described above.  It was not expected that GM Buses Limited thereafter would order any new double deck vehicles for quite some time but many observers were taken by surprise when in 1991 they announced an order of 25 further vehicles all being based on the standard Northern Counties body as adapted, being five Scania N113s, 1463-1467 (H463-H467 GVM), ten Volvo Citibuses, 7001-7010 (H701 to H708 GVM and J709 ONF-J710 ONF) along with ten further Dennis Dominators 2031-2040 this time with H43/29F bodywork on the upgraded chassis DDA2033, being six years after the earlier 30 vehicles had been delivered. 

By 1991 GM Buses Ltd had abandoned their white and orange “People on the Move” livery and now had white, orange and whortleberry as the design and this was the livery applied to these 25 vehicles, including the last ten Dominators 2031-2040.  In order to ensure the appropriate level of service and resourcing of spare parts, GM Buses Limited, allocated vehicles of a particular construction to specific depots in that all seven double decker Scanias were allocated to Hyde Road and all 40 Dennis Dominators, the original 30 (2001 to 2030) and the remaining ten (2031 to 2040) were allocated to Princess Road.  Consequently, when the split between GM Buses (North) and GM Buses (South) Ltd took place on 1st April 1993, eventually becoming First Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester, all 40 Dennis Dominators (and for that matter the seven double deck Scanias) passed to GM Buses (South) Ltd and  then Stagecoach Manchester with neither of the two batches being represented in the GM Buses (North), and subsequently First Manchester fleets. 

We secured 2001 (B901 TVR) for preservation on 24th November 2002 from Stagecoach Manchester and around the same time we were in discussions with them about securing 3301 (F301 DRJ) for preservation in May 2008 a decision was taken to take the remaining Dennis Dominators (2031-2040) out of service.  Four had previously been withdrawn.  First of all 2038 had an engine failure and had been parked at Princess Road and used as a source of spare parts and after that three further vehicles were sold being 2035/36/38.  That left six Dennis Dominators in service and they were withdrawn in June 2008, two being sold to playgroups as play buses 2031/2032 and three (2033/2034/2037) were sold to the dealer, Ensign.  2040 (H140 GVM) was then made available to the SELNEC Preservation Society.  We sent a cheque to Stagecoach Manchester on 5th June 2008 for 2040 and collected the paperwork, V5, MOT, CoIF, etc., and had ownership transferred to ourselves on 9th June 2008, although the bus did not actually come out of service with Stagecoach Manchester until 8.30 pm. on Tuesday 10th June 2008.  Thereafter we visited Princess Road Depot on Wednesday evening, 18th June 2008, to collect the bus and move it the short distance to our storage premises at East Manchester where it joins 3301.

This only remaining Dennis Dominator came out of service on 10th June 2008 at 8.30 pm. because we had owned it since 9th June 2008 and were due to collect it on 11th June 2008.  However, we could not make this date for operational reasons and therefore did not pick it up until 18th June 2008.  We have no doubt that had Stagecoach Manchester Princess Road Depot known this it would not have come out of service until 8.30 pm. on 17th June 2008.  2040 therefore ran in service from 1st April 1991 until 10th June 2008.  It has chassis number DDA 2033/1080 and Northern Counties body number 4162.

2040 attended the Trans Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally on 7th September 2008, along with 3301 as its MOT does not expire until 13th March 2009.

In terms of the last 10 – ‘H’ registered Dennis Dominators.  Listed below is their current status.

2031 – Bennetts of Warrington
2032 – Majorettes of Brighton
2033 – Abbey Coaches of Hull
2034 – Ensign for sale
2035 – Sold to a company in Ireland by Walton Swift of Longridge Preston
2036 – Walton Swift of Longridge Preston
2037 - Abbey Coaches of Hull
2038 – Scrapped by Stagecoach Manchester
2039 – Haytons of St Helens
2040 – SELNEC Preservation Society

2040

BATCH:

2031 - 2040

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(H140 GVM)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/29F

 

CHASSIS:

Dennis Dominator DDA 2033

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st April 1991

 

PURCHASED:

9th June 2009

 

DETAILS:

The last of the ten 'GMB' production Standard Dominators and one of the 25 GM Buses 1991/1992 intake in the white, orange and whortleberry livery.


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