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7501 (BNE 751N)

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Originally large deliveries of SELNEC Standards, commencing in 1972, had principally been split into two batches. The majority of vehicles were either Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetlines, commencing with 7206, or Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlanteans, commencing with 7001. Hence, in the early days, one associated Northern Counties with Fleetlines, and Park Royal with Atlanteans. There was also the small batch of 55 Park Royal bodied Fleetlines but these ran in the Southern and Northern Divisions and not in Central Manchester.

The rarest of the four chassis/body combinations was in fact five odd Atlanteans bodied by Northern Counties: 7146-7150. By 1974 there were 150 Park Royal Atlanteans delivered, 7001-7145, 55 Park Royal Fleetlines, 7151-7205, and Northern Counties Fleetlines 7206 onwards continued to be bodied but there was a shortage of Fleetline chassis and they had only reached 7415 on 13th August 1974 when 7501 was built.

It was originally intended that 7501 would be a dual door Northern Counties bodied Atlantean and there are plans showing how this was to be undertaken, with a similar layout to the Northern Counties bodied dual door Daimler Fleetlines 7206-7251 and 7280-7281, but this was abandoned because of the reversal in policy on dual door vehicles. It was also intended to be the participant at the 1974 Commercial Vehicle Motor Show. In the end 7501 headed up a new batch of 300 Atlanteans: 7501-7800, all with Northern Counties bodywork and therefore from being the rarest chassis/body combination they became the most prolific.

There was a difference between the appearance of 7501 and the early five Northern Counties bodied Leyland Atlanteans, 7146-7150, in that it had the Mark IA curved windscreens unlike the flat windscreens of its five predecessors. In the end 7511 became the Motor Show exhibit in 1974, and it displayed an early experimental alloy frame, tinted windows, a tachograph and carpets throughout, and it maintained these features until it was scrapped in the late 1990's.

There was no problem with the supply of Atlantean chassis and consequently deliveries moved apace from 7501 onwards, but Fleetline chassis deliveries were still slow, with the last of the batch of 295 Northern Counties bodied fleetlines, 7500, not ready until January 1975, by which time the Atlantean batch had reached 7689.

In 1986 plans were afoot for Greater Manchester Transport to be formed into Greater Manchester Buses Ltd, as a result of deregulation, and it was already decided that no Daimler Fleetlines would transfer, only Leyland Fleetlines. Hence, all 7000 fleetlines would not be required. Also, only fully automatic Atlanteans would transfer, which meant that all Atlanteans preceding 7560 (the first fully automatic Atlantean) would not be required.

There had previously been a policy of smashing up vehicles, particularly Mancunians, so they could not be used by the competition, but the PTE had to reverse this policy due to bad publicity. Consequently plans came into effect for the surplus vehicles not required by Greater Manchester Buses to be sold through a joint venture company formed between the PTE (i.e. Greater Manchester PTE) and Kirkby Bus & Coach in South Anston near Sheffield.

Although the majority of vehicles transferred to the Joint Venture Company for sale at deregulation on 26th October 1986 there were some early movements and 7501 was one of them, in that it was taken out of service and sold to the Joint Venture Kirkby arrangement on 19th June 1986, following which they sold the vehicle on 3rd October 1986 to Gash in Newark, who ran it in their fleet colours for two and a half years before it was sold to Lincolnshire Road Car Company on 5th May 1989 and ran as their 1316. The vehicle was withdrawn in 1987 and the SELNEC Preservation Society identified 7501 as being a relevant first, in that it was the first of the Mark IA Leyland Atlanteans bodied by Northern Counties. Contact was made with Lincolnshire Road Car Company, and the vehicle was purchased with effect from 27th April 1997. It was collected on this day from Lincoln by members of the SELNEC Preservation Society who had travelled down the previous evening and stayed locally in a Guest House in order to have an early start collecting the bus and returning it to premises in Leigh.

It is very much a long term project for 7501 to be returned to its original condition as it has a requirement for substantial body repairs to be undertaken, so currently it is being kept in Lincolnshire yellow and green until such time as it becomes a candidate for restoration.



7501 - 7800 (Type iii (R))

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(BNE 751N)


Northern Counties H43/32F - Mark 1A



Leyland Atlantean AN68/1R



13th August, 1974



27th April, 1997



The first Mark 1A Northern Counties Standard Atlantean.

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