selbig2.gif (4185 bytes)

THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

All content is copyright The SELNEC Preservation Society.


8116 (HDB 116V)

(8116_2.jpg)   (8116_1.jpg)

Around 1985/1986 as a result of incursions in the Greater Manchester area by Merseyside Operators, GM Buses South Ltd launched its own operation in Birkenhead.  They selected 19 Leyland Fleetlines and painted them in a Birkenhead style blue and cream livery and after a short time in service in the Greater Manchester area they had Birkenhead & District fleet names applied to them, special main destination blinds fitted and were moved to premises in the Birkenhead area.  They only operated for a relatively short time as the operation proved not to be profitable. 

The vehicles used were as follows:

Fleet Number

Registration Number

4002

XBU 2S

4020

XBU 20S

4021

ANA 21T

4024

ANA 24T

4035

ANA 35T

4037

ANA 37T

4042

ANA 42T

4043

ANA 43T

4068

BVR 68T

4098

BVR 98T

4100

BVR 100T

4101

HDB 101V

4103

HDB 103V

4107

HDB 107V

4116

HDB 116V

4135

KDB 135V

4137

KDB 137V

4138

KDB 138V

4144

MNC 487W

We had always wanted to secure one of these 19 vehicles and restore it to the Birkenhead blue and cream colours to represent this short but interesting era of GM Buses Southís operation.  Hence some time ago in 2006 we went to look at the vehicle 8101 (HDB 101V) at the operation of KJB Ltd.  It was however purchased by our member Colin Lindley, who is keen to restore it to original GMT orange and white rather than Birkenhead blue and cream, along with the other vehicle he is pursuing from the same operators, KJB Limited at Witham St Hughes in Lincoln, 7787 or to give it its correct identity 8398.  Most of the others vehicle in the list have been subsequently scrapped but one of them, 8116 (HDB 116V) passed to Finches of Wigan, who just changed the blue to red and ran it for a few years service.  Thereafter it was purchased by Darren Critchley, previously of Focus Coaches, who had it restored to Greater Manchester orange and white livery.  In more recent times it had two shunts at the front nearside and the rear nearside.  In fact Focus Coaches went into liquidation and all the vehicles owned by the organisation were purchased by an individual who we contacted with a view to securing 8116 for preservation, which we did.  Before buying the vehicle however we visited Focusí premises in Penwortham on 24th February 2008 to look over 8116.  Also there available for sale was Leyland Leopard 440 (WTE 440P), Leyland Atlantean 8573 (ANA 573Y) and ex-LUT Fleetline 511 (PTD 655S), which we understand had already been sold to the Lancastrian Trust.

We checked the vehicle over which appeared to be the only runner amongst the vehicles available for disposal, identifying that it seemed just to need a new set of batteries.  These were subsequently purchased and we revisited Penwortham on the working day, 2nd March 2008, and drove 8116 to Leigh so we could commence work on it.  In order to create the space to accommodate 8116 at Leigh we previously had moved 6990 (DWH 760W) from Leigh to Blackburn and 4645 (ANA 645Y) from Blackburn to East Manchester.

Over the three working days, 2nd March 2008, 30th March 2008 and 20th April 2008, the initial work commenced on 8116.  We fitted to it new front side and indicator lights and side indicators lights, yellow number blinds at the front and side (the back when restored will have the rear number box painted cream) and we secured an original Birkenhead yellow main destination blind from Alan McKnight during our visit to the Museum of Transport on 16th March 2008.

When restored the vehicle will not carry a via blind as this area is painted blue with the Birkenhead & District logo applied.  The areas underneath the lower deck back to back seats over the wheel arches and beneath the rear seat on the lower deck and upper deck were all vacuumed and cleaned.  The driverís seat was removed and sent away to Gordon Morris at GLG Wigan Coachtrimmers for re-covering in the appropriate black PVC on the cushion and the back.  New fog and spot lights were fitted to the front of the vehicle, the apertures being already there and all the external and internal window aluminium and hoppers were cleaned.   All the upper deck seat frames were sanded down and red-oxided and new windscreen wiper blades were fitted (the arms are in good condition).

In the interior all the vinyls and adverts were removed and the cab area had extraneous wiring from some form of aerial taken out of it.

8116

BATCH:

8001 - 8150 (Type iv(R))

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(HDB 116V)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/32F - Mark 1A

 

CHASSIS:

Leyland Fleetline FE30GR

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

25th April 1980

 

PURCHASED:

29th February 2008

 

DETAILS:

Restored (as 4116) as one of the 20 GMB (South) blue and cream Birkenhead and District livery


Back ] Up ] Next ]