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8501 (SND 501X)


As some members will know the SELNEC Preservation Society�s Co-Ordinator has something of a penchant for securing vehicles that represent firsts and lasts of relevant batches of vehicles as will be seen from an the up to date comprehensive vehicle fleet list that appears under Section 9 of this newsletter and he is also keen on any bus ending in the numbers �01�.   

Some time ago when reviewing our impressive and growing collection of vehicles it was decided it might be perhaps more representative of the operation of SELNEC/GMT Standard Atlanteans and Fleetlines to not only return vehicles to their �as new� livery and condition, but also to reflect some of the other variations of second and subsequent liveries these vehicles were painted in as part of their operating life in the Greater Manchester area.  In some cases these liveries were not applied to new vehicles and even when they were in some cases this would not apply to Atlanteans and Fleetlines.  In choosing to embark upon this course of action one of our members, Lea Worrall, is intending as reported in the last newsletter, Number 29 of September 2005, to return 8645 to an in-service GM Buses North livery of white, orange, light grey and whortleberry.   However, in order to reflect other operational liveries carried by Standard Atlanteans and Fleetlines and not to replicate liveries other private preservationists have chosen to paint vehicles in that reflect subsequent operational liveries, we felt we should secure three vehicles to so do. 

It was decided that because of the more weather resistant structure that these three vehicles should be alloy framed Leyland Atlanteans in the batch 8433/37 - 38/43 to 8765 and that it would be of interest if this could be achieved by requiring the 3 �01s� in this group, being 8501, 8601 and 8701.  Members who have been with us a while and read previous newsletters will know that the first of these vehicles that we were able to secure was 8601 (ANA 601Y) from Marshalls of Leighton Buzzard on 7th August 2004.  This vehicle will be restored when resources and time allows to the GM Buses South livery of white, orange and whortleberry with big fleet numbers. 

We then turned out attention to 8501 and 8701 but were somewhat confronted with difficulties in that 8501 was running for Contract Coaches in Nottingham and was their newest Leyland Atlantean and had just been repanelled all over so it certainly did not seem to be a vehicle that would be available for many years to come.  8701 also presented difficulty in that it was being used by the Fitton Royals Morris Troupe in Oldham who were very satisfied with the vehicle and having not had it very long were not intending to change it for many years to come.  However, following discussion and negotiations with the Troupe it was agreed that they were prepared to swap 8701 for a newer air suspension vehicle and this is what we embarked upon.  As members will recall we secured Leyland Olympian 3194 (C194 YBA) from First Group and having painted it in a livery designed by Lea Worrall on behalf of the dance troupe of blue and white it was exchanged to release 8701 (A701 LNC) for preservation on 10th April 2005.  The intention is that this vehicle will be put in the red and blue Greater Manchester livery with the First Bus etched logos reflecting how 8645 (ANA 645Y) is currently depicted until its return to GM Buses North livery. 

We did not however think that 8501 would be available for some time but then it transpired that Contract Coaches had ceased operations and all their vehicles were being put up for sale, principally through e-Bay except 8501 which had been reserved for the SELNEC Preservation Society.  Following discussions and negotiations it was purchased by the SELNEC Preservation Society from Contract Coaches with effect from 5th December 2005.  This is to be put into one of the four GM Buses deregulation liveries of GMT white, orange and brown but with the addition of coloured stripes and logos representing the four divisions that GM Buses was originally split up into upon deregulation.  This vehicle had the light blue stripes representing the South Division with logos representing its operational depot of City Central (Hyde Road).

Members therefore set off on a cold but sunny morning on Saturday 17th December 2005 to travel to Nottingham to Contract Coaches Yard to pick up the vehicle and return it to our storage facility in East Manchester where it joins  8601 and 8701.  Alan Stafford, the owner of Contract Cleaners kindly gave us a series of spare windscreens, windows and cushions. The details of 8501 is that it was delivered new on 10th May 1982 to Greater Manchester Transport, passing into the hands of Greater Manchester Buses Limited on 26th October 1986.  Thereafter it passed to GM Buses South Limited on 1st April 1994 after which it was sold to Silverdale Tours on 23rd October 1997 being sold to Contract Coaches on 1st January 2004.  It has chassis number 8102830 and body number 2228.  It would be difficult (if not extravagant) to try to replicate all the four different coloured adaptations of the four divisions that were formed of Greater Manchester Buses Limited at de-regulation on 26th October 1986.  However, in order to have representation of at least two of the four divisions joining 8501 in the light blue South adaptation will be 8141, our Leyland Fleetline with the abandoned Titan registration GNF 16V.  This will have the North Division application of fawn stripes and Rochdale Depot logos.

For the sake of completeness listed below are the original four divisions of the deregulated GM Buses Limited operations as follows:-

South Division � Light blue

Depots � City South (Princess Road), Stockport and Trafford

North Division � Fawn

Depots � Bury, City North (Queens Road), Rochdale

West Division � Light Green

Depots � Atherleigh, Bolton, Salford, Wigan

East Division � Yellow

Depots � City East (Hyde Road), Glossop, Oldham and Tameside

Just to conclude the story, a short while after the launch of GM Buses Limited in full operation on 26th October 1986 it was decided that it would be more cost effective and manageable to have three divisions and in order to achieve this the North Division was abandoned.

Queens road (City North) and Rochdale moved into the East Area and Hyde Road (City East) moved to the South Division being renamed City Central.

Because of the short amount of time the North Division existed for, it is perhaps quite fitting that 8141 (GNF 16V) is to reflect the short lived fawn stripes and logos.

It was considered that the deregulation livery looked too much like that of Greater Manchester Transport and was very much a temporary arrangement.  In fact many buses had received this livery during the early months of 1986 and never actually passed to the ownership of GM Buses Limited being principally vehicles in the 7000 series, pre-7560.  Therefore a new livery was devised with a white roof and all over orange which was first applied in terms of new vehicles to the batch of the 28 F-Reg Olympians 3278 to 3305 with �People on the Move� logos.  The vehicle 3278 received the same metropolitan orange as had been used by Greater Manchester Transport but this was quickly changed to GM Buses orange, a darker shade, and so 3278 was repainted in this colour at Northern Counties prior to delivery.  Many people felt this livery had too much orange and consequently a Park Royal Atlantean (7872), Northern Counties Atlantean (8695), Metrobus (5049) and Olympian (3156) were chosen to trial an experimental livery with a narrow whortleberry skirt.  7872 also had a large GM Buses fleet name in black rather than orange. This livery eventually was adopted as the norm with the whortleberry being slightly deeper and this was the third GM Buses livery before the split to North and South companies on 1st April 1994.



8433/37 - 38/43 - 8525 (Type iii(A)) 

gmbuses-3.gif (2279 bytes)

(SND 501V)


Northern Counties H43/32F - Light Alloy


Leyland Atlantean AN68B/1R


10th May 1982


5th December 2005


An example of this batch of alloy framed Standard Atlanteans that is to be put into the subsequent livery of GM Buses deregulation livery of South Division (with blue markings)


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