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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

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FIVE ADDITIONAL VEHICLES DONATED BY FIRST GROUP; LEYLAND OLYMPIANS 3101 (B101 SJA), 3201 (C201 CBU) AND 3225 (C225 CBU), ALONG WITH NORTHERN COUNTIES BODIED COACH SEATED MCW METROBUSES 5302 (D302 JVR) AND 5312 (D312 LNB)

(3101_1.jpg)   (3201_1.jpg)   (3225_1.jpg)   (5302_1.jpg)   (5312_1.jpg)

Two situations came together resulting in the acquisition of these five buses.  First of all we had reviewed our future preservation planning and activities and had some ideas that would necessitate additional vehicles being secured and this coincided with the mass withdrawal of Leyland Olympians by First Group on Saturday 25th June 2005 and the phased withdrawal of the remaining Northern Counties bodied MCW coach seated Metrobuses during the summer of 2005 resulting in these five acquisitions. 

The first area we were looking at was obtaining a B-reg Leyland Olympian to reflect the design changes beyond those tracked on Y-Reg 3001 (ANA 1Y) and A-Reg 3030 (A30 ORJ), but one prior to 3123 because there were design changes between 3122 and 3123 because in between these two vehicles Northern Counties constructed the first 30 Dennis Dominators (2001 to 2030) (B901 TVR to B920 TVR, B21-30 TVU).  We were conscious that the post-3123 design changes were reflected in vehicles we had already planned to acquire; 3201 (C201 CBU) and then further D-Reg design changes would be reflected in 3277 (D277 JVR), in particular the coach seated arrangement introduced at 3239.  Finally with the acquisition of 3305 we have the representation of the final design changes on the Standard Leyland Olympian, the F-Reg batch 3278 to 3305.  Consequently, when a large selection of Olympians were withdrawn by First Group as a result of the influx of new vehicles on Saturday 27th June 2005, arrangements were quickly put in place to secure a ‘B-reg’ Pre 3123 vehicle and we are very pleased to thank First Group for their help and support in donating to us 3101 (B101 SJA) - 30120.

The next area we were considering was making a more comprehensive representation of the vehicles operated by Greater Manchester Transport and thereafter Greater Manchester Buses in respect of the Express liveried and principally coach seated vehicles.  We have only recently concluded the exterior restoration of coach seated Metrobus 5320 (D320 LNB) into the original Express livery reflecting the red GM Buses symbol and we were looking for a Leyland Olympian to acquire to put in this original Express livery.  However, we wanted a vehicle that would be somewhat different other than it reflecting this Express livery applied to the Olympian body style.  Hence we came up with the proposal of 3225 (C225 CBU) – 30164.  The reason being that this was the last of the six bus seated Leyland Olympians that were painted in the Express livery as a trial to launch the Express services prior the bespoke coach seated vehicles being delivered shortly thereafter. 

Initially trials of Express livery had been carried out on Park Royal bodied Daimler Fleetline 7173 which had shrouds put on the back between the top of the bonnet and the bottom of the upper deck to create the impression of the back end of an Olympian.  Two versions of the Express livery were tried out, firstly white with three stripes (orange, red and brown) on the rear and nearside and a salmon/coral colour on the front offside and nearside again with the three stripes in orange, red and brown.  In the end the coral was chosen but 7173 never ran in this livery and after the trials had been concluded it was stripped and moved from Charles Street to Barnsley for scrap.   Six operational vehicles at Tameside Depot were then chosen and painted in this new livery with Express transfers incorporating a reflective red vinyl.  They were 3061, 3073, 3079, 3097, 3127 and 3225.   Four of these had their salt and pepper moquette changed to red herringbone moquette albeit still on bus seats, the other two retained salt and pepper seating.  They ran experimentally from 26th May 1986 on Express routes before being joined by 39 Olympians delivered with herringbone moquetted coach seats 3239 to 3277 along with 30 Northern Counties bodied Metrobuses, being Cummins-engined 5201 to 5210 and Gardner-engined 5301 to 5320.

In choosing 3225 therefore we have the original Express livery as depicted on the Leyland Olympian but also with bus seats re-covered with herringbone moquette and another variation to 5320 is the white GMT symbol used on 3225 rather than red GM Buses symbol as on 5320.  Consequently as a result of the mass withdrawal of Olympians on Saturday 25th June 2005 we are very thankful to First Group for donating 3225 (C225 CBU) to us.

Another part of our review into Express liveried vehicles was to look at what happened after the split into GM Buses North Limited and GM Buses South Limited on 1st April 1994 in that both companies developed their own variations of the Express livery taking it into a second generation.  GM Buses South Limited came up with a variation using an application of blue paintwork reflecting the blue in the GMS symbol and this was applied to a number of vehicles including one of the coach seated airport Olympians, 3139.  We intend to reflect this livery by applying it to Greater Manchester’s last coach seated Olympian 3277(D277 JVR), which we hopefully will secure for preservation in due course from Stagecoach Manchester. 

That just left us trying to find a vehicle that would depict a GM Buses North version of their Express livery of which there were two variations using striped lines with big GM Buses North symbols and decided to replicate the one that was most prevalent.  We had targeted initially the first of the batch of 20 Gardner engined Northern Counties bodied MCW Metrobuses 5301 (D301 JVR) with a view to having both an Olympian and Metrobus in an original Express livery and a subsequent Express livery but 5301 was scrapped some time ago.

We therefore turned out attention to the next vehicle 5302 (D302 JVR) – 30285 and First Group were very kind to donate this vehicle to us.  We arranged to collect it along with the two Olympians 3101 and 3225 and visited First Group Head Office in Walshaw Street on Wednesday 6th July 2005 to collect the three V5s for these vehicles, their current MOTs (3225 is MOT’d until 30th April 2006!) and their certificates of initial fitness (along with similar documentation for 3305 - 30215.  3101 was delivered on 1st February 1985 and has chassis number Olympian 1658, body number 2717; 3225 was delivered on 1st May 1986 and has chassis number Olympian 2182 and body number 2955 while 5302 was delivered on 2nd September 1986 and has chassis number MB8214 and body number 3010.  We are most indebted to First Group for donating these three vehicles to us.  3101 and 3225 were collected from Bolton Depot on Thursday evening, 7th July 2005 and taken to our storage premises in East Manchester. 5302 was collected the day after on Friday evening, 8th July 2005, and joined the other two at our storage premises in East Manchester.  All three buses are in “Barbie II” livery. 

GM Buses North painted 5210 (C210 FVU) into a vehicle with a base coral colours and stripes but with a large contingent of red panels; only this one vehicle ran in service carrying this scheme.

Two additional vehicles donated to us by First Group making up the total of five became available a few weeks later being Leyland Olympian 3201 (C201 CBU) – 30154 and coach seated Northern Counties bodied MCW Metrobus 5312 (D312 LNB) - 30295.  Consequently we visited First Manchester’s Head Office in Walshaw Street, Oldham, on Friday 12th August 2005 to receive the V5, current MOTs and certificate of initial fitness for both buses with the vehicles formally having ownership transferred to us on this day.  We were then in a position to collect both buses from Bolton depot on Monday evening, 15th August 2005, with 3201 being taken to storage in Blackburn and 5312 to storage in East Manchester.  3201 was delivered new on 13th February 1986 and has chassis number Olympian 2076 and Northern Counties body number 2931 and 5312 was delivered new on 1st December 1986 with chassis number MB8620 and Northern Counties body number 3020. 

The significance of these two buses are as follows:-
3201 depicts (incidentally as does 3225) the post-3123 design changes that Northern Counties incorporated on the Olympians after they had built the first 30 Dominators (2001 to 2030).  More significantly however one of our members had been keen to depict adaptations both to Atlanteans and Olympians to the lower deck front end conversion to the later “post-1988” Northern Counties F-reg style grills and corner panels reflecting square headlamps, horizontal fog lights and slatted horizontal grills.  Four Atlanteans were converted in this way and the only remaining example 8645 is a group vehicle.  We reported about the acquisition and the background circumstances of 8645 in Newsletter Number 24 of January 2004 and an update on its subsequent rectification work appears under Section 8 in this newsletter.

In addition to the four Leyland Atlanteans that had this Northern Counties post-1988 lower fibreglass front conversion five Olympians were so treated of which two still exist, being 3043 running for First Glasgow and 3201 which until recently had been operated by First Pennine’s Depot in Dukinfield and which makes an excellent stable-mate for 8645.

5312 however has been secured for an entirely different reason in keeping with our desire to perpetuate continuing operation of restored vehicles and to allow future restoration to take place by having adequate supplies of spare body and mechanical parts for the foreseeable future.  Although we now have sufficient Northern Counties and Park Royal  bodied Daimler Fleetlines and Leyland Atlanteans we do need to obtain spare vehicles of the second generation adaptation of the rear engined chassis and are making plans in the future to secure a spare TL11 Leyland Olympian in this regard.

3101

BATCH:

3036 - 3122

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(B101 SJA)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/30F Light Alloy

 

CHASSIS:

Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st February 1985

 

PURCHASED:

6th July 2005

 

DETAILS:

A Gardener engines, Leyland gearbox example of the 'Standard' Olympian (3001 has a Leyland T11 engine and 3030 a Voith gearbox).

 

3201

BATCH:

3036 - 3122

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(C201 CBU)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/30F Light Alloy

 

CHASSIS:

Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

13th February 1986

 

PURCHASED:

12th August 2005

 

DETAILS:

One of only five pre 'F' registered Olympians to have been fitted with the later style post 1988 front grill.

 

3225

BATCH:

3123 - 3238

gmt.gif (2279 bytes)

(C225 CBU)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/26F Light Alloy

 

CHASSIS:

Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st May 1986

 

PURCHASED:

6th July 2005

 

DETAILS:

A post 3123 - design change Olympian and the last of the six 'bus seated' vehicles to be put in Express Livery.

 

5302

BATCH:

5301 - 5320

(D302 JVR)

BODY:

Northern Counties CH43/29F

 

CHASSIS:

MCW Metrobus DR102/51

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

2nd September 1986

 

PURCHASED:

6th July 2005

 

DETAILS:

Depicting the second of this batch of 20 Gardiner engined, Express liveries, coach seated Metrobuses built by Northern Counties. It is to be painted in GM Buses (Noth) second generation Express Livery.

 


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