THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY
All content is copyright The SELNEC Preservation Society.
SELNEC FLASHES AND SYMBOLS
Upon the formation of the SELNEC PTE (South East Lancashire, North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Executive) from 11 Bus Operators on 1st November 1969, it very soon became evident that a new livery would be necessary to apply to the 11 Fleets acquired, and new vehicles subsequently ordered. Unusually, unlike other PTE's at that time, the colour scheme of the largest operation, Manchester, was not chosen. Merseyside PTE had chosen Liverpool green, Tyneside PTE had chosen Newcastle's yellow and West Midlands PTE had chosen Birmingham blue. However, for various political reasons, the SELNEC PTE was not to have Manchester's red.
Bearing in mind the variety of colours used by the 11 inherited Fleets, of Manchester, Salford, Stockport, SHMD, Oldham, Ashton, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Ramsbottom and Leigh, which covered reds, greens, blues, maroons, white, creams, etc, there was very little left to choose other than perhaps orange, purple and black, and one can therefore understand why the SELNEC Livery became sunglow orange and Mancunian white.
This was launched on 11th March 1970, and first applied to Mancunian 1014, which was rather ironic in the fact that of the first 48 Mancunians delivered, 1001 - 1048 in white and red, (being a reversal of Manchester City Transport red/white) - five were initially delivered in cream/red, similar to the Panther Cubs in the batch 81-110. These were 1002, 1003, 1004, 1014 and 1024.
They looked excellent in cream/red, but were soon painted white/red and 1014 was the last of the five to be so painted, but it was not long after that it appeared as the first vehicle in SELNEC sunglow orange and Mancunian white.
To tie in with the launch of this new livery a stylish symbol was required and the lazy 'S' was designed.
Headed paper, originally designed before the lazy S had been finalised, postulated what the SELNEC Symbol was originally intended to be and a copy of this original SELNEC symbol from Northern Division headed paper is reproduced here.
Upon the launch of the new symbol, this design was dropped and the lazy 'S' adopted.
For each of the different Divisions different coloured lazy 'S' symbols were picked, Central being blue, Southern being green and Northern being red, the official names being lagoon blue, spring green and rose magenta.
For the prototype Standards and vehicles that could be used throughout the entire SELNEC area, the orange 'S ' was used with the word SELNEC appearing in the centre, and this was also followed by the word 'Express' on the Coaches. The Parcels Division also used the orange SELNEC logo.
Then when North Western was added on 1st January 1972, an extra Division was created, being SELNEC Cheshire, and for this, a brown Cheshire symbol was created.
It actually did not make much sense, for when you spell out SELNEC - South East Lancashire, North East Cheshire, followed by Cheshire, it became rather a duplication.
In any event, the Cheshire symbol and Division was short-lived, being quickly incorporated into the Southern Division, and those vehicles that had the Cheshire symbols applied to them soon had them altered to Southern. In 1973, all Divisions of SELNEC were abandoned and both re-painted, and new vehicles had the orange SELNEC 'S' applied, which had previously only been used on prototype vehicles, pool vehicles and Coaches.
Because of the number of SELNEC vehicles we have in preservation, we sought to acquire original transfers of these various SELNEC Flashes, and have a quantity of the orange SELNEC 'S' and green Southern in store. We actually only had three Northern symbols and used these up on 7185, being two applied to the vehicle and one used to patch, and we only have a small quantity of Central blue symbols.
However, very kindly, John Holmes, who used to work for SELNEC Southern, provided us with an additional quantity of orange and green Flashes to supplement our supplies, and gave us one copy of a Northern red flash, which is the only spare one we now have. Consequently, we are on the look-out for additional Northern flashes and additional Central flashes.
John Holmes, however, was able to lend us a panel he had from 1972, with an original Cheshire symbol on it, which has always been the rarest transfer to obtain, as enquiries at the Museum of Transport indicated that they themselves did not have any copies of this original transfer.
Consequently, from the panel, we had computer signmakers scan the information into their system, then produce for us two very thin brown SELNEC Cheshire vinyls, which we plan to use on 408 when it is returned to its SELNEC Cheshire condition.
Even at this late stage, when these were vinyls produced for us, we had not acquired or even seen for that matter, an original SELNEC Cheshire transfer for 25 years, until, very kindly, Cliff March, a bus preservationist, who had connections with Stockport and Charles Street, donated an original SELNEC Cheshire transfer for our historical records. This has been used to check the accuracy of the computer generated vinyls, and will be held on file for historical purposes in the future.
Subsequently, in late April 1999, we were again contacted by John Holmes indicating that because of having to pack up a series of belongings, due to moving house, he had come across five original Cheshire transfers which he had forgotten existed and consequently we arranged for these to be collected on Sunday, 9th May 1999. We are very much indebted to John Holmes for his help in this respect, for we now have six original Cheshire transfers and two vinyls. Consequently, when 408 is ready to have Cheshire transfers applied, we will attempt to do so with original transfers rather than the vinyls we had initially produced.
From 1st April 1974 the orange SELNEC Symbol which had been used on all new deliveries from 1973, and all re-paints, was re-placed on the advent of Greater Manchester Transport, with what was known as the wavy M' symbol, appearing in orange on white panels, or white on orange panels, with the words 'Greater Manchester Transport' at the side. It is understood this was developed from the 'M' which originally appeared on the Festival of Manchester Advert Bus 7286 (WWH 51L).