Monday, 17 October 2011

Atlantean 444 visits the Fylde

444 from the front
Former Blackpool Atlantean 444 (NJI5504) returned to the Fylde on Sunday with its current owners "Irlam Royalettes" - these photos were taken as the bus was parked empty at Farmer Parrs at Thornton. 444 was new to Fylde Borough in early 1984 as 74 (A74LHG) - its penultimate new Atlantean and one of five long wheelbase examples fitted with high backed seating. In winter 1990/1 it was refurbished and transferred to the Seagull Coaches division renumbered 24 and re-registered NJI5504, restricted to coach work including regular excursions to Granada Studios Tours in Manchester, Fleetwood Market and Tours of the Illuminations. Renumbered 44 in 1992 it was absorbed into the Blackpool fleet as 444 in July 1996 with the rest of the Fylde business. Around this time it regained its ticketing equipment and went back into regular service usually on the 11/11A. In 1999 it moved to Rigby Road depot - ahead of the closure of Squires Gate - and regularly operated on route 14/14A (Fleetwood to St. Annes). Later downgraded to mainly schools and the summer Promenade service it was withdrawn with the last Fylde Atlanteans in May 2004. Since then it has been employed by two dance troupes.
Rear View
In other new Olympian 403 was noted returning to depot this morning with front offside accident damage.