Friday 6 June 2014

A tale of three Titans

A trio of Blackpool PD3s reunited for the first time since 1983 at a storage site in Cheshire. 390 displays its 1982 experimental livery, 501 the final version applied as a result of the trials and 512 the 1970s cream (Bill Thomson)
A trio of Blackpool PD3s were reunited at a storage site in Cheshire on 31 May for first time since 1983. 501 arrived at the site on the way back from Crich Tramway Village, while 512 moved to Weeton following successful submission for an MoT test after further restoration work. 390 is a longer term resident. 

Front, side and rear of the trio (Bill Thomson)
390 - one of the 1965 batch of 20 buses - the first half cabs in the fleet and survived until 1983. It was selected for an experimental livery in January/February 1982. The PD3s were uniformly painted in all-over cream - in various shades - but the Atlanteans and Swifts now carried a green and cream style. 390 was outshopped with green roof and window surrounds. 540 was painted next with cream lower window surrounds and 512 received just a green roof and band. 540 was selected as the final livery, 512 was modified without service use but 390 retained its livery until replaced by the 1983 batch of Atlanteans in the summer. It was purchased for preservation and has been restored in the experimental livery and conserved ever since. Its appearances have been sporadic but always welcome. It met up with 501 at the Blackpool Transport Open Day in 2010.

501 was returning from a visit to Crich Tramway Village as part of their seaside event. Also visiting was Blackpool Balloon 711 on the right, with resident Boat 236 in the centre. (Gary Conn)
501 and 512 were from the 1967 batch of 25. 501 later followed its sisters into the new livery in April 1983 but was withdrawn in 1985 and sold for preservation in Scotland. Its condition deteriorated before it was purchased by its current owners and treated to a comprehensive restoration into its 1983 livery. Based in Glasgow it has regularly visited its former home town.

512 was one of the final ten and lost green and cream in favour of 'Routemaster' red/white in 1987. Withdrawal came at the end of the 1988 season and in 1989 it was sold to London & Country as a driver trainer. After a few private owners it was purchased and restored by LTT in 1998. In 2012 it passed to new owners and has now returned to active use following mechanical work and an MOT pass in May.