Monday, 1 September 2014

Lytham Hall Running Day

1948 built Lytham PD2 10 operated on the Town Tour as part of the Lytham Hall Event. Here it stands at the Assembly Rooms - the former Lytham Baths - awaiting departure back to the Hall
Sunday 31 August saw the first Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust rally and running day at Lytham Hall. Two passenger services ran, Ribble PD3 1775 and Olympian 2101 operated a Park and Ride shuttle service from the Hall Gates to the Hall itself. Lytham PD2 10, Ribble TD5 2057 and Fishwicks PD2 5 provided a town tour every 20 minutes from the Hall. The event was very popular with some busy loads experienced.
Two veterans of Ribble's former Blackpool operation - Bristol RE 338 and Leyland National 2 831

Three recently restored pre-war Leylands were lined up outside the hall, Lytham Lion 24, Ribble Lion 1161 and Ribble Cheetah 1568. Also on display were Leopards 811, 1036, 1052, Leyland Tiger Cub 452, Bristol RE 338 and Leyland National 2 831. 

A trio of Leopards 1036 - is a 1961 Harrington body, 811 at 1965 Weymann bodied version (Fylde running similar 808, 810 and 816 in 1980-2) and 1052 at 1974 Duple Dominant

Lytham Lion 24 (TJ6760)
Lytham St. Annes Lion 24 is admired from afar by two more modern - but classic in the own right - single deckers

TJ6760 is a Leyland bodied Leyland Lion demonstrator new in October 1934. After a period of demonstration it joined the Lytham St. Annes fleet in June 1935 to provide the bus required for the new Lytham to Blackpool service 11. It was soon overtaken by the fleet of Gearless Lions and Titans acquired between 1935 and 1937 but still managed a long service life. Withdrawn in 1957 on the purchase of three Leyland Tiger Cubs, it passed to a dealer in 1958 and entered preservation with Warwick Jenkins in the London area. 
The interior, unusually for Lytham, has red moquette reflecting its use as a demonstrator

Quickly restored it was rallied during the 1960s including one event in September 1960 when it was under repaint. David Ellor of Blackpool took an interest in it and it returned North in the mid 1960s, but soon moved south again and was last reported at in May 1967 at the Brighton Rally. In 1969 it was quietly exported to Canada by Mr Jenkins, but was discovered by ex pat enthusiasts in derelict condition in Ontario in September 1974. It moved around Ontario, in the hands of Derrick Arnold and later Jack Innes ending up at Port Perry by 1996 after some time out of the public eye. Neither was able to progress the vehicle's restoration and it was featured in the first issue of Bus and Coach Preservation - where its fate was noted by Derek Calrow

In 1998 24 was rescued from its lingering fate by Derek who purchased it from Jack Innes. It was brought back to the UK on a low laoder via leaving Canada via Halifax Docks and landing in the UK at Seaforth, Liverpool. Initial work involved shotblasting the body and repairing the engine and gearbox. By 2002 the bus was stored at the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust, Freckleton premises prior to departing to a firm in South Wales for the body to be rebuilt. 
Contrasts as Ribble 1161 - newly restored after a retirement as living accommodation - shows its earlier body style - its original Leyland body dating from 1931 though it has been completely rebuilt in preservation

24 returned to Freckelton in 2007 and was displayed at the Fishwick's Centenary event at Leyland but was still in need of finishing. Some further contract work was required and the bus moved to Uttoxeter in April 2012, returning to Freckleton during August 2014. Now fully fit, but with some seat work outstanding it was tested with its first trip to Blackpool since the 1960s on 16 August. 

The Lytham Hall event was 24's first public appearance in its former home town and once the finishing touches are complete it will become a regular event attender.
The stunning 1939 Leyland Titan TD5 with 1949 Alexander body, 2057 heads through the gates on a Town Tour as PD3 1775 waits to head to the hall on the Park and Ride