Sunday, 3 June 2012

411 Returns to its Birthplace

Olympian 411 - the last ECW body built is about to leave Blackpool for its new home - seen here on the outskirts of town by the new Starr Gate tram depot. (all photos from Neil Chivers EATM)
Leyland Olympian 411 left Blackpool today, 27 May, bound for a new life in preservation with the East Anglia Transport museum at Carlton Colville. New as London Buses L263 it was the last bus built at ECW in Lowestoft a few miles from its new home. It should make an appearance at the museums ECW event on 16 and 17 June which marks 25 years since ECW closed. See for details.

L263 was delivered in January 1987 and originally featured high backed seating for the 'Selkent Travel' sub-fleet. When London Buses was split up, L263 became part of the Selkent company which was purchased by Stagecoach in 1994. Quite early in its life it was re-registered from D263FUL to VLT9 from a Routemaster but lost this in favour of D367JJD in 1995. In 2000 it was sold to Ensign and converted to single door for Blackburn Transport where it arrived in November as its number 30. It was later allocated to their Blackpool outstation for school routes. Soon after Blackburn Transport was taken over by Lancashire United, the Blackpool unit and its buses was sold to Blackpool Transport with 30 becoming 411 in the Blackpool fleet. Soon painted into orange and yellow, the bus was mainly used on school routes with the odd appearance on route 20. It was withdrawn in April.
A 1988 view of L263 in Selkent Travel livery on display at Carlton Colville during a special event.

24 years later as Blackpool 411 it is posed in the same place at the museum.