Sunday 29 June 2014

More Massey Appeal

Lytham 70 squeezes through the gate at the entrance to Lytham Hall on the Club Day Park and Ride (David Umpleby)
LTT's Lytham St. Annes PD2 70 returned to use at Totally Transport on 22 June alongside PD1 19 and Blackpool 529 and again with 19 at a Park and Ride for Lytham Club Day to Lytham Hall. 70 celebrated its 50th birthday in May and this spurred LTT volunteer David Umpleby on to deal with some minor niggles that had left 70 laid up after failing with an air leak at the final LTT open day at their former Brinwell Road premises in September 2012. 
During its previous spell in use in May 2012 70 was used to take a party of Lytham Civic Society members around Blackpool hosed by their local counterparts. To kill time while members toured the Town Hall, the driver enjoyed an impromptu photoshoot in Talbot Road Bus Station  - probably one of the last buses to use this by then disused site. (Paul Turner) 

After rectification of the air leak and various other repairs, 70 was submitted for and successfully passed a Class VI test earlier this month - its first such test having only previously operated as a Class V since restoration in 2000.

Lytham 19 also saw use on the Club Day shuttle and is seen here towards the end of the evening lights ablaze outside the Hall (David Umpleby)

The Park and Ride ran from the Serco - once Guardian - car park opposite the entrance to the Hall. Please see the 2011 feature "Buses to the Hall" to see an equivalent shot from 1991 (David Umpleby)

The single track road to Lytham Hall requires buses to pass at a designated point - this bucolic scene is somewhat detached from the urban environment in which these buses typically ran. (David Umpleby)
70 from the side at Totally Transport

Back in 2010 the story of 70 and its two sisters was told in "Massey Appeal". At the time sister 68 was believed scrapped after being used for spares during 2009 - however it is believed it now survived into 2010. (See picture here for its condition as of 2008). Sister 69, heavily modified had a nomadic role around Europe - and Swansea - but has now left our shores for the USA where it stands outside Universal Studios (link to photo

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.

First Volvo Olympian retired

379 has been stood down, a few months short of its 20th birthday. Ten years earlier it is seen at Saltcotes Road in Line 11 livery
Volvo Olympian 379 has become the first of its batch to be withdrawn. It's seatbelts have been transferred to sister 374 - the only one of the sextet not to fitted.

By contrast a brand new Enviro 400 demonstrator passed through today for inspection as part of a national tour. This is the first of a new design.

Withdrawn Solo 267 is be prepared for use by Blackpool Council Streetscene for the tramway track gang replacing Metrorider 512. 267 has received Blackpool Council purple and white.