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Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.

A photograph of former Crosville Bristol LD6B DLB978, 627HFM, participating in the annual Kirkby Stephen Rally has recently appeared on the site. It shouldn't be forgotten, however, that this bus, new in 1959 and believed to be the last Lodekka in the British Isles which retains its detachable roof as built from new, earns its keep operating private hires and scheduled services for Cumbria Classic Coaches of Ravenstonedale.
It is seen here negotiating the Market Day traffic in Barnard Castle at the start of its return journey to Kirkby Stephen and Ravenstonedale. This service runs every Wednesday throughout the year, although the section between Brough and Barnard Castle over the exposed B6276 via Grains o' the Beck, Wemmergill, Lunedale and Middleton-in-Teesdale which is operated in the outward direction only, is not undertaken in Winter. Between November and Easter it uses the A66 over Stainmore, the route used for the return journey all the year round.

This service, one of several operated by the firm, has proved popular with tourists and locals alike and often requires duplication. The company's policy is never to leave intending passengers so a bus is kept on standby in case it is needed.

All the company's buses are named. This one is 'Harvey' - it's a Bristol and it's cream!

The bus operated for Crosville on seafront services at Rhyl and Llandudno although it spent some time during April and May 1960 on loan to United's West Hartlepool depot in exchange for BL45; DLB978 (as it then was) was the subject of a trial at the time with thin lubricating oil. Sold to Bristol Omnibus in 1973, it was used on seafront services at Weston-super-Mare until 1982; it carried the number 8581 and the name 'Western Winner'. Subsequently it led a peripatetic existence, spending nine years with the Porthcawl Omnibus Company, two years with Dunn Line, nine years with Northern of Dinnington and finally two years with Lakeland Voyager of Appleby before being bought by CCC in December 2003.

Photo taken by Alan Hall, Wednesday 31 August 2011, Galgate, Barnard Castle

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Photo ref: cv978c. Page and photo added April 2013
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