Photo © Alan N Walker. Please do not re-post without permission.
Sunderland District 299, 9BPT, the sole Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2 with Duple Midland Donington C41F body new in 1958, seen at the Sunderland, Laurel Grove terminus of town service 38.
This complements an excellent depot photograph by Donald Hudson in colour the following month. The month new isn't easily available at present, most Northern group fleet histories of the PSV Circle were compiled in the 1970s before the printing of such information in them. 300, 10BPT similar followed in 1959 but carried the strange body number 494/TC/1 which a member may understand - 9BPT was more normal 491/9.
Our subject passed with the SDO company to Northern General parent on 1 January 1975 as 4289 in the bus and dual-purpose series, but 10BPT doesn't feature in the transfer list in Buses Magazine.
The beautiful clean light blue and cream coach livery brightens up Laurel Grove in a very routine inland estate around a mile and a half south of the town (now city) centre. It's already loading for return as a lady fashionably dressed for 1970 boards to find an Elvis Presley lookalike driving and the conductor resting on the nearside passenger seat.
Suburban photos in Sunderland seem to be rare, perhaps because the central opportunities were so good. Perhaps a member knows if this was a joint service and how Sunderland District got to run a route exclusively in Corporation territory. My notes indicate that I boarded not at Park Lane Bus Station but at the former Central Bus Station adjacent to the railway station used mainly by SCT and paid 8d for the full journey. Economies or shortages made coach operation of stage routes within the Northern group more common by this time, as evidenced by dedicated blind.
This was my final sunny school holiday and I clearly preferred second Lambretta and bus exploration to study, covering Sunderland and all of what is now the Country Durham / Tyne & Wear border that day, including Murton depot of Northern. Lady luck was smiling after taking the photo, I walked to Tunstall Road and returned on one of the three final Atkinson Alpha single deckers of Sunderland Corporation, a remaining Guy Arab IV to Grangetown also featured later.
Photo taken by Alan Walker, Tuesday 4 August 1970, Laurel Grove, Sunderland
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