The Back End of the Bus

Photo © Peter Hadfield. Please do not re-post without permission.

RSD732J is a Leopard PSU3/3R new to Western SMT from 4/71 as ML2341 originally having an Alexander Y-type C49F body, but received a new Alexander B53F body in 1975 following serious fire damage after a collision with a car on 1/6/74.

From 1971 to 1973 it had worn Western's black/white 'express livery', but was then downgraded for work at Campbelltown. On return to work at Thornliebank on 14/6/75, it had received a short-windowed aluminium-framed AYS bus body and appeared as in this photograph.

In 1/81 it was transferred to the Highland Scottish fleet after being repainted to the SBG 'Saltire' livery and was renumbered L4. In 1984 it was bought by Meredith of Malpas, Cheshire (established 1935 and still operating) and then in 1988 by Smiths-Shearings to work as a driver-training vehicle and was reregistered as SPR35 and repainted to orange/yellow/cream. The operator then moved into stage-carriage services using 'Timeline Travel' branding and this vehicle was allocated fleetnumber 1 and reregistered as TNA161J and put back into PSV use in 2/92. In 1994 it was noted working Route 536, Wolverhampton-Bridgenorth and later working South Lancashire services and in use as a driver-training vehicle at Leigh. By 1999 Timeline had ceased stage carriage services, but had retained this vehicle and employee Andy Sharpe asked to buy it as he had learnt his PSV skills using it.

Following much restoration work it was presented in 2004 in its 1975-81 guise and reregistered back to RSD732J. In 8/07 it passed to John Stainburn of Castleford for further preservation, who advertised it for sale in 6/14. It passed to a preservationist in Dorset, who removed the Western fleetnames and it was then offered for sale through Avon Valley Motor Sales in 11/18 at 12500.

It is now reported to be owned by a preservationist in Keighley, who sent it to Arriva's St Helens depot for some repanelling work and a repaint to its Highland Scottish guise as L4. The work is reported to be of a very high quality and was completed on 8/7/19.

Photo taken by Peter Hadfield, Sunday 5 September 2004, Heaton Park, Manchester

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Photo ref: wsml2341. Page and photo added September 2019
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