In February 2016 this bus was offered to us by the group who had spent around 10 years meticulously working to restore ex Barrow National Mk 2 CEO 720W. It was kept in a building which was due to be demolished, and the group could not find another home for it in the town.
The team had done lots of bodywork repair and rebuilding including fitting new domes and repairing some serious bodyside damage. It was complete and clean inside. It needed the nearside half windscreen fitted, but this came with the bus. It was a runner but needs a set of batteries.
Our team quickly inspected the bus after it was towed 60 miles up the coast, and painter Dave Wallace had this to say, “With all the work that’s been done rebuilding and repanelling the bus, the outside just needs rubbing down, washing and painting. This won’t be a long job compared to the time put in on 353 – a matter of weeks rather than months with the help of our Thursday night volunteer team.”
The bus was soon repainted into its splendid blue & ivory Barrow corporation livery and put through a class 6 MoT.
- Registered new on 01-10-1980 to Barrow Corporation Transport Dept.
- 18/06/89 to Cumberland MS, after collapse of BBT, still based at Barrow.
- 09/08/93 to Ribble Buses following arrival of new Volvo B10s at Barrow.
- 15/04/01 to Lancashire United after transfer of Stagecoach operations in Blackburn.
- 18/03/02 to preservation.
GRM 353L – Mark 1
This Mark 1 model 1151/1R with an integral B52F body was new to Cumberland Motor Services in February 1973. Before we acquired it, It was owned by Bob Daglish at Rowrah. It came into full ownership of the Trust in November 2005 but, due to lack of undercover storage space, it took us until July 2008 before it was taken on to our premises.
It was only the fourth National new to CMS, and is now the oldest preserved CMS National.
It had done very few miles since passing it’s last MoT in 2004, but time takes its toll on a bus sitting out in the open. Amongst other necessary work, attention is required on a number of window pans, one of which has a hole in it where water has run down the glass and gathered on the metal below the window rubbers.
The bus was then stored undercover with us until a start was made on its restoration. This started in 2016 with the removal of damaged window pans and replacement by good ones from our donor National ex-Chesterfield VKU 78S. One rear wheelarch needed some rebuilding, new front shock absorber mounts needed fitting, and a number of other jobs required doing. The main delay so far to seeing this bus back on the road has been the need to refurbish its power steering ram which has proved problematical.
The good news is that no road tax will be payable as the bus is just old enough to take advantage of this concession.
WHH 556S – Mark 1
This ex Leyland demonstrator was previously known as REV01 and was at one time a test bed for an experimental Torotrak continuously variable transmission system. We were offered this blue & yellow bus by Barry Pickthall of Rowrah, straight out of schools service with several months MoT, and acquired it in May 2009. There wasn’t a lot of space in our yard for the extra bus, but we had to take it.
For a bus that had just celebrated its 31st birthday in the March, it was in remarkably good condition, and drove like it wanted to race all the way back to Workington. That may have been due to the DAF engine that it had fitted less than 2 years previously, but it is still a lively machine and the steering is remarkably light
It was originally fitted with only 21 seats and a centre exit door, making it a B21D. It is now a 52 seater and the centre door was long since panelled over. But the emergency door controls are still evident on the outer body side where this second door was.
Its colour scheme of blue and yellow, with black window surrounds comes from its days with Daglish Coaches.
In 2015, it came to the point where the bus needed attention to some corrosion, particularly around the back of the bus. The back of the bus was dismantled and new panels fitted, along with some side panels. Following this the bus was repainted into its white Leyland test bus livery as REV01. The bus continues to be a great performer – and warm!
CHH 210T – Mark 1
In 2010, this bus was successfully bid for on Ebay. After being stupid enough to bid for a bus that’s 350 miles away and then be successful in winning, someone had to go from Workington to collect it! The fuel to get the bus home cost an estimated £250!
It is a Leyland National 10351B/1R B44F (single deck Bus, with 44 seats, and Front entrance) . It was new to Cumberland Motor Services in April 1979, painted in the National Bus Company standard colour of Poppy Red with a white waistband, and grey centrally placed fleet numbers front and rear. It gained the old Stagecoach livery – white with 3 stripes – in May 1992.
It was originally allocated to Workington depot , but served time at other depots until it was sold to Ribble in August 1993, who sold it on to Chase Coaches, Staffordshire, in April 1997 as their number 37. Its last day of service with Chase was 28th April 2007.
It was sold on at an auction of all of Chases’s buses to the Devon operator that we acquired it from where it wore a blue & grey livery.
After having mechanical work carried out to get it through an initial MoT test, our volunteers spent a year in tidying up the bodywork and repainting the bus back into its original Poppy Red livery.
KHH 378W – Mark 2
378 was new to Cumberland in October 1980. Latterly used as a driver trainer in Glasgow, we found out about it being available from the newsletter of the Leyland National Group. We visited Glasgow Bus Museum in February 2002 to check it out, and paid our money to bring it back home. Despite it being sat out of use for over 6 months, it drove the 130 miles home with no trouble.
Immediate attention was needed to bodywork, a levelling valve, wipers, indicators, reversing lights and fitting new batteries The bus was put through an MoT and used that year at various events in its green and cream livery. But in late 2003 we set about repairs – new windscreen and rubbers, new pillar panels, body panels & engine access door were fitted. A new king pin was fitted, and 2 tyres replaced. Through 2004 it was rubbed down and repainted into the Ayres red & Ivory scheme shown.
Other work over the years has including fitting a new air filter assembly. This gave the bus a startling new performance, as the original was clogged solid with muck and corrosion! A new fuel pump drive shaft seal has been fitted to cure an ongoing oil leak, and a corroded air pressure regulator valve and faulty levelling valve have been replaced. Windscreen wiper problems were ongoing for a number of months caused, we eventually found out, by the motor being worn out. A replacement motor got the problem sorted.
An ongoing fuel supply problem had us foxed over a number of months. After long investigations, this turned out to be waste paper in the tank intermittently blocking the fuel draw-off pipe.
For many years 378 was the Trust’s main vehicle, but is currently laid up for its 10 year refurbishment.