Leyland Nationals


GRM 353L – Mark 1

This Mark 1 model 1151/1R with an integral B52F body was new to Cumberland Motor Services in February 1973 based at Whitehaven depot, Gaining Stagecoach Cumberland livery during the take over of Stagecoach.

In 1989, renumbered as ‘202’, 353 joined 11 other Nationals in Perth for what was to he a ‘BUS WAR’ with 12 ‘Perth Panther’ branded Leyland Nationals were put up against a fleet of ‘City Transport’ Strathtay Routemasters, the Nationals coming out on top.

A year later in 1990,  353 was moved to Birmingham, were it transfered to Birmingham Coach Company, were it wore Stagecoach Stripes before gaining the iconic Red and Cream of Birmingham Coach Company. It gained a even brighter livery, when in 1997, it was painted blue and black for a overall advert for ‘Sleep City’ bed center.

By 2001, it was bought by Bob Daglish at Rowrah. Were it was repainted back in to red, who operated it, before 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 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 panels 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.

We stripped out the seat cushion and wet vac them, sanded and repainted the seat frames and repaint interior panels, we had to remove a seat frame for work and we found a CMS CUMBERLAND ticket stuffed down the side of the frame. Probably the most we travelled bus ticket.

We sanded and repainted the outside back in to NBC Poppy red and gave it a new lease of life and is popular at our events, more so during LN50 when 353 made a guest appearance on the sunday and made the climb out of Whitehaven, heading up bransty with a full load of passengers and 353 made the climb without breaking a sweat, albeit at a bit of a slow speed…

The good news is that no road tax will be payable as the bus is just old enough to take advantage of this concession.

This makes GRM-353L the oldest preserved Public Service National, and is our pride and joy,


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!

WHH 556S - Mark 1

WHH 556S – Mark 1

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.

In 2014, 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. By 2024 the paint had badly faded, the paint along the roof being and almost brownish red colour, so in February 2024 our volunteers set about stripping off the front cover plate over the louver grill, rear light and engine panels. Replacing with correct panels. Before giving it a sand down and fresh coat of red and white, fog lights refitted and inside grab rails painted black, the perfect present for 210s 45th birthday!


CHH 210T - Mark 1

CHH 210T – on show at Cockermouth Touch A Truck show not long after it’s first restoration




HHH-372V Mark 2

HHH-372V was one of the early batch of Mk2s to enter service at Cumberland, delivered to Whitehaven depot in June 1980 as Cumberland 372. Before heading to Workington depot in 1985, in July 1987 it transfered to Stagecoach Cumberland  ending at Penrith depot in 1992, a year later in 1993 it went to Stagecoach Ribble, being based in Bolton.

It spent time between Fleetwood and Morecombe depot until February 1997 when it came back to Cumberland, but in November of that year, 372 went to Stagecoach Western as Number 760.

Then between February 1999 to February 2003, 372 moved around between operators; Lyles of Bately, Shears of Mayford, Leggs Travel of Byfleet,  ending its days at Livingston in Mayford for filming in February 2003, here the seats were turned round, we’re not sure why, so if anyone knows, please let.us know, or footage of what it was used in.

In October 2009, HHH-372V entered preservation, were it was repainted back in to red, and correct seat covers installed.

In early 2024, when we wanted to buy a reproduction engine panel and set of louver grills for CHH-210T, we were made aware that 372 was up for sale,  since we saw it as a good opportunity to get the panels for 210, we just had to get it.

We knew we got a good bus, when just like CHH-210T, It made the long 350 mile from South London to Workington without a fault.

It debuted at LN52 in Whitehaven, as unrestored, how ever 372 is in need of restoration and needs a few more extra pairs of hands to help restore it back in to NBC Cumberland livery


HHH-372V returns to the Leyland Factory during Leyland National 52,

KHH 378W – Mark 2

The bus that started our group.  378 was new to Cumberland in October 1980. Painted in plain NBC poppy red, based at Workington depot, As with the rest of fleet, it gained Stagecoach Stripes during the take over of Cumberland, before 378 was transfered to Stagecoach Ribble, by 1998, like most our fleet, 378 headed to the further reaches of the country, passing to AA Buses in Strathclyde, were it was painted green and cream.  It finally ended its  days as a driver trainer in Glasgow alongside sister National 389.

We found out about 378 being available from the newsletter from theLeyland 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 its now iconic Ayres red & Ivory scheme of CMS Cumberland, a livery it didn’t carry in service, but now is iconic to 378.

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 with it attending rallies and events across the county, but a persistent slow oil leak from the gearbox saw it parked up in 2013. Then 10 years later in January 2023, 378 was resurrected, the oil leak was seen to, firstly by putting in a new seal that we hoped would solve it, a short test run seemed that we had finally stopped the leak. But on a longer test run, the oil started to leak again, with no idea how to stop the oil leak. We picked option two, swapping it’s Leyland 505 engine for a TL11 engine and gearbox, not only solving the oil leak, but also making it a much lively performer. With mechanical work done, we fixed up the body panels and with a fresh coat of paint and new vinyls, saw 378 return to the road in time for Leyland National 51. And with the resurrection of Barrow 20, for the first time we had all our Nationals running!

Since it’s return to the road, 378 has picked up it’s mantel of main vehicle, seeing it head to Leyland and Glasgow aswell as a return to our Boxing day service.

SHH 378W, Mkll National seen in daylight after it’s 10 year hibernation.

378 in use on 2023 Boxing Day bus service.

CEO 720W

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

CEO 720W arriving at the Old Fire station


CEO 720W soon after repainting back in to Barrow Corporation colours