We’re back to offer you another great slice of vehicular nostalgia with our latest Throwback Thursday instalment. This time we’re exploring the last bus to be delivered to the Walsall Corporation, as well as one of the first buses to arrive at WMPTE!
Take a look below to find out more, and don’t forget to check out our other vintage bus blog.
Fleet number: 119L
Registration number: XDH 519G
Status: Currently having its bodywork restored
This is a short Daimler Fleetline with a dual door. The Chassis was built in Coventry and the body in Wigan.
This was the last new bus delivered to Walsall Corporation in February 1969 before WMPTE (West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive) absorbed the company in October 1969.
When the bus was delivered, it went out in service with a driver and conductor and was not converted to a ‘One Man Operation’ bus until January 1971. It gained WMPTE blue and cream livery in April 1975 and this is the livery it will be restored to when we complete the project.
This bus remained in service until February 1981, spending in total, 12 years running out of Walsall garage. The bus was then sold for preservation to Ron Edgeley-Cox, the person responsible for its unusual design, and who was also the general manager at Walsall Transport when the bus was originally delivered.
In 2012, the bus was purchased by former WMPTE fitter and car SOS presenter Fuzz Townsend. It has made several appearances on television at the side of the workshop in Car SOS. In June 2019 Fuzz decided he would never have time to restore it and donated it back to us.
Work to restore the bodywork started in October 2020 and is still ongoing. This will be the third bus to be externally restored but will still require internal and mechanical work before being available for use.
Fleet number: 3997
Registration number: TOB 997H
Status: Currently having bodywork restoration done
This is a long Daimler Fleetline with Park Royal ‘jumbo’ dual door bodywork. This bus was ordered by Wolverhampton Corporation, with bodywork by Roe. WMPTE changed the bodywork of this bus to Park Royal to match another similar batch being delivered at the time.
The formation of the PTE (Passenger Transport Executives) ordered by Birmingham City Transport, was one of the first batches of buses delivered to WMPTE. This bus pictured arrived in April 1970 at our Park Lane garage, Wolverhampton.
It was converted for ‘One Man Operation’ in May 1971 and was withdrawn in April 1981, spending all its life running from the same garage.
In June 1981, the bus was auctioned and purchased by an operator in Suffolk, who ran it until October 1991. The bus was then sold to a group of preservationists who travelled with the bus to shows all over the country for a few years.
After sitting in a barn in Bewdley for many years, the owners decided the best place for it to be was back with its original owners. The bus was donated back to us in December 2018. Work is progressing, but there is still a lot to do before it can make an appearance.
The throwback fun doesn't end here! Read our final instalment of the series here. If you have any other images of the vintage buses in our series, we’d love to see them! Join in on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We would like to say a very big thank you to Tony Hunter and wmbusphotos.com for helping us put this blog together.
Published: 9th March 2021
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