Ex Nottingham City Transport Leyland National MK1 No.728
New in July 1973 as fleet number 728. It is a 10.3 metre bus and was delivered as a B40D vehicle, i.e. 40 seats and two doors, with space for 18 standees.
It was ordered for use on the 77 central Area Service which was a free bus service that operated around Nottingham city centre linking the principal shopping areas with the Victoria and Broadmarsh shopping centres.
It was delivered in an overall green livery from the Workington factory - the green being slightly darker than the standard Nottingham green. Prior to entering service on the 24th of July 1973 the yellow roof and white band were added. It ran for a number of years in this livery prior to the yellow roof being returned to green. At this time a hinged route board depicting the yellow '77' and orange '88' route details was fitted to the front panel for use when on cityline duties.
A new life as a sales unit !
In 1980 the vehicle was withdrawn from active service for conversion to a mobile ticket sales vehicle for the then new Easyrider Travel Card. This involved the removal of several window bays, the original heating system - in place of a Webasto diesel powered unit, the fitment of outward opening centre doors, the fitment of a sales counter & the provision of mains powered sockets and lighting. All of this work was undertaken at Trent Bridge works & the vehicle emerged as shown here. In line with this a marketing campaign was implemented to promote the new travelcard & the vehicle was appropriately named 'buster'.
One interesting feature of this new role was that the vehicle was declared exempt from the road fund licence. The conditions attached to this being that it did not travel more than 15 miles on public roads in any one year. Thus owing to an ever resourceful transport department the vehicle was often to be found sitting in the Old Market Square, Nottingham minus its central bumper section. This enabled towing - and towed mileage did not count towards the annual mileage total under the terms of the dispensation.
It was decided to keep the vehicle for use as a mobile timetable unit for times of service revision. When not in use for this purpose it was made available for publicity purposes. The livery carried at this time is shown in the image above.
In July 1986 the vehicle was withdrawn and stored in Bulwell depot & latterly Trent Bridge works. Despite being out of use it was renumbered 828 in November 1987. At about the same time it was moved into Trent Motor Tractions Manvers Street depot in Nottingham, along with several other surplus vehicles, where it remained until sale in June 1988.
The vehicle is sold
Centro Mobile Exhibition unit.
Purchased by ourselves
The vehicle was purchased by ourselves in August 2002, it having been withdrawn by Centro following displacement by a new Dennis Dart exhibition unit the previous April.
Over the winter of 2002/2003 the interior was completely refitted for use as a photo sales unit & display vehicle - to raise awareness & funds for the group. Externally we refitted the rear window & rebuilt the rear end to the original style, refitted the destination equipment, including the rear number blinds, reinstated the PAYE lights, replaced many skirt panels and began to tidy up the bodywork in preparation for repainting.
Preparing for paint
It is fitted with mains wiring, so whilst at a rally we either run a generator or plug into a shoreline supply. This also runs a battery charger, so all the interior lights can be left on without flattening the batteries.
The Central Area Service also operated with Nationals on the 88 route which ran roughly in the opposite direction and carried orange roofs.
Here we see 728 on its return leg from the 5th visit to the Scottish Bus Museum at Lathalmond, Fife.
A refresh for 2010
Into the 2011 season
The advert carried as a good will gesture/thankyou for the reduced rental of our unit on site, promoting caravan storage at TDG West Hallam was removed upon takeover by Norbert Dentressangle. Apparently such advertising wasn't their kind of thing. Unfortunately the removal of the advert and subsequent repaint of the rear end was also at our expense.
2012 Season - what a washout !
Replacing the turbo led us to take the opportunity to replace the compressor and water pump at the same time. This was all done in a couple of days meaning that the bus could attend the Showbus rally at Duxford. Despite a monumental air lock in the system giving us an eventful journey down , it eventually cleared itself enabling us to relax and enjoy the day.