THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY
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2413 (VTC 503M) / 6912 (PTD 640S)
There were two additional GMT/LUT Standards built. As a result of a fire at Hindley depot in August 1981, two buses were burnt out, although their chassis' remained intact. The first was 2413 (VTC 503M) an ex-LUT (413) 'jumbo' Daimler Fleetline with Northern Counties H49/27D, dual door bodywork, built in 1974. The second was 6912 (PTD 640S) an ex-LUT (496) GMT/LUT Standard.
Both were re-bodied by Northern Counties in 1983. 2413 has a specially lengthened 'Standard' metal framed body put on it in single door configuration. 6912 was re-bodied with a new standard body, but by 1983 had moved over to alloy construction.
Hence, 6912 was the only alloy framed Fleetline Standard and with 2413, one of only two 'Standard' Fleetlines to enter service in orange/white/brown.
We have previously reported in pages of our newsletters on the First Calderline Fleet of ex-Greater Manchester Fleetlines, being one of the largest groups of operating Fleetlines in the country. However, all of these vehicles are well over 20 years of age and the era of the Fleetline is clearly coming to an end. Consequently, it was apparent that First Calderline could not keep these vehicles in operation indefinitely, and throughout out contact with them they did indicate that when their Fleetline operation ended we would be given the opportunity to secure some spare parts from the vehicles that were no longer required, especially as not only did they have Fleetline chassis and Gardner engines, they also had Northern Counties Standard bodywork.
As it was, a number of factors came together. Firstly, we had re-booked into the Heart of the Pennines Vintage Bus Rally for 6th May 2001 as a result of our attendance there for the first time in May 2000. Secondly, it was announced that First Calderline would tie in its running day of the last of its Fleetlines on the same day, 6th May 2001, with the rally centred at the Piece Hall in Halifax.
Thirdly, our contact over the years with First Calderline meant that sometime after their Fleetlines came out of service, which would now be at a date to be agreed beyond 6th May 2001, we would finally be allowed to secure the spare Fleetline and Northern Counties parts that we need to assist in our ongoing restoration and rectification of a number of ex-SELNEC and GMT Standards.
However, another element developed over recent months in terms of our contact with First Calderline. We had, as indicated earlier under section 5 Spare Parts and Vehicle Acquisitions, been looking out for a whole vehicle (i.e. a Northern Counties bodied Fleetline) to act as a source for spares for the future as a stablemate to 7070, the Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68 we had secured for similar purposes.
Although, as reported in that section, eventually we resourced this requirement by acquiring 6950 (YTE 587V) from John Cherry at Aintree Coachlines, before this occurred we had made an approach to First Calderline on this issue. Not only did we ask them to be in a position to secure spare parts in general from their Fleetlines, once withdrawn from service, but that we also might choose one of their vehicles to be a candidate as a whole bus, to be secured for the aforementioned long-term spare part programme.
In this regard we took the view that it might be interesting to secure a vehicle that had some relevance or history, or was a little unusual in some way, rather than just a straightforward ex-GMT Fleetline, and we highlighted three vehicles in particular: 6912 (PTD 640S) because this had an alloy framed body, having been re-bodied in 1983 after the Hindley fire in August 1981; 8141 which not only had the lower deck recessed windows but interestingly had the registration no. GNF 16V, being the continuation of the unused Titan series. It had been anticipated that Greater Manchester Transport would secure more Leyland Titans than they did, and consequently a number of registrations were booked. The registration of GMT's actual last Titan, now owned by the SELNEC Preservation Society, is GNF 15V.
Hence, GNF 16V and GNF 17V, which had been purchased at the time, were used on Fleetline deliveries on the basis that no more than 15 Titans were to be received and GNF 16V was applied to 8141 and GNF 17V to 8142. Hence, we thought that not only would 6912 be an interesting concept as a vehicle to be purchased for spare parts, because of its re-bodied alloy construction, so might 8141, because of its lower deck recessed windows, which had first appeared on 8116, as well as its registration GNF 16V.
The third vehicle which we considered as a potential donor for spare parts for the future was 8017 (XBU 17S) simply because it came from the same batch of XBU-S Fleetlines as 8001 (XBU 1S) being the first 20, 8001-8020 (XBU 1S to XBU 20S).
When we made it known to our members that one of this list of three vehicles: 6912, 8141 and 8017 was the potential source of us securing a whole vehicle for spare parts, a considerable amount of concern was raised that we might ever consider stripping 6912. It then became apparent there was a considerable amount of interest in this vehicle in that having been re-bodied it was somewhat unique.
6912 was first registered on 17th August 1977 and was delivered to LUT in red and grey livery, albeit with orange moquette and orange PVC seats, as their number 496 with original Northern Counties steel framed body 8136. However, in August 1981, a clipper card machine on LUT dual-door Jumbo Fleetline 2413 (VTC 503M) which was parked adjacent to 6912 at the time, caught fire, engulfing the bus in flames.
Staff at Hindley Depot tried to move all the vehicles that were parked close to 2413, but 6912 was parked next to it and would not start. As the fire raged on 2413, which was parked next to diesel tanks, these exploded and this showered 6912 with flames, seriously damaging the front of the vehicle. Eventually, both vehicles had their bodies removed by GMT and the chassis repaired.
Some 18 months later, in early 1983, they were re-bodied by Northern Counties, quite surprisingly, as this policy had not been pursued previously by SELNEC nor even Manchester City Transport. 2413 was a 1973 'M' reg. long wheelbase dual-door Daimler Fleetline which was re-bodied with an extended Northern Counties body in the Standard design and looked unique and unusual, as because of the length of the chassis it had a sixth large window on the upper deck, being a full length bay rather than the small window depicted on most Standards and had H47/34F bodywork applied to it.
However, despite this being 1983 and the fact that Northern Counties had moved on to alloy frame construction, this was a metal frame body. Of more interest, however, was the fact that ex-LUT Standard 6912 was also re-bodied by Northern Counties in 1983, but in their current alloy frame body which was being applied at that time, and was given Body No. 2426.
Records secured from Northern Counties indicate that the body build sequence was as follows:
Although the only vehicles ever re-bodied for SELNEC/GMT were 2413 and 6912 there was an adaptation undertaken to LUT Standard 522, ex-GMT 6938 (TWH 697T). This double-decker Standard, having had an accident at Wargrave Bridge in 1985 had lost most of the upper deck and was rebuilt at Northern Counties as a 28 seat single-decker and renumbered 1697 in line with its licence plate designation.
It was painted in the white/orange/brown later GMT livery, eventually being adapted in 1986 for the GM Buses designation. It had additional seats added where the staircase would normally be on the off-side of the lower deck behind the driver's cab and in addition had an emergency window fitted on the nearside in position 3 and engine shrouds added at the rear to tidy up its appearance and add strength.
6912 was taken out of service at deregulation with GMT, but did pass as the lowest numbered ex-LUT Standard vehicle into the GM Buses fleet, as 6901-6911 were sold. GM Buses had purchased from GMT far more vehicles than they actually needed, putting many of them in the 'moth ball' fleet for potential future use, but it was soon determined that these were unnecessary so large batches were sold off, a considerable number being sold to Yorkshire Rider, including 6912, which was purchased by them on 28th November 1987.
Consequently, it was operated longer in Halifax, for the subsequent operator of Yorkshire Rider, now First Calderline, than it had run in Greater Manchester. What was pointed out by a number of members and trustees was the fact that 6912 was an extremely rare vehicle. Not only was it the only Standard to be re-bodied as a Standard, but it was also the only alloy bodied Fleetline Standard to be delivered to GMT, as this style of body had only previously been applied to Atlanteans and Olympians.
Furthermore, alongside 2413 it was the only Fleetline to enter service in the white/orange/brown livery, which had been applied previously to Atlanteans with the livery change in 1981, from 8414 and 8417 onwards.
Consequently our contact with First Calderline changed in some respects in that we now asked them if it was possible to secure 6912 for preservation as opposed to being a donor vehicle for spare parts, which they readily agreed to. We still pursued them however with the possibility of 8141 (GNF 16V) or 8017 (XBU 17S) being the donor vehicle for spare parts, and until such time as we secured 6950 when we notified First Calderline to this effect. Hence, of the three possible operations: the securing of 6912 for preservation was to go ahead; the securing of a whole vehicle as a source for future spare parts (i.e. 8141 or 8017) was abandoned because of our acquisition of 6950, and the third element was and still is to visit when all Fleetlines have been taken out of service to remove Northern Counties body parts and Fleetline running parts.
As a consequence of our contact with First Calderline, they agreed in a document signed on 20th April 2001 to donate on permanent loan 6912 (PTD 640S) to the SELNEC Educational Trust, on the basis that it would be used for preservation and eventually would be restored, which it will be in some years to come when time and resources allow.
The plan was that the allocation of 6912 to the SELNEC Educational Trust would take effect on the last Fleetline running day, in conjunction with the Heart of the Pennines Vintage Bus Rally at the Piece Hall in Halifax on 6th May 2001 and it would be formally handed over to the SELNEC Educational Trust on that day.
6901 - 6930 (Type iv (R))
|Northern Counties H43/32F - Light Alloy|
|Leyland Fleetline FE30GR|
|17th August 1977|
|6th May 2001|
Rebodied in 1983 following a fire - hence only alloy bodied Fleetline Standard and one of only two Fleetlines to enter service in white/orange/brown livery.