0261 (F261 YTJ)

DETAILS:

Registration:

F261 YTJ

Chassis:

Leyland Olympian ONCL10/1RZ ON11026

Body:

Northern Counties 3783

Layout:

H47/30F

New:

February 1989

Current Status:

Under Restoration

 

History

0261 is one of 70 Leyland Olympians delivered to Merseybus during 1988 and 1989. 

They were bodied by both Alexander and Northern Counties, the full 70 comprising two batches of each. 0201-0215 were bodied by Northern Counties in the current GM style. 0216-0230 and 0231-50 were bodied by Alexander being delivered in 1988 and 1989 respectively. 0251-70 were bodied by Northern Counties to a newer style with a flatter front grille. 

All of Olympians passed to Arriva who renumbered them into their 3xxx series, replacing the first 0 with a 3. The E-reg examples were quickly sold, a large batch going to Happy Als of Birkenhead. 0224 and 0227 survive with Arriva to this day as open toppers at Rhyl depot.

 

 

The Alexander bodied F-reg examples (0231-0250) were the next to go with 6 going to Arriva North East. Five of these, and one they bought directly off Arriva Merseyside,  operated with Avon Buses on the Wirra lfor a while. 

The 19 surviving later Northern Counties examples (as 0270 was stolen by youths and was wrecked) lasted in service right upto 2006 when they were withdrawn en masse and sold, with five transferred to Arriva Midlands North. 

0261 was new to Southport depot in 1989 where it led a pretty uneventful life before being transferred to Speke depot in 2001, just after the sale of MTL to Arriva.

 

 It was bought by Dave Wright for preservation in mid 2006 and was stored at the MTT base in Burscough until October 2012, when it was moved to Kirkby.

 

In February 2014, restoration had now begun, with volunteers assessing the condition of the panels previously removed and seeing what needed replacing. Other panels that didn't require replacement had begun to be sanded down and prepared for any filler, and in the future, painting. Mechanical work had also begun, with pedals and throttle linkages being lubricated to loosen them up following it's extended period out of use.

Work continued at a steady rate, and by May, all panels has been cut and fitted to the bus. Repaint into the later version of Marron and Cream that the bus would have carried in Merseybus days at Southport depot soon began. In true NWVRT style, it came down to the wire, the target for completion being June 1st, our Running Day. Unfortunately time was against us and we didn't quite manage to get it MOT'd in time to operate the free service on the Running Day. However the repaint was completed, logos added, lights wired in, and full mechanical checkover was given, all in time for the day before when the bus emerged from the shed in all its splendor to allow for a well known magazine to takes a few pictures of it alongside 0238, a similar Leyland Olympina, but with an Alexander body restored in the later MTL Red and Cream livery with Merseybus logos.



As of the beginning of July, the final touches have been done to the inside and outside of the bus, and the MOT test station beckons, before it hits the rally scene for the first time in preservation.