Late-1980s vehicle converted to mobile playroom

When I was young, I quite fancied having a Leyland Atlantean outside my front door, so long as it was a GMT standard. The nearest I got was a collection of models, which takes up far less room. Probably a good thing because it would have rusted till I got my ‘L’ plates and PCV licence. (I still have neither).

Kudos to the teenage entrepreneur who has converted a single decker bus into a mobile playroom. Ben Laidler and his family from Ashton-under-Lyne purchased the 1987 Leyland Lynx, which previously saw usage as a tattoo parlour in Saddleworth.

The bus, E885 KYW, originally purchased from new by Grey-Green in 1987, will carry a different set of passengers. Instead of shoppers, its passengers will be children and young people aged 5 to 18 years old. Known as “Zapz” it’ll be equipped with games consoles and other activities such as hair braiding and loom band making. The bus is available for weddings and birthday parties.

The party bus was the brainchild of Ben, a teenage boy diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and a pupil at St. Vincent’s School, just outside Liverpool. He saw a gap in the market which inspired him to set up a mobile games lounge. As well as quelling boredom, it is also a sanctuary from the formalities of weddings and birthday parties for people on the autism spectrum.

Ben’s bus is now available for bookings with its first function taking place next month. In the Tameside Advertiser, he has appealed to interested persons who wish to decorate his vehicle or provide permanent storage for the Leyland Lynx.

We at East of the M60 wish them well. If you want to lend them a hand, you can contact his mother Sandra on 07914 398611.

How I wish there was such a bus when I was younger!

S.V., 11 March 2015.

6 thoughts on “From Grey-Green to Party Scene: Ashton Lad Turns Leyland Lynx to Fun Bus

    1. Hi Ben,

      Glad to see you found the article. How is the Fun Bus project going on?

      Have you thought of showing it off at transport fairs, like The Trans-Lancs Transport Show at Heaton Park, Prestwich (first Sunday in September)? It could fulfil two purposes. One of historical interest to the bus enthusiasts. Another one, that of sanctuary from noisy fairground rides or crowds of camera wielding bus and commercial vehicle fanatics.

      Bye for now,



    1. Hello again Ben,

      I first knew about your bus when you featured in the penultimate edition of the Tameside Advertiser. That was over a year ago, so my article looked at your bus from both a general perspective and an enthusiast’s perspective. (Hence the reference to its service history).

      After seeing your Facebook page, thanks for solving a small mystery. On most mornings, I had been curious about the purple Leyland Lynx I see in the forecourt off Globe Lane. Unwittingly, I had been passing your bus, through the window of a Manchester Piccadilly train each weekday. 🙂

      Bye for now,



  1. It’s just passed it’s MOT again.Just advisories on rear inboard tyres.So it will be running around Grt Manchester for another year.It was a great idea of Bens,but being his dad I do all the work.LOL


    1. Hi Ian,

      Good news for you and Ben with the MOT. Hope to see it around Greater Manchester again.

      Have you looked at publicising your bus on Tameside Radio? Possibly as part of a programme feature or – if you’re involved in any local events – an Outside Broadcast feature.




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