Special event commemorated by presentation of newly preserved bus
The 2016 Big Orange event at the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport was marked by the handover of a newly preserved bus. Joining Greater Manchester Transport Society’s collection is B65 PJA, a 1985 Leyland Olympian. Originally allocated to Altrincham depot, the bus was last seen in revenue earning service in 2011, in Magic Bus livery.
Since withdrawal from frontline duties, it was restored by employees of its last owners, Stagecoach Manchester. This morning, it was formally handed over to the Greater Manchester Transport Society. In attendance was Andrew Fender, the present-day chief of Transport for Greater Manchester, and Christopher Bowles, Stagecoach Manchester’s outgoing Managing Director.
During the handover, Christopher Bowles also shared his early memories of 3065. He remembered the Leyland Olympian from his stint at Altrincham depot. Andrew Fender stated how he saw the Olympian bus as one that marked a transition period in Greater Manchester’s bus history.
The Leyland Olympian’s roots lie in the Bristol VRT, hence its popularity with National Bus Company subsidiaries and Passenger Transport Executive operations. 1982 saw the arrival of GMT’s first Olympian, a prototype Northern Counties bodied model with a distinctive HELP bumper and single line electronic indicator. This too has been restored, complete with the HELP bumper and a replica of the electronic indicator display.
Northern Counties’ bodywork design spawned the Palatine and Palatine II designs, which took the second generation GMT standard style well in to the 21st century.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of bus deregulation, some changes had been made to the static displays. The illuminated M-blems from Whitefield and Rochdale bus stations also take pride of place. As usual, there were stalls from the Bolton Bus Group, MDS Book Sales’, and the Museum of Transport’s very own stall. Further to the souvenir shop, the stall sold original GMT and GM Buses Bus Guides and publicity leaflets. (Needless to say, yours truly bought a fistful himself).
In the same year when Leyland Olympian 3065 entered service…
- Manchester United’s 11-game 100% record was unseen as a TV blackout led to there being no football – not even highlights – on our screens. As soon as football returned to the screens, the Reds’ record went.
- Must-watch Saturday night television included Cannon and Ball, The Late Late Breakfast Show, The Price Is Right and Blind Date.
- We were listening to Timmy on the Trammy on Piccadilly Radio (261 Medium Wave and 97.0 FM at the time). Within two years, Timmy Mallett would be seen on Wacaday.
- Chart toppers included Madonna (Into The Groove), Jennifer Rush’s The Power of Love, and Midge Ure with If I Was.
- The concessionary fare on Greater Manchester Transport’s services was 10p.
- New railway stations opened in Derker, Flowery Field, and Ryder Brow.
More Pictures of Leyland Olympian 3065
More Highlights from The Big Orange 2016 event
S.V., 15 October 2016.