Special event commemorated by presentation of newly preserved bus

Andrew Fender and Christopher Bowles seen with B65 PJA, Leyland Olympian.
Andrew Fender (Transport for Greater Manchester) and Christopher Bowles (Managing Director, Stagecoach Manchester) seen with B65 PJA, Leyland Olympian at the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, Cheetham.

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

Leyland Olympian B65 PJA, Stagecoach/Magic Bus livery, Greater Manchester Museum of Transport
The Way We Were: the same bus, seen in Magic Bus livery outside the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, 23 October 2011.
Leyland Olympian B65 PJA (loading)
Ready to Roll: 3065’s maiden public journey in its restored guise.
Leyland Olympian B65 PJA, Greater Manchester Transport
Sitting Pretty: in its Greater Manchester Transport 1981 livery.

More Highlights from The Big Orange 2016 event

Volvo B10BLE Superbus, First Manchester
First Manchester’s version of the Superbus livery. These vehicles were also seen on the 400 and 401 services under GM Buses North.
Two Leyland Atlanteans, The Woodthorpe
One of Greater Manchester Transport’s newest Leyland Atlanteans is leading 6809, a 1972 East Lancashire bodied Leyland Atlantean. The latter was a Bolton Transport order which saw service under SELNEC Northern.
Three GMT Standards
GM Buses North in miniature: a Rochdale Leyland Fleetline accompanied by two Leyland Atlanteans.
Leyland National EX30, The Woodthorpe
EX30, the first production Leyland National in its dual doored glory at The Woodthorpe turnaround.
Leyland Leopard coach 81, The Woodthorpe
Mark Amis’ Leyland Leopard, once a mainstay of the Saddleworth to Manchester limited stop 183s and 184s. Today, seen with the GM Buses and Bury vinyls.
Leyland Atlantean VBA 181S, Greater Manchester Transport
Leyland Atlantean VBA 181S, seen in the 1974 – 81 Greater Manchester Transport livery.
Leyland Atlantean A705 LNC, The Woodthorpe
Another look at 4706 (or 8706 in old money), one of Greater Manchester Transport’s last Leyland Atlanteans.
Leyland Atlantean 7001 and Leyland PD3/14, Greater Manchester Museum of Transport
Two historical footnotes in Greater Manchester’s bus history. One being 7001, the first production version of the Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean and 5871, a Leyland PDR3/14, firstly of Stockport Corporation and one of GMT’s last crew-operated buses.
Bolton Leyland Atlantean 6809, The Woodthorpe
Another look at the Bolton Bus Group’s Leyland Atlantean at The Woodthorpe turnaround.

S.V., 15 October 2016.

2 thoughts on “In Pictures: The Big Orange 2016, Greater Manchester Museum of Transport

  1. Hello Stuart, not connected with the Manchester bus above but can I bring to your attention a possible blog story you may be interested in doing? Love Hope Trust are a Cancer Trust set up by Rachel Carrack to provide financial help to people with cancer when the NHS are unable to help for cost reasons. This financial help provides a lifeline to cancer sufferers as it allows them to seek out treatments/medication from private sources such as clinics abroad. A bus company featured on here a few times, South Pennine Community Transport, have kindly provided space on vehicles for adverts for Love Hope Trust free of charge. Rachel had a type of cancer what needed treatment abroad when the NHS couldn’t help, at the time Rachel was lucky enough to somehow find the money to help pay for her treatment, hence why she set up the trust so other cancer patients in similar situations didn’t have to worry about financing their treatment. Rachel’s cancer has returned in a different part of her body and she now needs to fundraise for her own treatment. Rachel has set up a go fund me page http://www.gofundme.com/CarrackCancerBattle and South Pennine once again have very kindly offered free space for an advert on both vehicles they operate for a poster advertising the campaign. Many thanks if you can do an article about this story.


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