Type of Vehicle - Single Deck Bus
Year Built/Registered - 1974
Vehicle Description - Single Deck BET bodied bus with 49 DP seats
Reg No. - GJW 43N / Fleet No 343
Livery/Operator - Midland Express
History - This bus is part of a second batch of fifty vehicles delivered to the Midland Red Omnibus Company in 1974 in 'National' poppy red and white DP livery allocated to the Leicester area of Midland Red. The bus was employed on 'Limited Stop' inter town services and 'National Express' duplicate work.
Remaining in red and white until 1981 when Midland Red company was split into six separate operating companies names as follows: Midland Red, North/East/South/West/Express and Engineering.
Being part of Midland Red East the fleet was subsequently renamed Midland Fox. After the breakup of Midland Red the stage operators branded their limited stop stage services in the livery of 'Midland Express' which is the livery the bus is depicted, its mid-life livery.
After the bus was downgraded to ordinary stage services the bus was repainted into the Red and Yellow livery of Midland Fox finished its service life in 1994 and it was realised that major body repairs were required. This was carried out by 'Bulkrite' under the supervision of Mr Andrew Davies who repainted her into the present livery.
The bus, affectionately known as 'Lilian' has her own garage space parked alongside an ex Devon General AEC Reliance and an ex Bournemouth Daimler Roadliner.
As with any vehicle restoration ongoing work is always required. The seats were removed with four replacement seats sourced from fleet number 356 and re-upholstered in NBC moquette.
The front of the bus was removed with the inner framework replaced complete with new front panens and windscreens. The rear of the bus was also rebuilt with a replacement engine fitted plus other replacement components including the re-installation of saloon heaters.
Many people have given their time and assistance in the presentation of this bus, the owners are especially indebted to Martyn Hearson and his team at Reliance Bus Works for their kind support in ensuring the bus is kept in pristine condition.
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