Bristol VRTSL6G registration number OWW 905P was delivered to West Riding on 10th May 1976 and numbered 761 in the fleet. It was part of a small batch of nine vehicles registration numbers NWR 505-508P & OWW 903-907P, and carried Eastern Coach Works H43/31F bodywork. Being immediately put to use on trunk routes around Wakefield it was another example of the vehicle that had become the standard double deck bus in the wider National Bus Company fleet.
Originally delivered in National Bus Company poppy red, 761 was to receive the honour of being chosen to carry a special livery to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee in 1977 and was duly adorned in silver and blue livery from May 1977 until March 1978. A similar treatment was also applied to Bristol RE registration number THL 259H.
761 was renumbered 827 in November 1982 and was repainted into Metrobus verona green and buttermilk livery before being repainted again into Caldaire West Riding chevron livery. She continued to deliver reliable service until withdrawal in December 1989.
Her time in regular passenger service was not over and she passed to United Automobile Services the same month and eventually formed part of the Tees & District Transport Company from February 1990 to November 1995. Whilst with this operator she received a full strip down and refurbishment.
By March 1996 she had found her way to the dealers yard at North’s of Sherburn but found favour with IW & E Williams of Deiniolen until July 1996 when she passed to her final operator Japheth of Trefor, finally retiring in February 1997 after 21 active years.
Having been passed to Bus Parts of Doncaster by October the same year, she was spotted in their yard by Ian Hunter and rescued with support from Richard Hall and Neil Halliday and placed in secure storage. A quick repaint was completed into West Riding Ayres red and cream tramways livery before she was laid up out of service for many years.
Click on the image above to see more photographs of OWW905P
Most recently several WROPS members had seen a desire to see this bus in the collection of the Society and restored to her former glory. Under the custodianship of Colin Poole and Steve Hurley the VR was finally secured by WROPS and moved to a new home in December 2013.
It is hoped that once other projects are completed a thorough restoration can begin however in the meantime Colin has already been busy securing a set of correct specification seats whilst Mick & Andrew have attended to some mechanical issues.
Obviously, there is a wide choice of livery styles to choose from once she is fit for a repaint!
WROPS are grateful to acknowledge the support given by Ian Hunter and Neil Halliday for providing storage for this vehicle for many years before WROPS could secure alternative accommodation.