In October 1981 Yorkshire Traction placed a batch of Leyland National 2 in service, NKU 245X being numbered 245 within the batch.
Allocated to Waterloo Depot at Huddersfield, 245 spent most of its working life plying for trade on its regular routes including town services in Huddersfield and trunk routes such as Wakefield to Huddersfield. Having been delivered in National Bus Company red it wore several versions of Yorkshire Traction livery, an overall advertisement for Fantasy Island and also sported County Motors blue and cream colours for several years.
During the 1970’s and early 1980’s the Leyland National was the mainstay of many large fleets and became a common sight throughout the UK. 245 was built to the modified National 2 design, the most obvious difference to the early versions being a more bulbous front nose. 245’s presence in preservation represents a time when bus manufacturing had become very standardised and almost every town in the UK was touched by one specific bus design – the Leyland National.
The Leyland National was a high capacity single deck bus that was able to carry over 70 passengers. With spacious internal proportions more standing passengers were carried than more traditionally styled buses. The design certainly turned heads in the early 1970’s when it was launched into service.
Having completed over 20 years front line service, 245 was demoted from passenger use and became a tow bus at Waterloo, eventually being fully retired after 22 years with the company.
245 was acquired for preservation in 2003 and underwent a repaint into National Bus Company livery. Being based at Keighley Bus Museum, restoration work was completed and 245 attended many rallies and became a regular performer at Dewsbury Bus Museum events.
However, in late 2012, 245 was sold out of preservation and a start was made to turn the bus into a mobile home. Fortunately Steve Hurley was able to track down the new owner and made a quick trip to York to stop any further conversion work. Within a matter of days Steve returned to York and rescued 245 back into preservation and a secure future is now assured.
Fortunately, only a few seats had been removed during the days before Steve intervened and these were stacked in the bus. These were refitted and 245 attended the November 2012 Dewsbury Bus Museum open day once again as a completely restored vehicle. There are no plans to complete any major restoration work since 245 is presented to a high standard and is mechanically fit having passed her MOT in April 2013.
In January 2014 Andrew Beever acquired 245 and commenced some minor works to keep her in serviceable condition.
Chassis – Leyland National2
Body – Integral Leyland
Power – Leyland L11 with Leyland 5 speed Hydracyclic gearbox
Click on the image above to see more photographs of NKU245X