Chassis – Leyland Tiger PS2/13A 515268
Body – Charles H Roe of Leeds
Power – Leyland 0600 with Leyland 4 speed synchromesh gearbox
West Riding Automobile Company EHL 336 is one of six coach bodied Leyland Tiger PS2/13A delivered in November 1952, being built to a 30-foot length. This batch of vehicles was the last generation of half-cab coaches to enter service, since most other operators had already switched allegiance to more modern looking full fronted underfloor engine coaches. They therefore appeared very dated from the day they were delivered despite them being more luxuriously appointed than their service bus counterparts EHL 337-348. They had coach style cream and green livery and seated only 35 passengers, four less than their service bus sisters.
Numbered 725, EHL 336 was used on express services to destinations such as Blackpool, Scarborough and Bridlington and private hire duties, along with eventual use on contracts and bus service work. Withdrawal came in November 1965 following the arrival of more modern coaching stock in the form of Bedford VAL and VAM models.
Acquired by respected Bridlington operator, J Boddy & Son, she was kept undercover in Boddy’s small garage and after many years reliable service she was eventually retired and loaned to several local transport society groups from June 1973 to February 1979. Fortunately, Mr Boddy was aware of the existence of the West Riding Omnibus Preservation Society (WROPS) and in March 1979 he gifted EHL 336 to the Society where she became a regular attendee at bus events across the north.
During her time in preservation 725 has had a chequered history. She became subject of an ownership dispute following her loan to Classic Coaches of High Wycombe and their eventual demise, this resulting in her being lost from the WROPS collection. In 2001 she passed to the Purvis Bros in the North East, where a good deal of restoration work was carried out during 2001 and 2002. She then was acquired by well-known preservationist Roger Burdett in July 2006. Based in the Midlands, Roger lavished further care and attention on her, including the rear end frame which had suffered accident damage at some point in the past. He also ensured as much originality could be retained, such as her original seat moquette. The engine and running units were overhauled and serviced, new tyres and leaf springs fitted, bodywork and cosmetic improvements made and a repaint completed.
WROPS member, Mark Byard, had been well aware that Ethel “C” (C for coach) was in the care of Roger and during 2020 negotiated her purchase. Thanks to Roger’s understanding of the history of 725 and Mark’s desire to see her back home, on 13th December 2020 she was acquired and returned to Wakefield. A sincere thank you must go to Roger for his care of Ethel “C” in the past.
EHL 336 is not the only survivor of this batch as EHL 335 is owned by Greg Lawson & David Hudson, whilst bus version, EHL 344, is owned by WROPS, all three being active on the rally scene.
725 is one of the most original vehicles in our collection and she often spends a full day in service at various events throughout the UK and always delivers a faultless performance. She now has a very secure future in the hands of Mark and can once again be enjoyed by her Yorkshire fans at Dewsbury Bus Museum open days.
Click HERE to see more photographs of this coach