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Mystery bus found in West Wales

Rear view of mystery LeylandIn 2000 Roger Bailey sent these pictures of a mystery vehicle parked in his village, near Carmarthen in West Wales.

The bus was being used for living accommodation, but it was believed the occupants had recently been re-housed by the local council. It was originally parked at 90 degrees to the position seen here, so it would appear to have been in running order although looking a little bedraggled. It had a large garage door fastened to the radiator in an attempt to keep 'people' out.

Recent high winds had dislodged the garage door, proving the vehicle to be a Leyland PD of some sort, and revealing the registration OVS 337.

It wasn't clear whether the colours carried were original, but an alphabet was painted along the white waist-band (not clear in the photographs) which suggested it may have been used as a school or play bus at some time.

The bus appeared to be fitted with destination blinds from the Wirral area - Leasowe Castle and Liscard Village were amongst the displays.

Mystery Leyland in West WalesThe registration number OVS 337 suggested a re-registration and did little to help firm identification.

Correspondents (see below) confirmed the vehicle was ex-Wallasey Corporation and was wearing that company's colours. Finally, in October 2002, the bus was positively identified as Wallasey 47, original registration AHF 843.

Andrew Colebourne wrote to say:
I'm pretty sure OVS337 is a 'modern' dateless registration. Surely the bus came from Wallasey Corporation? It certainly looks like a Wallasey bus. There are two possible candidates listed in the 1993 edition of D J Slater's 'Preserved Buses' - AHF843 and AHF849, Wallasey 47 and 53 respectively. Both are 1950 Leyland Titan PD2/1's with Metro Cammell bodies. Both are shown as 'withdrawn' and 47 as 'to NPSV'. Please note I'm not a Wallasey expert so I could be wrong! However, for a recently published picture of AHF367 see Bus and Coach Preservation September 2000 p24.

Wallasey livery was a kind of yellow (officially called, I believe, 'sea green' for some reason) and cream.

Eric Jones kindly sent a photograph of another Wallasey Corporation bus which confirms the livery as being of that company. Eric used to drive for Birkenhead Corporation and passed many vehicles in these colours whilst out on the road.

Andrew Colebourne wrote further to point out the web page at http://www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~skysong/museum/vehicles/wallasey54/ which shows several views of another vehicle of the class, AHF 850, in fine fettle at the Wallasey Transport Museum. Some technical detail and history is provided, too.

Terry Morris finally identified the vehicle. He wrote:
The bus in question is ex Wallasey Corporation 47, originally registered AHF843, delivered in 1951 with a Metro-Cammell body.

The livery that it is in in the photo is similar to the Wallasey "Primrose Green" and Cream livery, the green was a yellowish green that was known as "Sea Green" going back to tram days when it was a light green and allegedly named so after Colonel Richard Roughley Greene the manager. Basically, it was asked what shade the green was and some wag said "see Greene" so Sea Green it was! Delightful.

The colour then evolved over the years getting lighter as it did and ended up as a pale yellowish green that similar 54 and the first production Atlantean 1 (FHF451) are preserved in.

The destinations "Leasowe Castle" and "Liscard" are Wallasey destinations although it is more than likely to display "Leasowe Castle/Reeds Lane" and "Liscard Village" in red lettering on a white background (to denote a short journey).

John Nolan, of the 201 Group, Wallasey (the custodians of Wallasey 1) confirmed the bus' identity and said that he saw it around 1996 in Buxton painted black.

Alex Bocock wrote in February 2006 confirming the survival of the bus, in his ownership. He says "thanks to everyone for helping to keep 'DANYELL'alive. People not rehoused, bus not scrap, people not scrapped yet either".

Amanda Murdoch wrote in May 2007 to say "The above bus certainly hasn't been scrapped (as of today) but has deteriorated loads since the photos on your site were taken. We have been keeping an eye on this bus for about 12 years and only just thought to look for its registration number on the web! Your site was the first one up. We would dearly love to salvage her as she really isn't going to survive another winter out in the welsh weather."

In August 2007 I receieved a communication confirming that the future of the bus is secure for now. The bus is private and personal property and this should be respected. The vehicle should be left alone and not tampered with. It is certainly not available for "salvage" at present. We wish Alex and OVS 337 the best for the future.

Many thanks to all correspondents.

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