CLICK HERE to see the invoice.
CLICK HERE to see the delivery note.
On 17th September 1962, 158 was involved in an incident while on service 25 whereby a Mrs. Warren’s stockings were torn on a seat. A month later on 8th October 1962, around 9am, it collided with a bus stop in Crownhill while on service 12.
After 13 years, in April 1975, it was converted to open-top, along with 159 (WJY759) and later,160 (WJY760). They were fitted with brackets for destination boards to be carried on the front and rear before being repainted into Lemon Chrome yellow and white livery with crimson lining (later repainted with Orient red lining) and all three were named. 158 was named “PLYMOUTH ADVENTURER” which was the name chosen by pupils of Class 3 East of St. Peters Church of England Secondary School, Wyndham Square in Plymouth. 159 was named “THE SPIRIT OF PLYMOUTH” and 160 became “GOLDEN HIND”.
WJY758 was part of the third batch of Metro-Cammell bodied Leyland Atlantean PDR 1/1s for Plymouth City Transport, which consisted of numbers 149-160 (WJY749-760). It was delivered to Milehouse depot on Tuesday 14th August 1962, as fleet number 158, costing just £2,995!
It wore the company’s standard livery of Orient red with an ivory stripe above the lower deck windows and carried large tramway style fleet numbers on the front and sides with smaller white numbers on the rear. It entered service with a driver and conductor on Saturday 1st September, 1962.
The 3 open-toppers were put to work on Sunday 8th June 1975, on a new summer special service 53 between Stonehouse (Western King) and Bovisand via the City Centre, replacing Western National's service 62. The number 53 was a resurrection of old old '53' from 1958 which operated between Bretonside Bus Station and R.A.F. Mount Batten.
They also covered for the open-top 1956 Leyland Titan no. 358 (MCO658) on service 54, the Sea-front Circular via The Barbican and The Hoe. In 1975 the adult single fare for the new service from Stonehouse to Bovisand was just 22p!
CLICK HERE to view a copy of the summer 1975 timetable.
The hourly service was extremely popular and was soon increased to half-hourly and even this had to be supplemented by ordinary closed-top buses during the busy school summer holidays. Very often 3 or more buses were required for the last journey back to Plymouth.
At 12:45 on 8th June 1975, the driver reversed 158 into a parked car at Bovisand while on service 53.
The 3 open-toppers were also used on Dockyard and Industrial specials during the acute vehicle shortages of 1978 - even during the winter months! 158 had vinyls applied over its livery, advertising Plymouth Sound local radio station.
All 3 were driven to Epsom for Derby Day horseracing in 1979 and 1980. And in 1980, they were renumbered 458, 459 and 460, to make way for the new East Lancs bodied Atlanteans being delivered to Plymouth.
By 1982 the final conductors were being phased out at Plymouth City Transport, and 458 was modified for one-man operation in November 1981 – one of the last buses in the whole fleet to be done. As a result, 458 was fitted with a three-piece rear engine bustle incorporating new tail, reversing and indicator lights, a Bell Punch coin vault and Setright motor was fitted next to the drivers cab (for the fares collected), a “Pay as You Enter” illuminated sign was fitted to the front above the nearside headlight, and a periscope was fitted enabling the driver to view the upper deck. The work meant that from the start of the 1982 summer season, 458, 459 and 460 would be operated by just a driver.
In 1982, the Plymouth bus network was the subject of a major market analysis project which resulted in big changes to the routes operated. At the launch of the new services, Plymouth City Transport adopted a new livery and new Plymouth CityBus fleetnames. 458 received a repaint in 1984 into a new yellow and white livery based on the standard version of the red and cream used on the main fleet of buses. The “PLYMOUTH ADVENTURER” name was also applied to the side of 458 – above the drivers cab window and above the front entrance door – along with newer gold leaf style fleet numbers and a new Plymouth CityBus fleetname.
In May 1989, 458 received a new livery of white and purple, with various logos promoting Plymouth’s tourist attractions. But by 1991 458 was facing an uncertain future. Guide Friday had taken over the open-top service around the Barbican and The Hoe, which had now become The Plymouth Tour, using drivers provided by Plymouth CityBus, and the summer service 53 to Bovisand transferred to Western National, who renumbered it 17 and used ordinary stage carriage buses. Guide Friday brought in their own fleet of buses for The Plymouth Tour, and 458 was withdrawn from service in June 1991 after 29 years serving the people of Plymouth.
By September 2003, the original Leyland O.600 engine had already been replaced by a more powerful O.680 but 458 had been left uncovered in the open yard at Ebor trucks for 18 months when it was examined by members of Keighley Bus Museum Trust, who were searching for a suitable open-top double decker. Keighley Bus Museum Trust Chairman, Graham Mitchell, bought the much travelled and much neglected Atlantean, on the 27th September 2003.
458 was subsequently sold to J. Stephenson and C. E. Spalding of Scarborough who operated it on the Scarborough sea-front service. It was repainted yellow and blue and carried the fleet name of Shoreline Suncruisers. It subsequently found service on The Whitby Tour, in a two-tone blue livery, and then finally The York Tour in a blue, ivory and green livery before being impounded by Ebor Trucks of Acaster Malbis for non-payment of repair work carried out.
It was repainted into a burgundy and cream livery, as carried by Keighley Corporation Tramways at the time it taken over by the West Yorkshire Road Car Company in 1932 and was given the fleet number of 59.
In 2009 Graham decided it was time the bus deserved a quieter life – by now it was 47 years of age – and decided the best future it could possibly have would be back in its original city of Plymouth.
At the end of the summer season of 2009 the bus was sold to Paul Furse and with the help and support of the Plymouth City Transport Preservation Group the bus was brought home to Plymouth where it regained Plymouth City Transport fleetnames, and its former fleet number 458.
Today 458 still carries Keighley Corporation Tramways burgundy and cream livery but during its refurbishment it is to be repainted into the yellow and white livery it wore when operated by Plymouth City Transport. This will only happen after a replacement engine is fitted, as the current one is knocking and liable to failure at any time, and the upper deck floor and seats, all of which are rotten, have been replaced. The bus will also be reunited with its original “PLYMOUTH ADVENTURER” nameplate which had adorned 137 (TCO537) when it was purchased by Ralph Delbridge in 2009.
Brand new 158 at Royal Parade.
Into service without its roof. 158 deputises for 358 at West Hoe in 1975.
A day at the races - 158 leads 160 at Epsom Derby Day in 1979.
Renumbered 458, and converted to one-man operation.
Now in Citybus livery, 458 at St. Andrews Cross, bound for Bovisand.
The last livery worn before withdrawal, pictured at Jennycliff Bay.
Shoreline Surcruisers livery.
Whitby Tour Bus livery.
York City Tour livery.
As no. 59 in Keighley Corporation Tramways livery.