Plaxton Pointer bodied Volvo B6 53 (M53 HOD) was delivered to Plymouth Citybus in the autumn of 1994. 51, 52 and 53 all had a kneeling facility and were all placed on Services 23 and 24 to Mount Gould initially, before being placed on Service 16 to Kings Tamerton via Lower Ham, and finally used as spare buses for whatever each day threw at them. In 2000/2001, they were used on Plymouth Citybus’ short-lived expansion to Liskeard.
53 was finally withdrawn from service in early April 2011. It would remain parked at Milehouse until it was purchased for preservation by Group Member Andy Cooksey, on July 21st 2011. Andy was originally after 52, but after the potential sale of 53 fell through, and knowing a lot of work had just been carried out on it, 53 became the ideal candidate for preservation.
The photo opposite shows 53 in July 2012, having recently had various panels repainted red as part of a step towards its current 'as delivered' livery and logos.
In Andy’s ownership the seats have been re-trimmed, badges re-applied and has been through various stages of re-painting to bring it into the livery you see today. Original style logos have been re-fitted and complete with the original black and white destination blinds, 53 really does look as it did when it was new. Sadly 51 was scrapped, though sister 52 is also preserved, our group Sales Bus.
Above photo is with thanks to Graham Richardson, of www.plymothiantransit.com.