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AFJ 747T | Bristol VR | Fleet No. 1145

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AFJ 747T
Fleet No.: 
Fleet No.: 
Date acquired: 
Thu, 28/06/2018

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First registered on May 2nd 1979, AFJ 747T (1145) was delivered new to Western Nationals WherrytownWherrytown depot, Penzance no longer exists (where LIDL is now) Depot (Penzance) in June of the that year. Under the National Bus Company’s Marketing Analysis Project, localised fleet names were introduced across the groups subsidiaries. “Cornwall Busways” was introduced for local services in West Cornwall and these fleet names were applied to 1145 by 1981. In 1983, 1145 was transferred to Plymouth and allocated to Laira Depot. Here the vehicle was repainted into ‘Joint Services’ livery for use on jointly operated services with Plymouth City Transport. It was at this time all vehicles in the Western National fleet were to receive lower case destination blinds. Furthermore, 1145 was fitted with a side number blind as all Plymouth LeylandLeyland Bus was a British bus manufacturer. It emerged from the Rover Group (formerly British Leyland) as a management buyout of the bus business. It was subsequently acquired by Volvo Buses in 1988 and the name finally disappeared in 1993 Atlanteans were fitted with side number blinds. Although 1145s stay in Plymouth would be reasonably brief, being returned to Cornwall by 1986, 1145 would become quite a common sight around Tavistock, Callington and Saltash (it seems even while allocated to Plymouth, 1145 would spend a considerable amount of time in Cornwall!).

Upon return, 1145 was repainted into the ‘Captain Birdseye’ livery with localised “Cornwall Busways” fleet names based at St Austell. This livery was also reasonably short lived and 1145 was once again repainted, this time into the Cream, Red and Blue livery now preserved on fellow Western National Bristol VRBristol VR Bristol's rear-engined bus chassis, designed as competitor to Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline. LFJ 844W. 1145 would thus be allocated back to West Cornwall, spending time at Truro, Camborne and Penzance. By the end of 1997, 1145 was repainted yet again into the Western National First livery, a revision of the Badgerline livery with large ‘Western National F’ logos on each side with a red divider between the blue and the white. This was later revised with smaller ‘Western National f’ logos. 1145 would be renumbered 34747 in 2004 and would continue in service until October 2006. In 1145s final months, the vehicle was allocated to Newquay and was mainly used on college services.

Laid up at Plymouths Chelston Meadow depot in November, 1145 was secured for preservation by Colin Billington and departed Plymouth on December 15th 2006. Residing in undercover storage for a further 12 years, the vehicle was purchased by the current owner in June 2018 and has since been moved up North for restoration into “Joint Services” livery. The restoration is expected to take 6 years, however a return to the road is anticipated in 2019.

Although in reasonable condition for a vehicle of 40years old, a fair amount of work is required for a return to the road. This includes welding to the chassis, new tyres, break overhaul and electrical work.

If you have any stories about 1145, or photos you would like to share, the owner would be delighted to hear from you at