Seen laying over at Stevenage Garage in 1981, AN73 wears full NBC corporate livery with
added flashes for Stevenage Bus. This vehicle was one of the first tranche of 90 Leyland
Atlanteans purchased by LCBS, bodied by Park Royal, delivered in 1972 and registered
JPL101-190K. Note the position of the stairs opposite the centre exit doors. Thirty-nine of
these were farebox-fitted for Harlow and Stevenage New Town services.
Originally, the livery incorporated broad canary-yellow bands across the lower deck window area - particularly handsome, I thought (in the fourth form). They were just pre-dated by the eleven AF Daimler Fleetlines - but those stayed south of the River Thames and could only be sampled by carefully-planned Green Rovers.
|A further 30, Metro-Cammel bodied examples were delivered in 1973, registered MPJ191-220L. More vehicles came in 1974. AN121-3 (VPB121-3M) were the first to AN68 specification for LCBS and replaced the XA survivors of the first LT Atlanteans, experimental front-entrance double-deckers of 1965. Later deliveries were all single-entrance buses in batches of 24 (UPK124-147S), 55 (VPA148-158S, XPG159-202T), 30 (EPH203-232V) and 56 (JPE233-237V, KPJ238-288W) brought the fleet up to almost 300. Many are still running in daily service with LCBS's successor, and other companies.|
AN1 survived as a caravan conversion for many years. It had been in use as a training vehicle for some while (as were many of the early ANs) and had the internal cab surround removed. An extra side window was also inserted behind the driver, which necessitated moving the offside indicator downwards. The owner is currently returning the vehicle to its original condition, and won the BBPG's Piston-Broke Award for best individual effort in bus restoration at the Woburn Rally in 2000. It is seen at Woburn in company with central-area RTW497 and other friends.
AN121 is also in preservation, still carrying its distictive London Country (NE) livery, and is often seen about at rallies. Follow the link to this vehicle's own informative web site.
Although large numbers of standard 'provincial' design buses dispelled the uniquely London flavour of home-counties transport, I have a sneaking fondness for one Atlantean in particular - AN5. Seen here in June 1997 it is in Alpine/Guide Friday livery on the Conwy - Llandudno 'topless' service. This vehicle was first used from Hertford garage on the long 310 route to Enfield. It was converted to open-top in 1983 after a low bridge accident in order to provide vehicles for the LONDON CRUSADER sightseeing tour of London (in competition with LT's own, for which LCBS provided ANs in red livery!). On termination of this contract in 1986, the tour was operated by NBC under the Green Line brand. In December 1994 AN5 was purchased by Crosville Cymru from Kentish Bus, the renamed London Country (South East) company, becoming HAL105. After only a few weeks operation it passed to Alpine Travel after the July 1995 settlement whereby Alpine relinquished its commercial routes to Crosville Cymru.
The vehicle is in remarkable condition and still retains its LT-style garage-code plate holders. Despite an early return to the garage in the Summer of 2001, AN5 is still in daily service and freshly repainted for the 2002 season - a nice match for Fleetline CFM 87S, ex Chester City Transport.