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West Riding 640 (BHL 682)

BHL 682

Technical details;

Chassis – Leyland Titan PD2/1 483605

Body – Leyland

Power – Leyland 0600 with Leyland 4 speed crash gearbox

It is the only known surviving open rear platform West Riding bus in preservation despite the fact that West Riding operated a sizable fleet of this style of vehicle. It therefore has a special place in the hearts of many members of the West Riding Omnibus Preservation Society (WROPS), previously known as the West Riding Wulfrunian Preservation Society.

 

After being acquired for preservation on 9th April 1975, for the princely sum of £48.60 (that being £45 plus VAT), 640 was garaged at Ravensthorpe where work began on dismantling the vehicle and completion of a full structural rebuild commenced. During the following years 640 spent time at the West Yorkshire Transport Museum in Ludlam Street Bradford and at the West Riding Belle Isle Depot Wakefield before finally returning to Dewsbury Bus Museum. Various work had been carried out on 640 over the years however it languished in the Museum Building until a small team of WROPS members decided to make a final push on restoring the vehicle in 2009.

 

The majority of the final restoration tasks were completed in the Museum building and the presentation of number 640 will reveal the painstaking standard of work completed by the WROPS team. 640 has been hand painted and the interior has been professionally upholstered to achieve the highest standard of finish possible. The interior is finished in polished teak trim and reflects the body building style of the period.

 

After three years of concentrated effort and funding of considerable proportion, a Class 5 MOT was obtained on 1st November 2012.  During the spring of 2013 the final few interior cosmetic restoration tasks were actioned and 640 is now a completed restoration project.  Ongoing maintenance is completed on 640 each year to keep her in tip top condition and we hope you will agree that the vehicle is now presented to a standard to be proud of along with being a credit to all those who have helped in its restoration.

 

If you can help with any funding to keep her on the road please contact us via the Dewsbury Bus Museum website or the contact details at the top of this sheet. Now under the safe custodianship of Richard Hall, BHL 682 has a secure future and is the oldest member of the WROPS collection.

Click on the image above to see more photographs of BHL682

In October 1948, BHL 682 was delivered to West Riding Automobile Company and numbered 640 in the fleet. It clearly met with favour and over the following years several further batches of Leyland PD2’s arrived including both lowbridge and highbridge versions. With the acquisition of J Bullock & Sons of Featherstone, further examples arrived into West Riding service until Guy Motors became the favoured supplier during the mid-1950’s.

 

640 was part of a batch of 28 Leyland PD2/1’s numbered 619–646. It remained in daily revenue earning traffic until 1967 having completed just short of 20 years hard service. It was converted to a driver training vehicle along with three of its sister vehicles and was renumbered A13. It was one of the last few exposed radiator buses on the streets of Wakefield and when finally withdrawn in 1975, it passed straight into preservation.