West Riding 73 (XUA 73X)
Click on the image above to see more photographs of XUA73X
Chassis - Leyland National 2 NL116AL11/1R 07629
Body - Integral Leyland
Power - Gardner 6LXB with Leyland 5 speed Hydracyclic gearbox
As fleet number 73, pictured when brand new in MetroBus NBC red.
XUA 73X was one of five Leyland National2 buses delivered to West Riding in 1982 numbered 72 – 76 and given registration numbers XUA 72– 6X. They followed over 100 Leyland National1 buses that had entered service from 1972, the first batch being JHL 856–860L with dual door bodies. The Mark 2 version differed from the original examples in that the Leyland 510 engine had been replaced by a choice of either a Leyland L11 or a Gardner 6LXB, 73 being powered by the Gardner option.
73 was originally allocated to Wakefield Saville Street Depot next to the old Bus Station and was transferred to Belle Isle Depot Wakefield after the closure of Savile Street in May 1992. During November she was renumbered 202 and in 1991 was renumbered again to 102.
73 has had a very “colourful” life having been delivered in NBC red, wearing “Metrobus West Riding” fleetname. At some point between 1983 and 1985 she then received the PTE style Verona Green and Buttermilk livery along with most of the West Riding fleet. Before all the West Riding fleet received the PTE style livery, West Riding was privatised and repaints began into the Caldaire “West Riding Buses” green and cream slant style livery. Thus, 73 was repainted again into the Caldaire livery until 1989 when another change resulted in a repaint into an all over advertisement for the Wilton Ballroom, this livery lasting until 1995. She was eventually painted again into “West Riding Buses” simplified half and half Caldaire livery before withdrawal.
In June 1997 she was amongst the last batch of Leyland National 2 to be withdrawn by the West Riding Group. She was sold on for further service to the North East Bus Group and became United Automobiles number 3763, eventually being renamed Arriva Durham County in April 1998. She was finally withdrawn from service in June 2000 and was sold for scrap to North East Bus Breakers.
In December 2002 West Riding Omnibus Preservation Society (WROPS) found 73 still languishing at the breakers yard and after an initial inspection she was acquired for preservation. She was moved to Belle Isle Depot Wakefield due to a lack of space in the Museum building and spent several years garaged at the back of the sheds. She had TV stardom briefly when an episode of “a Touch of Frost” was filmed at the Depot and she can clearly be seen in several shots. Unfortunately, initial activity on restoration ceased and she then sat patiently waiting for further attention for several years.
In revised MetroBus livery, but with the logo painted out and "West Riding" transfers applied. It was renumbered to 202 at this point.
In July 2011 an opportunity arose to re-home her and she was placed on-tow and taken to Ravensthorpe. Initial work began again and a partial strip down revealed some welding was required along with work on the brakes, this halting progress again. In late 2013 work commenced on the welding and this was completed in February 2014 when external panels were attached and her seat frames renovated. In 2015 a full repaint into traditional West Riding Automobile Company livery was completed to celebrate 25 years of Dewsbury Bus Museum and 110 years of the West Riding company. A serious fault with the power steering ram was rectified along with work on the air tanks, rear brakes, track rod ends, starter motor and foot brake valve before she was launched back into public service in November 2017. She is now an active member of the WROPS collection.
Now carrying an all-over advert for the Wilton Ballroom. Whilst wearing this livery it was renumbered again to 102.
Early 1990s, and the bus is in the Caldaire West Riding livery.
Above: The interior was complete - but we stripped all the seats out and renovated them.
Just withdrawn from United
WANTED! If anyone has photographs of this bus during her "in service" days with United - please contact us.
These are pictures of this bus as she is today We couldn't decide which of the above liveries to use, so we didn't use any of them!