Photograph by Keith Clark
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Registration: KHL 855
Chassis: Guy Arab IV, FD73875
Body: Charles H Roe, GO4544
Power: Gardner 6LW
Date new: November 1957
The Arab IV gained a reputation as being a solid workhorse of the fleet and the West Riding Automobile Company’s KHL batch had the notoriety of being the last batch of low-bridge sunken gangway buses to operate within the National Bus Company. Despite being operated into the mid 1970s, none of the batch were ever repainted into the National Bus Company red paint scheme that adorned the rest of the fleet by the early 1970s. Therefore, many passengers probably remember them as the last link with the traditional green and cream West Riding buses until the final five were withdrawn in 1976. All West Riding depots operated this type of bus.
KHL 855 was delivered to West Riding Automobile Company of Wakefield on 1st October 1957, and spent its working life at Belle Isle Depot in Wakefield. It had a long service life, partly due to the early withdrawal of the newer Wulfrunian buses. It was withdrawn from passenger service in 1974 and in 1975 became part of the driver training fleet (numbered A14) until withdrawal in 1980, when it was purchased by Museum member Tony White.
The last batch of 45 Guy Arab IVs, KHL 818-862, were delivered in 1957 and were the last traditional brand new half-cab style buses purchased by West Riding Automobile Company with closed platform doors for added comfort on longer routes. They joined two other smaller batches:
GHL 711-730 delivered in 1955 had open rear platforms, HHL 994 -998 delivered in 1956 had open rear platforms and were built to an ultra-low height to negotiate a low bridge on route 82/83 at Fitzwilliam.
In November 2011, museum member Mark Byard acquired the vehicle and progress on 855's restoration stepped up a gear when it was brought into the museum so that major structural and mechanical work could take place.
After many hours of hard effort, 855 was unveiled to the world at the Summer Extravaganza at the Mill, Batley in August 2019.
West Riding 855 (KHL 855)