The Little Bus Company the-bus.gif (21152 bytes) LITTLE BUS COMPANY

6 Appleyard, Haworth Close,
Halifax, HX1 2NN.
Tel: 01422 301600

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ELC1 East Lancashire 9.5 metre Double Deck - Leyland Atlantean AN68 Chassis

ELC1 East Lancashire 9.5 metre
Double Deck
Leyland Atlantean AN68 Chassis

East Lancashire Coachbuilders, of Blackburn, set its market during the '60s and '70s as a 'bespoke' manufacturer for the municipal sector. Whilst it would be unkind to say that every vehicle was different, certainly every batch was unique to the operator who received it. This makes it difficult to make a model of a 'standard' East Lancs bus.

Nevertheless, the general proportions, window spacing and the characteristic lipped fibre glass roof domes were common to most 9.5 metre bodies built during the 1970s and early-'80s on Atlantean, Fleetline, Bristol VRT and Dennis Dominator chassis.

This kit is based on former-Sheffield 312, which currently operates in Katoomba, New South Wales, on the Blue Mountains Explorer service, externally in a mock London Transport livery, but internally in almost original livery. Darryl Booth also has Sheffield 319 at Katoomba, which currently advertises a popular 'burger' restaurant, but which he hopes to return to service on the Explorer.

The fourteen Atlantean AN68s with East Lancashire bodies were delivered to Sheffield Corporation in 1973 (UWA307-320L, fleet numbers 307-320). All these buses passed to the South Yorkshire PTE in 1974.

An illustration of 317, in original Sheffield livery, can be found in Super Prestige 3 'Sheffield' by Philip Battersby (Venture Publications, 2002).

'Sheffield Transport' by Charles C Hall (TPC, 1977) is also a useful reference.

As mentioned in the introduction, the body style of this kit is similar to many other Atlantean AN68s bodied by East Lancs between, approximately, 1972 and 1982. Individual operators' variations included the style of the front dash and driver's off-side window, the style of staircase and the seating layout. Modellers are requested to confirm details from photographs or from surviving actual buses.

It should be noted that PDR1s, with similar bodies built up to 1972, have a slightly shorter rear overhang and a different style of engine cover.

Modifications introduced during the course of production included:
  • Slightly deeper front entrance door from about 1975,
  • Sloping rear panel, with large reversing window, from about 1975 (believed to have been introduced on Eastbourne PDR1s, circa 1972),
  • Large rear upper deck emergency window, from about 1977,
  • Single front upper deck window with dividing strip, from about 1977,
  • Flat front dome for some operators, from about 1979 (Plymouth, Blackburn, Rossendale and Warrington).
ELC1 East Lancashire 9.5 metre Double Deck - Leyland Atlantean AN68 Chassis
A list of AN68 operators is drawn from Harry Postlethwaite's history of East Lancs Coachbuilders and includes the municipalities of:
  • Blackburn,
  • Accrington / Hyndburn (rearward-rising staircase),
  • Rossendale,
  • Warrington (rearward-rising staircase),
  • Sheffield (as modelled),
  • East Staffordshire,
  • Ipswich (dual-door),
  • Eastbourne,
  • Brighton (some with dual-door),
  • Portsmouth (dual-door),
  • Southampton (Alexander windscreen, also, on earlier versions to 201, rearward rising staircase),
  • Plymouth (most dual-door, Alexander windscreen and flat front dome).

Also

  • South Yorkshire PTE (dual-door),
  • Fishwick of Leyland.

This list does not cover the Liverpool and Nottingham versions, with bodies to those operators' individual style, nor the long AN68s delivered to Blackpool, Lancaster, Preston and Eastbourne. Caerphilly and Rhymney Valley AN68s with four bay bodies.

The model could also be adapted to make the Fleetlines delivered to Coventry, West Midlands PTE, Warrington and South Yorkshire PTE.

I have not listed Dennis Dominators, because it is proposed that these will be covered by a future LBC kit, and Kit No. ELC 2 has already covered the Bristol VRT version.

Tony Swift, Kirribilli NSW, Australia, August 2005

Master for the model designed and built by Tony Swift for Little Bus Company


Kit Parts

The body parts have been produced in the best quality resin with a metal base for weight. Included are:

  • Resin one-piece part body
  • Resin upper deck seating unit
  • Resin chassis and lower seating unit
  • Resin staircase
  • Metal baseplate
  • Metal steering wheel
  • Set of 6 solid rubber profile wheels and tyres with 2 axles
  • Printed glazing

Assembly

The model may be completed in any order , but the following is suggested.

  • The body may need cleaning in the window apertures with a craft knife or small file, taking care to clean any moulding pips from the underside and also from the chassis unit.
  • Check all the parts for a good fit and adjust if required.
  • Fit metal base to lower deck/chassis unit and drill and fit steering wheel and column.
  • Slide axles in to position and cut to length.
  • Push-fit wheels on to axles to check clearances.
  • Check for fit on upper deck seating unit.
  • All parts are now ready for painting and this is a matter of choice. You may brush or spray and, in either case, a suitable primer coat is recommended.
  • Printed glazing is included and, for best results, should be fixed individually for each window on the outside using a clear glue or PVA-based adhesive.
  • When dry, the model can be assembled and glued together.

Appropriate Waterslide transfer destination screens, fleet and registration sets and, also, the range of Cherry Paints, are available from

Fox Transfers
Fox Transfers,
Markfield Ind Est,
Hill Lane Close,
Markfield,
Leics,
LE67 9PN.
Tel: 01530 245618

E-mail:

ELC1 East Lancashire 9.5 metre Double Deck - Leyland Atlantean AN68 Chassis

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LBC Models Ltd

Registered in England No: 4829422 

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Halifax, HX1 2NN.

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