50th extravaganza for National icons

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Leyland Nationals appeared in many colours. This Southdown example, now preserved immaculately preserved by Paul Llewellyn in NBC Green, is seen wearing this mainly blue livery used briefly by Stagecoach in Eastbourne, East Sussex. PAUL LLEWELYN COLLECTION












Nick Larkin reports on events to mark 50 years of two well-known names in the British bus scene

The 50th anniversaries of two true bus industry icons are being celebrated at a massive event on July 2. This year marks half a century since the arrival of National Express and the entry to service of Leyland Nationals.

Both were controversial and innovative. National Express replaced the many individual coach operators’ colours with a single white livery, still instantly recognisable today. The Leyland National, with its off the peg specification and clattery fixed cylinder head 510 engine was not initially loved by everyone but managed a truly spectacular service career, many running 25 years or more and becoming a familiar sight across the country.

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