Atlantean hits 50

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Delaine’s Leyland Atlantean, seen at Rippingale, is now 50 years old. STEVEN KNIGHT

A member of the ever-popular Delaine heritage fleet will see its 50th birthday this year. Nick Larkin reports

A well-known preserved bus will star at an event as part its 50th birthday celebrations. Delaine Heritage Trust’s Northern Counties-bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68 (ACT 540L) will have a starring role at this year’s spring running day on 22 April, and will be giving rides between the Delaine Bus Museum, Bourne town centre and Rippingdale. The Atlantean will also travel between Bourne and Market Deeping along a section of route where it spent the majority of its 28-year working life. The event will take place from 0900 until 1645hrs, with entry to the museum costing £7.


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ACT 540L was one of five vehicles that were the first examples of the extended 10.3-metre AN68 version of the Atlantean, and part of an order for five vehicles by a consortium of independent operators. Three went to OK Motor Services of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, and the other to Whippet of Hilton, Cambridgeshire. The buses had seating for 82 passengers with 47 in the upper saloon and 35 downstairs.

ACT 540L was the last new Leyland double-decker to enter the Delaine fleet, being delivered in March 1973 and remaining the flagship of the fleet until the first Volvo Olympians were delivered in February 1995. The bus continued in daily use until December 2000 when it was withdrawn and preserved as one of the company’s heritage vehicles. It became part of the Delaine Heritage Trust collection when it was set up in December 2015.

Atlantean spares offer

A former operator is hoping to find a good home for potentially useful Leyland Atlantean spares. Peter Scott worked for several operators before setting up Trent Valley Motor Services. In 2000 he acquired Alexander-bodied Leyland Atlantean GSC 640X from Lothian, and the spares for the Leyland O680-engined vehicle were thrown in. They include a six way EP valve, injectors, bonnet hinges, an exhaust manifold, air door motor, footbrake valve, air door motor, fan shaft drive assembly and compressor valve.

“I sold the bus a long time ago and these spares are in the way. Surely they would be of use to a museum or heritage operator. I don’t just want to throw them out,” said Peter. He would like the items to go as one lot and they must be collected from his premises near Ripley, Derbyshire. Call him on

01773 779832.