Double celebration in Burton

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Nick Larkin reports on a weekend of events in and around Burton on Trent

Operator Midland Classic celebrated two anniversaries during its recent Heritage Weekend. On Saturday 28 August, 15 years of operation by the Burton on Trent-based independent was marked with an extensive service on its original route, the 21 between Swadlincote and Burton. The normal timetable, with modern vehicles, also operated.

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Celebrated on Sunday was the 95th anniversary of John Stevenson setting up his bus business in Uttoxeter, Staffs, operating on the original route between the town and Burton via Tutbury, still run by Midland Classic today as route 401. Preserved buses operated to the original Stevensons garage site in Spath for photos.

Also on the Sunday (29 August) was a static display of buses at Midland Classic’s Wetmore Road depot. Operators represented included municipal Burton on Trent Corporation, which became East Staffordshire following council re-organisation in 1974 before operations were merged with Stevensons in 1985.

Looking resplendent after a major four year restoration including repaint, new panels, flooring and mechanical work was TFA 987, the sole surviving Daimler CCG5 from 21 examples of this rare five-cylinder model with constant mesh gearbox bought by Burton between 1964 and 1968.
Stevensons was said to be the largest independent in operator Britain when it was bought out by British Bus, later Arriva, in June 1994. Midland Classic took over Arriva’s garage in Burton and most local services in 2016.

New as a demonstrator in 1977 this MCW Metrobus later ran for Stevensons. STEPHEN LONGMIRE












Midland Red Marshall-bodied Leyland Leopards like this one were a familiar site around Burton for two decades. STEPHEN LONGMIRE












New to London Transport in 1949, this all-Leyland RTL later ran for Stevensons and is preserved in the operator’s yellow livery complete with legendry ‘rising sun’ logo. STEPHEN LONGMIRE













Looking immaculate following refurbishment is this Massey-bodied 1964 Daimler CCG5, new to Burton Corporation. STEPHEN LONGMIRE






















Owned by Martyn Hearson and Tim Machin, this Alexander Y-Type Leyland Leopard is a tribute to the many examples of the type operated by Stevensons. STEPHEN LONGMIRE