Manchester museum launches fundraising appeal to buy 1928 Karrier

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Identical Ashton 9 in service days. These were imposing buses but – like all early Karriers – unimpressive in reliability. Incredibly, from new until the 1930 Road Traffic Act was implemented, Ashton’s Karriers were operated by one man with no conductor. ENGLISH ELECTRIC/D. BEILBY COLLECTION

Preserved pre-war buses are uncommon, six-wheel buses are rare and Karrier buses are rarer still, so a pre-war six-wheeled Karrier bus is quite something. Geoff Lumb, a well-known Huddersfield enthusiast, has been painstakingly restoring Ashton-under-Lyne 8, a 1928 Karrier WL6, over the last five decades and the project is at last complete. It’s the crowning glory of Geoff’s preservation achievements and he has agreed a deal with the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester (MoTGM) that will take the bus back to its home region, where it will be on permanent public display.

But all that work and time has to be paid for, and the museum says it will need to dip deep into its cash reserves to help fund the purchase. To help out, it is launching a funding appeal so that number 8 can be safeguarded under museum ownership.


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Ashton 8 was built at the Karrier works in Huddersfield before travelling to Preston to receive an English Electric body. It was in service between 1928 and 1933 before it became a caravan on the North Wales coast, and was bought by Geoff in the 1970s and restored over the following decades. Geoff is now far from a young man and, having completed work on his magnum opus, wants to enable the public to see this rare survivor.

Museum Chairman Dennis Talbot said that it’s important to not only keep the bus on display to the public, but secured for the future. “I think most bus owners worry about what will happen to their vehicle when they’re not around any more, and Geoff has poured his heart and soul into number 8 over fifty years of restoration work. We’re hugely grateful to Geoff for offering it to us – but the challenge now is to raise the money to cement the deal.”

The Museum aims to raise £20,000 to add to its own funds from its reserves.

Citybus standardised on the Alexander (Belfast)-bodied Bristol RE. One such vehicle, TOI 2306, was new in 1979. JOHN WILSON
Alexander-bodied Leyland Tigers such this 1991 example were also bought in large numbers. JOHN WILSON