Northampton Bristol saved

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Saved for preservation, Alexander-bodied Northampton Bristol VR, PBD 40R. NTH

The only known example of 36 Alexander bodied Bristol VRs delivered new to Northampton Transport to still exist in Britain has been saved for preservation. PBD 40R is currently a playbus but has been snapped up by Northampton Transport Heritage (NTH) and is shortly to return to its home area.

“We had kept in touch with the owner who had hoped to sell the bus as a business but eventually contacted the group,” said NTH chairman Graham Croucher.

“Being a playbus we have yet to decide to put it back as a bus or maybe us it as an exhibition vehicle but the main thing is to save it and get back it home. These buses were the backbone of the Northampton fleet.”


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The VRs were delivered from 1978-1979, with H45/27 seat Alexander bodywork and Gardner 6LXB engines. Six further VRs with East Lancs H44/28D bodywork, registered ABD 71-6X, were delivered in 1981-2. Alexander-bodied VVV 63S is believed to survive as a caravan in France.

Northampton Transport was acquired by GRT in 1993, the group merging with Badgerline to become First Bus two years later. First Northampton gradually reduced its operations until closing in 2013.

VVV 40S in its service days. NTH