A Rare find

A Rare find

In July 2002 I spent some time working in Scotland and travelled home by many routes.

One such journey was on a B road in Central Scotland and I saw a derelict coach parked in an orchard. I could not see sufficient detail to identify the coach so I made a note to bring my camera the following week.

Without trespassing I was able use a telephoto lens and identified the registration number as BSD 470.

The number was issued in Ayrshire in 1950 and the vehicle is a rare Albion, type KP71NW, and was the second of 2 KP71's built.

BSD 470 was used on loan by Western SMT from 1951 to 1953, reportedly covering 33000 miles at an average of 14.6 mpg. I calculate a return trip from Kilmarnock to Victoria Coach station as 820 miles return via old routes, approximately 40 such journeys.

Early 1954 the London route was covered by Guy Arab UF's, which had toilets fitted so BSD 470 was used for touring. It is suggested that the 5th gear was immobilised by a blanking plate preventing its use.

The coach body, with central entrance, was built by Scottish Aviation based at Prestwick. Their main business was utility aircraft manufacturing, such as Pioneer, Jetstream turboprop and latterly Bulldog trainers.

Coach building was short lived and they returned to the core business with no KP spares available.

A few years later I returned to Scotland and out of interest visited the site again, although the landscape had changed I felt certain it was the right spot but the coach had gone.

I later found out that the coach had been restored into all white with Albion emblem on the sides and on one of the front headboards.

It has been seen at bus and coach events in the North — I wonder where it is now? The first KP71NW was again bodied by Scottish Aviation with a service bus 39 seat body. It had a rear entry and a front exit.

Fitted with an under floor 9.7 litre diesel engine this was on hire to Glasgow Corporation for 7 years when it was recalled by Albion to provide spares for BSD 470.

The latest information I have is that the vehicle has been seen in the Stirling area with the possible owner being a guy called McKerrarcher.

Strangely enough there is a Joiners business in Stirling and they recall a few years ago a guy of the same name buying a large amount of timber etc saying he was doing up a ‘bus’.

Hopefully someone who reads this may have further information.

Roy Dodsworth

05/11/11 - 07:20

The engine in the Albion KP71NW was a horizontally opposed eight cylinder unit of 9.76 litres capacity, made up by using two four cylinder blocks of the established EN286 4.88 litre engine. It was coupled to a five speed constant mesh gearbox. The KP71NW model appeared in 1951, the year in which Leyland assumed control of Albion, surely a significant fact in the abandonment of this fascinating type.

Roger Cox

25/11/11 - 13:36

I understand that this vehicle along with some other elderly buses are kept in a shed (exact address witheld just in case) just outside Stirling. The vehicle is/was owned by Ian McKerrarcher.

Stephen Bloomfield

25/11/11 - 15:19

Another vehicle which was kept at the same location as the Albion http://www.flickr.com/photos/buckielugger/4240774706/

Stephen Bloomfield

01/12/11 - 08:54

Stephen Bloomfield’s link shows a vehicle type I’d never come across before.
I always thought that the pre-war single-deck Leylands finished with the TS8 model. I’m surprised to find that purchases were being made of a TS11 model in 1942. For example, CIE bought 22 in that year and W. Alexander had some too. One preserved example, P721/VD3443, appears to have a Lion radiator. See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikealaska/4605279859/ Were these unfrozen chassis, or what? And were there any TS9’s or 10’s?

Chris Hebbron

02/12/11 - 11:51

I understand that TS9 and TS10 Tigers were never released for sale and the TS11 was equivalent to the TD7 Titan. Lancashire United and Leigh Corporation also had some TS11'S

Stephen Bloomfield

04/12/11 - 10:27

Alexander P721 (VD 3433) is recorded as a 1934 Leyland Lion with 1945 Alexander body.

Peter Williamson



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