All right, all right – I said there would be no more, but I’d already secretly made up my mind to get one of these if one came up in the right livery. I know it isn’t a proper, real bus in my traditional terms, but these were being introduced when I was still at school, so it squeaks in.
This is a Leyland Atlantean in the colours of Liverpool Corporation Passenger Transport, on route 82, which travelled between Speke and the Pier Head, and was a familiar sight on Aigburth Road, in my old stomping ground. These must have been introduced around 1962 or so, I would guess, and were the first buses Liverpool acquired which were designed for single-man operation, though the conductors were retained for a good while thereafter (negotiated union agreement?).
It was one of these – albeit on route 86, which had similar termini to the 82, but ran through Allerton – which caught out my racing cyclist chum, Kenny, who used to train by slipstreaming the buses along Mather Avenue on his way to and from school. He couldn’t cope with the automatic gearboxes and superior brakes of the new generation of buses, and he lost his teeth in a brief but decisive misunderstanding.
I am satisfied now that my collection is complete. Unless I spot a nice vintage Leyland in Wallasey colours…