North West Vehicle Restoration Trust Protecting our past for the future
North West Vehicle Restoration TrustProtecting our past for the future

Liverpool Corporation L255

DETAILS:

Registration:

VKB 711

Chassis:

Leyland Titan PD2/20 561039

Body:

Crossley 5278

Layout:

H33/29R

New:

November 1956

Current Status:

Restored and in use

History

Similar L248 when new Copyright R L Wilson/OTA Similar L248 when new Copyright R L Wilson/OTA

New in November 1956, L255 was one of a batch of 65 Leyland Titan PD2/20 chassis that had been ordered back in 1955, partly to enable the 19 & 44 tram routes to be converted to bus operation. It was originally painted in the Dark green livery with two cream bands.

 

The first 35 of these Titans (L245 to L279) arrived with fully completed Crossley bodywork with seating for 62, this total being made possible by the rearward facing seat for 5 located against the front bulkhead.

 

The remaining 30 (L280 to L309) arrived in 1958 with the Crossley bodywork in shell form only, to be completed by the Corporation's own workforce at Edge Lane Works.

 

However due to staff shortages and the major bus refurbishment program in progress at the time, the shells were never completed in Liverpool. After a long period in storage were finally completed by Metro-Cammell finally entering service in late 1961.

 

These buses introduced a more modern internal appearance with green formica between the windows and below the bench seats, rather than the painted half green/ivory of there predecessors. A further 45 similar vehicles numbered L310-355 followed in 1957/8.

 

When new L255 was allocated to Carnegie Road garage, but its stay here was only short lived as it was transferred to Walton in March 1957.  Here it was used on routes such as 19/44/92/93 serving the new expanding housing estates of Kirkby, Southdene and Tower Hill as well as the Corporations own Kirkby Industrial Estate. where it lives today!

 

When Walton closed for rebuilding in October 1962, L255, along with the majority of Waltons allocation moved to the new Gillmoss garage .  Following overhauls in 1966 and 1971 it returned to Gillmoss.

L255 seen in service with the PTE L255 seen in service with the PTE

It then moved to Litherland garage in August 1973 and saw use on services 28,51,52,53,55,55A,56,57,57A,58,59 to Ford, Netherton and Sefton.

 

Over the years the Crossley Bodied PD2’s saw service at Walton, Gillmoss, Edge Lane, Green Lane & Litherland depots. But it was Litherland which was the bastion of Back loader routes until the end of 2 man operation , even getting Birkenhead PD2s allocated towards the end!

 

L255’s stay at Litherland was a short one as it was transferred for the last time in April 1975 to Green Lane. Here it was used mainly on peak hour extras and industrial workings until it was finally withdrawn from service in March 1976.

 

Purchased for preservation in May 1976 and joined the other vehicles in the growing Mersey and Calder Preservation group in 1977 . As L255 was in basically good condition it was soon rubbed down and painted back into the early 1960's livery of green with cream staircase panel and window surrounds.

 

Over the next 10 years or so it attended numerous rallies throughout Britain. Including London -Brighton & Weymouth. It was also borrowed to commemorate the retirement of the MPTEs last Clippy (conductress) at Litherland depot, it even being used unofficially in service on the occasion on the 28B!

 

In 1996 after more than 20 years in active preservation and with more than 25 years since a major overhaul, it was time for some major body restoration. After stripping every external panel off the bus, it was soon found that there was a fair amount of work involved.

L255 seen part way through its restoration L255 seen part way through its restoration

Over the next 10 years the following work has been undertaken:

  •     front and rear bulkheads have been replaced
  •     Tin front /bonnet /front wing areas renovated or relaced
  •     complete back end replaced including the platform and staircase,
  •     new lower and upper saloon floors replaced and new lino fitted
  •     Full repaint interior and exterior to mid 60s livery
  •     Seats retrimmed in brown leathercloth.
  •     A replacement Leyland O.600 engine fitted
  •     full brake system overhaul
  •     complete rewire
  •     windows re rubbered

Following a flurry of activity in early 2007, L255 was eventually completed finally passing the MOT 2 days before the MTTs annual running day in September 2007 , proving a popular attraction during the day.

 

Despite being over 60 years old , performance is still up to todays standards in the city traffic.

 

Thanks must also to to all the people too numerous to mention who have assisted with the restoration of L255 over the years.

 

During 2009 a rechromed drivers window surround was fitted and in 2010  side adverts were added much improving its apperance

L255 Kirkby Admin 2011 L255 Kirkby Admin 2011