Midland Red (West)
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PhotographComments5Favourites VehicleTimetables
VehicleLeyland National 1151/2R/0403
B48F Leyland National Mk.I
New with B44D layout, single-door conversion (10/80) to B49F layout . Reseated (by 11/81) to B48F layout
Number175 (OCN 775M)
New to Northern General Transport Co. Ltd. as fleet number 75M
OperatorMidland Red West Limited, Hereford depot
New (8/73) to Northern General Transport Co. Ltd., Gateshead. Passed (5/84) to Midland Red (West) Ltd., Worcester. Operator privatised (22/12/86) as Midland Red West Ltd. Withdrawn (12/89). Passed (3/90) to Whiting (dealer), Pontefract
LocationSt Peter's Square (Shire Hall Bus Station), Hereford.
Description
DateSaturday 11th April 1987
SourcePhotograph by Peter Relf
DD12 on Saturday 11th April 2020
I have a childhood recollection of buses belonging to "more northerly" bus companies having raised front number plates (registration plates), as seen here ! -- Sometimes it coincided (I think) with an access slot or aperture (etc) where the number plate would normally sit, at the bottom, but that isn't the case here. -- -- Does anyone know why this bus has a raised front number plate, please ?? ( - Sorry if it's obvious !)

Brendan on Sunday 12th April 2020
AHH the 117. And the 7 before it, back in the day where you would have a bus every few minutes around Newton Farm, Midland Red, Yeoman's, Buchanan's, possibly more operators too.

TimBrown on Saturday 18th April 2020
Not sure if it was a wind up, but when we received some of the ex Northern General Nationals I asked the question as to the purpose of the large hole in the front bulkhead and was told that it was for a large vacuum cleaner to be attached which would suck all the detritus, loose tickets and other litter directly out of the bus. It seemed a bit far-fetched, can anyone confirm?

Bluestar735 on Saturday 18th April 2020
I can answer the questions raised by both DD12 and Tim Brown here... Northern General were early 'customizers' of the basic LN Mk.1 following the rebuild of 4441 (MCN840L) in 1974. From a frontal aspect, registration plates were moved upwards to allow the Centre Bumper section to have two access holes cut into it: the larger (centre) opening allowed instance access to the front towing eye bracket, whilst the second, smaller hole to the right of this allowed instant coupling of an-air line to the bleed supply valve. As both were necessary connections to be completed before attempting to move a 'dead' National with a towing truck, Northern made for easy access: in standard 'as built' format, it was necessary to remove four locator screws and the entire Centre Bumper section in order to access the vital components behind it. Although time-saving in essence, this modification was hardly aesthetically pleasing; later, a number of operators inheriting 'Northern Refugees' quickly reversed the process. In this case 175 has received a standard Centre Bumper panel but the repositioned registration plate remains. The mystery of the hinged 'Flap' located to the left of the fronisde nearside is easily answered. Contartay to it being the access point for a large vacuum hose, the flap opened to reveal a large circular hole cut through the front of the panel and hidden behind one of two 'cupboard doors' located on the Platform Bulkhead. This modification was unique to Gateshead-based vehicles which were often parked outside overnight. Around the perimeter of the Yard ran a large ducting system of hot air pipes, from which flexible hoses could be connected to the Leyland Nationals in question via the 'Flap' access point and from which hot air could be blown into the vehicle: particularly useful on cold winter days in 'thawing out' a bus which by design, was equipped with a heating system that blew warm air downwards in a vain attempt to defy the law of physics. Again, in many instances, subsequent operators of these examples replaced the modification with standard Front Panels in an attempt to hide what was once a practicable, if somewhat ugly, and by now redundant feature outside of Gateshead operations.

DD12 on Sunday 19th April 2020
That's brilliant info thanks Bluestar735 -- very interesting !!

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117
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