To find a museum celebrating some 25 years of preserving classic buses is quite an achievement, this final open day of the season saw Dewsbury Bus museum celebrate in style.
November 16th 2014 saw the rally season end on a high note, as the autumn open day at the Ravensthorpe depot of the Dewsbury Bus Museum. Opened its doors to stall holders, new visiting buses and a 25th Anniversary to celebrate. The morning started with a collection of West Riding liveried buses being parked up outside the bus station in Dewsbury, on South Street. Preserved Leyland Panther 164 was joined by Leyland Lynx 252, Leyland Olympian 577 and Leyland Titan 640, along the South Street area, later the Arriva 2DL integral 1508 arrived in the zip livery featuring the West Riding livery at the rear. 1508 was used to mark the 110th anniversary of the 110 Hall Green/Kettlethorpe-Wakefield-Leeds bus service. The preserved buses were used during the morning sections of runs to Dewsbury to Ravensthorpe and back, along with West Riding classic 733 the Roe bodied Leyland Tiger.
Dewsbury Bus Museum have always been situated in the former Yorkshire Woollen District winter storage shed, used for coaches. This was in 1979, when such buildings could be purchased, by 1989 the building was becoming run down. In order to secure a future build the Dewsbury Bus Museum (DBM) established charitable status, this allowed the build to be replaced with a new shed. Since then DBM have brought into service many West Riding buses into the preservation scene, with additional space taken up on open days by near-by Havelock Street, home for a local education Centre run by Kirklees council. Two years ago the splendid Leyland Titan 640 was completed and entered into the rally scene, this year progress has been made on the MKII Leyland National 73, which is hoped will be ready for the March 8th 2015 spring open day.
Leyland Olympian 577 provided a free shuttle service from the Arriva Belle Isle Depot, Wakefield Bus and Westgate Rail Stations and to Dewsbury, the reverse of the route was the final bus to leave at 16:50 in Dewsbury. Two routes explored the delights of Charlotte's Ice Cream Special on the 99 service, while keen Gardeners could pay a visit to Whiteley's Garden Centre on the 53. Two mystery tours were conducted by Halifax 35, which ran during at 15:05 and 15:50. The 25 Dewsbury shuttle ran every 10-15 minutes during the with the last one departing at 16:30.
Visiting buses were from far and wide, with most having a Yorkshire feel, others were from elsewhere. The most modern bus LT2 arrived form First Leeds West Yorkshire, as the NBfWY vehicle, which has been busy out and about promoting First West Yorkshire's future vehicle purchases. Former Pennine Dennis Dart D15 and Leyland National LN19 were also on display. Keighley Bus Museum members brought a wide selection of buses, from traditional Halfcab AEC Regents to a more modern Leyland Olympian, the Aire Valley Transport Group also brought in a couple of their buses, a LUT Leyland Tiger saloon and an Eastern Counties Bristol K. Plenty of former Yorkshire Rider buses were attending this celebratory event, with 5158, a Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympian, 8648 a Scania N113CRL Alexander Strider bodied saloon and a Mercedes Benz Plaxton Beaver bodied minibus. A Stagecoach Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10B, a Yorkshire Woollen Ford Thames Trader with Duple body, the East Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6, a Yorkshire Traction Leyland national 2 and the Todmorden Willowbrock bodied Leyland Leopard were all there. The former South Yorkshire Motors Albion Valiant, which was a saloon first, later becoming a Roe bodied double decker bus, was around too. Wallace Arnold coaches, which ran in Leeds until Shearings took control, had preserved Leyland Leopard/Plaxton Elite attending, in the 1970's grey and cream livery. Perhaps the star of the day was the Crossley double deck chassis with Roe bodywork for Joseph Woods of Mirfield, looking splendid in preservation.