3008 is one of a batch of 50 Fleetlines delivered between December 1972 and
April 1973. These buses spent all their working life at the MPTE allocated to Laird
Street although at some time most, if not all, were used by Seaview Road due to
bus exchanges and the like. Towards the end, they were not popular at Seaview
3008 was delivered in late 1972 and remarkably the purchase price is known. In
Liverpool Central Library are the tender documents for this batch of buses and
details have been taken. The chassis, built at Radford, cost £4,459, plus £48 for
the high driving position, plus other extras - a total of £4,542. The charge for
delivering the chassis to MCW was 3/- (15p) per mile. The completed bus cost £7176:17s:0d. Yes, the buses were ordered in 1970 so prices were pre-decimal!
When 3008 arrived it was painted in the blue and cream Wirral Division livery and seemed to be quite well photographed which makes us wonder if it was one of the first in service. When these buses were new, they were used on relief journeys on hire to Crosville from Wirral to North Wales, in the days when they could do more than 30mph, which sadly was the top speed for most by 1986.
The bus led quite a boring life, missing out on the ten that went on hire to Crosville at Heswall in 1983-1984, and then in mid 1986 news leaked out that the Daimlers were not going to be needed by the new, post de-reg operations of Merseybus. With that, in the couple of weeks before de-reg, with services being cut, the Daimlers found their way over to the also doomed Seaview Road Garage for storage. However, in the week running up to de-reg, the run-out from Seaview Road saw more Daimlers being used as Atlanteans made their way to Laird Street.
This is where 3008 has a claim to fame. On the last day of Seaview Road, Saturday 25th October 1986, it became the last bus to be booked out in service from the garage at 0937 on board 232 mainly on the 35 (New Brighton-Woodside).
The bus was stored at Seaview Road until purchased by Kimes Coaches of Lincolnshire on 3rd April 1987, where it remained until they finished with it. Things get a little sketchy from here as somehow it lost its engine and gearbox and ended up at the Lincoln Vintage Vehicle Museum for use as a store. Various people from Merseyside saw it and made comments but that was it.
However in late 2005, the Museum wanted to dispose of the bus and it was either scrap or someone to preserve it. So, in early 2006 the bus was given away to the current owner and after being towed to the MTT’s base at Burscough on 7th April 2006 it was finally safe.
This is the last known survivor of the batch of 50, the other 49 seemingly biodegraded between 1987 and the end of the century. It will be a long term, high cost, restoration project but hopefully one day it will be blue and cream, and may reach speeds of over 30mph again!