The Merseyside Transport Trust

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INFORMATION

Fleet number:
A233 (later A433)

Registration:
GKD 434

Chassis:
AEC Regent II (6627483)

Body:
Weymann

Layout:
H30/26R

New:
November 1946

Current status:
Awaiting restoration.

A233(1)
A233(2)
A233(3)

A233 in service at the Pier Head, in use with the Housing Department and its current condition at Burscough.

A233 was one of 100 AEC Regent IIs provisionally ordered by the Corporation during the Second World War. Permission was not given until July 1945 when the Ministry of War Transport issued a licence to Liverpool Corporation to acquire 16, followed by another licence for 42 in November 1945. The remaining 42 were ordered in May 1946 after the wartime allocation system had finally ended.

Delivery of the first 16 Regent IIs (A225-A240) took place between June and November 1946. The next 42 (A241-A282) arrived between January and June 1947, with the final batch (A283-A324) following on immediately and all were in service before the end of 1947.

These buses were generally similar to the pre-war Regents, having AEC 7.7 litre engines and crash gearboxes. The Weymann bodies, supplied in basic frame-only form to be completed by the Corporation's own staff at Edge Lane Works, were to a slightly different design than that on the pre-war Regents but it was still a pre-war design.

A233 was delivered in November 1946 and was allocated to Carnegie Road when new and during its 19 year career never ventured any further than the associated Stanley Bus Park (opened in 1954) and the former Green Lane Tram Depot. Each of these three depots operated independently of each other but used a common pool of vehicles all maintained at Carnegie Road.

A233 was renumbered to A433 in January 1957 to make way for the new Regent Vs being delivered at the time. During the early 1960's A433 received a major body refurbishment with the original drop down windows being replaced with "rubberised" sliding windows. It was finally withdrawn from service on the 24th January 1965.

However, a number of Regent IIs were transferred to the Corporation's Housing Department with A433 passing over during July 1965. It was converted to a mobile workshop/welfare vehicle and would have been used by the Corporation's labourers as they worked on the city's housing estates.

It was withdrawn from this use in 1972 and after passing to Goodwin & Smiths, one of the well known Barnsley bus dealers, it was saved for preservation by one of the early members of the Mersey & Calder BPG. Over the next couple of years, it was stored at various sites around the Merseyside region and during this time it was totally vandalised with every window being smashed and the few remaining seats being slashed.

When the group moved to Burscough in the mid 1970's A233 was at last under cover and safe. Unfortunately no work was carried out on the bus and eventually ownership passed to the group. In 1987 work started on the bus and over the next couple of years the chassis was overhauled and the body stripped down and rebuilt where necessary. Unfortunately work came to a standstill when quotes for the manufacture of the replacement drop down window pans were obtained.

As funds were not available at the time for these essential parts, A233 is now parked in the corner of the shed until further funds become available. It is hoped that one day work will be resumed on the bus, as it is Liverpool's oldest surviving double deck bus. (Unless you know of the whereabouts of an AEC Regent I.....?)