The Merseyside Transport Trust

A36 Howard Wilde

Photograph by Howard Wilde

After World War II ended, there was a turbulent period of ordering new buses. In the early 1950s Liverpool Corporation finally executed its plans to bring standardisation to its fleet.

Delivered in November 1953, A36 was part of a batch of 100 AEC Regent IIIs, numbered A1- A100, that were delivered in 1953/54. They all had the AEC A218 9.6 litre engine but unlike earlier deliveries these buses were fitted with synchromesh gearboxes which had only recently been introduced by AEC. With the exceptions of A39 & A40, (please see A40's page for further information), this batch of Regents was bodied by Crossley. The chassis had been delivered from AEC to Crossley without AEC's standard radiator shells, bonnets or mudguards.

Crossley designed and fitted the wide new-look bonnet and grille assembly in accordance with Liverpool's own specifications. The body was also of four-bay construction, which had become the standard design for Liverpool Corporation. 60 of the bodies were delivered to Edge Lane in shell form only to be finished off by the Corporation's own work force, as the tramway repair programme was now complete, and the additional work avoided the need to make any staff redundant.

A36 was allocated to Prince Alfred Road (PAR) garage on delivery and it remained at this depot right up to when it was withdrawn from passenger service in February 1969. In May 1969, it was resurrected as a driving school vehicle and it passed to the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (MPTE) on its formation in December 1969. It was eventually withdrawn in September 1971.

A member of the Mersey & Calder BPG acquired it for preservation in October 1971, thus making it the first ex-Liverpool bus to be purchased for preservation by a private owner.

Unfortunately, its early days in preservation were not happy ones with the engine suffering from a major seizure in the mid 1970s. With the non-availability of funds, and later the non-availability of a replacement AEC 9.6 litre engine, many a good bus would have been sent for scrap. Fortunately the owner of A36 decided to keep the bus until the money became available. Restoration concentrated mainly on the body and its interior.

In 1997 a reconditioned AEC 11.3 litre engine was acquired from a Ministry of Defence surplus dealer and this engine was later modified and fitted so that the vehicle ran under its own power again after some 25 years!

A36 is now in a dark green & twin cream bands livery, and in this guise made its passenger carrying debut at our "Buses to Page Moss" event in April 2011. It has since become a front line member of the Trust's operational fleet and is a regular sight at many local events.

(Updated: 06/05/2017)


Fleet number:

NKD 536
AEC Regent III
October 1953
Current Status: 


A36 on service 77 at the Pier Head, and in a stripped-down condition at Burscough.