L161 was part of an order for 80 Leyland Titan PD2/20 chassis that were ordered in 1953. These all carried the standard BMMO type 'tin front'. With Edge Lane Works at the time rebuilding trams, the bodies for this order were delivered fully completed by the bodybuilders. Fifty of these, (L91 to L140), were bodied by Duple (Midland) with the remaining 30 (L141-L170) receiving Alexander bodywork. All had a seating capacity of 58, (32 upstairs and 26 down). Both designs of bodywork looked basically similar with only small detail differences, the most noticeable being the different size of the emergency exit.
L161 entered service from Carnegie Road Garage in January 1955 although it only remained here for just over a year as it was transferred to Walton in February 1956. When Walton closed for rebuilding in October 1962, L161 along with the majority of Walton’s allocation moved to the brand new garage at Gillmoss.
With the introduction of the City Circle Shopping Service in November 1965, five Alexander-bodied PD2s, (L79, L161,L163, L164 and L165), were selected for conversion into dedicated buses for this service. The work involved fitting overhead luggage racks in the lower saloon and a one-piece fixed destination display instead of the standard version. They carried a revised livery of cream with green window surrounds and route branding.
All five operated from Garston garage between December 1965 and September 1969 when the buses reverted back to normal service condition. L161 returned to Gillmoss on 20th November 1969, just eleven days before the formation of the Merseyside PTE. Transferred to the reserve fleet in December 1970, it returned to Gillmoss for further service in February 1971 and lasted another twelve months. It was transferred to the driving school in February 1972, remaining in the training school until it was finally withdrawn on the 1st November 1977, thus becoming the last former Liverpool Corporation rear loader to be used by the driving school.
The bus was donated by the MPTE to the Mersey & Calder BPG for preservation in March 1978 passing to the Merseyside Transport Trust in 1999.
Over the last few years a lot of work has been carried out on L161 including paint stripping of the upper saloon & exterior panels. It has now rejoined the programme with mechanical & bodywork restoration taking place.