Fylde Transport Trust
Fylde Transport Trust

Lytham 19

Lytham St. Annes Corporation commenced running buses in 1923 shortly after it was formed in 1922 by merging Lytham and St. Annes councils. The latter had bought the privately owned tramway to Blackpool in 1920. Initially small single deckers were used on services around the two towns but in the 1930s longer routes to Blackpool were commenced, including a replacement for the trams. The first Leyland Titan double deckers were bought and the marque was to be associated with these routes for 40 years.


After World War 2, tourism returned and Lytham needed more double deckers with the first six delivered in 1946. These were of the new PD1 model which signified Leyland's return to bus building after wartime duties. It was quickly supplanted by a revised model (PD2) with a larger engine and synchromesh gearbox. The PD1s were unique for Lytham in having full crash gearbox (requiring drivers to ‘double-de-clutch when changing between each gear), which must have been a shock to the drivers used to Leyland's innovative "Gearless" automatic buses of the 1930s.


Wartime restrictions had not been completely lifted and No. 19 has no internal lining or ceiling panels. On its early post war buses Lytham specified leather seating upstairs and upholstery downstairs, both were finished in brown rather than the standard blue. Nevertheless, like the double deckers before and after it, No. 19 entered service on the core 11/11A routes. Eleven PD2s joined the fleet in 1948/51 that featured synchromesh gearboxes.


At this time the 11/11A only required eight buses in the winter the PD1s were quickly relegated to Lytham St. Annes local routes such as the 1A and 3. In the summer they would once again work the expanded 11/11A which was increased in frequency and also saw much duplication to cope with the additional tourist traffic. Later deliveries of new buses between 1957 and 1964 saw the Leyland bodied Leylands increasingly relegated to summer only work.

It was the need for additional summer vehicles that has secured several Lytham buses for preservation after lengthy service. The first PD1s did not come off until 1969 and No. 19 survived until September 1972 after just over 26 years in service. It was probably the last PD1 in use with its original owner. When sold in early 1973, No. 19 went for private preservation in the Midlands. Ten years later it passed to Lister, a Bolton dealer and was then purchased by the Rochester Motor Co becoming a promotional vehicle for this car dealership, though still in Lytham colours.


In 1988 it was sold for scrap but fortunately it was again secured for private preservation in Kent. Extensive restoration work was undertaken but in 1998 the bus was offered for sale again. It initially passed to a Croydon preservationist who returned it to full PCV Class VI status but later, in 2001, it passed to LTT member Graham Oliver.


No.19 finally returned to live on the Fylde coast in March 2003, joining the Lancastrian Transport Trust collection after an absence of exactly 30 years. LTT concluded the purchase from Graham during Summer 2005. During 2009 19 was treated to a lower deck repanel and full repaint into the later version of the standard Lytham livery, matching Lytham 70. In 2017, its lower deck seating was completely renewed.

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