571 ONN 571P
New To: Trent Motor Traction Company Ltd (NBC)
Chassis: Leyland Atlantean AN68/1R 7601555
Original Body: Eastern Coach Works 22032 H43/31F
Current Body: Willowbrook H43/31F
Status: Awaiting Restoration
Delivered in July 1976 as part of a batch of 7 similar vehicles, 571 was fitted with an Eastern Coach Works double deck body, seating a total of 74 passengers, 43 upstairs and 31 downstairs. This batch of vehicles were delivered shortly before the Meadow Road Derby garage fire on the night of 23rd July 1976. The fire destroyed forty buses and damaged 12. 571, 573 and 577 were destroyed before they had even entered service. Unfortunately 573 and 577 were non-salvageable but 571s chassis was still good.
571 was dispatched to Willowbrook in Loughborough for a new body to be put on the existing chassis. As this was only one vehicle it didn’t warrant creating a whole new body design, so 571 gets its marmite looks because it was made up of leftover parts from previous orders. Many people say the roof dome looks a bit like an upturned boat hull due to the ribs in it. 571 needed these to keep the internal and external roof dome panels in the correct position. The bus returned to Trent’s Meadow Road Derby garage late in 1977 with its new body.
After returning to Trent, 571 spent a few months at Derby depot before being transferred to the far smaller Melbourne garage. Following Trents takeover of Barton Transport of Chilwell in 1990, 571 transferred to Barton and it became the first double decker with Barton for a number of years. It was based at Melton Mowbray garage where it used to run school contracts. Seven years later, 571 was replaced by displaced Leyland Olympians and it was sent to Langley Mill for a repaint into the Trent Buses red and cream livery. It was then sent back to its original garage Meadow Road where it ran on a regular school contract but appeared in service from time to time. It was withdrawn around the year 2000 and this rare vehicle was sold for preservation.
571 headed for the Transport Museum Wythall near Birmingham where it stayed for a while. The bus then passed into private preservation in south wales where it was stored in an old haunted nuclear bunker. Here it actually featured in television programme. Then it passed to Swansea Bus Museum where it then went into private preservation before ending up with Nottingham Heritage Vehicles (predecessor to NHVC). NHV re-panelled it before it was then sold again to another private preservationist Phil Towle. 571 stayed with him for a good few years where it received a repaint into the livery it wears today. Phil contacted us before he then donated the bus back to us. Sadly we had to go pick it up with a recovery truck due to the engine being partly stripped down. It turns out it was stripped down as they were trying to investigate a bad knocking coming from the engine. 571 now resides in our storage compound waiting for one for one of our spare Leyland 680 engines to be installed then it will need a full restoration.
Relevance To The Collection
571 is a totally one off vehicle but on top of that it is also the last surviving Trent Leyland Atlantean