SCT No: 133
Chassis: Leyland PDR1A/1
Chassis No: 903814
Body: East Lancashire H45/31F
Body Number: 6840
Engine: Leyland 0 680 11.1 litre engine
Date into service: 1st March 1970
Delivered in February 1970, 133 was one of the second batches of a fleet of 175 Atlanteans delivered to Southampton City Transport between 1968 and 1982. Between 1981 and 1984 it was the only type in service. In June 1985, it was converted along with sister bus 134 for “Wheels on Wheels” disabled persons transport. It was re-seated to H45/17F configuration plus space for 4 wheelchairs. In February 1986 space was made for an extra two wheelchairs with the loss of four seats in the lower saloon and a Ratcliff chair lift was installed in the doorway. Making it H47 13F the bus was repainted into ivory with red sweeping up over the rear with black trim.
The undertaking became Southampton Citybus on 26th October 1986 and when the bus was repainted it adopted a predominately red livery with cream upper deck windows and roof. It was given the name “Sir Winston Churchill” and the “Wheels on Wheels” logos were changed to “Access for All”. With deliveries of the first new Dennis Dart Plaxton 2 Low Floor easy access buses, 133 & 134 became redundant.
Both vehicles were withdrawn in August 1996 and ended up stored at Hurn (Bournemouth) Airport. They were taken on by Shamrock Buses of Ferndown as a source of spares. 134 was broken up soon after with a few remaining parts placed on 133. 133 remained in dry storage for almost five years when it was advertised for sale in Bus & Coach Preservation magazine in February 2003.
Two S&DTHT members Dave Norman and Dave Woods inspected the bus. It was in remarkably good condition and completely intact. It had a full set of seats in the upper saloon covered in the original Rexine and reputedly had a good engine. It is though that it has received a reconditioned unit from Southampton City Transport driver trainer 122 when it was scrapped. A deal was agreed that the bus would be purchased for £2000 but it would take a few weeks to raise the capital.
In early May 2003, Shamrock was told that the money was almost available. It was then learnt that the bus had been placed outside the depot and was due to be collected by a scrap dealer the following day. A week’s temporary reprieve was agreed until arrangements could be made to bring 133 back to the Southampton area.
On 20th May 2003, a chance visit to Shamrock’s premises to ensure all was ready for collection was met with shock as 133 had been vandalised in the yard. The bus now almost derelict and seemingly only fit for the scrap yard, all the offside lower saloon windows were missing, the windscreen was gone and some upper salon windows had been removed. The gear selector was missing and the electric master board was severely damaged. However the bus still had its engine and gearbox and was standing on wheels. A suspended tow was arranged immediately to bring it back. On its return a replacement windscreen was fitted and a new box of spare parts had been obtained and 133 was sheeted up to protect it from the elements.
In late 2003, John Foster came on the scene (John owns Ex Southampton City Transport 139 – WOW 529J). John and Dave Woods agreed to undertake works on 133. All glass was replaced, the electrics sorted and the bus was given a M.O.T certificate. The Ratcliff platform list and other welfare equipment were discarded and the bus made ready for repainting into its original as delivered Southampton ivory and red livery. The bus made its first appearance at the Stokes Bay Rally in 2005.
On 16th August 2006, 133 emerged from Hants & Dorset Paint shop at Barton Park, Eastleigh after an excellent repaint costing around £4000. In early 2012 the Autosteer air operated power steering which had been retro-fitted into the bus at around the time that early Atlantean AN68s were done was taken out due to the imprecise steering and excessive King pin wear that it caused. Outstanding jobs include reinstating the bench seats over the rear wheels and modifying the rear panel to include the destination number although this is unlikely to happen in the near future.