SCT No: 289
Chassis: Leyland Olympian
Chassis No: 10432
Body: East Lancs CH43/27F
Body No: A6509
Date into service: August 1987
This dual purpose Leyland ONLX/1R Olympian with a Gardner LXB engine, and an East Lancashire CH43/27F body, No. 289 was delivered to Southampton City Transport Limited in August 1987 together with sister bus 290 – E290 HRV as dual purpose vehicles and fitted with coach seating. It was painted in Citybus livery (which was the reverse order of the original Leyland Atlantean AN68s) It received Red Ensign all over red livery in February in 1988 and was initially mainly used on excursion and private hire duties but also on out of town routes. In time it was demoted to school bus duties. It is thought that these buses were one of the last two Leyland buses ordered by Southampton City Transport as a council undertaking ending a long line of buses from that manufacturer.
Both buses passed into First group ownership of Southampton City Transport Ltd on 31st July 1997 and were painted into ‘Barbie’ livery in May 2002 and renumbered 1289/90. 289 initially stayed at Portswood although it did work for a short time out of Hoeford in August 2001 and Weymouth in summer 2006. On 12th January 2004, 1289 & 1290 were again renumbered to 34989/90290. In May 2007, 289 had its dot matrix type route number display replaced with a handover L.E.D type but retained its roller destination blind. 290 ended her days at First’s Bridport outpost and was then scrapped in 2010 by Erith Commercials.
289 was purchased for preservation by PB Bus Marketing on 23rd July 2009 of Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, for preservation and painted it in Southampton Citybus red and black livery in August 2009. It was subsequently put into use with their newly founded Xelabus operation where it was painted in Xelabus livery which is tilling green & cream with dark green skirt livery, and renumbered 505 in September 2010. In January 2011 it was given the name Marion. The bus was finally withdrawn and sold to Dave Woods of the Southampton & District Transport Trust in April 2012 and will continue to be rallied in Xelabus livery. 289 remains to be the last surviving Leyland bus from the Southampton Citybus fleet. A new engine was fitted to 289 in the summer of 2013 and appeared at Isle of Wight Bus Museum in October of the same year. In early 2014, 289 was bought by the 289 Group; themselves members of S&DTHT.