KVH 473E

Part of the KBMT Collection Not for Hire

1967 Daimler Fleetline Gardner CRG6/LX

ROE H44/31F

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The Story

Huddersfield Corporation began the first municipally operated tram service in the UK on Thursday the 11th January 1883. After putting the running of privately operated trams on the Corporations rails out to tender had received no response, the Corporation applied for permission to operate their own vehicles. The first route was between Lockwood and King Street in the town centre. The trams were followed in 1933 by an extensive trolleybus system, although powers had been granted to operate motor buses in the town from 1913. The first motor buses were supplied by local firm of Karrier Motors of St Thomas Road Huddersfield, which was situated at the opposite end of the road which was to eventually house Corporation vehicles at Longroyd Bridge. From the onset of trolleybus operations, motorbus operations within the Borough were mainly provided private operator Hanson Buses (the fore-runner to what became Hanson PLC) and Huddersfield Joint Omnibus Committee, which was a shared operation between Huddersfield Corporation and The London Midland and Scottish Railway Company (LMS). In the early 1960’s it had been decided to re- introduce motor buses as a cheaper alternative to modernising the trolleys infrastructure, and as a result eight Roe bodied Leyland Titans were placed on the West Vale route as Trolleybus replacements. These carried the swept cream livery of the trolleys to make prospective passengers aware that it was Corporation vehicle, which charged a different fare tariff to their JOC counterparts.

By 1967 and the introduction of rear engine vehicles, the Corporation had changed their allegiance to Daimler as a more suitable vehicle, purchasing (after trials with a Leeds City loaned vehicle) a fleet of Daimler CVG6/30 buses with Neepsend and East Lancs or Roe bodies. The final such bus HVH 472D is preserved, although another batch had been on order until a change in legislation by the then Transport Minister, Barbara Castle allowing one- man operated buses. This led to a change in the Corporations purchasing policy and the order of Roe bodied Fleetlines was placed instead with 473 entering service in April 1967 which although intended for one man operations, began as a crew operated bus. This first batch were numbered 473- 488.

With the formation of the PTE, 473 was re- numbered 4473 and was acquired by the West Yorkshire Transport Museum upon withdrawal in March 1984 being the first vehicle to be restored there in 1985. It was later acquired by the Keighley Bus Museum Trust from the administrators of Transperience in 1998 with support from the Lottery Fund, Science Museum PRISM Fund and Bradford Metropolitan Council