JWU 886

Part of the KBMT Collection Not for Hire

1951 Bristol LL5G Chassis No. 83135

Eastern Coachworks B39R No. 4828 Series 2

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The Story

The front-engine L series Bristol single-deck bus was first introduced in 1938 but production was halted during the duration of the World War two. When legislation was relaxed in 1950 allowing single-deck bus to be built to a maximum length of 30 feet as opposed to the previous maximum of 27 feet 6 inches, the LL was introduced. The new vehicle was offered with a choice of engines which were the Gardner 5LW (LL5G), the Gardner 6LW (6LLG), or Bristol’s own 6 cylinder (LL6B) variant.

By the 1951 delivery date of JWU 886, the front -engine exposed radiator design had become dated as the under-floor engine was becoming more popular with operators both for looks, and more importantly, the higher passenger carrying capacity obtained by the new layout.¬†Originally operating in the Leeds and Harrogate areas for the WYRCC, as fleet number 416, it was later transferred to York and Bradford, receiving the fleet number SGL16 in the 1954 renumbering scheme. The designation SGL was to signify Single Deck, Gardner engine 30′ long.

The bus was sold to Norths the bus dealers based at Sherburn January 1967 and to Nitrovit of Dalton near Thirsk, for staff transport by July 1967, who were at the time operating similar vehicles. Due to their popularity with their transport manager these buses remained with this company for some time with JWU remaining in this service until 1976. The bus was finally retired after 25 years from new, and sold for preservation to the Mile Cross Transport collection which was based in Halifax. Among the considerable restoration work carried out to bring it up to the early Bradford Depot running days, was the inclusion of the Blue depot disc in front of the fleet number.

Unfortunately due to ill health the Mile Cross collection was dispersed and in 1985 SGL passed to the West Yorkshire Transport Museum. It was later acquired by the Keighley Bus Museum via the administrators of Transperience in September 1998 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Science Museum PRISM Fund, and Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council.

The bus is now used occasionally on the Museum open day services and special occasions.