29 September 1980
FP145, MPE453, PE453
Leyland Leopard (Ld PSU3E/4R)
Leyland 0.680 Diesel
Alexander Ar 141AYS/1379/11
Midland Scottish, Oban & District, West Coast Motors
Taybus Vintage Vehicle Society member(s)
Midland Scottish (1989)
Restored and on the road since 2008
WFS145W was delivered new to Fife Scottish on 29 September 1980, based at their Kirkcaldy Depot and allocated fleet number FPE145. The bus subsequently was transferred to Glenrothes Depot in the mid-80s. During 1988 Midland Scottish were suffering from vehicle shortages following service enhancements in central Scotland and called for assistance from other Scottish Bus Group (SBG) subsidiaries. Fife and Northern had received batches of new Leyland Tigers and consequently had older Y-type Leopards to spare.
WFS145W transferred across the Forth to Midland Scottish in Autumn 1988, gained fleet number MPE453 and entered service from Bannockburn depot in December carrying the blue/cream Midland livery. In 1989 the M prefix was dropped and PE453 moved to Balfron Depot. For maintenance vehicles were often swapped between Balfron and Bannockburn and PE453 saw regular service on most routes operated by both depots.
Following privatisation of the SBG in 1992 Midland Scottish was sold to the GRT group and renamed Midland Bluebird. A bulk order of new Mercedes O405s and Scania N113s spelled the end for some older types and as a result PE453 moved to Oban depot with a handful of other Leopards.
GRT sold off the Oban operations to Oban & District in 1994 who were in turn were bought over by the expanding West Coast Motors group in 1999. Following fleet investment by WCM the already depleted Leopard fleet was relegated to school duties with only occasional stand-ins on the front line. By June 2007 WFS145W was the sole remaining stalwart Leopard and passed into preservation following a full day's work on 27th June.
Extensive bodywork, heavy mechanical and electrical work ensued over the 18 months following its acquisition. The bus has been restored to 1989 condition as Midland Scottish PE453 of Balfron Depot in December 2008. A fitting end to a bus which provided sterling service to its operators for three decades.