LHS6L with Plaxton Supreme V GT 828BSS5C012 C33F body.
CLJ 413Y was
purchased by a WHOTT Member on 22nd July 2015 and placed in the care
of WHOTT at its Dorchester running day on 16th August 2015. It is
believed to be the very last LHS built and the only survivor of the
once vast BR&D fleet. The new owner writes:
"During the 1980s
the BR&D fleet underwent enormous change, losing the very many older
Bedfords, Fords and the
odd Leyland or two in favour of more modern, albeit second hand,
Bedfords and Volvos. Whilst the fleet was changing thus there were a
few purchases of new vehicles including one heavyweight Leyland,
five new Volvos and few lightweight minibus type Fords, all of these
arriving before the large intake of new Volvo B10Ms in 1988.
In the midst of all of this
change the Company elected to buy two Bristol LHS coaches, bodied by
Plaxton. This choice of chassis has
never been explained and seems to exhibit a real deviation from
normal policy. Whereas the later, new Volvos had been obtained on a
leasing agreement, I believe that these Bristols were actually owned
directly. Sadly, Mr. Roper is no longer around to answer this
question. It has been put to me that the LHSs were seen as a
successor to the good old Bedford OB and suitable for loads of about
30 persons. The purchase of Volvo 901 CDU in 1987 would seem to give
the lie to this theory but maybe there was no smaller Volvo
available in 1983. The two LHSs were certainly a surprise and a
fresh face in the fleet. I saw them fairly frequently but,
perversely, LLJ 605W was far more often in my view than CLJ 413Y.
The latter was operated for only just over four years before being
sold indirectly for further service in Dumfries. Her time in
Scotland was, again, four years whereupon she went south again to be
operated by Deeble in Cornwall until the end of the 20th century.
CLJ's ownership subsequent to Deeble and prior to late July 2015, is
somewhat obscure and I would welcome clarification.
When I purchased her, CLJ was
dry, not neglected and she started on the button. Her 32 years
are to be seen but she
has worn well. Time will prove her true condition but I believe that
she will serve us well and for many years to come."