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Ulsterbus Leyland Leopard Celebration

The Potter/Alexander (Belfast) bodied Leyland Leopard has had a long association with the Ulsterbus fleet.  The first vehicles entering service in 1968.  Today in 2005 there is still a sizable fleet serving the Province, but with a large number of new vehicles on order for Translink their days are numbered.  This video programme is a Celebration of the type in many ways.

Our first ‘Celebration’ is a day out on 109 (WAZ 5652) - 4109 to give it its current fleet number - was, in November 2003, the oldest bus in regular service with Ulsterbus.  It was due to be withdrawn on the 30th November 2003, so a tour from Dungannon was planned by the Irish Transport Trust to celebrate.  There is plenty of interior and roadside footage as we travel along the rain-soaked roads of Northern Ireland, there is even a bonus International trip into County Monaghan at Glaslough!  The day concluded at Dungannon and the 25 and a half year old was parked up for the last time?  It has since been returned to service which emphasises the quality of the Leyland product!

Our second ‘Celebration’ is that of the coming of age of the final Leyland Leopard 339 (BXI 339) and the first of the Leyland Tigers 340 (DXI 3340).  We follow 340 in service from Belfast to Newcastle on board 339.  From Newcastle we have 339 for the day and go on a grand tour, taking in the superb scenery of Northern Ireland.  Some of the places visited include Ardglass, Strangford and Comber.  Lots of interior atmosphere and sounds as well as scenic roadside sequences.

We then ‘Celebrate’ the Leopards in everyday service with brief visits to Belfast, Portrush, Kilkeel and many other depots around the Province.

Our final ‘Celebration’ is that of preserved Leopard 235 (WOI 2235) now owned by Jeffrey Thompson and Stewart Gilmore.  We see 235 at the 2005 Irish Transport Trust Bus & Coach Rally at Cultra on the 23rd April, our cameras travel on board during the 40 mile road run.  This vehicle is a credit to them. Having left the Ulsterbus fleet after about 10 years and to be used on relief missions to Romania.  It was later converted to a caravan. The boys have restored it to Ulsterbus Express livery.

So why not join us in the ‘Celebration’ of these fine workhorses that have graced the roads of Northern Ireland for forty years.
Cover photograph: Paul Savage

 Filmed :  2003/5
 Duration :  96 minutes (approx).
 Price :  Within UK - 16
   Rest of world - 18
 Format :  DVD -R
 Order Ref :  D056
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