In the early 1990s, through friends, I joined the 'Fife Bus Club', which was started up in 1992 with the aim of preserving a 1975 bus that was arguably the most interesting preservation candidate in the Fife bus fleet at that time. KSF1N, numbered '801' (in the fleet numbering system used at the time) had started life with Alexanders (Fife) Ltd as their 'FRA1', and was in actual fact the first production Volvo 'Ailsa' bus delivered (preceded by 11 prototypes, at least two of which survive at the time or writing!), and the suggestion was that the bus club would raise the money to buy it off Stagecoach Fife Scottish by the time it was due for withdrawal, which might be in a year or two. In the meanwhile, and uniquely in the Fife fleet, it had been repainted into it's original livery and now worked out of Cowdenbeath depot.

Now this isn't the place to write a history of the club, so I'll skip over its ups and downs and simply say that things didn't exactly go according to plan, as FRA1 was withdrawn by 1996, but the Bus Club didn't actually buy it, and in fact the club sort of went into 'hibernation' instead. By the spring of 2008, having been stored at various places, and somehow having made it to the west of Scotland before being retrieved by Stagecoach East Scotland (who it seems hadn't officially sold it!), KSF1N ended up parked intact but unserviceable in a dusty corner of the by then closed Kirkcaldy garage. However, by coincidence, my friend George (who works for Stagecoach) got a chance to ask no less a person than Brian Soutar himself about whether the original preservation project could be carried through, and (credit where credit is due!) the answer was 'Yes'. All we had to do now was resurrect the Bus Club, get it to pay for the bus, fix all the faults, and move FRA1 into preservation. Easy? Well it didn't quite happen just like that...

The Last Red Bus In The Fleet!

When I first saw KSF1N, it was still working for a living. See some pictures of mine of FRA1 In Fife Days


In the spring of 2008, when we made the first of many visits to FRA1 at Kirkcaldy Garage to try and get it running we discovered that it was blocked in by a number of other buses! In fact getting any usable pictures of FRA1 there was rather difficult but here is a small a selection of views taken on one of our earliest visits to FRA1 At Kirkcaldy.

Mad Dash For Freedom!

By April 2009, FRA1 was ready to move out of Kirkcaldy Garage under its own power, but we were waiting for the purchase to be sorted out. However we got an urgent phone call - Stagecoach were about to get a large delivery of new buses that needed to be stored temporarily and needed FRA1 moved the very next day. Our answer - Can Do! Here is the story of FRA1s Mad Dash For Freedom!

Much Work Required?

Thankfully no! But although FRA1 was in reasonably good condition there were still some things that needed to be done, and a selection of these can be seen in the section called Alisa Repaired!

Ailsa Album!

As with our other vehicles, I have pictures of FRA1 taken at various times that I haven't used in the sections above, and thus, as usual, have created The FRA1 Galleries to display them.

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These pages are owned and maintained by Jeffray Wotherspoon. The storage space for these pages is provided by the University Of Stirling, but it is in no way responsible for the contents of these pages. Please email me at if you have any questions, comments, problems etc.