MPD253 - Moving MPD253 To Methil

When we bought the 'Cub', it was stored at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum at Lathalmond, but not only was it too expensive for us to store it there, it wouldn't have been stored next to the other preserved items that we work on at weekends. This meant moving it, which we made arrangements to do on 7/11/96.

1. This first vsnap shows MPD253 parked at Lathalmond waiting for the low-loader on the cold and damp morning of the move.


2. I got there early that day, to get the MPD253 ready for the move. As the Cub didn't come with a set of batteries I brought batteries borrowed from MPE29, which I also own. Once I got it ready, the morning sunshine tempted me to get my camcorder out while I was waiting for the semi-low loader, resulting in the vsnaps you are looking at. This one shows the front from another angle, with some body damage visible on the front corner.


3. Now for a back view of MPD253, which is a 41-seat Y-type coach. At first glance, especially from the back, it doesn't look very special, but it dates from 1963 and has one of the first production Y-type bodies ever built by Alexanders Of Falkirk. Being near the start of the Y-type production run means it has a few non-standard features compared with later bodies, mainly inside.


4. While I was waiting I took the camcorder inside, which wasn't that great an idea as the Cub had been running a short time earlier and since the exhaust system was mostly missing a fair amount of the exhaust fumes had leaked into the interior! The seats are of a style that (as far as I know) Midland didn't fit to Y-types in later years, which is a pity as they suit the vehicle, even when old and faded.


5. Once the semi-low loader arrived, complete with my friend Alistair who was acting as navigator for the driver, I was much too busy to film. Once the Cub had been loaded (under its own power) I moved up to the Lathalmond entrance to film its departure, and here is a vsnap taken using full zoom.


6. The Cub leaving Lathalmond! As this vsnap clearly shows, there was hardly an inch to spare on the semi-low loader, and in fact the front wheels had to be bumped up onto packing to get the tail-ramps fully up. Lathalmond is near Dunfermline, along several miles of lousy roads, but the driver thankfully had no problems getting to the motorway.


7. As MPD253 was securely tied down, the driver made good time, so the next vsnap is from a layby on the A92 near Kirkcaldy. The impression of speed given in this picture is very real as the semi-low loader was doing perhaps 50mph as it went past! The two piece destination box can clearly be seen, which seems to have been a short-lived feature, as MPE29 has a one piece box, although only a year younger.


8. Another vsnap taken just after the previous one, with the Cub heading east to Methil. I'm not sure how much faster than this the Cub went when it was in full working order!


9. For some reason that I can't recall at the moment, our route took us through Leven and over the Bawbee bridge to get to Methil. This isn't the shortest way, but we had plenty of time as it was still only the early afternoon (albeit in November). MPD253 is seen here being transported round the roundabout at the Leven end of the bridge.


10. As with the loading, I was fully occupied during the unloading, so the next vsnap is from camcorder footage taken after it had been backed carefully down (by me) from the semi-low loader. Despite the shabby paintwork and the removed front grille, the Cub definitely has character!


11. The last shot shows the Cub parked tidily next to MPE29 at Methil, in a vsnap that is an almost exact match for an esnap I have elsewhere. I'm not sure how often they would have met previously, although as MPD253 seems to have spent most of its career at Pitlochry garage, and MPE29 spent some of it's career at Perth Garage, it is quite likely.


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