MSJ385P – Seddon Pennine 7

Reg NoMSJ 385P
ChassisSeddon Pennine 7
Chassis No59997
BodyAlexander T Type
Body No5AT/4974/21
Date NewJuly 1976
Fleet NoS2579

Delivered in July 1976 to Western S.M.T. MSJ 385P was new as DS2579 with Alexander dual-purpose seats  and a DP49F Alexander “AT” type body, operating from Dumfries garage in Western’s black and white coach livery. Until 1984 MSJ 385P had an uneventful life with Western, the most notable change was being renumbered DS579 in late 1983.

In 1984 MSJ 385P was converted along with sister vehicles MSJ 370P (retained by Western Scottish), MSJ 371P (transferred to Midland Scottish) & MSJ 389P (transferred to Eastern Scottish) to a disabled access coach with only 24 dual-purpose seats and accommodation for six wheelchairs. At this time air operated plug doors were added in the middle of the nearside to accommodate an electrically powered wheelchair lift. MSJ 385P was transferred to Central Scottish after completion and was repainted into Central livery and renumbered SP1. Initially MSJ 385P was operated from Motherwell (Airbles Road) garage, late 1985 saw a change, to Wishaw, where it remained until 1987 when it was withdrawn from the Central fleet.

MSJ 385P was the first of the modified coaches to leave the Scottish Bus Group and went on to operate with Davian Coaches (1987 – 1989), Primrose Coaches (1989 – 1993) and Andrews Coaches (1993 – 2006). SP1 was secured for preservation in October 2006 and is under restoration to Central Scottish condition as SP1.

Despite the twenty years SP1 spent away from Scotland it remained in very good condition, mainly due to light work due to its conversion. The worst damage was limited to the rare fibreglass front panel which has now seen extensive re-creation, aluminium body panels and a rear spring.  It had also been fitted with Plaxton coach seats but luckily a set of original seats had been set aside for another project and these were gratefully made available for SP1.

It is interesting to note that MSJ 385P is the sole survivor of the four converted coaches and is the oldest surviving Seddon bus with a “T” type body.

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