274 Returns to Leicester in April 2018
Metropolitan GJF 274N returns to Leicester for preservation and restoration after it was purchased towards the end of 2015 when it was found to be languishing in a barn in Northamptonshire. The Scania is privately owned by a group of LTHT members.
274 was new to Leicester City Transport on 18th January 1975, which today makes her the oldest surviving Scania Metropolitan (she was actually the 70th example to be built). She managed 13 years with LCT/LCB making the transition to Red, White and Grey livery upon de-regulation in 1986. Stored at the former Gibson Barlestone garage upon withdrawal in 1988 she also managed a period on trial with Nottingham City Transport before returning once again to Barlestone where she was stored with many sister Metropolitans that were being gathered upon withdrawal. 274 was sold at auction in Shepshed during 1989. Stints at Collins Coaches of Castle Goring and with a private owner in Sussex followed where she was overpainted back in to LCT Cream and Maroon. She next appeared on the radar with Chiltern Travel in Bedfordshire and finally on school service with Day and Ellwood, Chatteris, Cambs. She was saved almost accidentally by a Reading based enthusiast during 2000 when she was thrown in to a deal to purchase another vehicle which was also operated by Day and Ellwood. Thankfully she was placed in to store and remained untouched for nearly 18 years.
274 was converted to a single door vehicle by placing a sideways seat across the centre doors but aside from this she remains very original inside. She was ultimately withdrawn and used as a spares donor following an engine failure. She is missing a fuel tank, gearbox, cab door, some handrail, centre door mechanism and obviously will require a replacement engine. The project is hoping to begin structural assessments with some vigour during the summer but initial inspections so far have revealed 274 to be an extremely sound example. A pleasing surprise, which perhaps reflects the effort that Abbey Park Road staff went to in order to ensure their longevity.