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Shortly after delivery WEB 410T is seen at Bedford service to Birmingham  (Photo by Alan Chilestone)

February 2006-  WEB410T departing Staffordshire for Lancashire and eventual restoration.

 

 

For those of you who recall the operations of Yelloway you will no doubt be familiar with the name Premier Travel of Cambridge. For many years Yelloway and Premier were joint operators on the North West to East Anglia service and as children we would travel on the 77 service from Accrington to Haverhill to visit our grandparents. More often than not the journey would be on a Yelloway coach but occasionally the Blackburn vehicle would be provided by Premier. It was common to see coaches from both fleets running the service between Manchester and Cambridge but the Premier would more often be on the morning 78 service from Blackpool. The Premier coaches in their two tone blue livery were always very smartly turned out, spotlessly clean inside and out and the drivers always wore shirt and company tie and some (like our family friend Fred ‘Smudger’ Smith) would wear a mid blue smock jacket with the Premier logo on. A highlight of the journey (other than passing through the Yelloway garage at Rochdale) would be Drummer St bus station at Cambridge where numerous Premier Travel coaches would squeeze their way around the island, weaving in and out of Eastern Counties VR’s and RE’s. Upon reaching journeys’ end at Haverhill there was, for us, an added bonus in that Premier had a garage in Haverhill at which several vehicles would be based for the local stage and contract services. This was just a short walk across the recreation ground in front of our grandparents house and from their lounge window we would be constantly watching out for the coaches returning to the yard.

Like the Yelloways, we had such fond memories of the Premier Travel fleet of the 70’s & 80’s and soon after we took CDK into our care and the restoration well underway, talk soon turned to ‘what if we could have one of each’. Well, after a little casual research in December 2005 we came across WEB 410T which had survived after service with PT. It had been purchased direct from Premier (along with WEB 407, 408 & 411T) and had been reliably operating as part of the Knotty Bus operation in Staffordshire for a number of years before finally being laid up a couple of years previously. Early in 2006 we arrange to inspect 410T and after being satisfied that she was a suitable candidate for restoration we agreed to purchase her (Many thanks to Martyn Hearson for letting her go as we know he has a soft spot for the old PT fleet!)

We must be mad as one restoration project is a huge undertaking in itself requiring dedication and a great deal of time, effort and of course cash but taking on another one….! For what was such a well known and much respected operator there are surprisingly few preserved buses & coaches from its fleet – indeed none of the survivors are in full Premier Travel two-tone blue livery. So, once CDK is complete our attention will turn to WEB and hopefully we will plug this gap in the preserved bus world and have a fully restored representative of this much missed operator.

And so it came to be that in February 2006, 27 years after being delivered new in February 1979, we were now the owners of Premier Travel AEC Reliance, Plaxton Supreme IV, fleet number 280, WEB 410T.

 

© The Premier WEB 410T Project 2017