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this second part nearly didnt happen as when i arrived i found the yard had changed hands and was all set to write it off as a waste of time and head home untill i spotted something in the far corner of the yard and sought permission to take some photographs which was given by way of intercom so off i trotted across the yard camera in hand to find my subject. mass transit was founded in May 1998 by Michael Strafford an engineering business, performing contract maintenance for other operators. It also specialised in the conversion of buses for non-passenger use. It then diversified into the operation of school bus services At the time operations ceased it operated 86 routes serving 32 schools and at its peak carried some 15,000 children a day to and from schools across south yorkshire and lincolnshire Between 2001 and 2005, Brightbus, then known as Mass Transit, had a substantial presence in lincolnshire following the acquisition of the bus operations of Applebys Coaches, Reliance Travel of great gonnerby and the grantham depot of lincolnshire roadcar. The Grantham operation failed under Mass ownership and was sold to centrebus and the Lincoln area operations to dunn line in 2005 In 2004, BrightBus purchased the long established Leon Motors of finningley that was formed in 1922 and operated buses in doncaster by 2008 the company's stage-carriage work had passed to first south yorkshire and concentrated on school contracts which were based at the main BrightBus depot at north anston mass/transit now brightbus disposed of the elderly leon and northern bus fleets which had kept the stage carriage and school services going and ran a fleet of 73 buses, including many English built three-axle dennis dragons and leyland olympians the dragons repatriated from Hong Kong. painted in what i thought was a very sickly green michael strafford retired at 55 stating ill health but didnt want to sell the business although he has disposed of the vast majority of the bright bus fleet possibly to other school or service bus operators . today the yard is in the hands of hallam express a logistics company full of lorries and fork lift trucks but a few of michaels buses are stored in the far corner of the yard all be it in a scrap state i think he is trying to sell these vehicles on for preservation rather than send them to booth roe or carlton PSV at barnsley he also still owns the former depot at leon wether these are to pass on to his family or he his hanging on for a better price i wouldnt know what i do know is like leon this marks the passing of another operator from the bus world. i acknowlage the author of the brightbus photos a rather scruffy mass transit bus possibly filling in between school runs heads for hexthorpe near doncaster a mixed group of bright buses mostly repatriated hong kong tri axles wait for the school run a wider view of the hong kong tri axles sandwich in a leyland olympian a hong kong tri axle MIL 55774 stands under the bus wash hong kong BIG 9823 which moved to leon finningley for a short time and C887 RFE parked at the rear of the yard near the inspection ramps viewed through the fence american schoolbus GHL 212 V in the yard as stated bright buses yard is now home to hallam express logistics lorries now park where buses once used to the former bus repair sheds now used for storage this is all that remains of brightbus a hong kong tri axle and a few scrap buses stored in one corner of the yard a side view of tri axle E537AKU and olympian W141 EON which spells leon the company brightbus aquired in 2004 the hong kong still retains its brightbus fittings and that of its previous company an interior view of the downstairs of hong kong looking down the bus it smelt like one of the museum type buses a unused shut in smell not unpleasant looking up the bus to be honest its in good condition and would make a runner again where as leon was in a deploreable state had to squeeze past rammels corner to get the interior shot SN53 KKH stands in pieces far from its london home although inside it could have just finished the days service came across this dennis dominator a long way from home formally with greys from ely complete with its cambridgeshire county council notice with junk dumped in its interior but wait all is not what it seems ...its colour and the sticker insider gives it away it was formally a magic bus based near piccadilly manchester the american schoolbus GHL 212 V is still parked up in the yard the interior and drivers seat tastefully redone ..... in moquet...yuck!! and as i take my leave the bus wash still exists but out of use mass brightbus still need fitters and the spirit of mass /brightbus continues to haunt the north anston industrial estate
mass/brightbus was the parent company of leon purchased in 2004 and stated in my leon post one of my other to do yards as this would be a very lengthy report and so as not to spoil the present report i have decided to split this in to 2 parts the mass/brightbus depot was located on houghton road of the north anston industrial estate some 12 miles from sheffield and were operators of local school bus contacts and a few stage carriage services. but this yard has a history that goes back even further than mass/ brightbus as it was originally the yard of a former employer of mine northern bus or the northern bus company as it was offically known. northern bus was formed during the 1986 deregulation era by duncan roberts northern bus challenged south yorkshire transport on the dinnington to sheffield bus corridor resulting in syt handing all services over to the independent northern bus who ran all sheffield services from dinnington interchange to sheffield interchange and meadowhall along with school contracts for the local authority. northern bus also ran cross border services between sheffield and worksop in nottinghamshire on the service x85 sheffield to halifax x38 and also challenged a yorkshire traction /west riding alliance on service x32 to leeds with a variation of bristol VR,s bristol RE,s and service coaches for the x32 service everything bought second hand mostly from crosville in around 2001 northern bus was sold to a bus engineering company called mass transit later to become brightbus who took over the school contracts and stage carriage work for a short while longer. as i said so as not to spoil the next part of the report i will leave the story there and continue it under mass/brightbus but leave you with some delightfull pictures of northern buses in service. former crosville bristol RE HRN 108 N stands VOR at north anston depot awaiting repairs or being stripped for parts note the roof from the open top bus alongside. another former crosville coach 222 WFM stands at north anston with 85 sheffield on the blind this was the cross border south yorkshire/nottinghamshire service to worksop in company with a RE which had been to rotherham. looking like it has had bodyshop attention elderly ex crosville bristol RE EFM 178 H parked at the depot alongside interloper bristol VR HTU 159 N itself from crosvile liverpool formerly DVG 270 N bought by another school contractor and coach operator jhonson brothers from hodthorpe derbyshire possibly in for repair during the mass era.