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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
Couple of weeks ago myself, Obscurity, Wevsky and Space Invader ended up in the area, so we thought it'd be rude not to pop in and have a quick look round at what's left. So yeah, there's still a bit left, but it is very fast being stripped out and torn down. Soon all that will remain of this once vast collection of buildings is the water tower and the Admin block. Goodbye Westpark, it's been nice exploring you.