This vehicle was new to United in 1968 working from Scarborough depot. In May 1971 it was transferred from Scarborough to Darlington, then in 1973 it was part of the NBC/SBG vehicle exchange which saw it move to Western SMT.
United Automobile Services ECW bodied Bristol Lodekka THN 263F in
Scarborough on its first day of service in June 1968 - Photo David Hunt.
United Automobile Services ECW bodied Bristol Lodekka THN 263F
shortly after arrival at Western Scottish - Photo Dick Mowat
THN 263F in her final days at the Western SMT garage, Nursery Avenue,
Kilmarnock, 1980 - Photo Gordon Stirling
It was withdrawn by Western SMT in March 1980 and in July 1980 it was sold to Ensign, Grays (dealer). In August 1980 it was sold to Bruynoughe Koffie PVBA, Kortrijk, Belgium, where it was used as an exhibition unit for a double glazing company.
By April 2000 it had passed to Paul Naessens, Melle, Belgium (dealer).
In 2009 information filtered through from a Dutch enthusiast, Barend Golverdingen, that the bus was still in the Belgian dealer’s yard. Barend thankfully alerted Rob Sly, whom runs the Bristol Commercial Vehicles website, about this vehicle and the information was picked up by the NEBPT.
In January 2011, a decision was made to inspect the bus, with the inspection taking place on Thursday 10th February 2011. A price was negotiated with the dealer whom offered to move the bus to the port at Zeebrugge for a small additional sum.
Barend agreed a location with P & O Ferries where the bus could be left at the docks and the vehicle was moved to the port on Friday 6th May. The outbound trip with the tow truck took place on Wednesday 11th May and the bus arrived in Teesport on Friday 13th May.
Photographs courtesy of Ian Findlay and Barend Golverdingen.
THN263F emerges from Paul Naessens yard in Melle
THN 263F awaits shipment at Zeebrugge Docks
THN 263F arrives back in the UK
With a cost of around £4,500 to buy and repatriate this bus to the North East, NEBPT needs your help.
Please help us by making a donation towards this project no matter how small.
To donate online just go to our home page and click on the Donate button.