This vehicle entered traffic on 2nd April 1947 and was based at Hylton Road depot, Sunderland. From the mid 50's this batch was generally used for peak time journeys, football specials, etc. No 13 survived in Sunderland, when withdrawn in 1962 with No 100 as mobile polling booths, until bought by dealer Lister of Bolton in 1972.
GR 9007 in service - Photo J P Jackson
Unfortunately it was stored in the open air until 1982 when it was sold to 'Crossley' enthusiast Norman Myres of Bolton, subsequently moving to the St Helens transport museum. When Norman died suddenly in 1997 his bus collection was offered for sale.
The interior of the bus when first seen at St Helens - Photo J P Jackson
The vehicle was purchased by John Jackson in 1999 and was in a dreadful state, unlikely to survive even a short journey. A wooden frame was built inside 13’s lower deck and on 8th May 1999 the vehicle was moved from St Helens to Wormingford, Essex, where restoration got underway in 2000.
GR 9007 on tow from St Helens Transport Museum - Photo J P Jackson
Once back at Wormingford John enlisted former Crossley engineer Tony Melia to help him. They carried out a remarkable restoration and No 13 returned to the road in 2007.
The start of body restoration 7th November 2000 - Photo J P Jackson
Supporting the frame ready for removal 29th August 2001 - Photo J P Jackson
On conversion to a mobile polling booth, all the seats were removed and required replacing. As the vehicle is only 7ft 6in wide, narrow seats had to be found. By chance enough useable ones from Mercedes Benz minibuses were found in a Norfolk scrapyard, refurbished, and the backs recovered with a Vynide-type material. The interior polished woodwork is all original. The varnish had to be stripped from the wood by scraping and sanding, restained, followed by coloured varnish and 3 or 4 coats of clear varnish.
After John's passing his sister kindly offered the vehicle to the Trust, making its North East debut at the Seaburn Historic Vehicle Display on August Bank Holiday Monday 2021.