A long journey to SHOWBUS at Duxford in 2012 for Sheffield East Lancs bodied Leyland Atlantean 312 (UWA312L). The journey from Sheffield was preceded by the one from Australia. The bus has returned to the UK to return to the cream and dark blue livery of Sheffield Transport, however for eight years the bus had been 800 (TV6165) in its pseudo London bus livery doing tours of the Blue Mountains Katoomba resort. The tour became part of the City Sightseeing franchise and tour operators, Fantastic Aussie Tours, the franchisee. On arriving in Australia in 1985 the bus first entered service with AAT Kings as 62 (OAV216), passing to Australian Pacific Tours as their 100 in 2001.
A nearside view of 312/800 followed by a Northern Counties bodied North Kent Olympian.
The former Sheffield Atlantean joined several Atlanteans at the entrance to the arena, parked next to Ipswich's City Sightseeing Roes bodied open topper. Conveniently parked alongside was the Stagecoach Cambridge Dennis Dart normally used on the City Sightseeing tour to Duxford from the city. As the service was used by many to get to Showbus on that day, a doubledecker rendered the bus surplus to requirements and available for display.
Sheffield 312 was not the only one in the Fantastic Aussie Tours fleet. Seen in November 2013 is former 319 which was used as a playbus at McDonalds in Richmond (NSW). It was probably acquired as a source of spares - via Valley Bus & Coach of Singleton - to keep 312 and 316 running. Atlantean 316 was also first used by AAT Kings and later by the Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island, but disposed of as the Byron Bay Magic Bus in December 2011. The Fantastic Aussie fleet also included Sydney and Plymouth Atlanteans, which may have benefited from 312's disintegration. Picture ref A1077
Once part of the Blue Mountains Explorer fleet were two Bristol VRTSL6G new to West Riding as 737 and 739 (HHL737/9L) in 1973. They were later joined by former Lincolnshire Road Car 1903 (JFE539G) which came as a source of spares. These two VRs were dumped in the yard back in 2013, but 739 is recorded as having been disposed of to Wagga Wagga Winery in 2007. One of these buses is almost certainly 737 which was numbered 806 and arrived after use in Perth. Picture ref A1073