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What to do with our Ulsterbuses - Advice sought

I would like to start a thread to get opinions as to what do with our Ulsterbus acquisitions. In particular I am interested in mechanical history from anyone whom knew these vehicles in service.

The problem is that we have six vehicles, Leopards 319, 326, 337 and 338. We have two Tigers 340 and 385. Now what should be our long term plans for these vehicles?

To start with 337 is the last Leopard body and is in superb condition so we think she should stay. Likewise Tiger 385 is in superb condition.

Tiger 340 is a good machine but we propose holding her as is for the moment until we see what vehicles we get next. We anticipate four more Tigers arriving so there is no need for a rushed decision here.

However turning to the Leopards we need to get a set of seats from one of them. We have no intention of braking any of them but it is thoughtn that we might convert one to a mobile home. The question is which.

It seems sensible that we should have Ulsterbus twins 337 and 338 especially when 338 has had much work done on it recently. This leaves 319 and 326.

319 appears to be the only survivor of the 311- 319 batch but what is different about this machine from 326 does anyone know? On the face of it therefore 319 should be kept in original condition.

I would welcome comments on a suitable strategy for preserving Ulsterbus vehicles.

As an aside we now propose putting BA5 back in Ulsterbus livery if we knew what it was!

Michael Grimes

Re: What to do with our Ulsterbuses - Advice sought

1863 photo in Ulsterbus livery




BA5 was Ulsterbus 1864 (LOI 1864)

1863 was not one of the Bedfords that went to Bus Eireann
BA1 75D34 1727 HOI 1727 Bedford YRQ:ARB B45F
BA2 75D35 1739 HOI 1739 Bedford YRQ:ARB B45F
BA3 75D36 1745 HOI 1745 Bedford YRQ:ARB B45F
BA4 75D37 1746 HOI 1746 Bedford YRQ:ARB B45F
BA5 76D74 1864 LOI 1864 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA6 76D75 1868 LOI 1868 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA7 76D79 1834 LOI 1834 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA8 76D85 1869 LOI 1869 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA9 76D77 1866 LOI 1866 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA10 76D78 1865 LOI 1865 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA11 76D76 1867 LOI 1867 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA12 77D110 1876 LOI 1876 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA13 76D86 1858 LOI 1858 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA14 76D84 1862 LOI 1862 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA15 77D130 1874 LOI 1874 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA16 77D131 1880 LOI 1880 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA17 76D95 1837 LOI 1837 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA18 77D138 1855 LOI 1855 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA19 76D99 1836 LOI 1836 Bedford YLQ:ARB B45F
BA20 74D61 1744 HOI 1744 Bedford YRQ:ARB B45F
BA21 75D89 1800 HOI 800 Bedford YRQ:ARB B45F

Re: 1864

Thats right 1863 never went to Bus Eireann .The link to the photo was for Michael to see waht Ulsterbus livery the Bedfords had and that 1863 pic shows it.


There appear to be five known survivors from this batch of 48 Bedford:

1859 restored/being restored to Ulsterbus livery
1864 later Bus Eireann BA5
1868 later Bus Eireann BA6, owned by me.
1876 later Bus Eireann BA12,owned by Eamon Spruhan
1878 former towcar being restored to Ulsterbus livery.

Given that two of the above and now probably three are being restored as Ulsterbuses I will keep 1868 in Bus Eireann livery as BA6. BA5 and BA6 initially operated from Ballina depot before transferring to Waterford for their final years. BA12 was the last of the type in service operating in the Carlow area.

Re: BA Class Survivors

I am most grateful to Gordon for his wonderful photo of 1863. I must say that she looked handsome in Ulsterbus livery. She looks pretty ghastly in Bus Eireann livery in my view.

So I think she should go back to Ulsterbus livery and thats what we plan to do right now.

I am also very grateful to Simon for his information and delighted she will keep BA 6 in Bus Eireann livery. A quick question for him. Does he have all the seats as I have a recollection when collecting BA5 of taking some seats from BA 6 as we were told she was being scrapped! We might be able to help if he is short.

Finally we are going to also have LA 37 in Ulsterbus livery so we are getting a collection of Ulsterbus vehicles.

If Ricky Shannon reads this perhaps he would like to give us a progress report on Leopard 1571.

Michael Grimes


photos of 1571s progress are avliable on my site,

Its a very good running bus, and sounds very good,


Re: 1864

Do any of the the Ulsterbus 17xx Bedfords that went to Bus Eireann survive?.

Re: Re: 1864 and 17XX Bedfords

While I am not the total expert I don't think any 17XX Bedfords did go to Bus Eireann but perhaps someone else would either correct me or agree.

For that matter what is the difference between a 17XX and a 18XX?

Michael Grimes

1868 and 17XX Bedfords

The following BA class Bedford were from the 17xx series:

BA1 1727
BA2 1739
BA3 1745
BA4 1746
BA20 1744
BA21 1800

BA1,20, 21 were late survivors but none survive. They had the older style front end which was their main physical difference.

BA6 was indeed totally devoid of all seat cushions when I collected it but over the last couple of years I have put together a full set that I came across from various sources. But thanks for the offer anyway Michael.

Re: 1868 and 17XX Bedfords

Thanks for the information Simon. It's just a pity none survive.