2022 Event Write-Ups

Leyland National 50 (LN50)

The Leyland National 50 event in Whitehaven on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2022 marked 50 years of the Leyland National. The event brought several of the iconic Leyland National home to Cumbria meeting together on the Whitehaven harbour side, a short distance from their where they were made at Lillyhall's Leyland Factory.

It was organised by the Workington Transport Heritage Trust (WTHT), who had been planning the occasion for well over twelve months, with support and co-operation of local organisation groups including; Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, Copeland Borough Council, Whitehaven Town Council, The Beacon Museum, Lakes College, Britain’s Energy Coast and Eddie Stobart.

The two-day event showcased Leyland Nationals from across the Mk1 and Mk2 range as well as other Leyland Motors vehicles such as Tigers and Olympians. The event was open to other types of preserved vehicles locally too. We attended the Saturday with our group-owned Leyland Atlantean AVK176V .

We attended on the Saturday where we started the day in convoy from Stagecoach's Willowholme depot in Carlisle. We were joined by Carlisle Bus Group’s Leyland Olympian 1005/F805FAO and Stagecoach's own Volvo B10M 710 K710DAO and Optare Solo 47001/KX51CRU, both the later are part of the company's heritage fleet - 710 is one of the last 1992 purchased former Cumberland Alexander PS bodied Volvos in service for the company, whereas 47001 the first mini-bus of its type to be purchased in 2001 by Midland South. On leaving Carlisle we headed along the A595 towards Cockermouth then onto Whitehaven via Lillyhall, where we checked in short of the town centre with Secretary of Workington Transport Heritage Trust, Alistair Grey, who welcomed us to the event and explained our positioning on the South Harbourside. 

AVK176V sits alongside Optare Solo KX51CRU (Stagecoach Heritage Fleet) outside of Carlisle's Willowholme depot. 47001 was the first Stagecoach purchased Solo in the group.

Stagecoach Heritage Fleet Volvo B10M/Alexander PS 710 K710DAO is pictured alongside Carlisle Bus Group Leyland Olympian 1005/F805FAO. 

On convoy to Carlisle, Leyland Olympian 1005 (Carlisle Bus Group) leads the way to Whitehaven. This was pictured at Thursby as we awaited Optare Solo 47001 to rejoin us.

Buses of all types were seen lined up on the harbour front with free shuttle park and ride services between Lakes College and the event using some of the attendees. For those people not 'Parking and Riding' there were free town tours up to Mirehouse and Hensingham as well as trips up to the old Leyland site, which is still standing but now used by Eddie Stobart as a storage facility. Away from the buses, there was a Leyland Exhibition at The Beacon harbourside museum displaying the very best in all things Leyland, as well as films and talks with WTHT members and former factory workers. Along the harbourside there were a number hobbyist stands and a continental market, with the event catering for both the enthusiast and general public.

During the day we sampled a ride on the fantastic Ribble 808/TRN808V, a preserved Mk1 National. 808 took us up to the former Leyland factory site, a surreal experience as we circled the grounds of the factory. On return, we checked in on our Atlantean 176 on the harbourside in which the event was in full flow - we would like to thank everyone for their kind words in person and on our Facebook page about 176. After a bite to eat from the continental market, a couple of us visited The Beacon museum to explore the LN50 exhibit which was very interesting, with a vast range of photographs and by-bygone material.

Visiting preserved Leyland Nationals are seen at an organised photo call opportunity at the former Leyland Factory at Lillyhall. Photo credit and copyright to Gaz Wilson.

We left the day as we arrived, in convoy with the Willowholme vehicles, which gave people the opportunity for further photos away from our static position. We would like to thank Mike Morton, Ian Dunn, Alistair Grey and the entire Workington Transport Heritage Trust for the invitation and for putting on a great show. www.wtht.co.uk



Our next attendance as a group will be at the annual Metrocentre Bus & Coach Show. This is an annual event organised by the North East Bus Preservation Trust (NEBPT). A joint event with the Go North East Riverside Depot Open Day.

A selection of classic and modern buses & coaches will be on display, accompanied by trade stalls.

A free classic and modern bus service will operate from Newcastle & Gateshead. A free shuttle bus service will also run between the Metrocentre Coach Park and Riverside Depot.

Sunday 15th May 2022, 10am - 4pm