Contributors Page

This page is designed for photographic contributions to the Manx Electric Railway Society website. If you have any views of transport to or on the Isle of Man, particularly pre 1980, and would like to see them added to the website please e-mail first with details to [email protected] All contributions welcomed.

Isle of Man Transport's bus fleet has included a wide variety of vehicles over the years, especially during the 1980's when numerous secondhand purchases were regularly acquired. Things changed at the end of the decade, when a start was made to rid the fleet of older buses and replace with new and more modern vehicles. The only buses to survive for quite a period were the 11.3m Leyland Nationals, most of which were indigenous to the Island. Initially a start was made to replace the aging double deckers with new Leyland Olympians, with the single-deck fleet following on with new Dennis Darts.

In these views shown below, taken in 1993 by George Gardiner, some of the vehicles operational in the then fleet can be seen around the Island. The MERS is very grateful for the use of these photographs, which make a welcome addition to the website. Copyright for each view remains with the photographer

Isle of Man Transport Leyland National 22 (MAN 22H) of 1976 arrives into the now closed and demolished Douglas bus station. The bus carries IOMT orange and cream livery of the period and has adverts for Kodak adorning the side

Having just completed works route 82B, National 25 (MAN 25H), again dating from 1976, is seen entering Port Erin depot. In house advertising is carried for the discount ticket scheme. Both this particular ticket scheme and exterior advertising have now been banished to history

For many years, Isle of Man Transport allowed numerous vehicles to carry all-over-advertising, at times so many were treated like this that the impact that the adverts should have had were severely diminished. Local glazing company Manx Glass & Glazing advertised on two buses, one double deck Olympian and Leyland National 26 (MAN 26H). The latter is seen in Bridson Street, Port Erin bound for Port St. Mary, working the main trunk route, number 1, from Douglas

Most of the Nationals purchased new by Island operators, were delivered to the erstwhile Isle of Man Road Services. These came in three batches between 1974-1976 - 14 (MN 9514 later MAN 14A), 15-20 (MAN 15-20D) and 21-27 (MAN 21-27H). A further six were ordered by IOMRS but delivered to Isle of Man National Transport in 1977, after the former operations had been amalgamated with the buses of Douglas Corporation Transport and nationalised - becoming IOMNT 28-33 (MAN 28-33N). 31 is seen in Douglas bus station carry advert livery for PVC Windows

A long standing all-over-advertiser was Lombard Bank, who had an advert on this National, 33 (MAN 33N) since 1982 - incidentally coinciding with its first repaint after delivery. In all four different versions of Lombard advert were carried during the period of advertising, the one shown being the last one. The National is seen at Derby Castle bound for the bus station and operating an Onchan circular route

At the beginning of the 1990's and after buying several batches of new Leyland Olympians, the remainder of the double deck fleet was updated by the acquisition of a batch of fifteen secondhand Leyland Atlanteans, which had been new to Portsmouth Corporation. All were to have been converted into single-door configuration and repainted ready for service. However things didn't go exactly to plan, with one bus being destroyed by fire before it even made the journey to the Island. In addition the company engaged in the conversion to single-door layout encountered problems and were unable to complete the job, which led to some buses arriving on the Island in original condition. Of these only one was converted by IOMT the others kept the dual-door layout. Numbered 34-44/46-48 (CMN 34C, etc.), upon the arrival of Dennis Darts the buses were later renumbered 134 etc. Two of the batch 35/48 (ex-Portsmouth 321/334 UOR 321/34T) are seen at Port Erin depot

In 1993 the newest double deckers in the fleet were a batch of seven Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympians, 58-68 (BMN 58-64V), which followed on from two smaller batches. Olympian 62 is seen reversing in the quaint Peel depot, part way on the route between Douglas and Ramsey via the West of the Island, carrying an all-over advert for Manx Radio. By this time the bus was three years old, and had already carried three different liveries

Secondhand Leyland Nationals were acquired, but most were of the shorter 10.3m variety and came from South Yorkshire PTE in 1985/1986. In addition three longer 11.3m examples were purchased from National Welsh (new to East Kent) and proved to be slightly longer lasting on the Island. The first (19 - MAN 19D[ii]) was a direct replacement for one that had been terminally damaged in an accident, with the other two boosting the fleet. 82 (2219 MAN) was originally registered NFN 67M and is seen alongside Derby Castle MER station

Following the policy of frequently buying  secondhand buses during the early/mid 1980's, IOMT changed direction with the acquisition of a batch of six all-Leyland Olympians in 1988. These were some of the first to be bodied by Leyland following their reentry into the body building business. As could be expected with any new product the were teething problems and all six returned to Leyland's for body modification, some on more than one occasion. Most notable changes involved the opening windows which were sliders when new, but were swiftly changed to hoppers. In these two views 86 (BMN 86G) is seen at Douglas bus station wearing an attractive all-over livery for Manx Telecom, whilst 87 (BMN 87G) is seen alongside Ramsey depot in fleet livery but with side 'L' advert for the same sponsor