North Western 1051

R51VVM – North Western and Arriva Scania L113CRL, Fleet No 1051

1051 seen in her native Skelmersdale following her MOT in 2013.
1051 seen in her native Skelmersdale following her MOT in 2013.

R51XVM / 1051 is a Scania L113CRL with a Northern Counties 47 seat Paladin body. The bus is one of 12 such buses delivered to North Western in 1997.

The Paladin body was the last step entrance single deck body built by Counties. It was discontinued in 1998. Some of the very last Paladins were built by Plaxton as both companies were then owned by the same parent company.

The Scania L113 chassis was also discontinued in 1998, being replaced by the Euro 2 emissions compliant L94.

The North Western name disappeared from buses in 1974 and was revived by the National Bus Company in 1986 when the government instructed NBC to break up its operations in the interests of competition. The former Ribble depots of Aintree, Bootle, Skelmersdale and Wigan made up this new company.

When 1051 was delivered the original North Western had seen a number of mergers and would become known as Arriva in 1998. A journey of about six miles would take 1051 from the Northern Counties factory to Skelmersdale depot. This allocation would result in almost daily workings into Wigan. Following a long spell at Skelmersdale 1051 moved to neighbouring St Helens. After that allocation she served at Arriva’s Cheshire depots before finally returning to St Helens and being withdrawn there in 2012.