Fylde 96

96 was the 13th of 18 Atlanteans purchased new for Fylde Borough between 1975 and 1984. The last seven came in single batches from 1979, with 96 licensed on 30 April 1980 and entering service in May. Like most of its sisters, it was new in blue and white livery with a mustard yellow waistband. On first repaint in October 1983, it was painted into a revised scheme with blue in place of the yellow. A second repaint is believed to have taken place in late 1986 when it gained “Blue Buses” fleet names instead of Fylde Borough.

A second livery change took place in February 1989 when the new livery of light blue with dark blue roof, windows and skirt, white stripe under l/d windows was applied. To speed the process of repaints, 96 was once of a number painted by GM Buses. Between 1990 and 1992 sign written rear adverts for Steel Appeal railings (u/d) and DJ Baird Windows (l/d) were carried.

In March 1994 the offside and rear were repainted into an advertising livery for Sandcastle waterpark – 96 was once of the last buses to carry the 1989 livery – and it ran briefly with this on the front and nearside, before these were treated to the new mainly light blue livery with dark blue skirt and roof bank. These part adverts were common with Fylde at the time. In July 1995 a new scheme for World of Coronation Street at the Sandcastle was applied to both sides and the rear. By this time Fylde had sold out to Blackpool and the front carried a new blue and cream scheme. In July 1996 Blackpool absorbed Fylde completely and 96 became Blackpool Transport 496. It was repainted into green and cream later that year and in August 1998 had its seats retrimmed in the grey-based moquette used on the Deltas. It still ran from Squires Gate depot until that closed in April 1999. Its last use from there was on 17th March on a school service. It then ran from Rigby Road Depot until withdrawal at the end of the school term in July 2000.

After a period in store, it was purchased by local radio newsreader Andy Mitchell in April 2001. In December 2001 it was repainted back into original Fylde livery but in 2005 received a ‘what if’ livery, a blue-based version of the Blackburn Transport livery style – Blackburn been managed by former Fylde director Michael Morton who became a co-owner. In 2010 96 was sold and moved to Whyndyke Farm at Marton where it was used as part of a paintballing business. In 2014 it was purchased by new owners, initially for spares. Thankfully it was deemed worthy of salvation and has regained a set of seats and is on its way to a return to using. It is part of the collection at Town and District Transport Trust.