Wednesday 15 March 2023

Identity Of LJI 8027 Solved

I have recently been emailed regarding a bus located on a privately owned site in the port area of Lowestoft. It's a Leyland National with the registration of LJI 8027 which appears to have been left abandoned to rot away. The enquirer asked if I could shed any further light on it.

A recent photo of Leyland National LJI 8027 in Lowestoft

From the Fylde Bus Blog it was apparently new to Crossville in February 1978 as their CFM 347S. It moved to Blackpool in February 1986 entering service a month or so later. Withdrawn in March 1990 it was one of a batch passing to Norfolk's of Nayland in a wholesale fleet renewal.

Norfolk's was a long established family firm that operated into Colchester until 1991 when it was purchased by Hedingham Omnibuses. Hedingham painted the Nationals into their red and cream livery and they survived for five more years, passing to Northern Bus of Sheffield in May 1996.

It saw little use with them until the bus resurfaced with Appleby's in Lincolnshire in 1999 and Alpha of Hull in 2001 as LJI 8027. By 2004 it was in Lowestoft. 

With Syd Eade being based in Lowestoft, I thought I would ask him if he knew anything about the bus and he certainly did! 'It is/was owned by a Daren Roberts, a one time guard on the local trains who lived with his parents in Cromer. He also owned some other wrecks including former Eastern Counties Mercedes mini D500 FAE.  Apparently Mr Roberts has subsequently left the area.'

In response to this post, I subsequently received correspondence suggesting it was later sold to JBS trading as East Coast Fabrication Services for event and film catering. Sometime ago it also underwent an MOT. It is shown on the DVLA website as SORN with its V5 ownership recorded in 2012


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