Our revelation that one of Huddersfield’s best-known buses is now in ‘retirement’ as a seaside cafe has provoked some nostalgic memories — and you can even buy small models as a further reminder!.
The double-decker’s number was 6299 and it began service in 1981, remaining on Huddersfield’s roads up until 2003.
It carried the red livery of the Huddersfield Corporation for much of its operating life and was first painted in these colours in 1983 to celebrate 100 years of municipal public transport in Huddersfield, although this was refreshed many times in its life.
It even made it on to the small screen in Last of the Summer a few times, but was finally sold to a preservationist and ended up for sale on eBay.
Cafe owner Darren Trevett paid £5,000 for it and has transformed it into a cafe called the Double Decker in Hastings with the kitchen downstairs and seating for 28 diners inside and a further 30 outside. It has been open for 18 months now.
Les Addy from Mirfield said: “Number 6299 was painted in the red livery of Huddersfield buses prior to Metro taking over all the municipal bus fleets following local government re-organisation in the 1970s. It marked the centenary of public transport in Huddersfield. At the same time, sister bus 6300 was painted in the old tram colours of red and cream.
“I took a picture of this duo, standing near the old bus depot in Great Northern Street, adjacent to the old Monday Market site.
“A series of collectors bus models was issued by the ill-fated Transperience bus museum in Bradford before its demise. These all represented the municipal bus fleets of the local authorities in the former West Riding and were made by Corgi.
“Huddersfield had models of both 6299 and 6300, although the liveries of these two models weren’t exactly the same, and the model bus is based on a Metrobus, not an Atlantean.
“This range of models can still be found on stalls at rallies and collectors toy fairs, quite inexpensively, and provide a nostalgic souvenir of our local buses.”
The bus also has extra special memories for Brian Sanders, 61, from Holmbridge.
“Being the last serving member of the three-man team that painted both 6299 and 6300 centenary buses I read your article with great interest,” he said.
“I am really glad and amazed to see it is still around today, but any news on 6300?
“We also did all the lettering on 6299. I personally did the lettering on the driver’s side as well as the front and rear.
“We worked on a few special projects at Great Northern Street while I was there, including a Leeds city half-cab double decker which we painted in Leeds livery and French lettering on the sides to be presented to Lille Museum.
“I started work at Great Northern Street in 1967 as an apprentice coach painter in the days of brushes and varnish. I worked on the last trolley bus to run in Huddersfield and still have a pack of commemorative tickets which were available at the time.”
Brian left in 1986 when deregulation was due and workshops were getting centralised.
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