Photo  Transport
Home of bus, tram, ferry and lorry photographs


SCS366M The journey home - Part 1 - Planning
Western SMT DL2497 (SCS366M) at Stranraer in April 1976


I lived in Stranraer from 1966 to 1976.   During the mid 1970’s the bus fleet contained a mixture of Y-type Leopards and REs, ECW Lodekkas, and Alexander MW6Gs and LUFs.   The newest Leopards at that time were DL2496-8, SCS 365-7M and DL2500, GCS793N.   They were all in black/white livery and were used on schools work (where I saw them alot), local services and private hires.   After I left Stranraer I still followed the progress of these vehicles, and in particular I always seemed to stumble upon DL2497, SCS366M.   So when I opened a fleet book about Ireland a couple of years ago, I instantly recognised SCS366M grinning back at me from the pages.   In April 1999, while on holiday there, I had the opportunity of tracking it down with its latest owner - O’Malleys of Newport near Limerick.   By coincidence it was parked outside the depot beside the owner’s house.   I spoke with Edward O’Malley and he explained it was currently being used on schools contracts and it was due to be withdrawn in August and that he would be prepared to sell it to me then for preservation.   After weeks of preparation the first attempt to bring back SCS to Scotland in August failed, as there were mechanical problems soon after it left Limerick.   September and October drifted by until …

Phone call

It started with a phone call. On Thursday night, Edward O’Malley called to tell me that SCS had been taken on a low loader that morning to Belfast.   It was spending the night in Dundalk, but would be arriving at the port early the next morning.   My task was to organise the remainder of the journey to Lathalmond.


On Friday morning I confirmed with Stena Line in Belfast that the bus had checked in.   "Have you seen an O’Malley bus ??" I asked.   There was a pause .. "Would that be the bus on the back of a lorry then ??" the lady from Stena enquired.   That would be it, I assured her.   Safe in the knowledge that SCS was now only 200 yards from a ship rather than 200 miles as had been the case the day before, I mapped out the big plan in earnest.   I would fly from Stansted to Shannon, pick up a rental car, drive to O’Malleys, do the paperwork, drive to Belfast, drop the car, get on the boat with the bus, sail to Stranraer, get off the boat with the bus, get towed to Lathalmond, and sleep at a Travel Inn at Livingstone, visit Lathalmond on Sunday, take a train to my parents in Coldstream, and fly from Edinburgh to Stansted on Monday.   All that was needed was to book two flights, a car, a boat, a hotel, the tow and leave the train ticket to chance (a risky business as I was to discover at Waverley station on Sunday).

  Buses See more photos here Lorries See more photos here
  Ferries See more photos here Trams See more photos here
  Search photo-transport website here Home photo-transport home page
  New Features published every month. See next month's preview here
    Copyright 2001-2006, Ray Ward