Leopard 259 - (Paul Savage)

Leyland Leopard 259

Purchased by the Trust in January 2001, this is another Leyland Leopard, fleetnumber 259 (AXI 2259), with a unique Wright Royale body. This is one of 2 Leopards bodied by Wright, the other being fleetnumber 258, which was kitted out to service bus specification. 259 on the other hand had a coach style body with 53 very upright seats. Interestingly the first revenue earning job it did was an evening tour for the ITT to Lurgan, before which the above picture was taken. In service it operated from Stranraer, Larne, Derry and Downpatrick depots, as well as the Ulsterbus Driving School. During it's time it the Driving School it was fitted with 49 much more comfortable seats which has been removed from the 'Express' specification Tigers purchased by Ulsterbus during the 1980s. It is known that 259 has carried at least 4 liveries, or variations, during its service and it is our intention to restore it to the 1982 Ulsterbus Tours version at some time in the future.