The Story of 680

On the 3rd of May I was invited along to Heysham docks to see the return of GBB 516K a 1972 Leyland Atlantean that had been saved from being scrapped by Fred Mckale. Fred Mckale Roy Carrington Eddie Tweddle and myself witnessed her arrival as she drove off the ferry back onto her native soil where she would undergo a major restoration project to return her to her original condition and pride.This Atlantean was purchased by the TYNESIDE P.T.E in 1972 being one of a batch twenty five purchased at that time and was given fleet number 680 later in 1974 she was renumbered to 716. She ran in service on Tyneside until in 1981 being one of a batch of sixteen she was sold to the Isle Of Man National Transport Company where she ran for a further four years in service on the island. Then after her service life came to an end she was sold to a karting club to be used as a control centre and tower. When a newer vehicle was sought to replace her it was decided that her future, unless someone could be found to restore her, that her demise would be at the hands of the scrapyard people, Richard Dodge and Les Cannan two island enthusiasts were informed and stored 680 for two years and would restore her themselves at a later date if no one could be found, that would take on the restoration. That is when Fred McKale came onto the scene and set about her subsequent repatriation and restoration. All of the pals are to take part in this restoration but being disabled I can only supply my technical knowledge and let the others do the heavy work still being part of it is a great pleasure though.

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