Wednesday 21 October 2015

Midweek Memories

With everyone bracing themselves for the latest round of service cuts coing in the next few days there isn't much news to report regarding rural services, so I'm going to combine Oddball Wednesday and Throwback Thursday with my own memories and show you a bus I was driving around the country lanes of Kent in the early 90's

The Dennis Domino was, as the name suggests a mini version of the Dennis Dominator, single deck and 33 seats, at least in the one I drove. Only 34 vehicles were ever built, 20 for Greater Manchestter PTE, who also owned Northern Counties body works at the time. They designed their own body and 2+1 seating, reducing it to 21 seats. 20 buses were built, and the first one still survives in preservation. This pic can be found on Wiki but is from sherpa_536 on Flickr

The preserved Greater Manchester Dennis Domino with Northern Counties body.     pic by sherpa_536
The other 14 Dominos were delivered (minus pepperoni I presume) to South Yorkshire PTE. They went for a much more standard Dominator like body, and they were the first ever bodies built by Optare after they took over the Roe coachworks from British Leyland. As mentioned earlier they were 33 seaters. According to my research the Dominos had Maxwell automatic transmission. Well unless I have totally lost the plot the one I drove had a semi automatic gearbox - that's why I liked it so much! This picture was taken in Maidstone in 1994, around the time I was driving there and is brought courtesy of nigelcaroll20 on Flickr

Mercury Dennis Domino C53 HDT in Maidstone    pic by nigelcarroll29
Sadly Mercury didn't last long, and no one took over the Domino. It fell into a sorry state of disrepair but I'm delighted to discover she has been preserved and is in full working order. I am getting in touch with the new owner and hope to have a follow up post - complete with confirmation of gearbox - very soon. 2 others are in storage awaiting preservation. This pic is by the owner, yorkshirerider on Flickr

C53 HDT still in Mercury livery, almost, in this pic taken Sept 2015     pic by yorkshirerider

 A wacky vehicle that I thoroughly enjoyed driving and can't tell you how good it was to discover is still around. Made my day!

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