Events : Leyland National 51 gathering, Whitehaven 29-30 April

After the successful Leyland National 50 (LN50) event at Whitehaven organised by the Workington Transport Heritage Trust (WTHT) in 2022, the group is at it again.

For the Bank Holiday weekend in April, the WTHT have organised ‘LN51’ at the same place – Whitehaven harbour and quayside in Cumbria. It’s to celebrate the Leyland National and other products built or assembled at the former company’s bus assembly plants that were situated at Leyland and Lilyhall – the latter closing in 1993.

The National line up from last year’s event at the former Leyland bus plant at Lillyhall near Workington. Heritage vehicles will once again be offering free rides around the factory

The group hopes to attract as many vehicles as they can over the weekend and, although the emphasis is on the Leyland National, all manner of Leyland bus products are to be on public display.

If that isn’t enough for you, there is also to be a gathering of heritage commercial vehicles, not to mention a healthy sprinkling of classic cars of the 1970s. It’ll be a veritable feast of vintage vehicles to suit all tastes and interests.

There will be a free shuttle bus operating between Workington Lakes College and Whitehaven quayside. Just as last year, various preserved buses will be offering free rides around Whitehaven town, along the former Leyland bus official test route and to the former Lillyhall factory itself.

For those with a thirst to quench, there will also be a free shuttle bus running to and from a respected local micro-brewery.

For those who attended LN50 and the Gaydon ‘Busfest’ event last year, you’ll once again have your chance to put your questions and queries to former Leyland top brass and time-served bus people.

Mike Humble will be hosting a question and answer session in the Beacon Portal conference room with special guests Andrew Freeman, Ken Hargreaves, David Quainton and Barrie Wills. This kicks off on both days at around 11.30am. There will also be a quick Leyland quiz at the end of the sessions with spot prizes given away to the lucky winners.

The best bit of all, admission to the event itself and heritage bus rides are free!

Other highlights over the weekend include:

  • Fairground rides
  • Trade stands
  • Leyland National and Leyland archive material in the Beacon Portal
  • Local traders market
  • ’70s live music from local bands

Finally, if you have a Leyland group bus or coach (AEC, Bristol, Daimler, Guy etc.) that you would like to display, or know someone who has, there’s still time to book it in. For details on how to do so, please email Mike Morton via mike.morton22@icloud.com

For more information on this event and the Trust itself visit the WTHT’s website here.

See you there?

Mike Humble

1 Comment

  1. Sounds like another great free day out – that line up of Nationals looks superb. I notice the different position of front indicators and sidelights on the MK2. Showing my age when I remember the Nationals were launched and in daily use locally.

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