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Photographer / Copyright
Colin Lloyd
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2415L B731XJD

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Details: This vehicle has appeared several times on LTSV, but each photo shows variations in the livery carried. 2415L was one of six Leyland Freighter bus recovery trucks bought to replace smaller Ford D-series vehicles. 2372L was the first to arrive (in spring 1982) and was followed by 2391L in early 1983. While 2372L had a single, telescoping boom, 2391L was fitted with twin cranes, these also being fitted to the batch of four bought in 1984 (2415L to 2418L). The cranes do not appear to have been very successful and two of the vehicles (2415L and 2416L) were extensively rebuilt in about 1991 with new bodywork and a low-mounted spectacle hoist. 2415L turned out to be the longest-lasting of the type, passing to London General in 1995 and remaining in use until the arrival of a new Volvo lorry in 2004. When seen on Buckingham Palace Road in Victoria on 4th August 1993, its livery had recently been amended (compared to a 1992 photo). The large London General logo on the front and the London Buses roundels on the cab doors had been displaced by 'THUNDERBIRD 3' titles. The London General B-type bus logo was now carried on the front corners, this in turn displacing the 2415L fleetnumbers to a non-standard position at the very rear of the bodywork. The London Buses roundels were now carried on the lockers of the revised bodywork while another change was the addition of a white stripe below the windscreen. Although bus recovery trucks were photographed more than most other types of service vehicles, photos of 2415L in its as-built condition are surprisingly rare. There is at least one on Flickr and I may add this in due course.

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