This year, the Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, a number of events and initiatives will take place throughout the year culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 until Sunday 5 June, and Go North East has launched this bus to join the celebrations.
Go North East’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bus is pictured alongside the
1977 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Tyne and Wear bus which is currently being restored by the North East Bus Preservation Trust (see notes below)
A special bus was used to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee across Tyne and Wear in 1977 and the actual vehicle used back then is currently under restoration by the North East Bus Preservation Trust.
Her Majesty The Queen has played an important role in the region’s transport network, opening the Tyne & Wear Metro in 1981, opening Park Lane Interchange in Sunderland as part of the Golden Jubilee, and the bus company also serves the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.
The Queen also visited Newcastle Central Station in 1991 as part of a 12-stop tour to mark the electrification of the East Coast main railway line between London and Edinburgh.
The special ADL Enviro400MMC Platinum Jubilee bus will operate on routes across the Go North East network in Tyne and Wear and County Durham.
6337 will also take centre stage at the bus operator’s Gateshead Riverside depot open day on Sunday 15 May which will adopt a Jubilee celebratory theme this year.
The day will additionally help raise funds for the Great North Air Ambulance, which is the depot team’s chosen charity of the year, as well as the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal.
Commenting on the launch of the special bus, Go North East managing director Martijn Gilbert, said: “We’re honoured to be carrying a special Jubilee livery on one of our double-deck buses to mark the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, something that we hope will stand as a celebration of the region’s support and appreciation of the British Monarch and the many things she has done in and around the North East.
“Alongside plaques in the Metro and features in Eldon Square shopping centre marking the Queen’s visit to the region in her Silver Jubilee year in 1977, we now have a commemorate bus as a fitting travelling tribute.”
Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 Mk II KBB 118D was delivered to Newcastle Corporation Transport in 1966, as fleet number 118. The batch consisted of 28 vehicles, 106 to 133 (KBB 106D to KBB 133D).
The buses were transferred to Tyneside PTE on 1st January 1970. KBB 118D was converted to O44/34F in May 1974 for use at South Shields. The vehicle is now under restoration by the North East Bus Preservation Trust.