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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

R.I.P. David Ellor

David Ellor was laid to rest at Carleton Crematorium Chapel on October 9th.

A friend to many with interest in Blackpool and Lytham St Annes buses of former times. David was fortunate in inheriting the Belle Vue Garage business from his father allowing a pro-active role in saving a number of classic buses during the 1960s. His Garage was contracted to remove a large number of Burlingham bodied buses to scrap dealers in west Yorkshire on their withdrawal by Blackpool Corporation Transport. The log books of many were handed over to John Woodman, providing a historic record of their demise. He acquired the two 1937 Leyland TS7 single deck buses converted to snow plough and salt spreading operation - one of which was used to tow Blackpool's double deckers across the Pennines to their fate. Fortunately one of these vehicles subsequently purchased for private preservation. Lytham St Annes single deck examples and an open top double deck conversion benefitted from David's efforts - finally ending up restored and preserved by like-minded enthusiasts. At least two now marvellously restored Lytham St Annes pre-war buses privately funded are in care of a local group and stored on the Fylde coast.

His lifelong interest in local transport focussed on the fleets of both municipalities. David became the first active bus preservationist on the Fylde coast. His personal endeavours involved pre-war Lytham St Annes and Blackpool vehicles, together with examples from Preston, Barrow, Standerwick which could be seen stored at his Belle Vue Garage premises on Whitegate Drive.

Always open to extended conversations at the Belle Vue Garage and latterly at his home on Mowbray Drive, Layton, David offered firsthand insight and colourful stories of his odysseys that took him on extended journeys across England delivering vehicles to other collections in the early days of bus preservation. He also acquired an extensive collection of formal photographs taken by one of the Saidman brothers during the 1930s of newly built buses and coaches of the HV Burlingham company and given as part payment for garage work. These in turn were offered to the Author. The collection await publication in an album on this famous Blackpool coach builder and is now intended as tribute to David. In declining health during his later years he managed to attend local rallies, passing away at Trinity Hospice on 20th September.

The new proud owner of Blackpool Corporation 1937 Leyland TS7 buses 7 and 8 modified for snow plough duties. With trade plates affixed numbers 7 and 8 were purchased from their final withdrawal by the Corporation and are seen at the Cleansing Department premises on Bristol Avenue before being transferred to the Belle Vue Garage on Whitegate Drive with David posing in front of his personal acquisitions. Number 7 survives today in the south of England carefully maintained by its Owner - the only pre-war Blackpool bus to survive.

David Charles Ellor - Rest In Peace

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