Chassis-MAN 11.190 WMA4691672G094855
Oe 4097 B42F
Black Prince Coaches,
Optare Vecta M73WYG started life with Black Prince Coaches in 1995 as part of a batch of four similar buses, bought as an alterntive to the more common Dennis "Dart".
When the four "Vectas" hit the road, each carried a different version of Black Prince fleet livery, in keeping with company tradition, finished off with a catchy slogan on the bonnet of each bus!.
"Black Prince-In Front Again" was the legend which 73 was sent out to uphold and I am sure it would have been in front of the competition at the time, which were still running Atlanteans in squadron service!.
When the time came for the Vecta to move on, it departed via Ensignbus (Dealer) ending up with Lodge's of High Easter, Essex.
Lodge's are a very fine operator with a 90+ year history and they certainly made sure 73 was looked after, latterly using the bus solely for a lightly-used school service, right until the bus was saved for preservation by Stephen Whiteley, in January 2015.
After a fantastic restoration, Stephen's little Optare returned to the road, looking as good as new and with a second motto now displayed on the rear panel; "In memory of Brian & Sheila".