First Potteries celebrates deregulation’s 30 years

Two heritage repaints as North Staffordshire operation marks three decades since bus deregulation

One heritage repaint carries PMT interurban livery dating from 1989

First Potteries began the celebrations of 30 years since deregulation with an open day at its Adderley Green depot in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday (18 September).

To mark the event, it has repainted two of its Wright Gemini-bodied double-deckers in ‘heritage’ liveries, and posed the two with preserved buses that carry the same colours during the afternoon.

One carries a silver livery from 1989 for interurban services, and it was lined up with a Leyland Olympian that was among six such buses to debut the scheme. It served with First until early 2014.

The other Gemini is painted in pre-National Bus Company PMT red and cream, and it was lined up next to an indentically-coloured Leyland Atlantean dating from 1959 owned by the Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society (POPS).

POPS also held its annual Potteries Connection running day on Sunday.

Says First Midland Regional MD Nigel Eggleton: “We were delighted to hold the first open day at Adderley Green depot, which holds over 130 buses and has responsibility for operation of First’s bus network in the Potteries.

“The day was very well received by everyone I saw and spoke to, and it was very good to see so many families taking the opportunity to have a look round. Congratulations are due to our team (and that from POPS) who were involved in putting on a great show.”