|"Leyland" bus exported to Zambia 1970
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|Author:||SallyH [ Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:34 pm ]|
|Post subject:||"Leyland" bus exported to Zambia 1970|
Hello. I am planning to write a short history article about a “Leyland” bus which was imported into Zambia in 1970 for use by that country’s newly-born higher education institute on the Copperbelt (“Zambia Institute of Technology” - ZIT - later “Copperbelt University”) and I am hoping someone here may be able to help me identify the bus in question.
(Intro: I am an historian, and recently moved to Leyland in Lancashire. I used to live in Zambia when this bus was imported in 1970, although I had nothing to do with the institute or the bus myself. I noticed a passing reference to the subject on a Facebook page about Zambia, a post written by a Canadian who taught electrical engineering at ZIT. At the time the bus was ordered, Zambia had been independent from Britain only 5 years and thousands of young Zambians were being trained up to take over the jobs that Europeans had been doing for many years.)
A few days ago I took the details I’ve got (see below) to the local Leyland transport museum’s archives. They found a few possible leads and put me in touch with an Albion archivist, because they suggested it was probably an Albion chassis. I haven’t heard back yet.
I’m doing a bit of web searching but I don’t know where to ask. Can you help please?
Here’s the info I have been given so far by the Facebook poster (Don).
• The bus was ordered by the then brand-new Zambia Institute of Technology (my guess is it would have been an order through the Education dept of the Zambian government)
• and collected as new in September 1970 from Mombasa (Kenya’s coastal port).
• It was used by ZIT for at least 7 years, probably much longer.
Don said it was:
• Standard, new, diesel, right hand drive
• Manual transmission
• Green (later an ex-student posted saying it was blue and Don responded that maybe it was painted by the students, or blue all along, he couldn’t exactly remember)
I showed Don a possible Albion, exported to Kenya close to the time, taken direct from photographs in the Leyland records. Attached.
Looking at the photo Don commented:
• The passenger door was right at the front not further back
• No box on top
• No destination signage at the front
• It was “Leyland” not “Albion” (I don’t know if this was a general appearance comment, ie. the prominent name on the front radiator. Or if he remembers clearly the make in some other way).
Initially I should like some photos/drawings of possible buses to show Don, to see if he can identify which model it was.
That would help locate it in export / import records, plus who built the body (I am told that’s how it worked, only the chassis was sent? and the body was built locally in Africa?), and how that model tended to fare in east or southern Africa.
It’s very interesting that in the Leyland archives we found a set of photos of the visit of the Deputy High Commissioner of Zambia to the Leyland works, dated 23rd January 1970. It’s hard to avoid the thought that he had been sent to look at vehicles ahead of orders for Zambia, and that included the ZIT bus. The bus in question was collected in Mombasa in September that same year.
But where I’m getting stuck is to know where the chassis would have been made, Albion or elsewhere? I don’t know enough about how the Leyland Corporation worked, and their exports, at the time. I don’t know where to go for archive searches to track down specifics. I’d absolutely love to find the correspondence between Leyland and the Zambian High Commission. Or any trade journal/magazine articles about it. I was pleased to find something in the museum - the “Leyland Journal”, May/June 1970 “Serving Rural Africa” but although it mentions CD29, CD23 and CD27 for rural / town use in east / southern Africa, I’m not much closer to identification or finding photos.
If you can help, that would be great, thanks!
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